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just for fun
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No one likes to consider the possibility of a disaster, be it natural or manmade. However, the reality is that such disasters do occur. In the event of a catastrophe, it could take first responders up to 72 hours to reach you. Would you be prepared to fend for yourself for at least that long?
Disaster preparedness can vastly improve the outcome for you and your family if the unthinkable were to occur. Let’s review a few simple steps recommended by Public Safety Canada to prepare you to hold out until assistance arrives.
Be Aware of Risks Related to Your Region
Whether you live in Ontario or elsewhere in Canada, there are certain risks inherent to your area, particularly at certain times of the year. Tornados, blizzards, flooding, severe storms and power outages are among the various risks for which you may need to prepare. Understanding which risks are most probable for your community will help you prepare for the likeliest disaster and be more prepared for any calamity.
Visit GetPrepared.ca to review a full list of disasters. Get the statistics on each type of disaster and find out which regions are most likely to be affected by it. Learn what to do before, during and after, in the event that particular disaster strikes your community.
Create a Plan of Action Should Disaster Strike
How would you escape your bedroom if fire barred you from opening the door? If you’re on a higher floor, how would you safely exit the window? If you’re separated from your children, would they know what to do? Perhaps you’ve given thought to these questions. That’s an excellent first step. However, it’s important to clearly communicate an emergency evacuation plan to every member of your family. Even small children should know what to do in the event of a fire.
When an emergency happens, we don’t always think clearly. Having your plan outlined in writing and accessible to every member of the family can be invaluable during times of distress. Keep printed and digital copies of your emergency plan in various locations, including a central location everyone knows.
Your plan of action should outline rendezvous points outside your home in case of an event like a fire. A rendezvous point outside of your community is also essential to prepare for an incident which forces you to evacuate the neighbourhood. Practice the plan with young children so they commit it to memory. This will help them to calmly execute the plan, in case they get separated from you.
Create an Emergency Kit
Whether a disaster forces you to hunker down in your home or garage for several days or forces you to evacuate your home and community, you’ll need to have a stash of supplies on hand. Store three days’ worth of non-perishable food items like canned or dried goods. Include at least two litres of water per family member during that three-day period. Large water jugs are an easy way to ensure there is enough water for everyone—including pets—if you are stuck in your home. However, if you must leave your home, smaller bottles are easier to transport. In addition to food and water, be sure to keep an emergency supply of medications.
Your emergency kit should be a portable grab and go bag. If you have a large family, it would be difficult to store enough supplies for everyone in a single, easily portable duffle bag. Instead, create a separate backpack for each family member that is tailored to their specific needs and that each member can easily transport.
A variety of additional items should be in the emergency kit, including a small amount of cash, a battery-operated flashlight and radio, a manual can opener and first aid supplies. Though not every creature comfort will fit in your grab and go bag, a variety of other items like toiletries should be stocked near your emergency kits. Garage shelving or garage cabinets are a great place to store your kits and additional emergency supplies.
For more info on how to prepare your family for a natural disaster, visit GetPrepared.ca. To learn more about how to maximize the storage capacity of your garage to better accommodate a stash of emergency supplies, visit NuvoGarage.com.
If garage organization is one of your goals this year, keep two essential principles in mind. Adequate space is required, and each item should have a designated storage space. Taming the clutter in your garage might seem like a monumental task. However, integrating simple elements like baskets, hooks and shelves can increase the available storage space exponentially, providing a designated spot for each item.
Whether you choose to do a full-scale garage renovation or a mini, do-it-yourself one, these tips will transform your garage into an organized storage space.
Eliminate the Unnecessary
A garage consists of three walls and a floor, providing very little storage. With no defined organization system, items are stacked on the garage floor. Eventually, these items take over one of the garage bays. In many cases, the entire garage is consumed as garage becomes a dumping ground for old furniture, broken toys and a host of unused items. The first order of business is to eliminate the unnecessary.
If possible, start by removing everything from your garage. This serves two purposes. First, you can see everything you have stored there. Second, you have a clean slate to work with.
Group similar items, like gardening tools, hardware and sporting goods. Now you can easily identify duplicate items. Sort through everything. Assess whether each item is needed and if the garage is the ideal place to store it. Create piles for items that will be discarded or relocated. Donate old furniture, appliances and clothing and housewares to local charities or to a friend.
Once you are left with only the essential items to be stored, decide where each group of similar items would best be stored in your garage. Now it’s time to use vertical space to create task-related zones for each group.
Use Vertical Space
Shelving units from local box stores can provide additional storage space. However, these units tend to take up considerable floor space. This is problematic for storage on side walls, where space is already limited. A sleeker option is a wall organization system.
