10 August 2010

Weekend: Biking

We decided not to have a car in Chicago. Instead, we live in the neighborhood where work happens and close to public transportation and our necessities. Coincidentally, The City of Chicago has a Bike 2015 Plan to help them accomplish their goal of becoming the most bike-friendly city in the nation. I'll have to check into the details to see if they have plans to deal with the snow we'll be expecting this winter - but the concept is fantastic.

One advantage of a bike friendly city is a great bike trail along Lake Michigan. It's beautifully maintained, relatively flat, and provides some neat views of downtown. The disadvantage is that it runs along side Lake Shore Drive, which is a busy highway, but I have to say it's done well enough that we really didn't mind.


Peanut and I ride this nifty Kona Africabike (which has its own blog). Our original plan was to get used bikes, but in the short time we had to look around, we only mainly mountain bikes. After getting used to sitting upright and the utility of my bike in The Netherlands, mountain bikes were not convincing for everyday biking. This bike is nifty. It's built like tank with very few fiddly bits, which I like. The American style of kid seats are much bigger than the Dutch bike seat we had before, so there's no space for bike bags. We are trading for a comfy ride and less work pedaling, both of which are grand. As an added bonus, for every two Africabikes Kona sells at full price, they send one to Africa for free. These have gone to HIV/AIDS workers as well as students who have a long way to travel to school.

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On our way back home, we made a quick stop a the local beach. Lake Michigan is cold! But given the high temperatures we've been having here, we prefer "refreshing."

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