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Bikes Not Bombs Turns 30!

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 10

From Bikes Not Bombs:

 

Bikes Not Bombs turns 30!

Bikes Not Bombs celebrated 30 years of using the bicycle as a vehicle for social change on July 4th! In the three decades since our founder Carl Kurz first brought two bikes to Nicaragua we are thrilled to have shipped56,981 bikes to partners in 14 countries. And, since our first Earn-A-Bike session in 1990 we have reached more than 3,500 youth through five sessions per year – including our girls-only version, Girls in Action. And all of our programs are taught and led by youth alumni who we offer meaningful, year-round employment through ourYouth Employment Pathways program and our youth organizing initiative, BOCA.

Our 30th anniversary not only provides us an opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come, but also to look forward and plan for the future. This summer we are welcoming our largest number of youth instructors ever – together with our Earn-A-Bike participants we’ll have over 80 young people people filtering through the Hub each day! And Bikes Not Bombs not only strives to provide access to bikes and trainings, but also to transform communities — locally and globally. BNB youth are participating in an equity evaluation of the Boston Bike Plan in conjunction with the On The Move Coalition and our International Team are exploring new partnerships as our current partners grow and become more self-sufficient.

All of this work would be impossible without the caring community of volunteers and donors who have supported Bikes Not Bombs since 1984. Thank You! Stay tuned for details about our 30th anniversary party in early December!

Youth Programs: Enrollment open for Adult Instructor Training

Adult Instructors like Tom help out at Earn-A-Bike

Adult Instructor Training is a free 30-hour course taught by BNB Youth Employees that provides the foundation in basic bike mechanics, teaching methods, role modeling and leadership, and age and gender sensitivity that you need to successfully volunteer in BNB Youth Programs. In exchange for this free program, Adult Instructors are REQUIRED to volunteer a minimum of one program day per week from 3pm-7pm in at least one session of Earn-A-Bike or Girls In Action. Adult Instructor Trainings are held twice a year, in the Spring and Fall, and upcoming training dates are September 8th – 24thMonday - Wednesday, 6-9PM.

Applications are available online and for more information, contact Ashley Leary at [email protected] or617-522-0222 x 101.

Help BNB Load Bikes to Village Bicycle Project in Ghana on Sunday, August 10th!

Village Bicycle Project brings bicycles to the most rural areas of Ghana and Sierra Leone and organizes village-based workshops at which people can purchase bicycles at subsidized costs and receive training in basic bicycle maintenance. VBP also provides opportunities for local mechanics to purchase subsidized bicycle tools and receive training in advanced bicycle mechanics – building the repair infrastructure to sustain the bikes long-term. By partnering with rural communities, Village Bicycle Project creates opportunities for increased mobility, leading toward social and economic development.

Please join us to help BNB load bikes to Village Bicycle Project, Ghana!
Time: Sunday, August 10th from 10am – 5pm. Drop in for an hour or stay all day.
Place: The BNB Warehouse on 10 Harvard Street in Dorchester
Details: Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Volunteers of the Month – Jon Allen & Mel Quigley

Volunteers of the Month (and the last 28 years!) Jon and Mel finally get a break at the Bike-A-Thon, after working hard on all the setup.

Since we’ve just reached our 30th anniversary, it is fitting to recognize a pair of volunteers who have a long history helping out at BNB, Jon Allen and Melanie Quigley! Jon writes: “I was pedaling a brand new Columbia 3-speed along Commonwealth Avenue in the summer of 1986 when a Ford Probe sped into me. The bike was totaled, but I felt that some parts might be worth donating to this non-profit I’d just heard about that recycled bikes and parts. We went to the address on Amory Street and we were told of a container loading that weekend where our help would be appreciated. (At the old space the bikes came out of the basement and had to be walked half way around the block to get to the truck so there was a lot more walking and less lifting then), so Mel and I went, and have been returning quite regularly ever since.”

Jon and Mel have been to almost EVERY loading for overseas shipments since, so they’ve now attended more container loadings than anyone else in BNB’s history! When BNB had to move in 2006, Jon and Mel constructed and painted a lot of walls and structures, first at the Hub, then the shop, then the warehouse. And they’ve become key volunteers for Bike-A-Thon logistics each year as well. This year, for example, they were here repeatedly in the week leading up to the Bike-A-Thon to check all the parts for our big tents, measure and cut ropes, sort food for the different rest stops, and prepare the bike parking tags. They traveled to Newton to help chef Brian Sway prepare food. And on the day of the Bike-A-Thon they joined the setup crew doing tents, ropes, banners, and slides. Thank you Jon and Mel for 28 years of steadfast volunteering!