Slotted wall panels are attractive, waterproof and mold and mildew-resistant. Available in a variety of colours, the 1 x 8 foot panels are super strong, engineered to meet heavy-duty industry standards. They are attached to wall studs for additional strength. Slatwall panels are sturdy enough to hang bicycles and other heavy items.
Hang one or two panels or an entire wall of them to create the base for your vertical organization system. Then use the vast array of corresponding accessories to maximize storage.
Accessorize Your Walls
The real beauty of slatwall lies in the countless corresponding accessories designed to meet a wide range of storage needs. Wall organization system accessories include baskets, bins, nets, hooks and shelving. These receptacles provide a tidy place to store items like gardening supplies, household chemicals, hardware and more.
Is sports equipment littering your garage? Sport-specific specialty hooks and racks are perfect for avid sporting enthusiasts. Magnetic strips and specialty racks can corral an assortment of tools.
Wall organization systems are highly-configurable. The corresponding accessories are quickly and easily interchangeable. This creates a system flexible enough to meet your family’s changing storage needs from one season to the next and throughout the years.
Go Above and Beyond
Storing items in baskets and on hooks and shelves is ideal for frequently used items. To find the best place to store lightweight, seasonal items, just look up. Overhead shelves and platforms convert wasted space into a convenient place to store stackable plastic bins.
Overhead storage racks should be installed by a garage renovation expert, or someone who understands how to safely install loadbearing overhead shelves. Prefabricated steel shelving, like Strong Racks, provides strong, sturdy overhead storage that is easily accessible with a step ladder. For something tailored to your unique space, hire a garage renovation expert to build a made-to-measure overhead storage shelf that will allow you to maximize the space configuration in your garage.
An overhead shelf can provide additional storage near the back of the garage or above the garage door. Do you have a high ceiling in your garage? Turn the wasted space into a storage treasure trove with a custom built mezzanine.
Like the idea of overhead storage, but don’t relish the thought of trudging up and down a step ladder with bulky holiday decorations? Hydraulic overhead lifts provide push-button access to overhead storage. Hydraulics lifts come in a wide range of options. They provide raised storage for everything from seasonal items to lawn mowers, bicycles, motorcycles and cars.
Whether you’re ready for some do-it-yourself garage organization or a full-scale professional garage renovation, a local garage renovation expert can help you use baskets, hook and shelves to transform your garage into a neat, organized space.
When you live in a region known for long, cold winters, you can either hide out inside until the snow melts or learn to love all that the great outdoors has to offer during winter in Toronto. Whether you’re the adventurous type or prefer to be a spectator to the winter fun, Toronto has something to offer.
Perhaps you dread winter sports because kids and pets track snow, salt and grime onto floors and carpeting. Avoid the mess in the house by making your garage the launch pad for all winter activities. Maximize winter fun by first making sure everyone stays safe.
Attend to Safety First
While there are lots of fun things to do in the Greater Toronto Area during winter, it’s important to put safety first. That means wearing proper gear like helmets, mouth guards, and knee and elbow pads during sports like hockey or snowboarding. However, keeping yourself and others safe during snowy, icy winter weather begins by making sure the driveway and sidewalks outside of your home and garage are properly maintained.
Per Toronto Municipal Code 719-2, property owners have twelve hours after the snowfall, rain or hail ends to remove snow and ice from sidewalks surrounding their property. If the removal of snow or ice leaves the surface slippery, the property owner must put down sand, salt or ashes to cover the surface. Failing to comply with this code could lead to fines or slip-and-fall lawsuits, so stay vigilant about preventing ice and snow from building on sidewalks, driveways and around your garage.
Storing Winter Equipment and Gear
Create a zone in your garage where winter weather supplies and equipment are kept. The snow blower will likely fit best along a back wall, so it won’t interfere with parking your vehicles in the garage. However, shovels, salt and ashes should be stored near the garage door for convenient access.
A slatwall organization system, like slatwall, with its corresponding shelves, hooks and baskets, is ideal for storing winter weather items near the garage door. Garage storage cabinets offer another excellent option for storage.
A good wall organization system will allow you to easily configure hooks, baskets and shelves to accommodate your storage needs during the changing seasons. Hockey sticks, pucks, ice skates and other winter sports equipment can be accommodated during winter. Larger items, like skis, snowboards, sleds and toboggans can be stored using specialty hooks and shelves or on larger, made-to-measure shelving or platforms. When spring arrives, the wall organization system can be reconfigured to store summer sporting goods.
