Tag: RVB

Spidermonkey of the Week – Aaron Byrnes



by Aaron Byrnes

Cycling has been important to me since my Senior year of high school when I moved to Los Angeles, Ca. I bought a nice used Trek 940 with a fork shock and started mountain biking. This was my first time I ever felt homesick and I spent a lot of time riding north along the coast from Venice.

Cycling has remained an important part of my life since then. It has been a source of adventure and bonding for family. In 1998 my father and I toured southern Ireland on MTB’s riding from town to town and glen to glen. We rode up the highest passes and all the way down to the coast.


Dingle, Ireland

After moving back to Chicago I found my bikes hanging on the wall and the pounds gaining on my ass. During a summer out of work after an auto accident, I was able to ride almost every day, usually alone or with my friend Sabin West. One Wednesday I bumped into a Spidermonkey WNR at Roscoe Village Bikes and joined in. I was drawn to the club’s friendly educational and safety-first approach to group rides and cycling.


Jackson Park!

Since joining Spidermonkey Cycling about 2 years ago I have begun racing cyclocross most weekends and entered my first criterium race the following summer. I am currently a manager at Kozy’s Cyclery on Halsted. If you are in the area please stop in and say hello.

Ca Caw!

Spidermonkey of the Week – Marty Killeen



by Marty Killeen

Quick Facts:
Name: Marty Killeen
Place of Birth: Manchester, England
Cities lived in: Manchester, Nottingham, London, Chicago.
Nationality: Dual USA and UK

I was actually more of a skateboarder than biker as a kid, despite having a BMX I didn’t really ride it half as much as I would ride my Powell McGill skateboard. By my own modest admission, I was a pretty good skateboarder, one that could easily ollie a Coke Supercan – anyone remember those? It was a really tall can of coke!

I really got into cycling after deciding to sell my Vespa that I used to scoot around the streets of London on. I used the money from the Vespa to buy a  Marin Mill-Valley Hybrid, not only was this the catalyst for my love affair with bikes, but I also found it safer than weaving in and out of London traffic at 30 mph on a Vespa! Moving up the ranks from daily commuter to avid road biker was fun, I was even one of those guys that had aero bars on a commuter bike for my first century ride.

Living in London for 10 years, the cycling was awesome, the ability to be in the rolling countryside so close to a huge city is amazing. Cycling in London itself is also really good, especially early in the morning, along the River Thames to a park in London called Richmond Park. If anyone gets chance to ride the circuit  of this park and hammer it around the 8 mile loop you definitely should. It has great climbs, descents, all out flat sections and beautiful scenery to observe – Just watch out for the deer, you always come off second best when they run out in front of you…

Richmond Park Cycling during the Olympic test event

Richmond Park Cycling during the Olympic test event

English countryside riding

English countryside cycling

Moving to Chicago in early 2008 was an exciting time, I had a special wooden box made for my bike to be shipped across the Atlantic and I followed over the pond aboard the Queen Mary, seriously, just me and my dog. The wife was sensible and flew.

Not knowing the cycling landscape in Chicago, I gravitated to riding the LFP, but like most, got really bored of the crowds and needed to get out on the open road. In mid-2008, some of the guys at RVB suggested I should join up with the SM’s. It was a great opportunity to meet new people and improve my cycling ability, back in London I didn’t belong to a club I just used to cycle with friends (singular) – the thrill and excitement of riding in a group was and still is really enjoyable. In addition to both the openness of the team and seamless capability  to make new friends with similar interests, it’s the perfect motivator to drag your ass out of bed early on a Saturday and Sunday morning.

After a full year’s hiatus from cycling throughout 2011, due to an unhealthy obsession with golf, I joined forces with the SM’s again in 2012 – there was plenty of new faces and many old ones, but what was incredible was the growth of the club and the obvious hard work Dean, Vanessa and notable others put in to making the club the best in Chicago.

I can’t wait to kick off 2013 again….these winter months are killing me.


Spidermonkeys of the Week – Sponsor Spotlight – Alex and Lesley Tweedie

We opened Roscoe Village Bikes in March 2007 and were really happy when some roadies started meeting for group rides in front of the shop and bringing their bikes in for service.  We were even more thrilled when that Fall, those riders told us they would be forming a club and asked us if we would sponsor it.  They said the club would be called Spidermonkey.  Interesting name for a cycling club, but it’s not your typical club. 
What we like about sponsoring the Spidermonkeys is that the riders in the club are fast, serious cyclists and also truly good, sweet people.  The Spidermonkeys are competitive but not cut-throat.  They’re good sports.  Spidermonkeys are good coaches and cheerleaders in supporting new riders.  Spidermonkeys are charitable.  We loved sponsoring the MS ride and knowing there would be so many Spidermonkeys out there.  It was especially fun for us to host the packet pick-up for the ride.  Being nice, charitable, and enthusiastic about cycling are values that are important to us here at Roscoe Village Bikes so of all the clubs to sponsor, we feel Spidermonkey is a great fit for our shop. 
The first official meeting of the club took place here in October 2007.  Attendees included Dean, Vanessa, Matt Smith, Bryan Merrill, Nate Iden, Josh Green, Trent Williams, Jonathan Fairman, Ken Mitchell and more. It was around Halloween and there was a Spidermonkey pumpkin.  Now this may or may not be true, but let’s add to Spidermonkey lore that that the origins of the orange in the kit comes from that Halloween themed club meeting.
The Spidermonkey Pumpkin makes an appearance??

Over the years we’ve hosted several BBQ’s and pizza parties.  It’s been a lot of fun getting to know everyone and hanging out. Who can forget Ken Mitchell’s silent keg stands on a Sunday, summer evening.  As the club got larger, we’ve hosted less, but we always enjoy visits from Spidermonkeys, the Wednesday night ride leaving from our shop, having the sizing kits here and meeting new Spidermonkeys.

Silent Keg Stands??
Please stop in and say hi (but not next week since we’ll be closed Christmas through New Years).  Keep in mind official club members receive 10% off new bikes and 15% off parts and accessories.  Please introduce yourself as a Spidermonkey or show some spider bling since some of our staff may not have met you before.  We carry a wide range of bikes for kids, commuters, recreational riders and competitive cyclists.  We also have components like wheels, tires, tubes, shifters and pretty much and anything else a bike needs to roll.  We like fixing bikes and service turn-around times are shortest this time of year so if yours needs a little TLC, bring it by.
We’re happy to sponsor the club season after season.  It’s been a lot of fun and having a crowd of lyrca clad cyclists in front of the shop is good for the neighborhood.  As Dean said in his first Spidermonkey e-mail, “Keep the rubber side down.”
Lesley & Alex Tweedie and the Roscoe Village Bikes crew
Fall/Winter Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 11-8 & Saturday, Sunday 11-6
2016 W. Roscoe St.
Chicago, IL 60618

Twitter: @RVBikes

Lesley striking a pose!  Nice bike!

Alex tearing it up in CX!

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