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Editions

Bicycle repair ultra marathon

29 May 2012

Bicycle repair ultra marathon Image

Docklands Bike Force mechanics Jeremy Stainforth and Michael Finlay undertook a “mechanical ultra-marathon” last month when they tackled 1000 bicycle renovations in 10 days.

The bicycles were donated from all over Victoria as part of a “Bikes for the Bush” project and were to be restored to safe working order by Jeremy and Michael before being sent to remote indigenous communities in the Northern Territory.

The mountain of dead and dying bicycles was assembled in a discreet development site within Harbour Town during the weeks leading up to May 7 when work began.

Jeremy and Michael started with the least challenging bikes – the ones that perhaps just needed new tyres or brakes.

“Obviously we can’t restore 1000 bikes to their original condition in 10 days, so we are just satisfied to ensure that the bikes can go and can stop,” Jeremy said.

A “reject pile” of the more difficult cases was steadily growing, but the dynamic duo planned to return to them when they had picked out and fixed all of the easier options.

“We’ll break down the more damaged bikes and start building up new ones from the parts we salvage,” Jeremy said.

Mr Stainforth estimated that between 700 and 800 sound bicycles would be packed into five shipping containers and sent to the Northern Territory.

He said the remaining bicycle carcasses would be stripped down to their bare components and the metal would be recycled.

“We have to remove all the rubber, aluminium and other contaminants before the metal can be recycled,” he said.

He said other second-hand parts would be given to the CERES environmental park in Brunswick where a bicycle exchange was conducted.

Mr Stainforth said the project was not just about donating bicycles to underprivileged indigenous communities.  He said it also involved bicycle maintenance education to ensure that the bikes would have a long-term benefit for their new owners.

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