One of the greatest things about Bloomington, if not the greatest, is its Saturday Farmer's Market. The Market lasts from the first weekend in April until the end of November (outside), then picks up again (inside) from the end of January until the end of March.
The market is the largest in the state, and it is an event. Each week vendors from around the area (some traveling upwards of 2 hours to sell their products) set up shop and offer a wide range of food from grassfed meats, to baked goods, to plants, to every kind of seasonal vegetable you can imagine. The key is that the seller has to have grown/produced the product himself, thus, the food is most definitely local and seasonal. We even are lucky enough to have cheeses from the famous Capriole farm.
Every Saturday also offers a different musical event (with street musicians interspersed throughout the market). The market is the place to see and be seen (and to get delicious food that you can't get anywhere else. California tomatoes just can't compare). It is also a good place to see people on bikes.
Heading to the market. Ready to load up the backpack.
People of all ages spend their Saturday mornings at the market. Young college students come by and see their friends; parents bring their children; and yuppies and elderly folk also shop the stalls. By 10 o'clock, it can be difficult to navigate the large crowds.
Most people still head to the market by car, but the number of bicycles seems to increase from week to week.
These friends were heading to the market, riding in a row, together.
Girl in dress, leaving the market.
The market is not the place to see stylish people. The style of dress is more what I would call "farmer's market casual," meaning that most people look as if they picked up whatever was last dropped on their floors. Anyone dressed any nicer certainly warrants stares.
What you do see at the market are the increasingly common back-cargo hold for children. This seems to be the tote of choice for biking-parents with children:
My other favorite sight--and perhaps one of the most convenient ways to haul the large bags of produce--is the Milk Crate. An unusually large number of bicyclists put these crates on the backs of their bikes to increase the cargo-load capacity of their bicycles (we are not quite at the level of Copenhagen and Amsterdam where people have real cargo-bikes). You can see one example above. Here are some more: