Area cyclists in need of field repairs now have a self-service station where they can perform many of the most common repairs themselves — for free.
Andy Jordan’s Bicycle Warehouse, along with volunteers from the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association of the CSRA (SORBA-CSRA) and assistance from the Canal Authority, Augusta Utilities and the Recreation and Parks Department, have installed a bicycle repair station along the canal tow path in front of the Pumping Station.
According to Drew Jordan, the idea came after last year’s Lock to Lock Ride, when he and SORBA-CSRA President David Kozlowski were talking about what they could do with the proceeds from the ride. They were anxious to do something a little more concrete than the usual contribution to local organizations.
“David was like, ‘Have you ever seen those public repair stations?’” Jordan says. “And it just sort of went from there.”
Canal Authority project manager Russell Foster facilitated a meeting between Jordan and the Augusta Utilities, which manages the area, and they were very receptive. Once he received the go ahead from them, he went ahead and purchased the equipment. SORBA-CSRA volunteers poured the concrete and Jordan and his people installed the equipment last week, just days before this year’s the Lock to Lock Ride, where it was greeted with enthusiasm.
“I thought it was cool and the guys from SORBA thought it was cool and I knew people would be excited about it, but I was surprised at just how excited people were about it,” Jordan says.
The repair station has a built-in, heavy duty pump, a built-in multi tool, tire levers, various box wrenches and a fork where a rider can slide in his seat post to elevate his bike. There’s even a QR code that riders can scan with their smartphones to access videos describing basic repairs like changing a tire or adjusting breaks and gears.
The tools are attached to the base with tamper resistant cables, and the entire thing is lit up by Pumping Station’s lights and covered by its security cameras.
“They said they can even see it from their office,” Jordan says.
The first of its kind in the CSRA, the location is meant to target recreational riders who don’t always leave the house with all the repair equipment necessary to handle problems in the field.
“Ideally, people will never need it because they’ll have everything they need when they go out for a ride, but it’s there now, so if you do run into an issue, it’s got everything you need on it to make the most common bike repairs,” he says.
The towpath is one of the most popular rides for more novice riders, and the location is basically halfway between the Headgates and downtown, making it accessible to just about everyone.
“Every year we have this ride and each year we try to make a positive difference in the community,” Jordan says. “We’re hoping we can continue doing things like this. Once the dust settles from last weekend’s ride, we’re hoping that we can work on doing some more of these things.”