Toronto Outdoor Winter Activities
Now that you’re prepared for winter fun with the family, let’s look at a few fun outdoor winter activities:
- Ice skating: Enjoy free ice skating at Harbourfront Centre’s scenic Natrel Rink, set on the shoreline of Lake Ontario. Skating is free and rental skates and helmets are available. New to ice skating? Child and adult skating lessons are available. Turn the fun up a notch with another free event, DJ Skate Nights on Saturday nights through February 20th.
- Tobogganing: Ready to head down the slopes? Grab your sled (makeshift or store-bought) and head for one of the various toboggan hills located in neighbourhoods all over the Greater Toronto Area. See the downtown skyline from Riverdale Park East or check out Christie Pits Park where the hills come in different sizes to accommodate daredevils and more reserved sled enthusiasts.
- Snowshoeing on Toronto Islands: Who says the beach is only a summertime destination? Enjoy the peace and quiet of the Toronto Islands without the busy summer crowds. Snowshoe or cross-country ski, then build a snowman with the kids.
- Icefest on February 21 – 22: Head over to Bloor-Yorkville for the 2016 Icefest. This year’s theme is Frozen in Time. See magnificent ice sculptures inspired by Ancient Egypt and check out live ice carving competitions.
- Bonus: Winterlicious on January 29 – Feb 11, 2016: This isn’t an outdoor event, but after all that ice skating and tobogganing, you’ll work up an appetite. Winterlicious offers a great opportunity to sample some of Toronto’s finest cuisine without breaking the bank. Try prix fixe, 3-course meals at more than 200 restaurants all over the city or take a cooking class during this yummy winter event.
Regardless of which Toronto outdoor winter activity you and your family enjoy, your garage can serve as the perfect launch and landing pad for your adventures. An organized garage with a wall organization system, cabinets or bins for specific sports or individual family members makes it easy to store and retrieve everyone’s gear. When you return home, you can clean toys, skis and sleds so they’ll be ready for the next adventure.
If your garage can’t accommodate all of your winter adventures, discover how a few renovations can make winter safe for you and your neighbours while making it easy to enjoy all the fun of the season. With a little help from Nuvo Garage, planning and renovation during the spring and summer months can improve the layout and function of even the smallest of garages.
It’s a New Year, but if you’re still dealing with the same old problems with your garage, you’re probably wishing you’d tackled a few of those garage renovation projects last year. Before this year flies by as quickly as the last, here are five reasons to get a jumpstart on those projects now.
#1: You Can’t Get Your Car in the Garage
You have a shiny, new vehicle with all the toys. Unfortunately, there’s no room for your car or truck in the garage. The limited space in your garage is overrun with bicycles, sporting goods, broken furniture, lawn equipment, gardening tools and seasonal items.
Every morning you get up half an hour earlier and trudge out in the frigid temperatures to clean ice and snow off your vehicle. If you don’t, you’re forced to choose between rushing to work in dangerous winter driving conditions and arriving late to work.
Solution: You know it’s time to clean up your garage’s act, but you’re not quite sure where to begin. Consider making the big garage cleanup a fun family project. Store items neatly around the perimeter of the garage. Install a slatwall organization system with corresponding hooks, shelves and baskets to maximize vertical storage space. By freeing up floor space, you can park inside the garage and pamper your new vehicle or extend the life of an older one.
#2: You Can’t Find Anything in Your Garage
Your family has dubbed your garage the Bermuda Triangle because anything you store there seems to disappear. Finding your golf clubs and tennis rackets or the children’s hockey sticks and softball equipment is a chore. You own duplicate ratchet sets and gardening tools because it was easier to buy new ones than spend an entire afternoon hunting down the old ones.
Solution: Remove everything from your garage and create dedicated task zones. Group automotive supplies, garden supplies, tools and other similar items. Maximize storage in each zone with the corresponding baskets, hooks and shelves of a good wall organization system. Toss broken items and sell or giveaway duplicates. Everything will be easier to find, so you’ll spend less time on garage scavenger hunts during frosty winter weather.
#3: You Prefer to Store Your Belongings Out of Sight
Not everyone wants their items on display. You might prefer the clean, sleek look of hidden storage. Or perhaps you need to keep toxic household and automotive chemicals out of the reach of curious hands and paws.
Solution: Modular or custom garage cabinets provide safe, lockable storage space fitted perfectly to the length of the wall of the garage. Want to keep your items out of sight? Garage cabinets provide hidden storage. They can even be configured to hide plumbing or a central vacuum cleaner. Perhaps you only need to secure a few items, like valuable automotive tools or toxic household cleaners and antifreeze. A combination of open and closed garage storage is a perfect solution.
