One-stop shop for bike lovers shows in Kane County| Trending Viral hub

Dean Ames of Elgin decided to make a trip to St. Charles on Sunday because of something he calls “an intermittent interest” of his.

“I like cycling a bit. I have two bikes, one mountain bike and one road bike, and I came to this fair last year,” Ames said while looking at a rack of bikes at the Chicago Winter Bike Swap at the Kane County Fairgrounds. “I like the one-stop shop and the community here. There are a lot of like-minded people and last year I left with some pedals.”

Sunday’s fair featured nearly 90 vendors offering everything from bicycles to the latest electric models that are among today’s most popular products.

The four-and-a-half-hour show also included information about bike clubs, repairs and a “corral” where attendees could park a bike they were looking to trade or sell.

Hal Honeyman, 67, of St. Charles, said he is one of the founders of the event. He said it has been around for about two decades and used to be held at Harper College in Palatine.

“We took it on five years ago. We had it for a year in Harper and then we found the fairgrounds as the venue,” she said before the event. “Normally we get 2,000 people in a day, but we think this year, based on social media and other feedback, we think it could be 3,000.”

He said many people fell in love with cycling during the pandemic.

“There was a lot of interest in biking during COVID… and we’ve found that it has held up,” he said. “People are looking for ways to get to work and the electric bikes that are out there also help those who are older and maybe don’t have as much power.”

Honeyman said the Chicago Winter Bike Swap offers many things of interest to bike lovers.

“We have individuals with tables, bicycle shops, companies displaying their products and a bicycle corral where you can bring your bicycle for $15 and put it up for sale,” he said. “You can hang out with the bike or put your name and number on the bike and have people call you.”

Jim Krause of Elburn decided to bring an old bike and said he was looking to sell something that “I bought for my son a few years ago.”

Jim Krause of Elburn brought an old bike he was looking to sell to the Chicago Winter Bike Swap at the Kane County Fairgrounds Sunday morning.
Jim Krause of Elburn brought an old bike he was looking to sell to the Chicago Winter Bike Swap at the Kane County Fairgrounds Sunday morning. (David Sharos / For The Beacon-News)

“The frame was a little too big at one point, it was used and I hate to part with it because it’s been a nice bike, but someone has to get some use out of it. “It’s a nice bike,” Krause said. “My wife Cindy will take care of the bike and we’re going to look around and see what else is on the program.”

Vendors like Laura Kauth of Elk Grove, who serves as manager of 7 Mile Cycles, said the store has been a part of the fair since it was located in Palatine.

“We know attendance is supposed to go up,” he said. “We have accessories, clothes, high heels. “We have seen a boost since COVID and it has carried over to the accessories you need to ride a bike.”

The Chicago Winter Bike Swap at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles on Sunday included nearly 90 vendors offering a variety of items for bike lovers.
The Chicago Winter Bike Swap at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles on Sunday included nearly 90 vendors offering a variety of items for bike lovers. (David Sharos / For The Beacon-News)

Manuel Mendoza of Elgin was seen riding away with a new purple bicycle that he said he would use “for work and exercise.”

“I knew what I wanted and I didn’t go to many suppliers,” Mendoza explained, adding that he really liked the color of his bike. “I see a lot more people riding bikes. I like this brand and I think it is the best. “I have a bike rack on my truck, so it won’t be difficult to carry this home.”

David Sharos is a freelance reporter for The Beacon-News.


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