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Member Spotlight- Hub & Cycle and BONK

Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Chamber: Let’s start with Hub & Cycle, what can you tell us about it? 

Ron Oesterlein Co-owner of Hub and Cycle/BONK: In 2009, Activator Cycles opened and they were going to close, and we decided to buy it to make sure that Lake Bluff could still have a bike shop in the community, and we have been in business five years now. We felt it was important to keep a bike shop in town and we didn’t want it to disappear.  I can’t tell you how often people say how grateful they are for having a bike shop in town.  We started BONK, our sandwich shop during the Pandemic and it helps us sustain during the winter months when the cycling season slows down a bit.

Hub & Cycle appeals to families and intermediate riders. We sell top of the line bikes all the way down to introductory bikes. Kona is the main brand, and we also have fat tire bikes like Borealis. Price points range from $429 to $6000, but we also buy and sell used bikes ranging from $100-$400. We will buy them right away instead of a consignment process which customers love. We will take them, fix them up, and get them ready for sale. Servicing bikes is also a huge part of our business. We offer tune-ups and customization. We also sell bike trainers which are a great option for winter months so you can use your own bike as a stationary bike if you want.

We also bring people together with our group rides. On Thursdays we have group rides that have been going on for 11 years. We meet at the store every Thursday at 6pm no matter the weather. In the winter, riders use their fat tire bikes or cross bikes. Obviously, there are larger groups in warmer months.

LF/LB: What was your inspiration to start Hub & Cycle? 

Craig Moore Co-owner of Hub &Cycle/Bonk: We are big bike enthusiasts, and this business is a passion project as we both have full-time jobs. We are not in this for the money, but we do it because we love it. I worked in a bike shop and raced bikes in college and just always loved cycling so when the opportunity presented itself to own my own shop, I was really excited about it.

LF/LB: What do you do to give back to the community? 

RO: We have sponsored Lake Bluff little league baseball teams.

LF/LB: What is the one thing you want people to know about Hub & Cycle? 

Barrett Hazelwood, Manager of Hub & Cycle: We offer great service and take pride in our inventory especially given the supply issues currently. We offer personal service and want all bikers, no matter their level, to feel comfortable coming in here.

LF/LB: What is your vision for Hub & Cycle? 

BH: To continue to provide a high level of service to the community and generate awareness of cycling to not only our community but others as well. Please check out this video to learn more

Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Chamber: Switching gears to BONK, what can you tell us about having a sandwich shop in the middle of a bike shop? 

John des Rosiers, Co-owner of BONK: BONK is a unique sandwich shop where everything is made from scratch using organic and sustainable ingredients.  We serve the finest meats, make our own sauces, ice cream and gelato. Our bread is sourced from nearby bakeries: Hewn and Two Figs. Every day not only will you find sandwiches and dessert on the menu, but also four soups and flatbreads.

As Ron already mentioned, BONK was created to add an extra source of revenue for the bike shop so we could even out sales during the slower winter season. We have seen other bike shops with similar situations and the concept has been a big success and we are very happy with the partnership.

LF/LB: What is the one thing you want people to know about BONK? 

JDR: We take a lot of effort and pride in our food and don’t take any shortcuts. Not many people are doing what we are and yet we are still priced in line with any other sandwich shop in town.

LF/LB: What do you do to give back to the community? 

JDR: BONK contributes to many charities with tasting menus and gift cards. We always try to participate in all community events.

LF/LB Chamber: What is your vision for BONK? 

JDR: In the future, we hope to add some indoor seating to BONK and take the concept to additional locations. Please check out this video to learn more