Building Momentum Breakfast Table Captain Information Session on July 21st

The 2013 Building Momentum Breakfast was attended by over 75 guests.

Save the date! Bikes Not Bombs’ fourth annual Building Momentum Breakfast will take place Wednesday, October 22nd at 8am at Space with a Soul, near Downtown Crossing. The Building Momentum Breakfast is designed to raise 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. Table Captains are critical to the success of this event.

Signing up as a Table Captain is a great way to increase your impact at Bikes Not Bombs. As a Table Captain you will be responsible for bringing nine people to the Building Momentum Breakfast – friends, family, and colleagues – who you think will connect with the mission and work of Bikes Not Bombs. The event will feature breakfast from our friends at Ula Cafe, inspiring stories from individuals who have been impacted by our work, a short video, and more. We’ll guide you through the process and provide you with all the information and materials you’ll need. While this is a fundraiser, there is no obligation for Table Captains or guests to donate at the event.

BNB will be holding an information session for anyone interested in becoming a Table Captain onMonday, July 21st from 6:30-7:30pm at the BNB Hub. Please RSVP to Erica Rotman, Director of Fundraising & Events, at [email protected], or contact her if you would like more information about becoming a Table Captain.

Read about last year’s Building Momentum Breakfast.

Boston’s Cycling Craze, 1880-1900: A Story of Race, Sport and Society

Wednesday July 16 6:00pm
Museum of African American History – 46 Joy Street Beacon Hill Boston
Interview | Audience Q&A | Reception | Booksigning
ADMISSION: General: $5; youth (13 – 17) and seniors (62+): $3

Don’t miss the Boston Globe’s Derrick Jackson, an avid cyclist, history buff, photographer, and award-winning Op-Ed columnist, as he interviews author Lorenz “Larry” Finison about his new book, “Boston’s Cycling Craze, 1880-1900: A Story of Race, Sport and Society.”

The author and the journalist will share how athletes and individuals of all backgrounds made Boston a hub of 19th-century bicycling. The story includes a woman of color, Kittie Knox, who challenged conformity due to self-styled outfits and insistence on riding a man’s bike; Mary Sargent Hopkins, a self-proclaimed expert on women’s cycling and publisher of The Wheelwoman; and Abbot Bassett, long affiliated with the League of American Wheelman and as a cycling advocate.

Finison’s book shows how these and other recreational and competitive bikers interacted on the road and in their cycling clubhouses, often constrained by issues of race, class, religion, and gender. Meet descendants of some of the early cyclists who will be in the audience. Bikes Not Bombs will co-host the program along with Discover Roxbury, Roxbury Bicycle Brigade, and UMass Press.

July Free Clinics at the Shop

This July our Basic Repair and Maintenance Clinic will be on Wednesday the 16th from 8-9pm . Our Flat Fixing Clinic will be on Thursday July 24th from 8-9pm. As always there is no need to sign up, but please be punctual and show up by 8pm!



 




News Outside of BNB:

 


Women’s Bike Social

Join Boston Bikes on July 10th, 5:30 pm for a Boston Tasting Tour! The group will ride and eat their way through the South End and Back Bay before grabbing dessert in the North End.
 


Bike Friday

Join the best Boston commuters at a commuting celebration! Free breakfast and coffee from Boloco at City Hall Plaza. Stop by the Bikes Not Bombs tent to say hi! Hosted by Boston Bikes July 18th 7-9am.
 


Boston Remembers Hiroshima: Moving from Violence to Unity

Boston Remembers Hiroshima: Join Mass Peace Action, Dorchester People for Peace and others including Bikes Not Bombs, in this event connecting neighborhoods of Boston to City Hall. First Church Boston, 66 Marlborough St, August 6, 3pm, procession through Common to City Hall Plaza. Taiko drumming, Japanese “Soran Bushi” dancers, singing, speakers, action.


