The Workshop

We at love to ride bikes. Every chance we get, we ride. Only three things stop us:

  1. Running out of daylight – especially bad on the KTM (dark-colored and no lights)
  2. We’re too sore to to ride any more – this is the usual and desired end to our rides.
  3. Mechanical breakdown – no matter how much maintenance you do, it still happens.

Lately the DR has been cursed by the scourge of breakdowns. Maybe I should slowdown a bit in the rough stuff. Maybe I’ve just had some bad luck. Or maybe I just need to spend some more time doing PM – Preventative Maintenance.

I will focus on number three, as I can’t do anything about luck, and I’m not about to slow down.

I’m not the greatest mechanic, and I can be very impatient. When something doesn’t work right at first, my first though is to reach for the hammer. Sometimes this actually works, but usually it ends up being counterproductive and expensive. Even without a lot of experience, I have found that I can usually figure out the correct way to do something if I relax and take my time. I only learned this lesson after I had correctly set up my workshop …

You might think all you need to work on bikes are tools and some space, but if you’re like me, and hammers are your favorite tool, you are wrong. What you need is a comfortable room, with plenty of lights, a little bit of furniture, and a refrigerator to hold your favorite chilled beverage.

After many years of working either in discomfort outside or in the garage, I finally found the perfect space: the utility room (hereafter referred to as the workshop). Even if you are not fortunate enough to have some room indoors (heated and air conditioned) to work, you can still set up whatever space you do have you’re your maximum comfort.

Below are pictures of my workshop. In each pictures, I will point out the carefully selected items that contribute to my comfort.

In this first shot, a view from the entry door, you can see the basics: a bike to work, a tarp on the ground to protect the concrete from spills, some old towels, tools, a small chair, and a bin to hold stuff:

In the next picture, you see ample room to work on the bike from either side, a speaker (for the mandatory sound system), a large garbage bag, and of course, duct tape:

This next picture shows supplemental lighting, a heating an air conditioning unit, and my music setup: a laptop with several gb of MP3s and an amplifier, plus a guitar if I really need a break from wrenching:

On the subject of music, everyone has their own tastes, so play whatever works for you. I personally have found great mechanical success listening to classic rock such as Pink Floyd, the Beatles, and old (really old) Genesis:

Continuing tour around the workshop, you will see another bin for holding stuff, as well as shelving:

If you plan on starting the bike indoors, or using nasty chemical like carb cleaner, an opened window is highly desirable:

And finally, two of the most important items: Tools, and a Refrigerator.
Hint: white really shows grease marks, try for a darker color!

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