Fresh: Take a Bike

Finally, the North Shore has an array of bike shops to match the high-quality paths and enthralling scenery.

Joie de Velo in Lake Bluff stocks everything from ultra-high-end racing bikes to solid cruisers, including brands such as Pearson and Baum that you won’t find anywhere else in the country.

“We don’t stock anything we wouldn’t ride,” says Michael McDonough, who owns the shop along with competitive triathlete Gavin Hutchison.

And in Wilmette, Higher Gear has a new, fresher storefront at Plaza del Lago—a popular meeting spot for bikers. Both stores are carrying women-specific bikes and gear in response to greater interest from the ladies.