From fixing helicopters to fixing bikes: Tata Bikes' owner is a very handy mechanic
In Carrer de la Força in Girona, a brand-new cycling store opened on July 2. Tata Bikes is a flagship store of the American cycling brand Thesis, run by experienced cycling enthusiasts that hope to develop the cycling community in Girona further.
The main man behind the vivid place in Girona is Stelian Jipa. Jipa, originally from Romania, used to work in Germany with aircraft and helicopters. When he and his wife moved to Catalonia, Jipa started fixing buses. However, bikes have always been his favourite products to fix and during the Covid-19-crisis, he decided to return to his original love.
“I started buying old bikes, fixing them or giving them a total makeover,” Jipa starts. “Over time, more and more people started to get interested in the bikes that I renovated. Even though we were still in the middle of the crisis, my wife, two daughters and I decided to open a store in Girona to serve the cycling community.
Jipa is enjoying himself big time, now that he spends full days working on bikes. “I have been ignited by bikes again,” the man behind Tata Bikes says. “I feel the same rush that I had many years ago when I was still living in Romania and fixing bikes as a hobby, a hobby that I shared with my dad back then, who was fixing everyone’s vehicles in the town we are from. They called him Tata, which means dad in Eastern-European languages. I inherited that name after he died and kept doing so as a hobby and as a job”.
He does believe that being a bike mechanic is an ‘easier’ job than being a helicopter, bus, or aeroplane mechanic. “That is because of all the electronics in the other vehicles,” the Girona-based bike specialist says. “A plane has to be in the air for many hours, buses carry a lot of people on the road and helicopters are also sophisticated flying vehicles”.
“However,” he continues, “bikes are also getting more and more sophisticated now as well, given the advancing technology. I like the new challenges technology brings along. Making a vintage bike work fabulously again with modern equipment is one of the most fascinating things in life”.