A local bike coalition is hoping a new self-fix bicycle station Downtown will get more young people interested in riding in Madison.
The station was launched Monday by Just Bikes, a local group formerly known as the Madison Bicycle Equity Group that promotes bicycling in underserved communities. The project was made possible through a collaboration among several organizations as well as a grant from the Madison Community Foundation. The grant also paid for a bike giveaway and multiple internships for community youth.
The station, located at Bayview Community Center, is one of five stations that were proposed around Madison.
Another will be revealed at 5 p.m. Friday at the Lussier Community Education Center. The stations are part of an effort to get more families biking in Madison.
“We want to foster a bike culture around here,” Tom Linfield, vice president of community impact at the Madison Community Foundation, said. “Madison is a very special space. We are a platinum biking community, but not everybody has access to bikes. We went into this thinking: How can we make sure that everyone has access to get a bike and be safe with it?”
The station is equipped with a bike pump and different standard tools to fix small bicycle problems.
“If 1 percent of the bike is broken, it’s very simple to fix and that’s kind of the meaning of this. There are eight simple tools on there, and that’s pretty much everything you need to do most basic bike repairs,” Linfield said.
Alexis London, executive director of Bayview Community Center, said the location was ideal because of the community surrounding it.
“We get donated bikes for the kids every summer,” London said. “Even though the bikes are fixed up by Wheels for Winners, we need constant repairs done throughout the season, so having the fix-it station makes a lot of sense because we can make the repairs on site and the kids can maintain their bikes all summer.”
Children at the community center are constantly using their bikes, she said.
“We take the kids to Goodman Pool twice a week in the summer and we bicycle there so we’re using bikes throughout the summer,” London said. “The bike culture and getting them biking with their families is a goal of ours.”
On its first day, the station was already proving popular.
“It got installed this morning and was finished around 9:30, and I’ve already seen five kids use it since it was installed, so I think it’s going to get a lot of use,” London said.