Bike Repair Clinic offers tuneups, inspections

In partnership with East Carolina University Parking and Transportation, ECU Sustainability has resumed operation of its weekly Bike Repair Clinic, offered Wednesdays from 2-6 p.m. outside the Main Campus Student Center.

The free service was offered prior to the COVID-19 pandemic but was put on hold due to staffing challenges, said Chad Carwein, university sustainability manager. The clinic resumed in mid-February, offering an opportunity for members of the ECU community to get their bikes tuned up and to learn how to do routine maintenance.

Trent Hohenstreiter works on a bicycle during the Bike Repair Clinic outside the Main Campus Student Center.

Trent Hohenstreiter works on a bicycle during the Bike Repair Clinic outside the Main Campus Student Center. (ECU photo by Cliff Hollis)

Services include brake and shifter adjustments, chain lubrication, tire alignment and overall inspections.

“It is fairly easy to bike around our community, and we are offering bike repair services so that students, staff and faculty feel comfortable biking to and from campus,” Carwein said. “The weather will be getting warmer soon, so come get a tuneup, hop on your bike, get some exercise, and reduce your personal carbon footprint by utilizing active transportation.”

Trent Hohenstreiter, who is pursuing a master’s degree in kinesiology with a focus on sport and exercise psychology, is the bike mechanic for the program. Hohenstreiter began cycling as a student at Indiana University, where he not only commuted by bike, but also joined a team to compete in an intramural bike race called the Little 500.

“Outside of class I would ride all around the Bloomington area and surrounding areas, totaling around 250-300 miles a week, all in preparation for the Little 500. This led me to also racing collegiately for IU, where I eventually raced at the U.S. Collegiate Nationals Road Race and Criterium,” he said. “I learned a lot throughout my time cycling and understand the struggles of not knowing what to do to get my bike running smoothly. I enjoyed doing this for my rookies on my Little 500 team and figured it would be a fun thing to do for the people at ECU.”

There are a lot of benefits to riding a bicycle, Hohenstreiter said, from saving money on gas and parking to getting exercise and being environmentally friendly.

“Whether it is riding my bike to class or for a workout, I have an overall feeling of satisfaction after,” he said. “There’s always new things to see and many more places you can take your bike that you cannot take your car.”

By increasing the popularity of cycling, Hohenstreiter said, the community will become more aware of cyclists, making the roads safer for both cyclists and drivers. He hopes the Bike Repair Clinic will be a step toward making it easier for more Pirates to get on their bikes and ride.