Made In Chicago

Made In Chicago

WBBM 780’s Steve Miller


(CBS) — When you walk in Heritage Bicycles on Lincoln near Wellington, you smell coffee.

“We’re taking two things with the concept of the shop, with it being bicycles and coffee,” said Alan Gagne, the general manager. “It’s a warm environment to come sit down and have a conversation with the person who’s really going to build your bike.”

Gagne has been with Heritage for four years, from day one.

“Seeing bikes and coffee in the window – two things I was definitely interested in – turned me on to the idea and I left my paralegal job to take a dive into something a little bit more entrepreneurial and community-involved,” he said.

Gagne says all the bikes are built on Lincoln Avenue right behind the coffee shop.

“Our typical customer, in all sincerity, is a first-time-in-a-long-time rider,” he said. “Someone who had a bike and remembers the joys of riding in college, riding in high school in their youth.

“Now they’ve moved to the city and have a little bit of disposable income, and instead of buying twice than can buy something nice that’ll be an heirloom that can be passed down through the family.”

Bikes start at $799. The average bike is about a thousand dollars.

They’ve built a few specialty bikes.

“A bike with a blender on the back for a farmer’s market.”

Gagne prefers to commute on his bike – and doesn’t remember his days commuting on the train with much fondness.

“I feel caged. I can’t stop and pull off and stop at the park or go run errands. I’m trapped in that train car next to someone who I may not want to sit by.

“A bike is the ultimate freedom.”

February 22, 2016 by Michael Salvatore
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