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33 miles from Fit Werx

Greater Boston Cycling and Fitness Meetup - October 22, 2014 - 11:06am

Greater Boston Cycling/Outdoor Fitness Group

Did you go to sleep nice and early and keep sober on Halloween? Good then, you are ready for this ride! This ride, which supports our Meetup group's sponsor Fit Werx of Peabody, starts from downtown Peabody and goes through Lynnfield, North Reading, North Andover, Boxford, and Middleton along mostly quiet suburban streets. Highlights include Harold Parker State Forest, Peabody's Independence Greenway bike path, and the roller-coaster of Central Street in North Reading.

http://ridewithgps.co...

There is a bit of unavoidable urban riding -- it does start in Peabody after all -- so you should be comfortable with riding with traffic.  Still, the urban portions have been kept to a minimum and the routes exiting and entering Peabody are fairly bike-friendly, including one nice bike path.  Some cue sheets will be available on the day of the ride and will be posted on this page when they are ready.  Please bring a road bike or a hybrid with smooth tires.

Steady rain or severe weather cancels.  A chance of occasional showers does not.  An announcement will be made by 7:30 AM on the day of the ride if the ride is postponed to another week.

Optional longer 41 mile version:

There will also be an optional 41 mile version available of this ride, but we will only ride the longer version if the turnout is big enough to split into two groups:

http://ridewithgps.co...

The longer ride adds Boxford.  Additional highlights of the longer version include the farms and fields along Lacy Street in North Andover and Peabody Street in Middleton and around Boxford Center.

Peabody, MA 01960 - USA

Saturday, November 1 at 10:30 AM

Attending: 4

Details: http://www.meetup.com/bike-207/events/214977312/

Boston Halloween Bike Ride

Greater Boston Cycling and Fitness Meetup - October 16, 2014 - 2:17pm

Greater Boston Cycling/Outdoor Fitness Group

Boston's most anticipated, most fun, and SPOOKIEST bike ride is back, and this time it's going to be bigger and better than ever. On Halloween Night we slither and crawl through the streets with jaw dropping costumes, ear popping tunes, and traffic stopping magnitude!

Meet at Copley Square at 7:30pm. (8pm departure), we'll ride for 10-12 miles at a casual / costume friendly pace and end in Allston where we'll lock up our bikes and head into Wonderbar for an epic after-party sponsored by Bike Safe Boston & Hub Bicycle Company!

Costumes are highly encouraged, the more outrageous the better.  

THIS is the ride you won't want to miss, so be sure to invite all of your ghoulish friends to the ride and start working on your costumes.

For easy sharing here is our Facebook Event Page & Website

See you there!



Boston, MA 02116 - USA

Friday, October 31 at 7:30 PM

Attending: 8

Details: http://www.meetup.com/bike-207/events/213861542/

Sailing around Boston Harbor

Greater Boston Cycling and Fitness Meetup - October 10, 2014 - 8:48pm

Greater Boston Cycling/Outdoor Fitness Group

Sunday looks like a nice day for a 2 to 3 hour sail

Will leave from Charlestown at 1:45 on a Oday 240 sail boat. It is a 25 ft boat with a cabin, galley, and head. Weather depending will sail out to the airport or harbor islands.

Some experience would be preferred but not necessary. Will start out with a wait list and give preference to people I have biked with before.

Once you sign up you should be prepared to attend as it will not be fair to take a spot and not show.

Will provide my cell and email to people who are confirmed

Charlestown, MA 02129 - USA

Sunday, October 12 at 1:45 PM

Attending: 4

Details: http://www.meetup.com/bike-207/events/212736952/

Transit Roundup

Mass Bike - October 9, 2014 - 10:10am

In the last few weeks, we have seen a lot of news focused on Boston-area public transit. In addition to the West Station announcement, reports about weekend Commuter Rail options, a new Silver Line route, and updated Green Line Extension dates have all come out.

