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Wednesday, April 26

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Fuel

Andrew / May 17, 2006 12:53 AM

Question inspired by Marge, who's looking for a good place to buy a used bike in particular.

Freddie / May 17, 2006 3:48 AM

Performance

Pedro / May 17, 2006 8:14 AM

On The Route.

Good staff, good mechanics.

boxspring / May 17, 2006 8:21 AM

Working Bike Cooperative

I bought a few bikes fom them. Check out that used bike shop on Broadway by Sheridan for a bit cleaner of a bike, most are of the single speed, older coaster bike variety.

CVAL / May 17, 2006 8:37 AM

Uptown Bikes. Unpretentious, and laidback people totally rule! Too often I've experienced uptight arrogant bicycle shop people. The Uptown staff are very cool and helpful. Really diverse crowd that hangs out there too.

julian / May 17, 2006 8:38 AM

On The Route

located on Lincoln just south of Belmont, this shop not only has the best selection of super-high-end goods and all the bike porn one could ever want, they have an indoor winter training facility and some seriously knowlegable mechanics. The staff are lifers- that is, no college students, part-timers, or other non-commited folk here- these guys live for bikes.

That, and they sponsor my racing team; Team Clif Bar Midwest

spence / May 17, 2006 9:08 AM

I second Uptown Bikes. I brought my bike in because the front wheel was wobbling, they fixed it in 5 minutes and only charged me a buck and they gave me a used bick lock attachment for free. I took my girlfriend there to buy a bike and they didn't force themselves on her or me like they did at Cozy. And they didn't treat us like idiots by trying to sell us on "double wall" aluminum wheels as was the case at Johny Sprockets. They're good people and now I try to do all my buying there.

Spook / May 17, 2006 9:31 AM

I think its called Boulevard Bikes in Logan Square. They let me bring my very friendly Mastiff in, while my bike was being repaired. The also don't charge a arm and a leg for work that any real biker should be able to do her/himself, neither do they smirk at you because of the above and while you wait, you can have a drink at the slightly pretentious Luna Cafe next door

NSH / May 17, 2006 9:45 AM

Maxwell Street on Sundays. Prices are low!!

Leah / May 17, 2006 9:53 AM

Yep, I third Uptown Bikes. I was given a 1960s Schwinn and it needed a total overhaul. For less than a $200 and in less than 48 hours, I was on the road on my totally kick ass green bike. They were fantastic and seemed to enjoy fixing the bike. Like I treated them by taking it to them.

hench / May 17, 2006 9:54 AM

rapid transit on north avenue -- they are super-awesome and have helped me out with my bike on numerous occasions, often at no charge. i heart them so much!

kozy is also very good -- i'm specifically thinking of the one in south loop - good service crew, took good care of my cruiser.

village cycle is lame -- staff was not especially helpful. i understand that bike shops require their employees to be stoned at all times, but dude... at least be friendly about it. service was lackadaisical at best.

sportif is nothing but rude mess. stay away unless you enjoy cranky jerk hassle.

bam / May 17, 2006 10:20 AM

reCycle 14xx S. Michigan -- nice rides, fine staff.

Nutsackylacky / May 17, 2006 10:21 AM

Boulevard Bikes in Logan Square is nice. Kozy's in Boystown, too.
Too often the shops I've visited are staffed by scenesters with no real bike knowledge or bike snobs trying to sell me things I don't need or want and becoming openly hostile when I refuse their advice.
Suburban reader? Blazing Saddles in Willowbrook or The Wheel Thing in LaGrange.

Jason / May 17, 2006 10:32 AM

A big second on Rapid Transit. I bought a great bike there, and the staff is patient even when busy. They have done cool things (unexpected free tuneup, extra parts, etc.) and are set up for the regular rider. For one thing, there's actually room to bring your bike inside, and the service area is right up front.

The only drag, ironically, is that it's difficult to park in the neighborhood. If your bike's not rideable, you'll be carrying it for a few blocks. But that's why you're riding a bike in the first place, no?

k / May 17, 2006 10:48 AM

Yomjimbo's Garage!

diamondback / May 17, 2006 10:56 AM

The only shop in the area that I've had experience with is the Pony Shop in Evanston, where they refused, and I mean REFUSED to fix the breaks on a bike because it was from Sears. They were Shimano breaks, and they had gotten bent in storage, and the guy treated us like dirt.

