POCATELLO — Volunteers and city officials who are working to construct a new bike stop in south Pocatello hope it will be the first of many throughout the Portneuf Gap area.
The soon-to-be-constructed Creekside Stop will be located at Shoshoni Trail and Bannock Highway just south of Indian Hills Elementary School.
The tentative grand opening of the bike stop is scheduled for Sept. 1.
The multiple features of the 5,340-square foot Creekside Stop are designed to appeal to the large number of cyclists, walkers and joggers who utilize Bannock Highway throughout the year.
These features include a large water station designed to easily refill empty water bottles, multiple bike racks and custom-built bench shelters that will provide protection from rain and give local residents shade from the hot sun.
Creekside will also have a maintenance station that gives cyclists the tools to perform quick work on their bikes. The station will have a tire pump, screwdrivers, hex wrenches and two small bars for hanging a bike while performing maintenance.
Landscaping work, which will include flowers and decorative boulders, will be performed by LD Wolfley with Flowers by LD. Decorative seasonal grass will be planted to boost the bike stop’s aesthetics.
“With so many people walking, jogging and biking on Bannock Highway, I think it’s a great asset to our city and community,” said Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad.
Dr. Ryan and Amanda Hope donated the land to the city of Pocatello so it could be converted into Creekside Stop.
“We love Pocatello, and we wanted to do something for the community,” Amanda said.
Kirk Lepchenske, an employee with Barrie’s Ski and Sports, said Creekside Stop is located on a key stretch of Bannock Highway, a road often used by cyclists to ride to Arbon Valley, Inkom and McCammon.
Many of the area’s most popular trail systems, such as Gibson Jack and West Fork of Mink Creek, are also easily accessible off Bannock Highway.
“(Bannock Highway) leads to places where everybody wants to ride,” he said. “That’s why you see so many bikers on the highway.”
With the land donated by the Hopes, the biggest expense for the bike stop’s workers was the installation of the water lines for the bike stop’s water station.
However, a $10,000 donation from the organizers of Spinderella took care of that expense.
Spinderella, a bike ride and fundraiser that caters to women and girls, is held every June in Pocatello. Since the first ride was held in 2012, the event has grown substantially, attracting thousands of female cyclists from around the world. There were 1,200 participants in this year’s ride, which was held on June 17.
Over the past six years, more than $100,000 raised by the Spinderella rides has been donated to the local community through various charities and causes.
A portion of the funds raised during this year’s ride has been donated to help fund the construction of Creekside Stop.
“It’s just a great little thing to have here,” Spinderella founder DaNae Young said. “We just believe it is a great addition to the cycling community.”
Idaho Central Credit Union will also be donating $10,000 toward the construction of the bike stop.
Lepchenske, who is serving as the project manager for the construction of Creekside Stop, said that the project has received strong support from multiple local city officials, including Blad, Councilman Michael Orr and Development Engineer Merril Quayle.
Even the Bannock County Commission has agreed to allow any construction debris to be disposed of at the county landfill for free.
With the water lines installed, now the next step is to have the land graded and to add some pavement. Then, the construction of the bike stop’s features will begin immediately afterward.
Though the bike stop is located on city property, Lepchenske said the overall goal is to construct Creekside Stop entirely through the work of volunteers and private monetary donations.
Donations to the construction of Creekside Stop can be made to the City of Pocatello at P.O. Box 4169, Attn. Finance Department, Pocatello, ID, 83205. Checks must include the memo “Creekside Stop Donation.”
Though geared to cyclists, Blad said that Creekside Stop will also be utilized by other members of the community, including walkers and joggers who also use Bannock Highway.
In the future, he said he hopes to see similar bike stops constructed throughout the Portneuf Gap area.
“The biking community came up with a great idea, and I’m glad the city could help make it happen,” Blad said.