#4: Seasonal Items Have Taken Over Your Garage
Your approach to the holidays is go big or go home. But the other eleven months of the year you find yourself sharing space in the garage with Old St. Nick, Rudolph and a 20-foot tall inflatable snow man. Then there’s the seasonal sports equipment—kayaks, pool floats and winter sleds—to contend with, leaving little or no room for your vehicles.
Solution: Overhead storage racks transform dead space into viable storage for seasonal and oversized items. Strong metal storage racks or sturdy, made-to-measure wooden shelves take advantage of ceiling height and create additional space for items seldom used, like holiday decorations and seasonal sporting goods. Most overhead storage racks can be easily accessed with a step ladder. However, for ultimate accessibility, motorized overhead storage provides push-button access.
#5: Your Garage Floor is Cracked and Stained
Grease, oil, rust and a host of mystery stains mar the look of your garage floor. Even when it’s clean, it doesn’t quite look it. If your garage is older, there may be some chipping and cracking that occurred during settling of the concrete floor. You’ve scrubbed the floor repeatedly with minimal results.
Solution: Polyaspartic flooring improves the look of your garage floor. Applied in a single day, this flooring system is vastly superior to paint and comes with a 10-year warranty. Polyaspartic flooring is textured. It has a multidimensional look similar to granite and is available in a host of attractive colors, like Chocolate, Mountain Road, Moonlight and Sandy Beach. The texture provides added grip, reducing the hazard of slipping during rainy and snowy weather.
If parking in your garage or finding essential tools has become a struggle or you don’t like the look or layout of your garage, there are a number of garage renovation solutions. Slatwall, cabinets or overhead platforms can deliver the form and function you want in your garage. Don’t get caught in the same position next year. Pull out your to-do list and contact a garage renovation specialist by early spring to plan your garage renovation project.
Whether this winter is mild or as snowy and cold as our past two winters, we’re bound to get walloped by a few snow storms. Ontarians are no strangers to cold, blustery winters. While these conditions are routine, they aren’t innocuous. Winter storms have the potential to be deadly. Last time we discussed how to prepare your vehicle and garage for the winter. Now let’s review the supplies every garage should have stocked in case of a severe weather event.
Stocking your garage with emergency supplies may seem overly cautious. However, Canadians fall victim to weather events, directly or indirectly, every year. Advanced preparation will increase your odds of staying safe during treacherous winter weather events.
Power and communication lines are susceptible to outage during ice storms or heavy snowfall. In most instances, power is restored within a few hours. In more serious cases, you may be forced to go without power or communication for days. If the temperature dips dangerously low, how will you stay warm for several days? Would you have enough food and clean water on hand until services are restored? By taking action now, you’ll be ready to weather the storm.
Three things to do right now that may save your life later
The key to surviving severe weather events is preparation. So be ready to act when dangerous weather is headed your way.
- Sign up to have weather alerts sent to your mobile phone. Be among the first to learn of impending bad weather so you can take action quickly.
- Create an emergency preparedness action plan. When an emergency strikes, it’s natural to panic. Develop an emergency action plan while you are calm and clearheaded. Review the plan with your entire family. Everyone should know what to do if a weather-related disaster strikes.
- Build an emergency survival kit. Gather the items you’ll need if a disaster strikes. Store them in your garage or somewhere accessible to everyone in your home.
Items to include in your emergency kit
What should you include in your emergency kit? Here are several items that merit a spot:
- Enough non-perishable food to last your family three days
- A manual can opener
- At least 12 litres of water per family member
- First aid kit
- Flashlights and extra batteries
- Candles and matches
- Battery-powered or crank radio
- Hand sanitizer
- Moist towelettes
- Whistle to attract help
- Ziploc plastic bags
- Garbage bags
The items above can be packed in a backpack, duffle bag or portable container, in case you need to evacuate your home. The emergency kit can be stored on a garage shelf or platform or in a garage cabinet. When organizing or renovating your garage, include a space to store disaster supplies.
These following items won’t fit in your kit, but should also be stashed away safely in your garage in case of emergency:
- Seasoned wood (where applicable), ethanol gel or heating fuel
- Shovel or snow removal equipment
- Rock salt (or an environmentally-friendly option) and sand
- Pliers or a wrench to turn off utilities
Be sure to also grab these items if a weather event hits:
- Warm clothing and blankets
- Medications for people and pets
- Contacts/eye glasses / hearing aids
- Personal hygiene items
- Baby supplies
- Pet supplies
- Important documents (passport, insurance policies, birth certificates, etc.)
- Cell phones and chargers
- Contact list
Hopefully, you’ll never need to use your emergency supplies. To ensure all of the items are good when an emergency does occur, check the kit periodically. Rotate food, water and batteries, as needed, so they are fresh and ready to go when you need them.
