Higher Gear's Team
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If it has two wheels, I can ride it. Currently I’m riding a Seven 622 on the road and a Seven Tsunami when I commute or hit the trails. I have been fixing bikes for more than 20 years. The most common repair I do at Higher Gear is the standard tune-up, but I can do it all, from the most basic repair to the most complex — just don’t bring me any electric scooters! I love building wheels and now I’m Higher Gear’s BG Fit expert. Like Todd and Brendan, the owners, I am from Omaha, Nebraska.


Stuart Ellington Higher Gear Wilmette mechanic bike bicycle cycling

Stuart Ellington

I started cycling as rehab after knee surgery. I discovered group rides and then decided to strap myself into a track bike. I ended up racing track and then road. Since I was mechanically inclined, I did my own bicycle maintenance. In 2007, after a 20-year career in the tool and die industry, I decided to turn my passion into a career and have been working on other peoples’ bikes ever since. I’ve built up a sweet arsenal of bikes along the way, including a Seven I purchased from Higher Gear back in 2000.


Higher Gear Paul McAllister Wilmette bike bicycle cycling mechanic BG FitPaul McAllister

I’m a north shore native, currently living in the city. I’ve been working in bike shops since 2000, when I started out alongside Fredo. I have experience with frame building and am certified in wheel building, suspension technology and bike fitting. In fact, I’m BG Fit certified. I’m currently working on my business degree, which doesn’t leave me much time for extracurricular activities. While I used to ride BMX, cyclocross and road, the only cycling I currently have time to do is commuting.


Jay Wyatt Higher Gear WilmetteJay Wyatt

After growing up in southern Illinois, I’ve spent the last 14 years in North Carolina. I’m a roadie who has spent a lot of time riding on the Blue Ridge Parkway. There’s nowhere I’d rather be than riding my bike up a mountain. In fact, every summer, I make time to ride the Hot Doggett 100, a ride in Madison County, NC that offers 9,600 feet of elevation over its 100 miles. I currently ride a Specialized Venge Pro and a Tarmac Comp.



Joe Sullivan Pepe Higher Gear Gearhead WilmettePepe

Joe “Pepe” Sullivan is a junior cyclists from Evanston, Illinois. He goes into the 2014 cycling season as a 16 year-old, riding a Specialized Venge, named “El Diablo Dos.” Pepe races for Higher Gear in both cyclocross and road. When he’s not racing, you can find him most of the summer and many weekends in our Wilmette location.



Scottie Scotty Meyers Blak2Con Orphans Originality is perhaps instinctScottie Meyers

I dedicated ten years to the Chicago Improv Scene, studying at Second City’s Improv Olympics and The Annoyance Theater, while working on my BFA in Theater/Film at Columbia. Check out the documentaries I made about two of my passions – Originality Is Perhaps Instinct, about Chicago’s improv scene, and Orphans, about the banning of BMX from skate parks. When I’m not at Higher Gear, you’ll find me on my BMX bike or playing Chicago clubs or at SXSW as part of the duo Blak2Con.


Joy Sherrick Higher Gear CCC 2010 Chicago Cyclocross Cup NorthbrookJoy Sherrick

I saw my first crit – 1983 Coors Classic (where both a young Chris Carmichael and Bob Roll were racing) – and I was hooked on the atmosphere of cycling. Now I’m an avid cycling/multisport enthusiast with a passion for spectating. I love cheering on my personal training clients as they reach their goals and friends and customers as they head toward their finish lines. When I’m not on rides, drafting behind my IronMan husband, I enjoy running, swimming and playing soccer.


Catherine Watkins

I’m a north shore native who is back after being out on the east coast for school and work. I’ve always been into mountain biking. In undergrad at William & Mary, I raced both mountain and road bikes. Then at grad school at Emory in Atlanta, I raced mountain bikes. I went to Mountain Biking Nationals twice, placing in the top ten in 2004. In 2002, I got my first job at a bike shop working for Higher Gear, where I worked summers during college. I ride mostly Specialized. My road bike is a Roubaix; my mountain bike is a Stumpjumper HT; and my cross bike is a Tricross.



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