QUINCY – Darin Thomas of the PHAST Foundation hopes that the opening of an indoor bike park in the former E. Best Plumbing & Heating Supply Company building at 628 Jersey St. will not only be a center for physical activity but also for community service .
Thomas, who announced the project on Jan. 21 via his YouTube channel, said he founded PHAST, Promoting Health and Service Together, Foundation with his wife in 2009 during his freshman year of medical school.
The organization’s primary focus was on unique triathlons that required athletes to complete service projects between legs of the race. These projects could include making blankets or preparing meals.
This then evolved into 5k races and other fun and healthy activities that serve as a basis for giving back to a community.
“The whole principle is that you’re never too busy to help another person in need, even during a race,” Thomas said.
Thomas, who is from Oregon, and his wife, who is from California, found that there weren’t many children’s sports activities in Quincy during the winter. And while working as an intern at Blessing, Thomas noticed that many of his patients had a similar problem.
To give back to the community, Thomas thought of trampoline parks or parkour facilities, but realized they both had niche markets. Then he decided to ride a bike, as it was a universal physical activity.
“Most people can crawl onto a bike and enjoy a little ride, and that’s what we wanted to do,” Thomas said. “(We) remain loyal to the foundation and use this center as a hub for services.”
Once the facility is up and running, Thomas hopes to partner with local vendors to provide food and beverages that are priced at a premium to fund scholarships, meet utility bills for residents in need, or other charitable efforts.
He also hopes to purchase helmets, gloves and other gear through community service in Quincy.
“We use a person’s everyday needs and habits to spread kindness throughout Quincy,” Thomas said. “We really want to promote and integrate a healthy lifestyle.”
Chuck Bevelheimer, Quincy’s director of planning and development, said the property does not require a rezoning, but no documentation has been filed for the project at this time.