Has anyone been to Robert's Cycle on Clark? I was thinking of going there... (with an old Diamondback)

bensch / May 17, 2006 10:57 AM

Boulevard is my favorite and is also in the neighborhood. I've also had good experiences with test rides at Rapid Transit. Very knowledgable and patient staff. Not sure why anyone looking for a bike would even consider Village Cycle. No test rides! Christ, there are athletic stores in town that let you test out running shoes! You're gonna be in sad shape if you have a bike that doesn't fit you properly.

Naz / May 17, 2006 10:58 AM

Yojimbo's Garage is my no. 1 pick. I have an unhealthy relationship with that shop and I consider its proprietor, Marcus Moore, a good friend.

Rapid Transit is decent -- the mechanics can be hit or miss but I'm friends with two of them so my experiences are biased.

Boulevard Bikes is a great store. Helpful, knowledgeable and fair.

Upgrade Cycleworks is also a great place -- a bit on the upper middle end but good peeps in there.

Uptown is the same way.

Cycle Smithy on Clark is pretty decent as well.

I go to Performance to stock up on small items and to take advantage of their wider selection. I also know them there too.

I avoid the chain stores since they're the equivalents of big box stores that want to make the sale rather than actually take the time to fit your properly and find the right bike for your needs. Avoid them (Kozy's Village Cycle, etc).

I always try to get to know the mechs and workers at a store, so that I can get good service. It's simple: treat them well and they'll do the same.

A tip: be friends with your local mech -- at the end of a long hot summer day, bring them a cold six pack (even if it's the cheap stuff) when picking up your bike. You'll have a friend for life.

Joe / May 17, 2006 11:07 AM

Yojimbo's all the way.

I heard about the place long ago from Naz's photoblog. I brought Marcus a frame and he turned it into a bike that I have come to love at least as much as any of my limbs.

Plus there are always a couple cats hanging out at Yojimbo's. Gotta love cats.

zxc / May 17, 2006 11:08 AM

Johnny Sprockets in Lakeview!

Marilyn / May 17, 2006 11:11 AM

If you're in the 'burbs, RRB in Kenilworth is a great place to get good service and high-quality equipment, including used bikes. Turin in Evanston is good, too, but I don't know if they sell used bikes.

john / May 17, 2006 11:19 AM

For Bikes: Kozy's is good

Anyone know a good MotorBike/ Scooter Shop?

Y A J / May 17, 2006 11:35 AM

The Chicago Police Auction is another good place to pick up a used bike. I've bought ok bikes for $25 there. Then you'll need to take it in to one of the many fine shops listed above for a good tune-up.

I add my votes to Rapid Transit, On the Route and Uptown (anyone know if this is possible, I thought I saw the former owner of OutSpoken working there last weekend???)

I had a very pleasant experience at Kozy's southloop recently, with not one or two but three helpful staff people! though I usually avoid VIllage, Kozy, etc I might make an exception for that particular location now.

Josh / May 17, 2006 11:41 AM

Rudy's in Portage Park on Irving & Central. Friendly, informative, to-the-point business.

Also a shout-out to Gary's, on Clark & Devon. It's still there after all these years. Every time I pass by Gary's, I feel 10-years old again (forgive my nostalgia).

mike / May 17, 2006 11:44 AM

I fourth or fifth Uptown Bikes for all the north lakefront people. They are great.

FWIW, I took my old Giant hybrid to Johnny Sprocket's on Bryn Mawr once with a wobbly wheel. It turned out the tube was the problem and the wheel was fine. But before I knew this, I asked the guy how much a new wheel would cost, just in case, and he told me, "for a bike like this, you should really think about getting a new bike." No one in a bike shop should ever say something like this. Especially about a twelve year old bike that works fine, has a solid frame, and has carried its rider thousands of miles and through good times and bad. I love my cheap old Giant.

