Last year, Bicycling Magazine said that Minneapolis was the number one biking city in the U.S., and the city's Bike Walk Twin Cities program says that four years of bicycle counts throughout the city show a 33 percent increase in the use of two-wheelers by its citizens. Anyone in need of emergency repair while on the heavily-used Midtown Greenway bicycle route can now pop into the Uptown Transit Station and take advantage of a new extended-hours, self-service bike kiosk. Users can pump some free air into tires, use the tethered tools to make repairs, or head for the vending machine to buy basic bike parts.
The brainchild of keen cyclists Chad De Baker and Alex Anderson, the Bike Fixtation kiosk is equipped with a free-to-use universal bike repair stand, bike tools and self-contained tire inflator. The bike stand is said to be of a design that prevents opportunists locking a bike to it, and features a useful set of aircraft cable-tethered bicycle repair tools.
The installation also benefits from a bike-centric vending machine, where users can use cash or credit card to purchase basic bike parts - such as bike tubes and tire patch kits - and other bike accessories - like lights, water bottles and tools. The kiosk also offers healthy snacks and thirst-quenching beverages.
At the moment there's only one Bike Fixtation in the city, but the company is currently in negotiations to open a second kiosk at the Wedge Community Coop, near the intersection of Franklin and Lyndale Avenues.
We think this is an excellent idea to serve an ever-growing cycling community, and will be watching closely for news of more expansion. It's somewhat reminiscent of Australia's Green Pod structures, that offer secure bicycle parking, showers and lockers for urban cyclists.