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?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

It's too cold: let's watch the Giro d'Italia!

After their one day spring classics in Europe have finished, elite pro cyclists turn their attention to stage racing.  There is one week left in the Giro d'Italia, a 21 stage race throughout Italy.  (The Tour de France is the most well known of the major stage races; there is a third stage race in August called the Vuelta a EspaƱa.)  These races are some of the most physically grueling of all sports.  Cyclists ride an average of 180km/day, for 21 days, with 2 rest days,  over mountain ranges, and through narrow village streets.  Riders burn roughly 3500-4500 calories during the stage. That's a lot of pasta! (And Gu, and Cokes, and panini...)

Mr. Bryan & I did not make it to Italy to see the Giro this year, but Steep Hill Tv online provides us with the coverage we need.  You can even go to 'non-spoiler alert' to keep from seeing the winners of the stage.  It's cold here in Gloucester, so we are taking a 'trip' to Italy.  Check out the courage, daring and endurance of these racers.  

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Good Morning Gloucester, & Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Thank you, Joey for the opportunity to promote the new blog and to promote cycling in Gloucester. Check it out HERE:

If you have a bike you love, or a trail you love, or a regular group ride, please share with Man At The Wheel Cycling:
Photos, maps, routes are all welcome here!

We'll be seeing lots of cyclists on the roads this weekend, so keep your eyes & ears open! 
I am looking forward to riding in the woods of Dogtown on my singlespeed cyclocross bike with Mr. Bryan & our dog, Maru.  The woods are constantly changing this time of year:  fiddleheads turn to ferns, lady slippers emerge and bloom, yellow clintonia is in flower, and the trees and rocks are slowly obscured by beech leaves.  We are blessed to live on this 'island of the woods.'
Clintonia (also known as Bluebead Lily)

Unfurling fiddleheads

The old Saw Mill Brook,
north of Old Rockport Road

Maru, our Puerto Rican 'Sato'

Thursday, May 22, 2014

New Bike Racks & Riding In The Bike Lanes: A short video

Last month, Steve Winslow and I rode throughout Gloucester assessing locations for new Man At the Wheel Bike Racks.  Look for new racks at the following sites sometime this summer:

-Big Mike's Bikes
-Pleasant St. Tea Company
-Rose Baker Senior Center
-City Hall
-Sawyer Free Library
-St. Peter's Square

Where do you think we need more bike racks?
Where do you think we need more bike lanes? Bike signage?

Here's a video of riding in the bike lanes from Latitude 43 to Harbor Loop: as always, be careful riding around those car doors!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

9-0! Gloucester Bike Ordinance Passes Unanimously!

Thank you City Councilors! Steve Winslow and I  held out through 3 hours of dog leash(off/on, safe/dangerous, fear/trust, insert your binary view here) testimony, and the bicycle ordinance was heartily supported and voted into permanence! Thank you, James Dowd for your letter of support. Thank you, Jerry Goulart (newest member of the Open Space/Recreation Committee) for your letter of support.