FAIRIFIELD, CT -- Do you bike to work or school? Use a bicycle to save time or money? Or do you pedal simply to enhance your health while peacefully exploring Fairfield? Regardless of the reason, for all bicyclists riding in Fairfield, May 20 marks the official debut of a new town-provided support service any cyclist can use at no charge, according to the Town of Fairfield Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee.
At 9 a.m. on Saturday May 20 at Southport Beach, First Selectman Michael Tetreau and Health Department Director Sands Cleary will officially unveil the town of Fairfield’s new Air Pump and Bike Repair Stations available free to the cycling public. The ceremony, preceded by free bike adjustments demonstrated on the new Air Pump and Bike Repair Station equipment, is also the kickoff event to a festive “Ride around Fairfield” bike tour set to leave Southport Beach at 9:30 a.m. that day to celebrate National Bike Month.
In addition to the station at Southport Beach on the town’s Shoreline Bike Route, a second unit is in place at Brookside Park along the town’s Mill Plain Road Bike Route and plans for a third station are also in the works. The station includes all tools necessary to perform basic bike repairs and maintenance from changing a flat to adjusting brakes and derailleurs.
The tools and air pump are secured to the stand with stainless steel cables and tamper proof fasteners. Hanging the bike from the hanger arm allows the pedals and wheels to spin freely while making adjustments.
The morning festivities include free minor bike adjustments starting at 8:15 a.m. courtesy of professional bike repair technician Charlie Gander of Fairfield, owner of Cycle Dynamics in Westport, plus free water bottles and energy bars to the first 100 riders.
The approximately 12-mile long ride, which is open to the public and free, goes from Southport Beach along the Shoreline Route to Brookside Park along the Mill Plain Bike Route and back to Southport Beach. Bicycle tour participants are required to wear helmets. Children 14 and older capable of completing the ride can be part of the tour but must be accompanied by a parent.
“A well-tuned and maintained bike with properly inflated tires can be a safer bike and provide a happier, healthier experience for cyclists of all ages,” said Sands Cleary, Fairfield’s Director of Health. His department obtained the air and repair stations with a state of Connecticut grant covering the full cost of equipment.
“We’ve seen these repair stations in use in a growing number of communities in the U.S. and around the world. Now it is Fairfield’s turn to take a leadership role supporting the regional cycling community,” said Keith Gallinelli, chairman of the Town of Fairfield Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee.
PHOTO ID: Tim Bezler of Fairfield examines the town’s new stainless steel, tamper proof Bicycle Repair and Air Pump Station at Southport Beach. A second station is in place at Brookside Park near Mill Plain Road. The units were obtained by the Town of Fairfield with a grant from the State of Connecticut.