Urban Velo

Can bike shop deserts bloom on Chicago’s South Side?

Pedaling down Halsted Street into Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, I smell the unmistakable aroma of Harold’s Chicken as I pass an outpost of the South Side chain whose logo features a chef chasing a rooster with a hatchet. After an SUV speeds by me blasting hip-hop, I pull up to John’s Hardware and Bicycle Shop and admire the old-fashioned painted sign, featuring John Stallworth’s smiling, bearded face and his no-nonsense slogan, “If we don’t have it you don’t need it.”

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  1. Clowns to the Left, Jokers to the Right: Media Portrayals of the Car-Free | Streetsblog Capitol HillMay 2, 2012 at 9:49 am

    [...] on an all-too-common phenomenon: when tax revenues approved for transit end up elsewhere. And Urban Velo introduces us to a handy new term: bike shop [...]

  2. RobMay 2, 2012 at 10:41 am

    I know this is not a perfect response, but I was in a “bike shop desert” until fairly recently. My biggest fear was breaking down somewhere, and not being able to get home. Then I discovered:


    A bicyclist’s dream, and also a dream for responsible car owners. Like AAA, they will pick you up and take you to the nearest repair shop (outside the desert). Unlike AAA, they will pick you up on bicycle or automobile.

    Used them 6 times over 5 years: 4 for the car and 2 for the bike. The car tow trucks are the same ones AAA uses. Same response time.

  3. EzraMay 2, 2012 at 11:31 am

    I agree 100% with Rob. Betterworldclub is a great company, though thankfully I haven’t had to use them yet.

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