Thursday, May 15, 2008

Summer's on my Mind

For those of us who hate to clean our bikes...

I'm about to test ride a chainless Dynamic Bicycle, which combines a shaft drive (left) with Shimano internal gearing.

In many ways, it sounds like my ideal bike: I regularly ride in all sorts of weather, but I never seem to find time for maintenance.

My laziness often leaves me with derailleur issues and an urge to buy a fixed-gear bike. But with a shaft drive bike, those bothersome mechanical components are enclosed and protected from the rain, dirt, mud and lakefront path gravel. The derailleur isn't exposed and there's no grease to get on your work clothes.

Going green continues to gain momentum and if you need proof, you can look no farther than your neighborhood farmers market.

In addition to new markets opening in the area, many will be selling sustainable fruits, vegetables and gourmet specialties. Many markets open this week.

"We have a dual message," said Yescenia Mota, Chicago Farmers Market project coordinator for the city. "We want farmers markets to be fun, so we worked hard to bring back the 'Country Chef Challenge' [local chefs compete against each other in August using market produce]. And we want people to buy local food because it helps preserve Midwest farmland, and that's good for the environment."

Green Festival
This Saturday - Navy Pier. Welcome to Chicago Amy Goodman!
Celebrating what’s working in our communities, green festival showcases more than 350 diverse local and national green businesses displaying and selling eco-friendly, fair trade and sustainable products. More than 150 visionary speakers appear for standing-room-only panel discussions, presentations and main stage speaking events.

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