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News, Events, Updates


Two New Studies Show Moving Away From Cars Improves Business

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 28

And not just business but a lot of other things, safety,health, quality of life.  But no one really cares about any of that unless it makes you more money…so the headline reads “improves business” not “makes you feel less horrible.”  But hey if it takes an increase in earnings to get people to abandon cars (and car parking), so be it.  Any port in a storm right.

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From Livable Streets:

Myth: Businesses need parking spaces in front of their store to thrive

Debunked: Complete streets are increasing economic vitality across the country.

Improved accessibility and a more welcoming street environment are now proven to generate higher sales. In particular, studies find that protected bike lanes and increased bike parking promote economic growth.

Check out the Protected Bike Lanes Mean Business report by PeopleForBikes and the Alliance for Biking & Walking, and the Economic Benefits of Sustainable Streets study by New York City Department of Transportation for more stats and facts on this topic.

 

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City Releases Its 2013 Bike Counts As Awesome Info Graphics

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 06

From the city’s bike website:

I think there are a lot of stories in this data, but the one that really stands out is MORE BIKES!  This town is just exploding with new riders.  Are you one of them?  Have you started riding since 2007?  Have you noticed things improving?  I feel like every year I see more and more riders, more and more good behavior, and more and more people riding year round.  BICYCLES!

 

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Since 2007 Boston has seen a 78% increase in cycling. Below you can find data from 2013, as well as data dating back to 2007. Click on each image to view a larger version.

Counts are conducted each Fall during the hours of 7-9am and 4-6pm. Thank you to all those who have volunteered their time throughout the years.

Questions, comments, or concerns? Please contact Najah Shakir at [email protected].

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Winter Cycling Open Thread

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 25

Got a question about how to stay warm, what to wear, how to ride in the slush.  Ask them here and I (and everyone else), will do our best to answer them.


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GET A LIGHT!

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 25

See the rest of this amazing comic, from the ever Talented BikeyFace.  Get some awesome prints of her great work here, tell her BostonBiker sent you over.

I honestly don’t know what people are thinking, but you need lights.  You need a red one in the back, a white one in the front and you need to have them on and at full power.  Its dark 24 hours  a day now, so the USB rechargeable ones are nice, but I don’t care if you have to light the front and back of your bike on fire, you are 100% invisible without a light.

Reflectors are nice, but they don’t work for pedestrians or other cyclists, or if the car has its lights off, or if it comes at you from a strange angle….basically you need to be lit up like a gaudy Las Vegas sign all the time every day (seriously).

I almost ran into another cyclist the other day, there was a line of cars facing me (as I was going up the Longfellow towards Cambridge), and they had no lights or reflectors.  They were completely invisible until I was about 3-5 feet from them.  Similarly some crazy ass runner did the same thing, except he was running TOWARDS me.

All in all I would say in the last two or three weeks I have had more than a dozen close calls with people dressed totally in black riding or walking with NO LIGHTS.  (I think that pedestrians need lights as well, especially when out for a jog in the street, or when j-walking.)

Get em, use em, love em.  LIGHTS!


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Help MassBike Train Police Officers

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 05

This is amazing, and highly useful, way to go MassBike!

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We’re Crowdsourcing The State!

Help us capture the best of Massachusetts biking in video! MassBike is in the midst of producing a new police training video, working with the Boston Police Department and several other police departments. We’ve been busy filming the actual training scenarios, but we could use some help from every corner of Massachusetts to lend a statewide flavor to the production. We want ocean, mountains, historic buildings, and more recognizable Massachusetts places.

 

What we need:

  • Very short video clips of bicyclists passing iconic places all over MA
  • More short clips of cyclists passing the “Entering …” signs outside Massachusetts cities and towns
  • Shots can be first-person (on-bike) or third-person perspective

Technical specs: We’re using GoPro 1080p, 60fps, medium FOV. Try to keep each clip to no more than 10-15 seconds.

 

How to get involved: Email da[email protected] and let me know what you plan to shoot. We’ll figure out the best way to get the files to us.

 

We can’t promise we’ll use everyone’s clips, but if we do we’ll credit you in the training video!


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How To J-Walk, A Guide For Idiots

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 18

Don't_jay_walk_1937

 

Pedestrians, lean in, its time we had a chat.  I have said many times that no one user group is any worse at using (or abusing) the rules of the road, there is one difference.  There seems to be a lack of education/enforcement when it comes to dealing with pedestrian scofflaws.   Both motorists and cyclists have been the recipient of a whole raft of education and enforcement measures lately (and they even seem to be having positive effects), but pedestrians have been left out.

