Wichita Eagle Scout Bike Stands
Alexander “Nick” Coon wanted to complete an Eagle Scout project for his community that would last for generations. During his research of projects, Nick found that many of the churches in his area had a significant percentage of the people attending services who rode bicycles. One problem – the churches did not have convenient stands for the bicycles to be stored and secured. An idea was born: "How can I benefit the people who are riding bikes?" Answer – build bike stands.
So, Nick explored bike stands in the community to come up with ideas. One thing he noticed was that many of the stands in Wichita were corroding – from the outside in and the inside out. Nick educated himself on what he could do to fabricate long lasting bike stands. In the end the tough, long-lasting hot-dip galvanized (HDG) coating was the obvious choice. “Galvanizing has several benefits over painting. First, painted steel chips away over time, exposing the underlying metal, which will rust. Second, it is cheaper than painting, since the backs would have to be repainted every few years. Finally, it is more abrasion resistant than painting. Additionally, there is no good way to get the racks protected on the inside of the racks using paint--the only way is to use hot-dip galvanizing. This will protect the racks for many years. The bike racks will be in harsh outdoor conditions and moisture can get into the bottom of the posts, corroding from the way up.” The final, key component to selecting HDG was the fact that zinc is infinitely recyclable.
Nick educated himself on the green side of HDG and was sold on the synergy of matching recyclable, long lasting HDG bike stands with the spirit of the bicycle ride itself. The next step on this journey lead him to find a galvanizer. From there, Nick learned about the process and how to fabricate the tubing he would use so that it would properly drain and vent, ensuring complete coverage. Once Nick decided he wanted to match the bike stands with each church’s specific environment, he talked with the galvanizer about duplex coatings. Nick was then instructed on how to plug the drain and vent holes. Nick then learned about the proper way to paint over freshly galvanized steel and what steps he must take to ensure success. In the end, a young man learned the value of donating his time and talent to a worthwhile cause AND the unique benefits HDG offers for long lasting corrosion protection. Nick learned HDG is not only practical on the front end, but that it is “green” and has the flexibility to be used in many different applications. The Wichita community has benefitted from Nick’s efforts and talent. Nick has donated his drawings, specifications and all other information to the community so that other interested groups can learn from them and replicate his success.
This project is unique in that a fourteen year-old aspiring leader in his community, lead a group of 12-14 year olds on a journey to improve their community. Along the way these future civic leaders, fabricators, specifiers, voters and their families learned the long lasting benefits HDG provides to the community. They learned HDG’s corrosion benefits and how flexible and environmentally friendly the zinc coating is and how long it will last. “Even as the outer coating deteriorates, the galvanized inner surface is still providing protection. With this synergistic effect, duplex systems typically provide a corrosion protection that lasts one and a half to two and a half times longer than the sum of the service times of the individual coatings. This means maintenance free bike racks for 75-100 years.”
It was a refreshing pleasure to work with Nick, his family and team on this project. It truly symbolizes the spirit of the HDG coating and how it impacts the community, not only with corrosion protection, but also young minds that are learning about long lasting solutions to community problems.