Here’s the roundup:

  • Weekend Commuter Rail service is returning on three lines. The Kingston/Plymouth and Greenbush lines will all be available on Saturdays and Sundays, while the Needham line will become available on Saturdays starting on December 27. In his statement about the increased Commuter Rail service, MassDOT Secretary Richard A. Davey indicated that the added trains were a result of transit users wanting more options.
  • Allston will get West Station as part of the I-90 Interchange Improvement Project. As with the Somerville Community Path Extension, this is a project that MassBike supported.

 

 

 

Action Alert: Vote No on Question 1

Mass Bike - October 9, 2014 - 9:50am

You’ve probably heard a lot about the Question 1 ballot measure in the upcoming election. We want to tell you about what Question 1 would do,  what that would mean for you, and why we are supporting a NO vote on Question 1.

Question 1 would eliminate the gas tax indexing law and put at least $1 billion in transportation investments in jeopardy over the next decade. Indexing the gas tax helps this dedicated transportation revenue source maintain its value and was a vital part of the 2013 law that reversed years of under-investment in transportation.

Question 1 is bad news for cyclists and pedestrians. Safe biking and walking require good planning and investments, and Massachusetts has a long way to go to design and build streets, bikeways, trails, and walkways that are safe for everyone.

After years of neglect, roads and bridges in Massachusetts are now a major public safety crisis. This is something we can no longer ignore. Passage of Question 1 would mean our roads and bridges will continue to deteriorate, threatening the safety of Massachusetts cyclists and all residents.

For all of these reasons, MassBike supports a NO on Question 1 vote on November 4.

Say NO to sacrificing new infrastructure.

  • Question 1 threatens to cut $1 billion in transportation investments over the next decade.
  • Question 1 would reduce or eliminate new walking and biking paths.
  • Question 1 would reduce or eliminate road / bridge projects with new bike facilities.

Say NO to unsafe bridges.

  • Today there are 28 bridges in Massachusetts that have been closed because they are unsafe and another 447 that can only carry reduced traffic loads.
  • The ten busiest structurally deficient bridges in the state carry more than 1 million cars every day.

Say NO to traffic fatalities.

  • Massachusetts roads are unsafe for too many cyclists.
  • Roadways conditions are a significant factor in one-third of all traffic fatalities in Massachusetts.
  • Motor vehicle crashes cost Massachusetts $6.3 billion a year in medical and other costs.

Say NO to cutting public transit improvements.

  • Indexing the gas tax helps to improve our public transit system.
  • Question 1 risks investments in aging subways, rail, and buses.
  • Question 1 risks improvements in the MBTA and Regional Transit Authorities.

Say NO to risking environmental benefits.

  • Question 1 will hurt our ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Question 1 will limit our ability to invest in low- and non-polluting transportation projects such as biking, walking, and public transit.

Say NO to Question 1.

If you are eager to help stop Question 1, please spread the word and follow the campaign on Twitter or like it on Facebook.

Click here to read the full ballot question.

Boston Bike Party: Robots vs. Dinosaurs!

Greater Boston Cycling and Fitness Meetup - October 3, 2014 - 12:07pm

Greater Boston Cycling/Outdoor Fitness Group

Prehistoric evolution may have shaped T-rexes to be lean, mean, tiny-armed, fightin’ machines, but machines have evolved to go to space, reproduce themselves, and even vacuum your floors, all without the need for humans!

This month, bike party needs your help deciding which creature would be best for world-domination on bikes: robots or dinosaurs?

• Departs @ 7:30pm, Oct 10th (always 2nd Fridays!) from Copley Square, Boston

• The route is about 10 miles long, at a very casual pace. We'll end in Kendall Square in Cambridge for the after-party.

• After Party: Flat Top Johnny's, Cambridge MA

• Check out our LOOKBOOK for ideas & inspiration, & add some party songs to our Spotify Playlist

• Bring lights, bike lock, smiles, and a fun party attitude!

