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Groups join to install bike repair station at wilderness park

There’s a brand new feature to the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park that will make things easier for cyclists who need a quick repair.

The park debuted a new bicycle repair station on December 12, giving mountain bikers and road cyclists an opportunity to repair their rides at the park. The station was a collaborative effort between the city, the Rotary Club of Claremont, the Friends of the Claremont Wilderness Park and other local groups.

Tom Shelley, a Claremont Rotarian and volunteer park ranger, noticed the need for a bike repair station after seeing similar stations in nearby cities such as Rancho Cucamonga and La Verne.

When a park visitor would get a flat tire, for instance, “they would have to probably walk their bike home and probably take it to a bike shop to get it fixed,” Mr. Shelley said.

Mr. Shelley decided to reach out to a number of local groups to pitch in a few dollars to pay for the bike repair station after first getting the blessing from the city and the Friends.

Fred Cervantes, a program director for the city who oversees a number of different recreational aspects, including the Wilderness Park, saw it as a great project for the park.

“This was a shining example of community collaboration—our park having a need and the community coming together to fulfill that need,” Mr. Cervantes said.

Once Mr. Shelley got the go-ahead from the city, the rush to gather donations was on.

He went to the Upland Chamber of Commerce, which oversees the annual Tour de Foothills bicycle ride, and got a $500 donation from them. The Rotary Club of Claremont pitched in as well. Even the Claremont Senior Bike Group pitched in up to $300 in $20 single donations. Everything was coming together.

All told, Mr. Shelley raised just over $1,500 for the new bike repair station.

“Everybody came together and made the project happen,” Mr. Shelley said. “It was kind of a community effort between the city, the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park and the friends of the park to make this happen.”

The station features a bicycle pump to put air in tires, a stand to hang your bike and up to nine different tools attached to chains, including wrenches, screwdrivers and Allen wrenches.

“It’s just about every single tool you’d ever have to ever possibly need to do any work on your bicycle,” Mr. Shelley said.

The station is also sturdy enough to prevent vandalism, he added.

A group of volunteer park rangers and members of the senior bike group pieced the station together at the main gate of the park, Mr. Shelley said.

The location of the repair station was strategic, Mr. Shelley said. Having it at the main entrance at the top of Mills Avenue not only helps out mountain bikers in the Wilderness Park, but also road bikers who ride along Mount Baldy Road.

Mr. Cervantes said the station could not only help experienced cyclists, but novice bikers as well who don’t have the proper tools with them.

“If, let’s say, people aren’t used to being out in the park and riding their bike, they may not think of having these things to bring along with them,” he said. “So when they are in need, it is there.”

The station was officially unveiled on Thursday, December 12. Members of the Claremont Rotary Club, the Friends of the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park, and Mayor Larry Schroeder were on hand to cut the ribbon.

The next objective, Mr. Shelley said, is to get people in the know about this station. He told the COURIER he was thinking about additional signage to get more people to utilize the station.

“It could be a destination for people knowing it’s there and knowing they might need tweaking on their bike,” he said. “And they can go up there and pump their tires up and go for a ride.”

—Matthew Bramlett

news@claremont-courier.com

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