There’s something new on Rockford’s riverfront bike path — a free bike repair station, located behind the YMCA, and it’s all thanks to the riders from last year’s Tour de North End.
Last year was the third annual Tour de North End, and again, it was an overwhelming success. More than 530 people registered, rode around Rockford’s North End, patronized local businesses, and helped raise bicycle safety awareness.
Given the community, neighborhood and business support received, turnout is expected to almost double at this year’s festival, set for Saturday, Aug. 2. Organizers hope to attract more than 750 riders from Rockford, Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago.
Preregistration for this year’s festival is available online at tourdenorthend.com ($10) from now until the event day (or register at The Olympic Tavern, 2327 N. Main St., Rockford, on the event day for $12) — sign your safety waiver, receive an official TDNE Passport, and head off to the 13 participating locations to get your passport stamped (no purchase necessary). Go to as many or as few locations as you like. Official Passport stops include the following:
• The Olympic Tavern — 2327 N. Main St.;
• Cliffbreakers — 700 W. Riverside Blvd.;
• Whiskey’s Roadhouse — 3207 N. Main St.;
• Latham Tap — 2402 Latham St.;
• Mulligan’s — 2212 N. Main St.;
• North Main Tap — 1419 N. Main St.;
• Rockford Billiards Café — 1436 N. Main St.;
• The Barn — 1420 N. Main St.;
• Der Rathskeller — 1132 Auburn St.;
• Altamore’s — 1432 N. Main St.;
• Al Grace Appliance — 811 W. Riverside Blvd.;
• Nickel World — 3321 N. Main St.; and
• The Bicycle Connection — 2412 N. Main St.
With proceeds from last year’s event, The Olympic Tavern purchased Rockford’s only bike repair station, which was just installed on the bike path (behind the YMCA, on the octagon bathroom building). The sturdy Dero Bike Fixit Station includes all the tools necessary to perform basic repairs and maintenance, from changing a flat tire, to adjusting brakes and derailleurs. The tools and air pump are securely attached to the stand with stainless steel cables and tamper-proof fasteners. Hanging the bike from the hanger arms allows the pedals and wheels to spin freely while making adjustments.
If you ever pop a tire, need some air, or a tool to fix your derailleur, now you have the tools to fix it! So really, there is no reason not to ride bikes, be safe and have fun this summer. There’s even a QR code on the side where users can scan their phone and receive step-by-step instructions on minor repairs.
For more about this year’s Tour de North End, visit tourdenorthend.com or contact The Olympic Tavern at (815) 962-8758.
From the July 23-29, 2014, issue