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A shed for men who love bikes

A new men’s shed at ACH Group’s Perry Park residential living facility is breaking the mould of the traditional carpentry workshop by offering something for the mechanically-minded.

The Perry Park Bike Shed brings together residents who share a love of motorbikes.

The group, aged in their 60s to 90s, is working together to bring a 1977 Suzuki TS185 back to its former glory.

Under the guidance of volunteers, fellow motorbike enthusiasts Peter Van Drunen and Rolf Klotz, they meet once a week in a shed fitted out as a mechanic’s workshop.

Perry Park Lifestyle Coordinator Lynette Rann says many of the group restored motorbikes in their younger days.

“Not all men are into woodwork – there are plenty who prefer to work with engines, and we could see that there was quite a bit of interest in a mechanical workshop,” she says. “These are the sorts of activities these blokes love doing. They enjoy coming out here and doing what they’ve always done.”

Group members Keith Hills, 69, and Lloyd Wenham, 91, are very happy to be getting their hands dirty, stripping back and rubbing down the tank and frame reading to be powder coated.

“I’ve worked as a mechanic and restored cars and motorbikes before, so it’s something I’ve always done,” Keith says.

To kick off the project, Lynette organised a tour to the National Motor Museum in Birdwood. During the trip, they stopped in at Bills Bits and Bikes across the road, where they found the bike in original condition.

“It had been sitting in water – it was a real rust-bucket,” she says. “We sat down and worked out what we would need for our workshop, then went to Supercheap Auto at Noarlunga to source all the tools and equipment.”

A storeroom at Perry Park was emptied to make way for work benches, shelving and machinery.

ACH Group Innovation and Development Active Executive Manager Jani Baker says the project, supported by a grant from the ACH Group Foundation for Older Australians, fits in with ACH Group’s core values of supporting older people to contribute and lead healthy, happy lives.

“We are proud to support a project like this that brings people together to enjoy doing something they love,” she says.

Once the bike has been restored the group hopes to sell it to raise funds for its next project.

Find out more about Perry Park Residential Living here.