October 22, 2020

In Remembrance: James Faragher’70, Bike Whisperer

Beloit’s culture of cycling can be traced back to Jim and his friends.

James Faragher?70 James A. “Coach” Faragher’70, one of the illustrious builders and early managers of the Coughy-Haus bar on campus, died June 30 in Beloit.

Jim was a sports and beer aficionado and a one-man connection back to Beloit for generations of alumni. He never missed a Reunion and brought people together both in person and on social media with his own brand of intelligent and irreverent commentary.

Jim competed for years as an amateur road racer and developed exceptional skills working on bicycles. He started repairing and selling bikes from the storeroom of his dorm, and helped ignite a lasting passion for cycling on campus. Jim’s bike entrepreneurship grew what started as a college enterprise into the Zucchini Bike Shop, a longstanding retail operation on Wisconsin Avenue in Jim’s adopted home city of Beloit. He established the shop with his best friend Chaz Powers’70.

The biking culture Jim helped seed at Beloit is alive and well today. A new student-initiated, student-run bike lending and repair operation just launched in October after months of planning. Headquartered in the new Powerhouse, the project makes a fleet of bikes called Sinnissippi Cruisers available to students free of charge. Bob’80 and Jane Paschal Burns’81 provided the funds to launch the project, and after Jim’s passing, several of his avid cyclist contemporaries provided additional support in his memory.


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