• Join our Facebook Event Page & invite all your friends!

• Check out our website for How We Ride


See you at Copley Square!  RAWR!

Boston, MA 02116 - USA

Friday, October 10 at 7:30 PM

Attending: 12

Details: http://www.meetup.com/bike-207/events/211210592/

West Station Is Approaching

Mass Bike - September 30, 2014 - 3:54pm

Governor Patrick announces the plan to build West Station.

Today Governor Deval Patrick, MassDOT Secretary Richard Davey, and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced that West Station construction will be part of the Allston I-90 Interchange Improvement Project. This new Commuter Rail station in Allston will be partially funded by Harvard, which owns the surrounding land.

Also at the announcement were Senator William Brownsberger, sponsor of the recent bicycle-friendly Act to Protect Vulnerable Road Users and Act to Protect Bicyclists in Bicycle Lanes, and Representative Kevin Honan. Both spoke about the planned West Station.

If you’ve been following (and supporting!) the People’s Pike campaign, you’ll know that construction of this new Commuter Rail station was a topic of concern that many local groups, including MassBike, cited in the letter to Patricia Leavenworth of MassDOT.

MassBike’s David Watson, who attended the announcement, called the plan to build West Station an “important step forward for this project and the neighborhood.” Of course there is more work to be done. “Now,” Watson added, “we just need to ensure that the bicyclist and pedestrian aspects of the project will be top notch!”

 

Pepper and Maple Tour 32 and 46 miles

Greater Boston Cycling and Fitness Meetup - September 23, 2014 - 3:03pm

Greater Boston Cycling/Outdoor Fitness Group

The route goes through the towns of Tyngsborough, Dunstable, Groton, Pepperell, Townsend, Brookline NH, Hollis NH, and Nashua NH. Highlights include the Nashua River Rail Trail, Fitch's Bridge, expansive farmland views in Hollis, and lunch at Hollis Country Kitchen.  The ride is classified as fairly hilly, at least for Greater Boston standards, but no hills are steep and grueling.  Since I have recently hosted the ride with CRW, this has both cue sheets and street arrows.  This event is, however, a Meetup-only ride. Street arrow:

You should average at least 12 mph on rides that have some "normal" small hills. I average around 14-15 mph for the most part. If there are many sign-ups, we will split into multiple groups with somewhat different speeds in this range. Bring a road bike; or if using a hybrid, be in good shape and use smooth tires.  This ride has some rolling hills, but the scenery, great pavement, and low traffic on these roads makes it totally worth it.

Route map and GPS info for 46 miles: http://ridewithgps.co....

For 32 miles: http://ridewithgps.co...

Cue sheet for both: http://crw.org/cueshe...

My car is a blue Hyundai Accent, and I will leave extra printed cue sheets on my windshield for any latecomers who want to ride on their own.

East Pepperell village on Mile 10 has some food, ice cream and stores.  For the 32 mile ride there is no other food, unless you count a farm stand or two.  Food along the 46 mile route after Pepperell is quite limited, so we won't have a meal till we reach 31.2 miles at Hollis Country Kitchen right in Hollis center at 3 Proctor Hill Road.  Their website isn't that great but I found their menu.  They have a wide selection of standard sandwiches, meals and breakfast and I've found their food to be quite good for the purpose, with outdoor seating.

A forecast of steady rain during the ride time of 11:00-3:30 postpones the ride to another weekend. A few drops here and there, and the ride is still on.  If weather is a problem, check this page at 8 AM on the day of the ride for a final decision.

Tyngsboro, MA 01879 - USA

Sunday, September 28 at 11:00 AM

Attending: 4

Details: http://www.meetup.com/bike-207/events/209053772/

The Different Safe Routes to School

Mass Bike - September 18, 2014 - 9:02am

Everyone in Massachusetts should have the option to ride his or her bike safely. This is especially true for young, school-aged riders. The benefits of getting kids on bikes are big: healthier kids, less air pollution, and a larger cycling community that can encourage infrastructure changes such as new bike lanes or paths.