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MassBike Update

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 10

From MassBike:

 

Dear MassBiker,
 
In May, we celebrated Bay State Bike Week - a week of fun bike-related events all across Massachusetts. Now, our partners at MassDOT and MassRIDES have put together the results, and here they are!
This year, 7,084 bike trips were made as a result of Bay State Bike Week – that’s2,416 more trips this year than last year! 11.2 tons of emissions were kept out of our air, and Bay Staters saved over $14,000 through one week of biking. And that’s not all – together we burned 1 million calories.
Pretty impressive stuff!
If you participated in a Bay State Bike Week event – or even if you didn’t – we’d love to hear your feedback through our survey. It takes just two minutes to fill out, and will help us make Bike Week even better next year. Click here to fill it out!

Thanks as always and happy riding,

The MassBike Team
Biking on Cape Cod. Photo: MassBike

Back in February, we reported about our ongoing work to improve bike safety for seasonal workers who flock to Cape Cod every summer. Bicycling is often the most convenient, or only mode of transportation available for these workers who come from around the world on J-1 visas to work in area restaurants and resorts.

 

MassBike has been working with a coalition of partners including the Barnstable County Commissioners office, Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority, and various local police departments across Cape Cod, and we are pleased to announce the launch of the Regional Bike Safety Education and Awareness Campaign.

 

Plans call for a busy season of outreach and activities to ensure that seasonal workers, and all people who ride a bike on Cape Cod, have the knowledge and equipment to travel safely and enjoyably by bicycle.

 

Visibility while riding after dark has been an ongoing concern, so making sure people who rides bikes have lights is a top priority. MassBike made the connection between light vendor Planet Bike and coalition partners, who secured a discounted purchase of approximately 2,000 lights. These lights will be distributed at various outreach events. In addition, police officers will have a supply of lights in their cruisers, and will be instructed to distribute them to people they identify who are riding at night without lights.

 

Photo: The People’s Pint

Training Wheels is a delicious new session IPA by The People’s Pint with an extra special bonus: a percentage of profits will be donated to support MassBike’s work and mission to make bicycling better across Massachusetts!

The People’s Pint, a brewpub located in downtown Greenfield, has been serving up their own delicious craft beer and locally sourced food since 1997. The People’s Pint has been promoting bicycle transportation in Western Massachusetts in its own unique way since 2003. Participants earn credit for every mile traveled by bike, which can be redeemed for gift certificates to be used in the brewpub. To date, they have recorded over 63,000 miles traveled by bike instead of by car.

According to The People’s Pint, Training Wheels is a “hop forward American session ale, low on alcohol but big on hop aroma, with generous additions of local and west coast hops which impart an aroma of tropical fruit and resin.”

So where can you enjoy a glass of Training Wheels? If you live in or are visiting the Pioneer Valley, stop by The People’s Pint in downtown Greenfield, open daily for lunch and dinner. You can also order a cold pint of Training Wheels from the tap atThe Foundry in Northampton.

Training Wheels is also available by the bottle in stores. Click here for the full list.

Click here to view this story in your web browser
 
Not a MassBike member yet?
Our members make it possible for us to continue the education, infrastructure, and advocacy work we are doing to promote active transportation across Massachusetts.
If you like what you see, please consider membership today.
Join today to support this important work, and you’ll get access to an exciting array of membership benefits statewide.
Is a system like Boston’s Hubway bike share in the future for the Pioneer Valley? Photo: MassBike

The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC) is currently working to determine the feasibility and interest in a bike share program for the Pioneer Valley. As part of this process, they have launched a new online survey to help gauge demand for such a program in the region.

Bike share systems, like Boston’s Hubway, allow riders to check bikes out from self-service kiosks and use them for short, “point A to point B” trips. When implemented successfully, bike share systems can compliment existing transit systems to give people greater car-free mobility, and boost the number of bike trips in a particular city or region.

According to their website, PVPC is working with the communities of Holyoke, Springfield, Amherst, and Northampton, as well as the colleges UMASS Amherst, Springfield College, Springfield Technical Community College, Mt. Holyoke College, Hampshire College, Amherst College, and Smith College to complete a feasibility study for establishing a pilot-scale Regional Bike Share program.

If you are a resident of the Pioneer Valley resident, or know somebody who is, we encourage you to take 2 minutes to fill out the survey.

