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See also: bike shed


Etymology 1[edit]

bike +‎ shed.

Technical meaning coined by Poul-Henning Kamp in 1999.[1]


English Wikipedia has an article on:

bikeshed (plural bikesheds)

  1. (literally) An enclosed structure where bicycles may be stored.
  2. (figurative, technical jargon) A topic that is attracting debate out of proportion to its actual importance.


bikeshed (third-person singular simple present bikesheds, present participle bikeshedding, simple past and past participle bikeshedded)

  1. (technical jargon) To discuss a minor detail rather than focusing on more important issues.
    • 2012, Guido van Rossum, Discussion message: Expose dict_proxy internal type as types.MappingProxyType[2]:
      I'd like to bikeshed a little on the name.

Etymology 2[edit]

Blend of bike +‎ watershed.


bikeshed (plural bikesheds)

  1. (transportation planning, urban studies) The land area within a defined biking range of a specified location.
    • 2013, Mallory Suzanne Necessary, Developing an Infrastructure Informed Walkshed and Bikeshed[3], University of Texas at Austin, page 38:
      Utilizing the bikeshed values for each surrounding link, the bikeshed service area is visualized around these bike shops (the origins) to see the distance to which cyclists can travel away from the bike shop comfortably, in reality. The bikeshed service area depicts the true network of all accessible streets that lie within the impedance value of a cyclist traveling a perceived 10 minute short-commute.
    • 2017, Bryanna Osmonson, An Equity Analysis of Bicycle Infrastructure Around Light Rail Stations in Seattle, WA[4], University of Washington, page 2:
      The 2-mile radius around light rail stations is considered the bikeshed, or the distance within which most people are able and willing to ride a bicycle.


  1. ^ Hemp, Poul-Kenning (1999-10-02), “The Bikeshed email”, in PHKs Bikeshed[1], retrieved 2021-10-27