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