New Brompton Colors

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As summer falls into autumn, here at J.C. Lind we’re lookin’ forward to the slight chill in the air, long sleeves, colorful trees, pumpkins and their gourd friends, baseball and all its championship happenings, and for Brompton – the perfectly sized, utilitarian, multi-modal folding bike that goes wherever you go, inside and out – and its new, fun colors: Hot Pink, Flame Lacquer, Purple Metallic, and Papyrus White. The bike literally folds smaller than the last sentence, and to be honest, it’s way more fun, too. Nevertheless, in appreciation of these atmospheric changes and a desire to spice up the season, and hopefully a few people’s lives, we were quick (possibly the first?!) to order a new Purple Metallic Brompton and a Hot Pink Brompton for our current inventory (ETA November 2018).

The Purple Metallic is a premium color; it’s a bit more in price (+$250 up-charge), but it’s a lot more to look at – like metallic flakes that glisten in the sunlight. We built it as a M6L, so it has the “M” handlebars, 6 speeds, and fenders. We also added dynamo lighting – front and rear lighting that is powered by you and your pedaling and all your luminous affections.

The Hot Pink is an attention grabbing crowd favorite that, after a brief hiatus, the public demanded to have back. Brompton did just that and so did we. Our Hot Pink Brompton is a M3L, so it has the “M” handlebars, 3 speeds, fenders, and is an uncomplicated style that’s fun to ride. So if you’re excited about these bikes like we are, check out our website for more information (Purple Metallic M6L & Hot Pink M3L) but then stop by the shop to say hi and see these bikes in person. Let’s celebrate the changing complexion of the fall with colorful new bikes.

~Devin

Winther Cargo Trikes Special Order

Winther makes some pretty amazing cargo trikes, we should know since we were a dealer of theirs from 2010-2017. Our run only ended because we had to narrow our cargo trike options for space and financial concerns.

We just received a special order for a Winther trike from a motivated customer who was ‘Winther or bust’ and so we are happily committed to making that bike a reality for them. Our order will be submitted to Winther in less than 2 weeks on Friday September 21st.

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This is a special orders only opportunity, we are not planning to bring in inventory heading into the winter. To our knowledge there are no other Winther dealers (or should I say stocking Winther dealers) in North America so this is a unique opportunity with a short order window.

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These bikes are expected to arrive in Chicago in early to mid November. Prices for the various models (Luxe, Lite and Cargoo) will range from $3,500-$4,500.

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Please contact us before Friday September 21st if you are interested in getting your hands on one.

 

Onderwater / Workcycles Family Adventures

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We have some really rad customers. These guys took the rad meter up past 10 last summer when they went on a self-supported bike camping tour with their Onderwater Tandem XL and Workcycles Fr8. The crew included Mom and Dad and three kids ranging from about 2-8 years old. The journey originated and ended from their home in Chicago. They went clockwise first heading west then north dipping into southern Wisconsin then eastbound towards Lake Michigan and then back south for the homestretch. Total distance was about 350 miles riding on a mix of paved roads, gravel roads, and trails. They camped each night and completed the journey in 10 days. And the best part for us- they took some fantastic photos which they are kind enough to let me share with you here. Enjoy.

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So that was their adventure last summer, how could they possibly top that this summer? They added an Onderwater Tandem LX to their fleet and had a custom roof rack made to transport both of them on top of their truck.

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Later this summer they will head up to the UP (Upper Peninsula Michigan), parking their car and letting it sit idle for nearly three weeks while they explore the UP on their Onderwater Tandems. Have a great trip guys! Can’t wait to see the photos. Thank for letting us ride along.

All photos by John

Bike The Drive Sunday May 27, 2018

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Come join us for Chicago’s ultimate group ride and help us form the largest posse of Genuine Dutch Transport this country has ever seen! If you’ve never done Bike The Drive before, you are in for a treat. Biking down a quiet and car-free Lake Shore Drive is a memorable experience. So check one more thing off of your Chicago bucket list and join us!

What is Bike The Drive?-

If you’re not familiar, Bike The Drive is an annual event put on by Active Transportation Alliance (Chicago’s non-profit agency whose goal is to make the Chicagoland area more bike and pedestrian friendly). It is always the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. It is sadly the only chance of the year to experience the peace and calm of a car-free Lake Shore Drive. The proceeds of the event form the largest source of funding for Active Transportation Alliance. I’ve done it three times and it is always a blast and a fantastic way to welcome the official start of summer here in Chicago. For more information on Bike The Drive and Active Transportation Alliance check out these links:

http://bikethedrive.org/
http://activetrans.org/

Our Route-

We will meet up at the shop (J.C. Lind Bike Co. – 1311 N. Wells Street – Chicago, IL 60610) on Sunday May 27, 2018 at 5:00am for pre-ride bike checks, coffee, donuts and stretching. Then we will hit the road around 5:45am. We will enter Lake Shore Drive at the Fullerton Ave check point and head north towards the Bryn Mawr rest stop for our first break. Then we will head south to Grant Park (between Monroe and Jackson) for another break. From there we will make our way south to the Museum of Science & Industry and then back up north for the post-ride festival in Grant Park with approx. ETA of 10:00am.

