Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A new bike building season is now underway

And, so it begins, another year of bike building in the AtomicZombie garage! This year, the deep freeze actually left us a month ahead of schedule, so I am heading out to tackle last year’s mess. You see, we are constantly fighting against the clock, as the weather can drop to minus 20 in a few days without warning.

Because of this constant race against Old Man Winter, I often toss parts and junk into a huge pile after each build just to save time, only cleaning the garage when time permits. At the end of the year when it is too cold to weld, I seal the door for 6 months and tell myself it won’t be such a big deal to clean it next year!

“Creeaaaaaaak!” The garage door sounds likes the opening scene in a cheesy scary movie, squeaking on its hinges as I crack it open after the long winter. What monsters lurk in the darkness? What evil grows on those apple cores I left on the workbench last year? Will there be another squirrel living in there this time? Maybe a skunk will come charging at me! OK, it wasn’t anything that bad, just a huge pile of twisted bike frames, hacked up tubing, and unsorted bicycle parts haphazardly strewn about everywhere.

So here is the “clean side” of the garage, which allows just enough room to carefully walk from one side to the other. There are razor sharp bits of sheet metal all over the place from the Terminator Chopper build, which I hope to finish soon as well as half cut up bike frames, chains, wheels, and a huge pile of metal shavings.

My StreetFighter Recumbent Quadcycle and Kat's DeltaRunner Recumbent Trike were also buried under the rubble, plus the Kyoto Cruiser frame, Silent Speedster Electric bike, Sparky Electric Mini Bike, Loderunner 2 Recumbent Cargo Trike, Warrior Recumbent Racing Tadpole Trike, Marauder Reloaded Recumbent Lowracer, SpinCycle Crazy Trike and bits of pieces of other recumbents, choppers, trikes, tandems and tall bikes. Wish I had a barn to store all of my completed bike projects! But, in traditional Atomic Zombie style, I keep a few bikes around and recycle the rest for other projects.

The only way to clean this place it by moving everything out to the lawn so I can sweep up the huge pile of metal dust and then sort all of the small bits and pieces back into the 200 buckets I use to store my parts in. Let the fun begin!

Normally, I start with the huge pile of junk, but today I decided to give my back a break and clean the workbench area. It took all day to sort all of the tools and small bicycle components into the buckets you see here. I keep the smaller parts such as bearings, cups, axles, hubs and derailleurs in the small buckets under the workbench and the larger bits like tubing and wheels on the other side. I am not normally a “neat freak”, but I do force myself to be hardcore about organization in the garage so I can find any part within 30 seconds.

I got tired of climbing over a 20 foot pile of twisted frames to get to one single component, so now I run a tight ship! Tomorrow, I tackle the massive pile of bikes and tubing, which will probably be a two-day job.
~ Radical Brad