Always heed warnings broadcast on television and radio by the Alert Ready Emergency Alert System. Such warnings are issued by emergency management officials and Environment Canada to help you take immediate action to protect your family when severe weather strikes.
In the event that ice or snow knocks out heating, it may be tempting to burn fuel inside of your home or garage. Don’t! It’s extremely dangerous and can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning and death. It’s fine to store your grill or propane tank in the garage, but move them outdoors when you’re ready to cook.
Regardless of what this winter has in store, be prepared if you encounter severe weather. Sign up for text message weather alerts. Create an emergency preparedness plan and review it with every member of the family. Prepare an emergency survival kit and store it in your garage or someplace accessible to everyone. For more resources on building your survival kit, see the Ontario Ministry of Safety and Correctional Services.
The Farmer’s Almanac predicts a cold and snowy winter here in Toronto. Yet, meteorologists are expecting a mild winter in Southern Canada courtesy of the worst El Niño we’ve seen in half a century. Either way, the first snow of the season has already hit. Perhaps this first blast of wintry weather caught you off guard. If so, now’s the time to prepare your vehicle and your garage for the winter ahead.
Make Room in the Garage
During warmer months it’s common to park in the driveway to make room for bicycles and other sports equipment that tends to take over the garage. However, to maximize the life of your car and minimize your morning prep time, park your vehicle inside the garage whenever possible. Faced with a sea of bicycles, skateboards and soccer balls, it may seem impossible to safely squeeze your vehicle into the garage. However, it can be a lot easier than you think.
- First, sort through your things and edit anything you don’t need. Be brutal. That means ditching old tires, broken furniture and toys the kids have outgrown. If the item is still usable, donate it to a deserving charity or gift it to a friend. Rotate seasonal items.
- Group similar items. Find anything you need in a flash by storing related items into specific zones. Create an area near the garage door to store winter weather items, like salt and snow shovels. Set up a zone for automotive fluids and supplies. Store fluids on shelves or in a garage cabinet, away from kids and pets. Place winter sports gear in a dedicated zone children can easily access. Eliminate any unnecessary duplicates discovered while sorting.
- Arrange items along the garage perimeter. A wall organization system with movable shelves, baskets and hooks will maximize the items you can store along your garage perimeter.
Once you’ve created space, park your vehicles inside the garage to protect them from the harsh winter weather. Now it’s time to prepare your vehicle for the heavy snow and bitter cold that lies ahead.
Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter Weather Hazards
The contradictory predictions about what to expect this winter require cautious drivers to prepare for whatever lies ahead. Take a few simple steps now to prepare your vehicle for frigid temperatures and snowy conditions.
- Stock up on automotive supplies like antifreeze, windshield washer fluid and wiper blades.
- Store additional supplies in your trunk, including all three items listed above. Keep kitty litter or gravel on hand to create traction if you get stuck and a shovel to dig yourself out.
- Get all-weather tires. Unlike all-season tires, all-weather tires carry the severe service emblem. An aggressive tread enables all-weather tires to bite snow and divert water and slush, so they handle better during perilous winter conditions. Another option is to get snow tires. Store the alternate set of tires on a tire rack to retain limited garage floor space.
- Keep vehicles running in top shape. Don’t skimp on oil changes and other maintenance. Thinner oil performs best during colder temperatures, but check your owner’s manual to see what the manufacturer suggests. Top off fluids, including windshield washer fluid and antifreeze.
- Keep the gas tank full. Don’t wait until your needle hits E. Fill your tank at the halfway mark so you’ll be ready if forced to sit in traffic for hours during a storm.
- Use an engine block heater when parking outside in brutally cold temperatures. By keeping the engine warm, the block heater prevents damage to engine components that can occur when heating the engine in extremely cold weather. Your car will also heat up faster.
Whether we have a cold and snowy winter or a particularly mild one, there are sure to be plenty of days when winter weather will impact your commute. Prep your garage by reducing clutter, organizing the space and arranging items along the perimeter so you can park your vehicles inside. Ready your car for winter by stocking up on winter weather supplies. Store essentials in the trunk of your car. Invest in Ontario winter-worthy tires. Properly maintain vehicles, top off fluids and use a block heater to avoid starting an ice cold engine. Then you’ll be prepared for the winter ahead, regardless of what the weather may bring.
We have become a nation of bike riders. There has been a consistent increase in the number of cyclists in the country since the beginning of the millennium. It is not just the twenty-somethings either. People of all ages are getting out and about on their bikes. Whether for leisure, commuting, fitness or sport everyone from high school students to busy executives to retired seniors are strapping on helmets and pushing pedals.
