Student-run bicycle store opens in Kambri

10 March 2020

Students, staff and the Canberra community will now be able to purchase bicycle accessories and have their bikes serviced on campus.

The new student-operated PARSA Cycles opened at Joplin Lane on Wednesday last week.

The shop fills a gap that was left when the last bicycle retailer decided not to reopen in the new Kambri precinct, following the closure of the Pop-Up Village in early 2019.

PARSA Cycles Manager Zac Kotzur, who is in his third year of a Bachelor of Design at ANU, has worked at bike shops for the past five years. His father is skilled in building bike frames.

"The community aspect was a big thing for me. After working in larger companies that are more profit-driven you get away from the fact that people just enjoy cycling. Being able to help people ride their bike and fix it is a great feeling," Zac says.

"Hearing from a lot of people who only ride to uni every day, not having a bike shop around to pick up something quickly has been a real problem."

The shop's opening is the tail end of PARSA's work with ANU to ensure the student-led business can open. It also provides a learning experience for students who may wish to open their own businesses in future.

Zac says running the business will be a learning experience for everyone involved.

 "It's also a good place to be able to reach out to other groups like the cycling club and other organisations throughout ANU to build a bit more of a cycling community in the uni itself."

Some of the activities they have planned include holding a series of workshops for bike enthusiasts around how to service and restore their bicycle.

"That way people will have the skills to also be able to do things themselves."

They may also consider a bicycle rental service in future but at this stage the plan is to focus on accessories, replacement parts and servicing. The services will be $10 for a tube change, $30 for a brake adjust, $40 for a gear adjust, $60 for a basic service and $100 for a general service which includes a thorough bike inspection and wheel true.

"If there are particular items people want, then we'd be open to ordering it in," he says.

Kieran Mala, who has deferred his Bachelor of Design degree for this semester, is working alongside Zac as a mechanic and sales assistant in the store.

"I'm really excited to do the community engagement stuff, so teaching people how to service their bikes and help with general questions," Kieran says.

"In my previous job I found there's lots of people who don't really know too much about how to maintain their bike and so teaching them is a lot of fun."

For opening times and to get involved in the store's upcoming workshops and activities, like their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/PARSACycles/  or visit their website parsacycles.com