1310 N. Clybourn, Chicago, Illinois 60610
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Thursdays: 8am- 1pm
CLOSED Sun. 12 Nov.: Jackson Park, Chi Cross Cup
CLOSED Sun. 3 Dec.: State Championships, Montrose Harbor, Chi Cross Cup
...And by special appointment...
And yes- the sidewalk is fixed. My appologies for not keeping the site updated enough... The shop life has been busy and exciting, the World Championships in LA were fun, racing at the local velodromes starts in a couple of weeks... You'll have to come by the shop to see what's new and get an earful concerning the local action...
So... The city decided to deal with the sidewalk
in front of the shop. Finally. Anyway- this is causing a little bit of
an access problem to the shop. Usually- there will be a bridge constructed
leading from the street to the front doors. However- during certain construction
times, the workers will remove the bridge (for access to the hole underneath)
and all entry to the shop must be done through the back of the building.
If you need access through the rear of the building- calling ahead is
recommended. Either way- the shop will remain open during scheduled hours,
regardless of construction. If you're wondering about access for your
upcoming trip to the shop, feel free to call ahead of time for an update.
For those of you wondering what all the construction is around here... Like usual- December started off as a month pumped with anxious excitement. I was looking forward to the State Cyclocross Championships (being held for the first time inside Chicago after many years of obscurity) as well as the shop's own events- Sunday Open Houses at the shop where we (about 80 customers total) consumed lots of good food and drink- some supplied by friends (coffee from Jittery Joe's, beer from Tim at Goose Island, corn chips and salsa brought by Alan), the annual Big December Sale and Raffle (where Ansgar won a sharp Campagnolo jersey, Grayson walked away with a Serfas helmet and Nas won a set of new tires)... Out with the old, in with the new. And more so than I was expecting...
When I started preparing the shop to open a few minutes before 8am Monday the 13th of December I noticed some city DOT workers showing up in their trucks. There's always some construction going on in the neighborhood so I didn't think much of it. Until the clock struck 8 and the workers started going at it. After 7 years of hastling the Alderman, I was expecting the old, cracked sidewalks to be replaced some time next spring... But it looked like they had other plans. By 8:10am- there was no sidewalk in front of the shop. Wow- what a wake up call. I quickly finished my coffee and exited the building to see what the deal was. I can't complain- because we've needed repaired sidewalks for years, but I apologize for not being able to forewarn my customers and friends...
When construction is not going on directly under my front door- there is a bridge that the carpenters have constructed for access into the storefront. Some days- there is active construction too close to allow access through the front. If the bride is down- just call the shop phone and we'll let you in through the rear basement entrance (but we have to unlock the gate and door first). Sorry for any inconvenience. This "intense" construction only occurs about twice a week, and unfortunately- there's no warning concerning scheduling.
The sidewalk excavation has been agrivated by the narrowness- the back hoe has had to dig it out at an angle which has lead to a longer project time than expected as well as posing a maneuverability problem, which led the crew to tear out the water main for the building around 10am on the 21st. That was fun. I was woking at the bike stand, Damara had just left half an hour before (through the rear basement door), and the constant grumbling of the back hoe in front of the building was starting to become ambient. One moment I heard a twisting/tearing metal sound and a moment later the back hoe was shut off. I walked to the front, opened the door and saw two workers standing on the edge of the pavement, looking down at a geyser spouting out of the hole. Yikes. I asked if they needed any help. What a stupid question. After the initial wonder wore off- I ran back inside to the basement. Sure enough- water had covered the floor. I looked around- the landlord had just remodeled the basement- new drywall, new rest room, redone floor... And an even-fresher layer of water everywhere. I looked at the front wall (against the vaulted sidewalk)- there were little waterfalls spouting though the old storefront doors and from between bricks in the wall. I ran back up to the shop and called the landlord and proceeded to call a couple of customers who I knew were planning on coming by. The basement was filling with water and the only access point to the building was cut off for the day. And what an interesting day it was- within an hour- the city stopped the flow of water into the building. The shut off valve under the street was damaged and they couldn't shut off the street until 8:30pm because of the health clinic next door, so they had to bring in huge pumps to work with the load that was being dispelled by the broken main. And eventually, after being at 2 feet deep for 4 hours the water level started dropping at 3pm. The basement was free of standing water around 4:30 and I thought it was taken care of... The second leak started a little before 7pm and the basement took a few inches of water for a second time, but all the necessary crews were on site and that was taken care of quickly. Once the clinic closed for the evening, the crews started taking care of pipe replacement- they had already tore out extra pavement from the street to prepare for replacing the piping under the asphalt. They worked hard and constant until all water service was restored to the building around 4am the following day. When I entered the shop on Wednesday, I found the cats huddled together in the 40 degree ambient temperature. The gas had been shut off when the flood occurred. Peoples' Energy had everything turned back on at 3pm Wednesday, the furnace jumped into overdrive and the thaw started. The basement had about a ton of sand deposited near the old front doors with mud covering the rest of the floor and the bottom two feet of wallspace around the perimeter. At least Dan (the land lord) had the floor drains relaid over the summer... But there was a lot of clean up to be had. Three weeks later- Dan's workers have removed the sand, cleaned the basement, replaced the hot water heater and drywall and the sidewalk is progressing once again as well.
Ah, gotta love winter in the city! So- to "make up" for all of these messes, I've extended the December Sale until the end of January. Feel free to send me an email or call the shop for any further details.
And as long as I'm speaking of changes... Have you heard- soon we'll have a new sidewalk, new glass storefront and a couple of new employees. The new web site is here- breathing a bit. The summer is around the corner. The Track World Championships are being held in L.A. in March, Collegiate Track Nationals are in Northbrook this September, Masters' Track Nationals are in Indy and Detroit is hosting another Six Day Race! It's going to be a great summer!