Tag Archives: mobility

On Bikes…

I know. What does farming have to do with bikes?

The real question is, how many bikes do ten people have, and where do we put them all? Usually they go in a garage. And we have a garage. It’s just not that big, even with some of the bikes being for the kids…

I’ve done a lot of biking over the past few years as a volunteer for Port Coquitlam and they store their bikes by hanging them up.  I wanted something similar, but set up so the handlebars don’t collide quite so much.

With a piece of 2×10 on each wall of the garage to anchor to, and two more to make the rack, one vertical and the other horizontal, it looks like this:

2x10s to frame the bike rack
2x10s to frame the bike rack

The hooks to hang the bikes alternate on the bottom edge of the vertical board, and on the forward edge of the horizontal board. Hanging straight down, they don’t have any stress that would cause the hook to wear away at the board.


The bikes now hang, one up and forward, and the next down and back.


The kids bikes fit on the floor between the hanging bikes, which is not as ideal as I would like, but it does work just fine.

Some of you might wonder how to get the bikes up so high. Don’t lift with your arms! Start by locking the brake on the back wheel, and pull the bike back so it balances on the rear wheel,  just like it is going to hang. wheel it under the hook you want, still on that back tire. Then put your knee under the bike seat and lift your knee, using your arms only to keep it balanced, and to aim for the hook. Once the front tire on on the hook, lower it till it is resting. Reverse the process to get the bike down. That will save a lot of stress on the back from a fair weight at the end of your arms as you twist to maneuver it into place.

The back of the rack is a good place to store your bike helmets. You  can also use a straight coat rack instead of more hooks.


Normally we might have put this at the back of the garage, but that wasn’t an option, so it went toward the front. It had to be low enough that it would not catch the garage door, or it’s hardware as the door moved up or down. And also back enough that the door wouldn’t (quite) come down on the hanging bikes.

So, that’s just one more thing we did to fit 10 people into a small space!



Rehoming, becoming native to a place

Part of what we merry folk are doing here is figuring out how to become native to a place.  So much of our civilization is built on the movement of people from rural to urban, from community-sufficient to industrially-dependent, and we have lost the knack for knowing how to stay rooted.

I was talking to a friend, recently, and she was experiencing a sense of panic when she thought about the fact that she plans on living in the same place for the foreseeable future.  She’d always moved around, as school and jobs dictated, and fully committing to a place brought what looked like a sense of claustrophobia.  We’ve been taught that mobility is freedom for so long; choosing to become native to a place can feel confining.

The idea of mobility is one of the ways that our culture disconnects us from each other and the land around us.  Why make an effort to get along with neighbors, if we’re all just moving all the time?  Why form a relationship with a local businessperson, when you can just go shop at the superstore down the street?  What does it matter, if we build houses on top of this old farm; there are a million others like it!  When no one needs each other and our livelihoods are disconnected from the land around us, there’s little reason to make the effort.

In choosing Sooke, we have chosen our home.  Friends that we make now may be the friends around us when we’re old.  People are forming opinions about us that they may hold for years (What are all those crazy people doing living in one house?  Are they all married to each other?  Do they EVER buy new clothes?).  We seem to be meeting lots of great people, and they all wish us well with our project (or want to help!), so it seems like there’s more of the former than the latter.

Once we’ve lived here, for a little while, I might think more about an idea is calling to me.  People refresh all the cells in our bodies within 7 years.  If someone ate local (however one defines it) food for 7 years, every cell in their body would belong to that place.  What would it feel like, to fully and completely belong to BC?  Vancouver Island?  Sooke?