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Back From The Corn!

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 28

I spent last week riding my bike across the fair state we call Iowa, or as the natives of Iowa call it, Iowa.


I had a really good time, and am in the process of catching up on things, expect a post with pictures soon!



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Written by Boston Biker on Jun 23


Its that time again, July will be here soon, and I will be off to the corn to pedal my humble bicycle several hundred miles through some very nice corn fields. Anyone else going?


Here are some gems from last year, Click below for all the pictures:

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So Many Bikes!

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 17



This morning riding through Cambridge was like a bike parade.  There were times when the number of people on bikes outnumbered the people on cars 2 to 1 or even 3 to 1.  It felt…revolutionary.

We are entering into a new territory, where more people are riding than driving.  Maybe just on the nice days now, but soon perhaps on the not so nice days, and then all year round.  We have a long long way to go, but seeing the hundreds of cyclists ride made my morning and put a big smile on my face.

Did you ride today?  Did you see the masses?!

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Lane Control

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 12


Lets all build these and see how things go. I am going to guess people might get a bit peeved, but the point will come home. One person doesn’t need that much road space. RIDE A BIKE!

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Are you Ignorant, Stupid, Or Just A Jerk?

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 10

While it’s true that our transportation system, and how it works, involve engineering data, and traffic flows, there are less obvious aspects of human behavior that are often not as talked about, that feature prominently in how our road system work. I have written a lot about these more esoteric natures of our road system, it is very much about shared trust, behavior, and attitudes.


So lets shine a light on these less often explored aspects of human behavior. I think about this a lot when I am riding around. Someone walks out in front of you after looking you right in the eye, someone pulls out of a parking spot when they know you are next to them, they cut you off, they do things that just seem wrong and you ask yourself…Are these people stupid, do they not know any better, or are they simply jerks? I see the options breaking down like this:

1. They are ignorant. They really just don’t have the information they need to make a good choice, so when they run a red light, or walk out in front of you, its because they didn’t know they were not supposed to do that. In many ways this is both the least offensive option, and the most terrifying.

2. They are stupid. They have the information they need, but choose not to use it. This may be because of lack of attention, or lapse in judgement, or because they are on their phone. They are not doing these things maliciously, but if asked, they do know better.

3. They are jerks. They know better, they have thought about it, and after all that they still chose to do some horrible thing. Because fuck you, that’s why!

I have lived in a lot of different parts of this country, have visited even more places, and have found that by and large the difference is not the first two. There is about the same number of people in all locations that are both ignorant, or stupid.

The real issue, especially in places like Boston, and other east coast locations, is that we have a LOT more jerks.

Boston has a culture of rude road sharing. They walk the way they bike the way they drive. I am sure if the trains were not on rails they would be cutting each other off. I don’t know how it got like this, but I am confident that it is our culture of road use that is the problem.

I think the problem is that people in this town have cognitive dissonance, that is they hold two contradictory ideas in their heads at the same time. They hate it when a cyclist runs through a red light, but then do the same thing when they ride their bike. They hate it when pedestrians crowd out into the street and then do the same when they are walking around. They hate when there is traffic, but they drive big cars around that take up lots of road space.

Everyone is guilty of this at least some of the time, I have done it, I am sorry. This even happens in other less toxic road cultures, the problem is we Bostonian’s seem to do it ALL THE DAMN TIME!

I think this misses an important point, folks around here are generally good. You are are basically a good person! We all need to remind each other that we are good people. Good people wait for the walk signal. Good people don’t run through a red light nearly hitting pedestrians on their bike. Good people don’t speed up at yellow lights, and use turn signals, and look in their mirrors. Good people are patient, and good people are not so quick to get violent, or retaliatory.

Next time you are out and about using our limited road resources, remind yourself you are a good person, and act like it. The only way to change the culture of how our roads are used is to change the way each of us individually use our roads.

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I Will Be At The Bike Craft Fair May 3rd Brooklyn Boulders In Somerville

Written by Boston Biker on Apr 30

Some of you may know that I occasionally dabble in metal working (see here and here and here, as well as on the right hand side of the page).  Well I am going to actually go out into the real world, put my shingle out and see if folks like my stuff up close.  I will be attending a bike craft fair at Brooklyn Boulders Saturday May 3rd from 11am-2pm, 12A Tyler Street Somerville.  Stop by and buy my stuff!  It is my understanding you will have to buy a day pass to see the bike craft fair, but for 19$ you also get a day of rock climbing including gear rental!


