Chicago named most walkable city in the Great Lakes region

Chicago is the most walkable of Great Lakes cities with a population of at least 75,000. This is according to a ranking system by the website Walk Score. The top 10 Great Lakes contenders among cities of that size, with their national rank in parentheses, are:

Chicago, Ill. (11)

Minneapolis, Minn. (24)

Cicero, Ill.

Bike Fixtation installs bike repair vending machine in Minneapolis

Ever gotten a flat tire on your bike, but have no idea where to get free air or a patch kit? Well, hopefully you’re near Minneapolis. Bike Fixtation has installed its first self-service bike kiosk at Uptown Transit Station. The kiosk is basically a vending machine that sells inner tubes, lights and patch kits, as well as snacks, drinks and sunscreen. There is also a repair stand, free air, and a wide variety of tools that you might need.

Photo Friday: Astronaut photo of Sault Ste Marie in both Ontario and Michigan

In the above photo, taken on June 29, north is on the left. As described on, the lakes and rivers typically appear blue or blue-green – areas appearing silver in color are likely the result of sediment and sunglint. Sunglint is light reflecting off the water to the International Space Station. Canals and shipping locks in Sault Ste Marie is crucial to the Great Lakes shipping traffic system. See full description here.

Great Lakes drownings reach 23, up one from this time last year

Fourteen people have drowned in the Great Lakes since May 22, bringing this year’s total to 23, according to the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project. The latest victim was five-year-old Tyon McNeil of Harvey, Ill., who died Sunday night in Lake Michigan. The drowning caused this year’s total so far to pass the total for this time last year. Bob Pratt and Dave Benjamin have launched this summer a campaign to bring awareness to rip currents, which are the primary cause of drownings in the Great Lakes. Their next event is July 17 in Frankfort, Mich.