Not anymore!

Now I don’t have anything in particular against J-walking, but there is a right way to do it, and a wrong way.  This is called the idiots guide, because if you are doing it the wrong way, you’re an idiot.

Before I get to the steps, let me just take a moment to try and help you re-frame the way you think about traffic.  Right now you probably think about traffic as something “IN YOUR WAY!!”  I think this is why people are so angry all the time.

Try to imagine instead.  The streets are a public utility designed to move people.  These people have many different ways of moving, some in cars, some on bikes, some in buses  some on foot, etc.   These people move best when they work together, following some simple rules designed to keep them all moving.  Traffic isn’t something in your way, traffic is a dance.  An intricate and lovely series of steps.

When performed well, no one has their toes stepped on.  If you do the wrong dance steps, you fuck it up for everyone else.  With the added bonus that people can get seriously hurt.  So the next time you start doing the electric slide, while everyone else is doing a waltz think for a moment, you could be about to seriously injure or kill someone else because you can’t remember what tune is playing.

How to J-Walk, a guide for you idiots:

Step 1.

DON’T!  Seriously how fucking hard is it to wait another 20 seconds for the little walk man to come on, or to walk 5 more feet to the crosswalk, or to wait on the FUCKING SIDEWALK instead of waiting in the damn street?  Huh? I see people all the time who are clearly big wig top of the company CEO types who can’t figure out how to cross the damn road!

Step 2.

Assuming you must j-walk, follow these simple rules to get across the street without killing yourself or others.

Look both ways:

Its been said a million times, but it really is the foundation of safe j-walking, LOOK BOTH WAYS!  Not once, not twice, but the ENTIRE FUCKING TIME you are crossing the street.  You are cutting in, adding another dance partner to the mix, its your job to watch out for stuff  You can’t just assume that what you saw when you started crossing the street will be like that when you get half way across.  This is a dynamic system, and if you want to subvert it by crossing in the middle of the road, you need to be on your A game and keep your head up and your eyes open looking around you the entire time.  Traffic will change, and you might have to adapt to new situations.

Get off your phone:

This city is too damn crowded for you to be looking at your text’s while walking out into multi-lane traffic.  Seriously don’t be the dumb ass who gets run over by a bus because you were reading a Facebook update about what someone had for breakfast.  Life is just too short for that sort of foolishness.

Take a moment to learn the traffic patterns:

Sure, those cars look like they are stopped, but did you notice that the light just turned green.  The cars and cyclists certainly did.  Maybe now is not the best time to walk into the damn road?  Traffic is not a stationary solid state object, it is a dynamic ever changing thing.  If you can’t predict what traffic is going to do in the next 30-60 seconds, you are basically gambling with your life.  Is it worth it?  Whats worse, is you might be gambling with someone else’s life as well.  Could be mine, I might dodge you and end up under the wheels of a bus, or I might crash into you and we could both die.  Learn how traffic works, learn to predict it well, you have decided to J-walk, this skill might literally save your life.

Look Left:

Just because traffic is moving one way doesn’t mean that someone might be going the wrong way down the street.  Don’t just assume that because all the traffic is moving right that you don’t have to look left.  This is your body we are talking about, take a moment to do some common sense checks before thrusting it boldly into a bunch of moving vehicles.  Also pro-tip, this will also help younoyice people turning onto your street, pulling out of drive ways, and other totally legal shit that you didn’t even think about before you stepped into the damn road.

Don’t Follow The Herd:

If billy jumped of a bridge would you?  If billy got himself two broken ribs and a punctured lung because he walked out in front of a cyclists going full tilt down the street (even though the cyclist had a green light and you were not supposed to cross then)?  Just because someone else is walking doesn’t mean you should.  Make sure you evaluate the situation your damn self before j-walking.  Do you trust those other morons with your life?

Don’t do any of the following:

  • Don’t cross from between parked cars.  Duh moron no one will see you until they run into you.
  • Don’t thread through stopped traffic.  Stupid that traffic is only stopped for a moment, what are you going to do when it starts again and you are in the middle of the road with no where to go?
  • Don’t walk out in front of cyclists.  They move just as fast as the traffic, and having a wheel embedded into your sternum will hurt just as much if not more than bouncing off a plastic quarter panel.  Plus you are going to hurt the cyclists.  Not cool bro.
  • Don’t wait to cross IN the street.  As a cyclists I sometimes am forced to use the entire road to get away from crazy drivers.  If you are in the road waiting to cross, you have cut off one of my escape routes, a route that might save my life.  Don’t do this.
  • Don’t Run/Jog in the road.  Especially during rush hour.  I don’t ride on your sidewalk, you don’t jog (with your headphones on no less), in the street.  Your cardiac fitness is not worth it.  Also you make me have to move way over to avoid you, see above. Dumb.
  • Don’t use your children as armor.  Nothing is more scary than seeing someone blindly walk into the street with kids.  You panic every other road user, causing a righteous cluster-fuck.  Your little spawn might make it through alive, but what about everyone else?  Think with your brain stupid, you’re supposed to be teaching them good behaviors.

