Spring Alleycat Calendar & Other Bike Events

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Thursday April 17th

Spring Cleaning Jersey and Clothing Swap (6:00 – 9:00 at BFF Bikes, 2113 W Armitage, Chicago) Trade out those unworn jerseys for something that you’ll actually wear! There’s also snacks, drinks, and a raffle with free registration to Cobb Park Criterium, Monsters of the Midway, and Northbrook Velodrome up for grabs.

Sunday, April 20th FOUR TWENTY LOL

Beerster II: CBMA Fundraiser and BBQ (Noon at the Southwest Corner of Union Park) Six eggs, six shots, and six challenges. Whoever makes it to the last checckpont with the most eggs reigns victorious; the rest get to kick back and barbecue to the tunes of DJ Mickey Massacre. Pre-reg here, or bring $5-$15 cash day of, all to benefit the Chicago Bike Messengers Association.

Saturday, April 26th

Velo City 9: The Midwest Tour (11am Registration at the Kenosha Velodrome) All sorts of track events for messengers and amateurs, including Miss and Out, Match Sprints, a Cargo Time Trial, and a Chariot Race!

Thursday, May 1st

Pre-Registration opens for the Minneapolis NACCC The race isn’t until August 29-September 1st, but those cats in MPLS need your pre-reg cash for reserving the course! Register early, register often!

Mayday Alleycat A lot of the details are still TBA, but with Cut Cats holding the handlebars you know this race’ll be be a good one!

Thursday May 15th to Saturday, May 17th

“It’s A Trap!” Race Series Three events in three days! Thursday at 6pm in Milennium Park, there’s the “Mixtape” Alleycat. On Friday at 6pm in Montgomery Park, there’s the “Chasing K” Time Trial. And last but not least, the “For The Good Of The Hood” Criterium kicks off Saturday at 1pm in Humboldt Park. $6 Each Race, $15 For All Races. Cash goes towards winners, beers, and bbq. Thanks to Charming Courier for putting this one on!

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Spinlister – A Renter’s Guide

Somewhere between one and three times a year, I fly across the country. Inevitably my main goal is to ride a bike inside of wherever Point B is. In the past, I’ve eschewed shipping or flying with my own. Some airlines charge ridiculous prices that leave a broke ass nonprofit employee in a quite a state of SMH.

I don’t know if I can justify spending $$ getting my beater bike to my destination for more than it cost me to buy. Because of this, I am forever on the quest to properly find my tiny body a tiny bike to enjoy when on vacation.

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spring cleaning

I was just talking with Cupcake about bike maintenance, and admitted that although our friend Desiree taught me to swap out my tube/tire an age ago, I haven’t changed my own tire in… basically forever. (Although that’s really, happily due to my wondrous luck avoiding flats. Seriously, I haven’t had a flat in over a year, knock wood.)

If given a nudge, though, this list of 12 basic bike repairs by Bicycling Magazine would not be too hard for me to undertake. Basic tools you’ll need for this whole buffet of maintenance tasks are:

  • hex wrench
  • chain lube
  • electrical tape and bar tape (if you’re retaping bars, obvs)
  • adjustable wrench
  • spoke wrench

And I bet you have all those things at home already, dude. You can YouTube the repairs and maintenance to your heart’s content for visual step-by-step, but this is a nice guide of what you can keep up with yourself, and what you should take in to the shop and be like “it is weird and bad, fix it please”.

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Upcoming Bike Events + Bonus Alleycat Hint

BFF Bikes co-owner Vanessa Buccella lipsyncs Yonce’s “Countdown” on rollers

It must be spring, because I cut my first pair of jorts of the season; fittingly, there’s a lot of bike events coming up through the end of the end of March. If all these parties and socials aren’t enough for you, keep your ear to the ground for details on an alleycat Nico’s throwing. I don’t want to post all the info because it’s invite only, but ask around if you’re interested in racing.

March 16th: Tuxedo Thunder Skills & Drills Clinic

Our friends over at Tuxedo Thunder are ready to teach you newbies teach you how to race some motherfucking road on March 16th. All your questions can be answered here!

