Archive for August, 2011

Locavore Locomotion

My family has been eating produce from Grow Alabama for about 7 months now.  Grow Alabama is a non-profit organization that is promoting the consumption and production of Alabama grown crops.  Here is a little blurb from their website….

“The purpose of Grow Alabama is reversing the ratio of foods consumed in Alabama to the foods grown in Alabama, thereby increasing the production and profitability of all Alabama farmers, enhancing the economic viability of all Rural Alabama and bringing economic and environmental sustainability to the state as a whole, while providing the people of Alabama the highest quality foods available.”

We have really enjoyed the variety of foods we’ve been getting.   Every week we receive a box of goods that reflect what is grown in the state for that time of year.  Our diets are much more diversified because when we open up the produce box we get what is in season and what grows well in Alabama.   Items such as field peas, okra, turnips, muscadine, etc. are the types of foods we are eating regularly now but weren’t eating much of when we shopped for vegetables at the local grocer.  So it’s been good and I like the mission of the organization.

The "gold" box is good for a weeks worth of vegetables for a small family.

Well our pickup point for the boxes changed a couple of weeks ago and the new location is very close to my work.  I was actually very excited about this because I love testing out new utility tasks I can do with my bike.   This morning I brought along some extra bungee cords to strap the box to my back rack.  The Dutch bike I ride is really made so well for performing many tasks such are running errands in a city.  The rear rack is real beefy and can hold a small adult.  I gave my wife a ride on it for about a half a mile through downtown a while back.  Anyhow, the bike performed very well for hauling our box of goodies and I’m very pleased to have accomplished a task like this without using a car.

I’m going to try to do this every Wednesday (pickup day) from now on.

Nice Rack Ride

So last weekend Mobilians on Bikes, the local bicycle users’ group, hosted the Nice Rack Ride.  The Nice Rack Ride was a bike crawl to 4 pubs that provide bike racks for its customers.  Not many businesses in Mobile provide customer parking for those who choose to arrive by bike.  The lack of safe, secure bike parking comes up regularly in surveys that reveal the inhibitors to cycling.  No one wants to get their bike stolen or ruined and good bike parking can be a big encouragement for folks to visit a place via bike.

The ride was also a fun way to show that a person can do a lot of social stuff using bike transportation.  It’s a fun way to get around and the riders that night certainly found that out.  I was pleasantly surprised we had several newbies in the group.  The new folks were very energetic and had great attitudes, a wonderful addition to the veterans in the group.  Here are some pictures as we get ready to leave from a neighborhood coffee shop that, of course, has a bike rack.  There were 26 people in total.

Several members got dressed up and showed that you can look good on a bike in the middle of summer here in Mobile.  Yeah, everyone was perspiring a little bit but nothing 10 minutes in air condition couldn’t handle.

Heels and bikes, no problem.

 

The group hit up a diversity of bars, one mexican bar, one corporate bar, one gay bar, and one irish bar.  I bet most people had never been to all of these bars and so at least one was new to them.  Most folks got food and drinks at the first stop, the Ok Bicycle Shop and Taqueria.  The Taqueria has a very nice back patio that exudes a cool atmosphere once the sun goes down.  The margaritas and mojitos are great there.

After the Taqueria, we cruised down to the Royal Street Tavern.  I had never been to this spot before and I was thoroughly impressed.  The piano player was good and the drinks were well priced.  And best of all is that the bar is attached to a hotel so bar guests can go up to an 8th floor balcony to chill out outside and get some great views.  This bar/lounge will definitely be on my radar the next time I’m going out.

After the Royal St. Tavern we rode to Gabriel’s which is a local gay bar that offers a bike rack for its guests.  The folks at Gabriel’s were very nice and we had a blast there.  They allow smoking inside so I was a bit worried I wouldn’t like it.  But luckily there were hardly any smoking guests so the air was fine.  Most folks stayed inside but they do have a nice back deck.

After Gabriel’s we hit up my neighborhood favorite, Callaghan’s Irish Pub.  A customer recently purchased a bike rack for Callaghan’s so luckily we were able to add them to the list.  It’s a great local watering hole truly deserving of a bike rack.

It was  great night on bikes and we will do it again.  Everyone in the group imbibed responsibly and so the night was a fun and safe one.  A big thanks goes out to the bars that provide customers a bike rack.  Way to go!