Some outdoor recreation improvements have been added at local parks in the City of Lodi, thanks to the contributions of some residents.
There are two new bike repair stations — one at Habermann Park and the other at Doctors Park.
They were donated by Dave and Diane Eberdt, and Dan and Betty Eberdt.
The two brothers, Dave and Dan, wanted to do something to honor their father, Ted, who was a silent sports enthusiast and loved cycling.
“I think cycling has always been popular, but it’s just exploded recently, especially in the last year,” said Dave Eberdt.
Along with the bike repair racks, the basketball courts near Habermann Park now have new backboards and hoops, courtesy of Nick Bilse.
“I used to play down here 30 years ago,” said Bilse, who grew up in what’s known as the Teachers’ Hill neighborhood. “We’d play pickup games with kids of all ages.”
Bilse said he was pleased with how it all turned out.
“It’s really beautiful here with the pool and the park,” said Bilse. He said he’d like to encourage everyone to give back to their community, whether through coaching or volunteering or helping with “Susie the Duck Day.”
When Dave and Dan Eberdt were kids, they would pack up their gear and saddle bags and go cycling with their dad. Sometimes they’d go as far as Reedsburg. Other times they cycled the Elroy-Sparta Trail, where they encountered a loose bull once.
Ted Eberdt died suddenly in 1982. Dave said it was a shock.
Dave got the idea for the bike repair rack on a visit to Ashland, where he saw one at a park. He figured Lodi could use them, as well. Each one comes with air for filling up tires.
“Every kid needs to add air to their tires now and then,” said Dave Eberdt.
The Eberdts went to city officials with their idea and then went to work getting them installed. Dave said he knows some of the local cyclists like to start at the head of Main Street at Doctors Park. So, it made sense to set one up there. Along with an air unit, the bike repair racks come equipped with everything needed to make fixes. There’s a QR (Quick Response) code that users can access with their phones, and everything cyclists need to know about how to repair your bike with what the rack has to offer.
Dave Eberdt works at the Lodi Clinic on Valley Drive. He said he sees cars congregating at the nearby middle school with cyclists, and he’s hoping to install another bike repair rack on public property, either there or at the high school.
As for his own cycling adventures, Dave Eberdt has been sidelined. Out on a ride, his bike experienced a malfunction, resulting in a fall that left him with a concussion.
“I’m the poster boy for wearing a helmet,” said Dave, who added that the cost of a rack is $1,700.
As for the basketball courts, Bilse said he noticed a while ago that they had the original hoops and that the backboards were shot.
“There wasn’t a whole lot left to them,” said Bilse.
Figuring out who owned the property was first on Bilse’s list of things to do. He contacted Mayor Ann Groves Lloyd and worked with Terry Weter, director of operations for the City of Lodi.
The basketball court improvements were installed about a month ago, with new posts.
Total cost, with shipping, for the new equipment was $2,500. Bilse feels it was worth it, especially when he sees the court getting used. He said he’s seen kids using it and there’s an exercise group who works out there, as well.