Bicycles Last Update: December 12, 2001


Our Bikes

Product Reviews

Story Time

Places to Ride

Group Rides

Cannondale Logos

Web Links

Local Dealers

Body Mass Index


Body Fat

Miles Per Hour




I have been an avid bicyclist for many years. I equally enjoy riding on the road and off the road. Luzimar and the boys also enjoy bicycling, and in fact bicycles were their primary transportation in Brasil for a number of years. Northern Illinois offers a number of great places to ride, both on the road and off. Check out our list of great places to ride below.

Our Bikes

We don't have the trickest bikes, but here they are:

  • Giant ATX 890
    This is my ATB and it really kicks. Has a great frame and componentry (for its day). I put a century on it in September of 1995. Bought it at Spokes in Wheaton. They added bar ends and a Rock Shox Quadra 21 fork (that has seen better days).

  • Trek 1000
    This was my first good bike. Though its components are obsolete, it has a stiff aluminum frame that supports my 6'3" frame. Bought it at Bicycle Specialities which has since sold out to BikeSource.

  • Cannondale MT800 Tandem
    I have always wanted a Cannondale, because of their awesome stiff aluminum frames. We'll we finally got one (actually it is on order). The tandem will finally allow me to keep up with Luzimar! Bought it at BikeSource.

  • Mongoose Manuever ATB
    I purchased the Mongoose at Spokes for Luzimar when we're dating. It has a good frame and decent components but Luzimar thinks it is too heavy. What do you expect for $300???

  • Schwinn Moab 1
    This is one trick bike. Eber bought it at Galyans. One of the best bikes (ATB) I have seen for under $1000 (okay, $999.99).

  • Kurt's Magna
    This is not a trick bike, but it was cheap! Kurt has no time for bicycles now that he rides his Honda VLX. Actually, rumor has it that he is saving for a Schwinn.

Product Reviews

A few reviews:

Brooks B.17 Standard Saddle
Without a doubt the most comfortable saddle I have ever ridden.

Brooks Team Professional Saddle
Had to return it. But read about here to decide for yourself whether I am overally sensitive!

CycleAware Reflex Helmet Mirror
If cost more than $10 I would return it.

Cannondale MT800 Tandem
Read about our Cannondale MT800 Tandem. Finally, I can keep up with Luzimar!

Biking Stories

I have lots of bike stories. One of my favorites and most embarassing...A number of years ago I ran into a recumbant manufacturer friend-of-a-friend at the Bike Show at the St Charles, Pheasant Run Conference Center. The manufacturer encouraged me to take it for a spin in the parking lot. I took him up on the offer and took to the bike rather quickly, even with the under-the-seat steering. As I was lapping the parking lot, a number of the US Cycling team members were watching me and yelling encouraging remarks--basically cheering me on. Then, as I passed by them for the third time, my shoe laces got caught in the chainring and I crashed and burned big time. The encouraging remarks, let's say, changed a bit. Very embarrasing, especially given I had a heck of a time extricating myself as I was down and tied up in the chainring. Needless to say, I am still waiting for my 15 minutes of fame.

Places to Ride

The great thing about bicycling, is you can ride just about anywhere. But for those of you tired of riding in the neighborhood, here are a few places we like to ride:

  • Illinois Prairie Path
    Definitely our favorite place to ride. I once rode a century on this path. You can pick it up throughout DuPage county; we usually pick it up South of 56 on 59. Other times, we pick it up in Wheaton.
    Contact: The Illinois Prairie Path
    PO Box 1086
    Wheaton, IL 60189

  • Great Western Trail
    A great path that begins in DuPage County, traverses Kane County, ending at the DeKalb county line.
    Contact: Friends of the Great Western Trail
    247 E. Lincoln Ave.
    Glendale Heights, IL 60139

  • Danada and Herrick Lake Forest Preserves
    I lump these together since they are connected by a viaduct. Nice place to ride and if you like, you can connect up to the priarie path.

  • Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve
    One of my favorite places to ride. Luzimar almost got hit by a kamikaze rider so she has lost a bit of interest in riding there. The complete circuit is about 10-12 miles. If you ride hard, there are some marginally challenging sections, including a fairly steep downhill the ends in a very quick left hander onto a bridge or ....Well, let's not discuss what happens if you don't make the turn. The Main Entrance is located at Cass Avenue and Northgate Road I-55 to South Cass exit, take Cass south to Northgate Road, west on Northgate Road 250 ft. to entrance on the north side. Contact: (630) 933-7200.

