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Ventura County Installing Network Of Self-Serve Bike Repair Stations To Improve Bicycling Safety

A fire truck is leading what amounts to a parade of bicyclists into the parking lot of a Ventura County fire station at Lake Sherwood.

They’re celebrating an effort to make the county more bike friendly.  Self-service bicycle repair stations have been installed at the Ventura County Government Center, and at some county fire stations like Lake Sherwood Fire Station 33.

The idea came from Ventura County Fire Captain Jack Nosco, who is an avid cyclist.

The County has seven of the “Fix It” stations installed, and nine more on the way. The stations are about the size of a desk. There are racks to hold the bike so you can do thing like replace a tire, or tweak the brakes with a variety of tools attached to cables so they can’t be stolen. And, if you are a cyclist you can use your smartphone to find the nearest repair station, and get tips on using the tools for do-it-yourself repairs.

The more than 100 cyclists at the kickoff event say they love the idea of the fix-it stations. Ron Borgwart of Thousand Oaks ridge regularly to the Lake Sherwood area, and says having it available will be a big help to cyclists who might run into mechanical troubles.

John Thompson is General Manager of Giant Bicycles, the global bicycle maker which is based in Newbury Park. Giant has one of the “Fix It” repair stations outside of its headquarters, and says it’s another way to make it easier to embrace cycling as both transportation, and recreation.

Ventura County Fire Captain Jack Nosco says when he saw the repair station outside of Giant’s headquarters, it gave him the inspiration to take the idea of installing them at fire stations to the county. He’s thrilled the effort has become a reality in less than a year.

Ventura County paid for a total of 16 of the bike repair stations, which cost a little over $1200 each. The idea is catching on, with units also being installed by the cities of Oxnard and Thousand Oaks. Even a Westlake Village restaurant, The Stonehaus Winery and Restaurant, is now offering one of the fix-it stations.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral. 
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