Non-profit group plans to open on site of former bike shop | Local News

BENNINGTON – Bennington will soon join Burlington and a handful of other Vermont communities in hosting a non-profit bicycle sales and repair center.

The Bike Hub, a non-profit organization that formed in part to preserve bike services in the area after Highlander Bicycle closed, announced on Monday that it had purchased the store’s remaining assets and secured a lease. for 160 Benmont Ave. Mill location.

“We are moving as quickly as possible to open up,” said Al Bashevkin, chairman of the nonprofit center’s board. “We are excited to become a vibrant space with comprehensive services and robust programs, and we know that many families feel the immediate need for local bike tune-ups, sales and programs while the weather is nice and the children are out. school. Fundraising to hire staff and increase our inventory is key to our full openness.

HOPE TO OPEN SOON

Bike Hub executives said they hope to hold an open house and start limited hours, served by volunteers, as soon as next month.

For now, the group is looking to hire a chief mechanic, recruit volunteers and raise funds to help open the store’s doors, said Madison Kremer, board member of Bashevskin and Bike Hub, in a press release.

Anyone interested in supporting the efforts or applying for the position can email [email protected] or visit ourbikehub.com.

“I’m so excited to see this new venture being launched,” said Peter Hall of Highlander Bicycle. “It has been wonderful to see this vision evolve and come to fruition. I am pleased that the Bennington area once again has a community bike shop and that additional programs are being added to strengthen the cycling community and encourage healthy lifestyles.

BIKE CLINICS AND MORE

The Bike Hub will provide opportunities not typical of a for-profit venture, group members said, including a focus on youth mentorship, bike safety workshops and advocacy, affordable pricing on bikes and repairs, volunteer-run bike repair clinics and more.

The group’s stated mission is to “promote healthy lifestyles, empower young people by developing their skills, confidence and independence, make cycling accessible and safer for all, create a cycling culture and community strengths, and to encourage the use of bicycles for transportation, as well as fun, fitness and adventure.

By acquiring the assets of a former established store near the soon-to-be-open Benmont Rail Trail, Bike Hub members said they hope to move quickly to expand services and programs.

Members said the Bike Hub was formed with the vision of the tri-state area around Bennington becoming “a vibrant cycling community where bikes are accessible to everyone, where health and wellness are celebrated, where young people are empowered and where cycling is a life. activity.”

They said they hoped to emulate nonprofit bicycle organizations like Burlington’s The Old Spokes Home.

Jim Therrien writes for Vermont News and Media, including Bennington Banner, Manchester Journal, and Brattleboro Reformer. Email [email protected]