Here are some of the things I will have on sale.

and more!



More info below :)



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Happy Earth Day!

Written by Boston Biker on Apr 22



Happy Earth day.  Remember, earth is not just were we keep our stuff, its also the only planet we can live on.  You were going to anyway, but in case you needed motivation, bikes are in fact good for the environment.

If you are a young person, you can expect to live long enough to experience the very real and very negative effects of climate change.  If you are in your 20-30′s right now you may very well live to see the total collapse of the ecosystems ability to support human civilization.  You will spend your silver years in a nightmare hellscape of droughts, floods, wars for resources, and the steady decline of all the things you love and hold dear… or we can make dramatic and cost effective changes to the way we power our civilization now, and you can live our your elder years in something resembling a normal future.

Those are your two choices, the science is in, the debate is over.  Either doom yourself and your children to a world of increasingly erratic and destructive weather patterns, or fight hard for changes now so that we can bend the curve of dangerous climate change.  A great first step towards this more normal future is to ride your bike.  Stop using your car, stop burning fossil fuels, and take a very real step towards protecting the future for yourself and your children.

Happy earth day!

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Cycling Makes Us Safer

Written by Boston Biker on Apr 18

You have a better chance of being struck by lightning than you do of dying in a terrorist attack.  The same can not be said about other dangers we face every day:

Comparing the CDC numbers to terrorism deaths means:

– You are 35,079 times more likely to die from heart disease than from a terrorist attack

– You are 33,842 times more likely to die from cancer than from a terrorist attack

(Keep in mind when reading this entire piece that we are consistently and substantially understating the risk of other causes of death as compared to terrorism, because we are comparing deaths from various causes within the United States against deaths from terrorism worldwide.)

Wikipedia notes that obesity is a a contributing factor in 100,000–400,000 deaths in the United States per year. That makes obesity 5,882 to times 23,528 more likely to kill you than a terrorist.

The annual number of deaths in the U.S. due to avoidable medical errors is as high as 100,000. Indeed, one of the world’s leading medical journals – Lancet – reported in 2011:

The CDC says that some 80,000 deaths each year are attributable to excessive alcohol use. So you’re4,706 times more likely to drink yourself to death than die from terrorism.

Wikipedia notes that there were 32,367 automobile accidents in 2011, which means that you are 1,904times more likely to die from a car accident than from a terrorist attack.


And yet “safety” seems to be all that anyone can think of when say, people want to go for a ride at midnight the night before a big running event.  We are willing to spend many more millions of dollars per victim to protect us against the very unlikely event of terrorism,  than we are to protect us from fatty foods, sedentary car based lifestyles, or global warming.  All of which kill hundreds of thousands of more people a year.

Many tens of thousands of people die in car crashes every year, and yet we are spending relatively little effort to prevent those tragic deaths.  We clearly do not react to other threats to our safety the way we react to terrorism.  If we did our daily lives would be pretty hectic.  When was the last time you had to get a full body pat down before getting behind the wheel of a car?  Or had to take your shoes off and walk through a metal detector before buying a pack of cigarettes?  Perhaps we need TSA agents at every McDonalds,  NSA spying on big tobacco companies, Drone strikes on car dealerships…

Contrary to what you might think, having a more people out riding and walking actually DECREASES your risk of getting run over by a careless driver.

In the hysteria that predated the launch of New York’s bike-sharing system last year, many critics cried that the bikes would make the city’s streets less safe. All those cyclists wouldn’t be wearing helmets! They’d have no insurance! Accidents would skyrocket, and with them lawsuits against the city. Fatalities would triple!

The system’s safety record quickly turned out to be less sensational. But this was as bike advocates expected. Biking — as with walking — offers a prime example of the power of crowds. As more people bike and walk, cycling and pedestrian fatalities actually decline. That’s because the more people bike and walk, the more drivers become attuned to their presence (either on sidewalks or road shoulders), and the more cities are likely to invest in the kind of infrastructure explicitly meant to protect them (all of which further encourages more cyclists and pedestrians).

This pattern is confirmed in a large biannual benchmarking report released this week by the Alliance for Biking & Walking in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report, based on data from census travel surveys, the American Community Survey, and local data tracking cyclists and pedestrians, offers some crucial national perspective outside of cities like New York and Washington.(via)


commuter-share bike-fatalities ped-fatalities

Click for larger pictures.


