The Daily Aztec

Campus bicycle stand repairs solo

by Denise Chang, Staff Writer

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On Thursdays at the San Diego State farmers’ market, environmental engineering senior Chad Larrieu works on a bicycle mounted on a stand. His hands are usually busy, either replacing a flat tube or working on the chains. Sometimes, students will stop by with their bicycles to pump up their tires or get help with their brakes. He works all for free at The Bike Stand.

“Chad is pretty much a lifesaver,” biology senior Eric Barbret said. “One of the times when I was getting help fixing a punctured tube, he noticed that I didn’t have front brakes. He went into his cart and pulled out all of the necessary parts to fix me up with some brakes. I had no idea I could even get my front brakes fixed.”

According to the stand’s business card, The Bike Stand is a community bicycle repair space where SDSU students can learn how to fix their bikes. Larrieu is currently the only active member working, and he said he loves what he does.

“I enjoy seeing how it helps people,” Larrieu said. “When you make their day and fix their bike, their main form of transportation, it’s like giving them a gift.”

Services at The Bike Stand include fixing flat tires, shifting issues and brake issues, as well as replacing tubes and more. Unless extra repairs are necessary, Larrieu said he tries his best to help bikers.

A donation box sits quietly by the equipment cart. However, Barbret bought him a burrito for his services.

“Chad does what he does out of the kindness of his heart,” Barbret said. “He never expects anything when he helps others, but it’s always good to show that we really appreciate what he does.”

Larrieu’s approach is hands-on as he teaches student bikers how to fix the problems for future reference.

“What Chad is doing is extremely helpful and a great learning experience,” Barbret said. “The Bike Stand isn’t a place to just get your bike tuned up, but an active learning experience where you’re taught how you can fix your own bike.”

Larrieu has maintained The Bike Stand for two years, but he said it has been a challenge since relocating from Campanile Walkway.

“It was right by the bike path,” Larrieu said. “Now, we only have people who knew about it before and are coming back. We’re not really drawing in more people.”

Larrieu will be graduating this December, but there is no one lined up to take on the stand. He said it would have to be someone familiar with Aztec Adventures and the Aztec Recreation Center, where all of the equipment is stored.

“It would be a huge bummer if they couldn’t find someone to take over,” Barbret said. “It is really cool to know that you can find help for bike problems on campus for free.”

The Bike Stand is located between the e3 booth and the record booth at the farmers’ market on Thursdays.

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