From crowdfunding to design and launch, follow our progress in creating a better website for Chicago's cycling community here on TheChainlink.org. This page will be updated regularly about the project. If you have questions, contact Melissa.
A message from Chainlink Director, Julie H.:
We've been moving forward with the upcoming redesign of our website, so I wanted to share our progress with all of you. We've had very productive meetings with IT professionals as well as User Experience consultants and more are in the pipeline. We've also been in close communications with the folks at Ning, our platform host. They are also adding their own significant improvements over the next few months. While the changes will support the more flexible design we've been working on, it makes sense to me that we wait until they are fully implemented before implementing our own. This will help us take full advantage of the new platform and not duplicate efforts. I really appreciate everyone's enthusiasm for the redesign. We'll continue updating as more progress is made!
It's time to get the Tune-up campaign perks you ordered! As thanks for your contribution, this week we've been distributing packages of locally-made bike goods to dozens of Chainlinkers, and doing so with the least cost and smallest carbon footprint possible. New t-shirts and jerseys have hit the streets: many were picked up at Bar Night, others delivered by bike. Orders are also ready and waiting for you at local bike shop Cycle Smithy. Or if you've been waiting for it, swing by The Chainlink table at the Chicago Bike Swap this weekend to high-five your fellow cyclists and pick up your package there.
The process of redesigning this website is also underway. While it will be quite some time before the new website is ready, some of the media masterminds in the Chainlink community are currently collaborating to plan out its capabilities. They are inventing new ways to integrate Chicago businesses into the online community. (So if you own a bike shop or another establishment that serves people on bicycles: stay tuned.) The team is also creating methods for incorporating new technological features as they are developed by The Chainlink's stellar platform provider, Ning.
Community members here on The Chainlink step up in many ways. Currently, some are helping redesign this website. Some ideas on the table include better site navigation, more editorial content, and greater integration with other social media. Improved search function and the ability to follow specific topics (like training rides or trailers) are also popular.
Meanwhile, Tune-up The Chainlink is showcasing some of the many members who provide bike-related goods and services. The hundreds of campaign perks claimed by local riders are available beginning today. You can officially collect yours at Bar Night or Cycle Smithy, as per your order.
If you'd like to volunteer to keep the wheels turning on The Chainlink, let us know here.
Tonight we had a productive focus group with some folks from the bike geeks group. Everyone provided tech expertise and input on ways to improve thechainlink.org to better serve the cycling community.
Everyone: claim your Perk for the contribution you made! Complete your Order Form right now:
Can't remember which? Look here.
What's going on with The Chainlink tune-up campaign? Lots of things. A brief race recap...
After a 60-day uphill sprint to raise the funds needed for a website overhaul, The Chainlink team collapsed beyond the December 31 finish line, having surpassed a once-unimaginable goal. The campaign course was lined with media coverage, not one but two Halloween parties, a bike give-away, and endless cheering - all to escort a crowd-sourced fundraiser hosted on Indiegogo.com.
More than 400 people made cash contributions throughout the event. Over 30 businesses (large and small) offered motivation with donated goods for the hands (and heads and backs) of cyclists. Members of all kinds volunteered time and energy to answer the call to support an online resource that will best serve cycling in Chicagoland. Gaining momentum the whole way, together we crossed the finish line, kept going, and eventually clocked in at over 16K and hundreds of participants.
Freshly recharged, today The Chainlink has two wheels spinning. In the front, we are coming through with all of the fabulous perks claimed by all of you supporters. If you contributed to this campaign at the Daily Commuter level, then please help us ensure you get the best t-shirt by completing this order form. If you made a contribution at any other level, take thirty seconds here and tell us how we can get you your gear.
In the rear, we are drafting a bid proposal for the redesign of www.TheChainlink.org. We are working with survey results, site data, and years-worth of user input (yours!) to pair the needs of a rapidly growing network with the possibilities of a social media platform. Please join us at the monthly Bar Night on Feb. 28 to celebrate this landmark in Chicago's cycling scene and hear a special update on our progress. The ride continues. Stay with us.
We surpassed our goal! The campaign to Tune-up the Chainlink has come to a successful close. Congrats to all of the prize winners and thank you for your contribution. Stay tuned for the new website.
Join the ride and support cycling in Chicagoland!
Let us thank you for being part of The Chainlink.
Claim a special gift when you Tune-Up The Chainlink.
Watch this space for additional Thank You gifts! Receive a special prize added to the perk listed at your contribution level. These gifts are provided by the generous and creative members of The Chainlink community. Check back frequently for updates.
December 27, 7:00 PM - Offer
Le 2013 Tour de France is exactly 6 months away! Here is a special offer for Tour fans. Make a contribution to Tune-Up The Chainlink and claim one of the following. A 2012 or 2011 Tour de France Print or an actual Course Marker!
Created by Nomo Design, each poster-sized print boldly displays infographics from the year's race, including teams, riders, bike sponsors, route and stage winners. Limited edition on matte paper, 24 x 32 " . We have 10 of each to give away. (This same designer will also soon be bringing bike lights and more to the scene from Sparse.)
