Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Trek Stop: A Prototype 24-Hour Convenience Station for Bicyclists

Madison, WI: Located just off of the busy John Nolan bike path in Madison, the Trek Stop has gotten a lot of business, and—perhaps more importantly—it has turned a lot of heads. “I think it’s a great idea,” says a woman filling up her tires, here visiting from New York. “When can I get one in my neighborhood?”

Launched in July outside Machinery Row Bicycles in Madison, the Trek Stop is a convenience station for bicycles, and it has all the bells and whistles! Serving as a bicyclists’ vending machine, Trek Stop is stocked with everything a biker could need. Tubes, lube, energy bars, drinks, BFW maps, Ride Guides, and other cycling accessories— available at any time of day.

What sets the Trek Stop apart from any other vending machine is its free extra features. The bicycle convenience station is fully equipped with a covered and lighted bicycle work stand, air hoses for filling tires, video tutorials demonstrating bike repair basics, bike maps, and other bicycling resources.

“Auto drivers have lots of places to get fast service for their cars,” describes Rebecca Anderson, the advocacy director of Trek’s “1 World 2 Wheels” campaign. “The idea behind Trek Stop is to provide some of these same conveniences to bikers” The 24-hour vending machine expands customer access to high demand products, making it easier for bikers to get the things that they need, when they need it.

“It’s not about making a profit, but about building an infrastructure for bicyclists,” explains Michael Hammond, the design engineer behind Trek Stop. The machine is the culmination of a brainstorming session and a research study aimed at making bicycling easier for commuters and recreational riders.

The Trek Stop in Madison is currently only a prototype machine, but Hammond sees potential in the concept. “I envision Trek Stops being located at state trail heads and in urbanized areas along heavily traveled bike paths,” he describes. The Trek Stop can serve as a convenience station for mountain biking trailheads as well he says, explaining that it would be easy to “cater the product inventory to different rider groups.”

“We’ve got a lot of user feedback, and now it’s time to take a look at what we really need,” says Hammond, reporting on the prototype’s initial debut. He would like to see future Trek Stops made into environmentally friendly, low maintenance, cost-effective, and user friendly machines. “Now it’s about getting down the cost” so interested purchasers can afford it, he contends.

The Trek Stop will stay at Machinery Row Bicycles in Madison through “Trek World,” an annual Trek dealer’s convention in mid-August. Given the receptive public response in the local cycling community, many local cyclists hope that the bike-friendly prototype will become a permanent addition to the Madison community!
To find out more about Trek Stop and how long it will be in Madison contact Mike Hammond at mike_hammond@trekbikes.com .

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