Nat / May 17, 2006 11:54 AM

There's no place I'd rather lose an afternoon and a paycheck than Yojimbo's, but it's incredibly specialized and if you don't already know about it, it probably doesn't have what you want. I dig on Performance, and I'm warming to Upgrade.

slb / May 17, 2006 11:54 AM

whatever you do, don't go to sportif on lawrence! they are such dicks! i brought my trek hybrid, that i purchased there, into the store to ask what kind of tubes i needed (i wanted to carry spares after getting several flats). after treating me like dirt, the guy (who i think is the owner) SOLD ME THE WRONG TUBES. my bike was RIGHT THERE. he had SOLD IT TO ME.

if it was just a mistake, ok. but he was *such* an @sshole about it, which made me feel like he did it on purpose.

for nice people, i will join the chorus praising rapid transit. never had a bad experience there.

steven / May 17, 2006 12:05 PM

Kozy's in Boystown, right up the street from me. But am I crazy for balking at the $90 tune up fee? I'm going to try some of the other suggestions here.

Cinnamon / May 17, 2006 12:06 PM

I think Gary's on Clark near Devon might be the tiniest bike shop in the city, but I've been happ with them everytime. I had a tune-up at Cozy's in Boystown when I lived there and didn't know any better. It set me back about $100 (it's been at least 6 years so prices might are probably different) and I had to take it back because my brakes were disconnected. Didn't realize it until I tried to stop about a block away.

Gary's however did more work and better for $40 the two times I've taken it to him. When I left my bike out during one winter and it rusted, he cleaned off all the important parts, got rid of rust, and when I guiltily came to pick it up and apologized, he said, "It's Chicago. Not everyone has someplace inside to store their bike." Great attitude, great prices, great customer service. The little guys rule.

Moon / May 17, 2006 12:30 PM

Stay off the sidewalks!!!

It's not just a good idea, it's the LAW!!

spence / May 17, 2006 12:47 PM

"Stay off the sidewalks!!!

It's not just a good idea, it's the LAW!!"

What neighborhood are those bike shops located? Assville?

s / May 17, 2006 12:58 PM

I actually really like the service at Kozy's in River North... It's a nice big place, and nobody turns their nose up at me when i bring in a beater... I think Upgrade is one of the more pretentious shops in the city, I feel like i gotta put on a bike messenger costume just to walk in the door.

C-Note / May 17, 2006 1:14 PM

Rapid Transit is the balls. Can't buy a used bike there, but I bet they could tell you where - no problem. Most of the time they're trying to buy my bike off me 'cause I got the hottest wheels on the road and I still got gears. And they got free air inside and out, which is nice if you get low outside of business hours.

dan / May 17, 2006 1:48 PM

I've heard nothing but good things about the fine folks at Johnny Sprockets.

anne / May 17, 2006 2:21 PM

I've had really good experiences at Uptown bikes. They gave me an awesome tuneup, and when they pointed out the threadbare back tire I had on my vintage Schwinn, they didn't even try to sell me a new front tire, b/c I didn't need it yet! Awesome, easy-going, and a great store to give your business to.

anne / May 17, 2006 2:23 PM

PS: Has anyone had experiences with getting used bikes from Working Bikes? Bad or Good?

spence / May 17, 2006 2:46 PM

working bikes:

I had a pretty good experience there. I bought an old French bike for $50. The frame was in really good shape and they put in a new bottom bracket. I think a french girl helped me pick it out. She was nice enough. The only complaint was that the gears/derailers were in pretty bad shape so I had my brother turn it into a fixie for me. The bike rides beautifully and looks pretty damn sweet too.

lacey / May 17, 2006 2:56 PM

I really like Johnny Sprokets in Lincoln Park (the one on Belmont). When my seat and post were stolen, they hooked me up with a "new" used post in fine shape for a good price. They are always super nice, to boot!

Marilyn / May 17, 2006 3:14 PM

I've got a Trek 850 mountain bike from about 1990 with the works (Shimano SRS, Vetta gel seat, two water bottle cages, bike rack, pump, underseat bag with spare tire) that I'm trying to sell. Anyone interested?

