Sunday, July 6, 2008

12. Bikes, Bike repair shops, and Bike stores

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Do you love riding bikes? Or, should I say, are you thinking about riding bikes now that gas has hit more than $4/gallon?

Chambana is a small enough to do everything riding your bike. The cities are hardly 10 miles in diameter, so one can easily commute to work on bike, or have a nice afternoon ride.

Where to get a bike?

The cheapest option to get a new bike is to go visit one of the mega stores such as Meijer on North Prospect, Champaign, (and coming up in South Philo, Urbana), Walmart on North Prospect, Champaign OR High Cross Road, Urbana, OR in Savoy. I think the local Target might also have bikes.

However, if you are looking for quality, go for one of the speciality bike stores in town. There is Durst Cycles on Goodwin and University Avenue in Urbana ([MAP]), (they also have a smaller branch on South Mattis, Champaign). The prices are higher, but you get better quality. There is Champaign Cycles on South Country Fair Dr. Champaign. Wild Thang Cycle is on Vine St, Urbana, and on Locust St, Champaign.

And if you are a do-it-yourself person, read below for an even cheaper and better way to get a bike.

How do I fix it?

Once you've bought a bike, eventually you will get a flat or need some other type of repairs. Durst Cycles and other bike stores will do repair and maintenance. Then there is BikeWorks on Main and Goodwin in Urbana (right next to Siebel Center). Though it seems to be open only in the afternoons, and run by a single guy (the owner), you can get a better tuneup, and occasionally get some advice on maintenance. (see below for a photo of BikeWorks store). There are also some home-based bike repair shops ... I did see one near the west side of the corner of Main and Lincoln on Urbana, and they also seemed pretty busy these days.

And then, there is the Champaign-Urbana Bike Project. This is a cooperative of bike enthusiasts, and they also sell old, refurbished and repaired bikes. But even better, you can get free bike fixing lessons from them, or borrow tools to do the repairs yourself on their workshop. They have a build a bike project, where you can pick an old bike and get spare parts, and then build your own bike -- all by yourself, while learning bike repair , at their workshop. Isn't that great??

Some links:


Anonymous said...

Try Bakers Bikes in Urbana...