Rotary Club Makes Vermont Towns a Little More Bike-Friendly
New bike repair stations are popping up along popular cycling routes in several Vermont towns, thanks to local fundraising efforts.
Vermonter Susan Grimes encountered eye-catching bike repair stations while traveling, and was inspired to bring similar stations to her own backyard.
As President of the Rotary Club of Charlotte-Shelburne-Hinesburg Vermont, she spearheaded a local effort to raise the funds needed to install several stations. Each features handy tools and a pump, built for long term use and made to be accessible to all. These attractive, useful stations are a welcome addition to Vermont’s local cycling infrastructure, and each one commemorates a local member of the cycling community.
Susan herself describes the project:
In 2018 and 2019, when I was visiting family in Richmond, Virginia, I walked on the James River trail to Belle Isle. It’s a popular site for people of all ages, and offers wooded paths, mountain biking trails, bicycle skills areas, and fantastic views. The trail is accessible from downtown Richmond as well as other areas.
What struck me was the number of bike fix-it stations that I saw. They were Dero brand repair stations and air pumps, and they stand out because of their sleek look, fun colors and well-constructed, functional design features.
The Dero stations cost $1,900 including shipping, and installation is simple where there is an existing concrete sidewalk or slab. Where a concrete slab is needed the price almost doubles.
Several stations I saw were donated by Rotary Clubs. As President-elect of the Charlotte-Shelburne-Hinesburg (Vermont) Rotary Club in 2020, I brought up the idea of doing a fundraiser with our club to purchase and install Dero bike stations for each of the three towns we represent.
President Chris Davis was instrumental in organizing committees, and with the use of an online fundraiser platform we were able to promote the fundraiser to a wide population.
We partnered with the Shelburne Athletic Club and Fieldhouse to hold a Spin-A-Thon fund raiser, in conjunction with dedicating the first Dero installation at the Shelburne Town office complex in May, 2021. That station was dedicated to George Schiavone, a local Rotarian, former State representative, and avid cyclist who passed away in 2020.
Former Vermont governor, Jim Douglas, was present, and praised the efforts of the Rotary to raise enough money to purchase the three bike stations.
We were able to raise enough money along with an AARP community grant, and a Rotary District Grant, to purchase a fourth Dero station, which was recently installed on the Shelburne town green.
These stations are placed in areas that are accessible to all bikers and families. We anticipate dedicating each station to a local cycling enthusiast or supporter. Bike stands are nearby and repairs can be made safely avoiding the need to stop at gas stations.
Promoting a healthy lifestyle by biking and providing essential bike repair tools and an air pump was a project the entire club embraced. We expect the locations of these and other bike repair and air stations will be added to area and statewide bike route maps over time.
We are working with other area Rotary Clubs to encourage them to add similar bike stations in other towns. It would be a wonderful thing if this program could be expanded through Vermont and beyond.
Learn more about Dero bike stations at https://www.dero.com/