Free bike repairs, bagels at Discovery building May 13

May 9, 2013

by Jennifer Sereno

Photo: students watching man performing bike maintenance

Students watch UW-Madison’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator Chuck Strawser (left) perform maintenance during a Bike to Work Week tune-up event in 2009.

Photo: Bryce Richter

Participants in this year’s Bike to Work Week will find free bike repairs, bagels and coffee at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery building on Monday, May 13, from 7 to 9:45 a.m.

Located on the corner of North Orchard and West Johnson streets near Steenbock's patio, the commuter station will be the only official stop on the UW–Madison campus as part of the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin’s annual Bike to Work Week.

“We’re excited to welcome commuters from campus and the community to the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery for Bike to Work Week,” says Krista Eastman, an avid bike commuter and leader of the institutes’ wellness committee. “The two research institutes in our building — the private Morgridge Institute for Research and the public Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID) — were founded to encourage collaboration and innovation. Supporting Bike to Work Week is a great way to bring people together and it’s not a stretch to say that healthy living helps fuel groundbreaking research.”

Among the scientists and staff in the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery building are a number of longtime cyclists with racing and touring experience. Their connections led to David Kohli, owner of Perfect Circle Cycling in Fitchburg, who agreed to provide free bike tune-ups to participating commuters.

“Supporting Bike to Work Week is a great way to bring people together and it’s not a stretch to say that healthy living helps fuel groundbreaking research.”

Krista Eastman

Kohli, who has spent some 25 years in the cycling industry, has worked as a race mechanic for the Phonak Cycling Team, Cervelo Test Team, Planet Bike Cyclocross Team and The Baraboo Sharks Junior Development Team. An expert on bike fitting, or the process of ensuring bike components are well-suited to an individual rider’s physique, he currently serves as a consultant and contractor to a number of cycling industry partners.

“Bike to Work Week is a great opportunity to get people back out on their bikes. In the process, many people realize they need some minor repairs,” Kohli says. “We’ll have tools on-site to help realign wheels, adjust brakes, lubricate chains and we’ll also check seat height and handlebar adjustments for riders. These are important but often overlooked elements that can improve pedaling power and comfort on the bike.”

Eastman says beyond the obvious physical benefits of cycling, numerous scientific studies have drawn a connection between exercise and brain health. For many, biking to work offers a convenient way to maintain physical and mental fitness — while saving money on transportation and reducing environmental impact.

“We figure that if we can encourage even a few people to take up bicycle commuting on a more regular basis, it will have a beneficial impact on their lives while reducing traffic congestion in the city,” Eastman says. “In addition to the bagels and coffee, we’ll be handing out bike maps. With all of the improvements to area trail systems over the past few years, biking to work has never been easier.”

WSUM, UW–Madison’s licensed student radio station, also will be on hand with music and interviews to mark the day. WSUM offers programming 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 91.7 on the FM dial in Madison and streamed online.