Following these simple steps should allow you to cross that street at high speed, save yourself 20 steps to the corner, get to that T-stop faster than anyone else, all without causing a huge fucking disaster for every other road user. Good luck, and HEADS UP!

 

Did I miss anything, leave tips for pedestrian J-walkers in the comments below.


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Bikes Not Bombs Update

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 10

From BNB:

 

Help Send Bikes to Amuru, Northern Uganda

Village Health Workers riding BNB bikes to visit their patients.

Bikes Not Bombs is partnering with 550 volunteer Village Health Workers in Amuru, Northern Uganda to establish a bicycle transportation system for rural health care delivery to 40,000 people in post-conflict Amuru. BNB has already supplied 360 Village Health Workers with bikes, and this shipment will supply the remaining 190 Village Health Workers, while providing the initial set of bikes to expand the project into the neighboring area of Pabbo, to work with another group of 500 Village Health Workers serving another 50,000 people. In addition to the bicycles, BNB has supported this project to establish an extensive network of bicycle repair workshops with tools and spare parts, and has trained over 25 bicycle mechanics. These bicycles have already helped the Amuru Village Health Team increase their level of health activity to provide improved primary care support to rural households while also becoming a more organized and effective Village Health Worker Association.

Please join us to help BNB load bikes to these Village Health Workers in Northern Uganda!
TIME: Sunday November 10th from 10am to 5pm. Drop in for an hour or stay all day.
PLACE: The BNB warehouse at 10 Harvard Street in Dorchester
DETAILS: Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Equal Exchange coffee will be generously donated by City Feed & Supply.

Please let us know if you will be attending this container loading! RSVP here!

Also, to see more information about this Village Health Worker project, check out this new film created by BNB’s Director of International Programs, David Branigan.

Vocational Education – New Program Design and Application

Apply to become a bike mechanic through BNB’s Vocational Education program.

Bikes Not Bombs’ Vocational Education Program (Voc Ed) is an 80-hour course for adults and youth (age 15 and older) offered at our Bike Shop in Jamaica Plain. Voc Ed provides a unique job training opportunity for those who are motivated to learn bicycle repair and mechanics. In the past, this training was taught in a classroom format. However, to improve the quality of the training and offer participants the opportunity to gain real experience in a full-service bike shop, we’ve shifted the structure of Voc Ed so that participants will now work one-on-one with skilled mechanics. The new model will allow participants to receive detailed explanations coupled with hands-on learning. Each participant will be expected to attend three, three-hour classes per week for the duration of the program which is December 9, 2013 – March 8, 2014. The actual hours of the class are flexible to accommodate the participant’s schedule, but must be scheduled during regular Bikes Not Bombs Bike Shop business hours (at least Monday-Friday, 11am – 7 pm).

Because of the intensive nature of this training program, we can only accommodate two participants who are not already participants in BNB programs. Priority will be given to applicants who are serious about becoming professional bike mechanics and who do not have access to other training programs. Women and people of color are encouraged to apply, as are alumni of Bikes Not Bombs youth programs. While the Bikes Not Bombs Bike Shop largely hires graduates of Voc Ed, graduation from the class does not guarantee a position. However, graduates have gone on to work in Boston and Cambridge-based bike shops such as Broadway Bicycle School, Ferris Wheels, Community Bike Shop, Cambridge Bikes, Hubway and other bike-related businesses.

The 3-month training program costs $250. However, scholarships are available and the fee should not be a barrier to applying. Applications, along with resume and cover letter, are due November 18th and participants will be notified by November 28th at the latest. Contact [email protected] with any questions or download and complete the application

Phone-A-Thon Volunteers Needed!

Do you love talking about Bikes Not Bombs and want to help raise money to support BNB’s work in Boston and overseas? Then we want YOU to volunteer for our annual Phone-A-Thon!

