Back To School Pie

18 Mar

Note: Team website is up and they have been posting on a near daily basis.  Stop by and say hello.

We are going back to school. By we, I mean Tasha but me and the girls will tag along. Long story short, Tasha has been accepted into doctoral programs at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Chicago, she so smart.

We have spent the last couple weeks visiting both cities and universities to try and figure out where we should go. Needless to say it’s going to be a very difficult choice. We really liked both cities so it’s coming down to faculty and what each school has to offer. And of course, pizza and bike shops. I’m still trying to pedal off the countless deep dish pies and bbq I consumed.

It was my job to assess the bike shop and pizza pie scenes. Here’s the rental bike from Big Shark in St. Louis on the river front trail. Decent Cannondale road bike that took me on a 4 hour ride into Illinois and back to Missouri. Mike and the crew at Big Shark are awesome by the way and had me sold on St. Louis after 5 minutes.

Here’s the longest bike only bridge in the U.S. just North of St. Louis. Illinois is on the far side.

Ah, Pie! From PI in St. Louis. It was incredible, never had a crust like that anywhere. St. louis is ranking very high on my short list.

On to Chicago. The University of Chicago looking North from the Social Services Administration building.

I must admit the bike shops left something to be desired. I visited 4 different shops around the University area and they all had weird hours or were by appointment only and seemed to cater to repairs only. This shop is through the blue door in the background, if you can get through the gate.

After visiting 4 shops I came up with this Fuji as the best rental I could find. I had packed my shoes and pedals with me and when I asked the shop owner if I could at least put my own pedals on the bike he said, “No, that’s a real pain in the ass.” Ok. I spent the next 2 hours in jeans and Chuck Taylors on this bike, my ass still has wounds.

Here’s the shop where I rented the bike. When it says “Things” they aren’t kidding. Half the shop is a giant bird cage with parrots and bird shit everywhere and the other half was occupied by dogs of every size and chewed up furniture. Turns out the proprietor and sole employee has a bit of a reputation around town and has even been written up in the Chicago Sun Times, go figure. Nod goes to St Louis for bike shop.

Back to pie. Pequod’s in Lincoln Park had the craziest pie I’d ever seen and I barely made it through one slice. Nod goes to Chicago for pie. I know, it’s hard to believe that that is actually a slice of pizza, looks more like road kill.

There you have it, pizza pie or bike shop? Not sure.

22 Responses to “Back To School Pie”

  1. Slowerthensnot March 18, 2010 at 8:54 pm #

    woha big changes! I gotta go bikes on this one….

  2. KanyonKris March 18, 2010 at 9:06 pm #

    Tough decision, but focusing on bike shops and pizza as selection criteria is sound logic.

    I was in Chicago for 2 years, how did I miss Pequod’s? Most preferred Gino’s East, but my favorite was Edwardo’s – my mouth is watering now.

    Chicago is a good town. I liked the mix of so many cultures. That also means good, authentic food from all over the world. I like downtown – the architecture has an old/new mix that somehow works. Good museums, sports, entertainment.

    On the downside, the winters are coooold. And mid-summer is sweltering. Not sure if St. Louis would be any better.

    I’d like to live back in Chicago, but then I have ties so not an impartial opinion.

    Take a long time deciding, maybe years – the Keyes will leave an awful big hole in Utah.

    BTW, what is Tasha’s field of study?

    • brkeyes7 March 19, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

      Kris, Social Services and I’ll check out Edwardos next time, thanks!

  3. mark March 18, 2010 at 10:28 pm #

    Wow. Had no idea. We’ll have to have a big party for you either way. We love Chicago, but weather is pretty crappy for riding bikes. Not sure how much better St. Louis is, but I’d think it’s a bit warmer. As far as the schools go, U of Chicago has maybe the slightest edge, but having spent big bucks to go to a big name school, I know a lot depends on what you want to do after whether it’s worthwhile to choose based on reputation. So then look at the financial package the school is offering. If that’s a coin flip, then I’d go with bikes.

  4. tim March 19, 2010 at 6:10 am #

    I vote Chicago, and you can open the decent bike shop the university is lacking.

  5. Rick S. March 19, 2010 at 7:42 am #

    Chicago is a much bigger market for CarboRocket but more importantly, I’d love to see a local UT boy beat up on those WI boyz at the WORS race series.

    Gotta go with Chicago.

  6. ringgerb March 19, 2010 at 7:49 am #

    I almost went to Wash. U. to undergrad and to play nose tackle. Loved it. Wanted to go. Did not win enough money in engineering scholarship competition. Great town, though.

