Wicker Park bike seller surprised to see store in post bashing bikes

March 13, 2012|By Mick Swasko, RedEye

Rapid Transit Bike Shop owner Justyna Frank had to check the date Monday to make sure it wasn'tApril Fool's Day.

When she realized it wasn't, and that an article posted online since January has featured a photo of her Wicker Park bike shop along with a motorist bashing cyclists, she said she was shocked.

"It was sort of too perfect. My husband and I were scratching our head. Is it somebody playing a joke on us?" she said of the post on the site, which asks motorists on the street to comment on their vehicles.

Though the interview has been posted for nearly two months, it wasn't until one of Frank's employees spotted it this week that it was brought to her attention. The subject, who is only identified by her first name, says she "can't stand" cyclists when asked about driving in the city versus the suburbs.

The post on chicago.cbslocal.com carries a Jan. 17 date.

The irony of the less-than-kind comments about cycling in the city caused Frank, and several others, to take to the message boards Monday. Frank offered a $50 gift certificate to the subject of the story, in hopes she'd change her attitude toward those on two wheels. Dozens of other commenters weighed in with their two cents.

Frank, who has owned the Wicker Park shop with her husband for 18 years, said she hopes the subject takes her up on the invitation to learn about cycling in her store.

"Sometimes people who drive a car for many years wake up and say, hey I am going to try something else," she said.

mswasko@tribune.com | @mickswasko

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