Cyclists dedicate repair station in Arlington Heights to memory of Jim Shoemaker

  • Members of local bike clubs who raised money for a bench and repair station in Frontier Park in Arlington Heights gather for a ceremony Saturday dedicating them to the memory of local biking enthusiast Jim Shoemaker.

      Members of local bike clubs who raised money for a bench and repair station in Frontier Park in Arlington Heights gather for a ceremony Saturday dedicating them to the memory of local biking enthusiast Jim Shoemaker. James Kane | Staff Photographer

  • Gary Gilbert was one of the leaders of the effort to raise money for a bench and repair station in Frontier Park in Arlington Heights in memory of local biking enthusiast Jim Shoemaker.

      Gary Gilbert was one of the leaders of the effort to raise money for a bench and repair station in Frontier Park in Arlington Heights in memory of local biking enthusiast Jim Shoemaker. James Kane | Staff Photographer

  • Members of local bike clubs gather around the park bench they dedicated in Frontier Park in Arlington Heights in honor of longtime biking enthusiast Jim Shoemaker. His daughter, Carrie, is in the white parka.

      Members of local bike clubs gather around the park bench they dedicated in Frontier Park in Arlington Heights in honor of longtime biking enthusiast Jim Shoemaker. His daughter, Carrie, is in the white parka. James Kane | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 12/8/2019 2:29 PM

About 50 people participated in a ceremony Saturday dedicating a park bench and bicycle pump and repair station in Frontier Park in honor of Jim Shoemaker, an avid cycling enthusiast and longtime Arlington Heights resident, who died about a year ago at age 83.

Local cyclists raised more than $3,000 for the project after the Arlington Heights Bike Club's Gary Gilbert, Tom Drabant and Paula Matzek first discussed the idea of a memorial eight months ago. Members of the Wheeling Wheelmen and the Mount Prospect Bike Club helped in the project.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Speakers said Shoemaker was a mentor and advocate. "He was a prankster as well," said Drabant, president of the bike club.

"We know for sure the pump will get a lot of use when we come here to ride," said club member Gilbert, recalling his friend's serious side and willingness to stand up for what was right.

"We're going to miss all his stories and reminisces," said Matzek, the club's vice president.

"He walked, talked biking all the time," said his daughter, Carrie Shoemaker. "This is amazing. Thank you."

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