But one of the best reasons to help more school-aged children ride is that we are building the next generation of cyclists. Every single kid who rides to school at age ten won’t be a road racer or a mountain biker, but he or she is more likely to use a bike to get somewhere nearby. By showing children that bicycles are a great (fun and fit!) method of transportation, we increase the odds that their generation will, as adults, ride a bike to run an errand or get to work or have fun.

Cyclists can relate to these reasons for encouraging young bicyclists. Caregivers for young children, however, often have safety concerns when it comes to riding bikes. That’s where Safe Routes to School comes in. Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a federally-funded program that provides children safety training and information about biking and walking to school. In Massachusetts, MassDOT manages MassRIDES, the state Safe Routes to School program. MassBike offers the bicycling education component here, while WalkBoston works with the walking side. MassBike has educated over 11,000 kids about bike safety and using bikes for transportation. This year, MassBike will increase that number by educating kids at 100 schools through Safe Routes to School.

The SRTS partner schools come in all shapes, sizes, and locations throughout the state. Communities from Worcester to Brockton to Easthampton participate in this program. Urban, suburban, and rural schools can all benefit from SRTS. In a typical Safe Routes to School class focused on biking, kids spend 45 minutes with one of our instructors learning

Why to ride: Fun, health, and the environment
Helmet safety: How and why to wear a helmet
Proper attire: The right clothes for safe, comfortable biking
Basic maintenance: Age-appropriate bike care, such as putting air in tires
Road rules: The right way to ride in their neighborhood

Recently, Kali Paine, one of MassBike’s Safe Routes to School instructors, taught fourth and fifth graders at the Marion E. Zeh School in Northborough. There she found that although only a few kids told her they currently bike to school, they became increasingly excited about riding for transportation during her classes. She was encouraged because, as opposed to her usual 60 to 70 percent, “When asked how many liked to bike at the beginning of each class, nearly every student rose [his or her] hand.” At the Zeh school the students also had an especially enthusiastic response to safety elements in the class. According to Paine, they even became interested in wearing helmets after she spoke about helmet safety and proper fit.

Paine was especially thrilled that “The teachers at [the Zeh] school were also pretty engaged in the content.” She added that it will be helpful if “the parents…take a good look at the handouts that were sent home and encourage their kids to bike more!”

Laura Smeaton, another Safe Routes to School instructor with MassBike, agrees that  “Parent and teacher engagement is key, because these are the adults kids look up to every day.” Smeaton also found recently that an emphasis on fun is important in her classes. At her visit last week to the fifth graders of Claypit Hill School in Wayland, kids told her that they enjoy riding, which helped Smeaton to show them that this fun activity could be used to get places. Once introduced to the idea, the fifth graders especially liked that they could achieve increased independence on their bikes.

The challenge in a community like Wayland is the lack of sidewalks. Smeaton noted that safety concerns on big roads with no bike paths or sidewalks make parents less likely to allow their kids to ride to school on their own. In fact, only one student had ridden to school the day she was there, although many of them already loved and knew a lot about their bikes. When the opportunity for riding for transportation is a bigger leap, as in Wayland, Smeaton recommends a bikepool. “You can have eight to ten kids with one or two adults,” she said, “and you help the kids ride safely.” Having a bikepool also shows a need for infrastructure improvements in communities without good bicycling and pedestrian options.

As seen in Northborough and Wayland, the opportunities and challenges are different in every community. Kids in urban areas might need help learning how to deal with heavy traffic, while those in rural or suburban communities might need, as in Wayland, to start a bikepool for safe riding.

Any SRTS partner school can request this free class about bicycling safety. To become a Safe Routes to School partner school, or to help your child’s school become one, apply on the MassRIDES website here (pdf).

