I first began life in bike shops as an “indentured servant,” when I had to “work off” damage for a bike I borrowed. I’ve always been mechanical and enjoyed taking things apart, fixing things and working with my hands, so I quickly fell in love with working on bikes. I’ve been working in bike shops since 2010. After a year in the industry, I started racing. I’m currently a Cat 2 cyclocross racer and look forward to racing the 2016 season on my Specialized Crux. When I’m not racing cx or riding out in the wild, I enjoy backpacking and working on my car.
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.
Yes, you read that right. It’s “Maxx,” because I’m double the fun. I started working in bike shops four years ago, but I’ve been hanging around shops and the riding scene since I was eight. Last year, I spent a summer wrenching for Multisport Men’s Triathlon Team, and now I’m in the shop to wrench for you. I’m a category 2 cyclocross racer, and I race with Pepe on the road. If I’m not working on a bike, I’m riding fast on my Specialized Tarmac or my motorcycle, or I’m speeding around town in my Subaru.
Joe “Pepe” Sullivan
I am a cyclist from Evanston, Illinois. I’m going into the 2016 cycling season as a 18 year-old, riding a Specialized Venge, named “El Diablo Dos del Relampago.” I race for Higher Gear in both cyclocross and road. When I’m not racing or training, you can find me most of the summer and many weekends in our shop.
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, yoga, swimming and playing soccer.
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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