Bike and Roll it Forward

Spring is finally here and spring cleaning is next so when you put away your snow shovels and dust off the bikes, check and see if there are any you aren’t using and give them to someone who can use them. Sounds good, right? But how?

Well, the City of Boston has a program called Boston Bikes. Check out their website here. And Boston Bikes runs a bike donation program that gets your old bike into the hands of someone who could really use it with their Roll It Forward Program.

Roll It Forward began as a project of Boston Bikes and the Boston Public Health Commission. Originally funded by a stimulus grant from the National Institutes of Health, the program seeks to make cycling a more accessible transportation option for low-income communities. Roll It Forward collects, repairs, and distributes bikes to low-income Boston residents who might not otherwise have access to a bike. By distributing bicycles and providing bike safety education, the Roll it Forward program promotes a healthier lifestyle of increased physical activity and fewer trips by car. The bikes from the program serve as a family’s first step in adopting cycling as an ongoing activity for health and convenience.

As of January 2015, the program has distributed more than 3,800 bicycles, with a goal of distributing 1,000 total in 2015!

Check out the site for safety tips, a fun quiz and most importantly, how to get your old, unused bikes to someone who could really use them. Roll It Forward partners with local bike shops to refurbish the bikes. Learn more about the process here.

Donate to Roll it Forward

You probably have an old bike in the basement or a few bikes your kids have outgrown. Put them to good use! After you donate your bike, Roll It Forward will repair it and match it up with someone who can use it.

Here’s how:

1. First, check this page to make sure you’re giving us something we can use.

2. Then, choose where to bring the bike. Find the donation collection location nearest you.

  • Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) (offer 20% off one full-price item OR 20% off any bike service!)

Boston/Allston: 1041 Commonwealth Avenue, (617) 254‑4250
Cambridge: Harvard Square, 1 Brattle Square, (617) 864‑2061
Newton: 300 Needham Street, (617) 559‑1575

  • Belmont Wheelworks : 480 Trapelo Road, Belmont (617) 489‑3577
  • Dedham Bike: 403 Washington St, Dedham Square, (781) 326‑1531
  • Giant Cycling World-Boston/The Fenway: 11 Kilmarnock, (617) 424‑6400
  • Back Bay Bicycles — Boston/Back Bay: 366 Commonwealth Ave (corner of Mass Ave), (617) 247‑2336
  • JRA Cycles — Medford: 229 Salem St, Medford, (781) 391‑3636
  • Seaside Cycles — Manchester-by-the-Sea: 23 Elm St, Manchester, (978)526‑1200
  • Sudbury Residents: You can take your bike directly to the town recycling center and request that it be donated to our program. Sudbury Recycling and Refuse Center, 20 Boston Post Road, Sudbury MA 01776, (978) 443‑2209 x 1221

3. Optionally, request a reward claim form: While supplies last, Boston Bikes will send you a jersey/t-shirt (size dependent) OR a Perfect Fuel Chocolate Gift Pack in thanks for your donation. To be eligible, request a claim form by contacting rollitforward@gmail.com and bring the claim form with you to the drop off location so they can sign it.

4. Bring your bike in to any of the above locations and let them know it is for Roll it Forward. They’ll receive it and some shops even offer customers a thank-you coupon for bike donations.

Feel like you can do more? Great.

Volunteers needed! Help us strip bikes of viable parts for our Roll it Forward program on Wednesday, March 9 from 4-8p in Dorchester. We need folks who are mechanically inclined. Learn more and sign up here: http://bit.ly/1QPknH7

Or don’t have any old bikes but think you know people who do? Run a bike drive.

To learn more and to find some helpful tools:

Guide to Organizing a Bike Drive

Bike Drive Flyer Template (customize for your event!)

Find Boston Bikes of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Maple Syrup at Land’s Sake

Maple Season Volunteers Needed

Would you like to learn more about and gain experience making maple syrup?

Are you excited to learn more about how Maple Syrup is made? Local farm Land’s Sake is looking for volunteers to help with sap collection and the syrup bottling processes.

Sap collection happens in the afternoons between 2:00pm and 5:00pm. Sap flow and collection are weather dependent, they will send an email the day prior to ask for help during that time.

Bottling syrup happens at the end of the boil. When they start to boil an email will go out asking for volunteers to help during a 2 hour period of time in the afternoon or evening when they will be bottling.

All are welcome to join, Land’s Sake Members are given priority if space is limited.

Also Remember:

After a season of collecting and boiling- celebrate with the annual

Sugaring Off Festival
March 23rd, 9am – 12 pm
Bill McElwain Sugarhouse
next to the Weston Middle School.

In mid to late March, after the sap has stopped running clear and pure, Land’s Sake hosts the popular Sugaring Off festival. Participants enjoy the season’s maple syrup, pancakes, maple sugar candy, music and student-led tours of the Sugar House and maple sugar process. Please check the Land’s Sake event calendar for date, time, and additional details.

There are several ways to participate in the Maple Sugar operation:

If you are a school, scout and homeschool group, sign up for one of the educational tours of the maple sugar operation.

If you are a middle-school student, have fun and get paid by learning how to make maple syrup in the After School Maple Program!

If you are a homeowner and have 6-12 sturdy maple trees on your property that we may tap, please contact Land’s Sake to continue the tradition of sugar-making from your property.

If you are interested in purchasing our maple syrup, please contact the farm for prices and availability. Maple syrup is also sold from June through October while supplies last.