Things to keep in mind-

  • Our pace will be a very slow and relaxed one
  • You are welcome to break off from our group at anytime
  • Total distance will be around 35 miles if you do the entire ride described above
  • Kids are welcome, either as passengers on a cargo bike or as independent riders
  • Kids as passengers do not need to register. Kids as independent riders do need to register
  • Pack plenty of water and don’t forget the sunscreen

How to sign up-

  • text or call the shop (312) 643-1670 to let us know you are in and we will follow up with more details on the group registration process
  • registration is $43 per adult and $17 for youth riders (17 years old or younger)
  • cut off to register with our group is Friday May 4th
  • if you have already registered for Bike The Drive and want to join us, please do! Just let me know so I have a good headcount and enough coffee and donuts for everyone

For more information-

Some pictures from our last Bike The Drive back in 2010-

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Now Hiring – Experienced Bike Mechanic

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Now Hiring – Experienced Bike Mechanic or 2!

We are looking to add a new member to our crew here at The Shop. You will be responsible for bicycle assembly, repair/service along with working on the sales floor.

We have been Chicago’s Dutch city and cargo bike shop for over 10 years. We are focused on growing the concept of treating bikes as utility vehicles rather than recreational toys.

2+ years of bike shop mechanic experience required. Experience with internally geared hubs is desirable. We offer a diverse range of bicycles, including cargo trikes, requiring a diverse set of knowledge and skills and the ability to come up with creative solutions.

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Part time positions available with potential to grow into full time roll. We offer competitive wages, opportunity for year round employment and paid time off. If you are interested in growing with us and being part of something different and exciting come check out this opportunity.

If you’re interested in applying, please call or text (312) 643-1670 or send us an email on our contact page.

 

Brompton Black Edition

There will be a limited number of the Brompton Black Editions making their way to US this summer. Of that limited quantity there will be an even smaller amount that we will get our hands on here at The Shop. I’m telling you this now because I think they are a pretty neat option for someone who digs this look. If you are in the odd confluence of circumstances of not only being ready to order a Brompton right now but also being patient enough to wait until July, and lastly you are into the Black Edition look, now is your time.

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What is a Black Edition Brompton anyway? For a modest upcharge of $75 the Black Edition comes all murdered out with black handlebars, crank, fenders, seat post and rims instead of the stock silver. I think it gives it a little more of a modern or sportier look. I’m not actually a huge fan myself. I have a standard black Brompton with silver finishes and I think it looks slick. The one thing that might put me over the edge to choose one of these is that you can get it with an orange main frame. This is of particular interest because you otherwise can’t get orange anywhere on a standard Brompton.

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I’m a sucker for anything in orange. Photo credit – http://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/product-news/brompton-black-edition-now-green-orange-359396

Why should I order one now? We are only able to get 2 of these so there’s that. But more importantly, if you get your order placed in the next two weeks by Wednesday March 28th, you will be able to pick out all your options in advance which is super important when it comes to sorting out what Brompton configuration is right for you.

What are these options you speak of? You can get the Brompton Black Edition in S, M or H type bars. For main frame color you can choose between black, orange or Turkish green. You only get 2 choices for gearing (2 speed or 6 speed) which kind of sucks because I like the 3 speed option for Chicago. One final option if you feel like showing off some disposable income is to get the black lacquer one. For the not so modest upcharge of $325 your frame will have a darker more tinted clear coat finish.

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I love this look with the raw metal and welds visible under the lacquer finish. Black lacquer is the one on the left. Photo credit – https://bromptonwharton.blogspot.com/2017/10/brompton-2018-model.html

If you are interested in securing a Black Edition Brompton text or call us at (312) 643-1670 or go old school and come in for a visit to J.C. Lind Bike Co. 1311 N. Wells Street – Chicago, IL 60610. Then all that’s left to do is wait patiently until your Brompton arrives in July.

On This Day in 2008…

 

Guess what?! We just turned 10 today! Yep, on January 24, 2008 I imported our first two Dutch bikes to Chicago. Flying home with them as checked luggage on a flight from Amsterdam.

When I flew to Amsterdam my plan was to formalize the business relationship with my supplier, De Fietsfabriek, and to place an order for an initial shipment of bikes. With little convincing needed they talked me into taking a few bikes home with me on my return flight.

