Hillary and I had heard about the bicycle fence from Stan. All we knew is that it was north of Fruita on 18 Road. Those familiar with the local geography will immediately know that 18 Road is not a continuous road from Fruita. A mile or so north of town, 18 Road ends. We drove around quite a bit, ultimately ending up on O Road at 18 Road. Since we had gone about five miles north of town but we had not been on 18 Road, I turned south to “backtrack” the portion of 18 Road we had not seen. We did not see a fence so, when I could, I turned around and headed back north.
We passed O Road and then P Road. I was continuing north toward the BLM land access. I had been looking for the bicycle fence along the road. I had not seen it. Finally, just north of P Road, Hillary chimed in, “There it is.” This was about six or seven miles north of Fruita. There was a large sculpture bike and the bicycle fence running from 18 Road back toward the owner’s home. I turned around again and we headed up the drive to the owner’s home.
As we approached the home, we were greeted by a dog, two children and a man. We got out of the van and Hillary introduced herself as the Director of CMU (Colorado Mesa University) TV. She asked him if she could do a story on him and his fence. He agreed. During the interview I handled the video courtesy of Hillary’s iPhone.
While talking with him, Orville, his wife came outside and joined us under a sun screen that was above a picnic table. Her name was Coreen. We found out Orville had a welding business. He said the idea for the fence had come to him prior to the actual bicycles. A friend of his at the dump called him one day and told him he had several bicycles and he did not know what to do with them. Orville got the bicycles and began assembling the fence.
To make them into a somewhat sturdy fence, Orville removes the front wheel from one bike. He takes the front fork and re-forms it to fit over the rear wheel of the next bike. He just keeps repeating that pattern, installing a stabilizing bar periodically.
Orville said he did the fence to do something with “trash” bicycles. He also said he was inspired by the numbers of people that drove by his home heading north to the many trails in the BLM land just north of him. The numbers of people increased significantly during the Fruita Fat Tire festival. Since he began, he has people from as far away as England stop by and check out his fence.
A client had given him a used hose reel. From that reel, Orville built a bicycle sculpture. Many of his visitors stop to photograph the sculpture. Every now and then he has to go down there and ask people to not climb on the sculpture.
Since he has begun the fence, every now and then when they return home from errands they will find that several bikes have been anonymously dropped for inclusion.
Hillary thanked Orville for his time and story. She said she would return after school begins with a real video camera so the story can be put on CMU TV.