WILLIAMSBURG — It's one of cyclists' worst nightmares: puncturing a tire late at night while pedaling home, and finding no open shops for service.
But now, one savvy start-up is looking to give city riders their quick fix — a 24-hour vending machine with essential needs.
Express Biker — a service pioneered by amateur cyclist Shimon Kivman — has already set up two Brooklyn kiosks featuring tubes, lights, patch kits (to patch tires' holes), and other crucial tools and parts. Riders just stop at the kiosk, swipe their credit cards in the machine, and make their selection of accessories ranging from $5 to $30, Kivman said.
"There's nothing else out there full-time for cyclists," the Crown Heights resident said of the need for such a machine. "We're trying to get them in as many places as we can...anywhere that's a crowded and congested area."
Currently, Express Biker has a kiosk on the border of South Williamsburg and Bedford-Stuyvesant at the Emporium Gas Station on Flushing Avenue, and one at the Mobil Gas Station at 415 Empire Blvd. a few blocks away from Prospect Park, Kivman said.
"We take care of everything. We stock it and we make sure it works. You just plug it in," he said of local businesses' ways to partner with the service. "The whole machine has been customized."
Even runners can find what they need at the machines, which offer nutrition gel packs, Kivman said. And in case of sudden storms, dry bags for iPhones are also in stock.
"The idea is to be able to have as many cyclists out there as possible," he said.