Teri Vance: Bicycle workstation in downtown Carson City | NevadaAppeal.com

Teri Vance: Bicycle workstation in downtown Carson City

Teri Vance

Jason Gardner competes in the newspaper toss during the End of Bike Week Party on Friday evening in McFadden Plaza.

You may have noticed a somewhat odd-looking new structure in front of City Hall in downtown Carson City. It's a public bicycle maintenance stand, and if it's popular enough, you may be seeing more of them around town.

Randy Gaa, president of Muscle Powered, Carson City's advocacy organization dedicated to a walkable and bikeable city, said it has been a long time coming.

"The idea has been floated around in Muscle Powered for years," he said. "We loved the idea, but we just didn't have the budget for it then."

As the organization has grown in membership, visibility and funds, things have changed.

“This workstation is a great addition to the city’s cycling infrastructure. It will come in handy for the avid bicycle commuter, families visiting the downtown businesses by bike, and the frequent special events that draw out the cyclists.”

— Jeff Moser,Avid cyclist

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"In recent years, thanks to community support, Muscle Powered is in a much better positions to do stuff like this," Gaa said.

In a partnership with Public Works, Muscle Powered bought the station and the city installed it.

The long-term plan is to turn the data from the maintenance station into grant funding to install more of them throughout the city.

The station includes a compressor to air up tires. The tubular stand allows for a bike to be suspended while being worked on.

A variety of tools commonly used in bike repair are attached to cables.

"You can adjust a derailleur, change a tire, fix a tube," Gaa said.

For those who aren't quite sure how to fix the problem, the station also includes a QR code that when scanned links to instructional videos.

Avid cyclist Jeff Moser tried the station this week and wrote about it on his blog BikeCarson.com.

"I gave the workstation a try on my morning commute," he wrote. "I have a slow leak in my rear inner tube that I haven't gotten around to fixing yet. Instead of inflating it at home, I took care of it downtown. The pump head popped off the valve once while inflating, but it got the job done. There's also a pressure gauge on top of the pump to get your tires just right."

Moser gave it a positive review.

"This workstation is a great addition to the city's cycling infrastructure," he wrote. "It will come in handy for the avid bicycle commuter, families visiting the downtown businesses by bike, and the frequent special events that draw out the cyclists. There are enough tools here to make more permanent adjustments, or to at least get your bike running long enough to get home or to the bike shop."

The stand, which was installed Sept. 17, coincides with Muscle Powered's monthlong membership drive, Become a Member in September.

Membership dues are $20; $15 for students and seniors; and $25 for families.

"Memberships go a long way toward helping us build trails and do things like get bicycle stands," Gaa said. "There's a lot of cost involved in furthering Carson City's goal of becoming more bikeable and walkable."

Members who enroll by the end of the month (before Monday) will be entered to win a Gregory backpack.

Learn more or become a member at MusclePowered.org.

Teri Vance is a journalist, freelance writer and native Nevadan. Contact her with column ideas at terivance@rocketmail.com.