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Power To The Pedals Film Premiere

Written by Boston Biker on Apr 22

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 Culture of Change” takes place Friday, April 25, 2014 at the BSA Space (Boston Society of Architects), 290 Congress Street, Boston.

Doors open at 6:30 pm, and the film begins at 7. Tickets are $ 10, $5 for BSA members. Reservations are required via the BSA

The 30-minute film tells the inspiring story of local of entrepreneur Wenzday Jane, the driving force behind Somerville’s innovative cargo-bike business, Metro Pedal Power.


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Dorchester Bike Fest!

Written by Boston Biker on Apr 22

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Only a couple days away!  Be there!  April 26th!


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Open Letter from Midnight Marathon Originator

Written by greg on Apr 18

stay a kid thumbGreg Hum plays drums on his bike, gets people together for really big midnight and monthly bike rides, and smiles too much. He shares stories and more on his personal blog, The Humble Cyclist.
Connect with Greg on  Twitter | YouTube 

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Dear Midnight Marathon Riders,

Now is a good time to fill you in on what’s going on with the Midnight Marathon bike ride this year (it’s still happening, but after months of questions and back and forth). But first, a few words about last year, the most successful Midnight Marathon bike ride to date…

I woke up the morning of the last year’s 2013 Boston Marathon monday dehydrated and sore, in a state of extreme euphoria. Just a few hours earlier, the Midnight Marathon Bike Ride had gone off without a hitch. Over a thousand of you showed up to ride bikes in the middle of the night, even though the temperature dropped to freezing and many of us couldn’t feel our toes by the end.

700 tickets sold out in under 12 hours for a special Midnight Marathon train the MBCR & MBTA chartered for riders.

Grassroots efforts to charter buses brought another 120 people out for the ride, and countless others carpooled or biked all the way to the starting like from Boston. Local businesses and groups sponsored water, snacks, and bike lights for the ride.

On the ride, volunteers helped warn other riders across dimly lit train tracks along the route to cross at a safe angle, and I finished 26.2 miles on my bike surrounded by not only people on bicycles, but longboarders, rollerbladers, and a new friend I met at the starting line who completed 26.2 miles on a unicycle. A group bike ride I had instigated with just a few friends five years ago had grown into a true community event. Feelings of awe, excitement, and hope swirled in my head from how far the ride had come in just five years and what unprecedented community involvement, especially with the MBTA, could mean for all kinds of community events like this in the future. As I was downing my first glass of water and sustenance that morning, I just could not stop smiling.

But then news of the bombings sent me into an emotional downwards spiral.

The sudden transition of emotions from extreme high to extreme low hit me like a ton of bricks. The last story to air on WBUR before sudden coverage of the bombing was a story of Midnight Marathon by a reporter who was on the ride just hours earlier.

I knew it would be even more important to the community for the ride to continue after the attack, and that any security forces would find a way to work with us to continue to make the Midnight Marathon Bike Ride a meaningful experience for everyone. Unfortunately, this thought may have been a little too optimistic.

This year, the MBTA didn’t return our e-mails.

Five months ago we tried to get in touch with the MBTA to talk about a train for this year, but never received a reply back. Then we learned it was because the MBCR (who managed the commuter rail lines) lost their contract to Keolis, another commuter rail management company, and many of the MBCR staff who had helped us organize a dedicated train last year no longer worked for the commuter rail. Our e-mails weren’t just being ignored – there was nobody on the other end receiving them.

And the B.A.A asked us to put a “pause” to the ride this year

The Boston Athletic Association, the private organization that puts on the annual Boston Marathon, called us into their office to talk about the Midnight Marathon ride this year. They laid out their concerns to us about this year’s challenges organizing the first Boston marathon after last year’s bombing tragedies, and how this year’s marathon with have tightest Marathon security to date. We sympathized with their concerns, and asked how we could help.

They asked us not to have a midnight bike ride this year.

We told the B.A.A. that the Midnight Marathon ride has grown virally into a community tradition that exists outside our control, as evidenced by the many chartered busses, car pools, and independent group rides that had zero involvement from us. Not to mention the countless social media posts from people promising to ride whether or not we would. Pausing Midnight Marathon this year would not only be impractical, but impossible.

