Did You Know?

While the Chicago region’s population grew by 18 percent since 1980, the traffic increased by 66 percent in the same period.

Bike shops must stay open during possible “shelter in place” order

The next important step in the response to the growing threat of the coronavirus will likely involve a “shelter in place” order. This order, which could be enacted by local and state officials, would likely require all but “essential businesses” to close.

These essential businesses could include gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants, hardware stores, banks, and a few other types of businesses.

We want to ensure that bike shops are among the essential businesses allowed to stay open in the event of a shelter in place order.

The letter below, which is being delivered to state and local lawmakers, has 79 signatories — primarily bike shops, but also advocacy organizations and a few local lawmakers. 

The letter explains that in the event of a shelter in place order, Chicago and Illinois should follow the lead of cities such as San Francisco and Philadelphia that have included bike shops as essential businesses.

These cities have recognized the great need bike shops fulfill in helping people get around their community safely and affordably. During the current crisis, bikes and bike shops have become especially important for people who are taking the smart approach by avoiding public transit unless it’s necessary. And of course bike shops are essential for a great number of people who don’t want to drive, can’t drive, or don’t have access to a car.

Help us keep fighting for bike access during and after the COVID-19 pandemic by joining or renewing your membership today or making a donation.

Keep reading to see the letter and the signatories.


To Whom It May Concern:

We urge you, elected officials throughout the state of Illinois, to allow bike shops to remain open as “essential businesses” if and when a “shelter in place” rule becomes the reality in any communities across the state.

Bikes are an essential mode of transportation every day and even more so as we are practicing social distancing. If bike shops are shuttered, it deprives riders from the ability to repair their bike when it breaks or purchase a new bike in order to find an alternative means of transport in this time of crisis. Like auto repair shops, bike shops must remain open to service essential transportation needs.

Other cities such as San Francisco and Philadelphia have allowed for bike shops to remain open as essential services to keep the residents moving safely.

Many shops can conduct business in a safe way while practicing social distancing through the following means, with adjustments based on physical set up of shops and entry points:

  • No entry — Only staff will be allowed inside the shop, except for one customer at a time to select merchandise, if necessary.
  • Sanitization — Before a bike comes inside of a store, staff will sanitize the contact surfaces on the bike.
  • Distance — Bikes can be left at a bike rack outside shops and customers will be asked to step away before bike shop staff come out to sanitize.
  • Cashless — To minimize contact, prioritize contactless payment such as Apple/Samsung/Google Pay/PayPal and cash payment ONLY if exact change or credit card. Credit card machine will be cleaned after every use.

At a time when only those who really need to should be using public transportation, biking is an alternative to allow front line workers to still access their jobs. Bicycling does not require continuous resource consumption like gas or nor does it require forced interaction that could expose people to contamination, such as at gas stations. Without bike shops to provide service, we are leaving front line workers with limited options as to how to get to work.

After absolute priority is given to our healthcare workers, protective gear — if it is available — should also be made available to bike shop employees if they are able to remain open. This would help ensure the safety of the employees.

Please consider allowing bike shops in Illinois to remain open during this crisis to provide essential transportation services to keep front line workers moving.




Schlabach’s Bike Shop


All Spoked Up


Spin Doctor Cyclewerks


Prairie Path Cycles


Bloomington Cycle & Fitness


Phoenix Cycles

The Bike Surgeon


Alderman Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez, 33rd Ward

Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, 35th Ward

Alderman Matt Martin, 47th Ward

State Representative Theresa Mah, 2nd District

Bacardi Bikes

Beverly Bikes

Bike 4 Life Chicago

BFF Bikes

Blue City Cycles

Boulevard Bikes

Build Bronzeville


Chicago Physicians for Social Responsibility

Comrade Cycles

Cosmic Bikes

Cycle Bike Shop

Cycle Smithy

Earth Rider Cycling

Esperanza Health Centers

Four Star Family Cyclery

Green Machine Cycles

Heritage Bicycles

J.C. Lind Bike Co.

Kozy’s Cyclery

Let’s Roast Cycles

Mox Multisport

On The Route Bicycles

Pedal to the People

Quick Release Bike Shop

Robert’s Cycle

Roscoe Village Bikes

Rudy’s Cycle and Fitness

Small Shop Cycles

Saint Anthony’s Hospital

The Bike Lane

The Recyclery

Turin Bicycle

Working Bikes

West Town Bikes

Chicago Heights

Prairie State Community College


Wheel Fast Cycle Co.

Champaign Urbana

Durst Cycle and Fitness


Active Transportation Alliance

Highway Two

Crystal Lake

Lucky Brake Bikes

Wheel Werks Bikes


North Central Cyclery

Downer’s Grove

RTT Cycle Shop


Bucephalus Bikes

Pony Shop

Mack’s Bikes and Goods

Wheel and Sprocket

Elk Grove Village

7 Mile Cycles


Plank Road Cyclery


Glenview Cycle

Highland Park

Trek Bicycle Store Highland Park


GoodSpeed Cycles

La Grange Park

The Wheel Thing

Lake Forest

Kiddles Sports


Lifestyle Cycle


Bicycles Etc


Dan’s Fast Repairs


Play It Again Sports

Trek Store Naperville

North Aurora

Pedal and Spoke


Amling’s Cycle

North Shore

velofix Chicago North Shore

Oak Park

Barnard’s Schwinn Cyclery

Orland Park

Orland Park Cyclery

Palos Heights

Richards Bicycles


Illinois Cycle and Fitness

River Forest

River Forest Sustainability Commission


Rockford Bike Shop



St. Charles

Sammy’s Bikes

The Bike Rack

Villa Park

J & R Cycle & Ski

Willow Springs

2 Bici Bicycle Shop


Midwest Cyclery


Velosmith Bicycle Studio


Green Bay Cycles


Ride Illinois

Sportscrafter, Inc.