New Bike Skills Park brings neighbors together

By Melinda Musser, Communications & Marketing Manager

The Bike Skills Park at New Columbia is now a popular gathering spot for families, friends, and neighbors, bringing more people and attention to the once vacant lot that resides on the corner of N. Trenton Street and N. Woolsey Avenue.

“When I go to the garden, I see kids out here playing in the park all the time,” says Linda, a We All Can Ride leader.  Linda is thrilled that the Bike Skills Park is open all the time, providing all-day access to a fun and active space for her neighbors.

“It was utilized quite frequently during the Sunday Parkways, so other communities got to experience it,” notes Michelle, a fellow bike committee member. “I am hoping since they know it’s here now that they will come from other communities to visit our community and use it. This is what I thought about when I saw the people stopping with their kids.”

Elik, a soon-to-be 4th grader, is a resident of New Columbia and an active community volunteer at the Bike Repair Hub. He gained a tremendous amount of bike maintenance knowledge in such a short time, thanks to the instruction of our mechanics and skilled volunteers. We sat down with Elik to get his thoughts on the new Skills Park and the Repair Hub.

Elik, you help out here at the Bike Repair Hub. Tell me about your responsibilities?

What I do is I take the sign out and help people fix bikes – flats, chains, adjusting handlebars, and also helping people do stuff with their bikes. I learned from over at the Bike Hub. It was actually Forrest [who taught me].

Why do you think the new Bike Skills Park is so important?

People can enjoy themselves on their bikes, have fun with their bikes, and try pushing themselves to their limits.

What’s your favorite thing about bikes?

You can go places, like I said, have fun on them. When you need to go somewhere and you’ve got nothing but a bike, you just ride it. You don’t even have to get on the bus. It takes, like, 20 minutes [on a bus]. I went through that…me and my mom.

What’s the farthest place you’ve been on a bike ride?

The farthest was from here to Coos Bay Beach.

Wow, Coos Bay! Are you serious?

It’s a long, long way. Probably about 20 miles.

20 miles? I think it’s a little farther than that!

How about 30 miles. Me and my friend’s dad went.  It took three days to get there. We went camping. Good thing his dad brought at least a tent. Two tents. One for him and one for me and my friend.

Anything else you want to add about the Bike Skills Park?

I think this place is bringing people together. That’s what I think.

Photos by Melinda Musser

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