Since the ride has grown over the years and depends on public roads that are open during the time of the ride, people would still ride on the route, and discouraging a ride that happened on public roads would not only crush community spirit of a wonderful public event in a time when Boston needs it most, but be counter-productive. Even if we asked people not to ride this year, hundreds would anyway, but without our ability to communicate the safest means of doing so, nor our ability to organize volunteers to help those whose bikes break, nor with phone & SMS support for riders who get off track.

The MBTA said they weren’t providing a Midnight Marathon train this year.

The statement from an MBTA representative quoted in the Boston Globe was the first news we had heard about their decision to not provide a special train this year as requested by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). MEMA first cited security concerns in Boston Magazine as the reasons for wanting to discourage the ride from happening this year, but when asked by the Globe, instead cited safety and noise concerns and called the ride “an accident waiting to happen”

So we reached out to MEMA to talk it out.

MEMA representatives assured us that their concerns were not related to security of the marathon this year, but rather about the general safety of lots of bicyclists riding on roads in the middle of the night – for bicyclists and drivers alike. We assured them we’d follow the rules of the road (such as using reflectors and lights) and always have. After a number of helpful discussions, MEMA informed us that they will not be doing anything physically to stop people riding prior to the Marathon road closures.

While neither MEMA nor the MBTA are changing their stance this year, we have come to an understanding of each other’s concerns; that MEMA has a responsibility to think about public safety, and that Midnight Marathon will continue regardless of what we say. We came to the conclusion that statements discouraging the ride would do more harm than good. We also came to an agreement that it would be a great idea if riders stayed away from the marathon start and finish line installations. The entire Copley Sq. area including the finish line will likely be closed off the night before the Marathon anyway.

We agree with the Boston Globe editorial and the public’s response: Midnight Marathon Bike Ride should continue this year.

A few weeks ago, the Boston Globe editorial board released an editorial calling Midnight Marathon Bike Ride a “civic asset,” and that “IF ANYTHING, the popularity of a midnight bike ride along the course of the Boston Marathon is a reason to keep doing the event, not to discontinue it.”

We couldn’t agree more. Boston’s unique community energy keeps us together. As Shawn Musgrave, who recapped the 2013 ride for the Dig put it

There is a very real risk that city authorities and residents alike might target the unfamiliar, unwieldy and unorthodox as threats to security. This would be a dire mistake. Grassroots-led, impromptu, and seemingly chaotic projects like the Midnight Marathon Ride distill the very best of Boston, those aspects of our city that ought to be magnified in wake of tragedy.

As the city wrestles with grief and self-assessment between now and next Patriots’ Day, the security conversation must not obscure what we ought to protect: the unique (and often unpredictable) community energy that runs through Boston.

So this Sunday Night, together, WE RIDE!

In the past few months I’ve had more strangers than I can count approach me at work, at the gym, and at red lights on bikes tell me that they intend to participate in the Midnight Marathon this year regardless of whether I encouraged it or not. They were not just committed to a tradition, they were committed to participating in riding bikes in the spirit of riding as a community, and not letting terrorism win.

Show the strength of community.

On the night the manhunt for the Tsarnaev brothers came to an end, I followed friends to Davis Square to grab a beer of relief. Even though people were celebrating, I still felt emotionally exhausted and crushed. Then a few strangers approached me to tell me how much they enjoyed the Midnight Marathon and its ability to bring together friends and strangers alike. That was the first time I smiled since the bombing.

Click here to find out everything need to know about Midnight Marathon bike ride 2014

And be sure to invite your friends to the event page on Facebook

See you there,
Greg Hum


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Bikes Not Bombs’ 27th Annual Bike-A-Thon

Written by Boston Biker on Apr 16

It’s that time of year again!

Event Name:
Bike-A-Thon (https://bikesnotbombs.org/bike-a-thon)

Time/Date/Location:
Sunday June 8th (June 22nd Raindate)
Rides leave in AM; Festival goes 12 – 5:30

@ Park across from Stony Brook MBTA Station
100 Boylston Street
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Event Details:
On June 8th, hundreds of cyclists will join together on a bike ride for
social justice. We have four BRAND NEW scenic routes through greater Boston
(10, 30, 50, or 80 miles). We make it easy to raise $150 with our online
fundraising system! Celebrate your success with free food and music after
the ride! Fun prizes will be awarded for riders and teams that go above and
beyond! Hang out with your friends and meet other riders! The rider
after-party will be at the Stony Brook Park from noon – 5:30pm.

