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Gift Of Bicycles Arrives In Newtown

Published: July 04, 2019 at 07:00 am

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A generous offer made on April 9 came true Thursday, June 27, when more than 100 bicycles arrived in Newtown.

“I’m excited. The whole truck is full of bikes,” said Parks and Recreation Director Amy Mangold. She and Assistant Director of Parks Carl Samuelson met the truck at the maintenance garage across from Reed Intermediate School, last Thursday morning.

Dave White pulled up with a forklift to carry away pallets of boxed bicycles, moving them into the garage. Recreation staff member Andy DeWolfe assisted.

“Happiness is riding a bike,” read the phrase printed on every box.

Resident Brad Accettella on April 9 rolled a children’s bike into a Parks and Recreation Commission meeting.

His company, Guardian Bikes (guardianbikes.com), sells directly to consumers, he told recreation members. “Blemished bikes come back to the warehouse,” he said. Currently, about 100 bikes that are “in good shape” are at a warehouse in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Mr Accettella “would love to donate to Parks & Rec,” he had said.

He estimated a cost of roughly $3,500 to ship them to Newtown.

“Really, this is one of the best gifts I’ve seen; we’re thrilled,” commission Chairman Ed Marks said in April. “It makes great sense.”

The recreation department funded the shipment that arrived last week.

Ms Mangold watched as Mr White pulled stack after stack of boxed bicycles from the truck.

The Parks and Recreation Department and Parks and Recreation Commission have a goal to start a bike share program. Members hope to make the bikes available at Fairfield Hills by fall, when a plan is fully developed and approved by various departments, boards, and commissions as needed, Ms Mangold said.

With trails circling the grounds, skirting ball fields, and traveling through meadows and wooded areas, the Fairfield Hills trails are already filled with walkers, joggers, and bicycles.

During the April recreation commission meeting, Mr Accettella noted the bike’s safe-brake system, SureStop, making the bike stop safely. “We focus on safety and kids learning to ride a bike,” he said. “This has a special braking system, so you don’t flip over the handlebars.”

In 2013, the company introduced SureStop technology to the market, the website states. Guardian Bikes “was born” a few years later to “educate the industry on what a safer kids bike looked like.”

Commission members talked about providing helmets for bike riders, keeping track of the bikes, and potentially raising funds for additional costs.

Mr Accettella talked about the possibility of securing bike grants and also looking into “helping out” with helmets.

 

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