If your school is already a Safe Routes to School partner and you want to request a class, contact Erin Reed with MassDOT.  You can find a list of partner schools on the MassRIDES site as well.

If you are a parent looking for more information on helping your child safely ride his or her bike, see the Safe Routes to School resources on our website.

Meet me at the Hub on Wheels Ride - Boston!!

Greater Boston Cycling and Fitness Meetup - September 16, 2014 - 4:32pm

Greater Boston Cycling/Outdoor Fitness Group

Join me as I'll be doing the 50 Mile Ride this year!

Ride starts at 8:00am so I'll plan to meet everyone starting at 7:30AM under the Steaming Kettle in Government Center.

To Join My Team And To Register:

Sign up for Team Greater Boston Bicycling - Meetup
https://www.raceit.co...




Boston, MA 02109 - USA

Sunday, September 21 at 7:30 AM

Attending: 10

Details: http://www.meetup.com/bike-207/events/207609672/

Action Alert: Help Create a People’s Pike

Mass Bike - September 15, 2014 - 5:06pm

Thursday, September 18, come to the public meeting on the Mass Pike Realignment, which will rebuild the Pike and Cambridge Street in Allston. A strong cyclist presence at the meeting means a strong voice for a new “People’s Pike” built with all users, including local cyclists, in mind. Come to the meeting and let MassDOT know that we want

  • Infrastructure built with cyclists of all ages and abilities in mind
  • Construction (not just design) of a new “West Station” with rapid rail connections to downtown and Kendall Square
  • A (safe) replacement for the Franklin St Overpass between Lincoln St and Cambridge St
  • New parkland along the Charles River (an “Allston Esplanade”)
  • A connection under the BU Bridge between the Boston and Cambridge paths of the Charles River at the Grand Junction Rail Bridge
  • Extension of Babcock and Malvern Streets over the new Pike to create north-south connections and reduce congestion on Brighton Ave and Harvard Ave
  • Allston residents and neighbors (not just drivers on the Pike going through Allston) considered in the rebuild

Come to The Jackson Mann Community Center Auditorium at 500 Cambridge Street in Allston on Thursday at 6:30 PM and let them know this is an unprecedented opportunity to reconnect the neighborhood and fully address all transportation needs. Find more information on our calendar.

Come and speak up for cyclists, and send this to anyone you know who wants the Pike rebuilt with bikes and bike safety in mind.

You can also come earlier at 4:00 PM to the Jackson Mann for a presentation by the Boston Society of Architects. Two design teams will share their ideas for how to build a new neighborhood in the land opened up by the interchange realignment.

47 mile countryside ride

Greater Boston Cycling and Fitness Meetup - September 12, 2014 - 7:26pm

Greater Boston Cycling/Outdoor Fitness Group

Will fill in more details later.  Want to schedule so people have time to make plans.

This is a 47 mile ride through Needham Westwood, Natick, Sherborne, Dover, Ashland, Holliston.  It is a favorite Charles River Bike Club Ride as well as for the AMC and other charitable groups.

One of the prettiest inland rides you will go on passing farms, stables, lakes, nice houses.  A favorite of mine.

This is not a ride for beginners due to distance and given the point in the season we will try to keep a 15-17 mile pace.  Pretty flat no large hills.  Will stop frequently so we stay as a group but will ask you to turn around or bike on your own if you can't keep a 15 mile pace.

Will cancel if there is not sufficient interest
http://www.crw.org/cu...

Will update with cue-sheet and GPS route file as appropriate.

Helmet required.


Needham, MA - USA

Sunday, September 21 at 10:00 AM

Attending: 3

Details: http://www.meetup.com/bike-207/events/206733102/

Salem to Gloucester Part II

Greater Boston Cycling and Fitness Meetup - September 12, 2014 - 6:33pm

Greater Boston Cycling/Outdoor Fitness Group

This ride will be similar to the one in June, with a couple of twists. The thirty five mile route will begin at the common in downtown Salem. Some parking is available around the common and more in the indoor garage and outdoor lot at Museum Place. Those familiar with the area can park anywhere close and ride over, the rest should probably use the known public spots. The group will meet in the front area of the common next to the Hawthorne Hotel. Riders should have a bike in good condition and at least a water bottle. There will be a few opportunities to refill along the way.

