Marcus Moore of Yojimbo’s Garage
Our favorite bike shop, mechanic, and more in 2010. PLUS: Tell us in the comments below, what are your bests in biking this year?
BIKE MECHANIC MARCUS MOORE A soft-spoken, brown-bearded man in a black apron greets customers at Yojimbo’s Garage, a ramshackle storefront on a desolate stretch of Clybourn Avenue. He’s Marcus Moore, a former bike messenger, founder of a local amateur racing team called XXX, and Yojimbo’s owner. Like a few others, he’s an undeniably great wrench with a laser focus on customer needs, but what really makes him special is his willingness to do anything to help a fellow cyclist—even if that means recommending another shop when he’s fully booked. 1310 N. CLYBOURN AVE.; 312-587-0878, YOJIMBOSGARAGE.COM
BIKE RIDE NORTH BRANCH BIKE TRAIL Adrenaline junkies prefer the toe-wrenching single track of the Palos Trail System in the Cook County forest preserve, but for pure scenery, this jaunt along the North Branch of the Chicago River has no equal, meandering 20 miles through picture-perfect prairies before ending at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Easy riders can stay on the crushed gravel surface, but we love the option of switching gears partway (at Dempster Street heading north or Tower Road heading south) to hit the ten miles of twisty multiuse trails on the west side of the river—because sometimes even leisure seekers crave a little adventure. ENTER FROM CALDWELL WOODS ON DEVON AVENUE
BIKE SHOP GET A GRIP CYCLES A truly special bike shop must excel in three areas: selection, mechanics, and service. Get a Grip scores high marks across the board. From $11,000 Serotta racers to $500 cross bikes, the shop stocks something for everyone. And a staff of only certified mechanics means this is a place elite athletes trust. But Get a Grip’s fitting—a three-hour process that includes an interview, range-of-motion tests, and ride time on a souped-up Spin bike—wins this shop the yellow jersey. 4359 W. IRVING PARK RD.; 773-427-4747, GETAGRIPCYCLES.COM
BIKE TRAINING FACILITY WELL-FIT TRIATHLON & TRAINING At Well-Fit’s 6,000-square-foot facility, the owner, Sharone Aharon, a former Israeli special forces officer and veteran conditioning coach, uses whiz-bang technology to kick your butt. VO2 max testing determines bikers’ aerobic capacity, helping Aharon and his staff customize workouts of optimum intensity. Then 16 CompuTrainer stations with strapped-in bikes simulate rides by modifying resistance, so you can gear up for that race in the mountains of Hawaii without leaving the flatlands of Chicago. 1700 W. HUBBARD ST.; 312-846-1222, WELLFITINC.COM
Photograph: Anna Knott