The event is June 8th (rain date is June 22nd)!  After registering, riders
fundraise at least $150 (less for youth) to support Bikes Not Bombs’
(https://bikesnotbombs.org/about) Youth and International Programs.

Contact:
Erica Rotman ([email protected]), Director of Fundraising and Events,
Bikes Not Bombs


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One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other

Written by Boston Biker on Apr 11

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Seems cyclists are not the only ones enjoying the increase in sunshine.  This thing looks amazing.  I was pretty impressed with the relatively simple nature of this beast.  Get solar panel, get electric scooter, combine.


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Dorchester Bike Festival!

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 27

Dorchester is having themselves a bike festival to celebrate the new bike cages at the Ashmot T station!

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Dorchester Bike Festival
Saturday April 26, 2014
9am-Noon
Location: Pedal & Park Bike Parking Facility on Dorchester Avenue by the Ashmont T Station

Breakfast provided!

9am-11am: Come enjoy some free breakfast and familiarize yourself with the Ashmont Pedal & Park facility, which enables commuters to park their bikes before catching buses and trains at the Ashmont T Station. We will have free bike tune-ups and family friendly activities to raise awareness about safe bicycling practices. You can also enter to win prizes.

11am-Noon: Family friendly group bicycle ride around Dorchester.

Sponsored by St. Mark’s Area Main Street, Ashmont Cycles, BikeMilton, Bikes Not Bombs, Boston Bikes, Boston Cyclists Union, Boston Police Department, Green DOT, LivableStreets Alliance, MassBike, MBTA, MBTA Transit Police, Quincycles

More details here.


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BINGO! A Play In One Act

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 24

Its been a while since I have done a street theater re-enactment (see here and here and here..and here).

Bingo, a play in one act:

Scene: Our main character is standing with feet on the ground astride a bicycle while waiting for a walk sign.  Neither moving, nor making like movement is about to occur.

Actors:
bike person (played by me)
Lady on foot (played by lady on foot)

Dialog: (note to stage director, this play has no dialog, its more of an interpretive dance)

Bike person: waits for walk sign.

Lady on foot: Runs into bike person loudly.

Bike person:  Feels the impact, makes a face of wonder, turns head to stare at lady on foot.

Lady on foot: Angrily gestures at bike person, indicating that nowhere on the 20 foot wide sidewalk (empty of everything except the bike guy) was there a single space you could have possibly gone except into the back of this bicycle.  (really work it, its hard to convey all that information in a look, but you can do it)

Bike person: Smile awkwardly.

Lady on foot: As you walk away raise your left hand up and give the thumbs up angrily, like a terminator being lowered into molten steel.   Hold aloft thumb for at least 10 steps.

Bike person: Chuckle to yourself, adjust your fender, ride off.

And…scene.  That’s a warp folks, good work, lets hit the showers!

I can now fill out the last square on my biker bingo card. The only one I was waiting for was the elusive “hit by a pedestrian” square.  The entire experience was so strange, and sort of lovely in a funny way.  If you are the lady who ran into me while walking with your headphones on staring at your feet.  I want to say I am sorry you had to find out there was something in front of you like that…but you know, maybe point your eyes up a little in the future and you wont have these problems.


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Love This UK Safe Cycling Ad

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 11

We have a dearth of this kind of fun and interesting PSA type stuff here. MORE!


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Comments on the Charles River Basin Connectivity Study April 23, 2014
      TweetI have prepared extensive comments on the Charles River Basin Connectivity Study and submitted them for review. I strongly support many aspects of the study, but there are some details I would change, and there are some opportunities which the … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Bikes In Cuba! April 23, 2014
      TweetRegardless of why or how people came to use bikes in Cuba, they do, and they use them for just about everything. Charlie sent in these beautiful photos of his recent trip to Cuba, and the awesome way in which bikes are … 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
    • 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