For more information about all the exciting winter programs,
including After School Maple and NEW Winter Discovery Vacation Program, contact Doug Cook at Doug@landssake.org


Land’s Sake | 27 Crescent Street | Weston | MA | 02493


A Preschool Mom’s Day

capability mom blogIf you think I have been goldbricking all summer, well, I haven’t. I have posted less frequently mostly because my driving schedule has increased exponentially. I’m happy that my children have found fun things they like to do this summer: sailing, soccer camp, farm camp, culinary camp, but because the camp schedules are so varied and in different towns, no less, I am on borrowed time. Basically I am a preschool mom. If you don’t have preschoolers yet, you don’t know what the heck I am talking about. When you are at home with small children, you are 24/7, that is a given. When they start preschool, you realize you will have three whole hours to yourself! You have plans, big plans, like cleaning the house (including the really big projects washing the walls or windows), planting a garden, reading the paper, reading a book, writing a book, heck, buying a book, grocery shopping alone, starting a part-time job or business, volunteering at your local library, learning a musical instrument, a new language, taking a class, meeting friends, shopping for cute clothes, starting a blog, reading a blog, working out and grabbing a shower. Maybe all of these.

Well…Reality check. You will have time for maybe one of these activities, possibly two and sometimes, well, none. What?! You are just not organized! I can do so much in three hours. Yes, yes, you can except when you can’t. It is unbelievable how fast three hours goes by. You have coffee with a friend, volunteer to help at the school, have to take your car in for service or you have a dentist appointment or a mammogram or the dog throws up and the day is gone and your house does not look like anything on Pinterest. Don’t worry and cut yourself some slack. Some days are easier/better/sunnier than others, it’s okay.

When your dear ones go on to elementary school and you have six or more hours. Okay, now you are talking, now you have some time. The activities above, you can do three, four or more, some days, still none. I know, weird. Now, picture his not-superbly organized and slight germaphobe mom of two who have been in school for 6 hours a day for about 10 years reduced to a 3 hour day with increased driving responsibilities and work. You can understand why I am a little more frazzled and off my game (this is supposing I had a game before) and my house looks nothing like anything on Pinterest (my pretend house is lovely).

capability mom blog favorite cleaning reference book
Great Resource

So…What can you do in three hours? A walk and a shower and a quick sandwich. Run errands in something I like to call Speed of Sound Time (errands without children of any age). Start a cleaning project but break it up into manageable bits so you don’t get overwhelmed (I cleaned my kitchen including pantry and inside all cabinets and drawers by breaking out a one hour block each day – sure it took me a week – better than your spending your entire Saturday doing it). Sneak in reading time – bring a book or magazine to pick up at school or camp, if you get there early (I wish) you can read a few pages.

What else can you do? Get something reupholstered (okay, you do have time to pick out fabric and drop it off) – you can recover dining room chairs with some fabric and a staple gun…great tutorials at Design Sponge. Renew your driver’s license or passport including new photo. Read about home keeping (so much more fun than actually keeping home). Plan meals for the week and grocery shop alone – it is cheaper to go solo, you only have your impulse purchases to contend with.

Most importantly – Recharge. Do whatever you like to do that makes you happy. A book, a run, yoga, a coffee, music that you choose, time with friends, time alone – anything that makes you energized. You are going to need it for the other 10-12 hours left in your day!


May Day…as in the first of May, not Mayday as in help…

although some days I do need an assist, this is about the celebration of May Day. No, not all the political worker stuff but the pagan celebration – that’s more my thing.

Photo: Wendell T. Webber

A friend is putting together a May Day Breakfast for our walking group tomorrow and I am making blueberry muffins from the Flour cookbook. No, they won’t be as good as Joanne Chang’s – no matter how closely I follow the recipe – that woman is magic – but I did a trial run yesterday with blackberries and the muffins were delicious (if I do say so myself) and I can make the batter today and bake tomorrow morning. I’ll let you know how they come out -I used fresh blackberries but wanted wild blueberries so I bought frozen packages at Trader Joe’s.

Here is the recipe – and yes, I did not have creme fraiche on hand yesterday and used Greek yogurt (is Joanne Chang reading this and freaking out? Sorry! Now I have three containers of creme fraiche in the house and ready to bake it the way you intended it!)

Blueberry Muffins

3 1/4 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (it calls for kosher – use it if you have it)

2 eggs plus 1 yolk

1 1/4 sticks butter, melted (I melted in in microwave and let cool slightly before mixing with the other ingredients)

1 cup milk (okay, I had 1% but bought whole for next batch)

1 cup creme fraiche (no idea yet how many containers this will be – bought three – thought two would be slightly under – yes, I do not do conversions so I have no idea and evidently guessing is risky in baking).

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup frozen raspberries (I used a handful of blackberries – some people in my family like their muffins berry-freeGreat recipe for picky eaters.)

1 cup frozen blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tins with paper liners.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and then add the sugar, butter, milk, creme fraiche, and vanilla.

Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and fold gently using a spatula.

Fold in the berries gently. The batter is a little lumpy but don’t worry.

Spoon into the muffin tin to fill the cups.

Bake for 30-40 minutes until the muffin tops are golden brown and let cool for 20 minutes before removing the muffins from the pans.

Now I am off to make a Martha Stewart craft for May Day. You probably have everything already, too. Paper, ribbon and flowers from your garden. I have left over paper from a project, ribbon that I am compelled to save (Every holiday my mom calls out, “Save the ribbon!” Now I have to. It’s that ingrained now.) There are some decorative scissors somewhere in the house but don’t stress that detail. You aren’t really Martha, after all.


Photo: Wendell T. Webber

Flower Cones by Martha Stewart




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