A bike share project in Solon is gaining momentum, thanks in large part to a donation from the Solon Rotary.
Last week, Solon city officials accepted a $7,000 donation from the Rotary to support “Solon Spins,” a project to provide residents of all ages an opportunity to bicycle.
The project is a joint collaboration between the Solon Senior Center and Solon Recreation Department.
“It fits perfectly for us, and we are excited about it,” Donald W. Holub, recreation director, said.
Senior Center Director Jill Frankel explained to the City Council Finance Committee last week that although bicycling has both physical and mental benefits, it is not accessible to all.
“It requires strength and the ability to balance, as well as endurance to pedal,” she said. “For some, bicycles are not accessible due to cost and storage issues.”
The Solon Spins program will minimize these challenges, she said, by providing residents an opportunity to borrow age-friendly bicycles.
Although the number to be purchased has not yet been determined, the age-friendly bikes will include all different kinds, such as a child tricycle, a bicycle with training wheels, a step-through bike, adult tricycle and recumbent bike.
Three standard hybrid bicycles will also be purchased, along with bicycle helmets, baskets and bags for transporting items via the borrowed bicycle.
Through the grant, the city will also purchase a storage shed to safely store the bicycles and equipment, Ms. Frankel said.
Bicycles will be available to borrow through the senior center and Solon Community Center.
Beyond just offering bikes to borrow, the Solon Spins project will focus on bicycle education,Ms. Frankel added.
The first educational session was held earlier this month and presented by Bike Cleveland, with a handful of residents taking part and Mayor Edward H. Kraus also taking part in the ride. The Solon Police Department and Solon Bicycle will also offer an ongoing bicycle education program.
“We want our residents to enjoy biking our city, but we also want everyone to be safe while doing so,” he said. “We really encourage everyone to take advantage of the bike safety education that Solon Spins and the Solon Police Department are offering.”
Solon Rotary President Chris Janson said the club and the Solon Senior Center have had a longstanding relationship and the seniors are a “strong group of volunteers” at the Rotary’s monthly food pantry.
“We thought this was a real nice project that fit in with our mission, which is really providing benefits to people who need it,” Mr. Janson said. “We saw a lot of opportunities here and were happy to get involved and give the donation.”
The Rotary, comprised of about 24 members, also provides monthly a produce distribution for seniors.