Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

01 May 2015

May Day: Comrades Cycle

Today is May Day.  Wheelmen of the world, unite!

All right, that previous exhortation is sexist.  The League of American Wheelmen is, after all, now known as the League of American Cyclists.

Cyclists of the world, unite!  I guess that works.  It sacrifices the alliteration of "Wheelmen of the world" for the assonance of "Cyclists" and "unite".  To tell you the truth, I'd rather hear someone say "Nice assonance!" than "Love your 'literation!"

But seriously...I have just recently learned of something that is appropriate to talk about today:  a worker-owned cooperative bicycle shop.  It's located, appropriately enough, in Chicago and is called, even more appropriately, Comrade Cycles.  As in, "On the fifth day of Marxmas/ Dear comrade gave to me/ A five year plan."

 Comrade Cycles – A worker-owned bike shop 1908 W. Chicago Ave 60622 773-292-2522

I forget how the rest of that song goes.  I haven't heard it in years.  But although I have never considered myself a Marxist, I would go to a shop called "Comrade" on principle.

Apparently, it's a very well-liked shop.  Of course, any shop that's doing well offers any or all of these:  friendly and helpful staff, good repair work, fair prices and a good location.  From the reviews I've seen, Comrade offers all of them.  And it even has a manifesto!

I suspect that one reason why Comrade Cycles is so popular because most people, including cyclists, work for a living and so feel some sense of solidarity with other workers. And, as workers of whatever kind, we want to make enough money to buy a bike and have enough time off our jobs to enjoy it.  Plus, we tend to care a bit more about environmental issues, which affect workers more than those who are living off their labor.

And, even though many of us ride alone, we understand the importance of cooperation.  Most cyclists I've met are helpful and are very conscious of the fact that in helping other cyclists, we help ourselves.


  1. OTOH, Seattle celebrated the Annual May Day Riot yesterday.

  2. Steve--Ah, Seattle. Somehow I don't imagine anything like that in Dallas-Fort Worth.

    I'm not so sure I'd want to be part of a May Day riot--or, for that matter, any other kind of riot. Maybe I'm just too old for such things.