On Oct. 15, about 40 bicyclists riding in the Library 2 Library Bicycle Loop Tour stopped by Santa Clara’s Central Park Library for a break and serviced their bikes at the library’s brand new Bike Fixit Station, sponsored by the Santa Clara City Library Foundation & Friends. The station was unveiled at the front of the library just earlier that morning. Also attending the event were Councilmember and Vice Mayor Teresa O’Neill, Library Trustee Lee Broughman, Foundation Board Members Carol McCarthy and Crystal Scheel and City Council candidate Suds Jain.
“The Bike Fixit Station is one of the ways we really want to demonstrate the library and city’s commitment to improving bike safety and bike riding in a responsible way,” says Paul Sims, assistant city librarian and bicyclist. “A local bike repair shop called Summit Bicycles, with a Santa Clara location, is joining us this morning and will be renting bicycles at a discount and performing minor bike repairs for free.”
According to the library’s online event announcement, the Bike Fixit Station comes with a bike stand, Allen wrenches, screw drivers, tire levers and a pump that is suited for Presta and Schrader valves. For those unfamiliar with bicycle maintenance terminology, Sims explained what these items do.
“The tire lever is used to pop a tire off and replace the inner tube, which inflates and expands the tire,” Sims says. “Allen wrenches tighten special Allen screws, which many bikes have. They’re also called hex screws. The screwdriver can be used for tightening screws or bolts in the bicycles. If you pump up a bicycle, there are two types of valves that are put on bicycles: Typically, racing or mountain bikes would have a Presta valve, which is a long narrow high pressure valve. The Schrader valve is a more standard American valve and is on most cars but most bikes have it as well. It’s a bit wider than a Presta valve. If you were to pump up a tire, you would connect the pump to the valve. The valve keeps the air in the tire but it is also a mechanism for adding or removing air.”
Sims adds that the Bike Fixit Station is now accessible to bicyclists 24/7, the tools are theft resistant and that surveillance cameras are outside the library.
When Sims was employed at the Mountain View Public Library, he worked with a grant from the Pacific Library Partnership to create a similar Bike Fixit Station.
“[In Mountain View], we hosted a year of programming from bike riding skill classes to how to fix your own bike. The police department hosted a bike theft workshop on how to keep your bike from being stolen. These are the types of programs we’d like to have here at the Santa Clara City Library in the future.”