This summer, the Pan-Am 2015 games are taking center stage and with the building of the brand new state-of-the-art Velodrome in Milton, avid cyclers are not only anticipating the thrill of watching the competition but with access to velodrome facilities people are trying their hand at track cycling. If you have an interest, there are already lessons available for anyone curious about this sport which has now become accessible to us in the Southern Ontario area.
For those of us with a cycle enthusiast in our family, this means more sports gear and a new bicycle to consider and store as well. Yes, the road bike purchased last year will not work for the sport of Track Cycling.
How Does Track Cycling Work
Riders will need a track bike with no brakes and fixed gear. It is designed for racing on a track at a velodrome. The track is a banked wooden track so the bike is lightweight, aerodynamic for racing and high gear. These professional riders are reaching speeds of 80km/hr while many of us are cycling at 20km/hr on the road.
Track biking is both a team and an individual sport and has its own set of unique rules and events. The following is what you can expect to see at this year’s Pan-Am games.
For the Pan-Am games there are three types of sprinting events:
- The individual sprint where cyclists begin racing with a flying start (from a moving position rather than a stopped position), and race for 200 meters.
- The team sprint, which is slightly different for men and women. For men, three racers sprint over three laps of the course, with each rider participating in one lap. In the women’s event, it is two racers over two laps of the course.
- The Keirin sprint in which a motorbike is used to set the pace. The cyclists follow the pacer over a kilometer or two as it gradually increases in speed. When the pacer moves from the track, usually with about 700 meters left to go, the cyclists battle it out to the finish line.
The endurance event for the Pan-Am games involves two teams racing at one time. The teams of four riders begin on opposite sides of the track and the race is completed over a distance of four kilometers. A winning team is declared when one team catches the other or whichever team finishes in the fastest time.
The combined cycling event for the Pan-Am games is called the Omnium (which is Latin for “belonging to all”). In this competition, cyclists compete in a series of six events over the span of two days which include:
- Flying lap – Where cyclists complete one lap from a moving rather than a cold start.
- Points race – Which is a mass start marathon race, 30 kilometers for men, 20 kilometers for women.
- Elimination race – Where a rider is eliminated over a series of races.
- Individual pursuit – Where two riders compete over four kilometers (three for women) from a stationary start position.
- Scratch race – Which is a simple race where the riders start together and the first one over the finish line wins.
- Kilometer time trial – Where the cyclists are timed over the length of one kilometer (500 meters for women).
If all of this makes you want to try out track cycling, there are already lessons offered at the Velodrome in Milton . People are also thrilled at the opportunity of all-year training. With the building of this facility, Canadian cyclists no longer need to worry about the weather.
What Do I Need for Track Cycling?
You’ll need a fixed-gear track cycle and a body hugging skin suit as well as an aerodynamic helmet all in an effort to reduce drag and get every little bit of advantage out of drafting behind team mates while on the track.
Fixed gear means there is no coasting on this bike. The pedals are attached to the crank set so if the bike is moving so are the pedals. If we want to travel 10km then we will be pedaling the entire 10km. Think back to riding your first tricycle around the neighbourhood and you get the idea. There has also been a rise of other fixed gear bikes as city hipsters are bringing back retro no-gear bikes and riding them as commuter bikes. Track bikes are little more complicated but the basic idea remains the same.
In addition to the lack of coasting, these bikes have no brakes, as streamline design is more important on these wooden track speedsters. Therefore, stopping is different than on a regular road bike. There are two ways to stop on a fixed gear bike.
- The skid stop – Think back to that tricycle again; you place backward pressure on the pedals so the back wheel stops spinning and skids to a stop. On a bicycle, you also need to remember to lean forward over your front wheel to improve the stability of your stop.
- Have brakes installed – Many cyclists have front brakes installed for increased safety on city streets and while learning how to properly ride a fixed gear bike.
Surprisingly, with minimal technology, the track bike raced in a velodrome is still a bit heavier than a road bike even though, you would never see a spot to put a water bottle. In fact, water is not allowed on the wooden racing tracks.
How to Store Your New Bike
Chances are that if you (or someone in your family) has purchased a brand new track bike, there are already a number of bikes in the garage. No doubt you have a mountain bike, a high-end road bike, a leisure bike and even a few bikes for the kids. Fortunately, there are innovative solutions to your bike storage issues that keep your wheels secure and easy to access and still leave room for the car and lawn mower.
- Automated bike lift on a pulley – This system can store up to five bikes at a time, raises them up to the ceiling, and out of the way, yet still keeps them easy to access.
