We Place Our ‘Money’ Where Our ‘Values’ Are

Background Reading



Bikes and Roses Rally


A sad story begins:

ALBANY PARK — Oscar Rivera Jr. was nearly brought to tears watching Gov. Bruce Rauner’s State of the State address.

“We should create a Minority Enterprise Small Business Investment Program to assist minority entrepreneurs in startups throughout Illinois,” the governor said in his speech.

“He talks about helping entrepreneurs in low-income neighborhoods. I’m thinking, ‘That’s me!'” said Rivera, coordinator of Bikes ‘n’ Roses, a youth job training and employment program that, under Rivera’s leadership, has become a bona fide bike shop in Albany Park.

“I almost cried,” he said.

But those weren’t tears of joy.

The day before his address, Illinois’ newly installed governor had frozen millions in grant dollars disbursed by outgoing Gov. Pat Quinn on Jan. 1. Of those millions, Bikes ‘n’ Roses lost $276,000.

What Does The Urban Cycling Movement Really Value?

So another tale on the other side of town can be read here:

There are no tears for Revolution Brewery. They are thriving. They are a small business getting bigger. What is the difference? Sadly it is simple. In a Capitalistic Society those that succeed in business not matter the quality of the product or the altruistic ideal it represents have earned the trust and therefore the monetary input of their customer base.

That is true for McDonalds as it is for Bikes and Roses. And yet we act as if there is something deficient in the character of the people and the businesses they run in poor neighborhoods. Nobody believes that a kid from the ‘wrong side of town‘ who plays basketball in the hope of escaping poverty by turning professional should be unguarded when he goes for a layup. That would be unthinkable. He should have to scrabble for each shot just like anyone else.

The real question is whether the people that claim to be in his corner when he is attempting to rise to the top are willing to sacrifice to get him there. That is the truth that the Urban Cycling Movement is going to have to look within itself to answer.

How is it that a brewery can thrive in the same circumstances as a small business like Bikes and Roses fails?

The culprit here is not that the state decided to end the support of the business. The culprit is instead a culture in which we can find the money to drink ourselves blind, but have to hope that the state keeps bike shops open for our benefit. Something is desperately wrong with this scenario.

Listen to the wisdom of the ChainLink Forum on this matter:

Reply by Yasmeen 1 hour ago
That’s horrible. I hope there is a way to keep Bikes n Roses going.

Reply by Anne Alt 48 minutes ago
Rauner didn’t waste any time going into Grinch mode. Boo! I hope that Bikes n Roses is able to survive.

Reply by Cameron 7.5 mi 4 minutes ago
Illinois’s budget needed a serious overhaul and some painful cuts had to happen, but watching the Rauner administration work has been sort of like watching the Hulk play Jenga.

Yes, we should all ‘hope‘ that businesses like ‘Bikes-n-Roses‘ survive. But these concerns only get to live if they can support themselves. And that means that people from the community need to walk through the goddam door and get their bikes fixed, tuned-up or whatever.

But things are actually more lopsided than we might imagine. Here is how the ChainLink Forum keeps itself going:






Special ChainLink pintglasses

So my question would be why do you find alcohol and bar food more important the keeping the Bikes-n-Roses shop open? Why is it raining tacos and not bike maintenance checkups?

Comment by Yasmeen yesterday
It’s raining tacos. The Salsa Taco Truck will be coming to Chainlink Bar Night. $3 per taco, $4 for chips and salsa, $5 for guac. $10 for a taco meal.

The world is chock full of sunshine Patriots. What is damned difficult is to pry money out of the hands of folks who value their booze far more than their ‘statement making‘. So in an attempt to perhaps assuage their guilt at allowing a perfectly good business to go without financial support from the community it decides to put the blame on the state for not funding a small business in perpetuity.

This is the biggest mistake of the Liberal Left. It thinks like a Socialist State up until it is time to buy drinks. Then the reality of it all comes hurtling in as they reach for that wallet to fork over money for alcohol. Money that probably should be spent on that rusty chain and broken spoken replacement that they need to fix. But no! They sit in judgment over anybody and everybody else who has to work for a living and then be taxed so that a business which could be thriving but cannot get the support it deserves loses its ‘revenue stream‘.

News Alert: Small businesses do not have the right to claim a revenue stream from the state forever. We need to be as supportive of our small bike businesses as we are of our breweries. Perhaps more so of the former.

So if there are to be Boos then let them be directed at a selfish and absorbed customer base that knows you need business but cannot be bothered to give it to you! Like most everything else in this gutless movement it will never gain any successes of value because it is constantly thinking like a dependent teenager rather than a college graduate out to make their way in the world.