FINGERS crossed that by the time you read this, I’ll be arranging to collect keys.

It’s taken 11 months, a few false alarms and a bank holiday weekend full of suspense, but I might finally have struck it lucky.

If I haven’t jinxed things by writing this, I could be the proud renter of a bike storage space at the end of my street.

The moment I spotted it, I pounced. Secure bike hangars first arrived in Edinburgh in 2014, but it took until last summer for Glasgow to finally get in on the act with a pilot scheme.

Unsurprisingly, given how many Glaswegians live in tenements, demand was huge, with an incredible 1400 on waiting lists as of January, hence the roll-out of a second batch.

Local authorities work in partnership with supplier Cyclehoop to run the scheme, with bike owners charged £6 a month for one of six spaces per location.

Another 70 units is great news, but that’s only another 420 spots, so competition will still be intense for the most popular locations – and the new locations have been chosen with demand in mind.

Given these odds, I was surprised to look up the website and find an “apply for space” button beside the brand-new store near my flat. It seemed there was all to play for, despite the waiting lists for storage just across the road.

I clicked, filled in my details, and crossed my fingers. A holding email arrived. “There is currently very high demand and as a result, we may not have a space available for you immediately.” I was crestfallen.

Impatient for an answer, I phoned up, to be informed that I was within the first six people to apply, so should be hearing back soon to confirm.

Woo hoo! Now I just had to wait for another email. And wait. And wait. Never have I been so keen for an Easter weekend to be over.

I’m lucky in that I do already have a bike, and even a small shed in the communal back court, but since the first summer of the pandemic the bike has been competing for space with outdoor furniture and gardening supplies, and since a back injury at the start of the year, I can no longer lift it up and down the steps to get it to the street.

It’s become the obstacle I reach past to get my watering can, rather than a viable mode of transport.

So the timing is right for me to get tentatively back on the road, just in time for the lovely sunny/rainy/windy/hailstone May weather.

But I feel for those hundreds of people languishing on the waiting lists, desperate to increase their participation in the “active travel” we’re constantly being lectured about.

I don’t need to rehearse the benefits of city cycling here – health, financial, environmental – but where has the joined-up thinking been until now?

How often, in planning meetings to discuss cycle lanes, cycle paths and Cycle to Work schemes, has anyone been raising the key questions of where people are supposed to keep the bloody massive things once they get home?

In some areas, I concede, there simply isn’t the on-street space – and storage to the rear of properties risks taking away precious green space, obstructing refuse collection or failing to cater to those like me who can’t lift their bikes up and down steps.

But I only have to look out of my own window to see hundreds of square feet of completely empty off-street space in between blocks of flats.

I say completely empty, but at any given time there’s always something there. Currently there’s a very large old TV, along with a large cardboard box that I presume its replacement came in.

Often you’ll see pieces of an old bed, or a discarded mattress. No-one’s coming to collect these things. The free bulk uplifts once offered by council or housing association have long since ceased.

It would be too generous to assume none of the neighbours who engage in such dumping are without cars with which to transport said items to the nearby dump, but certainly many who live in city flats are car-free and constrained by it.

Installing bike sheds could kill two birds with one stone by sending a message that this is not dumping ground, and opening up new ways of living for residents.

Storage wouldn’t need to be exclusively for bikes – mobility scooters and buggies could be accommodated too. The question is, does anyone have the vision to make this happen?

With the local elections looming, now might be a good time to see if candidates are willing to press for bold, creative solutions to problems like this, rather than sticking to taking baby steps down a single path and expecting applause for staying upright.

Too many local issues – especially relating to housing and cleansing – turn into giant games of hot potato, with no-one wanting to accept responsibility (but everyone looking for credit in the rare event that something gets done).

Sitting councillors may wish to point to the success of schemes like the Cyclehoop one, but aspiring ones should instead be pointing out the length of the waiting lists, which show provision is falling far short of what’s needed.

Reducing pollution and living costs through cycling is clearly a high priority for people living in urban Scotland. Will it prove to be one for those who represent them?