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The Upland Area Greenways Association offers a free bicycle tune-up

Sophomore Alyssa Roat poses with her mended bicycle. (Photograph by Halie Owens)

Sophomore Alyssa Roat poses with her mended bicycle. (Photograph by Halie Owens)

By Hope Bolinger | Echo

“I have spent so long trying to fix my bike and gotten nowhere, and they made it good as new in five minutes,” sophomore Alyssa Roat said.

Roat arrived at the Upland Lions Club park to receive a treatment on her bicycle’s seat, handlebars and kickstand. When she pulled into the parking lot, the number of people in line several from Taylor surprised her. Mike Falder, executive director of development estimated the volunteers fixed 20 bikes during the two-hour event from 1-3 on Saturday. Roat said the mechanics worked fast, mending a bicycle anywhere from five to 30 minutes.

Cyclists with broken bike chains or even those who wanted their training wheels removed such as one child, Roat recalls attended the event. The guests filtered through two stations upon their entrance to the event. The tune-up, Falder claimed, was busy throughout the entire time it was running. Mechanics such as Mike Saunier and freshman Chase Christeson fixed bicycles at the event.

Saunier said he enjoyed working on the bikes and sharing his expertise with others. Bringing 20 years of repair experience to the table, he fixed a handful bicycles at the event within the two hours.

The Upland Area Greenways Association (UAGA), with the help of Mike Guebert, Taylor Bike Kitchen and Wandering Wheels, formed this event for several reasons. For instance, UAGA wanted to be a part of Upland’s 150th birthday through this function. Falder listed a few others:

“We wanted to serve the community through a free bike repair and encourage healthy lifestyles. The big idea of the Upland Area Greenways Association is to create a system of bike and walking trails around Upland, but also connecting a trail to the Cardinal Greenway in both Jonesboro and Gaston.”

English Hall Director Julia Hurlow expressed her appreciation for the event after the mechanics lubricated her tire chain and adjusted her breaks. “I am very thankful for their bike skills and (being) willing to offer this service to the community,” Hurlow said. Roat also attested to the mechanics’ finesse, asserting they knew what they were doing.

Although Falder says the UAGA does not have a set date for another tune-up next year, both Hurlow and Roat encourage the Taylor community to attend if the event does, in fact, take place in the future.

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