Carter Kavalec prefers riding his bike along dirt paths carved through the Backcountry Wildnerness Area to riding up and down a paved street. And after seeing fellow riders break down on a trail, the 10-year-old wanted to help.
For his Eagle …
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For his Eagle Scout project, Kavalec, of Troop 645, installed a Dero Fixit Service Station — a nifty gadget equipped with tools for basic bike repairs and maintenance — on Outlaw Trail, which runs west of Griggs Road in the Backcountry.
“This bike repair station is located on a commonly used trail,” said Kavalec, who completed his project on July 29. “It will allow riders access to tools for repairs and air for tires without having to hike a long distance if they break down.”
Kavalec is one of several Boy Scouts who are improving the Backcountry through Eagle Scout projects. Since 2010, between 10 and 15 projects are completed each year along trails and in camp areas.
Projects have included fire mitigation, planting trees around the Basecamp area — where recreation programs are held —, constructing information kiosks, improving the archery range, adding horse obstacles for horse camps and building bird boxes and bat houses. Every stone bench along 14 miles of trails owned by Highlands Ranch Community Association is or was an Eagle Scout project, said Mark Geibel, director of the Backcountry Wilderness Area.
“Local Boy Scout troops have played a significant role in improving wildlife habitat in the Backcountry,” Giebel said, “as well as providing important additions to our trails and program areas.”
The Highlands Ranch Community Association provides minimal funding for each project; a requirement of the Eagle Scout project is fundraising. Kavalec, for example, raised more than $1,700 for the station from local businesses and family friends.
The money was used to purchase and build the Fixit station, which includes a set of tools for basic bike repairs — changing a flat tire, adjusting brakes — attached by stainless steel cables and tamper-proof fasteners. Also on the station is a bike hanger for easy adjusting and an Air Kit pump for tire inflation.
Construction of the metal machine anchored in concrete wasn’t simple.
“I was excited that Carter came up with an idea he was passionate about and benefited the Highlands Ranch community,” said his dad, Dave Kavalec. “At the same time, I was worried about how a 13-year-old was going to get 500 pounds of concrete mix, enough water and tools to a semi-remote location.”
He did, with the help of his fellow Scouts. And he enjoyed it: “Being able to pour the concrete pad and install the station was the most fun,” Carter Kavalec said.
Above all, he was happy with the feedback he received.
“I couldn’t believe how many people commented that they could have used a repair station located there in the past,” he said. “It really made me feel good to know my project would help fellow riders.”
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