Homewood on display Saturday for cyclists

 An elegant end to Bike to Work Week: Homewood's Green Streets bike tour June 19 has its stage set by the Village's Art & Garden Street Fair, a full-on festival along Martin Avenue of art, gardening, music, food, and tastings for Scotch, bourbon, wine and beer. Just a block away along Dixie Highway, classic cars will cruise stately by all day in Drivin' the Dixie, and two blocks from the festival Homewood's Farmers Market overspills with locally grown produce, baked delights and crafts. The family or friend you bring who doesn't bicycle isn't likely to miss you too much.

The bike tour begins and ends with a free lunch in the middle of all this at the corner of Martin Avenue and Kroner, just one block east and one block south of the bike-accommodating Metra Electric train station. There's still room! Click here to RSVP.

Did You Know? - Bikes allowed on Moraine Valley path

Throw this on the prodigious pile of Bike to Work Week Benefits: I gave two Bike to Work Week presentations at Moraine Valley Community College in May, both well attended by staff. At the second presentation, many aired the complaint that the college wouldn't allow bicycling just anywhere on campus, and in particular not on the multi-use, paved path circling the campus (much to nearby residents', as well as staff & student bike commuters', dismay). This was accepted as policy at the campus, particularly by campus police.

Karen McGinnis, Bike to Work Week participant and an executive assistant at the school, decided to ask around. Turns out that:

1. Bikes are allowed everywhere on campus

2. Bikes are allowed on the multi-use path

This is a reversal of policy, although Karen couldn't find out exactly when the reversal took effect. But word's out now, and just in time too. Moraine Valley staff and faculty have formed bike buddy groups during Bike to Work Week so experienced bike commuters can mentor beginners, share route information, and enjoy their ride with more comfort and conversation. The school is working to make cycling an integrated program in their wellness policy. And exploring the campus by bike should become more popular with nearby residents too. Bike to Work Week - Breaking down boundaries to two wheel locomotion! 

Laissez les bon temps rouler!!!

Laissez les bon temps rouler or "let the good times roll," as we say in my native south Louisiana, is the only phrase that came to mind this morning as I packed up and left the commuter station at Christopher Burke Engineering (9575 N. Higgins Rd.) in Rosemont. 

Christopher Burke Engineering, in my opinion, walks-the-walk when it comes to being a great company for bike commuters and building a community around active transportation.  The company provides shower facilities for employees, commuter bikes that can be "checked-out" and indoor bicycle storage.  Most importantly the people (from Mr. Burke to interns) are enthusiastic when it comes to supporting and encouraging coworkers to bike to work.  They had commuters coming from Lombard, Hinsdale, Chicago and Mt. Prospect among others.  I'm not an engineer but if I were, Christopher Burke Engineering is where I would want to work. If I'm lucky I'll be able to volunteer there next year during Bike to Work Week.

Happy Commuting and Happy Bike to Work Week!!

Biking to Worship and Making Faith-based Transportation Choices

When I moved to Chicago last summer, one of my priorities was finding a church with a foundation of values that I could enthusiastically practice. I checked out Urban Village Church (www.newchicagochurch.com) and 11 months, later, I found myself on Chicago’s Lakefront Trail, participating in Urban Villages Bike to Worship Sunday yesterday. Riding through a Chicago breeze with the lake to my left and the beautiful city to my right, I felt like I had jump-started my worship experience for the morning. I saw the sparkle of the water, felt the breeze, smelled the flowering trees and heard the birds of creation all around me. It was an incredibly relevant, faith-based choice to actively participate in better stewardship of creation while on my way to church.
Urban Village’s bicycling pastors, Trey Hall and Chris Coon, gave the Active Trans Bike To Work Week Team Captain shirt to the person in the congregation who had biked the furthest to worship that morning. Participants in the congregation gathered for some pictures after the service. We were all smiles and helmets.

