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.
I am a north side native, familiar with cycling as a commuter and a triathlete. Triathlon fits into my OCD, multi-tasking personality, which also served me well in my 17 years of restaurant ownership. You may know me as “Mrs. D” from the Wilmette diner of the same name. I look forward to seeing many of the families I got to know through the diner here at Higher Gear. I currently ride a Specialized Dolce EVO, though I have my eye on a Linus which would be perfect for my short commute.
Joe “Pepe” Sullivan
I am a junior cyclist from Evanston, Illinois. I’m going into the 2015 cycling season as a 17 year-old, riding a Specialized Venge, named “El Diablo Dos.” 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 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.
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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