Biking gets easier in Fairfield
Updated 2:09 pm, Thursday, May 18, 2017
FAIRFIELD — The town is pumped to celebrate National Bike Month with a “Ride Around Fairfield” bike tour and the unveiling of two new bike repair stations.
“We’ve seen these repair stations in use in a growing number of communities in the U.S. and around the world,” said Keith Gallinelli, chairman of the town’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee. “Now it is Fairfield’s turn to take a leadership role supporting the regional cycling community.”
The first air pump and bike repair station is located at Southport Beach on the towns’ Shoreline bike route, while the second is at Brookside Park, on the Mill Plain Road bike route. There is no charge to use the stations, which will be officially unveiled Saturday at 9 a.m. at Southport Beach by First Selectman Mike Tetreau and Sands Cleary, the Health Department director.
Prior to the ceremony, there will be a demonstration of free bike adjustments, starting at 8:15 a.m., by Charlie Gander, a professional bike repair technician and owner of Cycle Dynamics in Westport. The first 100 riders will also receive free water bottles and energy bars.
“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,” Cleary said. The Health Department purchased the air and repair stations with a state grant that covered 100 percent of the cost.
There are plans for a third station, each of which includes all tools necessary to perform basic bike repairs and maintenance — from changing a flat to adjusting brakes and derailleurs.
Following Saturday’s unveiling will be the bike tour, which starts at 9:30 a.m. from Southport Beach. The ride, about 12 miles long, is free and open to the public. The tour goes along the Shoreline Route to Brookside Park, along the Mill Plain Route, and then back to Southport Beach. Tour participants must wear helmets. Children 14 and over can ride, but must be accompanied by a parent.
The Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee was established in 2015 to help implement the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, and several bike routes have been established, marked with signs for both motorists and pedestrians. The town also has a program that allows people to borrow a bike.