  • Green Valley Forest Preserve
    Relatively small, but it is close to home so we ride it a lot. The paths, mostly limestone are nicely maintained. It is located in at the Naperville/Woodridge/Bolingbrook border, 1/2 mile West of Route 53, Just south of 75th.

  • Busse Woods
    Busse Woods provides a paved 11 mile circuit that is great for any bike and levels of bicyclists. It is located 1/4 mile east of the 290 at Higgins Road.

  • Palos Hills Forest Preserve
    I have not yet biked Palos Hills, but I hear it is great. I stole the following commentary from another site:
    This area provides some of the best mountain biking in close proximity to Chicago. The trails are good for all levels with a mixture of single track and fire roads. Take I-55 to LaGrange Rd south. Archer Avenue west and left on 95th St. At the top of the hill you will enter the Preserve. There is parking at Bull Frog Lake.
    Contact: Forest Preserve District of Cook County (708) 366-9420

  • Salt Creek - Bemis Woods
    A fun path that begins at the North Side of Odgen (34) 1/2 mile west of Wolf Rd -- 1/2 mile east of 294. You can follow the path all the way to Brookfield zoo, if you're willing to cross a few busy intersections.

  • Chicago Lakefront Path
    We have not peddled this path. I stole the following commentary:
    This is a great path for leisure bicycle riding. It is approximately 20 miles long starting at Sheridan Rd and Bryn Mawr. It travles south until 71st Street and Lake Michigan. There are some street crossings but the path travels through parks along the Lake. There are many places to stop and swim, have lunch, go to museums, and other attractions.
  • North Branch Trail
    We have not peddled this trail, but it is supposed to a great place to ride. I stole the following commentary from another site:
    This is a beautiful paved trail that winds along the North Branch of the Chicago River and the Skokie Lagoons. It is surprisingly empty during the week. There are street crossings so watch for cars. It is about 20 miles from the parking lot to the Botanic Gardens and then you can ride streets north to the Wisconsin border or turn back around. Directions: Take Milwaukee Ave northwest until Devon. The parking lot is a half a block east on Devon. Contact. (708) 366-9420
  • I & M Canal State Trail
    I have walked the I & M Canal State Trail, but have not biked it. I stole the following commentary:
    This is a limestone trail that extends about 56 miles. There are many manmade and natural attractions along the side the trail and canal. The Illinois River winds along the trail connecting Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River. Directions: Take I-55 southwest to Hwy 6 and exit at Canal St. Go 1/2 mile southeast to Story St and then one block west. There are many places along the Canal to park this is just one of the closest to Chicago. Contact: (815) 740-2047

Group Rides and Clubs

Riding with a group is safer and more fun than riding alone....The following is a list of bicycle shops and clubs that sponser group rides, on and off the road.

  • The Wheaton Spokes bicycle shop sponsers group rides on Wednesday (on road) and Sundays (off road). I used to ride with this group and it was a ton of fun. At least in the past, they had the fast group and the intermediate group. However, if you cannot average 15-18 mph and ride 20-25 miles, forget it.
  • The Naperville Spokes bicycle shop sponsers group rides on Sunday (on road).
  • The American Bicycle shop in Downers Grove sponsers a group road ride on Wednesday each week.
  • Fox Valley Bicycle and Ski Club
  • Joliet Chicago Bicycle Club

Cannondale Graphics

Chris Haywood created these images of the Cannondale Logo. T-Shirt transfers, here I come!
Cannondale Logo

Bicycling Web Sites

    Forums, Information, Lance, Magazines, Tour de France, etc.

  • Active USA Calculators and information for active adults.
  • About.Com's Bicycling Site
    Lots of biking information from About.Com.
  • About.Com's MTB Site
    Lots of MTB information from About.Com.
  • Bicycling Magazine
    Hate the format of the magazine, but their web site is moderately helpful.
    One of the best bicycle forums and link sites.
  • Bike Reviews
    Online Bike Reviews and Links.
  • Cache Valley Trails
    Some great maintenance information!
  • Colorado Cyclist Magazine
    Good magazine and a moderately helpful site.
  • Cycling News
    Cycling News Online Magazine.
  • CycleSport Tandem Resources
    The web site includes resources regarding tandems and all bikes in general.
  • Double Forte Tandem Forum
    Great forum and links for tandem lovers.
  • Mountain Bike Review
    Great MT Bike Reviews from owners.
  • Cycling Performance Tips
    Every thing you wanted to know about cycling performance, fitness, etc. Wonderful Site!
  • Recumbent Information and Links
    Info for recumbent owners.
  • Road Bike Reviews
    Great reviews.
  • Recumbent and Tandem Magazine
    More tandem and recubment information.
  • Sheldon Brown Articles
    Lots of good info from Sheldon Brown and Harris Cyclery.
  • Sheldon Brown Tandem Articles
    Lots of good tandem info from Sheldon Brown and Harris Cyclery.
  • Slow Twitch
    Great site includes product reviews, tech info, forum, etc.
  • Tandem Online Magazine
    Lots of links and info regarding tandems.
  • Total Bike
    A very good online resource of everything bicycle.
  • Tour De France Web Site
    The official LeTour De France Web Site.
  • United Bicycle Institue Technical Forum
    Some good tech info.
  • Triathelete Magazine
    Great stuff for you Triatheletes.
  • Velonews Magazine
    Great mag, great site.
  • WWW Bike Links (Ed's)
    Eds Bike Links, millions of them!

