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Spare bicycles put to good use on bike fence
Published Wednesday, February 28, 2018 6:26PM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 28, 2018 6:35PM CST
What’s known as the ‘bike fence’ started out as a creative way for Darren Ireland to put dozens of spare bikes to use, but now it’s slowly taking over his entire fence.
He says at first, he wanted to hear what his neighbors would say.
“One day I decided, well, I’m going to put those suckers up on the fence posts,” said Ireland, a bison farmer who lives south of Carievale.
Ireland has placed the bikes along the fence posts surrounding part of his property by welding a bar to the bottom of the bike frames and sliding them down through the hollow centre of each post. It also lets the bikes turn with the often strong prairie winds.
The number of bikes on the fence has steadily increased since it was started and Ireland has another pile of bikes to add to it.
“I’m always on the lookout for bikes,” Ireland said. “I just collect them and when I get enough, I’ll start welding them up and away they go.”
Many of the bikes were taken out of landfills, while others have just been mysteriously dropped off at the edge of the farm’s approach.
“Every now and then you’ll drive by and there’ll be six, seven bikes just lying there waiting to go,” Ireland said.
According to Darren’s mother Beverly Ireland, her bike was one of the first to go up on the fence.
“One day I went to ride my bike and I couldn’t find it. (Darren) said ‘oh, you can look up on top of the hill on the fence’, and that’s what started it off,” Beverly said with a laugh.
This isn’t the first project Darren has worked on. He’s also behind the construction of several buildings for the ‘Ireland Museum’ on the property, which includes a saloon, a church and a schoolhouse.
“We’ve got a few yard sculptures that he’s made, and I thought this is just one of his ideas, he’ll put two or three up, it looks kind of cute,” Beverly said. “But then he just kept going.”
One added bonus the fence gives the Darren and the rest of the Ireland family is it makes giving directions to their farm much easier.
“Go to the bike fence,” Ireland said. “You’ll figure it out when you get here.”
Ireland wants to keep adding to the bike fence, and eventually hopes to have one for every post.
“People throwing them out, they got no use for them, kids are growing up or whatever,” Ireland said. “They like seeing them up on the fence. Someday they’ll drive by and say, ‘I remember that.’”