Dexter’s Bike Medic Brings His Mission to Pack 477

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By Doug Marrin, STN Reporter, with Betsy Finn

Dexter’s Bike Medic, Bill Rittinger, has been helping cyclists dial in with a free bike tune-up to keep them enjoying their adventures on the area’s trails and roads. He’s been paying it forward for years and recently paid a visit to Dexter Cub Scouts Pack 477 to give them a rundown on bike maintenance.

Rittinger began by showing the Tiger Den (first-grade scouts) “a bike that had been given up on” and was left out on the curb for trash pick-up. Junk, in other words. The scouts watched the Bike Medic clean the bike. He explained that the broken parts can be replaced if the frame is still good. The good doctor showed the kids that adjusting the spoke tension can fix a wobbly wheel. Damaged components such as pedals can be cheaply replaced. Add a little bling, such as new handlebar grips, and you’ve got yourself a sweet ride.

Den Leader Betsy Finn reviewed bike laws with the scouts—how to signal a turn and make sure their helmets are safely secured to their heads. After that, Rittinger tuned up each scout’s bike, and the evening culminated with a bike rodeo in the Anchor Elementary parking lot.

If you’ve been to the Dexter Farmers Market on Saturdays (8-1, next to the Library), you’ve probably seen Bill and his team working away under their canopy. As mentioned, the Bike Medic(s) do all of their work free of charge. Why?

Bill explains on his website.

“I love bicycling and enjoy seeing others benefit from the same experience. I have logged many miles around the Dexter–Chelsea area and across Michigan. In 2007 my family visited Montana, where I rode with my daughters along the Missouri river, following the Lewis and Clark expedition trail. That trip opened my eyes to the value of non-motorized pathways. Returning to Michigan, I became interested in the Border-to-Border Trail planned for Dexter. When it opened, I was convinced it would catch on and realized a station to help travelers with repairs would be helpful.”

But for Rittinger, his work goes deeper than doing something nice for his fellow humans. It helps answer a profound calling.

“As a Christian, I am called to love my neighbors just as God loves me. True love shows itself in serving and blessing others in real and practical ways. Repairing bikes is a unique way I can do this, and I hope it may provide a glimpse into the kind of love God has for people.”

Understandably, the Bike Medic’s services are in high demand. If you would like to have your velocipede checked out, you’ll need to schedule an appointment via their website at https://bikemedicdexter.com/

Photos by Betsy Finn

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