County Promoting Bicycle Tourism

There are two cycling clubs that have Cobourg addresses but there are also cyclists from out of town who like to tour the County.  To assist all cyclists in Northumberland, the County is launching a pilot project and installing “Bike Repair Stations” in five locations.  Why now?  Because June 3 is “World Bicycle Day”!  Each repair station includes “a full set of tools for cyclists to make any needed adjustments or any unexpected repairs, to help keep rolling along”.  The most common problem is a flat tire so a pump is provided – a manually operated one.  Also provided are commonly required tools.  Because of the risk of tools being stolen, they are tethered with “chain or coated aircraft cable”.  Precautions are also taken against vandalism. The photo below gives some idea.  See also links to equipment supplier: Greenspoke.

Bike Repair Station Port Hope
Bike Repair Station Port Hope

In making the announcement, Northumberland County’s Dan Borowec said:

Cycling plays an important role in the tourism and recreation mix of Northumberland. Installing bike repair stations adds critical support for all levels of cyclists. Easily accessible and strategically located throughout Northumberland, they are a welcoming resource to our ever-growing cycling community.

The announcement said:

This initiative aims to foster a vibrant cycling community while attracting cycling enthusiasts from far and wide to explore the picturesque landscapes and charming towns of Northumberland. In partnership with participating area municipalities, bike repair stations are being placed in the following locations:

  • Campbellford – Old Mill Park by the Two Dollar Coin, 51 Grand Rd (now available)
  • Port Hope – Behind Port Hope Town Hall, 56 Queen St. (now available)
  • Cobourg – Cobourg Marina, 103 3rd St. (coming soon)
  • Brighton – Harbour St. Parkette, 147 Harbour St. (coming soon)
  • Bewdley – Bewdley Optimist Waterfront Park, 5073 Rice Lake Dr N, Bewdley (coming soon)

Other Bicycle Information

If you are a cyclist in Cobourg, you probably already know about Cycle Transitions, the “Bicycle Resource Center and DIY Bicycle Repair Shop” at Northam Building 17 – 740 Division Street. There’s detailed information on what they do at their web site here.  As well as fixing bikes and workshops on how to do that, they have used bikes for sale.

Another recent innovation is the bicycle registry by Cobourg Police – go to this page. Their intent is “to increase the chances of returning lost or stolen bikes to their owners”.

Resources

Cobourg Cycling Club Websites

Greenspoke

County Links

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Rob
8 months ago

Apparently we have a Climate Crisis and bikes are an important part of the solution. We will all be riding bikes soon as very few residents will be able to afford the price of gas thanks to JT and there isn’t a Provincial infrastructure to support charging EVs. Lets hope the town adds as many new bike-friendly ride-thru restaurants to off-set the drive-thru restaurants they approved.

In all seriousness, the little repair centers are a good idea…I cycle around town and don’t carry tools with me. Worse case scenario is I’d walk my bike home but having access to something like this isn’t a bad idea. Not everyone is a hardcore cyclist who carries a spare tube and kit with them at all times. Frankly we should be doing more (not less) to promote a healthy and active lifestyle in our community…among the leading causes of death; heart disease, respiratory disease and diabetes and 30% of children are obese or overweight which will lead to preventable, poor health outcomes in the future. This is a real crisis…

Michel Cabardos
8 months ago

Ganaraska Freewheelers is another bike club in Northumberland. This is a friendly touring bike club. See their website for more info.

Bruce
8 months ago

Thanks, John, for mentioning Cycle Transitions. We try to make our repair shop a welcoming space. As we currently have a summer student, we are open Tuesdays through Saturdays for the summer. As John mentioned, we have lots of fully reconditioned used bikes for sale at reasonable prices.

cornbread
8 months ago

Another WASTE OF MONEY by our bunch of do-gooders at Northumberland County. Serious bikers carry their own repair kits…and what will they do between 2 repair station if they don’t have a kit. Council…get on with the more important jobs in the community.

Lemon Cake
8 months ago

Great idea! Cobourg is a terrific place to cycle – we have better bike infrastructure than Port Hope and I’m all for more cyclists using it.

JimT
Reply to  Lemon Cake
8 months ago

…and not nearly as many big hills, too!

Kevin
8 months ago

If the most common problem is a flat tire how will these stations help? Maybe if there is a slow leak near a station the pump could be used. Most serious cyclists carry a portable pump and a spare tube or patch kit. Other repairs or adjustments can usually wait until the cyclist gets home. This is one of those things that make people feel good about themselves but really is not very cost effective. Dunkirk, below, mentioned the ongoing maintenance costs. How about ordering, for a similar cost, basic tool kits to be given to cyclists. They could be handed out at information centres or through schools. A map of the trails in Northumberland and some basic maintenance information could be included. As Dave mentioned, some cyclists do not obey traffic rules. The kit could included a reminder of traffic laws. Maybe some private businesses would be interested in buying kits to be given/sold to customers if they travel by bicycle. Just an idea to get more mileage for our tax dollar.

