How to park your bike…in a bunker

How to park your bike…in a bunker

Written by sonicsuns

Topics: Everything, Tips

Recently, I discovered a secret facility buried right beneath my feet.
/
/
/
/It all starts with this unassuming structure, near the Kumegawa train station:
/
/

/
/Looking inside, I found a mysterious staircase:
/
/

/
/There was a narrow ramp so you could walk down with your bike. (I wonder if anyone has tried to ride their bike down the ramp.)
/
/

/
/At the bottom, staff manned a mysterious gate.
/
/

/
/I was instructed to press the yellow button and collect a small paper ticket:
/
/

/
/Beyond the gate, I discovered the National Strategic Bicycle Reserve, a reinforced bunker where the Japanese government keeps a expansive supply of bicycles in case of national emergency. (Or, as the locals like to call it: a perfectly ordinary underground bicycle parking lot. )
/
/

/
/

I rolled my bike into one of the metal bike-holding things. (I’m sure there’s a word for that)

/
/

/
/Then I locked the back wheel. (Always important if you’re parking your bike – even if you are parking it in a bunker)
/
/

/
/I could not leave the way I came; I had to use a separate staircase:
/
/

/
/

(Which really makes wonder: has anyone tried to ride their bike down this staircase?)

/
/

/
/

On the left, in the distance, you can see where I entered the bunker. On the right, you can see where I emerged.

/
/

/
/

Well actually I still needed my bike, so pretty soon I headed back to the non-bike entrance:

/
/

/
/I noticed a security camera. It’s probably there to make sure no one rides their bike down the non-bike staircase.
/
/

/
/Turning the corner, I was again amazed at the huge number of bikes in storage.
/
/

/
/

/
/

I found my bike, unlocked it, and headed for the gate.

/
/

/
/

At the gate, I had to provide my ticket in the upper slot, plus money. I think it’s like 100 Yen ($1) for 12 hours. I had been gone less than an hour, so it was totally free.

/
/

/
/

On the way out, they had this weird bike-conveyor thing. You slide the wheels onto the track, and then hold down the brake, because otherwise the wheels tend to just roll on top of the track.

/
/

/
/

The bike-conveyor-plus-staircase led me to the outside. And I knew I had discovered a secret so important that it could never be told to anyone…except anyone and everyone who might possibly read this blog. =)

/ /