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Bike racks, repair stations on way
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Coming soon, and likely a welcome sight for bicyclists: bike repair stations and bike racks. A grant will be used to place up to four stations and 12 racks around the city of McMinnville. Stations provide hooks for holding the bike, tools for necessary repairs and air pumps for low tires.

Bicycle enthusiasts will soon have additional infrastructure support.

A local group, Bike McMinnville, has been meeting for more than a year, holding community bike rides and seeking grant money to help develop a more pedestrian and bike-friendly community.

“We found there is significant desire for additional bike racks and bike repair stations,” said club member Ian Riley. “We applied for a grant from the Tennessee Department of Health. The county has already received the grant from the state. It was for $20,000.”

It is estimated that funding would be enough to place: two bike repair stations, five bicycle racks, design and print a brochure of tried and true routes for easy and intermediate cyclists, local cycling assets, and safety tips, and some funds remaining to purchase helmets, lights or other visibility devices to share with children and high-risk users or aspiring cyclists.

“After presenting this and receiving public input, the highest recommendation for bike rack placement is the courthouse, Court Square, Civic Center and Farmers Market,” said Riley. 

Public bike repair stations offer stands to hold the bike while repairs are made with air pump and tools. 

“I’ve used them when I’ve visited other cities,” said Riley. “They’re great. I’ve checked my air before setting off on a trail. The tools are tethered by steel cables so no one can just walk off with them. The most requested places for those to be placed is Civic Center, Farmers Market or at either end of the greenway.”

Riley says city of McMinnville has offered to place the items as a cost-saving measure.

“With our expected estimates of expenditures, this would allow us to purchase about 12 bike racks and four air stations, for a total of $12,000 out of the grant,” said Riley. “Then, still looking at about 500 helmets and other items that can be given out, that would make up the remaining $8,000 for the $20,000 grant.”

Project completion has a deadline of May 30, a stipulation set down as part of grant acceptance.