- Ceiling mounts – If you have a tall garage, you can take advantage of the space up top and store your bikes overhead on ceiling mounts.
- School yard-type bike rack – This is the perfect solution for the warm months when everyone is riding. Park the cars in the driveway to allow this simple solution for bike storage. Easy to store, even for the kids.
The best bet is to talk to an expert who can evaluate the space you have, the bikes you need to store and the ease of access you require. They can help you use both the vertical and horizontal space in your garage to ensure you have enough room to store the entire family’s bikes, no matter how many that may be.
It should be an exciting summer for all athletes, but especially for the cyclists. The Pan-Am games are bound to rejuvenate the sport of cycling and the Milton Velodrome just may change the way Ontarians think about biking. Just ensure that if you take up track cycling you know the rules, purchase a great bike and store it securely.
Whether your garage is big or small, it probably doesn’t have nearly enough storage space to accommodate your family’s lifestyles. Bikes, sporting goods, lawn care equipment and gardening tools take up lots of space. Then there are bulky items like tires, kayaks and roof equipment racks that consume as much space as a small vehicle. So how can you possibly fit all of these items in your garage and still have space to park your vehicle?
Last time we discussed the importance of optimizing available storage space, as one of three steps to prepare your garage for the change of season. Now we’ll consider how sturdy, steel shelving can be used to maximize the storage space in your garage.
Boost Garage Storage with Strong Racks Steel Shelving
Inside your home there are designated spaces for storing items. The closets, laundry room and pantry have racks, shelving and perhaps even cabinets. However, the typical garage consists of three bare walls. Without distinct storage space, it’s no wonder families often resort to using the entire garage as a dumping ground. The key to eliminating clutter in the garage is creating clearly defined storage space for each item. Shelving creates much-needed storage space while keeping items clearly visible.
There are a variety of shelving options available, from freestanding shelving units to garage wall organization systems with movable shelves that lock into place. Another option is sturdy, steel shelving, which does not require a paneled wall system for installation. Strong Racks ceiling shelves provide sturdy overhead storage. This reserves premium floor space, allowing room to park your vehicle inside the garage.
Strong Racks wall shelving provides a sturdy space for storing boxes, cans and other items that are solid underneath. Available accessories, like ladder and bike hooks, double your storage by creating space in front of the shelf to hang these items.
Make Use of “Unusable” Space
Overhead storage racks convert “unusable” space into functional storage space; perfect for seasonal and rarely used items. With the highest weight capacity in the industry, Strong Racks provide safe, convenient overhead storage. Available in chrome or white, these shelving units are highly-configurable. The height of the shelves can be adjusted to accommodate tall items.
Storing heavy items overhead can be challenging for some, as it requires ascending and descending a ladder with heavy items in tow. However, a motorized lift system allows the rack to be lowered with the touch of a button. Load the rack with heavy tools and boxes or bulky items. Then simply push the button to hoist the shelf back into place overhead.Push button, motorized overhead storage is an ideal solution for storing large, bulky items like kayaks, canoes and roof rack equipment carriers.
The Key Advantages of the Strong Racks Steel Shelving System
Strong Racks provides an excellent system for getting items off of your garage floor by utilizing what is normally considered unusable space. While other overhead shelving system are available, Strong Racks shelving is superior in these key areas:
- The Strong Racks mounting rack is the thickest and strongest in the industry. It is made of strong, 11-gauge steel, not the low-cost angle iron, or steel straps used by some competitors.
- The square tubes used to hang the racks are made of strong steel.
- Each overhead rack holds up to 750 pounds. Wall mounted overhead racks can accommodate up to 1,000 pounds.
- Each 4’x8’ section is secured to four ceiling trusses with sixteen, three-inch screws. This distributes the weight over a wider area of the ceiling, ensuring that each rack remains firmly and safely attached.
- Sixteen bolts are used to secure the grid system to the rails, for added strength and safety.
- The exclusive, patented rail brackets used to secure shelving allows the shelf to be secured to a wall, for additional safety and increased weight capacity.
- A two-inch safety lip surrounds each shelving unit to prevent items from inadvertently being shoved off of shelves.
- Strong Racks are backed by a lifetime guarantee, when professionally installed.
- The durable ceiling assembly uses thirteen pieces of hardware to attach the shelving to the ceiling.
- The quality construction and installation of each rack eliminates movement in installed shelves.
- Strong Racks come in depths of 2, 3 and 4-feet, to accommodate items of all sizes.
- Multiple Strong Racks can be mounted in a variety of configurations, creating up to 99 different platforms sizes, to easily accommodate your specific storage needs.
- Two square steel tubes are used per mounting rack, allowing the height of each rack to be adjusted between 27.5 and 41.5 inches.
