Meet the next member of the rental fleet!

Jonathon Livingston Seagull, from outward appearances, seems to fit in with the rest of the flock with his casual, comfortable upright riding position. But secretly he wants to fly at great speeds with his slick hybrid street tires. Set him free and ride up 133!

The 2019 summer season of the Cape Ann Farmers Market kicks off this Thursday, June 6, and Big Mike’s Bikes will be on hand to take care of your bike while you shop!

The Magic Bike Van will be set up outside the visitor’s center from noon to 4:30. Stop by and say hi!


I’ll also be there on Friday and Saturday, 11 to 6, and if you can’t make it to the pop-up shop, just give me a call or text at 334-BIKES-34 for pickup-dropoff or on-site service.

Here’s to summer and fresh local produce and good neighbors!!


Photo courtesy of Paul Aquipel, Coastal Exposure Photography & Aerial Media (


Off to a great start for summer at Stage Fort Park!

Look for the Big Mike’s Bikes pop-up shop outside the visitor’s center every Friday and Saturday (weather permitting) and most Thursdays, too. Stop by between 11 and 6 for repairs, service and sales. Check out some of the parts and accessories, including the Blue Spoke Special!

Annalisa van den Bergh was kind enough to give me permission to share her article, “Why Every Cyclist Needs a Pool Noodle.” It’s a wonderful visual definition of the Three-Foot Rule. Check out Annalise’s article here.

Well, it hasn’t been an easy cycling spring here on Cape Ann. Two months ago, when I wrote my last post, I was hopeful that the rains of March and April would pass, the potholes would be filled up, and we’d all be happily riding by now. Unfortunately that hasn’t been the case. I’m celebrating today by counting three consecutive days of sunshine — not much to work with! And I’m pretty sure the potholes of March are still there, and maybe worse.

In my last post I also touched on what’s known as the Three-Foot Rule (TFR), which is that a motorist needs to give a cyclist at least three feet of space while passing. If they can’t pass safely, they have to slow down and pass only when it is safe. As I mentioned then, 32 states have made this a law, with penalties if a motorist doesn’t maintain a safe distance. Massachusetts doesn’t have the law but states that cyclists must be passed at a “safe distance.”

Don’t be textin’ in the zone!

What’s it like to be passed by a car within that three-foot zone? The best example I can give is standing in the safety zone at your local Gloucester MBTA while the train arrives. That yellow strip is there for a reason. If there’s a wide shoulder on the road it certainly helps, but that’s not always available.

Whether it’s a three-piece or shiny spandex, protect that suit!

What’s especially tricky for cyclists is when we ride in downtown areas, where the streets can be narrow and there’s parallel parking. Yes, the TFR still applies, but now there’s another hazard: “dooring,” when a parked motorist opens their door into a cyclist’s path. It’s dangerous and even deadly. When I’m riding near parked cars I always give at least four feet of clearance from the vehicle on my right. Add the three-foot rule zone on your left and you’re now using up seven or eight feet of the travel lane, and possibly slowing up traffic.

Don’t worry — it’s up to the drivers to pass safely. Do not move closer to the parked cars! In Massachusetts, the cyclist has the right to “take the lane” when needed. Its about your safety as a cyclist.

Remember, my posts aren’t about why cyclists are good and motorists are bad. We all share the road and we all need to be safe. Next time I’ll be addressing the question I get the most: “Why don’t cyclists obey the traffic laws?”

Now that’s love! Let’s all share the summertime roads.

Please feel free to comment or email me with questions. And don’t forget, Big Mike can help you with brake adjustments, proper tire pressure, and new tires if you need them — another way to help you get out and ride safe!



Scott Ryder is a photographer, a cyclist, and a long-time resident of the North Shore. You can see his work on Instagram or contact him at

Are you ready for summer? Is your bike?

Opening day for Big Mike’s Bikes
pop-up bike shop
Friday, May 31 at 11:00 a.m.!


Come find the Magic Van at the Stage Fort Park Visitor Center for repairs, service and accessories.

Hours: Fridays and Saturdays, 11–6*

Plus most Thursdays while the Cape Ann Farmer’s Market is operating. Please check the blog for updates.

*Weather permitting. On rainy days, please call/text 334-BIKES-34 to check availability.

Scheduled pickup/dropoff or on-site service is available most days. Bike rentals coming soon!

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