A handy new bicycle repair stand has been installed in the village on the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, adjacent to the small area maintained by the Rotary Club (just off Main Street near The Station restaurant). Designed to stand up to the elements of being tampered with, the glossy red steel repair stand offers an air pump and gauge along with all the basic tools a cyclist might need to perform simple repairs and maintenance when out for a ride. The tools, which include different sizes and types of screwdrivers, wrenches and Allen keys, are securely attached to the stand with stainless steel aircraft cables. “It’s very well-engineered,” says New Paltz Mayor Tim Rogers, who points out there is also a place on the stand where riders can hang their bike at an optimum height to work on it, allowing the wheels to spin freely and the bike frame to remain steady.
Free of charge to use, the bicycle repair stand was donated by local residents – longtime friends and avid cyclists – George Sifre, Rich Rowley and Tom Murray. For nearly two decades, the trio have taken annual bike trips together to different communities across the country. While on a cycling trip in bicycle-friendly Bentonville, Arkansas, the three came across public bike repair stands there and were inspired to bring that same convenience to New Paltz.
The cost of a stand with an air pump runs approximately $1,200. Sifre, Rowley and Murray donated the funds to New Paltz last year, after which the stand was purchased and shipped to Bicycle Depot, where it was assembled. A little brainstorming to determine a location to site the stand was done by the mayor — an avid cyclist himself — along with representatives of the Wallkill Valley Land Trust, Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, Rotary Club and the New Paltz Department of Public Works, who ultimately did the installation this spring when the weather allowed. (“It takes a village,” as they say.)
No ongoing maintenance costs for the repair stand are anticipated, says Rogers. The only part on it that might wear out, he notes, would be the PSI gauge for the pump, and Sifre, Rowley and Murray have already committed to replacing that on an annual or as-needed basis.
And the three friends have also pledged funds to buy the community a second bicycle repair stand, according to the mayor. A conversation with Open Space Institute has been initiated, he says, to talk about siting the repair stand on the River-to-Ridge trail connecting the village and Rail Trail to the foothills of the Mohonk Preserve. The stand would likely be placed next to the improved parking area on Springtown Road.
And there may be a trend afloat: after a Facebook post about the recent installation of the repair stand in the village, Mohonk Preserve expressed some interest to the mayor in having one available on their property.
Asked if cyclists don’t already carry their own tools with them, Rogers agrees that some do, but as with jumper cables in cars, not all drivers carry them, despite their inevitable use. And, he adds, “Just the pump alone on the stand is going to be helpful to a lot of people. We hope this encourages folks to get out and ride more, and take advantage of our world-class trails.”