11 Aug 2015

NCC’s Annual Custard Cruise is on…

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…and it is right around the corner.

Thursday, August 20th at 6:00pm. We’ll meet at the Hopkins Park shelter, ride to Ollie’s, and the shop will buy a single cone or cup for everyone.

We love family and community, so this is a completely family-oriented ride as a “Thank you!” to our wonderful cycling community.

We hope to see you there!

Details are here on the Facebook event page.

07 Aug 2015

Who doesn’t want more pie?!

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We’re a week in (since this).

Turns out the pie is the same size, but we each get to tackle a bit more of it.

I’m happy to report the pie is gradually getting gobbled up.

– Jeff

PS  We don’t really share our very real pie, but we do like to share our coffee. Swing by for a cup.


31 Jul 2015

Tobie’s last F.A.Q.

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Over the last few years, I’ve posted a handful of satirical “Frequently Axed Questions” sections on various posts and blogs. I’ve come to enjoy those quite a bit, and I hope you have, too.

I felt it befitting to sign off today with one last F.A.Q. since we have been bombarded with questions over the last month. If you aren’t finding the answer to your question below, you can email us.

Frequently Axed Questions.

Q. Wait, what’s going on? You’re leaving? 

unnamedTobie. Yep, today’s my last day, but the shop is not going anywhere.

North Central Cyclery. Yeah, I’m not going anywhere.

Q. Where are you going? 

T. Good Question. Nowhere, right now. But I’m excited to explore the next chapter for me and my family soon. I have a couple opportunities to take what I’ve learned here and help apply it to a larger community. Ideally, I’d love to continue getting people to get together, build community, and ride bikes.

NCC. I just said I’m not going anywhere.

Oh, you were talking to him. Ok, I’ll be right over here if you need me. I’m not going anywhere.

Q. What’s going to happen to NCC? It’s for sale, right? It’s not closing, is it?!? 

T. No, it’s not closing. No way.

It’s currently for sale, but we’re excited to report that we have a beautiful batch of people interested in keeping it going. We’ve been sorting through the inquiries and working to find the best fit. Things are running as usual around the shop during the transition.

NCC. It’s been really amazing to see who has inquired. We are confident the shop is going to be in good hands. The community around here is really supportive of the change and we’ve got big hopes for what lies ahead.

Q. Who’s going to be at the shop, now? 

T. The only person leaving is me. The rest of the staff is still here. They’re going to be working hard to make the transition as smooth as possible for everyone involved.

NCC. If you want to buy something from us to sell something to us, you’ll want to talk to Jeff first. If you have something that is broken and in need of fixing, you’ll want to talk to Chad first. If you have an excess of candy or beer and you need help disposing of it, pretty much anyone here can help you with that right away.

We’re still looking to fill a few spots, so if you’re interested in working with us, click here to learn more.

Q. What’s happening to Axletree? Is Axletree going away? 

T. Axletree is a totally separate entity, so this doesn’t fundamentally change anything. Axletree will still be hosting awesome events and working on local advocacy. Be sure to tune in to the Facebook page for regular updates.

NCC. The stuff, Tobie, tell them about the stuff.

T. Oh yeah, thanks, NCC. Purely because we hate paperwork, we’re going to be selling all Axletree goods through the webstore for the time being. After the ownership change, you should be able to buy that stuff in the shop again. We’re currently low on most of the inventory, so we’ll be working on some new goods this Fall.

AT: Thanks, Tobie & NCC, for all your help. I’d like to take a sec to remind everyone that Ten Thousand is going to be in October this year. It’s going to be a beautiful time to ride out in the Driftless, so don’t miss out. We’ll have a new route this year, and it’s going to knock your wool socks off. Stay tuned to the site or Facebook to get updates. You can contact Dean, too, if you have any other questions.

Q. What about NCC’s events? Anything changing with those? 

NCC. Nope, the calendar is unchanged. We’ve got the Custard Cruise coming up on August 20th, starting at Hopkins Park at 6:30pm. We’ll ride to Ollie’s and we’ll buy everyone a cone.

We also have a great Re-Tirement coupon running in August. Buy two tires over $30/ea and get free tubes and installation. Be sure to mention the coupon when you book the service.

T. Mmmmm, custard.

Q. Anything else you’d like to say? 

T. I’d like to say again that it’s been a great pleasure to work for NCC and an honor to service this community for the last eleven years. I am so excited for the next chapter of NCC and the staff.

NCC. Thanks, Tobie. It’s been fun. Be good.

T. I will. Love you.

NCC. Love you, too.



14 Jul 2015

Bright Futures and a Bittersweet Farewell

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We are about to release a product unlike anything we’ve ever sold in the past. I personally think it’s the greatest product ever to come through here.

We think it’s pretty innovative, but at the same time, you can’t reinvent the wheel. It took a long time to develop and has been shaped by some of the smartest and hardest working people I’ve ever met. If used properly, it can benefit an entire community. It has impacted more people than any bike we’ve ever sold.

This product has many parts, it is sometimes hard to operate, and it’s more expensive than anything else we’ve ever sold. But the benefits to the user are profound.

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We are preparing to sell North Central Cyclery itself.