Click here to fill out the survey in English.

Click here to fill out the survey in Spanish.

 

Click here to view in your web browser

 

 
 
Looking for the perfect century ride this summer while also supporting your statewide advocate for better bicycling? BikeMass journeys through the lush rolling hills of the Concord and Assabet River valleys of Central Massachusetts. Rides start and finish from NARA Park in Acton.
All proceeds support MassBike’s mission to promote better bicycling across Massachusetts. 100, 62, and 30 mile routes available. The longer you ride, the more you support MassBike!
Non-rider tickets are also available, so you can bring the whole family to partake in the food, drinks and activities!
Photo: MassBike
Did you know that MassBike offers free bike safety trainings to children grades 4 – 8? Each school year, MassBike’s Safe Routes to School Tranings teaches thousands of elementary and middle school children how to ride their bikes more safely. Since beginning our youth education outreach, we’ve brought our school-age workshops to schools in Worcester, Cambridge, Salem, Franklin, Framingham, and dozens of other communities around the Commonwealth.

Would you like your local school to be next?

 

If so, we are currently scheduling classes before the end of the 2013-2014 school year, and for the coming 2014-2015 school year. To get the wheels spinning, contact Erin Reed at MassDOT by email at [email protected] or by phone at857-719-5489.

 

The MassBike Safe Routes to School curriculum reviews basic maintenance, rules of the road, proper helmet fitting, and overall visibility. Our instructors tailor the message to age-level to ensure that these critical safety lessons are most appropriate, effective and empowering. Classes are made possible throughMassRIDES, a program of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation that promotes biking, walking, and transit use.

 

Click here to view in your web browser

 


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Hubway Officially Hits 2 Million Rides!

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 10

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Congrats to Paul Wagner checked out a Hubway bike this past Sunday June 29th, at 11:53am he added his name to the annals of Hubway history by being the two millionth rider!   Pretty awesome, and a sign that Hubway is growing rapidly.  I heard that he didn’t believe it when they emailed him, so they had to call him and force him to accept his prize ha ha.


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Bowdoin Bike Repair School!

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 10

This looks like an awesome project, if you have some extra bucks laying around toss them a few, good cause and good people.  They are only trying to raise 10k, and already have about half that, but only have 4 days left!

 See their entire Indigogo campaign here.

I am a proud, lifelong resident of the Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood of Dorchester.

We are a diverse, vibrant community which has been scarred by decades of poverty and violence. Most residents are renters and working-class homeowners facing some serious economic challenges, but we share our resources and take care of our own.

We spend over a quarter of our gross income on transportation. Though we are only 4 miles from downtown Boston, decent mass transit options are out of reach. If you are supporting yourself on low or no income, your best options are to scrape enough money together to keep a car on the road, or spend most of your time in the neighborhood. Can we even consider these options?

 A decade ago, I found peace and freedom in the form of a beat down Huffy. I was, to put it lightly, broke as hell.  I was struggling to retain stable housing; underemployed, then unemployed, living on a fixed income. I eventually learned to repair and maintain my own bicycle, and was able to access employment and social opportunities all over the city for FREE. I became a shop-trained bicycle mechanic, restoring and selling classic bicycles on my free time. I was able to turn my hobby into serious money and turn that money into serious opportunity. Cycling has changed my life.

For years, I worked as a volunteer teacher, mechanic, and event planner at neighborhood cycling programs throughout the city. In the summer of 2013, I got fed up with watching my neighbors struggle, called some friends and brought a few tools down to the Bowdoin-Geneva Community Hub, a formerly blighted vacant lot which the Sustainability Guild had transformed into a lively gardening and activity space. The response was TREMENDOUS. Young and old, experienced cyclists and curious newbies stopped by, asked questions and went to work. We enjoyed a consistent volunteer corps of youth and adult mechanics from Bowdoin-Geneva and surrounding communities. We kicked butt!

This summer, we are hoping to deal an even bigger blow to the problems facing our community. We’ll be renovating our shop with the tools, storage, equipment, and retail goods our neighborhood deserves.

