Last Sunday, a Ford F-150 plowed through Wills Kinsley’s garage crushing his tools used to maintain and repair bikes within Trenton. Kinsley, who serves as Chief of Operations for Trenton Cycling Revolution, was then greeted with an outpouring of support from the community. There were offers to help Kinsley repair his garage, but Kinsley declined it. “Instead, insurance will cover that,” Kinsley said, “People want to know how to help. Well, we’ll redirect it to like something that’ll benefit everybody.”
That support was quickly redirected toward creating a cycling garage on N Clinton Street. Volunteers came out with work gloves, and work jeans, and their heaviest sweatshirt against the cold November day on Saturday to help Kinsley clean out the garage to build a community bike shop in the heart of Trenton.
As biking became a popular activity and way of commuting during the pandemic, bike shops across the area have seen upticks in the need for bike repairs and sales. To add to this, Trenton is a very walkable and bike-able city, with the flat area making it easy for bikers to traverse the city. “The city of Trenton is a small city,” “Sonia Szczesna, an outreach coordinator with Trenton Cycling Revolution, said. “So it’s primed to be a super walkable, super bike-able city.”
The community bike shop hopes to be a space where youth and adults can learn bike repair, work on their bikes with public tools, or participate in volunteer bike repair lessons. “The idea is that it will have tools and parts available for public use. It will have our weekly hours, and they’ll be classes for adults and youth about how to fix bicycles,” Kinsley said.
Trenton Cycling Revolution is an all-volunteer community organization founded in the 90s. Its mission is to create a safe area for bicyclists across the Greater Trenton Area. “Trenton cycling revolution kind of emerged out of the annual Trenton Bike Tour, which started probably between 20 and 25 years ago,” Jim Simon, a board member on Trenton Cycling Revolution, said. “I’ve been involved the trend in cycling revolution for probably around 13 years or so, helping to, you know, organize bike rides, doing bike giveaways, and just you know, getting people excited about biking in the city of Trenton.”
There are still volunteer opportunities to come; donations are being accepted on www.TrentonCycling.org and Trenton Cycling Revolution’s Facebook for more dates to help with this endeavor.
“I’m psyched that (Trenton cyclists) just going to have a place to go whenever they need to repair something or want to repair something or just want to hang out, so I think this will be a great hub for the community,” Szczesna said.
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