Showers for Cyclists

Now that high school cross country is a wrap I am stoked to begin my second year of mountain bike racing in the SoCal League. Expect more frequent postings from now on, and to get started I want to catch you up on my biggest bike story from the summer and fall: my Eagle Scout project.

The highest rank in Boy Scouts is a Eagle Scout, and one of the requirements for that rank advancement is to plan and carry out a large service project. From the start  I knew I wanted it to incorporate bikes. One of my very first ideas was to  build a pump track at Julian’s local park. The idea fell through because of lack of space. At the beginning of the summer I was approached by the United Methodist men’s group with the idea of building collapsible shower stalls for the traveling bicycle groups that stay over night at our church. These groups, such as Bike and Build and Ride for World Heath, typically shower off in their bathing suits with the cold hose water after a long day of riding through the Anza Borrego desert en route to Julian. My project was to provide them with private showers equipped with hot running water. I also sat down with an architect and drew plans for a custom storage shed for all of the equipment.

Over the summer I wrote a proposal and budget, got my project approved, built a prototype shower, tested it out on a group of cyclists, made the necessary adjustments, fundraised, acquired all of the materials needed, and set the date for the build day, August 22.

On the day of the build I rose early and nervously doubled checked everything that was waiting in the garage to be taken to the church. Once all of the materials had been unloaded and everybody had arrived I called everybody together to go over the plan for the day. After the prayer, we set to work…


Our assistant scoutmaster’s truck is fully loaded with the wood for the shed and the PVC for the showers.


One of the two teams is studying the blueprints for the shed and coming up with the best plan of attack.


The boys are constructing the side panels for the shed. My job for that day was to be the director of all of the workers.

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Here are some of the scouts attaching the side panels.


While half of the scouts were working on the shed the other half were constructing the two showers (and testing them out—see above.)  The shower frame was made with 1.5 inch PVC. The square floor mat measures 3×3 feet and and was constructed out of TREX board. The outer layer of the shower is two shower curtains custom sewn together with ties to attach it to the outside of the PVC frame to help resist the onslaught of wind. On the inside of the showers are anti-microbial shower liners. There is also a custom shower caddy that snaps onto the PVC frame. Finally, hot water is pumped into the shower from a propane heater that heats the water from the hose instantly.  I fundraised close to $1,000 for the entire project.


After a morning of hard work everybody was hungry for food.  My family hosted a big lunch in the church’s fellowship hall. My Nana made crazy amounts of potato salad, a family favorite.


The shed was specifically designed to hold everything perfectly.  The PVC poles for the shower clip onto the wall, and each heater has its own labeled bin.


The goal of the shed, besides storage, was to make it extremely easy for a volunteer to use. Laminated instruction panels were later attached to the doors.  Here you can see bins with shower curtains, shower liners, shower caddies and the four square bases.


After a coat of green paint, my scoutmaster finished the roofing.


I couldn’t have done it without my church, my family, or the legendary Troop 690!