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GET A LIGHT!

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 25

See the rest of this amazing comic, from the ever Talented BikeyFace.  Get some awesome prints of her great work here, tell her BostonBiker sent you over.

I honestly don’t know what people are thinking, but you need lights.  You need a red one in the back, a white one in the front and you need to have them on and at full power.  Its dark 24 hours  a day now, so the USB rechargeable ones are nice, but I don’t care if you have to light the front and back of your bike on fire, you are 100% invisible without a light.

Reflectors are nice, but they don’t work for pedestrians or other cyclists, or if the car has its lights off, or if it comes at you from a strange angle….basically you need to be lit up like a gaudy Las Vegas sign all the time every day (seriously).

I almost ran into another cyclist the other day, there was a line of cars facing me (as I was going up the Longfellow towards Cambridge), and they had no lights or reflectors.  They were completely invisible until I was about 3-5 feet from them.  Similarly some crazy ass runner did the same thing, except he was running TOWARDS me.

All in all I would say in the last two or three weeks I have had more than a dozen close calls with people dressed totally in black riding or walking with NO LIGHTS.  (I think that pedestrians need lights as well, especially when out for a jog in the street, or when j-walking.)

Get em, use em, love em.  LIGHTS!


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Posted in education, Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Cyclists Sited For Breaking The Law, But Also Given Helmets And Lights

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 13

This is the kind of thing I can totally get behind. These sorts of events are good for cyclists, and motorists alike.

Forty cyclists were cited for infractions, including red light violations, illegal turns, and not signaling, when police conducted a bicycle safety and enforcement operation near Commonwealth and Massachusetts avenues.

Boston, Brookline, State, Transit and Boston University police staked out the area at 8 a.m. Thursday.

Police chose the location due to its history of bicycle collisions and other incidents.

Police also conducted an operation along Commonwealth Avenue at 4 p.m. Results of that operation were not yet available, police said.

During the two operations, police also gave riders dozens of free helmets and bicycle lights donated by the university.
(via)

I would also love to see this sort of thing for motorists who drive dangerously.


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Posted in advocacy, education | 9 Comments »

Is It Just Me…

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 10

Or have the timing on the lights on Broadway in Cambridge (especially near Galileo) been changed?

Over time I get used to timing all my commute lights with near perfect results (I always hit the same greens, always stop at the same reds), but now I seem to be off, a lot. I am hitting greens that should be reds (a lot more of them actually), and some reds that should be green.

Anyone else notice this?


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Posted in Questions | 4 Comments »

3rd Annual Illumination Ride

Written by Boston Biker on Dec 03

From the email:

The third annual Illuminations Bike Tour will be held on December 15, a joint production of the Somerville Bicycle Committee and Somerville Arts Council. Please join us. Details are below and attached.

The guided group ride will be shorter this year so folks can spend more time looking at the lights and stay warmer. For those who would like to tour the longer route from last year, maps will be available. Those touring the longer route may continue after the short guided tour concludes, may meet with others at the suggested times below or tour the route on your own schedule with friends.

Please join us and happy winter solstice,
~ Brian Postlewaite [email protected]> (for the Somerville BIcycle Committee)

Illuminations by Bike
December 15, 2012

Guided Short Route
Meet Location: Somerville High School Main Entrance
Meet Time: 5:50pm
Departure: 6:00pm
Duration: 45 minutes, or less
Required: warm clothes & bike lights
Recommended: holiday lights, costumes & good cheer
Suggested: Donate $5 to the Somerville Arts Council
Afterwards: Hot drinks & treats at City Hall

Unguided Long Route
Maps: available at city hall, donation recommended.
Suggested Meet Times: 7:15pm & 8:30pm


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Posted in fun | No Comments »

See And Be Seen

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 16

More awesome light awareness campaigns from A Better City, and Bikeyface:

Read more about this awesome campaign here (excerpt below):

People Who Bike

As bikes increasingly share the roads with motorists and pedestrians, awareness and visibility become all the more important. These tips will help:

Be predictable. “Be predictable and visible” is the mantra for preventing a bike accident.
Install lights.  A white light in front and a red light in back is the law, and highly effective at night and in stormy weather.
Use turn signals. Use your arms to indicate your intention to turn left or right, or if you plan to stop.
Stop at all stop signs and red lights.
Wear eye-catching clothing.  This is why I like biking in skirts!
Hone your Sixth Sense. Over time, cyclists develop an almost zen-like awareness of what’s going on around them. BikeyFace has a great post illustrating this.