While Bike To Worship Sunday was a meaningful way for me to kick-off Bike To Work Week, the real take-away for me is this: in all faiths, taking care of and being good stewards of the earth is an instruction from God. As a person of faith, I find that we are all called to make more appropriate choices every day about how we live, including how we impact the earth in our transportation, eating and shopping choices. Urban Village’s Bike To Worship Sunday left me craving more jump-start-worship Sundays, and I am challenging myself to make that bold and relevant choice every Sunday for the rest of the summer. Care to join me?
 

Lakefront Trail Conditions 6/10

The construction on the Lakefront Trail between 41st Street and 45th Street has created two cuts in the Trail pavement. The cuts have been filled in with gravel but some of the gravel has now worn away causing uneven Trail surface. We are working with the Park District to get these re-filled in until they can be repaved. Please be cautious in this area.

Lakefront Trail Activities June 11-13

Permitted activities that may affect your use of the Lakefront Trail June 11-13, 2010

Friday, June 11

Blues Festival, Grant Park-Butler Field, 11am-9:30pm

Saturday, June 12

Blues Festival, Grant Park-Butler Field, 11am-9:30pm

Annual Walk, Jog, Bike A Thon (WJBAT), Burnham Park-31st St. and Lakefront, 8am-4pm

CARA marathon Training Program Runs, Starts at Monroe and Lakefront Trail but the runs are up and down the Trail with a comfort station at Montrose Harbor, 6am-Noon

MC 200 Relay, Lincoln Park-Grove 16, 7am-6pm

Chicago Pro-Am, North Avenue Beach, 7am-7pm

Chicago Cares Serve-a-thon, Soldier-Stadium Green, 8am-6pm

Sunday, June 13

Psoriasis Walk, Grant Park-Upper Hutchinson Field, 9am-1pm

13.1 Marathon Chicago, Lakefront Trail starting at South Chicago Cultural Center (71st St), 7am-11am

Blues Festival, Grant Park-Butler Field, 11am-9:30pm

 

Enough with the excuses

"If I can do it, anyone can," says Dottie Brackett in today's Sun Times story all about biking to work. Has your team signed up? It's free!

Houses chosen for Homewood Green Streets Open House Tour

 Greg Byron, ReMax dealer and former bike shop owner, has selected the homes we'll tour on June 19 at the Homewood Green Streets Open House Tour. Greg found homes in all four corners of the Village - maximizing the exploring we'll get to do by bike!

18330 Cherry Creek Drive, Unit 3 - $84.9K
3201 185th Place - $159.9K
18532 May Street - $199.5K
17501 Western Avenue - $189K
1665 W 186th Place - $159.9K

And what a time to tour Homewood, with its Art and Gardens Street Fair in full swing at our starting point AND where we'll return for the included catered lunch from Grady's Grill.

And it's STILL FREE. Join us - RSVP at http://activetrans.org/homewoodgreenstreets.

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New CDOT Commissioner commits to a bike-friendly Chicago

Bobby Ware, the newly appointed CDOT Commissioner has committed himself to making Chicago more bicycle-friendly. This is fantastic news. From the Sun Times:

"He’s promising to increase the number of bike lanes in Chicago. But, he was non-committal on the demand by the Active Transportation Alliance for a physical barrier between cars and bike lanes instead of just painted lines.

“I’d like to look at that with the engineers and look at some of the history of some of the other urban areas before I’d make an intelligent comment as to how we’d like to approach that,” he said."

Support Active Trans by Shopping at Green Grocer Chicago this Month!

The Active Transportation Alliance is the featured charity of the month at Green Grocer Chicago this month! Green Grocer Chicago (1402 W. Grand Ave. Chicago) is generously donating 1% of their June profits to support our work. The neighborhood market features organic and locally produced foods, wine and beer, as well as some unique specialty items. They work closely with Midwestern farmers and producers to provide customers the freshest food available while supporting the local economy and reducing carbon emissions related to transporting food.

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