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Bike repair stations help keep trail visitors rolling


A man on a bike rides past a bike repair station along a trail.
This bike repair station at Hickory Creek Preserve is one of many that can be found along Will County trails. (Photo by Anthony Schalk)

Unplanned bike repairs and adjustments have become a little easier along some Forest Preserve trails thanks to the installation of repair stations funded by The Nature Foundation of Will County and the Joliet Bicycle Club via the Nature Foundation. 


The repair stations are stocked with a variety of tools to aid in repairs, including wrenches, screwdrivers and tire levers. The tools are attached to the repair stations to deter theft. Cyclists can also suspend their bikes on padded hanger alarms to allow repairs to be done at eye level rather than crouching down on the ground. 


“Bike repair stations are so valuable,” said Em Wilcher, the recreation coordinator for the Forest Preserve. “It’s great to know that our trail users have points to ensure that their bikes are safe and trail prepared.” 


The newest bike repair stations were installed in 2023, bringing the total number along forest preserve trails to six. The Nature Foundation funded the new station at the intersection of Spring Creek Greenway Trail and Veterans Memorial Trail in New Lenox, while the Joliet Bicycle Club donated funds for the installation of a new repair station where the Old Plank Road Trail and Hickory Creek Bikeway intersect in Mokena. These join repair stations installed in 2020 on the Wauponsee Glacial Trail at the Sugar Creek Preserve trailhead in Joliet; Centennial Trail at Schneider’s Passage in Romeoville; DuPage River Trail at Whalon Lake in Naperville; and Rock Run Greenway Trail at Rock Run Preserve – Paul V. Nichols Access in Joliet. 


While the bike repair stations serve an important purpose along some of the Forest Preserve’s most well-traveled trails, Wilcher said cyclists should carry some tools with them on their bike for emergency, on-the-spot repairs and adjustments. She suggests keeping a bike multi toll with a hex wrench, Allen keys and a tire repair tool and also carrying an air pump. 


Wilcher also said experienced cyclists and casual bikers alike should make sure their bike reflectors are properly affixed and always carry water and wear a helmet.

 

“There’s really no reason not to bike with a helmet on,” she said. 

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