The bike barn has gotten a make-over. The original corner work area had become disheveled. It was more of a place to put stuff. Definitely not inviting to work on bikes.
Here at CoHo, we’ve got a few bicycling enthusiasts (one a former frame builder, another a bike mechanic) and lots of people who ride bikes. Most of us enjoy working on things ourselves, as opposed to paying someone to do it for us. We also have plenty of bike tools. All of these things led to the bike barn workspace being updated so it’s just like having our own full service shop.
After some ideas were conceptualized, we ended up with a U-shaped workspace. Having a workbench at the back wall would have cramped the space, and we suspected bicycles (and other stuff) would eventually encroach the area without a physical barrier to prevent it. The U-shaped layout seemed perfect for people to work on 2 bikes at the same time.
Materials were frugally acquired. The workbench countertops were purchased for $1 each from the OSU surplus store, where shelving is $0.50 each (in 8′ – 12′ long sections). We got full sheets of pegboard for $5 each from Craigslist. One workbench was constructed from new wood for about $10, and we used plenty of leftover odd pieces of lumber for shelving and other things. And we got brand new 8′ flourescent light fixtures for $7 each, that would have cost $100 each if purchased from a store!
The hardest part about this project was sorting and moving stuff around, especially things hanging from rafters. In order to move the kayaks stored overhead, we had to find another place in the bike barn for them. And to find another space for them meant moving more things around and making that space. Imagine taking one person’s garage and multiplying it by 34 households. Our bike barn is definitely not equivalent to the space of 34 garages!
We worked on this for a couple months. It was well worth the effort. Not only is our bicycle workspace organized and more inviting, but other areas in the bike barn were rearranged with better storage for stuff.
Now we have no excuse to not ride our bikes because we can’t maintain them!