I was a little spoilt when working in the cycle industry. I had access to a full-fledged workshop which always had a spare workbench and a vast array of tools. Perfect for carrying out regular maintenance on my bikes; I never had to worry about having my own tools. Except for the odd multi-tool.
Unfortunately, since leaving the industry, I have discovered the delights of having to pay for work that I could have done myself. After a while, the garage needed a bit of TLC in the form of a new roof and I took the opportunity to renovate the entire building. If I had gone one stage further it would have been knocked down and rebuilt.
I’ve always dreamed of having my own bike workshop with a tool board and tools above a workbench, a parts washer and space for a few spare parts. Where I live now is the first time I’ve had a garage that I have attempted to turn into a bike workshop. When we moved in, the previous owners had made a make-shift workbench which fitted quite nicely along the back wall. Bonus! It even left enough space to fit a couple of drawers for ‘bike stuff’. Every cyclist accumulates ‘bike stuff’.
The garage itself is nothing special, simply a concrete garage a with pebble dash exterior. Given the option, I would have loved to knock it down and rebuild a proper brick one. As mentioned earlier, I had to replace the roof thanks to some strong winds back at the beginning of 2017. I fixed the roof and took the opportunity, while everything was out of the garage to line it with OSB boards. There was a method to the madness. Firstly, it made the whole garage look much better on the inside. Something I wanted to do as this was going to be where I fixed my bikes. Secondly, the boarding allowed me to attach things to the walls.
Once this was complete I was then able to start organising where I wanted everything. I had specific areas for bike stuff, the workbench and tools. I also had specific areas for specific bikes. I know sad right? Oh well, it makes me happy. Plus I can now easily grab any of my bikes without having to move a load of things out of the way first. After I’d got all of my stuff back in, it was time to buy a tool board and some tools.
I started with some of the more common tools such as spanners, allen keys, cassette tools and tyre levers. Over time I have slowly built up my collection. I tend to buy tools as and when I need them for a specific job. I still haven’t got a parts washer, but I don’t think I have space for a proper one. Plus they’re quite expensive. I might have to look for an alternative.
At the end of the day it serves its purpose and although there was a bit of an initial outlay, it saves me money in the long run. Plus it enables me to keep my mechanic skills in check. And I have ticked off an item on my bucket list.
Until next time.