Wheels spin on bike shop

There’s a void in the Dunkirk area that will become even more evident once the warmer temperatures really kick in around April. Our region, with the March 1 closure of Spoke Folk, is without a bicycle shop.

It comes, for certain, at a bad time especially when you consider the strides being made on the waterfront in the city. Soon, there could be another hotel that would add to the tourism that already is evident — and has been growing — during the summer months.

In the community alone there are questions. Where will residents have bicycles looked at or repaired? Where will tourists go for rentals? And what about the giving ways of Spoke Folk? Rich Goodman, the organization’s founder, estimates nearly 1,000 bicycles were refurbished and donated back to residents here.

“One of the things Dunkirk and Fredonia don’t have … is a bicycle shop. So if you ride your bicycle, and this wasn’t here, and you had a problem, you’d have to take it to Jamestown, Buffalo, North East, Hamburg,” Goodman said. “A lot of people don’t have the facilities to do that, and the prices are very, very expensive.”

Already, Goodman has heard the complaints about the closing from residents seeking assistance. But no one has stepped forward, including the State University of New York at Fredonia or a number of other organizations, with a plan to keep it viable and have someone run it for the future.

There definitely was a need for the organization, and with it closed, will anyone or business step forward for what could be a growing niche in our community?