Q: How can I hook up with fellow cyclists in Chicago?
-- M. Lewin, Toronto
A: Chicagoans love to cycle. The lakefront alone boasts 29 km of car-free bicycle paths. Several tour operators offer bike tours. Check out BikeChicago.com for cycling tour schedules and bike routes. There's also a new non-profit organization called BikeandPark.com that caters to cyclists. Currently, three U.S. cities are members of this network including Chicago. BikeandPark.com provides an online directory for bike rentals, tours, bike-sharing programs, including details on showers and lockers located across the city. In Chicago, Bike & Park's main location is the McDonald's in Millennium Park (239 E. Randolph St.). According to Cycling magazine, Chicago was voted the No. 1 bike-friendly city in America.
Q: My wife has recently discovered cooking. For our first anniversary, I wanted to arrange some kind of cooking-themed weekend getaway that's not too far. I'm hoping you could help with an idea as I'm really stuck.
-- J. Paredes, Mississauga
A: Culinary weekends are popular around harvest time, and the province has a Savour Ontario Culinary Getaways guide you can view online at ontariotravel.net.
In the Muskoka-area, the Chef Michael Smith Weekend at Deerhurst Resort is scheduled for Oct. 26-28. The two-night gourmet getaway will showcase the celebrity chef's newest cookbook Fast Flavours: 110 Simple Speedy Recipes, and includes a fun four-course family style dinner party event on the Saturday night.
Rory Golden, Deerhurst executive chef says, "Chef Michael is a talented chef and advocate for using local and regional ingredients, a culinary philosophy in-line with that of Deerhurst and Savour Muskoka. This is definitely a weekend not to be missed!"
The package starts from $404 per night based on double occupancy and includes accommodation, a signed copy of Smith's cookbook, breakfast, a Friday-night dining event featuring a P.E.I. oyster station and Savour Muskoka recipes, and the Saturday night Cook the Book interactive dinner party hosted by Smith. For information and reservations, visit deerhurstresort.com or call 1-855- 843-0230.
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