Cloverdale man turns old bed racer into chicken coop

Aaron Grim (left), George Gunnik, and Bryan Grim push Morgan Grim in the team’s new bed racer down 176A Street during the 42nd annual Cloverdale Bed Race in 2019. Grim repurposed his old bed racer from 2018 into a movable chicken coop. (Black Press file photo)
Aaron Grim repurposed his old bed racer into a movable chicken coop. (Photo submitted)
Aaron Grim repurposed his old bed racer into a movable chicken coop. (Photo submitted)
Aaron Grim repurposed his old bed racer into a movable chicken coop. (Photo submitted)

It’s likely the most famous race in town.

The annual Cloverdale Bed Races sees numerous teams push a bed, loaded with one rider, up and down 176A Street in the downtown core.

The race has been going since 1977 and will run for the 43rd time May 15, 2020.

But what happens to all the old “racks” once their racing days are done?

Clayton’s Aaron Grim asked himself that question—wondering if there might be a bed racer graveyard somewhere.

But instead of tossing his old racing rack aside, the steel fabricator decided to repurpose the old carriage into something useful.

So after some twists and some tweaks, Grim added some plywood and some roofing paint and transformed his daughter’s old bed for a third time.

“I turned it into a chicken coop,” said a wide-smiling Grim. “I just had this crazy idea, and I thought it would be good for the yard.”

If the carriage wasn’t made into a coop, Grim said it would’ve went into a scrap-metal heap.

Grim said his repurposed racer is easy to clean and it’s easy to collect the eggs.

“I have always had chickens,” explained Grim. “And you get coyotes here. So, I thought it’d be safe off the ground. They can go down below. I can move it around. They get fresh grass every time I move it.”

Grim fashioned chicken wire around the base to keep the chickens in and unwanted animals out.

He said the idea for a movable coop just came to him one day in a eureka moment. So he pulled the coop together in about a month.

He retired the bed racer in the first place because it proved to be heavy and seemed to run slower than his competitors’ carriages. He wanted his team—the Canadian Reformed Cowboys—to be more competitive.

So he built a new bed racer from scratch, first choosing good wheels and then fabricating the frame.

“It wasn’t quite done last year, but we still raced with it anyway.”

Grim plans to paint his racer leather brown and install a saddle as the rider’s seat, to keep with the western theme of the race—a race that kicks off rodeo weekend in Cloverdale.

He said he started racing “just for fun and giggles and to do something a bit exciting, something out of the box.”

For the uninitiated, Grim says the race is a lot of fun. He encouraged anyone thinking about racing to gather a team together and join in.

“You have three people pushing one way and then three [different] people pushing back the other way. You need one rider.”

Cloverdale’s bed racing days began in 1977 when some members of the local RCMP squared off against members of the volunteer Cloverdale Fire Department. The two groups raced down the street in “a publicity stunt to build enthusiasm for the start of the annual Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair,” according the Cloverdale BIA website.

Grim has been racing annually in the event since 2015.

“The first couple of times I raced, I was the only guy with an actual bed. I just put wheels on my daughter’s old bed.”

He plans to stay in the race for the foreseeable future.

“I’ll keep racing until we beat Turkey’s [Party Makers]. Then I’ll retire. Turkey’s always wins (the race) every year.”

Grim said he doesn’t have any plans to repurpose anything else right now, but he said he is always pondering his possibilities.

“With my steel-fabrication skills, I’ve always got a thought to press something together,” he said. “I like to get out in the yard and grow stuff and invent things.”

To sign up for the 43rd annual Cloverdale Bed Race, visit cloverdalebia.com.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey’s ‘House of Horrors’ on hold, but Scream Train will roll in October

People react to Potter’s Facebook post with mixed emotions

Surrey shootings ends city’s hiatus from violence since outset of pandemic

So far this year there have been 24 shootings in Surrey. There were 45 in 2019

South Surrey banner drop marks Global Day of Action

Fridays for Future effort targeted four city overpasses

Surrey to host free focus-on-seniors webinar today

Available resources, supports to be discussed during Oct. 1 event

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Winter tires, chains now mandatory along most B.C. highways

Drivers without the proper winter tires – which must also be in good condition – can be fined $109

Staff shortages plague Mission Institution following recovery from COVID-19 outbreak

Guards at 60% of workforce; inmates suffer daily with lockdown, mental health issues

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

First Nations Health Authority chief medical officer concerned with rising COVID-19 cases

“There’s still so much we don’t know and we’re learning everyday about this particular virus.”

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

FINLAYSON: COVID-related job losses concentrated in urban areas… especially Metro Vancouver

The biggest job losses, in absolute terms, have been in Metro Vancouver

6 puppies rescued in mass seizure on Princeton farm die from illness: BC SPCA

Of the 97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized, most of the puppies suffered from parvo

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

Most Read