We need about 30 amazing volunteers to call BNB supporters to inform them of the great things going on at BNB and ask them to make a year-end donation. Our goal is to raise $35,000 before December 31st and we need your help to get there! Every caller makes a difference – the more people we reach at this critical point in fundraising, the stronger and more financially stable we’ll be entering 2014.

We have 10 calling sessions scheduled between November 26th and December 19th. Volunteers can sign up for one or more sessions. We will make sure you are trained and feel confident talking about BNB programs before getting on the phone. All sessions will be held at the Brewery Complex in Jamaica Plain. Snacks will be provided and you’ll earn volunteer credits for your time. Here’s a little secret: the Phone-A-Thon is actually a Fun-A-Thon!

Dates for the call sessions are:
Tuesday 11/26 6-9pm
Tuesday 12/3 6-9pm
Thursday 12/5 6-9pm
Saturday 12/7 12-3pm
Monday 12/9 6-9pm
Tuesday 12/10 6-9pm
Thursday 12/12 6-9pm
Saturday 12/14 12-3pm
Tuesday 12/17 6-9pm
Thursday 12/19 6-9pm

Fill out a brief online form to sign up to volunteer! If you have any questions, please contact Erica Rotman at[email protected] or 617-522-0222 x106.

BNB’s Third Annual Building Momentum Breakfast

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013 at 8am
At: Space with a Soul
281 Summer Street, 7th floor
Boston, MA 02210

Save the date! Bikes Not Bombs’ third annualBuilding Momentum Breakfast will take placeWednesday, October 23rd at 8am at Space with a Soul in the Fort Point Channel area of Boston. The Building Momentum Breakfast is designed to raise critical financial support for Bikes Not Bombs and spread the word about our innovative work using donated bicycles as a tool for self-empowerment and community transformation. The event will feature breakfast from our friends at Ula Café, inspiring stories from individuals who have been impacted by our work, a short video, and more. While attendees will be asked to consider making a donation to support Bikes Not Bombs, there is no obligation to give! If you would like more information about how to attend the Building Momentum Breakfast, contact Erica Rotman, Director of Fundraising & Events, at [email protected].

Save the Date for Bike-A-Thon 2014!

First time riders, long-term supporters, volunteers, and curious community members alike are welcomed to take part in the fun rides, fanfare, celebration and community-building of Bikes Not Bombs’ biggest event and fundraiser of the year, the Bike-A-Thon! In 2014 we look to have our greatest rides yet, so don’t miss out. PutSunday, June 8th in your calendar today! Also, don’t forget to holdJune 22nd as a rain date just in case. We’ll be coming out with more details as we get closer to the event, but you can be sure that we’ll have:
Fully-supported rides for all skill levels!
Delicious food and a post-ride celebration for riders!
Brand new BNB t-shirts for all participants!
Great prizes for top fundraisers!

In the meantime, check out photos and the amazing results from the 2013 Bike-A-Thon!

Donate Your Old Computers to BNB

We’re looking for donations of any Apple computers from 2008 or later. Must be working. Laptops and desktops! Please contact Sean Madsen at [email protected] to arrange the donation.

News From the Bike Shop

Check out a large selection of refurbished bikes, starting at $340.

This October our Flat Fixing Clinic will be Tuesday October 15th from 8-9pm and our Basic Repair and Maintenance Clinic will be on Thursday the 24th from 8-9pm. More details online. As always, no need to sign up just be punctual and show up by 8pm!

With summer over and the days getting shorter the bike shop is starting to assemble refurbished bikes for resale which means that we finally have some of our more basic $340 City Bikes in stock (call ahead they often sell as soon as they’re on the floor). Currently we’re only scheduled 1 day out for repairs and have a wider range of sizes of refurbished bikes than we have had in recent months.

Finally, we’re excited to share that shop employee Derek McIntire is preparing to travel to Ghana in early November to lead mechanics trainings at Ability Bikes. It’s part of the Bike Shop’s mission to support our youth and international programs, and we look forward to sharing a report from Derek about his experiences in Ghana once he’s back.

Welcome Charlotte Fagan!

Please join all of us at Bikes Not Bombs in welcoming our newest staff member, Charlotte Fagan, International Programs Coordinator. Charlotte comes to BNB with a great deal of international bicycle organizing experience. She helped found Carishina en Bici, a feminist bike collective in Ecuador and has volunteered with BNB projects in Sierra Leone and Guatemala. Charlotte will work closely with the Director of International Programs, David Branigan, and will be primarily responsible for coordinating technical assistance and support to Bikes Not Bombs’ international partners. We’re thrilled to have her on board and can’t wait to see the amazing progress our International Programs make with her on the BNB team.

