Lafayette eighth graders help restore bikes for those in need


LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- Eighth-grade Lafayette students are helping provide wheels and opportunities to those in need by giving a hand in a restoration project.

Students at David Thibodeaux STEM Academy are getting hands-on with this assignment, restoring bikes to give back to the community.

Rusted, unused and broken-down bicycles are getting a brand new touch. “We’re trying to find the right size washers to fix the tires. Once we get the tires on, that’s all we need,” Caitlyn Comeaux, an eighth-grade student, explained.

Zeke D’Avy is the RoaterExplorer teacher who decided to partner with Bike Lafayette last year for this initiative.

“For me to be able to be the first one to teach them righty tighty, lefty loosey. You should wear eye protection safety, or this is how you undo a bolt,” said D’Avy.

They’re using STEM skills to learn the metrics, problem solving, tools, and principles of engineering.

“Everything works on it. It’s a lot of rust. The chain doesn’t really move a whole lot,” said Joel Prindel, a student describing the bike he was working on.

Bike Lafayette is a group aimed to offer transportation to those in need while diverting bikes from landfills. Students are volunteering their time to help.

 “It does really feel good that you’re able to help people. I mean, if you had the opportunity to help people, I don’t see why you wouldn’t,” said Comeaux.

Whether it’s for transportation or recreation, students are salvaging parts, recycling, and re-assembling. “And they realize that a bike, that we take for granted, is something number one not everyone has guidance, and number two there’s also a lot of engineering that goes along with a set of bikes,” said D’Avy.

With hundreds of bikes in storage, students are tackling their share of repairs in about a three-day time span of classroom hours. “Being able to help people get a ride to school, or even if it’s just exercise or just to help a little kid have fun, it really does feel good,” Comeaux added.

 “Once the students have repaired all of the bikes, Bike Lafayette members will pick them up and donate  to organizations or people who need it the most.”

If you need a bike or know someone who does but can’t afford it, contact Bike Lafayette via Facebook.

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