Communities are oftentimes ranked by their population, their cultural diversity, or their safety. But, I prefer to measure the strength of a community by the willingness of its members to help others. The evening news highlights neighbors rallying around a sick child, non-profits helping to build homes for those in need, and groups offering assistance in job-hunting. But the social services I appreciate most are those that offer a hand—without the want of recognition—to the community. One such act of kindness takes the form of the Twin Bridges Bike Aid Station.
Midway along the Twin Bridges Scenic Ride (see our coverage in “Water & Woods”), the Twin Bridges Bike Aid Station appears as a welcome respite or an oasis in the desert, depending upon your current situation. Located on White Rock Loop in Tumalo, the aid station is marked by two old bikes—a blue ten-speed and a brown cruiser—affixed to the top of a fence. A purple bench and red picnic table offer a much-needed rest to those who have battled the miles of farm roads and unrelenting hill climbs along the route. On the table, an oversized white mailbox offers up both treats and necessities to spandex-clad riders. In it, you’ll find an assortment of bicycle tire tubes, first aid supplies, and various sports bars and gels.
Next to the seating areas are a bicycle tire pump and workstation. Attached to the workstation hang various wrenches, tire levers, and screwdrivers. Each tool is affixed to a cable ensuring you don’t accidentally ride off with it after tightening or fixing just about any problem that may arise.
While my bike carries pretty much everything available at the Twin Bridges Bike Aid Station, I am happy to know the essentials are available if needed. I have stopped and helped countless under-prepared riders on the side of the road to fix flats or adjust components. I like to think a little help allows beginner cyclists to discover a lifetime exercise routine or advanced riders to further their obsession with the sport. And when there’s no one else around, that token of goodwill is the Twin Bridges Bike Aid Station.