We represent a diverse group of artists, lifelong neighborhood residents, single parents, youth on summer break, members of the formerly homeless community, and friends who share one simple goal: to get more butts on bikes. We will obtain and refurbish as many bicycles for the community as our hands and time will allow. Money we raise through donations and sales will help us open a brick-and-mortar bike shop and cafe by the Spring of 2015. Skill-sharing and community-building are invaluable, but this community needs well-paying jobs now.

Thank you for supporting our work!

-Noah

What We Need:

 

  • PARTS- We sold inner tubes, lights, locks, helmets, brakes, tires, and a bunch of other cycling essentials last year. We use the honor system where people pay what they can.  Donations help to keep this system viable.
  • FOOD & BEVERAGE- We make sure to keep ourselves properly fed, hydrated, and caffeinated.
  • TOOLS- We need enough tools, aprons, and more for our team to share.
  • RENT- We will  be hosted by the Sustainability Guild all summer, but the beautiful shed we call home was no match for chilly October weather and waning daylight last year. Let’s collect enough seed money to rent an yearlong space, purchase insurance, register as a business, and finance a world-class shop installation (because our community deserves the best). Consider yourself a venture collectivist.

MATERIAL GOODS – Bicycles and gently-used parts are valued and needed. Watch us spin steel and aluminum into gold. Contact [email protected] or 857.453.9533 to co-ordinate dropoff/pickup.

 

You may not be able to support us with your money or goods, but you can support us by word-of-mouth. Tell the world!


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Books By Bike!

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 09

703bibliocycle-300x200

From BPL.org

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the launch of the Boston Public Library’s Bibliocycle, and the re-launch of ReadBoston’s Storymobile, now in its nineteenth year. Both programs use a human-powered bicycle with an attached trailer to make their services mobile, and will be pedaling through Boston’s neighborhoods this summer.

“The Bibliocycle and Storymobile are innovative ways to reimagine libraries, and promote reading and learning across all generations,” said Mayor Walsh. “These services will keep kids reading through the summer and help to prevent summertime learning loss, while expanding library accessibility for adults.”

Boston Public Library’s Bibliocycle

The Bibliocycle is a partnership between the Boston Public Library (BPL) and Boston Bikes that will enable the library to take its free offerings to the streets in a friendly, active way. Features of the Bibliocycle program include library card sign up, book checkout, demonstrations of BPL’s digital resources, and help with reference questions. The mobile collection of up to 50 books includes new releases, bestsellers, cooking, gardening, picture books, and bike repair titles. The checkout limit is 10 items per person.

The Bibliocycle will travel to markets, fairs, and neighborhood events throughout the summer and fall to serve city residents, and the complete schedule can be found at bpl.org/community. On select dates, Boston Bikes team members will accompany librarians in order to provide bike and healthy living tips.

The Bibliocycle team is not equipped to handle fines and book returns, and patrons will need to visit one of BPL’s many brick-and-mortar locations to complete that type of transaction.

ReadBoston’s Storymobile

An annual summer treat for children in the city, the Storymobile aims to inspire a love for literacy at an early age. Children can enjoy storytelling at its finest, with books brought to life through tales and song. At the end of each session, every child receives a free, new book to take home.

ReadBoston Storymobiles will roll through the city’s neighborhoods weekdays from Monday, July 7, through Friday, August 15, to offer children in Boston a free and fun adventure at 78 sites each week. The Storymobile is a visual reminder that learning can happen anywhere, not just in the classroom. The program, which is most appropriate for children ages 3-8, is open to the public with convenient locations all over the city. No sign-up or registration is necessary.

A full schedule for the ReadBoston Storymobile is available here.  For the latest updates on ReadBoston, visit their Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/ReadBoston. For questions about the program, please call617-918-5286.

###

About Boston Public Library

Boston Public Library has a Central Library, 24 branches, a map center, a business library, and a website filled with digital content and services. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America. It was the first large free municipal library in the United States, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room. Each year, the Boston Public Library hosts thousands of programs and serves millions of people. All of its programs and exhibitions are free and open to the public. To learn more, visit bpl.org.

About Boston Bikes

Boston Bikes is part of Boston’s vision for a vibrant and healthy city that benefits all its citizens. It seeks to make Boston a world-class bicycling city by creating safe and inviting conditions for all residents and visitors. Boston Bikes focuses on improvements in all five universal bike planning areas: Engineering, Enforcement, Education, Encouragement, and Evaluation.

