Explore Summer at Harborlight

If you are looking for something for your 1st-7th grade student to do this summer, consider looking at the summer programs Harborlight has to offer on and out of its Beverly campus.

Explore Arts and Adventure at Harborlight!   Biking, The Amazing Race, Fishing, Tasty Adventures, Crafts, Just Desserts, Showtime!, By Land and Sea water sports, and much more!

Grades 1st-7th can sign up for one week….or the entire summer!  P/K and Kindergarten students can sign up for the month of July and/or August.

Read all descriptions and see pricing below.

CLICK HERE to Learn More

Click HERE to Apply and Enroll

Have questions about Elementary Summer programs?  email Katie Oberlander @ koberlander@harborlight.net

Have questions about P/K or Kindergarten Summer programs? email Jamie Oakley @ joakley@harborlight.net

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What Kind Of Human Being Does This To A Bicyclist?

Newton cyclist’s ‘dooring’ allegation sparks debate about police response

Posted by Deidre Fernandes September 7

A Newton police officer’s response to a biking incident earlier this week has triggered a firestorm of criticism from cyclists and spurred the Newton Police Department to take a closer look at the case.

It all happened during Molly Schaeffer’s usual commute home from work this past Tuesday. Schaeffer, a software management consultant and grandmother of two, said she rides her bike to work daily.

But as she traveled down Beacon Street toward Hammond Street, she said, an old Mercedes pulled up in front of her. While the car was moving, according to Schaeffer, one of the passengers on her side opened the door and yelled “doored.”

Click here for the rest of the story on Boston.com

Those of you who read GMG know of my disdain for bicyclists who ride two abreast and don’t allow you to pass them safely (not informed and courteous bicyclists, but the ones who think they own the road and that they are training for the Tour De France)

But this trend of opening up doors in front of bikers intentionally is disturbing regardless of how out to lunch the biker may be.  Hopefully they get to the bottom of the trend and force these offenders to do some serious road safety training or pull their license and force the motorists to ride a bike to work for a month or two and see what the bicyclist has to deal with.

Jim Dowd humorous bike response

Hey Joe n’ Gang!
Here is an amusing response to Joey’s rant at the Lycra weenies the
other day. It’s about being a cyclist in Gloucester and how
challenging that can be as well.
I also included a photo of myself to be used as admissible evidence at
my commitment hearing.
Have a good one! -Jim

I’m enormously glad that Joey has decided to expose the yawning divide between cyclists and drivers in our fair city. A few days ago he gave the motorists’ side, from the perspective of being stuck behind recreational bikers riding three abreast preventing anyone from passing. Annoying? Yes. But I think we can all agree people in cars are prone to some fantastically stupid behavior as well. Yesterday I was stuck behind a shirtless dude in a K-Car with an unbelted toddler and throwing lit cigs and used scratch tickets out the window. A couple of years back I watched guy doing fishtails at Lanes Cove who wound up careening sideways, right over the edge. When he climbed out into the low tide muck I was treated to the most gloriously feathered mullet I have seen on a man since the 80’s. Oh if they only gave MacArthur Genius Awards for maintaining outdated hairstyles, he would have been a shoe-in (otherwise, not so much).

As far as cycling goes, allow me to provide the perspective from the other side. Not from the lycra-wearing sport cyclist, but from a guy who uses his bike to get to and from the train station most days as part of my commute. I’m a utility cyclist, just trying to get somewhere like everybody else and let me tell ya, friends, it ain’t no picnic neither.

Riding a bike in Gloucester is as close as most of us will hopefully ever come to surviving in a post-apocalyptic hellscape. We have narrow, crowded streets that are constantly being torn up. There are innumerable jacked-up diesel work trucks racing to and from jobs, tinted-window Hondas thumping around to lethal levels of bass, stressed-out minivan moms late for the game with murder in their eyes and befuddled tourists in rental cars trying to find the Starbucks. Add to that the zombie-like pedestrians who shamble blindly into the road, blitzed-out from whatever mind-altering chemicals they have on board and there you have my afternoon commute from Gloucester Station to East Gloucester via Prospect and Rogers Streets. Oh, and everyone mentioned above is on a cell phone.  Don’t get me wrong- this is all exactly what makes riding in Gloucester pure unadulterated awesome. The most physically demanding part of my workday at present is pretty much faxing, so I welcome the rides to and from the train as my twice daily chance to crank up my pulse and stare death a few times in the face before I get home and do some laundry. Typically I try to see the others moving around the city as fellow participants in an elaborate dance but I, like Joe, have a few grievances to air since we’re on the topic:

1.     I am not the enemy. I am on a bike. You are in a car. Let’s think of each other as mutual beneficiaries of incredible advances in transportation technology that would have made our foot-bound ancestors weep with envy. Rest assured I’m doing my best to keep out of your way, but I’m highly averse to drawing my last breath while being ground under the wheels of a Kia. I’m therefore going to deploy all means at my disposal to prevent this even if it means slightly inconveniencing a few drivers along the way.