People Who Drive

As Mayor Menino is fond of saying, the car is no longer king in Boston.  Here are some basic guidelines to help you be aware and stay visible in your vehicle. You can also try this fun awareness test video.

Use turn signals. Signals are imperative to communicate your intention to all road users.
Avoid cell phone use. Studies have found that talking on the phone while driving can have a negative effect “as profound as those associated with driving while drunk.” Texting while driving is illegal in Massachusetts.
Don’t stop in a bike lane. It’s illegal (unless you are parallel parking) and causes people who bike to veer around you into car traffic that may not expect them coming.
Check for oncoming bike traffic after parking.  The Dutch are taught from an early age to reach across their bodies to open the car door, which forces them to look back for oncoming bikes. It’s a good habit to get into! And remember: cyclists are allowed to bike outside of the bike lane.

People Who Walk

We’re all pedestrians after we’ve parked our bikes and cars – and when we’re taking the T. Be aware of your surroundings and make it easy to stay visible while you walk around town.

Be predictable. Follow pedestrian traffic signals. If you choose to jaywalk, make sure that there is zero approaching traffic in the form of motorists or people on bikes.
Avoid cell phone use. Cell phones can be as distracting on foot as behind the wheel, so why not sit at a park bench or wait until you’re not navigating precarious city streets to have a phone call?

People Who Lead

In a perfect safety world, our elected officials and city planners would enjoy multi-modal lifestyles to better understand the needs of our fellow road users. The Commonwealth has a premier example of this in our Secretary of Transportation Rich Davey, who lives car-free and routinely takes the T to work.

Under Davey, MassDOT recently announced a first-in-the-nation mode shift goal to triple the share of trips taken by bike, walking and transit by 2030. Government can play perhaps the largest role in creating safe road conditions by investing in infrastructure that supports safe interactions among people who walk, drive, and bike. Changing our streets will be well worth the time, investment, and continued advocacy.


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Posted in advocacy | 2 Comments »

Convincing Cyclists To Use Lights

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 16

Its not only the law that you have a white front light and a red rear light, but its a good idea. I can’t tell you the number of cyclists I pass who are almost completely invisible because they only have reflectors. You need lights, they are vital to your safety. There is no other way to put it, you shouldn’t get on a bike at night without lights.

The Dutch as always are ten steps ahead of us.

I really like the light fairy and her dress made of lights. This could be done here with minimal planning, and cost. Set up shop at any of the many spots cyclists frequent, shine a bright light on them send out your light drones, suck them in and give them free lights. I would have really liked the BPHC spent 40K on giving out free lights, and free helmets than put up those horrible ads.

(thanks John for the heads up)


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Posted in advocacy, video | 4 Comments »

This Looks Interesting, Also USE A LIGHT!

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 27

Dear everyone, lights, use em. Especially not that its getting darker sooner. For reals, I can’t even see you and I am on the bike right behind you. This goes for late night joggers/pedestrians as well. You don’t have to get a light up backpack, but please, LIGHTS!


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Posted in advocacy, video | 4 Comments »

Get Your Light On!

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 15

Even though the light is better, you still need a red back light, and a white front light. Not only is it the law, it will save your bacon. Today I ran across an amazing, comprehensive, one stop shop review for all things bike light related. Check it out here.

