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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!
Tags: earth day, ride your damn bike
Posted in advocacy, bostonbiker | 1 Comment »
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.
Tags: Metro Pedal Power, movie, power to the pedals, premiere, Wenzday Jane
Posted in fun, video | No Comments »
Only a couple days away! Be there! April 26th!
Tags: bike fest, Dorchester, DotBike
Posted in advocacy, fun | No Comments »
What do the Northampton Tweed Ride, Jamaica Plain Free Pancake Breakfast, Franklin Bike Rodeo, and over 170 other local bike events around Massachusetts all have in common?
They are all part of Bay State Bike Week, the annual celebration of human-powered transportation across Massachusetts. With temperatures quickly rising, it’s time to polish off that dirty bike you’ve been riding all winter, or dust off the one that’s been idling through the coldest months, and get ready for this year’s festivities.
Every year, bike enthusiasts across Massachusetts plan events in their communities. Events range from bike safety classes for children to rides of silence to commuter breakfasts and beyond. Last year’s festivities even included a tour of Pioneer Valley wineries!
This year’s Bay State Bike Week will be from May 10 through May 18. Visit theBay State Bike Week website to learn about events happening in your local area, how to plan an event, or to add your event to the calendar. Be sure to like Bay State Bike Week on Facebook, follow on Twitter, and keep up to date with the hashtag
Bay State Bike Week is a partnership between MassBike, MassDOT, and MassRIDES, in collaboration with local advocacy leaders, bike shop owners, and anyone else who likes seeing others go by bike.
Click here to view in your web browser
Last Thursday, advocates for better walking and biking came together for the 3rd annual Massachusetts Bike/Walk Summit at the Massachusetts State House on Beacon Hill. Organized in partnership between MassBike and WalkBoston, the summit was an opportunity for attendees to meet with their elected leaders and talk about about the importance of promoting active transportation around the Commonwealth.
The keynote speaker this year was Department of Public Health Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett, who talked about the Mass in Motion program and how expanding opportunities for walking and biking will be necessary for achieving important public health outcomes like reducing obesity and associated chronic diseases and bringing down health care costs.
This year’s topics of discussion with lawmakers were the two safety bills, theVulnerable Road Users Bill and the Bike Lane Protection Bill, the importance of continued funding for Mass in Motion programs, the necessity of gas tax indexing for meeting statewide mode shift goals, and increasing funding for Department of Conservation and Recreation to ensure adequate maintenance and staffing of their facilities.
Click here to read the full summary
Residents of Easthampton and surrounding communities in the Pioneer Valley will have to seek alternate routes if they are planning to travel along the Manhan Rail Trail corridor this spring and summer. MassBike’s Pioneer Valley Chapter(MassBike PV) reported the closure on Facebook yesterday.
The closure is due to construction related to the Pioneer Mills Project, and portions of the trail will be closed through June. MassBike PV has provided a helpful map of the construction area and suggested detours. The Manhan Rail Trail has a total length of 6 miles within Easthampton and continues for several miles into Northampton where it connects with a system of trails in that city.
Click here to view in your web browser
Which bike tour takes you along scenic routes through quaint Central Massachusetts towns, including stops at swimming holes, homemade ice cream stands, and even a Trappist beer brewery, and let’s you pedal along at your own pace while chatting with the new friends you just made at breakfast? The Mass BikePike Tour does, of course!
Now in it’s seventh year, this tour, designed to appeal to riders with a range of experience and abilities, proudly calls itself “The Friendliest Ride in the East”. This year’s tour will take place August 7 – 10.
The tour starts in Shirley, and riders will explore the apple country, visit the 18th century utopia of Harvard, savor the all-day breakfast at old-fashioned classic dinerin Oxford, and try to pick which town green is the most beautiful – it’s a tough call! Along with the beautiful scenery, riders can look forward to the climb to the top ofPurgatory Chasm. Beer-lovers will enjoy the chance to ride by the monastery that is the first and only certified Trappist Beer brewery in the United States!
Each evening features a pre-dinner “social hour”, a nightly campfire/stargazing, and optional field trips to local attractions. The Mass BikePike Tour is affordably priced and all proceeds benefit MassBike. The tour is fully supported with cues, arrows, sag vehicles, rest stops and staff.
|Volunteers make up a huge part of our success, so we want to make volunteering with us even better. Anyone who volunteers ten hours of their time will automatically earn a MassBike membership. TUESDAY, MAY 13: MassBike Volunteer Night
5:30 – 8:00 PM | MassBike Office | 171 Milk St, Suite 33 | Boston, MA 02109
Join us for free pizza and cold beer (generously provided by Harpoon) at our monthly volunteer night. This is your opportunity to help your state-wide bicycle advocacy group while having a good time and meeting great people. Space is limited, so please RSVP if you’d like to join us.
Volunteers help MassBike send out our monthly membership renewal reminders, prepare membership packets, and help out with other activities.
Be sure to RSVP for Volunteer Night with [email protected]!
FRIDAY, MAY 16 & SATURDAY, MAY 17: Radio 92.9 Earth Fest
Multiple Shifts | DCR Hatch Shell | Storrow Drive | Boston, MA 02116
MassBike will once again be providing free bike valet parking at Radio 92.9 Earth Fest on Saturday, May 17. Volunteers will help bike valet with bike valet setup on Friday evening and Saturday morning, and with running bike valet during the event. Multiple shifts will be available and details will be announced shortly.
This little video shows snippet of everyday life in one of our favorite cycling countries, the Netherlands, where roughly 20% of all trips are made by bicycle.
Can you picture what Massachusetts might look like with 20% of all trips made by bicycle?
|SATURDAY, APRIL 26|
Tags: Bay State Bike Week, massbike, update
Posted in advocacy | 1 Comment »
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, but if you ever need any help, ignore the old number on your key fob, drop us a line here, and we’ll be happy to help.
24 hours a day / 7 days a week
in English and Spanish.
If you have suggestions for future station locations, please continue to use our Station Locator Tool to tell us exactly where you want to see them.
The Hubway Team
We loved watching the thousands of athletes, volunteers, and spectators take part yesterday in the 118th Boston Marathon. Congratulations to all Hubway riders who participated. You have truly inspired us. Let us know who you are by reaching us onTwitter.
Now that the Marathon has concluded, 8 Hubway stations along the Marathon route in Brookline and Boston will be deployed to their locations from last season. In addition, 3 new stations listed below have recently been deployed, with a few more stations on the way this season as we approach a total of 140 stations.
Dana Park (Cambridgeport)
Danehy Park (North Cambridge)
Day Boulevard (South Boston)
View the entire Hubway station map here.
for up to the minute system information and bike/dock availability.
Tags: hubway, marathon, new phone number, new stations
Posted in Bike Business, Commuting | No Comments »
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.)
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)
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.
Tags: bombing, go ride your bike, marathon monday
Posted in bostonbiker | 1 Comment »
If you have a site with us, you will notice some new fun features. For everyone else, shouldn’t notice a thing. Let me know if anything is broken.
Tags: site update
Posted in bostonbiker | No Comments »
Greg 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
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.
And be sure to invite your friends to the event page on Facebook
See you there,
Tags: community, marathon, midnight marathon ride
Posted in fun | 2 Comments »