And for an authentic souvenir, lay claim to one of 2 an actual course marker, plucked from the route by famous Chainlinker and global cyclist George Christensen. Each hangs 7 x 23 " and bears Le Tour logo. Ask him for the back-story!
To claim a special perk, indicate your preference under "Comment" on your contribution page or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
$30 Value $30 Value Priceless
10 Available 10 Available 0 Available
December 25, 12:00 AM - Claimed!
Whoo-hoo! Two smart cyclists found their way to the top of Santa's nice list. Look out for your heap of Bike Tour passes, kids.
December 24, 12:00 PM - Offer
Cycling and history buff Lee Diamond has been leading riders down the boulevard less-traveled since launching this popular series here on The Chainlink in 2008. Tours can be shared throughout 2013. Get first dibs on some incredible Ross Felton poster art too.
December 23, 11:55 PM - Claimed!
Ride on, people! Congrats to all 4 winners. What a great way to start 2013.
December 22, 3:00 PM - Offer
Be a Daily Commuter! Contribute at least $25 to help Tune-Up The Chainlink and along with your Chainlink t-shirt, earn a Premium Membership to the Active Transportation Alliance. Enjoy a nice water bottle, regional bike map, discounts at Chicagoland's local bike shops, and more with your membership while promoting better walking, biking and transit! Already a member? Give this membership as a gift to your favorite rider.
December 22, 10:00 AM - Claimed!
December 21, 3:00 PM - Offer
The next 4 people to become Year-Round Cyclists by contributing $50 will receive the listed perks and the following:
A Sustaining Membership to the League of Illinois Bicyclists for one year and a Protégé 9.0 bike computer.
December 21, 12:00 PM - Claimed!
Congratulations Joe TV and thanks for being part of The Chainlink! Enjoy your pedicab tour!
December 20, 2:00 PM - Offer
The next person to contribute as a Home Mechanic ($150) earns a slammin choice jersey (below) and can choose to claim a free Neighborhood Tour with Minku's Vegan Pedicab!
Look forward to the spring or summer of 2013 and an hour-long ride around the boulevards of Logan Square or sites of Wicker Park. This sweet ride carries 2 adults or 1 adult and 3 kiddos, plus the vegetable-powered cyclist. Plan a day trip or a night out, kicked-back in three-wheeled style as our THANKS for supporting cycling community in Chicago.
1 offer available
All - Your name will be forever be inscribed on The Chainlink's Hall of Heroes.
$10 - A special sticker package made for this campaign including We Are Traffic, Put The Fun Between Your Legs and a rare Chainlink sticker. They are all waterproof so feel free to show off on your helmet or top tube!
$25 - A Chainlink t-shirt. Choose from one of three colors and sizes from children's small to XXL. We will contact you for your color and size preference.
$50 -Get an autographed copy of the book Where To Bike Chicago, a bicycle coloring book and the above sticker package - The Family Pack!
$100- A winter cycling cap produced specially for this campaign hand-made by Chainlinker Erin Rensink of KozeyPrery. Caps made of recycled material. Choose your size: newborn to adult XL!
(Erin's husband not included, but Chainlink logo will be)
$200 - Choose your favorite style! You get to choose your favorite style of a Po Campo "Loop Pannier" or a co-branded Chainlink WIG "Couch Crasher" Messenger Bag. Both companies are owned by Chainlinkers and the bags are designed and produced by them as well!
$500 - can't decide which perk you'd like? Get all them all and save $160!
$500 - One, yes, that's right, awesome Madrax "Mini-Advocate" bike rack. There's only one, so get it quick! - Claimed!
(Julie is sorely tempted to put it up in front of her house)
$1,500 - Celebrity Bike Rides!
At this level you can choose a personal bike ride with either Randy Neufeld or Jerome McDonnell, both local celebrities and Chainlink members.
If you ride around with Randy Neufeld, you will find out the story behind this honorary sign! At lunch, discuss the future of Chicago's infrastructure. Claimed!
Ride around and tour the WBEZ studio with Jerome McDonnell, host of NPR's Worldview. CLAIMED!
$2,500 - Celebrity Bike Ride and Lunch at Wave
Enjoy your very own bicycle ride around the city with the Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation, Gabe Klein. An innovator and entrepreneur, Commissioner Klein is a proven leader in sustainable transportation, responsible for implementing miles of new bike lanes as part of the city's 2015 Bike Plan alongside other major improvements in urban transit. The Commissioner brings to fruition the department's vision: to provide a high-quality transportation system to residents and visitors that keeps Chicago vibrant, attractive, and globally competitive.
Invite up to 5 of your friends or colleagues to join the ride, followed by a delectable prix fixe lunch courtesy of The Chainlink at the widely celebrated restaurant, Wave at W Chicago. Enjoy dishes from New American and Mediterranean cuisine. Claim this thank-you offer today to arrange a day and a ride route with the Commissioner.
To claim any of the above awesome perks and contribute to The Chainlink's fundraising campaign: www.indiegogo.com/thechainlink-website-tuneup