Small investment helps out visiting bikers


Ron Luethe, chairman of Monroe County’s tourism committee, demonstrates how to use a bicycle repair station located in Norwalk. The committee recently purchased three of the units, which are located along the Elroy-Sparta Bicycle Trail in Norwalk, Wilton and Kendall. Herald photo by Pat Mulvaney
County installs bike repair stations in Norwalk, Kendall, Wilton

Monroe County has always been a friendly place for bicyclist but with a recent $4,200 investment by the county’s tourism committee, it just got a little friendlier.

That money went toward three bicycle repair stations that were installed along the Elroy-Sparta Bicycle Trail in Norwalk, Wilton and Kendall.

The repair stations are made by SARIS, a company out of Madison. The county acquired them for $1,400 apiece through Milt and Rose Leis, owners of Speed’s Bicycle Shop in Sparta.

“He gave us a really good deal on them and then he turned around and said, ‘if it’s for the bike trail I’ll assemble them for you for nothing,’” said Ron Luethe, chairman of the tourism committee.

The villages also chipped in, providing the labor to pour the concrete pads the repair stations are mounted on. Luethe credits the villages’ patrolmen, Henry Vian of Norwalk, Steve Laufenberg of Wilton and Dave Gruen of Kendall, with pouring the pads.

The repair stations are five-foot steel columns that have a wheel chock and brackets to hold a bicycle while it is being worked on and repair tools welded to retractable braided steel cables. The station is complete with a manual air pump and the entire unit is vandal and theft resistant.

Luethe said the units require very little maintenance and provide a great service for bikers, who can change innertubes and adjust brakes and pedals with the tools provided.

Another high-tech feature is a Quick Response (QR) Code located on the station for people who need a little help. Flashing the QR code with a cell phone will pull up a manual on the user’s phone that shows how to make repairs or adjustments on a bike.

Sparta already has two bike repair stations, one at the Chamber Depot and another downtown near the new visitors shelter. The new repair stations in the villages are located along the bike trail near kiosks.

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1302 River Rd.
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