March 23rd: Bike Day at the Logan Square Comfort Station

Join The Post Family this beautiful Sunday in March to get your bike out and meet some interesting folks. They’ll be featuring a great group of bike related businesses, including Tiny Fix friends Chicago Cargo and Bike-a-bee, as well as feature a few workshops related to working on your bike.

March 25th: Paramount Room’s “Bike-In Night”

On Tuesday March 25th from 6-8pm, bike friendly bar Paramount Room will be featuring a mix of special deals for people arriving by bike, networking and presentations from local bike shops and advocacy groups.

March 28th: BFF Bikes Grand Opening

Didja see our very own Lisa get a shout out in this article about BFF Bike’s opening? We couldn’t be more stoked about this female-focused bike shop getting off the ground, and we’re so excited for their “Big She-Bang” happening Friday, March 28th from 7:00-10:30. There’s gonna be roller karaoke, a fashion show, a raffle, beer, snacks, and music!

The Chainlink 10k Member Party

To be honest, I’ve kind of drifted away from The Chainlink over the years, but they’re one of the first places I started looking for a bike comunity in Chicago, and this party sounds awesome! Buy your ticket in advance here!

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Gearcrush: Hi Viz Whiz Edition

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Chari & Co Neon Green Classic Watch Cap – $25

We all know what it’s like. A car swerves out of their lane to turn and nearly crushes your tender bones to Nutella, and you hear obscenities pour forth in a voice that sounds much like your own albeit more panicked and shrill than you’d like to take ownership of. The driver holds up a palm or gives a noncommittal shrug, and apologetically calls out, “I didn’t see you!”

Fuck that noise, you Facebook-notification-checking, nose-picking, worthless piece of shit. Maybe you should check that a space is empty ***before*** you pilot your multi-ton death machine into it. Last time I checked, I wasn’t a chameleon, and I didn’t inherit my dead wizard dad’s Cloak of Invisibility. I don’t really think you have an excuse for trying to run me over. But if shit ever gets bloody, and we ever end up in a court of law, I don’t want to be explaining to a judge why I was wearing a black hoodie, black shoes, black pants, and no lights or helmet. I want that powdered wig motherfucker to be looking at the driver with the same look of “Are you fucking kidding me?” that I am.

That’s where hi viz comes in.

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Giro Atmos in Bright Green – $180

Yeah. Go ahead. Say you didn’t see me. That’s basically the same as admitting you weren’t looking.

PS – I reviewed the Aeon, a high end Giro helmet that’s very similar to the Atmos.

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Ten Speed Hero Team Jersey – $100

If I write one more love letter to Ten Speed Hero, it’s going to get creepy. So I’m just going to say this: this jersey is sick.

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Troy Lee Designs Womens Ace Jersey in Fluorescent Yellow – $58

I absolutely love this copy from the product page for this jersey: “You spoke up and we answered. No flowers, no butterflies, just the bold, aggressive styling you want and expect from Troy Lee Designs.”

If you say the word “hibiscus flowers” to any female cyclist I know, they start rolling their eyes harder than they roll their wheels. I don’t know a single woman who feels like women’s cycling apparel needs more pink or flowers or girly flourishes. We do need more practical, stylish apparel with clean lines and no bullshit, and this mountain bike jersey is the perfect thing for hitting the trails.

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The Chicken Fried Guide: Opinions on Chicago’s Fried Chicken

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I feel the way about fried chicken the way most people feel about pizza. Hell, I feel about fried chicken the way most people feel about world peace, endless riches, or finding their soul mate. Given that no one burns calories like cyclists, I thought I’d do a round-up of my favorite (…and least favorite) fried chicken joints in the city. If this post proves popular, we’re thinking about doing a Tiny Fix Fried Chicken Ride, so share the article with your food-loving carnivorous friends and comment if you want to make that a reality!

THE FAST FOOD BRACKET: WINNER: HAROLD’S

Harold’s In the first iteration of this article, I left off Harold’s, to the consternation of everyone who has ever sopped up a puddle of hot sauce with white bread. But honestly, if you need me to tell you how amazing Harold’s Chicken is, how do you even call yourself a Chicagoan? I know Harold’s takes forever to make your order, and the chicken is dry and salty with a crumbly crust. But I also know that I would be chased down with pitchforks if I gave them anything but top honors. Harold’s is as much of a part of the city as snow, corruption, and Malört.

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