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Relevant Repost: Types Of Snow

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 04

From way back in Feb of Aught 14:

 

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?


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Last Winter Riding Pic!

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 04

Hurray, got one more entry for the winter rider contest, I am sadly out of books, so if you want to send in any more pics, I will be happy to post it, but can’t offer any books.

commute

Looking good Brian!


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A Perfect Example Of How Cars Don’t Work For Boston

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 03

0203_snowsnarl_rl01-620x387

Yesterday our fair city got a good dose of snow, a sizable storm in its own right, but combined with the big ass blizzard we had last week, the entire city was struggling to keep up.  Today the city woke up to an public transportation system crippled by yesterdays snow, the head of the MBTA actually told people to drive to work

Anyone unlucky enough to drive into the city today (or drove in any of the cities around Boston) knows that without the MBTA to carry most of the folks to work, driving simply is not an option.  Snow or no snow, there are just too many cars, and not enough road.  There was bumper to bumper grid lock for both the morning and evening commutes today.

This truck was stuck like this, cars were backed up for a long way in both directions, I just got off my bike and walked around.

This truck was stuck like this, cars were backed up for a long way in both directions, I just got off my bike and walked around.

I have been riding through this weather, and a lot of my coworkers have been telling me just how crazy I am.  But the only thing moving on wheels today was people riding bikes.

Not only did the cars fail to get people around, but they made removing the snow a lot harder as well. They also slid around crashing into things, getting stuck in snow banks, and potentially killing or harming people or property.

It doesn’t have to be this way.  If even 20-30 percent of people rode bicycles (levels many snowy northern European cities accomplish), the roads would be relatively unclogged, allowing the folks that absolutely needed to drive the road space needed to do so.  It is also a lot easier to clear space for cyclists on the road, as they need much less of the road clear in order to cycle safely.  The lack of cars parked on the road would also allow for more area to place the snow.

Sure it sounds like pie in the sky thinking, but as today’s epic traffic jams illustrate, the current system isn’t working for anyone.


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Support Cycle Tracks On The Arborway Feb 2nd

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 29

From the Boston Cyclist Union

——-

A rendering of a possible Bikeway for Everybody on The Arborway in Jamaica Plain. Rendering created by the Bike Union.

Since 2011, the Bike Union has helped lead local residents and other orgs to reconnect the Emerald Necklace for bicycles. Over the past 4 years, the coalition has successfully promoted an at-grade solution for the reconstruction for the Casey Overpass, and a buffered bike lane on Morton Street that now reaches halfway to Mattapan. One of the last remaining problems to solve is the connection between the Casey Arborway project and Jamaica Pond. Next week we have an opportunity to bridge one of the last gaps!The Arborway cycletrack discussions were sparked last year shortly after the #WinterBiker campaign created by the many neighborhood groups in the Bike Union’s Organizing Group took place. The momentum started by that campaign birthed the new Urban Paths & Parkways Committee at the Department for Conservation and Recreation, and then, due to an internal communication breakdown, the DCR’s maintenance crew painted inadequate bike infrastructure on the Arborway. This sparked a Bike Union letter campaign that asked the agency to remove the dangerous new bike facility to make space for a more thorough discussion of how this portion of the Arborway (from Eliot Street to South Street) could be made comfortable for cyclists. Now, the DCR is moving forward with that discussion!

There will be two public meetings for this project within one week. At the first (Feb. 2) the DCR will seek community input on what kind of bike facilities would work along the Arborway. This includes Kelly and Murray traffic circles. At the second (Feb. 5), the DCR will present alternatives and gather more input.

It is extremely important that the DCR hears from people like you who would prefer cycletracks on Mon., Feb. 2, and also that you or your friends or family also show up on Thurs., Feb. 5 to support the cycletrack alternative moving forward.

Show up, speak up for Bikeways for Everybody!

Arborway Bicycle Facilities Public Meeting
Mon., Feb. 2 6:30 to 8:30pm
and
Thurs., Feb. 5, 6:30 to 8:30pm
Arnold Arboretum Visitor Center/Hunnewell Building
125 Arborway, Boston


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Snowtacular Open Thread

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 26

snow-storm

 

What do you plan to do during the mega storm?  I am sorta tempted to try riding down the big hill near my house once everything is covered with a foot of snow and no one is on the road…on one hand that is the kind of half-assed plan that gets your bones broken….but on the other hand, its also the kind of plan that might end up being hilarious and fun…so hard to know what to do.

 

What do you plan to do during the mega storm?


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Winter Mega Storm Aught 15 To Close Hubway Stations

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 26

In case you couldn’t figure out from the apocalyptic messages emanating from every media device, its going to snow, a lot, Tuesday.  Stay inside, bust out the trainers, and sweat out some holiday calories while watching a movie, oh also the Hubways will be closed (duh).

 

From Hubway:

 

Hello Hubway member,

 

Due to a Blizzard Warning from the National Weather Service (NWS), Hubway willtemporarily close all stations at 7:00PM on Monday, January 26th, to protect the safety of our members and staff. No bikes can be rented after the temporary closure has begun. Any bikes in use at the time of closure can be returned to any Hubway station with an available dock.

Please note: throughout the day, Hubway field staff will be applying covers to some of the docking points at many stations to protect them from snow accumulation. This will reduce the actual number of docks available in the system and will impact the accuracy of dock availability numbers displayed on Spotcycle and other Hubway-related apps.