    Retail, Tools, Car Racks, and Accessories

  • Branford Bikes
    The Branford Bike "Saddles" web pages are probably the best pages on the web if you want to shop for top-of-the-line saddles--Branford carries them all. Good stats, pics, and their prices are comparable to everyone else. I have not dealt with them so I do not have a customer service opinion. They have a 100% satisfaction guarantee except on saddles. Their saddle policy is as follows: "Saddles that have been mounted on a seatpost or ridden may NOT be returned." Check out Wallingford below if you're interested in dealing with someone with a more liberal saddle return policy.
  • Harris Cyclery - Sheldon Brown
    Great stop for Brooks seats, accessories, advice.
  • Park Tools
    Simply the best when it comes to bike tools. Even carries some cool clothing. Cool site and an online store to boot!
  • Performance
    The Wal-Mart of bicycling merchandise--that's a compliment. If you can find it cheaper somewhere else....
  • Play It Again Sports!
    I appreciate the recycle - reuse - replay mentality of Play It Again Sports! Everyone wins. Play It Again Sports in Naperville IL buys and sells new and used bikes and bike accessories as well as performs bike repair. And if you don't happen to live in our neck of the woods, look them up on the Internet. It is a growing retailer!
  • Saris Products
    Saris bike transport products are some of the best out there, especially the bones rear rack. Check them out!
  • Wallingford Bicycle Parts - Brooks Saddles
    Great service and a great stop for hard-to-get parts. The Wallingford and Sheldon Brown (Harris Cyclery) sites are considered the best place to shop for, read about, and purchase Brooks saddles. Prices are comparable, but Wallinford offers a 6-month return policy just in case the Brooks saddle does not "break-in" for you.
  • Yakima Bicycling Transporters and Accessories
    Great site, lots of help to build your own Yakima transporter. Now, what about the Star Trek transporter....

    Bike and Component Manufacturers - Mail Order Bikes

  • Bianchi Bikes
    Some beeee-utifull bikes for relatively little money.
  • Brooks Saddles
    Manufacturer of quality, suspended-leather saddles. I have used a Vetta saddle on both bikes for years with acceptable comfort. I recently purchased a Specialized Body Geometry--an absolute waste of money, period. The beauty of the Brooks saddle is that after x miles, it molds to your backside. Plus, they're one of the most beautiful saddles on the market. Padded and gel seats are highly overrated and regularly discarded. Check out my review of the Brooks B.17 Standard Saddle.
  • Burley Tandems and Accessories
    Right there with Cannondale for the best tandems for the money.
  • Campagnolo's Web Site
    Lots of stuff to see and do (take the quiz). Of course, the company also has a small line of bicycle parts...(hehehehe).
  • Cannondale Bikes
    If you like stiff, aluminum, USA-Made bikes...take a look here!
  • Co-Motion Bikes
    Their claim to fame are fantastic tandems. Prices start at about $3500.00.
  • Da Vinci Designs Hand-Built Tandems
    Great looking and performing tandems (as per reputation). Da Vinci employs a unique Independent Drive system so that the Captain and Stoker and pedal/coast independent of each other. Prices start at about $3500.00.
  • Gary Fisher Bicycles
    Legend has it that he was one of the first mountain bikers. I have seen the bike. We called them tanks in SoCal and rode them long before the Gary Fisher stories. Nah, I am not bitter. I am not!! Really!!!!
  • Giant Bicycles
    A few years ago I asked Spokes for the best ATB under a $1000; the Giant ATX 890 was it. Great frame, good components.
  • Gita Distributor Site
    Eye Candy, beware! Diadora shoes, great bikes, great site! Distributor for Merckx, Pinarello, etc.
  • Kestral Bicycles
    State of the art carbon fiber bikes. Where technology hits the road.
  • Klein Bicycles
    Legendary factory-built bikes with custom bike quality (and price).
  • Litespeed Titanium Bikes
    Reasonably priced, popular titanium bikes.
  • Gred LeMond Bikes
    They're beautiful and are relatively inexpensive. I like the LeMond geometry (relaxed, long top tubes).
  • Eddy Merckx Bikes
    Beautiful bikes, great site.
  • Mongoose Bikes
    Cool name, okay bikes.
  • Pinarello Bikes
    Sexy Site, Sexy Bikes, Where bikes are art! Calm Down Jack, Calm Down Boy!
  • Ritchey Bicycles and Accessories
    Legendary name. Legendary stuff.
  • Rock Shox
    Basic site but has owners and service manuals for their products from 1996 to present. Too bad I have a 1995 fork!
  • Santana Tandems
    One of the better, if not finicky tandems on the market. Too much money for my blood, but hey, I have thin blood... I figure when a bicycle costs more than a medium priced motorcycle, there is something wrong.
  • Shimano Official Web Site
    Great Shimano product info and some tech help.
  • Softride Bikes and Accessories
    Cool bikes and softride seems like a great idea--a little too much flex for me, but I can make Stone Mountain tremble.
  • Specialized Bicycles and Accessories
    Generally a good bang for the buck all things considered.
  • Trek Bicycles
    I have always loved Treks, their steel frames and investment cast lugs etc. Kinda seems like things have gone down hill. I like their road bikes, but not much else.
  • Waterford Custom-Built Bikes
    If you're tall or need/want a special, custom-made bike, check out Waterford.