Marilyn / May 17, 2006 3:19 PM

Oops. Make that a Trek 950!

jonk / May 17, 2006 3:20 PM

once the cool kids certify me for a fixed gear i'll likely go back to yojimbo's.

i was in a few times talking to marcus, ready to drop my cash, and he basically talked me out of it, wanted to make sure a fixed gear was for me. offered to size me up for a loaner to ride for a few hours. once i have the money (and the (wannabe) disposition) i'll likely go back (though i suppose it would make sense ot get my upkeep done there, eh?)

i have been alternating upkeep from kozy's southloop (good folks work there, who knows about the owners - i prefer to go anti-chain) and (so) recyle.

Flynn / May 17, 2006 3:38 PM

Rapid Transit people are great...uber friendly and knowlegable.

Gary's on Clark SAVED me one morning on my commute. I almost threw my chain, and I was close to his place. He let me borrow a tool to put on the new chain I bought from him. He was great.

Turin guys in Evanston are really up on things too, but Turin isn't cheap.

I like Performance as well, and it's the one place I can stop by and pretty much get any part I need at short notice. They were invaluable when I was building up my commuter. They have a great tool selection, too.

After all of the messages for Uptown, I have to make sure to stop in there sometime.

Working Bikes seems like the best place to go find a used bike cheap, though.

Naz / May 17, 2006 3:49 PM

Working Bikes can do you good. A few years ago I made fixed gear conversions from frames there and so have many, many friends. I ended up with 6 bikes from them (all gone or sold or passed on). If you know what you're looking for, you can find real gems. However, the people there are helpful (they're all volunteers for the most part) and will do their best to steer you in the right direction.

Jonk- your experience at Marcus' is typical: he is not a hard seller, if at all. He typically will stand there and let you work it out yourself without pushing or even hinting at anything. He wants you to be sure you're going to make the right purchase, which I love about him. He really lets you decide.

Johnny Sprockets have been decent to me. At least the one in Lincoln Park. I don't buy anything there really except a lock during the Kryptonite scandal, where they let me buy a NY Lock with a flat key for 20 bucks off the normal price so I could have peace of mind while I waited for my replacement locks.

Performance is Limp / May 17, 2006 6:38 PM

I flat out refuse to buy anything from Performance after I brought my bike for a full tune up last year and got it back barely better than when I'd brought it in. I even asked them to call me if they noticed anything on the bike that was in need of replacement, since I know a tune up isn't the cure for all ills. No calls, nothing, just $90 (or so, I forget exactly) lifted from my wallet. At least give me a kiss if you're going to fuck me...

Also, the staff at Village are a bunch sharks. Kozy's sales staff are full of shit too, but their shop guys are pretty cool.

Moon / May 17, 2006 9:26 PM

What neighborhood are those bike shops located? Assville?

People riding on sidewalks are the asses!!!

spence / May 17, 2006 10:08 PM

People riding on sidewalks are the asses!!!

So are people who make preachy, off-topic posts. Go stand on a street corner with a sandwichboard and megaphone or something.

S-JY / May 18, 2006 12:00 AM

Only two references to Turin, neither of which is a full-fledged shout-out? Where's the love?! If you're going full-service anyway (i.e., you want a brand-new bike and neither you nor any of your friends has the skillz to build one), check them out.

Spook wants a Rat Bike! / May 18, 2006 12:26 AM

so I'm preachy and off topic, but this summer I want me a $#!*&% Rat Bike!

www.rat-patrol.org/Bikes.html

Re: Performance is Limp / May 18, 2006 8:30 AM

I second that on Performance. I paid about $90 to have a cool old 1967 raleigh fixed up. They threw on some new 50 cent breaks and handed it back to me.

wackpuma / May 18, 2006 8:35 AM

My fav is Get A Grip, on Irving, near 90. Pay the extra and get fitted professionally there. Real friendly place.

