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Central NH bike coalition announces local grants

Four local programs will receive grant money as part of the Central New Hampshire Bicycling Coalition’s first-ever Community Bicycle Grant Program.

In total, the coalition awarded $7,500 in grants to organizations focused on making biking safer, more accessible and available to residents in their communities.

“The projects had to align with the mission. We really looked at these grants as difference-makers for some of these projects,” said Nicholas Coates, chairman of the coalition.

The coalition awarded $2,500 to the Winnipesaukee River Trail Association for construction of the Gulf Brook Bridge in Tilton; $1,500 to the Ashland HEAL Bike-Pedestrian Committee for parts and tools to repair bikes for its “Re-cycle” program; $500 to the Laconia Area Bicycle Exchange for bike parts, locks and helmets and $3,000 to Bike Manchester to buy and install bike racks near businesses and commercial properties in the city.

The grants were established through money raised from the annual bicycle swap the coalition holds at S&W Sports in Concord.

“We’ve been around for six years, and we had been doing projects for awhile and accomplished a lot. We thought now was as good a time as any to spread the wealth and help provide some innovation,” Coates said.

The coalition plans another round of grants next year, he said.

The coalition was established in 2008 with a mission to get more people on bikes through education, advocacy, infrastructure and support for improved bicycle access.

IAIN WILSON

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