We like bikes. They’re fun, cheap, and practical. They keep you fit (or get you that way) and get you where you need to go. With a little ingenuity, a rack and milk crate and/or a trailer, you can haul all kinds of stuff (dogs, refrigerators, pies, palm trees, kegs, sacks of dirt or wheat, straw bales, other bikes, groceries, your friends or children, crazy speakers for a mobile dance party, your entire apartment full of stuff one load at a time…). And yes, we have transported all of the above and more! What’s not to like?
But what about the winter? Yes, you can ride year round… it’s really not that bad, even in the worst that a Chicago winter can dole out- you just need windproof mittens (army surplus are good and cheap) and a shell (and you can find plenty of serviceable ones for under $10 at thrift stores) , and a woolly or fleece balaclava (get a FREE one at a bike winter event!), and a front light (More to be seen than to see by: if you get hit and don’t have one, you’re out of luck even if the crash wasn’t your fault. Get one- you can get a cheap one for $10-$20, or duct tape a flashlight to your bars, whatever). And of course, a helmet is highly wreckomended. Safety first! You’ll never get stuck in the snow, and if you do, you can always push your bike. Try doing that with your car! Plus, your bike runs on doughnuts, which unless you’re making biofuel in your backyard (and kudos if you are) your car can never do. And speaking of doughnuts: when biking, losing your spare tire is a bonus, not a liability! Or something. Ok, enough puns… looking for information?
Get layered, get in gear, and get up on that thang:
Get a new/used bike here, or get your clunker tuned up, and you’ll support a great community shop with programming for youth and adults:
or here for south siders… tell ’em Vanya’s former mom sent ya:
Yes, there are lots and lots of great bike shops in our city, these are just two of my favorites. Want more info on your local shop? Check here:
chat up other local cyclists here, find out about group rides and events… this is a great place to meet riding buddies to show you the ropes of navigating the mean streets… they’ll be friendlier in no time!
If you have skills and need a place to work on your bike, or want to take an inexpensive class to learn said skills, just pop into the back of Cyclo Urbano and there’s a fully equipped community bike shop at your disposal, and probably helpful volunteers who can give you pointers! Just remember to put some cash in the can (the donation can, not the toilet, aka the can, as the note in the bathroom will tell ya… in case you were wondering) to support the shop!