Campbell Potter knows what it's like to bust a tire in the middle of a trail, and to carry a heavy bicycle for miles in dwindling light just to get out of a park.
In his last five or so years of mountain biking at Annadel State Park, Potter, 18, has broken five bike frames, busted about 30 derailleurs, and “tacoed” — or warped — several wheels.
“I'm pretty accident-prone,” Potter said. “I know what it's like to carry your bike 2 miles. It's hard on your back. It's not fun. We call it the 'walk of shame.'”
Having done that walk more times than he'd care to admit, Potter decided to make it easier on himself and the other riders who frequent Annadel's 40-plus miles of trails.
So he built and installed two “Bike Rescue Stations,” equipped with a bicycle pump, tire irons, a crescent wrench, an Allen wrench and screwdrivers, all attached by a steel cable to a wooden box he made with friends in his home woodshop.
The bike tools were donated by The Bike Peddler, a Santa Rosa store, and materials for the box were donated by Friedman's Home Improvement.
Passing bikers often leave spare tire tubes and snacks like Clif Bars and water bottles in the boxes.
“It's kind of a community thing,” Potter said. “It's a give-and-take system with all the bikers.”
Potter built six bike rescue stations in June as part of an Eagle Scout project. The first two were installed at the Cobblestone Trailhead just off Channel Drive and at the Rough-Go Trailhead, Potter said. Four more boxes are ready to be installed.
The boxes, about 2.5 feet tall and 2 feet wide, are designed to blend into the environment, Potter said.
“It's a nice, altruistic thing to have in the park,” said Neill Fogarty, supervising ranger at Annadel. “Since Annadel has so many mountain bike users, it's a great program to have. And it doesn't cost the state parks anything.”