Since taking off the training wheels in 1972, Cycles N Sports has been a full-service bike shop, wrenching two-wheel wisdom into each bike it sells and service it renders. A staff of riding enthusiasts helps customers navigate the shop’s inventory, comprising spoked specimens from such major brands as Electra, Townie, Felt, Giant, Fly, and Stolen, as well as many specialty models. Whether you arrive looking for a bike or parts for a BMX bike, road bike, mountain bike, or the makeshift ramp from the roof of your house, the staff can happily assist and answer questions.
Custom-built mountain bikes and hand-built wheelsets may be Richard’s Bikes’ specialty, but cyclists have frequented the store since 1910 to find road, cross-country, and freeride accessories. Staff pack more than 100 years of combined biking experience into the well-oiled gears that power their minds and match customers with premade bikes and equipment from manufacturers including GT, Schwinn, Mongoose, LeMond, and Klein. Richard’s carries a wide selection of helmets and protective gear, cycling apparel, and bike parts of all kinds.
Jan?e Matteson is a little wary of technology. The more ubiquitous it becomes, she finds, it has more potential to keep kids indoors (a trend she has dubbed ?acute nature deficit disorder?). Jan?e, whose family?s roots have been growing in Morris for nearly 200 years, basically spent her entire childhood outside, learning fur trapping and duck hunting with her father on the banks of the Illinois River. So in addition to her deep passion for the outdoors, founding Kayak Morris was largely inspired by doing whatever she could to help kids, their families, and domesticated teddy bears spend more time in nature.
Kayak Morris offers kayak and canoe lessons, and in addition, patrons can borrow their largely new fleet for leisurely trips along the Illinois River, Mazon River, or Illinois and Michigan Canal, which are home to wildlife such as great-blue herons, bald eagles, coyotes and red-tailed hawks. The staff also lead guided ecotours, which teach kids and adults about natural resources and what they can do to preserve and protect them for future generations. Family-focused private campgrounds is adjacent to the State Park along the rivers? sandy shores invite groups to stay for monthly Glampouts (glamorous campouts) and spend their days taking advantage of potluck dinners, hiking, fishing, bike rentals, or guided kayak tours and to spend their nights watching a movie on Morris? outdoor projection screen as campfires crackle nearby.
Dan's Bike Shop's expert spokesmen have been restoring sickly cycles back to health since opening in 1940. A complete bike tune-up inspects and thoroughly cleans bikes from handlebars to brakes, ensuring smooth sailing on rides across town or attempts to sneak into a regatta. Cranks, derailleurs, and brake calipers are removed and degreased in a relaxing hot tub of solvent while troublemaking brakes and gears undergo an attitude adjustment. Complimentary minor wheel truing helps settle bumpy rides, though new cables and a bike horn that plays John Phillip Sousa marches are not included.
Since 1946, years before the Interstate Highway System was built and decades before teleportation became popular, Art's Cycling has helped its community enjoy two-wheeled transport. Now managed by Art's son Barry, the shop continues to thrive well into the 21st century, stocking bikes from brands such as Schwinn, Trek, GT, and Mongoose and performing repairs on cycles of all makes and models. The shop's mechanics also outfit lowrider bikes for cyclists who want to look their dogs in the eyes when riding.
Inspired by a love of fitness and a passion for travel and tourism kindled within him by his late father, Jeremy Lewno founded Bobby's Bike Hike to create an interactive Chicago biking experience. He named the company after his dad, Bob, an Arkansas bus-tour operator who taught him to focus on service quality over quantity. That advice has clearly paid off, as the business's guided tours have earned a number one ranking for activities to do in Chicago on TripAdvisor and the title of Best Organized Bike Ride from the Chicago Reader in 2010.
During the tours, which include rented bicycles, guides lead groups of about 20 riders past Chicago icons in Millennium Park and on the Museum Campus, or direct them to samples of pizza, hot dogs, cupcakes, and beer in and around Wrigleyville. The crew has designed a Tike Hike tour for kids 10 and younger, a historic Hyde Park tour that pedals past the home of President Barack Obama, and a mansion-studded lakefront tour, during which riders may glimpse Oprah waving or handing out complimentary helicopters at her main residence. Patrons can also rent Schwinn, GT, and Cannondale Comfort bikes, mountain, road, cruisers, and tandem bikes to explore the city on their own.