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Once upon a time I lived in Austin, then Boston, if any of you know of a city like Costin, Dustin, Eustin…I am kind of trying to go in order.
But enough of that, seems even in a city more or less designed for cars (as Austin is), biking is still faster. Mostly because cars are too damn big, and there are too many of them, and everyone wants to get into them all at the same time.
From the AustinPost:
It was a simple enough idea. Last Friday, five Austin Post reporters set off across the center of town around 5 p.m. to see how our city’s transportation options stack up: just a little more than four miles through rush hour hell.
We avoided the parking lot that was I-35 and the river of cars known as Mopac. No, we were in the mood for a multi-modal race, and we also wanted to test the powers of the new MetroRapid bus. We chose Guadalupe as our race route because it traverses the living, breathing (if not always moving) heart of the city and can be traversed any way you like, short of water travel. And so: 38th and Guadalupe to South Congress and Monroe.
Five travelers, five modes:
- MetroRapid Bus
- Regular Bus
- On Foot
We assumed our pedestrian would come in last. Austin traffic might be horrendous, but there’s no way a not-particularly-athletic person can walk 4.5 miles faster than a car can drive it, right?
Well, you know what they say about assumptions: don’t make any when it comes to how bad Austin traffic can be. We’ll let the results speak for themselves:
Yes, that graph is correct: the driver came in last place and took an hour and a half to get 4.5 miles through town. That’s half the time it takes to get to Dallas on a good day. The regular bus didn’t do much better, clocking in at just under 80 minutes.
Amazing, really. Even the pedestrian beat the car driver…
Best part is this timelapse of the car drivers experience,
(note how different this is than a car commercial)
Tags: austin, bikes rule!, cars drool
Posted in fun, news | 1 Comment »
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?
The first 3 people to leave good snow names + definitions in the comments will get cycling books sent to them free in the mail. (I will decided which ones are good)
If there are more than 3 good ones, I might go find some more cycling stuff and mail that out as prizes as well.
Tags: contest, names, snow
Posted in Commuting, fun | 4 Comments »
We have all had to yell at motorists, I can’t stop laughing at Bikeyface’s quest to get better at yelling.
So good. Read the rest here.
Tags: bikeyface, Comics, hillarious, yelling
Posted in Commuting, fun | No Comments »
From the email:
Free Pancake Breakfast
Friday, Jan. 31, 7:00am-9:00am
First pancake breakfast of 2014! Bikers, neighbors and friends are welcome to join us inside the shop for Jeffrey’s Famous Whole Wheat Pancakes, O.J. and chat about bikes and bike issues. Let us know if you need vegan or gluten-free options!
Bike Trainer Nights
Tuesdays from 7:00pm-9:00pm
Ride your road bike indoors at Ferris Wheels Bike Shop! This is a free event with trainer videos. Bring your own trainer or try one of our CycleOps trainers. Please RSVP as space is limited! Call the shop or sign up on our website.
Tags: Ferris Wheels, indoor riding, pancakes
Posted in fun | No Comments »
Tags: going fast, hustle, video
Posted in fun, video | No Comments »
This looks like a lot of fun, check it out!
It’s summertime in Antarctica and Boston Bike Party is enjoying it penguin style. So throw on that Hawaiian shirt, ray-bans, & grass skirt, and head waaaaaay down south with us. Come ride the Heatwave!
FIRST WAVE: Meet up with Boston Bikes at Government Center for hot chocolate!
SECOND WAVE: Warm up your legs and ride out the heatwave with us on bikes!
THIRD WAVE: Epic after party (details to come)!
We roll out of City Hall Plaza at 8pm SHARP, so get there a bit early for cocoa!
Make Bike Party yours! Add music to the Spotify Collaborative Playlist:http://open.spotify.com/
Tags: Bike party, Boston Bikes, heat wave
Posted in fun | No Comments »
1000+ Bikes Distributed Through Roll It Forward!
We’re proud to say that in 2013 we distributed 1,081 bikes through our Roll it Forward program. We cannot say thank you enough to everyone who helped us reach this major accomplishment.
Donate to Roll it Forward
2013 was a huge year for the Roll it Forward program. Help us make 2014 even bigger – we are in dire need of more bikes! Donate a bike today and get a jersey/t-shirt/chocolate and be entered into a raffle for an L.L. Bean gift card! Or make a bigger impact and host a bike drive in your community or at your workplace. Contact[email protected] for more information!
The Boston Bike Party is bringing the heat!
It’s chilly out there, so the Boston Bike Party is going to help us all stay warm by bringing a Heat Wave!
The ride will leave at 8pm from City Hall Plaza. Come early if you want to chat with us or get free hot chocolate from our friends at Perfect Fuel Chocolate.
2013 Boston Bike Counts
Meet our new Program Managers, Kim & Najah
Kim Foltz has been biking in Boston since 1998 when she moved here from Olympia, WA. She quickly found a home among bike enthusiasts/advocates at Bikes Not Bombs, where she served as volunteer bike instructor then Board Chair, and eventually Interim Director. Kim took a break from organizing and advocacy to get a Masters in Urban Planning at MIT, where she focused on sustainability. In 2010 she returned to the trenches as Director of Community Building and Organizing at Neighborhood of Affordable Housing, Inc (NOAH), a community-based organization in East Boston. Among other projects at NOAH, Kim worked with youth to change bike policy on the Blue Line and engaged residents in the redesign of East Boston’s Central Square, a complete streets demonstration project.