Dan / May 18, 2006 9:11 AM

There's also Boulevard Bikes on Kedzie in Logan Square. It's right next to Lula Cafe.

erik / May 18, 2006 9:14 AM

don't forget about the recyclery up in evanston - similar concept to working bikes cooperative but they've decided to keep the donations as local as possible instead of sending bikes abroad. www.therecyclery.org

John / May 18, 2006 9:35 AM

On the Route on Lincoln and Belmont. After one too many bad experiences, not to mention attitude, at Kozy's, I decided to switch to On the Route, and couldn't be happier. They're honest and they know what they're doing. Excellent mechanics.

fluffy / May 18, 2006 9:35 AM

Uptown Bikes is great. Last time I was there, I was about to go inside, and I saw a huge rat hanging out on the sidewalk- I think I startled it and it ran inside the store! I was trying to get it to run the other way. The people at Uptown were nice about it.

Working bikes- I've bought a couple of bikes there, and each time, there's only 1 or 2 people who are helpful. The rest just seem to stand around trying to look cool. Once, they were all talking amongst themselves and I waited patiently to be helped. I made eye contact with a couple of them, but they continued with their conversation. I guess I didn't look cool enough. After about 7 minutes, I walked out and haven't gone back.


People riding on sidewalks are the asses!!!
hey- did you read the question? cause if you did, you're a little stupid.

fluffy / May 18, 2006 9:36 AM

sorry about the name calling, but his/her/it's comment made me mad. grrr.

the skeptic / May 18, 2006 10:29 AM

i was looking around on the recyclery website, and they seem to be affiliated with a christian commune-type place called the reba fellowship...

i like the idea of giving bikes to low-income local people, but this reba thing looks a little cultish... i don't know that i'd want my money supporting them...

Moon / May 18, 2006 10:53 AM

hey- did you read the question? cause if you did, you're a little stupid.

Hey, I'll put my test scores or IQ tests up against anyone named fluffy, ANYTIME!!! :D

/I thought it was a good chance to point out how stupid and wussy some bike riders are - if you are over 10 years old and don't have training wheels, stay off the sidewalk. If you already stay off the sidewalk, pass the word. Coupled with the idiot messenger bikers, it's making bike riders look bad.

spence / May 18, 2006 11:03 AM

I'd be willing to bet 99.9% of the folks on here are aware of the sidewalk law. Whether or not they follow it is there own business. I don't need some ass preaching to me like I'm 5 years old. Piss off.

fluffy / May 18, 2006 11:37 AM

ha ha! test scores and IQ' tests. Is that what you need to measure yourself up to others? And yet, you use the word 'wuss'?

And - you get riled up from a posting from someone named fluffy?

YOWSA!
But really, I don't know what streets you are talking about, but I don't see people riding their bikes on the sidewalk.

I've lived in other cities where you never see anyone riding bikes- and it sucks. I love that Chicago has designated bike lanes, cool bike shops, the Lakeshore ride, CM, Cycle Sisters, bike trails....so much that other cities don't and probably won't ever have. It's a wonderful thing.

Ms. Lurker / May 18, 2006 12:31 PM

I recently had my bike tuned up at Roberts Cycle Shop, 7054 N. Clark. They seemed pretty cool and upfront. For example, my chain seems to be getting near the end of it's useful and safe life. They told me if I plan to ride much, I should replace it; otherwise, it would be fine for the summer. I'm happy to support a local shop that seems to be honest.

M / May 18, 2006 1:33 PM

Since we're already off topic, and since your answers will help me buy a new bike, my question is this: I want to re-learn how to ride, meaning, I was never really that good, and too much time away has me scared. Where is a good place to ride where I won't be smushed by a car or mocked by children and hit with stones if I fall? And the second part of my question: what kind of bike is best for a new rider, and which of these stores you mention are least likely to sneer me for being totally clueless?

Sorry for the digression, but you folks seem to be extremely knowledgeable. If I get training wheels, can I ride on the sidewalk? :)

Naz / May 18, 2006 1:41 PM

M -

If you have a bike, an empty parking lot/schoolyard is a good place to re-learn and get comfortable. Or a park.

If you don't, then you might want to hook up with some of the recommended places above for a test ride. Explain to them your situation and they can most likely help you set up a test ride. Boulevard Bikes has a quiet inner street to ride aorund and a parking lot is close by. I'm thinking of the other shops and no one else has quite a open clear space.