 

We expect Hubway to remain closed for the duration of the NWS Blizzard Warning and thereafter until conditions have improved. Annual and monthly members will be informed of re-opening plans via email. Closure and re-opening information will also be posted to the Hubway website, Facebook, and Twitter.

 

If you have any questions, please call to speak with a Member Service Representative at 1-855-9HUBWAY (948-2929). The Hubway Severe Weather Closure Policy can be found here.

 

Thank you for your cooperation,

 

The Team at Hubway


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Action Alert: Help MassBike With The Bike Safety Bill

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 23

From MassBike:

 

This month marks the start of a new two-year session in the Massachusetts Legislature, and MassBike has filed two bills designed to protect bicyclists and other vulnerable road users: the “Act To Protect Vulnerable Road Users” and the “Act To Protect Bicyclists In Bicycle Lanes.”

The Vulnerable Road Users Bill(SD273 in the Senate and HD2137 in the House) defines “vulnerable users” to include pedestrians, bicyclists, wheelchair users, motorcyclists, road workers, emergency responders, horseback riders, and others who are at greater risk on our roads. Beyond giving vulnerable users legal status, the bill sets minimum safe distances for passing vulnerable users, starting at three feet and increasing with speed. Read the full text here (pdf).

The Bike Lane Protection Bill (SD284 in the Senate and HD2130 in the House) addresses a common problem: It makes it a ticketable violation statewide for a motorist to park or stand in a marked bicycle lane or other on-street bicycle facility. When a motorist parks or stands in a bike lane, it endangers bicyclists by causing them to merge into traffic or squeeze between the parked vehicle and the curb or other parked cars. Read the full text here (pdf).

Read more about these bills on our website and in our fact sheet (pdf).

Thanks to Senator Will Brownsberger and Representative Dave Rogers, the bills have been filed in both the House and the Senate to get maximum exposure on Beacon Hill. We are actively seeking co-sponsors for these bills, and the deadline is rapidly approaching on January 30th! Having a lot of co-sponsors demonstrates strong support for a bill, and can help it move forward. That’s where all of you come in.

How You Can Help

  1. Get contact information for your state legislators here. Enter your home address, then click on the name of your State Senator and State Representative to get their email address or phone number.
  1. Email or call your State Senator, and ask her or him to support protecting pedestrians, bicyclists, and other vulnerable road users by co-sponsoring SD273 and SD284. Tell them to email [email protected] to sign on.
  1. Email or call your State Representative, and ask her or him to support protecting pedestrians, bicyclists, and other vulnerable road users by co-sponsoring HD2130 and HD2137. Tell them to email[email protected] to sign on.
  1. Email (or cc) [email protected] to let us know who you contacted.

If you have any questions, email [email protected] or call 617-542-2453. Thanks so much for your help. You are our political power – we cannot do it without you!


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Another Winter Rider!

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 20

doug

Doug looking great in safety yellow!  Also is that a built in headlamp?!

Still have two books left, get yours!


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Posted in bostonbiker, Commuting, fun | 2 Comments »

The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • a little back ground March 1, 2015
      Tweetplease excuse my grhamer and spelling i was never a shakespear,or a hawthorn. for the past eight years i have been working in paper mill’s throught mass. and on and off i have substituted my income working for a security … Continue reading →
      intentionalmessenger
    • City Of Boston Bikes Program Update February 26, 2015
      TweetLots of good stuff in here: ——————– Boston Bike Week Festival & Bike Fridays From April-August, on one Friday a month we’ll host a party on City Hall Plaza for cyclists. In May we’ll hold a special Boston Bike Week … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • I Feel Like I Need One Of These, Fake Bamboo Cars For Bikes February 26, 2015
      TweetJust because you can slide past me with an inch or two to spare, while you race forward to get to that next red light, doesn’t mean you should. Maybe if we all drove around with these car’s would afford … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • London Approves City Wide Bike Super Highway February 26, 2015
      TweetThis is exactly what Boston needs. From the web Catering to some of the 170,000 cyclists that ride across London every day, this segregated bicycle lane will stretch from west to east, pass through the heart of the city and … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Power To The Pedals Screening February 25, 2015
      TweetWenzday and the folks at Metro Pedal power are awesome, check out this great movie about their efforts to revolutionize the way goods are delivered in big cities. Power to the Pedals: Wenzday Jane and the Culture of Change Trailer … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • This…This Is Awesome, 40 ft Snow Tunnel Built By Cyclists February 25, 2015
      Tweet From Youtube: The MBTA blocked access to a bike path with a giant snowbank when they plowed the parking lot at Wellington Station. We decided to do something about it! more awesome back story here. This is a great … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Cycling Adds Redundancy To A Transportation Network February 18, 2015
      TweetI sometimes have odd thoughts on my ride into work.  Today’s were mostly around how nice the sun was, and how great it was to be riding, but as I locked up my bike (after an effortless commute), I realized … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Protected Bike Lanes Coming To Comm. Ave. Redesign! February 12, 2015
      TweetCurrently the world is drowning in snow, but this is huge news!! From Livable Streets. ———- We did it!    Example of a protected bike lane. After years of advocating for a balanced redesign plan for Commonwealth Avenue,the city has now … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Bikes Not Bombs Winter Update February 12, 2015
      TweetLots going on over at BNB, check it out below! ———————————– Youth Programs Accepting Applications The next session of Earn-A-Bike will be March 23rd – April 30th, Mondays through Thursdays from 4:00m-7:00pm. The program is open to youth ages 12-18 … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Hello world! February 10, 2015
      Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging! Continue reading →
      thecommunityspoke