Kim lives in East Boston with her husband David Diaz, and son Diego. In her free time you can find her running, skiing, playing soccer, or of course biking with her family. Kim is excited to join the Boston Bikes team!
Najah Shakir started at Boston Bikes as an intern in 2011. Before joining us again in July of 2013, she finished her degree in Planning at MIT, took an adventure on a bike, then traveled around Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Her previous work includes projects with YouthBuild USA, the MIT CoLab, the Vehicle Design Summit, and MIT@Lawrence.
She returns to Boston Bikes with a love of cities and a desire to make biking accessible to all. Since returning to Boston Bikes, she has managed Bike Fridays, the Hubway Subsidized Membership Program, annual bike counts, and our social media. She tweets professionally using @bikeboston and personally using @najahbikes.
Najah is originally from Philadelphia, PA and now lives in the Back Bay. She grew up riding tandems and recumbent tricycles. In her free time you can find her catching up on the latest blockbusters, wandering around the city, fiddling with a computer, or cross-stitching. She’s happy to be back on the team and excited to get to know more bikers in Boston.
Meet our new Intern, Hollis
Hollis is excited to be joining the Boston Bikes team. She recently moved to the city, and is thrilled to be involved in the ever-growing movement to make Boston greener.
Her life thus far has been defined by jumping from city to city, in the process seeing what landscapes and lifestyles really bring her home in the end. Having spent a good chunk of her youth in Tucson, Arizona, she gained a great appreciation of the outdoors. She has also lived in Tuscany, Italy, where she helped out on olive orchards. Upon returning to the States, she and her family settled in Amherst, MA.
Hollis has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts in Environmental Design with a minor in Chinese Language and Literature. She has a love of the environment, art, sustainability, and an appreciation for different cultures and cities. While at UMass, she participated in 3 study abroad programs that took her to Sicily, China, Germany, and Denmark. In Berlin and Copenhagen, she learned first-hand about the importance of bike infrastructure, and developed a love of transportation planning. She wanted to be part of similar transformations here in the States, so now she’s here and we’re very glad to have her!
Tags: Boston Bikes, City of Boston, level 1000!, roll if forward
Posted in advocacy, fun | No Comments »
Northeastern is having a TED x talk on Saturday, January 25. One of the speakers is Professor Peter Furth, who will be using his talk to share his passion for biking in Boston. The place is already full but you can watch it online. See the press release below. I have seen Professor Furth speak before, he does a lot of interesting things around cycling infrastructure with his classes, should be a good talk.
Boston, MA – This January marks the arrival of TEDxNortheasternU, a half-day event prepared by Northeastern students for Northeastern students. Designed to bolster discussion and promote exploration of the event’s theme, “Unknown Knowns”, TEDxNortheasternU provides students with the opportunity to engage with speakers and collaborate with a diverse audience of peers.
TEDxNortheasternU will take place on Saturday, January 25, 2014 in Raytheon Amphitheater, located in Egan Research Center at Northeastern University. Boston-based speakers will present ideas and stories on a stage before Northeastern students in an intimate setting. Live talks will be augmented by preselected TED Talk videos and breaks for discussion, during which students are encouraged to participate by engaging in meaningful and memorable conversations. Although the event has reached its audience capacity, all are welcome to tune in to the event live stream video and attend the reception after the talks. For more information and to access the live stream, visit http://www.tedxnortheasternu.com/.
One of our speaker includes Dr. Peter Furth, who has been a Professor of Civil Engineering at Northeastern University since 1981 and is now the leader of Northeastern’s program in Transportation Engineering. He earned his BS, MS, and PhD degrees at MIT and has published more than 50 papers and book chapters. His bicycle-related research projects include studying the safety of cycle tracks in Montreal, planning and evaluating a potential greenway network for the Boston area, network analysis of low-stress bicycle routes in San Jose (CA), and analyzing the operational characteristics of different bike lane configurations. He is the inventor of the Bicycle Priority Lane marking used in Massachusetts and in Minnesota. He has studied transit priority practices in European cities including Zurich and Brussels, and helped introduce the now-popular concept of conditional priority (priority to late buses only) as a means of improving service reliability. He is currently leading a project for the National Science Foundation looking at flexible traffic signal control logic that helps facilitate transit signal priority. Dr. Furth is active with the Transportation Research Board, the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the Boston Cyclists Union, the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition, and Boston’s bicycle advisory group.
A team of passionate students is driving TEDxNortheasternU to expose bold ideas and possibilities. The team strives to unite Boston-based speakers with students who want to partake in forward-thinking discussions and create a community where all can share intellectual capital at Northeastern. This event is sponsored by D’Amore-McKim School of Business.
About TEDx, x = independently organized event
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California almost 30 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes on a diverse mix of topics. Many of these talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The TED2014 Conference will take place in Vancouver, British Columbia, along with the TEDActive simulcast in neighboring Whistler. TEDGlobal 2014 will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
TED’s media initiatives include TED.com, where new TED Talks are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed; and TEDBooks, short e-books on powerful ideas. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world get help translating their wishes into action; TEDx, which supports individuals or groups in hosting local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.
Follow TED on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TEDTalks, or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TED
For information about TED’s upcoming conferences, visit http://www.ted.com/registration
Tags: Northeastern, Peter Furth, ted x
Posted in advocacy, fun | 1 Comment »