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Students Find Freedom in Chainlinks

By Morgan Barnett

Imagine the feeling of the fresh morning wind upon your face as you bike down Lake Shore Path, just as the sun is about to rise. The thrill of pedaling non-stop and then gliding past the high rises that sprinkle along Lake Shore Drive. Biking is a lifestyle here in Chicago and as a college student at Loyola University Chicago this lifestyle is made simple with the help of Chainlinks, a Loyola Limited student run and managed business.

Specifically run by only undergraduate students, Chainlinks gives students the opportunity to learn and practice business skills to prepare themselves for careers after college. Created in August of 2011, Chainlinks works as a bike repair and rental business, giving students the option of renting their own bike for an entire year at the cost of only $160. With Chicago being ranked as the 14th most polluted city in the nation by the American Lung Association it’s important to remember how much of a difference riding your bike can make.

“Nothing compares to the feeling of pure freedom that a bicycle provides” Mauricio, a Florida native, sophomore at Loyola University Chicago, and Chainlinks brand manager states about biking in the city. Mauricio is an Entrepreneurship major with a minor in Information Systems.

With the Chicago biking culture being so profound, I asked Mauricio how he got involved with biking in the first place, “I would bike every once and awhile with friends, it wasn’t a big thing for me until I got this job at Chainlinks. Then I started to really get into the culture of biking, plus Chicago is really big on biking so it got me really into it”.

It’s hard to resist the fun and thriving bike culture of Chicago. One of the more popular biking groups, Critical Mass, meets on the last Friday of every month to bike throughout the streets of Chicago. This biking group along with others such as Monday Night Ride are open to the entire community.

Chainlinks has lots of help so that it thrives as a student run business at Loyola.

“We have two great guidance counselors, Sean and John, and they basically guide us through any problems that come up and we have area to move up as well,” Mauricio says. “We could become the president of Chainlinks or we could become CEO of Loyola Limited so yeah, it’s very fun”.

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The Hub Bub is a collection of articles, videos, audio, photo slideshows, interactive maps and other media produced by students enrolled in journalism courses at Loyola University Chicago's School of Communication. For more about the School of Communication, our award winning faculty, and our state of the art facilities located in the heart of Chicago, visit our website.