Saturday, March 22, 2014

Spring Cleaning

When the natural food store downstairs was sold, the deed showed that we did not have undisputed rights to a lot of space we had been using in the filthy recesses known as The Basement. While we knew that no food store operator would really want the space after they had taken a good look at it, the new owners insisted on possessing what was theirs.

While the reduction in space is inconveniently drastic, it has led to a much-needed purge of the most egregious accumulated crapola. While I would not have volunteered to start this, on some deep level I've been waiting decades for the signal to begin. Big G and I have been redesigning the workshop for the last four years.

In a well-established bike shop one does not follow the oversimplified directive to throw out anything you haven't used in a year. But you do throw out the cheap, the hopelessly battered or rusty or filthy, and those hideous mutants produced by the bike industry that have finally gone to extinction as the next best thing to never having been invented. Some of the weirdest of those we keep for historical value. "See the freaks! Step right up!"

Among the various crap farms we've developed, this bucket of assorted chain links holds the trimmings from every chain we install in case we need to graft a link or a section into a chain on a bike we're repairing. When chains were simpler we could also assemble a salvage chain from sections. I might still be running one of them. In today's haul I found a lot of old Sedis, Sachs and just-post-takeover SRAM sections I have already started assembling to install later.

Your modern riders with finicky index shifting systems can't use salvaged chains. The chains that need special pins or closure links would need one of each at every junction.

The Linkin' Memorial has had a facelift now. I organized the chain sections by brand and number of speeds. No more digging in a 25-pound bucket of mixed scrap metal. Of course in the heat of a busy repair season we're liable to revert to just chucking them in a bucket, but we have a system to organize them when we get the chance.

The reorganization lurches forward with bursts of action broken by long pauses to assess and plan. Our clutter has remained in basically the same configuration for decades. When we finish, the workshop and basement will have a fresh start. We will know what we have for used parts and be able to get at them.

Ironically, we found out yesterday that the food store getting ready to open in the unit downstairs has pulled out. We can have most or all of our disputed spaces back. We've gotten to like the idea of reorganizing, though, so we're not going to slouch back into the grubby depressions left by the removal of the first wave of debris.

If we can just say goodbye to winter and get the rental skis out of the way we can really kick things along. Management appears as eager as we are to push the change of seasons.


Steve A said...

With all that reclaimed space, there's lots of room for new bike bits!

cafiend said...

Hopefully not in a chaotic dumping ground as before.