With the cycling movement sweeping the nation and two-wheeled transport becoming a favorite way to get around, the Evanston and the surrounding communities have another place to take their bikes to get flats fixed, a much-needed tune-up or a bright new light. Bucephalus Bikes, 1532 Crain St., offers a selection of new and restored bikes, cycling accessories and friendly service for bikes of every vintage, model and condition.
Owned and operated by two architects and cycling aficionados, Bucephalus Bikes says it hopes to appeal to a range of cyclists from the beginner to the enthusiast. “We promote ridership and want to provide friendly service and selection to everyone who rides a bike – no matter how frequently, or which bike,” said co-owner Alex Añón. “This is a great option for everyone, whether they’re on a high-end road bike or a garage-sale special. Cycling is inclusive and we hope to provide an experience that isn’t intimidating, but inviting.”
An Evanston resident and life-long cyclist since his boyhood in Uruguay, Mr. Añón uses a bicycle as his primary mode of transportation, as do his wife and four sons. The family has been living car-free for the past 13 years. Mr. Añón and business partner, Ryan Pavlik, first opened the shop in a small garage space on Greenleaf Street, but were soon in need of a larger space. They found the Crain Street location, and with two in-house architects at the helm, quickly retrofitted the space to meet their needs, customizing the off-the-beaten-path but easily identifiable shop entrance with two orange bicycle wheels flanking the doorway.
Bucephalus Bikes will offer bikes for sale and services including safety and maintenance tune-ups, overhauls, custom wheel building, frame swaps, conversions, and custom bike building. “We’ll also put on training wheels or fit bikes for kids that are moving up a size,” Mr. Añón said.
“We think that Bucephalus will appeal to cyclists of all types,” said Mr. Pavlik, who began working on bikes with his first 1982 Schwinn Thrasher and never stopped. Mr. Pavlik walks the walk, or rather, rides the ride, commuting to Evanston each day from his home in the South Loop of Chicago.
The shop’s name and logo, Bucephalus, meaning “ox head” in ancient Greek, was the name of Alexander the Great’s exceptionally loyal horse.
In the 1930s, Fred Birchmore, a cycling enthusiast from Athens, Ga, traveled around the world on his “two-wheeled companion” named Bucephalus. Now 99 years old, Mr. Birchmore recently answered a letter from Mr. Añón saying that he no longer rides since, “traffic is bad,” but has many happy memories. He also said that the original Bucephalus bicycle is now part of the permanent collection at the Smithsonian.