Last Sunday, a Ford F-150 drove through Wills Kinsley’s garage crushing his tools used to maintain and repair bikes in Trenton. Kinsley, who serves as COO for Trenton Cycling Revolution, was then greeted with a wave of community support. There were offers to help Kinsley fix his garage, but Kinsley turned them down. “Instead, the insurance will cover that,” Kinsley said, “People want to know how to help. Well, we’re going to redirect it to something that will benefit everyone.
This support was quickly redirected to the creation of a bicycle garage on N Clinton Street. Volunteers came with work gloves, work jeans and their thickest sweatshirt against the cold November day on Saturday to help Kinsley clean up the garage to build a community bike store in the heart of Trenton.
As cycling became a popular activity and form of transportation during the pandemic, bicycle shops across the region have seen an increase in the need for bicycle repairs and sales. To add to this, Trenton is a very accessible town on foot and by bike, with the flat area allowing cyclists to easily pass through town. “The city of Trenton is a small town,” said Sonia Szczesna, outreach coordinator for Trenton Cycling Revolution. “So, it’s ready to be a super passable city on foot and by bike. ”
The community bike store hopes to be a space where young people and adults can learn how to repair bikes, work on their bikes with public tools, or participate in volunteer bike repair classes. “The idea is that he will have tools and parts available to the public. There will be our weekly hours, and it will be adult and youth classes on how to fix bikes, ”Kinsley said.
Trenton Cycling Revolution is a completely voluntary community organization founded in the 90’s. Its mission is to create a safe zone for cyclists in the Greater Trenton area. “The Trenton Cycling Revolution sort of grew out of the annual Trenton Bike Tour, which probably started between 20 and 25 years ago,” said Jim Simon, board member for Trenton Cycling Revolution. “I’ve been involved in the trend of the cycling revolution for probably about 13 years or so, helping, you know, organize bike rides, giving bike gifts, and just you know, encouraging people to do cycling in the city of Trenton. “
There are still volunteer opportunities to come; donations are accepted on www.TrentonCycling.org and Trenton Cycling Revolution’s Facebook for more dates to help with this endeavor.
“I’m excited that (the cyclists in Trenton) just have a place to go whenever they need to fix something or want to fix something or just want to hang out, so I think this will be a great hub. for the community, ”Szczesna says.