Politics & Government

Whole Foods Market gives boost to broken bikes

Bicyclists in east Wichita may soon have access to a new bike repair station.
Bicyclists in east Wichita may soon have access to a new bike repair station. File photo

If your bike isn’t right when you’re riding through east Wichita, you’ll soon be able to fix it for free.

The city Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board has voted to recommend the city accept a bike repair station being donated by Whole Foods Market, officials said Tuesday.

The free public fix-it station will be the third in Wichita and the first on the east side of town, said senior planner Scott Wadle, who provides staff support to the bike-pedestrian board. The repair station will have a stand to hang a bike for repairs, an air pump and various wrenches, screwdrivers and other tools to fix anything from a flat tire to a balky derailleur.

Wadle said the fix-it stations cost about $1,200.

Bike Walk Wichita, a local group, has volunteered to maintain the station to make sure it looks nice and remains functional, he said.

Barry Carroll, the founder of Bike Walk Wichita, said the idea arose from a series of discussions with the big-box natural-foods grocery store that opened amid great fanfare in east Wichita two years ago. The store has been supportive of walking and biking programs since it came to Wichita, Carroll said.

“We’ve partnered with them on several classes and events,” he said. “We sat down with them and talked about what some of the needs are for the bicycling community.”

Bike Walk is recommending that the new fix-it station be installed near a fire station by the north trailhead of the Redbud trail at Woodlawn and 17th Street North.

“A lot of people use that trail, and right there by the fire station would be kind of safe,” he said.

The trail, built on an abandoned railroad right-of-way, runs southwest to the I-135 freeway, just south of Murdock.

The other two fix-it stations in Wichita are at the single-track mountain biking trail at Air Capital Memorial Park, 9501 W. Kellogg near Pawnee Prairie Park, and downtown at Topeka and Douglas.

When the new one will open depends on how long it takes the City Council to give final approval to the maintenance agreement with Bike Walk and how long it takes for Bike Walk to install the equipment, Wadle said.