- The Super Drop system adjusts platform height between 40 and 96 inches from the ceiling, to allow racks to be hung at an accessible height, even in garages with high ceilings.
Strong Racks can be purchased for DIY installation, or be installed by a garage renovation specialist. However, these racks are made to hold a considerable amount of weight overhead. It is crucial that they are installed correctly to ensure your family’s safety.Also, when installed professionally, Strong Racks come with a lifetime guarantee.
Garages haven’t changed much in the past few decades, but our lifestyles have. Homeowners want a garage that will accommodate their active lifestyles and provide space to park the cars. The installation of Strong Racks steel shelving is a simple way to transform your garage from a chaotic dumping ground to an organized space with designated spots to store all of the things you need. Are you ready to transform your garage with Strong Racks overhead or motorized shelving? Request your free consultation today.
Would you prefer to keep items in your garage stored out-of-sight, rather than on-display on shelves? Next time we’ll discuss how to keep your clutter under wraps, without breaking the bank, by installing laminate cabinetry.
After months of cold weather, and still more on the horizon, we begin to look forward to the months ahead, when the temperature will slowly begin to climb. Perhaps your family is itching for warmer weather, ready to ditch heavy parkas and boots. However, your garage may not be quite ready for the coming change of season.
During the winter, the last thing you want to do is schlep out to the garage to carefully sort and put things away. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for the garage to become the family dumping ground during the cold, winter months. If your garage is piled high with bikes, tools, outdoor toys, gardening tools, lawn care equipment, off-season tires and sporting goods, you’re probably unable to park all of your intended vehicles inside of your garage. Additionally, finding the items you need in a disorganized garage can be extremely frustrating.
The impending arrival of spring signals the start of a variety of activities like softball, soccer, golf and gardening. All of these activities require specialized equipment which is likely buried in your garage. To avoid the annoyance and frustration of misplaced sporting equipment, gardening tools and lawn care equipment this spring, take the following three steps to get your garage ready for the change of season.
Step One: Out with the Old
The primary reason it’s so difficult to find anything in the garage is because the things we want and need are buried beneath items for which we no longer have a need. Think about the items currently stored in your garage. Has the garage become the designated dumping ground for broken toys, furniture and tools? Is the garage littered with bikes, wagons and sports equipment the kids have outgrown? Are duplicates tools stealing valuable storage space? If so, prepping your garage for spring begins with a thorough purge.
Sort through all of the items stored inside your garage. Be ruthless when it comes to cutting the clutter.
- Throw out items that are damaged or broken. Perhaps you stored them in the garage with the intention of fixing them. However, if those items haven’t been repaired in a year or two, the likelihood that they ever will be is quite slim.
- Donate or sell outdated items, those you haven’t used in years and items you’ve never used can either be donated to a local charity or sold. However, if you decide to sell unused items, set a firm deadline for getting rid of them. Otherwise, those items might still be taking up space in your garage three years from now.
- Group similar items and look for duplicate tools and sporting equipment. Once you identify duplicates, decide which item you’ll keep and donate or discard the unnecessary items.
Purging the garage may seem like a daunting task for one person. Make the project fun by enlisting the help of family or friends. Turn on your favorite music. Once the job is completed, reward yourself with a night out or a fun activity the entire family will enjoy.
Step Two: Create Dedicated Zones
If weather permits, it’s helpful to remove all items from the garage in order to clearly see the storage space available. This will enable you to determine how to best use the space in your garage. Before you create the layout for your new, clutter-free garage, think about how you use the space. What tasks are performed in your garage? What kinds of items are stored there?
Create distinct zones for sports equipment, lawn care equipment, vehicle care accessories and gardening tools. Put away out-of-season items, like sleds and snow shovels, to make room for items you’ll need for spring. Then decide on the ideal location for each zone: back wall, sidewall or near the garage door.
Step Three: Optimize Available Storage Space
There’s a limited amount of space in a garage. Yet, the volume of things we own and need to store continues to grow. How can you find a dedicated space to store all of your family’s things? Maximize the storage space in your garage by incorporating shelving, cabinetry, baskets, hooks and stackable storage containers.
A garage wall organization system, like slatwall, is designed to maximize storage space. The complementary baskets, hooks and shelves slide and lock into place easily, creating a neat, organized system for storing items along the wall, rather than stacking them along the perimeter of the floor. Once the space has been optimized, each item can be stored in its designated space.
Shelving can be an essential component of an organized garage, particularly for those who prefer items stored where items can be easily seen and retrieved. Next time we’ll talk about how to maximize the storage space in your garage by using steel racks.