2.     I will occasionally take up the middle of the road. You know why I’m doing this? To block you from passing me. Yes, I’m deliberately in your way. Am I just a massive dickweed? No (I’m so much more than just a massive dickweed). I’m doing this because if I don’t you’ll inadvertently squeeze me between your Nissan and the DPW truck that’s pulled up in front of Destino’s just as the driver opens his door. You see, I’m trying to maintain the highest possible speed to be less of an annoyance, but that also means I’m at greater risk to others and myself if people don’t see me. Greater risk to myself means I’m taking commensurate precautions against becoming an impromptu Jackson Pollock on the back of a FedEx van. And that’s why I’m taking up the lane for all of ninety seconds all the while pedaling as fast as I can to get somewhere safer. Like my couch.

3.     I can’t stop as quickly as you can in your heavy car with its  four large tires. My bike and I may not seem like much, but we can  generate over two thousand pounds of forward momentum (F=MA) and yet  have only a total of six square inches of tire area skidding along the  greasy street. The only way I’m stopping short is if I slam into  something (see above). So I’m bellowing like a Spartan when you  blindly step out into the street, I’m maneuvering onto sidewalks when  I get cut off and subsequently into yards and/or oncoming lanes of  traffic when left no other choice. As Captain Sully Sullenberger said  when he realized his stricken Airbus was not going to make it back to  a paved runway: “Looks like it’s going to be the Hudson.” Hey, It’s  not pretty, but you do the best you can with the options you have.

4.     To add insult to potential grievous injury, the bicycling  infrastructure here is a joke. Go to our two closest economic  competitors in the global economy, China and Germany and there are  bikes. Lots and lots of bikes. Bike lanes, bike shelters, bike  parking, busses equipped to carry bikes, specialty cargo bikes, all  kinds of bikes. I was on the amazing magnetic levitation train from  Shanghai Airport a couple of years ago and I looked out the window to  see what other technological wonders the Chinese were up to in their  flagship city and what I saw were delivery guys on bikes with what  appeared to be queen-sized mattresses strapped to their backs. I don’t  want to confuse correlation and causation, but every high-tech hub in  the world is lousy with bikes: Palo Alto, Cambridge, Seoul, Helsinki  and bikes have become chic in Mumbai as well. In Gloucester we have  the one faded bike lane on Rogers street everyone ignores, the train  station has the bike parking on the wrong side of the tracks with no  shelter and there is zero security (I’ve had one locked bike stolen  there already).

You’d think what with the childhood obesity epidemic morphing our  young people into enormous flesh-barges, our primary energy sources  controlled by hostile lunatics and our love of all things mechanical  that cyclists would be treated as American heroes. Instead people  racing across town in SUVs on their way to get a Big Gulp honk at us. Oh, the irony.

If you experience bike rage, try and think that every bike you see is  one fewer GI sent to some godforsaken country with an oil reserve or  one less shady deal with a despotic foreign government. As you start  to wind up because the cyclist in font of you moving marginally slower  than the motorized traffic, think instead of that one fewer sketchy  off shore drilling rig poised to annihilate an entire ecosystem.  And  when you see me puffing along up Highland Street, know that I’m one  less case of chronic cardiac disease tacked onto the growing shared  cost of health care. The other possibility is that I’m a soon-to-be  fatal heart attack that will end my cost to the system once and for  all. There, that feels better, right?

I’m a cyclist. You’re welcome.

For All You Bike Freaks

You know who you are.  The guys that wear the funny shorts that are way too tight and suck your balls right up into your body cavity.  The same guys that wear those funny space man hats and shoes that go clipity clop when you walk.  Yeah you-

There’s a biking event coming up that you won’t want to miss- The Great Brewers Gran Prix of Gloucester.

Come watch if for nothing else- the silly outfits!
Come watch if for nothing else- the silly outfits!

From the site-

The Great Brewers Gran Prix of Gloucester – or as The Ride Magazine has called it “the New England Nationals” – unfolds at one of the most beautiful race venues in the country: a wind-swept ocean side park in Gloucester MA.

For information on race categories, race schedule and registration as well as lodging, restaurants & local interests, the racers’ section has all the info you need.

racer info »

Here’s some video GMG guest interviewer Eric Lorden got at last year’s race-

The Gran Prix Of Gloucester Interviews With Guest Host Eric Lorden