  7. JZ March 19, 2010 at 8:41 am #

    Hard to go wrong with either City, although I’d give the nod to St. Louis since my sister lives there. Her family loves it. Also, my cousin is a professor at the business school at Washington University. If you want any insight on St. Louis life I can hook ya up.

    • brkeyes7 March 19, 2010 at 9:56 pm #

      JZ, I may hit you up for some contacts, thanks!

  8. Doug (not dug) March 19, 2010 at 9:13 am #

    Da Bears. Enough said.

    • brkeyes7 March 19, 2010 at 9:56 pm #

      Is that a soccer or lacrosse team?

  9. Seth March 19, 2010 at 11:35 am #

    I’d say St. Louis, they have some great shops (including Big Shark) and the riding is pretty decent. I lived in northeastern MO for two years and went down in the st louis area every so often for races. You can check out the racing scene at They have a good road, mtb and cross series and a strong biking community. That being said, i’ve never really been to chicago so I can’t really speak on that front, but you can always find good pizza anywhere you go, not to mention the sweet BBQ that is to be found in STL. Good luck with your family’s decision.

    • brkeyes7 March 19, 2010 at 9:58 pm #

      Seth, thanks for the tips, know any good burbs there?

  10. D. March 19, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

    Honestly, hard to go right with either city. You’re a good family man to agree to leave the Rockies.

  11. Mike W March 19, 2010 at 9:03 pm #

    Go with Chicago. We’re thinking of taking a job opportunity in Minneapolis. That way we’d both be in crappy cycling weather!

    • brkeyes7 March 19, 2010 at 9:59 pm #

      Sweet! We can tackle WORS together.

  12. Lucy J. March 23, 2010 at 6:49 pm #

    Wow, congrats to Tasha for being accepted at such great schools. We’ll miss you guys.

    Sounds like Chicago needs you to open a bike shop next to a pizza joint.

  13. Brandon March 26, 2010 at 12:52 pm #

    I used to work at a bike shop in Chicago… there are a lot of really awesome bike shops… just not near U of Chicago, you pretty much will have to go in to “the loop” or a little on the northside to find them. If you want any info on them I’d be happy to let you know. (the one I worked at was Kozy’s… but spent money in basically all of them)

  14. andy March 30, 2010 at 8:06 am #

    dang. wish i’d have known you were coming. you could have used one of my bikes. shoot me an email next time. beecham at gmail dot com.

    i just moved to chicago and love it. it’s getting warmer and the city is starting to stir and come to life. i have traveled to st. louis a decent amount of times so i think i can make the following statements with reasonable accuracy: downtown chicago is vibrant and exciting. as opposed to st. louis, there are no boarded up buildings in the downtown area. i just spent time a week or so ago walking around st. louis. i was amazed at how sad the city looked just blocks from the arch. old beautiful buildings were dead/dying. i don’t think the crime rate is anything to brag about either.

    chicago is likely easier to fly into as well. altho i guess st. louis has SWA as well.

    housing is likely MUCH cheapier in st. louis. UIC is in hyde park, a beautiful island of old homes and buildings. (an island surrounded by some neighborhoods you’d probaby want to avoid) btw, that’s where obama’s house is. we love that area but couldn’t afford to buy a place there. well, we could but we couldn’t bring our stuff with us because storage was a huge problem. and the condo fees were outrageous down there.

    i’m guessing that you would be renting so much of the above might not apply to you.

    if you do choose chicago, you’ll learn to appreciate the public transport system. it’s pretty good. you can even take your bike on the EL system. nice.

    oh…and if the place you eventually choose has no room for bikes, give me a shout because the old house i bought actually has a nice large garage that can fit a lot of bikes in it and i have plenty of space. of course you’d have to travel to the north side to access them but…

    • brkeyes7 March 30, 2010 at 10:04 am #

      Andy, thanks for all the info! Which neighborhood do you call home?

  15. andy March 30, 2010 at 10:12 am #

    i’m east of o’hare by a few miles. i’m in dunning/portage park.

  16. Shawn June 2, 2010 at 10:37 am #

    I have been to a few of the MTB races and trails in the STL area. So far, I haven’t found any of the epic long trails like you have out west, but they do have a pretty good selection of riding. Being an “outdoor” type person, I would much rather live in STL than Chicago. The STL biking website has already been mentioned, but is a cool site to check out to show you the MTB races. They also have a nice cross series in the winter too.

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