We launched Athens Bicycle in 1998 with the goals of fostering a cycling community in our hometown. We believe that bicycling and community go hand in hand, and that a a great bike shop is an important part of a great community. Here are some of the ways we support the Athens community.
— Peter Kotses & Meredith Erlewine
Peter serves on Athens City Council as an at-large member, where is is a vocal advocate of complete streets and active transportation.
As a volunteer with the Athens City-County Health Department, Meredith was selected to receive extensive training through the Ohio Department of Health and Yay Bikes! to help others learn to ride confidently on city streets. Through the health department, she provides training in safe cycling and using bicycles as transportation.
As a volunteer ride leader with Athens Bicycle Club, Meredith helps host a series of Kids & Family Bike Rides, offering young children and their parents an opportunity to enjoy cycling together and to learn about bikes and bicycling.
Peter was instrumental in developing the city’s application to be designated a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. Athens received bronze-level designation in 2015, based on an extensive application process that effectively demonstrated the city’s investments in bicycling infrastructure as well as the bicycling culture in the community; the fact that the city has a Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan; and the presence of various bike advocacy groups. Athens is one of only 17 Bicycle Friendly Communities in Ohio.
In 2016 Peter took the lead on putting together a team of community members who are developing a new recreation area on 6,000 acres of Wayne National Forest property, in collaboration with Athens Bicycle Club and WNF officials. The master plan for this project includes 100 miles of potential trail optimized for mountain biking. The goal is for the Athens area (including 45 miles of existing trail at Strouds Run and Lake Hope state parks) to be recognized as a mountain biking destination.
Meredith is president of the Friends of Strouds Run State Park, where she advocates for and supports the park.
As a volunteer mountain bike skills instructor for the Central Ohio Mountain Bike Organization, Meredith offers rider education on basic mountain bike skills, trail safety and etiquette. All participant fees go right back to COMBO to maintain and build new trails in central Ohio. Meredith is an IMBA-certified Level 2 mountain bike skills instructor.
As a member of Athens Bicycle Club and a local trail steward, staff member Tim Kirkendall puts in countless volunteer hours at Strouds Run State park removing dead trees, re-routing water so that mud puddles don’t form, and clearing brush so that trail users can better enjoy the woods.
Pete and Meredith are long-time members and past officers of the Athens Bicycle Club. In the late 1990s, Pete played an instrumental role in gaining approval from land managers at Lake Hope State Park for ABC to build trails at the park; since then ABC has built more than 20 miles of singletrack trail there. Pete also participated in meetings that resulted in the club gaining access to build trails at Strouds Run State Park, where there are now 24 miles of trails open to mountain bikers.
Peter is a past member of the Athens to Belpre Rail Trail Committee, the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway Advisory Committee, the Athens Land Conservation Advisory Committee and the Moonville Rail Trail Association, and is a past board member of the Friends of Strouds Run State Park
Since 2001, Athens Bicycle has been a lead sponsor of the Athens Bike Rodeo, a children's bicycle safety event organized by OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital. The Bike Rodeo features safety checks, a bicycle skills course and free helmets for kids. The Bike Rodeo has distributed free helmets to thousands of local kids.
Annually at the Nelsonville Music Festival, Athens Bicycle sponsors bike parking for all festival participants. At the bike corral, festival-goers can park their bike securely and for free. Hundreds of attendees use this service.
Annually in March Athens Bicycle sponsors the Gravel Rouser Classic, featuring four days of mountain bike racing and fun rides.
Each September, Athens Bicycle sponsors the Pawpaw Double Nickel Road Ride in conjunction with the Ohio Pawpaw Festival at Lake Snowden.
Throughout the year we offer repair workshops, cycling clinics, group rides and special events. These activities offer opportunities for cyclists to meet and network with other individuals who share their interests.