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Cyclist Larry Skalak was a “do-it-yourself” kind of guy, so it’s fitting the cycling community remembers Skalak’s life by dedicating a fixit station to him on the Virginia Capital Trail, Ted Moreland of Williamsburg Area Bicyclists said.
The station, located near the entrance to Chickahominy Riverfront Park, features a tire pump, eight tools attached to cables, equipment to hang a bike for repair, a slot to hold a bike while pumping up a tire, a bench and a bike rack.
The dedication, scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Saturday, is one of several events planned for the grand opening weekend of the Virginia Capital Trail, a 52-mile paved trail that connects cyclists and pedestrians to Richmond, the current state capital, and Jamestown, a former state capital.
Moreland said Skalak, a WAB member who died last year from a heart attack, took up cycling in 2006 and biked more than 80,000 miles.
“He was an inspiration to us all to get out there and ride,” Moreland said.
The cost to build the station and furnish a memorial plaque was covered by donations from WAB members as well as in-kind donations from ABBA Concrete, A. Morris Construction, Branscome Inc., Guernsey Tingle Architects and Wright Signs.
David Wilson, owner of Williamsburg bicycle shop BikeBeat and a member of the board of directors for the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation, said the fixit station is a convenient place for cyclists to made adjustments to their bicycles that would otherwise be a barren place.
“I certainly appreciate the effort to memorialize him and his legacy in regards to cycling,” Wilson said. “I think it’s quite appropriate that he’s remembered in that way and it will be a position on the Capital Trail that will always be noticed.”
Moreland said WAB will deed the station over to James City County Parks and Recreation. John Carnifax, parks and recreation director, said the fixit station is the first one on the Virginia Capital Trail.
“It’s an asset to the trail and it’s good customer service,” Carnifax said.
Moreland said despite the weekend’s forecast, which includes the approach of Hurricane Joaquin, the dedication ceremony will still take place.