Bike Rack

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Dan Lyke, Tuesday October 24th, 2006

Although I'm working up a rant about the effects of Windows on society, how we who are computer savvy want to help, because even though people make bad choices when they choose to use Windows they are our family and our friends and we need to assist them (althoug hthere is a fine line between assistance and enabling), one of the cool things about computer problems is that my dad and I actually get on the phone and talk to each other.

And one of the things we talk about is our current set of projects. One that Charlene and I just put up is a bike rack.

In my youth we built an industrial sized swingset in the back yard. I'm sure pictures exist somewhere, in fact it may still be a part of someone's life in a lawn in Connecticut. What I most remember was that we erected this thing at night, all sixteen feet high of it, and in the shadowy side lighting of the late evening it was truly monumental.

I knew this thing had to be at least 8 feet high to store the tandems vertically, so I had a rough idea of the scale of it. But we expanded it from six to eight feet as we played with the ease of fitting bikes in and out, and when it went up it was huge.

The design parameters stressed "easy to move" (by pulling a bunch of deck screws this thing comes apart quickly) and "inexpensive". I'd originally planned a standard shingled roof for it, but because the thing isn't built to be a permanent structure, I chickened out on nailing roofing to it when the roof was installed.

So I built the roof on the ground, intending to put a belay on it, so Charlene could hold it in place while I lifted it.

I didn't appreciate just how heavy roofing materials are. So we rigged lines to it, tied them to the car, I tried to lift, Charlene tried to work the belay, and... it just wasn't happening. Worse, the lines we were using were under enough tension that they were making interesting twanging noises, making me reluctant to be underneath this huge piece of construction.

So we went back to the hardware store, started to buy a "come along", some steel cable, all of the other necessities to lift something too heavy to contemplate into place, when Charlene gave me a little lesson in "sunk costs" and we put that money into the more expensive corrugated fiberglass materials.