Seattle bike dealer to open Dutch bike shop in Chicago
Stephan Schier of the Dutch Bike Company Seattle plans to open the Dutch Bike Company Chicago (aka Dutch Bike Chicago) in September. "We already have an enthusiastic customer base in Chicago," Stephan tells me, so it made sense for them to open a dealership there.
Dutch Bike Seattle is currently one of only a handful of North American dealers who imports the Bakfiets cargo bike, as well as other utility bikes from WorkCycles, Amsterdam's utility bike experts. Stephan plans to carry these bikes in the new Chicago store, as well as bikes from the Azor brand (Oma, Opa, and Transport bikes); Danish Velobris bikes; the German Retrovelo brand; Birdy folding bikes and more.
Stephan is pretty excited about his Chicago plans. "Anyone visiting the city can see volumes of cyclists on the main boulevards on all manner of bikes and in all manner of dress. They are vying for a shot to host the Olympics and a well developed transportation infrastructure, which includes cycling, will make Chicago a highly attractive candidate."
The Dutch Bike Company will ship bikes anywhere in the United States, but shipping charges are pretty high for these heavy duty bikes. They recommend that buyers make a trip to the store and then ride the new bike home because there's "plenty of room for your camping supplies and a cooler!"
Alternatively, Stephan says, "If there are a bunch of Bafiets aficionados who want to make a group purchase, we can likely palletize a batch, ship them by truck and drastically reduce the freight charges."
Velorbis from Copenhagen Denmark is comming to Chicago so i've heard from the owner over at dutchbikes.us - see this great review here http://commutebybike.com/2008/07/25/first-look-velorbis-churchill-balloon/
The site is still basically a placeholder but it says they'll be open October 18. Somewhere around then they'll also be unpacking a 40' high-cube container stuffed full of WorkCycles-Azor Dutch city bikes and Bakfiets.nl Cargobikes. Another container full of bikes and gear is apparently already on its way from Dutch Bike Seattle.
You make me proud Chicago!
ps: I not under the impression that Velorbis is part of the Chicago plan, considering they're being heavily discounted at their Seattle shop. The very beautiful Retrovelo's will almost certainly go to Chicago though.