About ReadBoston

ReadBoston is the City’s only comprehensive early literacy program, reaching Boston’s children at all points in their day, all year long. It provides schools, after school programs, early childhood centers, summer programs, and families with the resources they need to set Boston’s children on the path to reading success.

This is awesome!

More from Bostoninno:

Boston Bikes is teaming up with the Boston Public Library to cycle mobile libraries into our neighborhoods. Aptly dubbed the Bibliocycle, the initiative is reminiscent of the City Hall to Go truck which provides communities with limited access to downtown a way of accessing municipal items.

For example, the Bibliocycle will allow new Bostonians the opportunity to sign up for a library card, to check-out books, to engage with digital offerings and have any reference questions answered.

It’ll carry up to 50 written works at a time and include a bevy of genres ranging from new releases and bestsellers to gardening tips and, of course, bike repair how-to’s.

The Storymobile, of course, is something that dates back 19 years to the thick of the Menino era which is essentially the same thing as the Bibliocycle but geared towards children.

As you’ll see courtesy of the July schedule below, the Bibliocycle will be rolling into farmer’s markets and learning centers throughout Boston. Here’s where you can catch up with it:

July

Wednesday, July 9, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.—Tierney Learning Center
Friday, July 11, 4:00-6:00 p.m.—Allston/Harvard Farmer’s Market
Monday, July 14, 1:00-3:00 p.m.—South Boston Farmer’s Market
Tuesday, July 15, 5:00-7:00 p.m.—Elma Lewis Playhouse in the Park
Wednesday, July 16, 9:30-11:30 a.m.—ParkArts at Mt. Pleasant Street Park
Thursday, July 17, 4:00-6:00 p.m.—Dudley Town Farmer’s Market
Saturday, July 19, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.—Roslindale Farmer’s Market Bike Day
Wednesday, July 23, 9:30-11:30 a.m.—ParkArts at Mt. Pleasant Street Park
Saturday, July 26, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.—Fields Corner Farmer’s Market
Thursday, July 31, 3:00-5:00 p.m.—Dudley Town Farmer’s Market

A couple things to note before you head down to one of these literary hot spots. Check-out is limited to 10 items per person, which is one fifth of its entire offering at a single time so choose wisely. Borrowed items must also be returned to a branch of the BPL and cannot be submitted to the Bibliocycle. And finally, pay any late fees you might’ve incurred at your local BPL branch as well.

This is a fine idea, and one I hope continues with other forms of city services, imagine if you could get a hunting licence by bike, or parking permits by bike (oh the irony), or any of a number of services that might be better served by having someone on a specialized cargo bike going into the community instead of making the community come to one location.

What service would you have provided by bicycle?


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Penny In Yo Pants!

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 07

A fun and easy solution to the accidental skirt flash when getting on your bike. Easy and cheap!


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The Invisible Danger

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 07

Cars are pretty bad. Its probably not very hard to come up with a dozen bad things our use of cars has done for the planet, for cities, and for people. You might be thinking you can escape thous bad effects by riding a bicycle instead. And for the most part this is true.

But there is one danger posed by cars that still holds true when you ride your bicycle. Pollution, specifically cancer and asthma causing pollution.

A fascinating study from the Harvard school of public health shows that car drivers are not just hurting themselves, but are also hurting everyone who chooses not to drive cars.  For most things in this country your right to do whatever you want, extends right up until they hurt someone else,  however it seems that when it comes to environmental damage we still have the idea that the sky is a public dumping ground and anyone can inflict damage on anyone else.

Luckily it seems that bike paths and use of proper planning can greatly reduce the exposure to these pollutants.  Combined with the added health benefits of cycling, and the reduction of single car occupants on the road, cycling is still one of the single greatest ways to make yourself healthier, and make everyone else healthier at the same time.

From the Harvard School of Public Health:

Boston has installed more than 50 miles of bike lanes since 2007, and the number of pedal-powered commuters in the city, while only 2.1%, is more than three times the national average. To help urban planners continue to improve bike friendliness, researchers at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) set out to determine the types of lanes that expose cyclists to the smallest amount of vehicle pollution.

