Thursday, June 26, 2014

Summertime…and the riding is easy

Gloucester summers are some of the best: the beaches, the breezes, the ice cream.  Young 
Young Mr. Bryan's 2013 Horrible's Parade 'outfit'
Mr. Bryan and I celebrated his last day of 7th grade with a short bike ride to Long Beach Dairy Maid for the biggest 'kiddie' cone in Cape Ann.   A new friend said to me that morning while discussing summer plans, "I've never taken a bike ride I've regretted. I've never regretted taking a swim."  Take your kids riding. Teach them to ride a bike. Bikes=freedom.
You know what they say…it's like riding a bike. 

And then there are the parties: weddings, St. Peter's Fiesta, the 3rd of July AND the 4th of July.  Gloucester celebrates Independence Day with the Horribles Parade & fireworks on July 3rd.  This is a tremendous opportunity to promote a business, a political candidate, a political issue or a social club.  There are thousands of eyeballs cheering and laughing and celebrating and WATCHING.  It's also just plain fun.  We have ridden bikes in both the Horribles Parade on the 3rd and the 4th of July parade in Rockport.  When you present bicycling as fun, festive and social, people might just dust off their old ten speeds and take a ride.  Bikes=fun!
HP 2012: Wonder (why more people don't ride a bike) Woman

Horribles Parade 2012: The Green Hornet
HP 2012: Having fun, riding bikes
HP 2012: Be a hero, ride a bike!
Big Mike & KT from Big Mike's Bikes represent!

On the summer solstice, Mr. Bryan and I attended a delightful wedding of two dear friends.  The dress code was casual elegant, so we went with it, but made sure our outfits were cycling friendly.  Parking on Rocky Neck on a gorgeous summer evening? No problem on our commuter bikes. And that ride home? A breeze with blinking lights.  Savor the summer on two wheels. Where can your bike take you in Gloucester?
The Bridgestone & the Interloc
Are these Danskos
Crank Bros. compatible?

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Summer's here! Riding on the road, riding in the woods

Today is June 21. Summer  'officially' arrived at 6:51 am (EST).  For me, summer arrived on Thursday at 3:30. I teach at Rockport Middle/High School and we finished our school year on the 19th. I celebrated by riding to and from school on my Bridgestone Single Speed.  I take 127A from Hartz St. in Gloucester past the marsh at Good Harbor Beach, through the South End of Rockport.  The pavement is smooth, and while there isn't a bike lane, there is a sizable shoulder with a fog line to accommodate cyclists. Riding to school is a great way to start the day, and it helps teachers and students focus! We had a successful B2SD in May:
Celebrating Bike to School Day 2014 at RMHS 

Young Mr. Bryan parking his bike at the rack

The Friends of Good Harbor  have worked hard to improve one of our city's most valuable resources.  Look for new signage, bulletin/information boards & stewardship of Good Harbor this summer. And try riding your bike there: you can't carry as much stuff but you can get to and from the beach with less hassle than by car. 

On Sunday, Mr. Bryan took advantage of an organized cross ride with some other dads to celebrate Fathers Day.  I took advantage of the stellar weather & rode in Dogtown with Maru.  We entered at Cherry St., rode to Whale's Jaw, then backtracked to the Boardwalk.  There we spotted pitcher plants and wild iris in bloom. 


Cherry St. parking area. Complimentary maps.
Dog not included.

These gorgeous flowers emerge from carnivorous plants!

The Boardwalk with wild iris 

Peter's Pulpit, a glacial erratic in Dogtown

There were very few people for a sunny Sunday morning, but I did say hello to a singleton mountain biker, a dad & two daughters, & two women runners with their dog.  Dogtown is a special place that provides recreation, solace & beauty for people and animals alike.  During the summer months, dogs are not permitted on Gloucester beaches. Consider a walk, run or ride with your hounds in this appropriately named open space.  There are terrific resources here and here.

While some have stoked the fires of hearsay about hauntings (and I will acknowledge that some horrible crimes have occurred within), I prefer to view Dogtown as a safe, clean, botanically rich treasure.  I have come to walk and ride in these woods with no one but my dog, and there have been many days where we see no other humans, nor recent evidence of them!   How blessed we are to have woods and the sea within our island cape!  Where do you like to ride in Dogtown?

Sunday, June 8, 2014

It's warm out...let's ride bikes!

It's a sunny Sunday afternoon in Gloucester.  Yesterday felt like the first hot summer day we've enjoyed.  I rode to Magnolia Woods for the U-14 soccer game. What a marvelous way to navigate through downtown Saturday morning traffic!  

The route to Mag Woods: 20 mins by bike

I also thought about the potential use of Magnolia Woods for a cyclocross race:  there's parking, grass, pavement, some elevation gain. Perhaps in the future?  The Gran Prix of Gloucester  race site at Stage Fort Park is spectacular, and a perfectly situated venue.  There may come a time, however, when we want an additional, more underground type race. 

Magnolia Bike Club is working on creating a pump track at Magnolia Woods.  Recreation in Gloucester takes many forms:  soccer, cycling, football, baseball, sailing, dog-walking.  When people enjoy the land, they are more likely to provide stewardship of that land.  

By the afternoon I was ready to cool off at the beach. I headed over to Good Harbor on my bike & soaked up the sun.  What a glorious day in Gloucester. I love riding in the summer: the freedom, the automatic breeze, the exercise, the ease.    There were a lot of folks out on their bikes: roadies, tourists with hybrids, and beachgoers.  Great minds think alike!  
My beloved Bridgestone in the rack

The creek at Good Harbor Beach

Where do you like to ride in the summer?