Hi! My name is Scott Ryder, and I’m a long-time resident of the North Shore. I’m also a cyclist and a photographer, and I’m passionate about both.

Knowing about these passions of mine, my friend Mike Rogers of Big Mike’s Bikes asked me to contribute some guest posts to this blog. So I’m pretty excited to start writing to you every few weeks about cycling and cycling safety, and sharing some of my photos, too.

Like Mike, I have some ideas about how beautiful towns like Gloucester can help more people, young and old, either pick up the sport for the first time or maybe drag that old bike out of the garage, get it tuned up (by heading down to the pop-up shop at Stage Fort Park or just calling for mobile service!) and jump on the saddle. Boom: instant happiness.

I’m not a competitive cyclist myself, but I love photographing the Grand Prix of Gloucester every fall (you can see some examples on my Instagram account). I’ve found that you don’t need to ride fast or long to enjoy the sport; I just ride to relax and slow down my life. And I love how cycling lets you explore roads you usually wouldn’t by car.

I started cycling early on in my life. I think I was off training wheels by age four or five. In the ’60s, that’s how kids got around. I wasn’t driven to school; I walked or, if the weather was warm enough, rode my bike. Spring was the season of anticipation, looking over your bike, pumping up the tires, brushing off the winter dust. If you were lucky your Dad would take you to the local bike shop or the Western Auto store. Ahh, that smell of new tires and inner tubes!

For some reason, back then boys’ bikes were always red, black or maybe green. Girls’ bikes were blue, or maybe white. And a boy would never, ever ride a girl’s bike — the wrong color was as unthinkable as a step-through frame!

You didn’t see as much recreational cycling then as you do now. Adults would ride to work or the train station, kids would ride to school or buzz around the neighborhoods on weekends. No one wore helmets and there were few if any bicycle locks.

Times have changed. Helmets are a must, as are locks if you leave your bike anywhere unattended. I never see kids riding to school on their bikes or in the neighborhood. However, recreational riding has grown into a favorite activity for the adults. Summer roads are packed on weekends with both cars and cyclists. Unfortunately we don’t always get along.

A lot of what I’ll be writing about here centers around just that: bicycling safety! And that includes improved manners among cyclists and motorists. Just a little understanding and patience on both sides can save lives.

Ride Safe!

Announcing a new venue for
Big Mike’s Bikes!

Beginning March 21st, the mobile bike shop will be set up at the Stage Fort Park Visitor Center, offering repairs, service and accessories.

Hours: Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 10–6*

Scheduled pickup/dropoff or on-site service will be available Sundays and Wednesdays.

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

Sending out big thanks to the Cape Ann Farmer’s Market, which plays such an important role as an incubator for local business, including BMB. It’s been great working together and I’m glad we’ll still be neighbors every Thursday this summer!

Happy 2019 to everyone on Cape Ann! I wanted to take a minute to thank everyone for their patronage, enthusiasm, and word of mouth advertising in 2018!  It was a great year and thanks to that, I’m excited to announce some *big things* for the upcoming cycling season real soon.

While I’m working on these *big things*, Big Mike’s Bikes will be closed for repairs in January and February.

In the meantime, if you’re looking to buy a bicycle I’ve got a few listed on the Facebook page– These are customer-owned bicycles that have been checked over and are ready to go. Simply reach out if you’re interested and I will arrange a test ride.

Thanks again, and happy pedaling!

–Mike

This is it — my last week at the Cape Ann Farmers’ Market at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester. Come on out, Thursday the 20th, 3:00 to 6:30, and get a quick repair while you do your shopping. And hey, don’t miss out on the end-of-summer parts sale:

30% off all in-stock parts for the month of September!

Big sale starts this week: 30% off all in-stock parts for the month of September!

We’ll be at the Cape Ann Farmers’ Market this week—Thursday the 6th, 3:00 to 6:30—at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester. Browse the doodads, pick up some parts, and maybe get those end-of-season bike glitches taken care of while you’re shopping for local tomatoes and goat cheese!

It’s been a great summer at the Cape Ann Farmers’ Market in Gloucester. Come on down next Thursday, August 30, from 3:00 to 6:30, for quick fixes, parts, or accessories, and make the most of the best riding weather of the year!

Good Morning Gloucester

My View of Life on the Dock

Bike New England

Cycling the American Northeast