The researchers attached a mobile monitoring unit to the back of a bicycle and hit the road to sample two types of pollutants from vehicular exhaust—black carbon and nitrogen dioxide—known to increase the risk of asthma, heart disorders, and other health problems. They traveled five common bicycling routes in the city during both morning and evening commutes, to compare bike paths, which are separated from the road, and bike lanes, which run adjacent to traffic.

Bike paths had the best air quality, with concentrations of both pollutants about a third lower than on bike lanes. This was true even when bike paths near crowded streets were compared with bike lanes on quieter streets, suggesting that separation from the road and a protective barrier of vegetation, such as trees and bushes, makes a difference. Bike paths also allow cyclists to bypass intersections, where idling cars make the air quality particularly bad.

Piers MacNaughton, SM ’14, led the data analysis, which was published online May 16, 2014 in Science of the Total Environment. He earned his degree in the Exposure, Epidemiology and Risk Program in the Department of Environmental Health and will start a PhD in the program this fall.

A bike commuter himself, MacNaughton said the aim of the study is not to scare off city bicyclists but rather to provide evidence to shape future urban planning—particularly now that Boston is on the short list of host cities for the 2024 Olympics. “They are really pushing to be a biking capital. I wanted to get this research out so that when they start developing more bike lanes, they can do so in a smart way,” MacNaughton said.

Read abstract: Impact of bicycle route type on exposure to traffic-related air pollution

Read Boston Globe coverage: Cyclists, don your gas masks


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How To Get Away With Murder, Grand Jury Doesn’t Charge Driver In Hit And Run Case

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 01

They say if you want to kill someone wait until they get onto a bicycle.  In a tragic state of affairs a Suffolk grand jury has decided that running someone over with a truck and then leaving the scene caries with it no consequences, if that person is riding a bicycle.

A Suffolk County grand jury declined to press charges against a garbage truck driver who struck and killed a bicyclist on Sullivan Square in April, according to The Boston Globe.

Police had initially charged Ricky Prezioso, 41, with leaving the scene of a crash after he struck and killed Owen McGrory, 34, on April 3. At the time, Prezioso said he never felt the impact of the collision. Last week the grand jury declined to press the charge further. (via)

What the fuck…shouldn’t you at least be charged with poor driving, if what you say is true YOU DIDN’T NOTICE YOU RAN SOMEONE OVER!

This is the second time someone has run over a cyclist in broad daylight drove off and not gotten any charges, the same thing happened to a Dana McCoomb in Wesllesley.

The real reason I think these things happen is not that the police and prosecutors are not trying hard enough, its that most of the people on the jury drive cars. They all see themselves sitting accused of the same thing. They looked at their phone, or was not paying attention, but for the grace of luck they could be the one who ran someone over without noticing. So they let these people walk because they don’t think its a serious thing, they think it’s an “accident.”

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It’s not an accident, its the same as shooting someone “by accident” you are in control of a deadly object, a huge powerful vehicle, and any lack of concentration on your part can and will result in the deaths of other people. Its just that guns by their design are killing machines so responsible people handle them with care. Cars are no less deadly, in fact they kill far more people than guns. (roughly 12,000 gun deaths in 2013, vs 30,000+ car deaths).

Prezioso should have been charged with something, you can not run someone down, and then leave the scene and not have broken SOME law. The members of this grand jury should all have to look Owen McGrory‘s family in the eye and explain to them why they felt no laws were broken. I assure you had McGory been driving a car and been killed by a guy in a truck that truck driver would have gotten charged with something.

For McGrory’s family, explanations are hard to come by.

“My mother — she doesn’t want to face it,” said John McGrory. “When I phone her, she keeps talking about the weather.”

John McGrory described his brother as popular both in Boston and his native Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

“He was such a likable, down-to-earth sort of lad,” said McGrory, who had visited his brother in November. Owen McGrory married his wife, Shannique, in December, and lived in Chelsea with Shannique and her son. He worked in construction and had been an avid bicyclist since childhood.

Shannique McGrory said in an e-mail that her husband was fun-loving and playful and cared deeply for her children.

“I am shocked and disappointed at the grand jury’s decision, but I believe that the truth of what happened that day will come out through the civil justice system,” she said.

“We believe that there is overwhelming evidence of gross negligence on the part of the truck driver in this case,” said Valerie Yarashus, a lawyer representing the McGrory family in the civil suit.

Prezioso and Capitol Waste Services did not respond to requests for comment.(via)


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