Well, OK.. I admit, I had a dream of utility bikes all over Chicago. It would be damn cool, eh?
I got a glimpse of how this could happen though this week, when Steve Vance (Grid Chicago) and Brandon Gobel (Chicago Cargo) organized a bunch of cycling citizens. We had a diverse group of folks who either do business via cargo bike or use utility bikes as primary transportation to haul kids, groceries, etc. We ate pizza and talked utility bikes, bike businesses, and how cutting back on motorized transportation in dense urban areas is good for everyone. We tossed around ideas like building out our own little Chicago version of the EU Cyclelogistics organization, how to encourage the city to encourage more bike-based businesses, and what the future of cargo bike roll calls could be. The best part? I got to meet more bicycle-based business folks that are putting the wheels to the pavement in our fair city. Do you know these folks? You should!
Jana used a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for her bee-keeping and bike and now maintains hives at community gardens and urban farms all over town. The hives help pollinate nearby plants and serve as educational tools for neighborhood kids. You can read more about her Bike a Bee business on Grid Chicago.
While the guys from Cut Cats are in the process of updating their blog/website, they’re also very busy delivering you food from your favorite restaurants around the Lakeview and Logan Square area. They have contracts with about 15 different restaurants to handle their deliveries all by bike. Brilliant.
Minku is a great guy and he works year-round with an enclosed pedicab! Catch him near Bulls games, Northwestern football games, and (NHL-willing) a few Blackhawks games this winter.
You may have seen Adam riding the mobile bike shop around town – I’ve spotted him in West Town and Wicker Park a few times. They “specialize in high quality, on-site cycle services to all cycle machines including: repairs, sales, fleet maintenance, and maintenance training courses.” How can you go wrong with bike maintenance that comes to you!
Now tell me how cool it would be to have your window washing service contracted to a team of guys on customized bakfiets? That’s what you get with Urban Street. They wash windows, clean graffiti and can install that anti-graffiti film too. Check them out!
The meet-up would not have been possible without J.C. Lind Bikes letting us use their space for our get-together. It seemed apropos as it’s already full of cargo bikes just ready for a new home. Thanks Jon!