I'd recommend a bike based on what your needs will be. My biggest piece of advice for the urban rider is NOT to get a mountain bike. yes they're cheaper than a new road bike but they're so not what you need. In the city, a road bike or a hybrid lets you get around quicker, faster and less clunkily.

Today there are plenty of choices suited ot the commuter and fairweather rider. For commuting, I recommend the Redline 925.

I'd definitely visit Uptown, Working Bikes, Boulevard, Yojimbos for perhaps something used. They will know best.

Flynn / May 18, 2006 1:56 PM

Not to aid in the off topic nature, but sidewalk riding has ONE purpose...when the road conditions are so unsafe that it makes more sense to ride the sidewalk. On Ashland over the bridge between Clybourn and Elston, for example.

If it comes to my safety vs. a law, sorry, but the law goes out the window. Granted, I don't ride Ashland, but there are places in the city (Division underpass, for example) where you had better ride the sidewalk if you want to live.

anon / May 18, 2006 2:08 PM

What naz said, or

if you live near the lakefront, then the lakefront path during the week in the morning is virtually empty of people. Also, the far north or, even better, the far south side of the lake front path are relatively free of congestion (and kids who throw rocks at novice bicyclists) most of the time. or last option, pick a nice wide one way streets (with speed bumps). If you are planning to eventually ride in traffic you will need to get use to cars passing you on the left while looking for opening doors on the right. It'll take a while to get use to riding in traffic. I bought a bike when I moved up here 3 years ago and had to go through the whole learning how to ride process again. Always a good resource for bicyclists:

http://www.biketraffic.org/

Noah / May 18, 2006 2:13 PM

Back to bike shops - I've used Kozy's at both the near north and Boystown locations. I have had nothing but positive experiences with both, from minor stuff like stopping in to replace a screw that feel off my rack to having spokes replaced and a wheel trued. They have earned my trust over the past five years.

Noah / May 18, 2006 2:15 PM

Fell. I meant to write "fell."

the lowercase m / May 18, 2006 2:23 PM

I agree Flynn, as I'm sure most people do. I ride on the sidewalk in some scenarios because I don't want to die and I've broken limbs so I know how fragile the human body is and how it's never the same once you hurt it. When I do ride on the sidewalk under rare circumstances, I yield to pedestrians, go slow, and go really slow near curb cuts and alleys. Barring downtown and the lakefront, I rarely see cyclists behaving recklessly.

Andrew / May 18, 2006 3:50 PM

I like Gary's in Edgewater/Rogers Park (Clark St. south of Devon). And M, you could go to him -- he's very friendly and affordable, with lots of beginner-level bikes -- and practice on one of the side streets right there.

Marilyn / May 18, 2006 4:00 PM

Or, M, you could buy my bike. First-class quality, well-maintained by my competitive cyclist ex-husband, and reasonably priced.

Josh / May 18, 2006 5:18 PM

Chicago Bike Shop Directory doesn't seem to be up right now, but when it is, it's a great resource.

And while i'm at it, word up to Kevin and the boys at Boulevard! Bonus points for creative reuse of a former alderman's office.

lacey / May 18, 2006 6:29 PM

Flynn--I also agree. When I would commute up to Evanston, I'd rather go slower on the sidewalk than attempt to take Ridge. As a driver on these streets, I know how people think it's some kind of video game driving in a lane, I'd rather not be the victim of someone's slip-up. So I'm sorry if I inconvenience anyone on a sidewalk, I'm just scared to die on a bike. Sorry in advance.

lacey / May 18, 2006 6:48 PM

One more thing--after doing a little bit of investigation, the Reba Place Fellowship is just a Christian group stemming from the Mennonite church (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mennonite), NOT a cult. Just so we're straight here, they seem pretty straightforward about their mission in making worship an all the time thing, not just a Sunday thing, and making service to humanity a priority. Just so we're clear. Read more here and judge for yourself:

http://rpf.mennonite.net/Who_We_Are

Sorry for the deviation, I just don't like seeing good people labeled as cult-ish, that's pretty harsh.

nico / May 18, 2006 7:06 PM

M: There was an interesting article about these ladies in TIMEOUT.

http://www.theamiklowski.com/

As far as bike shop...definitely NOT Village Cycle Center. People at Rapid Transit have always been great about minor repairs to my bike that I actually bought at Village Cycle.

nico / May 18, 2006 7:06 PM

M: There was an interesting article about these ladies in TIMEOUT.

http://www.theamiklowski.com/

As far as bike shop...definitely NOT Village Cycle Center. People at Rapid Transit have always been great about minor repairs to my bike that I actually bought at Village Cycle.

