DSU rolls out new bike repair stands

By the end of the year, six more bike stands will be installed across the HRM (photo by Deborah Ooman)

By the end of the year, six more bike stands will be installed across the HRM. (Photo by Deborah Ooman)

Dalhousie bicyclists will no longer have to fear loose handlebars or flat tires.

On Sept. 26, a permanent bike repair stand was installed on the corner of Spring Garden Road and South Park Street, giving students free, round the clock access to maintenance equipment. A total of eight repair stands will be put in place along popular cycling routes leading to campus.

The bright-green stands come with an air pump and several tools to allow bikers to make minor fixes on their rides, should they find themselves in need.Vertical arms allow a biker to hang their bike from the seat for greater ease of use.

Matt Worona, Dalhousie Student Union (DSU) bike coordinator, and membership director for the Halifax Bike Coalition, says these stands will make life less stressful for the nearly 1,800 Dal students who bike to and from school.

Worona spearheaded the project to bring the stands to Halifax after seeing the practice done on Facebook.

“It takes away that worry, like ‘Oh! What if I get a flat? What if something happens to my breaks?’ that kind of stuff…so hopefully more people will be confident commuting by bike,” says Worona. “All the tools you would need for minor and break adjustments are hanging in the structure, and there is a floor pump open for everyone to use.”

Worona submitted a funding request on behalf of the DSU to Waye Mason, local city counselor, and funding was approved for two repair stands at Dal. The city picked up on the idea and decided to install additional stands.

The repair stands are just one part of a larger movement to make cycling easier and safer on the Peninsula. On Oct. 2, construction began on a Windsor Street bike lane. This is the first part of a project that, upon completion, will see a continuous bike lane from the north end, down Windsor Street, all the way to Dal. The city hopes to have the corridor completed by 2015.

The stands will complement this new infrastructure. Currently, the DSU has installed their two stands—one at the corner of Spring Garden Road and South Park Street and one behind the Life Sciences Centre (LSC). In the next three months, six more stands will be added. Halifax Harbor Bridges will be installing one by the MacDonald bike lane, the Faculty of Engineering will equip one at the corner of Morris and Queen Street, and another behind the Architecture Building, and three stands will be installed at the ferry terminals.

These installations signal that the city is going in the right direction in terms of improving the bicycle experience, says Worona. But others hope this is just the beginning.

“They are a good reminder to cyclists and motorists, they are practical tools,” says Ben Wedge, co-chair of the Halifax Bike Coalition. “But bike lanes and better parking and facilities at either end of your ride are what will help.”

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Nikki Jamieson

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