Higher Gear has been more than a bike shop; it’s been a community. A community of people whose passion for cycling has blossomed into something much more: a family.
Members of that family have come together before our Celebration Thursday night to say “au revior et merci.”
Brendan, Todd, Sylvie and Beccy, the Higher Gear family thanks you!
In my youth, before I could drive, my 10 speed was my ticket to freedom and independence. I have fond memories of routinely riding the 5 miles to my home town, to the beach, to the soda fountain, with my friends and all around. After that road bike, I didn’t own another until the spring of 2010, when Higher Gear opened in Wilmette and Todd and Brendan nudged me toward my Colnago. Since then I’ve been routinely riding that bike the 19 miles into Chicago, on Saturday morning rides, to Wisconsin and Michigan, with my friends and all around. In my middle age, I’ve found that my bike is now my key to fitness and youth. Thank you to everyone at Higher Gear for keeping me on the road and including me in your rides. Thank you especially to Brendan and Todd for the nudge.
– Jeff Kopiwoda
I can’t begin to express how much the past 7 years of cycling and friendship has meant to me. From my first Wrigley Field Road Tour to my last Saturday morning “Group 2” ride in late October (starting at 5:45am at Belmont Harbor), giving me scores of new friends, many, many thousands of miles, and a bazillion laughs and great times. Thank you! Ride On!
– Tom Renaud
With wind in our hair and a little pull, along we rode our spirits full.
While engaging in chit-chat our friendships grew and skills were learned by the morning crew.
Our lives are richer Higher Gear.
Much Thanks to you, we will always hold you dear!
– Bill Burke
Thank you, Higher Gear, for helping me to continue to grow my passion for riding and for allowing me to share the love of bikes within the North Shore community. You will be missed.
– Catherine Watkins
“More than a store, a community.” Special moments… Becky handing out tail lights to the Sat morning crew so we could be seen…. Brendan grilling brats in the Plaza parking lot as people walked by to do their weigh in at Weight Watchers…. Encouraging each other as we finished another Comp Trainer session…. Joe Sullivan driving down to Lurie during the rough months of 2015 to hang with Graham and take his mind off the chemo… The indoor Comp Trainer time trial to benefit LLS / Team LoveBlood… Group 2 riders rock!! Thanks for opening at 6:45am on Saturday from April – October. The physical store may be closing but the friendships are forever.
– Leon Ikler
A place and faces that launched thousands of spokes. (Apologies to Helen of Troy)
Thanks for a garage full of great bikes and a head full of great memories.
– Harry Grace
You all made me. A gift certificate from my wife to Computrain turned into a daily obsession, in a good way. 15,000 miles later, I’m in the best shape of my life – racing, doing long endurance rides, getting out in the winter. Most importantly, the shop has turned into a cycling family which will last long after the door closes. Thank you!
– Ed Brill
I think the measure of a truly successful enterprise is in how much goodwill & friendship is has generated in a community. Higher Gear has meant a lot to our family, and we are so thankful that we were a part of it!
– Bill, Sara, Stephen & Lauren Vellon
Thank you so much to all my friends and biking family at Higher Gear. To those who sold me a bike, worked on my bikes, made me wake up early on weekends, rode with me, provided encouragement on long rides and towards goals and most important, are now dear, dear friends love you and thank you!! May our trails continue to intersect!
– Larry Berlin
Thank you for the rides, the laughter, the cycling tips, the new friends made along the journey, and the many times drafting off of Brendan to make that final sprint back to the shop. With a heart filled up – thank you for everything that the Higher Gear community has done to enable more students in Africa get to school ready to learn! Cheers to the Power of Bicycles and the Power of Community!
– Ruth-Anne Renaud
To my higher gear family – Thanks for coming into my life and in such a positive way. You all have truly made a difference in how I live my life. I will truly miss the camaraderie of the shop, the group rides and all the new friends made as a result of the shop.
– John McCormick
Thanks for everything! Your advice, Saturday morning rides & events will be missed. The Gran Fondo Hundo and Rhythm & Blues Cyclocross were tons of fun! Hope to see you on the road and trails!
– Marc Sampson
Thank you Higher Gear for many great times, good friends and wonderful memories.
– Bill Russell
Thank You Brendan and Todd for the opportunity to be a part of your 8 year journey. So many Good times and laughs. Cheers guys!!!!
– Brandon Olson
You have been an integral part of the Northshore cycling community and we’ll miss you. Thank you for all you’ve done and for being such a great catalyst.
– Phillip Airey
Many memories. Countless friendships. To me, Higher Gear has always been about the people. The people I had the honor to interview and those whose stories I only witnessed through their smiles as they left the shop. To Brendan, Sylvie, Todd and Beccy, thank you allowing me the opportunity to use my passion for fitness and writing to share the stories of our customers. The stories of lives changed – changed by one bike, by one group ride, by one group of really amazing and passionate people. You built a community that will last long after the lights dim for the last time. Thank you for welcoming me and allowing me to be part of that great community.
– Joy Sherrick
Thank you for taking me under your wing a few years ago and giving me my first group riding experiences. I learned a lot and gained appreciation for what was a new sport for me at that time. I will carry this onto other riding adventures, but will always remember where I got my start.
– Jill Wagar
I found this amazing community at the perfect moment. Training on my own I was midway through yet another long solo ride when I realized my joy found in cycling was both the activity AND the people. I joined Tom (at 5:45am!) for the next Saturday ride, and from then on found my love of riding reignited by this community. Saturday rides, Kenosha Kingfish outtings, amazing gear discovered (best cycling jacket EVER) – Higher Gear has hosted and supported north shore cycling at it’s finest. Thanks for the memories, but most of all thanks for the friendships!!
– Lynn Rogers
Many thanks to the Higher Gear family and Gearheads for your support over all the years! We’re grateful for your passion for cycling and drive to create lasting change in the lives of students and their families in rural Africa. WBR wouldn’t be where we are today with your participation!
I have had so many good times with Higher Gear. I consider them family.
The store may be closing, but the ride is far from over.
Thanks for all the great memories,
– Dan Schroeder