While a statistical analysis might not be as emotionally charged as our responses to the suffering of victims of violent crime, the math doesn’t lie.  Your risk of dying from terrorist related activities is basically zero.  Other dangers such and being hit by a car, or having a heart attack are much higher. Cycling and walking reduce the risk of dying in traffic, or having a heart attack.

So as our city contemplates how to react on the first anniversary of a horrific and cowardly crime, we are faced with a tough choice.  What do we do?  How do we react?

I propose a radical solution…I propose we do nothing.  Absolutely nothing.

Don’t change a thing, keep on acting like we did before.  Ride your bike, go for a walk.  Do all the normal things you did before the attacks.  Why should we relinquish our freedoms because a couple madmen tried to kill us?  Why should we live in a Orwellian police state because some insane cowards tried to use bombs instead of political discourse?

If you really need to make a change, eat more vegetables  go for a bike ride, leave your car at home, and stop smoking.  All of these things will increase your safety much more than refusing to set aside a private train to a bunch of people riding their bikes on a public road.

Real people have been the real victims of  terrorist attacks.  We must never forget the vibrancy of the lives that have been lost.  But we can not allow the emotionally charged events of last years marathon bombing to obscure reality.   Far more good people are taken from us every day by less obvious, but just as real dangers.  Be it car crashes, obesity, getting cancer from pollution or climate change.  These are systematic dangers that sneak up on us slowly, but that can be dealt with in real and concrete ways.

This marathon Monday my best wishes go out to the families of everyone lost at last years attack, and everyone still struggling with recovering from injuries both mental and physical.  I urge everyone to behave the way they would have any other Marathon Monday, live your lives just as free and as proud as you did before the attacks.  No act of violence can take away what makes us great, our freedom.

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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Project Selection Criteria: Public Hearing Testimony July 29, 2014
      The following was submitted to the state Project Selection Advisory Council at their 7/29/14 public hearing in Boston. Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this incredibly important topic. And thank you for all the work that you have already done on this incredibly complicated issue. My name is Steven E. Miller; I’m a […] Continue reading →
      Steve Miller
    • Boston By Bike…At Night Ride 2014 July 29, 2014
      TweetThis years Boston By Bike At Night Ride has been announced! This is a good time, and I hear they are looking for HAM radio operators, so if you are one, get in touch at the info below. ——— Boston … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Back From The Corn! July 28, 2014
      TweetI spent last week riding my bike across the fair state we call Iowa, or as the natives of Iowa call it, Iowa.   I had a really good time, and am in the process of catching up on things, … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Should A Cyclist Give Advice When Safety Is In Question? July 28, 2014
      TweetWhen you ride a bike as much as I do, you see almost every kind of riding at least once. Sometimes it seems as if there are as many ways to ride a bicycle as there are cyclists. Each one … Continue reading →
    • Kayak Totin’ Utility Bike !! July 28, 2014
      TweetI love riding, but getting out in my big kayak is always an adventure too, and I live about a mile and half down the street from Spy Pond in Arlington.  So, I’ve been wanting to do this for a … Continue reading →
    • Changing the Behavior of Bike Lane Violators July 27, 2014
      TweetPart one of two. I’d like to change the world in profound ways, but in the near term I’ll settle for small change in just my community. So let’s start small. I seek to change the behavior of people who … Continue reading →
    • #boston bike polo by dec0g July 27, 2014
      Tweet Posted by Instagrate Pro v1.5.1 The post #boston bike polo by dec0g appeared first on Boston Hardcourt Bike Polo.
    • #boston bike polo by bostonbikepolo July 25, 2014
      Tweet Posted by Instagrate Pro v1.5.1 The post #boston bike polo by bostonbikepolo appeared first on Boston Hardcourt Bike Polo.
    • What happened to low hanging fruit? July 24, 2014
      TweetWay back when Bostonbikes was just getting started, there was talk of a four pronged approach to developing bike infrastructure and pushing along the bike agenda. The one that has been sticking in my head lately was the supposition that … Continue reading →
    • Bicycling Experience And The Development Of Strategies July 24, 2014
      TweetA conversation has been underway on this blog about where cyclists should position themselves on the road for safety and efficient riding. Comments on this subject have spanned across several posts. One of the problems with having a scattered discussion … Continue reading →