Ugandan Health Workers Need Your Mountain Bike Parts

Do you have parts leftover from upgrading your bikes? Instead of sitting around unused, that derailleur could be keeping a rural health worker’s bike on the road in Northern Uganda so they can reach more people, connect them to health care, and save lives! And if you ride with friends or in a club, please put out the word, collect parts together, and then bring them in to Bikes Not Bombs!

We need these parts by mid-October. Bikes Not Bombs is preparing to send a second shipment of bikes and parts to our newly developed partner project that so far has outfitted 360 community health workers with bikes. As Northern Uganda recovers from 20 years of civil war, this work is helping to create more healthy communities.

Items we can especially use:

  • Front Derailleurs – anything made for a mountain bike, or otherwise to fit a triple chain ring, road and hybrid derailleurs may work also.
  • Rear Derailleurs – anything made for a mountain bike, or otherwise a long cage derailleur
  • Shifters – rapid-fire, grip shift, or thumb shifters
  • Chains – any type, though 7-8 speed chains are especially valuable
  • Brakes – cantilever brakes, V-brakes
  • Tubes and Tires – 26″ (for mountain bikes) and any smaller sizes

Donations are tax deductible. Donors will be asked to assign the fair market value of your donation and please include the name and address where we should send the receipt. Contact Arik Grier,[email protected]617-522-0222 x100.

Thank You Steve Murphy!

BNB youth and staff greet Steve Murphy after his cross-country bike ride in support of BNB.

A hearty congratulations and thank you to Steve Murphy, a BNB Adult Instructor and steadfast volunteer who recently completed a cross-county bike ride in support of BNB. Steve rode from Seattle to Boston, and raised over $10,000 along the way. You can read about his journey, or donate in honor of his accomplishment.
If you are interested in planning a personal fundraising ride to support Bikes Not Bombs, please contact Erica Rotman at [email protected].


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Avoid The Tracks!

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 05

Why you should be very careful of train tracks in the road, South Huntington I am looking at you!


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Happy Earth Day! April 22, 2014
      Tweet   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 … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Happy Earth Day! April 22, 2014
      Tweet   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 … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Power To The Pedals Film Premiere April 22, 2014
      Tweet Power to the Pedals: Wenzday Jane and the Culture of Change Trailer from Heather Merrill on Vimeo. Boston Premiere of the Documentary Film “Power to the Pedals” The Boston premiere of “Power to the Pedals: Wenzday Jane and the … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Dorchester Bike Fest! April 22, 2014
      Tweet   Only a couple days away!  Be there!  April 26th!
      Boston Biker
    • MassBike Update April 22, 2014
      TweetFrom Massbike: —————– Mark Your Calendars For Bay State Bike Week! Child Safety Day hosted by Boston Police Department What do the Northampton Tweed Ride, Jamaica Plain Free Pancake Breakfast, Franklin Bike Rodeo, and over 170 other local bike events … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • MassBike Update April 22, 2014
      TweetFrom Massbike: —————– Mark Your Calendars For Bay State Bike Week! Child Safety Day hosted by Boston Police Department What do the Northampton Tweed Ride, Jamaica Plain Free Pancake Breakfast, Franklin Bike Rodeo, and over 170 other local bike events … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • MassBike Update April 22, 2014
      TweetFrom Massbike: —————– Mark Your Calendars For Bay State Bike Week! Child Safety Day hosted by Boston Police Department What do the Northampton Tweed Ride, Jamaica Plain Free Pancake Breakfast, Franklin Bike Rodeo, and over 170 other local bike events … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Hubway Gets A New Support Number, And Installs Three New Stations April 22, 2014
      TweetFrom Hubway: ———— Hello Hubway riders! We only changed one digit, but it’s an important one. Starting today, Tuesday, April 22nd, Hubway Customer Support has a new phone number. Hubway’s keys, docks, bikes, and stations are designed to be intuitive, … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Crow Feather Post Earrings April 21, 2014
          Beautiful crow feather post earrings. Patina-ed copper feathers with a brass accent, silver post studs, polished to a high shine. These one of a kind hand cut and stamped earrings look beautiful together, or combined with other smaller earrings. They come with standard post backings (not shown in pictures). Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Crow Feather Post Earrings April 21, 2014
          Beautiful crow feather post earrings. Patina-ed copper feathers with a brass accent, silver post studs, polished to a high shine. These one of a kind hand cut and stamped earrings look beautiful together, or combined with other smaller earrings. They come with standard post backings (not shown in pictures). Continue reading →
      Boston Biker