Chicago’s Cycling Community Part 2

imageOne of the many mileage markers that you will see in city. Some shop heads said it was Mayor Daley that implemented city wide cycling culture as it stands in 2013. Others say that Rahm Emanuel current Mayor of the city really brought the city’s cycling to this era. Whomever started urban petrol free commuting in Chicago deserves great credit which includes mention of the men who rode through the streets of old Chicago on their Penny Farthings in the 1870’s.  Trails throughout the city that shift through historic neighborhoods, and parallel to Lake Michigan are phenomenal and deserve a visit if you’re ever there with a good set of wheels at your disposal.


Velowood Cyclery

Chicago’s Cycling Community

Chicago's Cycling Community

What’s seen here are photographs that I took while visiting The Tri-State Area for the first time in nearly 15 years. Since, Chicago is “the” Metropolis of The Midwest it’s only fitting that they comprise the largest and most refined bike community in all of the Midwest. Outside of The High Plains where I live. Haha:) Numerous shops. Tons of Concrete equalling miles of road and trail, made my visit. Along with my beautiful cousin Tasia and her husband Mike and their soon to be four year old Taj, my vacation couldn’t have been better! Thanks Velowood Victor for your
Patience and Thank You Chicago for your support:)

Morning Madness:)

For the two years I’ve lived in Denver, I’ve frequented Velowood. The reason why just came to me and it is hilarious as to why I’ve returned to their shop time and time again. Location! Location! Location! Maybe a mile and a half away tops from where I live, it’s all downhill from 8th Avenue and if you take Washington to Sixth and catch all of the traffic lights while green, it’s intense, because by the time you get to the left which represents Sixth Ave you’ve built up a significant amount of momentum and you can cruise right over to Marion outdistancing cars headed East. Yup, with that ride and the patience of Victor, Joe, and the shop technicians it’s been a easy choice to frequent. The picture taken speaks to how comfortable residents of the  neighborhood that border Velowood Cyclery are with the shop. Summer time is approaching?

Why not ride? This shop ensures that you can:)


Penny Farthing Sunday

Two Sunday’s ago I took a great neighborhood ride from Capitol Hill to the Lower Highlands.

Scenic, lined with Aspen and Nineteenth Century architecture it’s a relatively easy ride. After visiting with a friend of mine I decided to come back riding a similar route which is Colfax Ave. past the heart of Downtown over the I-225. Well on my trip back I ended up on 31st and Tejon, and guess who I see but “Paul” a gent who rides a 1878 Penny Farthing and if you ask him, he’s nice enough to answer any questions that you have about this particular model of bicycle which was a staple of the times Denver blossomed as a city in the late 1800’s. The Penny Farthing was the first two wheeled self propelled machine actually referred to as a “bicycle.” Well, coming down this lazy “L” shaped hill I spotted Paul and a fellow rider zooming down the hill on their way for ice cream at a popular local shop. Well, as a freelance blogger for Velowood here in Denver, I got really excited when I saw these guys and I said hello, they set the bikes up for a picture and Paul and I talked for a short while. The excitement about biking in the city is apparent in the smile of the young guy behind the bikes in the photo I took. I had the exact grin on my face the first time I met Paul on the Penny Farthing.Image

1979 Le Tour IV Classic Single Speed:)

1979 Le Tour IV Classic Single Speed:)

This was a vintage 1979 LeTour IV built in Chicago, Illinois.
Verified by the serial number that was stamped at the factory near the left dropout, it was a beautifully crafted mid level bicycle. Compared with a Peugot in 1979, the frame itself was a filet brazed CroMo that rode beautifully. I purchased it from a young father who had built it but due to his newborn’s attachment to dad, he couldn’t ride it . So, I was fortunate enough to buy this awesome bike with Super Maxi Cranks, Bontrager tyres, grips and saddle for 180.00. This is how I re established my Love of bicycles.

Thank You Velowood Cyclery. From New Hire: Chanze Harris.

IMG_6610 Hi. My name is Chanze Harris. I am a Denver transplant and I have been riding bikes my entire lifetime. From the Huffy’s and Schwinn 20 inch bikes my Dad built for me in my childhood in Northwest Indiana. To the recycled bikes my Grandfather put together for my cousin and I when we spent spend summers with my Grandparent’s in Central Georgia. To the 1995 Giant Rincon my Mom got me when I was in that rock hopping stage. Well, after College at Arizona State University I had a thought, ” what would I do if I lived somewhere in the world where fossil fuel dependency wasn’t a option?” Could I ride to the grocery store, or travel with 50 pounds of laundry on my bike? I looked at Masi’s, but roadbikes are intimidating if you haven’t ridden in years. Well, through infinite wisdom, my mom said “go online.” And that’s where I found the 1979 Schwinn of the previous posting. Well, that was around 3 years ago and I wouldn’t change it for anything. Cycling helps me, serves as my meditation, and I will forever be appreciative of those that can relate to the beauty of the open road on two wheels with our hearts and minds serving as the engines to the components beneath us.  Happy Trails To You All.

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