2017-05-11 / Community

VCFD to install bike repair stations

By Hector Gonzalez

The proverbial light bulb switched on when Ventura County Fire Department Capt. Jack Nosco discovered that Giant Bicycles Inc. has a bike repair station for its employees.

“Why not put one of these in every county fire station?” Nosco thought after visiting the Newbury Park-based company last year.

That spark of inspiration means 16 new bike repair stations will go up at firehouses around Ventura County over the next year.

The first will get a public debut Mon., May 15 at the fire department’s Lake Sherwood Station 33 in Thousand Oaks.

“It used to be that if you got a flat tire, you could go to a gas station and they’d give you air and maybe some tools,” Nosco said. “Gas stations don’t do that anymore.”

Over the next year, 10 other bike repair stations will open at or near firehouses elsewhere in the county, although the exact locations and the dates of their installations are still to be decided, fire department spokesperson Heather Sumagaysay said.

“The idea is to get them at the most-traveled cycling routes it the county,” Nosco said, adding that the repair locations were selected based on a survey of cyclists and their favorite biking areas.

Each station will have an air pump and tools to fix a flat tire, as well as a mount which riders can securely hang a bike on to make repairs.

Each repair station costs about $1,300. The money is coming from the fire department’s budget, Sumagaysay said.

She said putting them at or near firehouses makes good sense.

“Our fire stations are commonly used as resting or rendezvous points by the bicycle community,” she said. “Many stations have installed drinking fountains out front, and newer stations have restrooms with access from the outside.”

Jen Audia, U.S. marketing manager for Giant Bicycles and a bicycling enthusiast, said she’s surprised the county hasn’t had bike repair stations before now.

“I’m just excited about this being in the county,” she said. “I don’t know why Ventura County hasn’t had these before.”

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