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Kevin
8 months ago

Anyone who is riding a bike obviously paid for it I’m assuming and intelligent enough to understand that it is one’s responsibility to take care of it etc.
Why should it not remain so ,rather than having kits provided free of charge (?) if that is the intent.
Why not stick to passing out water to riders if it’s during competition as we observe in bike races some places ?

Bob LeDrew
Reply to  Bill Thompson
8 months ago

I’m a fairly serious recreational cyclist (heading to Toronto this weekend for the 220km Ride to Conquer Cancer, plus commute by bike to my job), and I can tell you there are times that you may find yourself without the right tool or in need of a bit of a pump.

People make mistakes; that’s the state of humanity. I’ve not used the ones here yet, but when I lived in Ottawa, we had a number of similar (although much worse designed) stations along major cycling routes, and I did use those on several occasions.

But do go on whinging.

Dave
8 months ago

I agree with you Cobourg Taxpayer. What a great idea for a family here, or visiting to be able to take to the scenic trails for the afternoon with added feature of bicycle repair stations.

However I am from a much larger centre and as a caution I relay the experiences. Without plates some bicycle owners are very irresponsible. Ignoring the rules they become hazards both in traffic and to pedestrians. Not obeying traffic signals and riding in pedestrian areas. Governance of this category is often poor from the number of cyclists I see displaying these behaviours frequently. Personally I would also feel great distress should I accidently “squash” a cyclist who ignores stop signs, traffic lights and other infractions.

Like anything it works better with respect on both sides. Also in obeying the rules the bicyclist would be safer in traffic also, able to avoid oblivious motorists.

Bob LeDrew
Reply to  Dave
8 months ago

EVERYone breaks the law. I just drove back from Whitby. What do you think the average speed was on the 401? I’ll give you a hint: not 100 km/h.

Bicycle licensing has been tried in MANY jurisdictions over MANY years, and it has never lived up to what it’s been promised to do (pay for itself through fees, increase safety, increase accountability, etc.) As vehicles under the HTA, police have every ability to charge cyclists with traffic infractions. A number of years ago on the Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour, OPP sat at the bottom of Westport hill and ticketed many cyclists for speeding (a patently unfair thing to do, given the steepness of the hill and the advantage increased momentum gives one, IMO, but that’s the law…)

Dave
Reply to  Bob LeDrew
8 months ago

I know what I have seen Bob. And yes you can’t control the whole world but it would certainly help to have a plate added to bicyles. I recall a guy I worked with on commercial delivery as one example. A bicylist came flying off the sidewalk – shouldn’t have been on the sidewalk either, but the upshot was he slammed right into my co-worker’s windshield. The police came – turned out there was a warrant for the bycylcist and away he went, captured leaving my co-worker with a smashed windshield. However that is only one incident – I have seen dozens of them riding through red lights, on the sidewalk and also in parks where the other users rose up in mass to protest the speeding biclysts dangerous driving as they blew through stop signs at reckless speeds. Ungoverned – for what ever reason they are not stopped and charged. As a former motorcycle rider I was coming out of the Gardens one night a motorist in a Mercedes ran the red light catching the tail end of my bike knocking me and it over. I got the bike up, chased him and kicked out his headlights when I drew beside him and he simply ignored me. As I said respect on both sides Bob – and yes in commercial driving I was awarded safety awards for every year of service.
And why shouldn’t the police ticket drivers unable to control their bike on a hill? Going through the Smokey Mountains I certainly controlled my truck’s speed as I had a light load on. See no reason for a bike to come flying down the hill with all those gears they are equipped with.

Last edited 8 months ago by Dave
Cobourg taxpayer
8 months ago

Excellent idea! Cycling tourism is growing and Northumberland roads and trails are quite safe compared to other locations. As far as the repair stations also a great idea. I hope research was done on what was used in Kingston to protect the tools because finally all were shut down due to theft and vandalism.

Dunkirk
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
8 months ago

Kingston is not the only community that had to discontinue their bike repair station program. Just about every Ontario community that launches this program suffers vandalism: Belleville, Kitchener, Thunder Bay…..accordingly, the real cost of implementation is not just the tool stations, it’s the ongoing repair and maintenance.
https://inquinte.ca/story/reoccurring-vandalism-leads-to-belleville-bike-repair-stations-removal

Gerald
Reply to  Dunkirk
8 months ago

Was asking County to look at that report too much before setting up our vandalism targets? How long will ours at the marina last, one season? Seeing how spending tax dollars are on people’s minds here this weekend with that glitzy pedestrian crossing being lambasted in Today’s Northumberland, what cost did these repair stations come in at, and was it all taxpayers’ money. Curious is all to the costs