Dealers We Do Business With

The following are dealers we do business with, listed in alphabetical order.

American Bicycle
639 Ogden
Downers Grove, IL 60515-2732
(630) 971-8877
Notes: Good shop, carries Trek and Schwinn at rock bottom prices ($50 less on a Trek 1000 than Blazing Saddles). Have to watch their advice though--one of the sales guys picked out a "female" ATB for my son and had no idea what they had in stock.
Bicycles Etc.
6460 College Road
Lisle, Illinois, 60532
630.369.5623 fax
567 South Route 59
Aurora, Illinois 60504
Notes: A great, family-owned and run shop. Good selection of entry-level through intermediate bikes. Good knowledge and they are willing to order.
Bike Line
1277 S Naper Blvd
Naperville, IL 60540
Notes: Okay prices and service. We frequent the place because they're the closest full-line cycle shop to the house.

Bike Rack
2930 Campton Hills Drive
Saint Charles, IL 60175
Notes: Great shop, great service, great people, one of the best! They fixed my Trek aluminum frame and fitted me to the bike, after the dealer who sold me the bike could do neither. My second favorite dealer and perhaps would be my favorite, but they are a long distance from home. Bummer.
Hartley's Cycle Shoppe
24 W. Hinsdale Ave.
Hinsdale, IL 60521
Telephone: (630) 323-7156
Fax: (630) 323-7195
Notes: You won't find a nicer shop owner. Have bent over backwards trying to get us on a bike, it just never works out. Caters to beginners through intermediates.
Mill Race Cyclery
11 E. State Street
Geneva, IL 60134
Telephone: (630)232-2833
Fax: (630)208-0660
Notes: Very knowledgeable, great prices, caters to intermediate to higher levels of riders. Classy shop right along the Fox river. Carry a great line of bikes--drool city.
Performance Bicycles
428 S. Route 59 Suite 120
Naperville, IL 60540
Notes: Hard to beat their prices. Had a run in with one of the clerks, too bad, because I buy lots of Performance Gear. Their gear (clothing, shoes, parts) is of good quality at hard-to-beat prices.
Play It Again Sports!
931 W 75th St Suite 185
Naperville, IL 60565
Notes: I appreciate the recycle - reuse - replay mentality of Play It Again Sports! Everyone wins. Play It Again Sports in Naperville IL buys and sells new and used bikes and bike accessories as well as performs bicycle repairs. If you are not in the Naperville area, look up Play It Again Sports on the net...
223 Rice Lake Square
Wheaton, IL 60187-2136
Notes: Great shop. Caters to everyone from kids to pros, and seems to give the same great help to everyone who walks in. Sponsers group rides on Wednesday and Sunday. Bought my Giant ATB and Luzimar's ATB there and have been extremely happy with the service and care. Perhaps my favorite shop.
1807 South Washington Street
Naperville, IL 60565-2446
Notes: Great shop, owned by the same family as the Wheaton store. Not quite as helpful, yet again is one of the few stores around that caters to everyone. Sponsers Sunday rides.

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