Here is a taste:

Choosing a light can be a difficult task though – there are countless options to choose from ranging from cheap $3 flashers to blindingly bright $200 powerhouses. The internet already has some good comparisons of bike headlights, but there’s a surprising lack of comprehensive taillight comparisons, so I decided to make one. For science.

In total, I reviewed 16 different taillights from 8 of the top light manufacturers. I chose which lights to review based on a survey I conducted on the parent site for this blog – Bicycles Stack Exchange, a Q&A site for everything about bicycles, and also asked on Reddit’s /r/bicycling. The incumbent in this race is the Planet Bike Blinky Superflash. Everyone has this light (myself included). Not only is it the light most people own, it’s also the most-loved – 20% of respondents said it was their favorite. In terms of what people wish they had or are considering buying, the Planet Bike Superflash Turbo, Portland Design Works’ Radbot 1000 and Danger Zone, and the Niterider Cherrybomb were all high on the list. Many people expressed an interest in DiNotte’s lights, but unfortunately we were unable to acquire one for this review and the company declined to loan a light for the review.

I’m sure you’re all dying to know which light is the best, but first, let’s take a look at the contenders.

This review is so good it comes with a table of contents, check it out here.


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Posted in Bike Business, Commuting, reviews | 6 Comments »

The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Vehicle Operators Salmoning By Car September 18, 2014
      TweetThe term “salmoning” has become quite popular for describing the act of bicycling the wrong way down a one-way street. Salmon are known for swimming against the tide. They do this because fresh water is required for them to lay … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • Brookline Asking For Feedback About Idaho Stops September 17, 2014
      TweetIn case you didn’t know, the Idaho Stop is when cyclists are allowed to treat stop signs like yields, and red lights like stop signs.  Idaho was the first to try it out, and more or less its been pretty … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Active Versus Inactive Transportation September 15, 2014
      TweetUntil I started a bicycling blog, I had never really heard of the term “active transportation.” The first time I heard this term, I thought it was rather odd. I didn’t know whether it referred to the fact that one … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • More Bikes Than Cars September 12, 2014
      TweetTwice in the last two weeks I have been a part of a lovely thing.  While riding to work I look around and see way…way more bikes than cars.   I think it is a product of the lovely riding weather … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • FREE! Bike Hangers With Security Cable’s FREE! September 12, 2014
      TweetHowdy folks, I have roughly 10 Mini Mum Vertical Bike Hangers with Security Cable.     Free to whoever wants one or all of them.  They don’t have mounting screws, but you can get those at any hardware store.   … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • The Role Of Bicycle Tourism In A Community’s Acceptance Of Bicycling September 11, 2014
      TweetBicycle tourism, although growing in leaps and bounds, is not something we think about when advocating for bicycling or bicycle infrastructure. Bicycling is generally seen as a recreational activity or a mode of transportation. Consequently, arguments for its acceptance are … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • More Coverage Of Side Guards September 11, 2014
      TweetFrom Boston Magazine: ———- In late July, a Hubway cyclist traveling down Massachusetts Avenue in the South End was hit by a city-contracted trash truck as it went to make a right hand turn onto Columbus Avenue. The cyclist survived the accident, … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • David Watson Steps Down As Executive Director Of MassBike September 11, 2014
      TweetWhile I am very sad to see David go, he did an excellent job at MassBike for many years, its great that he is moving on to other challenges. From MassBike: Today our Executive Director, David Watson, announced that he … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Mayor Walsh Proposes A Truck Safety Bill For Cyclists September 9, 2014
      TweetFrom The Boston Cyclists Union: —————- The City of Boston took a big step forward for the country today as Mayor Marty Walsh presented an ordinance to the City Council that will make truck design far safer for pedestrians and … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Big Elm/ QuadCross Weekend! September 9, 2014
      Tweet Photo by Katie Busick This was good weekend at the races for the Cuppow boys. Mike took the win at Big Elm, while Ian (whose tactical nous helped win the race) managed to hold on for third. The course … Continue reading →
      geekhousebikes