Bicycle Diaries: Mission accomplished!

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Mission accomplished!

2000+ massers
reach the Berwyn Car Spindle
28 July 07, Chicago Sun Times: Chanting "Save the Spindle," about 2,000 bicyclists took to the streets Friday night to protest the proposed replacement of a Berwyn art piece - made famous in a "Wayne's World" movie - with a Walgreens.

The bikers, who typically take part in the monthly Chicago Critical Mass rides, rode 14.8 miles from the Daley Center Plaza in the Loop to Cermak Plaza in Berwyn, in an attempt to save the endangered Spindle artwork, also known as the Eight Car Pileup.

The automobiles are stuck on a steel pipe.

"A trip to the Spindle is a bike ride that a lot of us have made," said Dan Korn, a 36-year-old Little Village resident who has participated in Critical Mass rides for years. "So many of us didn't mind using this ride to support the Spindle today. The Spindle is a metaphor to me of the car or perhaps the end of the car. There are a lot of riders who advocate against over-car usage."

Riders cruised through neighborhoods like Pilsen and Little Village, and through Cicero, passing spectators shouting support like, "Happy Friday," as well as some motorists who were angry because they blocked streets.

Once at the Berwyn plaza, riders repeatedly circled the Spindle, chanting, "Save the Spindle."

"This is the great kitsch monument of Chicago," said Garth [sic] Catner, 46, of Lincoln Square, after completing the hike with a replica of the Spindle on his helmet with a large nail and matchbox car[s].

"This gives the town character,'' Kit Shelton, 24, of Berwyn,
maintained. "It is going to make Berwyn lose its personality if it is knocked down."

The Spindle attracted attention when it appeared in the 1992 movie "Wayne's World," starring Mike Myers and Dana Carvey as Wayne and Garth, a couple of weird rock 'n' roll afficionados. The Spindle also is now touted in several travel guides, including one listing it under "Road Cheese."

There's a possibility the Spindle could be moved to another location, but Concordia Realty, the strip mall's management firm, estimates costs could be as much as $350,000. Concordia now is considering whether the Spindle can be relocated for a lower cost.

"We are all for artwork, but at the same time, we are running a business," said Concordia owner Michael Flight.

Flight added that the piece would need repair work soon because the artwork, created in 1989 by Dustin Shuler, might become unsafe. Upkeep costs are estimated at $100,000, he said.

"The last thing that we need is a new Walgreens," said Josh Tammaro, a 23-year-old Lincoln Park resident. "This is corporate piracy."

Police said a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle near the bikers' route but confirmed no other incidents, despite riders' claims that some of their group were also struck by a car but not seriously injured.

And from Save the Spindle:
Wheelman, I can't thank you and Steve and EVERYONE for last night. It moved us all more than you can possibly imagine to have your support for our efforts. We appreciate your respect of our position and that everyone was peaceful and positive.

Several members of the Berwyn Police Department said they'd never witnessed such great behavior in such a large group before.

I was deeply saddened to hear that one of your cyclists was injured on the way over by some horrible driver who was evading the police. Please let us know his/her status. We at Save the Spindle are sincerely concerned and hope this person will be okay.

Again, thank you for doing this for us and bringing attention to our cause and to all the people who signed our petitions.

I heard that it was on CLTV and maybe NBC5-TV news last night--I wish I'd gotten to see it. I read the article in the Sun-Times today. Very positive and wonderful, as well.

We hope to have photos up at our site very soon. If you or any of your fellow cyclists have pictures or videos you are willing to send us, we will be more than happy to post them at as well.


Maggie Ragaisis
Web Administrator
Save The Spindle

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