Moon / May 18, 2006 9:30 PM

I'd be willing to bet 99.9% of the folks on here are aware of the sidewalk law. Whether or not they follow it is there own business. I don't need some ass preaching to me like I'm 5 years old. Piss off.

Maybe you should stop with your little name calling then.

If everybody knows this law, then why so many bikes riding on the sidewalk?? How do you explain that?

Moon / May 18, 2006 9:34 PM

If it comes to my safety vs. a law, sorry, but the law goes out the window. Granted, I don't ride Ashland, but there are places in the city (Division underpass, for example) where you had better ride the sidewalk if you want to live.

So, if a car driver doesn't feel safe on the road, he can drive on the sidewalk, too???

If you are scared of riding on the street, you can alway WALK YOUR BIKE until you feel safe again.

Moon / May 18, 2006 9:37 PM

Sorry for the digression, but you folks seem to be extremely knowledgeable. If I get training wheels, can I ride on the sidewalk? :)

Only if you are under 10!!!! :D

FVK Member / May 18, 2006 11:40 PM

Please folks, DON'T ride your bike on the sidewalk! It's more dangerous than riding on the street. You have to contend with cars entering/exiting alleyways, parking lots, etc. and drivers are not expecting an obstacle to be approaching at the speed of a bicyclist (even a really slow bicyclist).
Like Moon said, you can walk your bike until you feel safe again.
A couple good tips for a safer ride on city streets are to make sure that you don't hug the curb. If you ride in the gutter motorists will attempt to squeeze past you and will often find out the wrong way that they can't do it. Plus, there's always the car door to contend with. Take your space (3 feet) in the roadway and make cars go around you.
Ride faster. By doing this motorists approaching from behind don't come up on you as quickly and have more time to maneuver around you.
Stop at the light AND at the stop sign, make turn signals, DON'T ride on Ridge in Evanston. Take Chicago or Asbury or Sherman.
Have fun!
BTW; The Legendary Turin has regained its old glory. They are my favorite shop (and no, I don't work there).

spence / May 19, 2006 9:42 AM


Alright Moon, you truly are an idiot. Exhibit A:

"So, if a car driver doesn't feel safe on the road, he can drive on the sidewalk, too???"

You can't be f***ing serious.

Exhibit B:
"Maybe you should stop with your little name calling then."

and just a couple of posts prior, you said:

"People riding on sidewalks are the asses!!!"

The hipocrisy is thick.

Exhibit C:
"If everybody knows this law, then why so many bikes riding on the sidewalk?? How do you explain that?"

I said:

I'd be willing to bet 99.9% of the folks on here are aware of the sidewalk law.

If you would've actually read my comment instead of making some asshat response, you'd realize that I said "people on here are aware" of the law. Being aware of a law doesn't mean you are going to follow it. People are aware of speed limits and break them all the time. Second, I said the "people on here," that means the folks who read/post on Gapersblock not the entire city of Chicago.

I rest my case.

Bike Escorts / May 19, 2006 9:48 AM

M, and others,

As nico mentioned, there was an article about our Bike Escort service in TimeOut's Bike Issue a couple weeks ago.

Here are the details: Bike Escorts is a *free* public service to help people just like you who are nervous about riding in car traffic and might need help finding the best route to commute to work, school, etc.

