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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Bike addicts offer free fixes

    Kyle Colavito, a mechanical engineering graduate student and UA cycling club member, works on a students bike. The cycling club was on the UA Mall yesterday helping students with their bikes and promoting their club.
    Kyle Colavito, a mechanical engineering graduate student and UA cycling club member, works on a student’s bike. The cycling club was on the UA Mall yesterday helping students with their bikes and promoting their club.

    It was a scene that resembled freewheeling doctors in a field hospital.

    A rotating cast of the UA cycling club members spent the morning and afternoon huddled around bicycles clamped to repair stands during their semiannual Bike Day yesterday.

    The complimentary maintenance, fixes and advice offered to students on the UA Mall were intended to promote bike safety and to spread interest in the club, said club president Kyle Colavito, a graduate student in mechanical engineering.

    “”It’s nice for us to be out showing (students) how to get around safely,”” said Colavito.

    Club member Brian Meyer, a graphic design senior, knelt in the grass with magic markers to create signs that invited passing students to stop at 10 a.m.

    When students were hesitant to stop by, he chased a squeaky-chained rider down the bikeway and around the corner, waving a can of spray lube in hand.

    “”You have to be proactive about these kinds of things,”” said Meyer.

    A blistered rear tire and nearly frozen chain once crippled the first bicycle repaired by the club, a purple cruiser belonging to Yuan Wang, an economics graduate student.

    “”Wow,”” said Wang. “”I think I needed to fix that for a while.””

    By 11 a.m., a box of inner tubes and a small red toolkit proved to be center of attention as the cycling club lubed, tweaked and tightened, while a line of students formed to wait for the free expertise.

    Soon, other members of the club, like Melanie Meyers, a geography senior, rolled up to replace those who had to leave, on their way to attend class with grease-stained hands.

    While she raced before arriving at the UA, the club propelled her riding to new levels, with an array of road and mountain wins, Meyers said.

    “”It’s fun to meet other riders,”” said Meyers, who races for the Ford Motor Cycling Team. “”This is a great group of people to ride with.””

    The crew offered an occasional giggle at students riding in electric carts and handed out literature for BICAS, Tucson’s grassroots bicycle organization, while Jasmine Williamson waited for her bike’s turn under the tent.

    “”I’ve been thinking about getting my brakes fixed. I saw this and I was like, ‘sweet,'”” said Williamson, a psychology sophomore. “”I didn’t want to hit anyone, pedestrians are all slow and in the way.””

    Club members had doctored the loose bolts, leaks and sticky brakes of 70 bikes by the event’s 2 p.m. finish, said Colavito.

    The $35 membership in the club, which boasts about 35 students and faculty, offers group rides, barbecues and a “”good mix of people,”” said Colavito.

    Equipment discount is a major plus for members, said Ralph Phillips, 33-year owner of Fairwheel Bikes, 1110 E. Sixth St., which sponsors the UA cycling club.

    Phillips said he enjoys watching his team roll with the punches and respond to the sport, but he also appreciates the cycling club’s contribution to campus bike safety.

    “”Students have got to learn to be safe on them,”” said Phillips. “”A lot of them treat a bicycle like they’re walking.””

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