There are many people who live in the Navajo region of New Mexico. Spanning over 29,500 square miles, bicycling is just a regular way of life in the area. However, there’s one problem: there isn’t a single bicycle repair shop that is anywhere nearby.
In the past, residents would often travel to towns as far as Gallup just to get their bikes repaired. Thus, a hardcore group of bike-enthusiasts decided to bring a repair shop to the desert.
This group is called the Silver Stallion Bicycle & Coffee Works. They are travelling across the lands to do free bike repairs for the Navajo Nation as a type of relief against the pandemic.
In 2020, Silver Stallion got a grant from the New Mexico Economic Development Department to help cover the expenses of their venture.
They also got help from the Southwest Indian Foundation who donated a delivery truck to them, while the Catena Foundation awarded a grant to cover the operating costs of the truck.
In the past summer, Myron Billy, a Stans-Pivot Pro Team mechanic, travelled to Gallup in New Mexico, helped to outfit the newly donated truck to become a mobile and portable bike shop.
From September to November of 2020, Myron and the Silver Stallion crew held thirteen separate repair events, across seven different communities in the Navajo Nation. They also repaired 425 bikes in the process.
All events were hosted by the community members of the Navajo Nation community schools and chapter houses.
The mobile repair center of the Silver Stallion crew was basically a grassroots movement that was led by various Diné mechanics and other riders like Myron. For Myron, he had experience working across the World Cup mountain bike circuit, and this experience helped him in ensuring the success of the bike operation.
You see, the goal was to make as many bikes as rideable as possible, and Myron became a mentor for many of the other mechanics there.
The Silver Stallion also used donated and gently used parts from other companies like Clif Bar Pro Team and Stans No Tubes — alongside salvaged goods and parts from old bikes.
It’s great that the crew extremely experienced at their craft. They freed up seized freehubs, slimed tubes to prevent them from getting punctures from goatheads (a fancy type of seed), and outfitted bikes with housing and new cables.
So far, the effort was pretty successful, especially given the urgency and necessity of the project. The need was so great, that they had to cut off the number of bikes early on at each event.
In the future, including this upcoming spring, the Silver Stallion crew hopes to continue their free bike repairs. It seems that they operate on the belief that cycling is a great activity for the kids and their community.
Plus, cycling helps others to rediscover the joy and fun that many people lost in the pandemic.
Silver Stallion had seen plenty of horrors and struggles that the people had and realized the importance of delivering such a service across the Diné lands. Recently, they decided to do fundraisers for five different mountain bike teams for the kids.
I mean, if you think about it, it helps to expand on the cycling lifestyle, especially since it’s such a healthy exercise. Yes, you get your daily workout, some fresh air, friendly competition, and some sense of purpose, all the while having fun.
If you want to support the efforts of the Silver Stallion, they do have a fundraiser in the works. The Silver Stallion are also accepting donations in the form of bikes and parts, especially for the kids’ teams.
If you want to find more about them, you can check out this website here.