Posts Tagged With: reuse

Bicycle Gardening

Yes, what to do with the surplus of rusty and twisted bicycle wheels that no longer are able to serve the purpose for which they were made? If  you are like me, you just cannot bring yourself to send them out to pasture at the metal recycler’s – somehow that just doesn’t seem right.

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Well, I found some other uses for these wheels – in the garden. Check these out for starters:

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Towers for scarlet runner beans – add some EMT conduit to those rusty old rims, splash on some spray paint to cover the rust, and VOILA! in no time, scarlet runners will thank you for providing a place to climb, and you will thank them for adding their lovely scarlet red flowers to the beauty of your garden. The bees will thank you also!IMG_1601 2

As you can see, the towers are “geared” for the job. Sorry, I couldn’t resist that.

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Beet cages. No, not to keep the beets in. Rather, to keep the hungry jack rabbits out. There is a very healthy population of rabbits in the city, and last year when I went to harvest the beets from my plot at the community garden, I discovered that the rabbits had “beet” me too it. (Sorry, I couldn’t help that one either) So this is a test run to see  if this will work.

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Broccoli protection. My green thumb partner grows the very best broccoli, starting the seeds inside while snow is still on the ground and then moving the plants into our wicking raised beds. We usually eat broccoli right up until the snow flies in the fall again. This year we are going to be selfish and not share with the cabbage butterflies who like to infest the plants. I wrapped crop cover around the frames, allowing sunshine and rain in and keeping the butterflies out.IMG_1605

There is a shot from further back with both frames covered. Oh, yes, and an excuse to show off the cargo e-bike that I built last year. That is my favoured ride when going to the community garden to check for those pesky rabbits!

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Lemons and Grapes – Rhonda’s new makeover bike

One of last year’s projects has spawned the latest effort from Village Cycleworks. In 2013, a pair of rather ordinary “mountain bikes” were refurbished and given a facelift. The result was the Jack & Jill Makeover. Well, Jack & Jill are finding a new home this spring – they have been purchased and will be travelling to southern Manitoba as Mother’s Day/Father’s day gifts. Soon they will be taking their new owners on country rides for coffee with the nearby neighbours. After picking up Jack & Jill from the Village Cycleworks shop, our customer called back with an inquiry – could we put together a bike for herself? She had some requests: she preferred the purple paint used on Jack and Jill; she also liked the fenders; and she would like a basket.

Well it happened that there was a suitable bike on hand that had the potential to fulfill those requirements. It was a “made in Canada” bike sold by the large tire-selling Canadian hardware chain.

Rhonda's bike - the before shot

As with many (most?) bikes that make their way to a landfill site, on the surface it did not look too promising, with deflated tires and bent wheels, rusty cables and cable housing, scratches and rust spots on the paint. It did have the important ingredient required for a successful make-over – a solid and true frame with bosses for mounting cantilever brakes.

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Paint scratches and peeling decals are really nothing to worry about – they are just surface blemishes.

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So the bike was dismantled and, after a bit of elbow grease, sent to the “paint booth”.

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A new paint job deserves a custom touch.

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After a few days to allow the paint to cure, it was time to re-assemble everything, making sure to grease and reset bearings and true up wheels. Serviceable components were salvaged from other donor bikes. A few new components were added, including, as requested, polycarbonate full wrap around fenders and an aluminum front rack with a wooden deck. Here, after 40 hours or so of work, is the result, proving the old adage “Never judge a book by it’s cover”, or in this application “Never judge a bike by its scratches and rust!”

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Categories: Rescued and returned to use | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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