About the Shop
Vanessa found Annie when recruiting women bike racers. Annie got hooked on racing and a friendship formed during many long car rides to races near and far. From Chicago, to Iowa, Saint Louis and Milwaukee they got to know each other. Vanessa, the impetuous one, dialed up Annie in January of 2013 to say she had a brilliant idea: Create a bike shop in Chicago especially for women! With that, two women, brought together by bikes, took a leap of faith to make their dream a reality. And thus, BFF Bikes was born.
In creating BFF Bikes, Annie and Vanessa didn’t merely create the Midwest’s only women specific bike shop. They also set out to create a community of cyclists who would support and encourage each other regardless of ability and ultimately become friends. Whether a woman is riding with children, commuting downtown, racing around the country or doing all three, BFF Bikes is a space where she can find what she needs. In pursuit of this community, Annie and Vanessa created a shop racing team, BFF Bikes Racing. The team has had a wildly successful beginning, including being named USA Cycling’s 2015 Women’s Club of the Year.
About the Owners
Annie Byrne, Co-Owner – Operations
While Annie has enjoyed biking since she was a kid, her love for biking as transportation and recreation began in 2006. Once realizing how great biking is as a form of transportation, Annie became a year-round commuter. She also started organizing long distance recreational rides. Eventually, Annie realized she wanted to take it to the next level and began competing in 2012. Bike racing quickly became Annie’s favorite activity. Annie’s love for cycling continues to escalate and she wants to spread the love to as many people as possible.
Vanessa Buccella Co-Owner – Marketing – Creative
Vanessa Buccella never stopped riding bikes from the time she was a child to her adulthood. She has been a commuter in Chicago for 15+ years including a stint as a bike messenger. In 2008 she began going on longer training rides and started racing in 2009. She is very active in the cycling community– she is on the board of the Illinois Cycling Association, she launched practice races in Chicago for the first time since perhaps the 1930s, and a founding member of the growing Illinois Women Cyclists group, a supportive community of women cyclists. She is well known throughout Illinois as an avid proponent of women’s cycling.