A New York Biker’s Headache: Where to Store It



Or, you could just ask your neighbor. Jane Torres-Lavoro, 40, and her husband Leo Lavoro, 45, who works for a record label, have been storing the bikes they bought this summer in an extra bedroom in their neighbor’s apartment in Kew Gardens Hills, Queens. They send him a text message when they want to use the bikes and he rolls them out. In exchange, Ms. Torres-Lavoro, a hospital administrator, picks up groceries for him and makes his favorite soup, a Senegalese chicken soup. “He’s like my adopted dad,” she said.

The neighbor, Michael Cohen, 70, a retired taxi driver, stores the bikes in the room that was once his daughter’s bedroom. He stores another neighbor’s bike there, too, making his apartment something of an unofficial building bike room. “It’s the least I could do. I have the free space,” he said. “I had other plans for the room, but they’re never going to materialize and with what’s going on in the world today, people are certainly doing more than me.”

Ms. Torres-Lavoro and Mr. Lavoro, who live in a two-bedroom apartment on the second floor of the garden co-op complex, store their 9-year-old daughter’s bike in their own apartment. All summer, the family has been taking weekend rides to Cunningham Park and Flushing Meadow Park.

Owning bikes “has definitely given us another level of freedom during the pandemic,” Ms. Torres-Lavoro said. “It’s something to do where we don’t have to worry about crowds, the virus or hand sanitizer.” And with free storage next door, they don’t have to worry about where to park when they get back home, either.

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