Saturday, March 3, 2012

Come to the Bike Swap today!

Are you looking for bicycle-related bargains and camaraderie this weekend? Maybe you didn't think so, but it's worth dropping by the Chicago Bike Swap, at the Pulaski Park fieldhouse on Blackhawk just northeast of Division/Ashland/Milwaukee, today, March 3, 2012, from 10am to 5pm. We take our kids and they have lots of fun for a much longer time than you'd think.

There will be a chat at 11 a.m. to learn about family riding. We'll be hosting a family craft table upstairs on the second floor where you and your kids can make decorative spoke cards starting at about noon on until 2 pm. As for goodies to buy, last year we found tons of great stuff, like $60 tires for $5 and piles of odd bits and pieces, there are often bike-themed arts and crafts, and they have a bunch of interesting bikes to admire, buy, or swap. People will be available to talk about any aspect of bicycles or riding them in the city, and we'll try to bring along some of our cargo bikes and things for you to check out.

Considering the crowds, it isn't a bad idea to bring or plan your lunch ahead (edit: they did have food and drinks from Goose Island there, the lines today were short).  It's also handy to bring small bill cash since many vendors can't take any other kind of money and the ATMs aren't that close to the Pulaski fieldhouse.

If you are stuck for lunch one nearby option you might not usually consider is Podhalanka, an unlikely looking Polish lunchroom with plant grow lights in the windows, delicious homemade soups and Polish standards on Division between Milwaukee and Ashland. The woman who runs it always spoils our children with attention and red hibiscus Kompot to drink, and you can hear the kitchen staff (usually the waitress/owner) bashing the fresh schnitzel flat after you order it. It isn't a very expansive vegetarian option but there are potato pancakes, meatless pierogis and salads. There are tacos on Ashland at La Pasadita's three restaurants, and Lovely is a bakery and coffee shop just south on Milwaukee with good morning snacks, some lunch options, and adequate coffee. Bucktown/Wicker Park is just a few bicycle minutes west, with many more choices including Cumin, which has many veggie and some meaty Nepali/Indian dishes in a buffet, and Buzz coffee on Damen.

Here's the Chainlink description of the swap:
Spend your Saturday with hundreds of other cyclists from across Chicagoland at the Chicago Bike Swap!
Shop for parts for your bikes, great gear or stop by our bike corral, to get a new bike or “swap” your old one (for $5/bike)!  We’ll also have great informative presentations, bike games, delicious lunch for sale and hot coffee.
Admission is $5 at the door for Active Trans members, $10 for non-members.  No need to purchase tickets in advance.  
Here's the map:

Maybe see you there!

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