Published on July 15th, 2011 | by Jo Borrás1
Tires, Tubes, and … Maybe a Zagnut
A vending machine stuffed with bicycle parts? Freakin’ brilliant!
Cities across America are seeing something of a transportation revolution these days, from the widespread acceptance of hybrid and electric cars to increased adoption of public transport by daily commuters – but perhaps the most significant of these changes to America’s commuting habits is the major shift from four wheels to two.
Those commuters turning in their Hummers for Huffys, however, face a transportation infrastructure that has more or less been built up over the past century to support automobiles – so what’s a cyclist to do when suddenly faced with a bent rim or broken chain?
In the past, cyclists had to carry spares around like owners of mid-1970s Italian cars. Sure, that works for experienced riders, but a single negative experience on the side of the road could quickly turn an inexperienced (and, therefore, unprepared) cyclist into someone who says things like “I tried it, and cycling doesn’t work for me”.
That vending machine setup in the pictures, however, make roadside repairs easy. Branded under the name “Bike Fixtation”, the vending machine is the product of cyclists Chad DeBaker and Alex Anderson, each machine is equipped with a free-to-use universal bike repair stand, common bicycle repair, tools (attached with aircraft tethers), and a self-contained air compressor to quickly and effortlessly inflate tires – handy if you don’t want to arrive at work any later (or sweatier!) than you have to.
A proof-of-concept kiosk has been installed in Minneapolis’ heavily-trafficked Midtown Greenway bicycle route, which allows area bikers access to several key transit stations.