3rd Coast Cycles opens on Lakefront Trail

With his black T-shirt, backwards cap and duct-taped screwdriver, Marc Tay- lor doesn’t look like the type to turn to Pinterest for inspiration.

But that’s exactly where he discovered that joining together two shipping con- tainers could be a perfect way to build a bike shop.

“Shipping containers are hot on Pin- terest right now,” laughs Taylor, as he sits in front of his new shop, 3rd Coast Cycles, at 152 N. Lake Shore Drive. A retired high school teacher, Taylor says he saw an opportunity to help an un- derserved community in New Eastside.

Marc Taylor, owner of 3rd Coast Cycles, shows off a road bike available for rent at his store at the Lakefront Trail in New Eastside. Photo: Tricia Parker

“There was no real local bike shop,” says Taylor, adding that the Park District recommended the location, at the bend of the lakefront path between DuSable and Monroe harbors. Taylor

says the first week or two after open- ing on May 28 was “super slow,” then business picked up. “All of a sudden, it’s been crazy,” he says.

3rd Coast offers on-the-spot repairs and full-service tune-ups, as well as rentals, city bike tours and bike sales. Along with a great view and quality service, the shop gives customers the chance to socialize under the shade of a nearby maple tree.

“You meet a lot of people here. That’s what’s fun,” said Craig Sielaff, who swung by with his 14-year-old daugh- ter, Hope, on a recent Friday afternoon.

“[The shop] is very convenient and has great service,” said Hope, as she played with the shop’s mascot, a rust-colored vizsla breed dog named Ronald.

Taylor says many customers come from New Eastside, mostly for annual tune-ups. While most shops offer a 30- day warranty on tune-ups, Taylor says he’ll service any problems that occur throughout the season, which ends in November. 3rd Coast also rents out a fleet of bikes, which could be a boon for locals and tourists burned out on Divvys.

“Divvys go at a snail’s pace,” scoffs Si- elaff. Taylor adds that Divvy’s half-hour check-in policy is an annoyance for renters, even though Divvy’s $10-per- day cost is far below 3rd Coast’s $30– $40 daily rate. Divvy offers one type

of three-speed bike, while 3rd Coast renters can choose from lightweight cruisers, road bikes and eye-catching “fatty” bikes with extra-large wheels.

The bike shop is still under construction as Taylor puts on the finishing touches, but he hopes to have everything in place by the end of the summer, with a plan to stay at least five years.

— Tricia Parker, Staff Writer

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