Talk about building community spirit

“Allen key son chains, secured to a big heavy metal plate and costing more than the sum of its individual ports… I don’t want that in my garage and it’s not my Most Wanted.” Anyone thinking that?

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We felt the same, until in an hour of need we stumbled across an Outdoor Tool Station (OTS) halfway round a ride. It got us roiling again.

The OTS (£359.98) should be on every riding club, trail centre or local bike shop’s Most Wanted list because it’s all about the greater good. Who here hasn’t borrowed a tool from a stranger in a car park, or dashed into the bike shop asking to borrow the eight-mill: “I’ll bring it back in a minute”… if you remember.

This OTS was designed not by Park Tools, you might be surprised to learn, buy by its UK distributor Madison, who had the idea to fit irremovable tools to a hitching post as an act of benevolence. It’s stocked with excellent Park equipment, and there are 14 tools on the Station, from tyre levers and Allen keys, to Torx tools and screwdrivers. There are now about 40 Stations out there in the the UK, from as far north as Alpine Bikes at Glentress down to Haldon Forest in Devon.

Not to be outdone, Park Tools has since produced its own take on the idea called the Trail Head Workstation, complete with a work stand to let you wrench your bike off they round. It will be released early next year.

Imagine having this at your local hot post; on the wall outside the pub maybe, perhaps mountain up in the usia;l car park, or in an old phone box like the Plough Inn at Coldharbour, Surrey has done. Talk about building community spirit – it could be the equivalent of the office water cooler.