First of five bicycle repair stations unveiled in Duluth
Duluthians are encouraged to bus, bike or walk to work throughout May, as part of the city’s support of National Bike Month.
“We’re working hard at looking for amenities like this for the city,” said Lisa Luokkala, director of Healthy Duluth Area Coalition, which worked in conjunction with Duluth Parks & Recreation and Continental Ski & Bike to bring the first repair station to Duluth.
There are four more stations planned this spring and summer for Duluth — Lester Park/Lakewalk/60th Avenue East, Portland Square along Fourth Street, the Cross City Trail in Lincoln Park near 29th Avenue West, and at the trailhead for Munger Trail. Additionally, UMD is expected to install three repair stations on its campus.
The stations are rugged contraptions. Bright yellow, they’re more vibrant than a parking meter, but appear just as vandal-proof. They feature a rack to position the bike off the ground. There are a variety of wrenches and other tools tethered by cable. An air pump rests bolted to the concrete alongside the main piece.
Eric Miller is a bike commuter in Duluth. He was at the unveiling of the repair station. He recalled blowing a bike tire right around the Endion Station last year.
“I had to walk my bike home about a mile,” he said. “This could have bailed me out.”
Maybe the coolest feature of the repair station is its QR code, which users can scan with their smartphones to reveal short video tutorials produced by Continental’s own bike mechanics.
“They’ve got tutorials for fixing a flat, checking brakes and other things,” Luokkala said.
The stations are manufactured in Minnesota, by Minneapolis’ Bike Fixtation. The units retail for about $1,000 apiece, but Luokkala said the project earned a discount for its nonprofit status.
There is no cost to use a bicycle repair station.