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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ABUS Keyed Alike Locks

Did you know you could get your bike locks keyed alike? Yeah! I know! Right! ABUS offers this option on their premium locks. You can buy a group of locks all at one time or add locks that share your existing key.

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There are a lot of advantages to having your bike locks keyed alike. For instance, many of our customers are families who have multiple bikes that are shared among them. With keyed alike locks, each one of them can access any of the bikes with one key. Or when they go out as a group, they’ve got some backup in case one person forgets their keys.

If you have bunch of bikes and like to keep a lock with each bike. There’s no more confusion on what key goes with what lock. Additionally there are fewer lock serial numbers to keep track of.

If you are like me and you keep your bike locked outside with multiple locks (three for me!) having one key that opens all locks is awesome.

The recent cold spell is a reminder of just how frustrating fumbling around with keys can be. The lesson: Fewer keys is better.

If you’re a creature of habit like I am and put the same things in the same pockets each time you leave the house. You don’t need to stop and think about which keys you need to be taking. Just grab your one set of keys and know you’ve got it covered.

There are a few things to keep in mind if your planning to get ABUS keyed alike bicycle locks.

All ABUS keyed alike locks come directly from Germany. In other words there is some lead time in get new locks. You should plan on about 3 weeks for delivery. We do keep some bundles of locks in stock, but not every combination, and we can’t split apart bundles.

Again, you can add new locks with the same key-way. So if you need one lock right now and still want multiple locks that share keys, you only need to wait for the additional locks.

Locks to be keyed alike have to use the Plus or X-Plus keys. Note also that these two keys are different styles and are not cross compatible. All the locks need to be one type. Plus or X-Plus. Not both.

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We usually recommend the Plus key. It offers the most versatility and is the only type available for frame locks.

Each lock comes with two keys. Just like the standard non-keyed alike versions. This means you should have plenty as spares.

Now these don’t fit every bike. Specifically the new ABUS frame lock (Pro Shield Plus 5950) doesn’t fit all bikes. As of early 2018 this is the only frame lock that is available keyed alike.

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Because the opening is slightly more narrow, it doesn’t play well with every bike. Specifically the Workcycles Fr8 & Kr8 bikes require some modifications and potentially a different rear tire. We’ve discussed this with ABUS USA and hope to have more options in the future. In the meantime the frame lock will fit most classic city bikes.

Drop us a line if you’d like to get set-up with keyed alike ABUS locks.

Welcome to J.C. Lind Bike Co. Video

Check out our new video. Hope you like it. Even with a billion plus videos on YouTube, I’m confident this one will go viral;-)

We hope this will give you a quick little introduction to The Shop.

Thankfully I was able to get a bunch of help in different areas from some great people.

The aerial photography is thanks to Jack Frisch (Peachtree Productions). Jack is a longtime friend and customer of The Shop. He brought in the equipment to shoot with but more importantly the piloting skills and an eye for video.

The video editing is thanks to Keith Couture. Keith is a good buddy of ours and a former employee. If you’ve seen anything artistic out of The Shop in the past 3 years, odds are it’s a Keith creation.

Aly Jados, a local rock legend from the band Blood People, provided the studio and the coaching skills to get a solid voice over performance out of me. She also happens to be my cousin.

It was a fun time putting it together. Being new to this, it sure seemed like a lot of work for something just over a minute long. We learned a lot and hope to leverage this to do more videos to keep you informed on what we are up to.

Brompton Folding Bikes Are Here

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Happy to announce that we are now a stocking dealer for Brompton folding bikes.

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Here’s the deal, it folds. As far as we know it’s the smallest folding folding bike out there. You can bring one anywhere with you. It’s small enough to actually carry. It’s small enough to walk in and out of a grocery store with. It’s small enough to stow in the corner of your apartment or under your desk. It’s even small enough to fit in the overhead luggage bin on most airplanes. You could also bring one on just about any form of public transit. This is a real bike. An actual transportation bike. You can use a Brompton as your daily rider.

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In most cases it’s faster getting in and out of your frequent stops. You don’t have to find a bike rack or fight a crowd of bikes to lock up. You will always have a bike on hand, at the ready. Since you can take a Brompton with you it’s safe from theft and protected from the weather.

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It makes your commute truly multi-modal, making on the fly adjustments to how you are getting around. You can bike or if for whatever reason it makes more sense you can fold up your Brompton, hail a cab or jump on public transit. No concerns of being caught without a bike and no worrying about the security of your rig.

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Traveling with one is a breeze. It won’t be over-sized luggage. So you can bring it with you on your next vacation or business trip. And you won’t waste your whole first evening putting your bike together.

They are great for sharing. One bike will fit many people. So if you have a friend or relative in need of a bike you’ve got them covered.

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The bikes are nicely thought out. Brompton has looked at the small details. You can literally unfold & roll out the door with one. In addition there are cargo and storage solutions ready to go.

There is a wealth of information at your fingertips from the Brompton community who have been using these for decades. Chances are they already have solutions to almost every conceivable scenario.

Here’s the set up we are going to bring in. Medium and upright bars. 6 speed gearing. Fenders. Dyno Lighting. And options for carrying stuff. This is probably gonna weigh around 25 lbs and will be priced in the neighborhood of $1,600-$2,000.

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This being the first season with Brompton, we think that the set up outlined above is the best combination of price, weight and utility. In the future we may choose to expand our offerings. You can always create your own completely custom Brompton and we will have it for you in about 8 weeks.

Curious if a Brompton might be right for you. Come try one out.