MONTE VISTA — The second sponsored artisan bicycle rack was installed on Tuesday, March 29 on Washington Street, in front of the U.S. Post Office in Monte Vista.
The idea for the sponsored bike racks began with Jennifer Nearing and Laura Conchelos. Nearing is an avid bike rider and Conchelos also had the idea for the bike racks. Conchelos and Nearing presented the idea for the bike racks to the OptiMystics Citizens Actions Network with their belief that it would be a great way to encourage more activity in Monte Vista. Nearing enjoys riding her bicycle everywhere, but does not always have a place to lock her bicycle, when she enters stores or visits places in Monte Vista.
The OptiMystics proposed the idea to the City in December of 2021, suggesting that the racks would benefit both citizens and businesses, as it would allow residents to lock up their bikes or motorized devices, while they shop or work, in different locations in Monte Vista.
Ken Hamko, a co-founder of the OptiMystics, explained that each rack would be unique, and created by local artist John Patterson, who uses old metal farm parts to create sculptures. The racks would be paid via a sponsorship. The sponsor could choose to display the rack or pay to have it decorated, but the cost would be covered by the sponsor. Each rack would be placed at businesses or parks in Monte Vista.
The City decided to allow the bike racks to be installed, with permission from the City or local businesses for the installation, and the artisan bicycle rack installation project went from a dream to a reality.
The second rack was sponsored by Bill and Bernadette Hagendorf, the Hagendorfs have a son who enjoys riding his motorized scooter everywhere, but like Nearing, does not always have a place to lock up his scooter, while visiting businesses and stores.
Both Nearing and Bernadette Hagendorf were present at the installation.
"Monte Vista is a hardy town," Bernadette said. "Its historic buildings are solid with wonderful architectural style, just look at our amazing Post Office. As Monte Vista's current generation, we are responsible for preserving our structures and history for generations to come. We should all do whatever we can to preserve this. Pride doesn't cost money it's free and we should all be proud of where we live. This is really great, we were very happy to sponsor this."