The Avoyelles Parish Tourism Commission, with support from the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area and community partners, recently installed two bicycle repair stations in Avoyelles along popular bicycle paths.
The stations include free to use tools to repair bikes and air to fill tires. The stations are located on Highway 1 in Simmesport in front of the historic Kansas City train car, and on Highway 451 at the Big Bend Museum and Sarto Old Iron Bridge.
Executive Director of the Avoyelles Tourism Commission, Wilbert Carmouche, who proposed the installation of the stands, is thrilled to see them ready for use. “I noticed similar bike stations when I visited the rural area of Bellechasse in Quebec, and thought they would be a great resource for local cyclists and visitors of Avoyelles,” says Carmouche.
The stations are strategically placed along popular bicycle routes. Highway 1 is a part of several local and national bicycle paths, including the Southern Tier Bicycle Route – a cross country bicycle route that begins in San Diego, California and ends in St. Augustine, Florida. Highway 451, or the “Big Bend Loop,” is a popular scenic detour for cyclists traveling along Highway 1.
The repair station project was funded, in part, with a grant from the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area and additional funds were provided by the Avoyelles Tourism Commission. “The Atchafalaya National Heritage Area is such a wonderful partner to Avoyelles Parish and we’re thankful for their support and enthusiasm for this project,” said Carmouche.
The stations provide tools to fix issues such as flat tires, adjusting a seat or reattaching a pedal so cyclists may continue their ride. The goal of the project is to support cycling tourism and minimize any disruptions for cyclists if they need to resolve minor issues mid-journey.
“We are known for our hospitality in Avoyelles and we hope that these stations make cyclists feel welcome when they are traveling through our parish,” said Carmouche. “We are encouraging them to think about Avoyelles as not just a pit stop on their route, but a destination,” he added.