The Latest From BostonBiker.org

News, Events, Updates


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!


submit Bowdoin Bike Repair School! to reddit.com Add to Reddit.

Tags: ,
Posted in advocacy | No Comments »

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?


submit Books By Bike! to reddit.com Add to Reddit.

Tags: , ,
Posted in Bike Business, fun | No Comments »

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!


submit Penny In Yo Pants! to reddit.com Add to Reddit.

Tags: , , ,
Posted in crafts, fun, video | No Comments »

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


submit The Invisible Danger to reddit.com Add to Reddit.

Tags: , ,
Posted in advocacy, Commuting, infrastructure | No Comments »

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.”

DSC_0126.JPG

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)


submit How To Get Away With Murder, Grand Jury Doesn’t Charge Driver In Hit And Run Case to reddit.com Add to Reddit.

Tags: , , ,
Posted in Bike Business, news | 5 Comments »

New Bike Lanes Popping Up All Over The Place

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 30

Not only have the cities of Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston been out in force re-painting old bike lanes, but I have seen some new ones go in as well. School street in Somerville  got a new one, Mass Ave in Central saw a slight modification to some old one (see below), and there have been other small and large changes around town.

20140615_212301

These are the new Central Square treatments. I like how they have tried to make sure the parked cars get right up against the curb, leaving just that much more space for non-door zone bike lane.

Have you noticed any new bike infrastructure? Tiss’ the season to be laying down thermo-plastic it seems.


submit New Bike Lanes Popping Up All Over The Place to reddit.com Add to Reddit.

Tags: ,
Posted in infrastructure | No Comments »

World Naked Bike Ride Saturday Boston Common

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 27

worldnakedbikes

 

Its that time of year again, get naked, get on your bike and ride around!  I know for some of you this is just another weekend, but now is your chance to do it with a bunch of other cyclists! (without getting arrested ha ha). Meet at the boston Common band stand at 9pm, ride at 10pm.

he World Naked Bike Ride is coming to Boston for its fifth consecutive year.

The yearly ride takes place in cities across the world and aims to highlight the vulnerability that cyclists experience daily, albeit in a slightly shocking way. That’s right, cyclists will take to Newbury Street and Massachusetts Avenue sans clothing on June 28 at 10 p.m. (via)

 

More details here and here.

Are you going? Are you going in your birthday suit?


submit World Naked Bike Ride Saturday Boston Common to reddit.com Add to Reddit.

Tags: ,
Posted in fun | No Comments »

Hubway Hits 2 Million Trips!

Written by Boston Biker on Jun 26

It’s been less than a year, and they have racked up another million rides!  Its nice to see the growth is not only continuing but getting faster.

 

Hello Hubway riders!

In Hubway’s first season of operations in 2011, you took more than 142,000 rides. In 2012, more than 533,000 rides. And last year, over 910,000 rides! If it seems like less than a year since we were celebrating Hubway’s 1,000,000th ride, that’s because it was! You’ve already taken over 375,000 more since this season’s full system reopening in April, and we’re anticipating Hubway’s 2,000,000th trip to be taken sometime this weekend.

Will you be Hubway’s 2 millionth rider? If you are, you’ll receive a $130 gift certificate from New Balance! That’s enough for a brand new top-of-the-line pair of shoes to keep you riding in style!

Plus, with a newly deployed station, a bunch of events on the horizon, and more system expansion on the way, you’ve got plenty of places and reasons to ride! Congratulations in advance of 2 million rides! 3 million is right around the corner.


submit Hubway Hits 2 Million Trips! to reddit.com Add to Reddit.

Tags: ,
Posted in Commuting, infrastructure | 1 Comment »

The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Project Selection Criteria: Public Hearing Testimony July 29, 2014
      The following was submitted to the state Project Selection Advisory Council at their 7/29/14 public hearing in Boston. Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this incredibly important topic. And thank you for all the work that you have already done on this incredibly complicated issue. My name is Steven E. Miller; I’m a […] Continue reading →
      Steve Miller
    • Boston By Bike…At Night Ride 2014 July 29, 2014
      TweetThis years Boston By Bike At Night Ride has been announced! This is a good time, and I hear they are looking for HAM radio operators, so if you are one, get in touch at the info below. ——— Boston … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Back From The Corn! July 28, 2014
      TweetI spent last week riding my bike across the fair state we call Iowa, or as the natives of Iowa call it, Iowa.   I had a really good time, and am in the process of catching up on things, … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Should A Cyclist Give Advice When Safety Is In Question? July 28, 2014
      TweetWhen you ride a bike as much as I do, you see almost every kind of riding at least once. Sometimes it seems as if there are as many ways to ride a bicycle as there are cyclists. Each one … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • Kayak Totin’ Utility Bike !! July 28, 2014
      TweetI love riding, but getting out in my big kayak is always an adventure too, and I live about a mile and half down the street from Spy Pond in Arlington.  So, I’ve been wanting to do this for a … Continue reading →
      altbiker
    • Changing the Behavior of Bike Lane Violators July 27, 2014
      TweetPart one of two. I’d like to change the world in profound ways, but in the near term I’ll settle for small change in just my community. So let’s start small. I seek to change the behavior of people who … Continue reading →
      mattyciii
    • #boston bike polo by dec0g July 27, 2014
      Tweet Posted by Instagrate Pro v1.5.1 The post #boston bike polo by dec0g appeared first on Boston Hardcourt Bike Polo.
      polonick
    • #boston bike polo by bostonbikepolo July 25, 2014
      Tweet Posted by Instagrate Pro v1.5.1 The post #boston bike polo by bostonbikepolo appeared first on Boston Hardcourt Bike Polo.
      polonick
    • What happened to low hanging fruit? July 24, 2014
      TweetWay back when Bostonbikes was just getting started, there was talk of a four pronged approach to developing bike infrastructure and pushing along the bike agenda. The one that has been sticking in my head lately was the supposition that … Continue reading →
      dotriderblog
    • Bicycling Experience And The Development Of Strategies July 24, 2014
      TweetA conversation has been underway on this blog about where cyclists should position themselves on the road for safety and efficient riding. Comments on this subject have spanned across several posts. One of the problems with having a scattered discussion … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist