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EVERYONE IS BACK!

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 10

Urban-Cyclists

 

Oh man what a difference a couple degrees makes. Its like a someone pushed a button and all of a sudden all the cyclists are back on the road!  Welcome back everyone, we missed you, and are super happy you are back. Just an FYI, while you were gone the roads were destroyed by several snow-blastings. There are now pot holes, piles of sand/salt/rocks, still a lot of ice, and in general they are slightly more narrow.

All that being said, its been GLORIOUS riding these last couple days.  I actually got to wear actual bike shoes, instead of winter boots, and I feel like a million bucks.  HURRAH SPRING!

Have you started riding again? Do you remember what green plants look like?  Have you figured out what that glowing thing in the sky is?


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Cycling Adds Redundancy To A Transportation Network

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 18

I sometimes have odd thoughts on my ride into work.  Today’s were mostly around how nice the sun was, and how great it was to be riding, but as I locked up my bike (after an effortless commute), I realized something.  Bicycles add a lot of redundancy to a transportation network.

These thoughts were peculating in my mind because nearly every person at my job has complained about their commutes lately.  Be it by bus, by T, by car, or walking (the only people not complaining are the ones riding bikes…hmmm.)  Seems that if you dump enough snow on a city that has a lack of redundant transportation options and everything comes crashing down.

If the T is delayed, and the bus can’t run, and your car is stuck in a snow bank, you basically have the option of walking, or taking your bike.  While walking is a fine and useful form of transport, if you want to get some place really fast you will take the bike. Plus no one shovels the sidewalks.

The amount of infrastructure it takes to keep bikes “running” is relatively small, you don’t need to even plow the entire street, just a slim strip down the middle.  In a perfect world without on-street parking, you could have the roads clear enough for bikes in a relatively short period of time.  (as one commentator said “I still don’t understand why my tax dollars go to subsidize a nice paved parking spot in front of every car driver’s house. If people don’t have enough space on their own property to store all of their possessions, maybe they should just get rid of some of them?”)

Currently Boston has very low bicycle ridership, below 10% on even the best days.  But if we could get 15-30% of our population riding regularly (and making sure we put forth the minimum amount of effort needed to keep the infrastructure clear for them in the winter), we could dramatically reduce the burden on our public transportation infrastructure.  This would free up space for more people to take the bus, or the train, or even for folks that absolutely needed to drive (especially folks like fire/ambulance service).  These numbers are not as crazy as they might seem, as many places around the world have experienced this level of ridership (even in snowy places).

Increased redundancy means we are better able to handle extreme weather events (like say 6 feet of snow in a month), would have decreased levels of air pollution, less use of fossil fuels, and a whole host of other economic and health benefits.

The amount of money it would take to build and maintain a vibrant bicycle infrastructure would be peanuts compared to what we currently spend to just pay the interest on the dept the MBTA has.  This problem is well within our grasp, using technology that has already been demonstrated successful by other cities.

Or we can just keep doing the same thing, and having the same problems.  The choice is ours.

 


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Relevant Repost: Types Of Snow

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 04

From way back in Feb of Aught 14:

 

This winter I have felt like a native of the northern reaches, developing dozens of words for snow. Here are a few:

Play-dough: When the snow has been thoroughly mixed with road salt, but its just too damn cold to melt, you get play-dough snow.  Has the feel of clay, and squirts out from between your front fork like a play-dough fun factory.

Rump Braille: When the snow hardens to the ground in little archipelagos of solid ice.  These seem to form when the snow has been packed down by cars, and then it warms up real fast and rivulets of water run through the snow only to freeze again real fast,  leaving little islands of solid ice.  So named because of the feeling on your ass as you roll over them.   If only I could read their secret language.

Solid Water: A type of snow that for all intents looks totally solid, until you hit it with your front wheel and it explodes into water.  MAGIC!  I would imagine that there are just enough ice crystals in the slush to keep it solid until impact.  This snow can be cause brown shorts, as you think you are about to hit a giant ice ball and crash only to have it splatter harmlessly all over the road.

The Good Stuff: Crunchy for traction, but light and fluffy enough not to stick to your bike.  This is the snow we all dream about riding on.  Makes a satisfying “Crrrrssshhhh” as you ride on it.

Road Boogers: Much like ancient boulders left behind when the glaciers retreated, these mounds of snow are left after the plow comes through.  Ranging in size from “golf ball” to “holy shit I’m going to die!”  These clumps are usually not attached to the road, and therefor wander about as cars and pedestrians paw at them.  Avoid the big ones and you should be ok.

Salt Lick: Not snow at all, but looks like snow.  Its when the plow trucks lay down so much salt that it appears in heaps like snow on the ground.  Usually solid, but sometimes like a big pile of sand.  Avoid.

Trails of our Ancestors: When you ride on snow that many other cyclists have already ridden over.  You can see the tracks of all the wheels that have come before you, giving you a sense of security knowing its a good route, as well as letting you know that you are not the only one braving the storm.  Gives you sense of camaraderie even if no one else is around.

These are but a few of the many names that could be applied to biking snow.  What are some you have thought of?


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Last Winter Riding Pic!

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 04

Hurray, got one more entry for the winter rider contest, I am sadly out of books, so if you want to send in any more pics, I will be happy to post it, but can’t offer any books.

commute

Looking good Brian!


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Another Winter Rider!

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 20

doug

Doug looking great in safety yellow!  Also is that a built in headlamp?!

Still have two books left, get yours!


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Mini-Contest Still On!

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 16

I still have a handful of books to give away, send me a picture of you in your full winter riding gear and get free stuff!


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Site Updated

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 16

Just updated the code base, you shouldn’t notice anything except the site running a little better.

Let me know if I broke anything.


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First Mini-Contest Entry!

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 07

The first Mini-Contest entry has arrived!

WinterGear

 

Looking winter ready!

 

Thanks Peter, your free book will be on the way soon.  If you want a free cycling book I still have 5 left!


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Why People Don’t Ride Bikes In Boston April 22, 2015
      Tweet Why Bostonians Who Don’t Bike Say They Don’t Bike | Create infographics From Bostinno:   The U.S. Census Bureau specified some of the reasons in its recent American Housing Survey. Health reasons (9.9 percent) rank as the No. 1 … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • State Trooper Doesn’t Care About You Locals With The Helmets April 16, 2015
      TweetI got sent this shocking video today…honestly someone should be given a new assignment.  The longfellow has recently been reconfigured and its pretty horrible the way cyclists are funneled up onto the sidewalk, but with cops like this doing…something (this … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Bike Party! (4/29/15) April 16, 2015
      TweetFrom the email- ————— Come talk SUMMER with us at a special Bike Party on 4/29 to introduce the first-ever Cycle Massachusetts bicycle tour event. This NEW weeklong tour (with shorter options) is from the same awesome people who brought … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • How To Get Girls To Kiss You April 11, 2015
      testivg Continue reading →
      thecommunityspoke
    • Casey Overpass Fight Not Over Yet April 11, 2015
      TweetEven though it was voted by a wide margin to be removed, the city council is once again trying to keep the Casey overpass up.  The meeting mentioned below has already happened, but you can still contact your councilor and … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Hubways Are Coming Back! April 10, 2015
      TweetFrom Hubway: BOSTON, BROOKLINE, SOMERVILLE STATIONS REJOIN CAMBRIDGE in time for Marathon weekend! “First sign of spring? The return of @Hubway” “Great news!!” “WOO!”   You’ve been patient. You’ve waited. You’ve stared longingly at the empty stations. Well, your wait … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Boston Tweed Ride April 7, 2015
      TweetSave the date!  Sunday, April 26, 2015 Dust off your tweed, polish your steed, and don your cap. The Spring Boston Tweed Ride is here!   Watch our event page as we update our route over the coming weeks. https://www.facebook.com/events/652083184936295/ … Continue reading →
      Devon
    • Boston Tweed Ride April 7, 2015
      TweetSave the date!  Sunday, April 26, 2015 Dust off your tweed, polish your steed, and don your cap. The Spring Boston Tweed Ride is here!   Watch our event page as we update our route over the coming weeks.  https://www.facebook.com/events/652083184936295/ … Continue reading →
      Devon
    • Longfellow Bridge…What The Hell? April 6, 2015
      TweetI have been noticing all sorts of strange markings and changes, on the Longfellow outbound towards Cambridge side.  And today like a chrysalis, the Longfellow bike infrastructure has emerged into a giant ugly moth. Honestly its the worst.  I have no … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Women and Gender Queer Bike Polo Clinic April 6, 2015
      Tweet Come on by on Saturday, May 9th for our Women and Gender Queer Bike Polo Clinic! Bring a bike, a helmet, the ability to laugh at yourself and we’ll bring everything else! The post Women and Gender Queer Bike … Continue reading →
      polonick