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The ride on the rail trail begins at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Lanesborough, Cheshire Police Team Up For Community Bike Ride

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Officer Jason Costa is often on patrol and stops and chats with children riding their bikes.
 
Costa rides mountain and road bikes all the time. His kids ride bikes. So he'd say, hey, let's all go for a ride together. On Saturday, that's going to happen. Costa, Lanesborough and Cheshire Police Associations are teaming up for their first Ride with the Cops bike ride. 
 
"I come across all of these kids on bikes and I told them, let's organize a bike ride," Costa said. "It was just going to be a personal one, just go for a ride."
 
The department has a mountain bike but officers don't often get to use it in Lanesborough. Cheshire also has mountain bikes to use as needed but also don't get out very often. Costa talked with Cheshire about it and since the bikes are available, why not make it a bigger thing?
 
So the two Police Associations joined up to promote the community event. A few officers from each department are expected to join.
 
At 10 a.m. on Saturday he's looking for the community to join him at the former Sears parking lot at the Berkshire Mall for a ride up the Ashuwilticook Rail Trail to Diane's Twist ice cream shop in Cheshire and back.
 
"It's for the community, anybody who wants to ride. It is to get more people on bikes and enjoying the outdoors," Costa said.
 
The route is six miles each way so that could be long for some of the younger kids. But have no fear, there will be a special frosty treat option at Lansen Mold, which serves as a good turnaround point for those who won't go the full distance.
 
All Costa ask is that those who join in the ride wear a helmet. And if you don't have one, he's got about 10 recently donated to him that he can give out.
 
Biking has become Costa's way to connect with the community. It's a shared love. 
 
"The bicycle allows you to do that, to connect easier than in a cruiser," Costa said.
 
And that has been growing. It wasn't that long ago when Target had a handful of bikes they could not sell for whatever reason or another so the company donated them to Costa. He repaired them and gave them out to those in the community who needed one or needed a new one
 
He's been collecting donations of used bikes as well. He'll repair them and give them out. He remembers a homeless man was walking through town on his way somewhere else and Costa chatted with him, found out his bike had been stolen in another state, and went to his garage and gave him one. He has donated new bikes to raffles for school fundraisers and the like. 
 
He says he currently has about 15 bikes on hand - more than he currently knows what to do with. He's also gotten a monetary donation.
 
The associations will see how this event goes and maybe organize some more.
 
"I would like to do a mountain bike ride as well," he said.
 
And he also has a vision at possibly doing fundraisers to be able to purchase a bike specifically designed for those with disabilities to use. He said he's already been in conversations with a few council on aging in the area about teaming up on a purchase of one to help even more people enjoy the outdoors.
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Hancock Shaker Village Opening For Baby Animals, Outdoor Spaces

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Hancock Shaker Village will hold a limited opening on Thursday, June 4, as part of Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker's Phase 1 initiative. 

The Village will open only its outdoor spaces — including its beloved baby animals in outdoor fenced-in areas — to the public Thursdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This schedule will be in place at least through June, as the Village plans for a full reopening in Phase 3. 

Leaders of the iconic living history museum have been working for weeks on a reopening plan with new measures in place to ensure the safety of visitors and staff. Such health and safety measures include online and timed ticketing, guest capacity limits, one-way paths to control guest flow, clearly designated distance markers ranging from 6 to 10 feet, enhanced cleaning protocols, more hand sanitizer stations, and COVID-19 training for all staff.  

Visitors will be required to pre-purchase timed admissions, available online at hancockshakervillage.org or by phone at 413-443-0188. Members are always free, but must reserve a time slot prior to their visit. Guests and staff are required to wear face coverings.

"The health and safety of our community remains our top priority," Director Jennifer Trainer Thompson said. "With guidance from Governor Baker, we are looking forward to once again welcoming visitors and continuing our mission of connecting people to the Village and the stories of the Shakers."

The museum has been offering virtual programs such as a stream on YouTube of a dance performance by Reggie Wilson and Fist and Heel Performance Group in the Round Stone Barn and virtual talks with authors and Shaker collectors. The Village also expanded its social media presence, offering programs such as Facebook livestreams from the farm and popular Zoom with Baby Animals sessions. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Village also made the decision to plant its 5-acre vegetable garden, which supports a 65-member CSA and provides 15 percent of its crops to local families in need.

"We know people have been eager to visit the farm when it is safe to do so," Thompson said. “Self-guided discovery has always been important to the museum experience here, and with baby animals, the trails, the architecture, and the gorgeous gardens, we’ll offer what has always been a hallmark of the Village: an inspiring, holistic experience."

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