Bicycle Fence

Bicycle Fence

Fruita, CO – August 3, 2012

Hillary and I had heard about the bicycle fence from Stan. All we knew was 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, 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.” It was about six or seven miles north of Fruita. There was a giant 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 house.

The bicycle fence stretches for quite some distance.As we approached the home, a dog, two children, and a man greeted us. 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 the man, Orville, his wife came outside and joined us under a sunscreen 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 before the actual bicycles. A friend of his at the dump called him one day and told him he had several bikes, 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 keeps repeating that pattern, installing a stabilizing bar periodically.

A portion of the completed bicycle fence. The bicycle sculpture is in the background.Orville said he did the fence to do something with “trash” bicycles. He also said he gets 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 number 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 statue. Now and then he has to go down there and ask people to not climb on the sculpture.

Two small bicycles near the sculpture.

Detail of the bicycle sculpture.

Since he has begun the fence, now and then when they return home from errands they will find several bikes anonymously dropped for inclusion in the project.

Hillary thanked Orville for his time and story. She said she would return after school begins with a real video camera to film the story for CMU TV.

Bicycles awaiting installation to continue the fence.

Apparently, people come by and donate bikes for use in the fence.
Literally a pile of bicycles.
Handlebars to the horizon.
The fence with the sculpture in the background.
A very recently burned field across from the property with the bicycle fence.

On the following day, August 4, I departed for the Washington, D.C. area for training. After the training, I would travel to Georgetown, Guyana.

I arrived in the D.C. area at about 16:00 local time. It was a long day. I did not sleep well because Leslie did not sleep well. I was up at 03:30 Colorado time, so was Hillary. She drove me to the airport to catch my 06:00 flight to Denver, Colorado.

I arrived in Denver just shortly before 07:00. My pre-printed boarding pass indicated my flight to Washington Reagan National was departing from gate B29. I had arrived at B84. I began my trek. Shortly before arriving at B29, I checked one of the monitors. That showed my gate was B45. I turned around and walked back to that gate. When I arrived, the monitor indicated the current flight was going to San Francisco, and the next departure was my flight to Reagan National.

After the San Francisco flight departed, I heard several people say the gate changed to B29. That sounded plausible to me since that was what was on my original boarding pass. I began my trek back to B29. When I was nearly there, I rechecked a monitor. It still indicated the gate was B45. I stopped at a gate and checked with an agent. She confirmed it was B45. I began walking back. Once there, some more people mentioned the new departure gate was B29. I walked to the other side of the concourse and checked with a different gate agent. She also confirmed gate B45. I sat still, and soon I was boarding.

Upon arrival, I checked into my hotel. After I unpacked my stuff, I walked to Whole Foods Market. I bought some wine and some chicken to heat up for dinner. The weather made it hard to walk; it was sweltering and humid — this was preparing me for Guyana I guess.

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