Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Bike Racks for Guests, Volunteers

It rained a little that recent Tuesday morning, but then the sun peered from behind the clouds, bathing the entrance to Mother Marianne’s West Side Kitchen with bright, warm rays. Sunlight also glistened off four black bicycle racks.

Matt VanSlyke installs bike racks
Matt VanSlyke of Utica Bike Rescue squatted close to the sidewalk as he bolted a rack to the concrete.

The four new racks, capable of accommodating eight bikes, were being installed as a community service.

Now patrons and volunteers who ride bikes to the soup kitchen have a place “to secure them safely,” noted West Side Boutique Coordinator Nancy Robert. She brought up the idea of the racks, after a couple of bike thefts, when she went to Utica Bike Rescue to see about getting a couple of bicycles for children who come to the soup kitchen.

Matt, by the way, is executive director of Utica Bike Rescue and not unsurprisingly, an avid bicyclist. Their mission is to promote bicycling as a healthy lifestyle while refurbishing bikes, promoting bike safety and providing bikes to “children, students, refugees and lower-income households.”


“We received a donation of a couple of dozen of these racks from a construction company,” Matt noted. “We want to offer them to community groups and non-profits.”

He added: “These are actually the first to go in – hopefully the first of many.”
Trying out the bike racks
Volunteer John Knight (2nd from left) was the first to try out the bike racks.
From left: Nancy Robert, John Knight, Matt VanSlyke, soup kitchen director Ed Morgan.


No comments: