Shifting Gears

IAN LACK Reporter

New bicycle repair shop to help monetarily challenged individuals.

By foot. By longboard. By roller-skates. By car. Students at SDSU have always gotten around campus in multiple ways, and one of the well-used mediums for transportation on campus has a new location for repairs and upgrades.

Opened on Oct. 3, Bicycle House is a new spot for students and non-students alike in Brookings who want to buy a used bicycle, make repairs to the one they have or are just interested in the mechanics of bicycles.

Founder Caleb Evenson had previously volunteered at a repair shop in Portland, Ore. When he returned to South Dakota, he felt that Brookings deserved a place like the one he worked at. So, with the help of friends Ming Stephens and Luke McCullouth, the trio started working out of his house. Then, they moved their services to a new location, behind the Cottonwood Coffee building in Brookings.

The Bicycle House space is currently owned by Sioux River Bicycle and Fitness. The shop orders various parts and tools through the store as needed.

For students, Bicycle House offers a space with tools needed to repair bikes, and if they don’t know how, staff members can always give them guidance to the best of their abilities.

While it has been pretty slow for the shop so far, they’re always open to welcoming anyone interested in what the shop has to offer.

The trio said the biggest problems they see students run into are flat tire repairs, brake and shift replacements and bike chains with not enough lubrication. They say the bike chain is often the part of the bike that requires the most attention because it stretches and wears out over time and requires proper lubrication for gears.

The shop has already sold a number of its bikes, they say largely to international students, and it really makes a difference in students’ lives.

“We’re really glad to help out,” Evenson said. “That was our primary motivation in starting this, making something that’s inclusive economically.”

McCullouth agreed.

“I think we provide students with a lot more affordable and sustainable way to get around town. I know for me personally, I wouldn’t have been able to start biking around town if I would’ve had to get a new bike,” McCullouth said.

At the moment, the shop focuses on repair and distribution of bikes. However, they have expressed interest that in the future, they would like to be an outreach for victims of bike theft, helping them find their lost property. They hope that Brookings will become more bike-friendly in that way and that perhaps the city would also lead the way in terms of making roads more inclusive for bikes and making biking throughout the campus more accessible.

“People who want to learn about the mechanics of bikes can always come in,” Stephens said. “You don’t need a bike with problems to come on in. We can always take your help and get bikes out into the Brookings community to be useful