8 Winnipeg libraries to get outdoor bike repair stations

Winnipeggers may soon be able to find a book and fix up their bike in the same place. 

City issues tender to build stations at city libraries

Cyclists who need a place to work on their bikes will soon be able to do it at Winnipeg libraries. (Holly Caruk/CBC)

Winnipeggers may soon be able to find a book and fix up their bike in the same place. 

The city has issued a request for tenders to install bike repair stations —  each complete with a bike rack, repair stand, pump and basic tools — outside eight libraries across Winnipeg.

Mark Cohoe, executive director of Bike Winnipeg calls the move a step in the right direction.

"It's a way to create an easy and accessible way for people to do quick repairs on the bikes," he said.

Executive director of Bike Winnipeg Mark Cohoe says installing bike repair stations at Winnipeg Libraries will make bike repair more accessible. (CBC)

"It's something where, if you don't have access to those tools … it'll make a big difference being able to go to the library, put your bike up, and get it fixed."

The libraries that will get the outdoor stations are West Kildonan, Henderson, Harvey Smith (West End), Pembina Trail, Charleswood, Fort Garry, Sir William Stephenson and Osborne branches. 

The city already has 13 bike repair stations scattered throughout Winnipeg, including one recently opened at City Hall.

'Bicycles are power machines'

Patrick Krawec, managing director at the WRENCH, a charity that breathes new life into old bikes and teaches people how to fix them, says he's glad to see more stations being added.

"The city supporting infrastructure for bicycles and programming, especially at a place where people really connect, like libraries, shows that the city realizes that a prosperous city needs bicycles — that bicycles are power machines to generate health, wealth and happiness," he said.

"To bring people together with  bicycles in a community setting — any step in that direction is a good thing."

But, as well as providing space to fix bikes, Krawec said he'd also like to the city run programming around the importance of cycling and bicycle repair.

He says he's heard of tools from the other stands being stolen, and then used to steal bikes. 

Patrick Krawec, WRENCH's managing director, would like to see programming around bike repair included in the city's plans to install the stands. (Travis Golby/CBC)

"I think it would be good to have some other programming tied to (the stations), especially explaining them to people so people value them," he said.

"I think sometimes they might get vandalized, or misused, because people don't realize what a resource it is.

"A tool is an inanimate object, a human will help you connect over that tool."

The deadline for submissions to build the stands is June 27 and a city spokesperson said the work is expected to be completed by the fall of 2019 or spring of 2020.

The cost of the project won't be known until the bids are chosen, the spokesperson said.

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