Holly Hobby

There’s no accounting for people’s hobbies.

What’s fascinating to some (making gingerbread cities out of gingerbread, marshmallows, and pixie sticks) is just plain weird to everyone else.

But isn’t it nice when other people’s bizarre addictions actually prove useful to the general welfare?

The Working Bikes Cooperative is an organization designed for those who are passionate about wheels, chains, and gears. They take used bikes that have been donated from all over the city (and are in all kinds of conditions), repair them, and then sell them to the public for mere beans ($25 to $90). The rough-and-tumble warehouse has thousands of bikes (old school Schwinn, Trek, Giant, and Huffy, to name a few) that have all been lovingly restored by volunteers who spend their weekends mending flats, greasing chains, and dirtying their hands just for the love of the ride.

You don’t have to volunteer at the co-op to get a bike, but there’s always an open invitation to do so.

Let the gnomes in the gingerbread house fend for themselves.

Working Bikes Cooperative, 927 South Western Avenue, between Harrison and Taylor Streets (312-421-5048 or workingbikes.org).