Smooth rides start at the library

Solar-powered bicycle maintenance station installed

By: Kristyne E. Demske | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published May 20, 2021

 Phil Pertner, president of ESPAS Inc., of Clinton Township, and Harrison Township Public Library Director Melissa Goins stand by the newly installed bicycle maintenance station at the library May 14.

Phil Pertner, president of ESPAS Inc., of Clinton Township, and Harrison Township Public Library Director Melissa Goins stand by the newly installed bicycle maintenance station at the library May 14.

Photo by Deb Jacques

 The sun glints off the solar panel  of the new solar-powered bicycle  maintenance station at the  Harrison Township Public Library.

The sun glints off the solar panel of the new solar-powered bicycle maintenance station at the Harrison Township Public Library.

Photo by Deb Jacques

 The indicator shows how much solar power is stored on the battery, which powers an air compressor, motion-sensor light and a USB charger.

The indicator shows how much solar power is stored on the battery, which powers an air compressor, motion-sensor light and a USB charger.

Photo by Deb Jacques

HARRISON TOWNSHIP — A local company and library are teaming up to help local bicyclists keep their equipment running smoothly.

The Harrison Township Public Library, 38255 L’Anse Creuse St., is now home to the first solar-powered bicycle maintenance station in the state, thanks to ESPAS Inc., of Clinton Township. The station, which features solar lighting, a solar-powered air pump, hanger arms for easy repair, various tools and a USB-charger for phones, was installed at no cost to the library May 14.

Library Director Melissa Goins said she was inspired by a trip to New Orleans to seek out a bicycle repair station for the library.

“We had stopped at a public library in New Orleans, and they had a bicycle repair station, and I just thought that was a great idea to have that available for the public,” she said.

She began to shop around for different options, and she was happy when ESPAS Inc. selected the library to debut its new Solar Cycle Server, a state-of-the-art bicycle repair station.

Phil Pertner, president of ESPAS Inc., 44850 Centre Court East in Clinton Township, said he has been trying to diversify his automotive prototype company.

“We’ve seen the bike stations around, but they have hand pumps,” he said. “We wanted to give it a little more pizazz. With all the solar energy savings, we decided that we wanted to design a solar-powered bike station.”
A 12-volt battery powered by the sun runs everything on the station, including an onboard air compressor, which Pertner said makes ESPAS’ station unique. The station, which is “granny smith green,” has a motion sensor that triggers its light to turn on if someone approaches it at night.

The station was completed in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic put their hopes of installation on hold. Instead, ESPAS was able to test the station more fully before its installation.

“Eventually, in the future, we want to reach out to some of the parks and bike paths in Michigan. It’s environmentally friendly, and it’s a good thing,” Pertner said. “If you’re in trouble and you need to tighten something or your tire’s going low, you can pump it up.”

Having the station in Harrison Township will allow the company to better see how it fares in a real-world environment.

“We can see how it reacts. We’re going to give it more time in the environment. So far, it’s worked out really good,” Pertner said.

ESPAS worked with other local companies for the decals, paint and other portions of the station.

“It’s nice to see your product locally,” he said. “We’re excited about it.”

Located just a half-mile from the Freedom Trail bike path entrance at 16 Mile Road and Crocker Boulevard and in close proximity to several local schools, Goins thought the library would be the perfect location for a repair station.

“We like to add value to the community, so this is just another way that the library can,” Goins said. “I’m just so excited that they chose us to debut it.”

Since this is the first station for ESPAS, the company is hoping to hear what residents think of the new feature. It is available for use by anyone outside the main entrance to the library.

“We’re pretty centrally located,” Goins said. “They’re hoping we might be able to obtain feedback and share that with them. It’s a partnership.”