Tag Archives: stuff

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!



Where Is All Our Stuff?

As a part of our Grand Adventure, we packed up three households of stuff into two shipping containers.  It was very organized, at first, and then more and more hectic as deadlines approached and only the hard stuff remained to be packed.

And now, slowly, we are unpacking and sorting.  We unpacked essential furniture, like beds and dining room tables, as soon as we had a place to put them.  Later on, we found winter clothes, some books, winter project supplies, and a few more toys for the kids.

We still have two relatively full shipping containers, though.

All The Things
All Of The Things

And lots of it is tools, and essential things for later on.  But some of it is this:


I’m slowly bringing boxes like this one to the house, and opening them, because I Have No Room For Junk, so this is probably as good a time as there ever will be to sort things like this.

Thanks for silly box-marking, Past Erin.  It would be a little less fun opening boxes labelled ‘Erin Junk’.


On Stuff

Packing everything into storage was an interesting exercise.  At first, the plan was that there was going to be one container full of short-term items, and another with long-term items in it, but in the rush to get houses ready for sale and containers off to the yard everything ended up getting all higgledy-piggledy.  We all had what we needed for about a month of camping, but beyond that time-frame we needed to repack 40 feet of jam-packed shipping container in a more rational and useful fashion.

Once we were into our first month in Sooke, with our containers still on the mainland, several of us mentioned independently that, though it would be horrible to lose some of the things we’d stored, it would be very liberating if the entire thing just fell into the ocean.  We were living like snails, with everything we needed for life on our backs, and it was sweet.

Now that we have moved our containers to Sydney, and have access to them again, we are unloading all the precious things that we’d missed over the summer, and some that we didn’t know that we’d missed until we’d seen them again.

I wonder what would have happened, if our stuff had disappeared.  We’d probably have mourned some of it, in stages, as we remembered of its existence.  What would we have felt relief about no longer being obliged to carry around?  We still have two containers almost full of stuff, but we have furnished a whole house with barely a dint in each container.  I wonder what’s still in there, and is there any of it that we actually need?