My initial thought was yikes these bikes are big and heavy, how the heck is that going to be possible. Especially when one of the bikes was a two wheel Bakfiets cargo bike that is over 8 feet long. The idea seemed pretty crazy, but so was walking away from a steady paycheck to start selling Dutch bikes in Chicago so clearly I was up for it.

The afternoon before the flight, I visited the De Fietsfabriek assembly warehouse to check in on the bikes. I wanted to see how they were packed to get an idea of dimensions and also get a sense of how I was going to lug them around to and from the airports.

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Then that night I called United Airlines to get their two cents on the matter. I actually called United three different times that night and got three completely different replies ranging from ‘no way no how’ to ‘yes, but for a reasonable fee’ to ‘yes, and the fee is really expensive’.

So I set out for the airport the next morning prepared to accept whatever fate was dealt to me when I got there. One of the owners from De Fietsfabriek gave me a lift to the airport with their van and helped with getting the bikes into the terminal.

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I arrived three hours early for my flight. Before I could get up to the counter my phone rang and it was an automated call from United informing me that the flight was cancelled. The flight pattern at the time was Denver to Chicago to Amsterdam and the plane never left Denver due to a mechanical issue.

My reaction was surprisingly calm. It was the first time I’d ever had a flight cancelled so I didn’t know what normally happens next. In my mind I figured I’d simply have to find a way to get picked up with the bikes and then come back tomorrow to try it once again.

When I got to the counter they said not to worry, that I was being booked on another flight that will get me to Chicago connecting via Washington D.C. I knew right away that was not going to work. I didn’t even know yet if they would load the bikes onto the flight from Amsterdam. And I was pretty certain the chances of the bikes getting offloaded in DC and then loaded onto a smaller plane for the last leg to Chicago were slim and none.

So I pleaded my case with them and they obliged my request for a direct flight and got me on one with KLM. My relief was short lived as the next hurdle suddenly appeared- The KLM scheduled flight time was an hour earlier than my United flight and KLM was in a different terminal.

Determined to make it. I started the shuffle, moving my luggage plus one bike up 30 feet, then going back for the second bike to move that up 30 feet then repeat… That’s when a couple of extremely sweet good Samaritans saw the rigmarole I was doing and jumped in to help me get the bikes to the KLM terminal.

The ticketing agent at KLM was super helpful and somewhat excited to hear I was bringing two of the most quintessentially Dutch souvenirs home with me. I was then directed to bring the bikes to the odd-size baggage counter. Once I got there they told me that they needed to confer with the actual folks who would be doing the loading to see if they could make it on the plane or not. I remember standing off a few feet in the background while a handful of stocky guys stood in a circle and argued back and forth in Dutch for at least a minute or two about the bikes.

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This was the moment of truth. My mind was racing as I stood there trying to figure out what I was going to do if they said no. I’d certainly miss my flight and have to find a cargo carrier to package and transport the bikes which I figured was going to cost more than the bikes themselves. Just then, one of the guys arguing threw his hands up and then down to his side and accepted defeat and walked away and another one of them walked up to me and said they would take them.

Both confused and incredibly relieved I then went back to the odd-size baggage counter to pay the extra baggage fees. I think it was around 140 Euro per bike which felt like a bargain after everything I had been through up to that point.

The fun wasn’t over yet, I still had a flight to catch! I headed directly to my gate. I don’t recall if it’s always this way at Schiphol Airport, but I remember that day the set up was such that you get checked into your flight at the gate and then wait in a little holding area next to the door to the jetway prior to boarding the plane.

After checking in at the gate I put my headphones on and tried my best to relax while looking out the window to see if I could catch a glimpse of the bikes being loaded onto the plane. We were there for a good 30 minutes or more in this holding area and just barely over the sound of the music in my ears I hear my name being called out over the intercom with a request to come to the counter at the gate.

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I was defeated. I walked up to the counter fully expecting them to tell me that after all they would not be able to get the bikes on the plane. Not so. Apparently, for whatever reason, my boarding pass didn’t register correctly when I was checked in at the gate so they didn’t have me in their system and they were paging me thinking I was at the bar and about to miss the flight. She told me I was lucky I got to them when I did as they were 5 minutes away from offloading my luggage!

Successfully checked-in to the flight and the bikes presumably loaded as well I boarded the plane for a smooth flight home. Upon arrival at O’Hare Airport in Chicago I collected my odd-size baggage and got everything home in a cargo van that one of my friends rented to pick me up.

This is why anytime I’m asked if you can fly to Holland and bring a bike home I answer- yes you most certainly can. But, if you want someone to take out all the drama and unknowns, you can get your Dutch bike from us.

The end.

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