We are looking for new owners to take NCC into the next chapter of its story.
We hope to find an individual or party who understands the culture we’ve striven to create over the last 11 years and carry on in our mission to build something bigger than the sum of its parts to benefit the community at large. We believe the core strengths of the current ownership have been sales growth, market exploration, and cultural development. The next era of NCC calls for other core strengths to maintain a healthy and thriving business in this community. NCC has become something beyond anything we’d ever imagined and we are incredibly proud of the community we’ve built here. NCC needs a new set of eyes, new hands, and a new heart for the next stage. We are excited for the bright futures ahead for everyone.

NCC has become a regional destination for cyclists of all kinds by creating a unique retail experience built on great service, a curated product selection, fun events, and peerless communication. We’ve partnered with brands that we can trust and developed phenomenal relationships with those vendors. We’ve exceeded the expectations of everyone, including ourselves, and built something wonderful. According to our customers and our suppliers, NCC has become a cornerstone for the local community and an industry leader in experiential niche retail.


It’s not an understatement that say that we have a national customer base, even though we don’t sell things over the internet. We have partnered with a unique array of vendors who are not found in every bike shop. We are among a very select number of dealers to stock and carry Moots and Jones bikes, and one of only a few places in the region to display a healthy selection of Salsa and Surly. We have also had a relationship with Trek bikes since the very beginning, so we can serve almost any rider walking in our door.

This is not a process we will take lightly, since there are so many important factors to consider. If you are interested in learning more, please email us at brightfutures@northcentralcyclery.com with your contact information to get started.

We are asking for serious inquiries only.

 —- Intermission—-

It is important for me (me = Tobie) to share at this same moment that my tenure at North Central Cyclery will be coming to an end this summer. Over the last couple years, and increasingly over the last six months, I have had a deep sense it was time for me to seek out the next endeavor for me and my family. I feel confident that I’m departing NCC at a time when our brand and position in the market are at its strongest.11227770_1102737293086438_928207431371223713_n

It has been my honor and privilege to serve North Central Cyclery for the last eleven years. I was hired without experience into a position that I did not deserve, and worked hard with my hands, head, and heart to meet and exceed the expectations set before me. I have had the liberty to define my own position as time went on and that liberty allowed me to grow as an individual in many ways atypical to our industry. For that I am deeply grateful. From the very beginning, it was my intent that NCC be set apart from the existing stereotype of bike shops by being kind, inclusive, clean, interesting and bright. Evidently, by the continued success and survival of the shop over some very challenging economic years, these were important and desirable elements to you as well.

Thank you.

Without question, the best part of the last decade has been the incredible relationships in and around the bike shop. I have worked alongside true friends, and I believe the current staff at NCC to be one of the strongest, most talented, most cohesive and beautiful crews we’ve ever had. I am also very proud of the number of customers I call friends. This community has been wonderful to me and my family as we’ve established ourselves here.

Among our vendors, I can genuinely say that I love some of those people and love doing business with them. I will certainly miss the excuses to call them and get called by them.

At this moment, there is no immediate next step for me in my career, but instead, I plan to spend time with my family, spend some time reflecting and resting, and accomplish a few personal goals. During that time, I will also be seeking out the next phase of my career and exploring new opportunities.

I will post up again before my last day, but it was important for me to be clear from the outset of our effort to sell the shop that we will be training in or raising up someone to take my place this summer. We are looking for applicants for all positions, so please let us know if you’re interested. I will be leading the effort to ensure the new leadership of NCC understands our history and values. In my work during the transition, I hope to make sure our service and value to you is uninterrupted as much as possible. We understand you have a choice when it comes to bikes and bike stuff, and we greatly appreciate every opportunity to serve you.

If you’re interested in staying in touch, my email is tobie@tobiedepauw.com.

I would like to invite you to ride with me for my last (official) Saturday ride with NCC on July 25th. We will meet behind NCC at 8am and ride ~30-40mi. All speeds and steeds are welcome. We’ll be sticking to roads and paths so almost any bike will do.

Espresso will be available before and after, courtesy of our friends from Rapha.

RSVP here.


Thank you.



06 Jul 2015

NCC Summer Hours

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Dontcha just hate Mondays?

Us, too.

So let’s skip them entirely.

Monday – Closed
Tuesday – 10-6
Wednesday – 10-8!
Thursday – 10-6
Friday – 10-6
Saturday – 10-4
Sunday – Closed

Jokes aside, we’re changing up the schedule for a few reasons.
DeKalb is a college town, and things slow down a bit around here in July.

The doldrums generally last until early August, when things quickly return to “normal”, (see also: crazy, busy, fun!). Closing Mondays is an efficient way for us to consolidate our staff and services for everyone’s benefit. If you’ve ever worked retail, you can empathize with how unbelievably wonderful it is to have two days off in a row.
Our staff will be here five days a week, bright-tailed and bushy-eyed, to serve you for the summer.

Be sure to note these special dates this month:

Biking with Beanzie – July 12th.

Thirdsday – July 16th (NCC closed).

During this time, too, we’re on the lookout for the new draft picks for Fall 2015 NCC staff.

If you or anyone you know would make a good fit here, click here to get the ball rolling. Seriously, by following these simple steps, you will exhibit the chutzpah we’re looking for. We’re hiring for a number of different positions, so definitely apply if you’re interested.