Family biking . . . limitless fun, but extremely overwhelming at the start, especially for city dwellers. This is why we’re introducing you to Four Star Family Cyclery. Whether you want to purchase or borrow an insanely fun cargo bike, they’re here to show you the freedom, joy and simplicity of life by bike in a way that removes the intimidation factor. Read on and confidently hit the streets with Four Star Family Cyclery.
Four Star Cyclery’s Mission
This local mom-owned business, launched by Elsbeth Cool, rolled into Logan Square with a mission of providing innovative and functional urban transportation for families. Four Star Cyclery knows those first rides for city parents can be a bit unnerving, so they want to help moms and dads imagine and experience what life with a family bicycle can be by offering flexible rentals of the best cycling products on the market. For those who are already comfortable with the idea, or renters who fall in love, you also have the option to purchase.
They operate on a concierge service model. Which means they offer consultations to assist parents in selecting which bike setup and accompanying accessories best meet their unique needs and budget, one-on-one coaching sessions to acclimate riders to large cargo bikes and getting comfortable navigating urban streets with young riders, and an impressive rental fleet to test the ride before investing. They also have a team of trained mechanics who can make house calls for basic service needs . . . selling point numero uno for anyone who’s had to stuff a large bike in the back of an SUV for service.
They currently carry Xtracycle, Urban Arrow, Public, Bullitt and Yuba bikes, as well as a variety of kid seats, heavy-duty (city-necessary) locks and they import terrific European components & accessories to make riding with your kids easier.
Cargo bikes are no small change, so you’re encouraged to get them a go before dropping the dough. Check out their website to scope out the rental options. As of press time, there were 7 bike varieties available to rent on an hourly, daily or weekly basis, ranging from $5/hour ($30/week) to $10/hour ($125/week). All bikes come equipped with locks, lights and there are helmets available for the whole family.
Photo: Kidical Mass
Become a Part of the Biking Community
Elsbeth also co-founded a very active grassroots community group called Chicago Family Biking, which organizes family-focused events, like Kidical Mass rides, advocates for safer streets and offers educational resources for families interested in biking. The Educational section of their website is still under development and will eventually include information on choosing a bike, biking safely while pregnant, training kids to ride independently, how to securely lock a bike, properly fitting a helmet and more. To get involved now, follow their Facebook page to stay on top of scheduled events.
Four Star Family Cyclery
Where’s your favorite spot to cruise in the city? We’d love to hear about it in the Comments below!
— Maria Chambers
Biking with Kids: The 11 Best Family Cargo Bikes
Unless otherwise noted, photos provided courtesy of Liveside Media via Four Star Family Cyclery