See www.biketogether.org for more info!

miss ellen / May 19, 2006 10:22 AM

you know what, moon?

i came on this thread thinking i'd find out some great info about bike shops. in fact, i just got my 10+ yr old bike tuned up at blvd bikes (great guys!), thought i might learn some stuff.

instead, here i am, sitting here thinking about our good friend Alicia. if Alicia had just broken this law of riding on the sidewalk while riding under the kennedy overpass @ division last june 3rd, maybe we'd be celebrating her birthday in two weeks, not her death.

Alicia died in a bicycle accident almost one year ago, on her 32nd birthday.

so, please, if you want to preach about this, go somewhere else, b/c this isn't the forum to do that.

Moon / May 19, 2006 9:01 PM

You know what miss ellen

I'm sorry for your loss. But what prevented Alicia from WALKING her bike on the sidewalk?

She wouldn't have had to break the law and she would have been safe.

Do I need to bring up the stories of pedestrians killed by bicycles???

Anyone can play the pity game.

Is this forum the place for your sad stories???

Moon / May 19, 2006 9:04 PM

and just a couple of posts prior, you said:

"People riding on sidewalks are the asses!!!"

The hipocrisy is thick.

That was AFTER your "assville" comment, right????

The hypocrisy IS thick.

Moon / May 19, 2006 9:05 PM

If you would've actually read my comment instead of making some asshat response, you'd realize that I said "people on here are aware" of the law. Being aware of a law doesn't mean you are going to follow it. People are aware of speed limits and break them all the time. Second, I said the "people on here," that means the folks who read/post on Gapersblock not the entire city of Chicago.

Nice try.

And nice name calling, AGAIN.

Moon / May 19, 2006 9:08 PM

Alright Moon, you truly are an idiot. Exhibit A:

"So, if a car driver doesn't feel safe on the road, he can drive on the sidewalk, too???"

You can't be f***ing serious.

I notice you didn't have an actual RESPONSE to that, just more name-calling. Are you with the Bush administration???

Allan / May 21, 2006 5:44 PM

I ride competitively and have done so for years. I spend a hell of a lot of money every year on cycling. I have had both positive and negative experiences with all of the major bike shops in Chicago. My best experiences in recent years has been at Get A Grip on Iriving Park Road. The one major shop I will no longer do business with is Turin Bicycles in Evanston.

I once made the mistake of buying a bicycle from them. They were nice enough when selling me the expensive bike but when I needed a $25.00 replacement derailluer hanger I was told I had to speak to the "mechanic" who was "out of the shop at the moment". I tried several times to contact this "mechanic" without success. I eventually went to the Pony Shop, who although not a dealer for this line of bikes, was more than happy to order the part and had it in a couple of days.

Another time I needed a new bottom bracket cartridge for my bike. I went to Turin thinking that as a large shop they might have the part. I was greated by the "mechanic" with a friendly "what do you want?", apparently annoyed that a paying customer had come to interupt his bs conversation about what Lance was going to do in the Tour. I handed him the cartridge so that he could give me the correct size. He took the part, and without comment set it on the counter behind him and returned to his conversation. Aghast, I waited to see if I was going to get any service. After a couple of minutes of being ignored I walked behind the counter, retrieved the cartridge and left the shop. The "mechanic" said nothing. I have not been back to Turin since.

In immediate need of the part I decided to visit the Performance store in Lincoln Park. I thought that a busy shop like that would have one on hand. They did not but the mechanic actually took the time to call other shops in the neighborhood and located the part for me.

Rack / May 31, 2006 10:25 AM

As far as the sidewalk issue goes, I've found that the best way to deal with very dangerous places is to avoid them altogether. The Chicago bike map clearly marks the streets you want to take and the ones you don't want to take. You may not be able to take the most direct route to your destination, but you will be much safer and I've found that streets with bike lanes ride much faster than ones without, so sometimes you can even get to your destination faster.

kahunabetsy / May 7, 2007 10:10 PM

I have generally had pretty good service from the Pony Shop in Evanston, but I would never give my money to Turin in Evanston. Every year I pop in to see if anything has changed with either their service or their attitude and I am always disappointed to see that it hasn't. I used to lead bike trips in Michigan for kids from Evanston, and every kid who got an overpriced bike full of things they didn't need had a myriad of problems and breakdowns that we were constantly stopping to repair.

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