Bike repair stations added to Grayling’s downtown business district to assist cyclists
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
As more bicycle races are hosted in the community and trails get developed, bicycle repair stations have been added as a new feature for residents and visitors in Grayling’s downtown business district.
The stations were recently installed by Thanks A Latte and Flowers by Josie, 212 Michigan Avenue, and at the Rolling Oak Brewing, 509 Norway Street.
The Grayling Main Street Program Design Committee and Stacy McIsaac and Kate DeVries-McIsaac, the owners of Tip n’ The Mitten, raised funds to purchase bike racks.
The Design Committee submitted a grant to the Grayling Promotional Association to purchase two bicycle maintenance stations, which was approved.
The stations include a rack to hold and lock up to six bicycles, an air pump, screw drivers, wrenches, and tire levers.
The repair station, which came from Belson Outdoors based in Naperville, Illinois, cost about $4,654.
Initially, members of the design committee approached Crawford County officials regarding putting one of the repair stations on county property near the court house that runs adjacent to a bike trail. County officials, however, raised concerns about the location of the station because the same area is used for a snowmobile trail, which is groomed and maintained by the AuSable Valley Snowmobile Association.
Although the bike rack would be removed during the winter months, a pole to hold the bicycle maintenance station would be there year-round.
Concerns were expressed about a snowmobile hitting the pole and liability being placed on the county if an injury occurred. The ability to groom the trail was another issue county officials had.
As a result, Lynn McConnell, a member of the design committee, approached Jason and Heather Malone, the owners of Rolling Oak Brewing. Heather serves as a deputy treasurer for the Crawford County Treasurer’s Office.
The owners jumped at the chance to add a new feature to their establishment.
“They just approached me about it and I said for sure,” Jason said. “I think it will be a great spot for it and it happened really quickly.”
McConnell was pleased that the repair stations were installed for people to use this summer.
“Jason was on board right away and Heather thought it was a great idea,” she said.
The station is available to patrons who visit the brewing company as well as people passing by.
“They do have customers who ride their bikes there, so it seemed like a perfect location,” McConnell said.
Locals officials want to make Grayling more bicycle friendly as the Iron Belle Trail gets developed through Grayling. The trail will connect to trails being developed from Higgins Lake up to Gaylord.
“We want to make the downtown area more comfortable and provide easy access to bicyclists,” McConnell said.
Jason also wants to encourage people to get out and get healthy though cycling.
“It’s great that they thought of me and thought it would be a good spot and it happened,” he said. “I want to promote riding bikes around town and it’s just really cool.”
Ernie Dawson, the owner of Thank A Latte and Flowers by Josie, was as equally pleased to add a new feature to the downtown area.
“I think it’s something that people will be using, especially the cyclists that are using the area as it’s becoming more of sport and they’re using the trails to ride out to Hartwick Pines,” Dawson said.
Brock Pratter, an avid and visible cyclist in Graying, said he was eager to see people utilizing the repair stations.
“It’s a good thing, so people can fix their bikes when they’re riding and something goes wrong,” Pratter said.
Pratter said cycling helps him stay fit while he is working and running errands.
“It’s good exercise,” he said. “You get lots of exercise on bikes.”