There is just no easy way to begin this. No ideal transition with which to lessen the difficulty in finding the right words. As of March 1st, Comrade Cycles sixth anniversary, I (Bailey) will be moving from Chicago and ending my time at the shop.
This has by no means been an easy decision to make. What we have accomplished at Comrade, and in such a short amount of time, has absolutely out done any of our highest expectations for the shop. Moving on is made especially difficult when I consider the amazing and invaluable friendships I’ve made here. From the phenomenal staff and partners we have to the cycling community we’ve developed around the shop, I truly believe I’m leaving a Chicago cycling scene that is stronger and more connected than I’ve ever known it. And I’d like to think I’ve had a hand in that through Comrade Cycles and our focus on ensuring all facets of our community; commuter to messenger, roadie to tourist, mountain biker to ultra distance racer, and everyone in between was served with an equal amount of genuine interest, enthusiasm, and support for both who they are as a person and whatever their cycling aspirations may be. And that is something Comrade Cycles will never stray from as the primary focus of our business.
Comrade will continue with it’s mission to offer our community top notch customer service, repair work, gear, bicycles, advice, and general support in all their cycling endeavors and aspirations. I leave the shop with absolute confidence that it will only continue to grow stronger each and every year, enabling us to continually better serve our community while offering the most fair and equitable workplace possible for anyone who becomes a “Comrade”.
I will, along with my fiancé Allison, be moving temporarily to Stillwater, Oklahoma to work with my good friends at District Bicycles and train for my 2018 Tour Divide attempt. From there we plan to move to the southern end of the Rocky Mountains to open a new shop in the Spring of 2019. Stay tuned!
I’d also like to take a moment to thank Tobie Depauw for being the single most influential person in my 31 years on this earth. Tobie has been a friend, mentor, riding partner, colleague, confidante, and brother to me. From his inspirational work in community building at North Central Cyclery to introducing me to gravel and “adventure” riding with the Gravel Metric to introducing me to some of my greatest friends and comrades, Tobie has impacted the direction of my life in a truly profound way. I know I told you once today already, but I love you.
Allison and I will be having a going away party at the shop this Friday, February 23rd, from 6PM-9PM. Come for hugs and story sharing and make plans to visit. BYO.
With my deepest love and gratitude,
-Bailey Gene Newbrey