The ride will begin by cycling around the common and out to Bridge Street. It will continue over the Bay Bridge and with a quick right onto Water Street. After a short stretch, the group will make a left to take it past the first of Beverly’s small public beaches. It will be too early in the ride to stop here, but the view is nice. After the second beach, the group will pick up route 127. From here, we will follow 127 to Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester. A break will be taken at West Beach in Beverly, about seven miles into the ride. This is a private beach but usually okay with short-staying cyclists and it is now off season. If they do not like the large group, we will stay outside and take turns filling up water bottles etc. as needed. From West Beach, the group will follow the rolling hills to Good Harbor Beach (one change from prior ride). The plan is to ride back to West Beach for a break and plan for the stretch home. The second change is the group will make a right out of West Beach, then a quick left. We will ride past route 128 and to the beginning of Gordon College. Here, we will make a left for a long stretch back into Beverly. We will then turn back to the beach and the final piece will be on the same route we rode out on. Those not waiting to add the approximate 4-5 miles can skip this and follow 127 back to the common. The pace of this ride will be 14-18 mph by the leader (pending wind, weather etc.), but we will have a rear/middle group as needed and can accommodate riders in the 12-14 mph category. Salem has many eating and drinking options and those interested can enjoy a post-ride lunch and/or beverage at a locale of choice.



Salem, MA 01970 - USA

Saturday, September 20 at 10:00 AM

Attending: 7

Details: http://www.meetup.com/bike-207/events/206922842/

Apple (and maybe peach) Picking with Ice Cream & Cider Donuts

Greater Boston Cycling and Fitness Meetup - September 10, 2014 - 8:53pm

Greater Boston Cycling/Outdoor Fitness Group

It's apple picking time and how cool is it to combine a ride with apple (and maybe peach, if any remain on the trees) picking with a calorie neutral ice cream (and cider donut) bike ride? This is a repeat of last year's ride but there may be a few changes to the route.


Starting at the Norumbega Duck Feeding Area (off Routes 128 and 30), we will cycle the bucolic hills of Weston, Lincoln, Sudbury, Concord and Acton to arrive at our destination, Shelburn Farm in Stow. There we will eat lunch at the picnic tables and then go apple (and hopefully peach) picking. Shelburn Farm has a food stand where they sell some sandwiches and salads, drinks, cider donuts and ice cream. There is also a farm stand with fresh produce, cheese and drinks. 


Although we will not leave anyone behind, we will aim to keep a 12 - 14 mph average speed so please be sure you can maintain this speed over almost 40 miles. Meet at the end of the Norumbega Duck Feeding Area parking lot, opposite the Newton Marriott Hotel and the boat launch at 10:45am for an 11am start. I will have cue sheets available for riders. If you want an actual map, please e-mail me and I can send you links to the Google map directions I have created. I don't do Map My Ride (sorry!).


What you need to bring: road or hybrid bike in good working order, helmet, water, spare tube and pump, and panniers, rack pack or front pack to transport your goodies home. Although we will be having lunch at the farm, you may want to bring some snack food for the ride.

Newton, MA 02493 - USA

Sunday, September 14 at 10:45 AM

Attending: 11

Details: http://www.meetup.com/bike-207/events/206528982/

Foxx Announces New Initiative at Pro Walk/Pro Bike

Mass Bike - September 10, 2014 - 9:12am

The Wollaston Station Pedal & Park, part of the Quincy assessment.

At Pro Walk/Pro Bike today, Secretary Anthony Foxx of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced a new USDOT national bicycle and pedestrian safety initiative to

  1. Close gaps in bicycle and pedestrian networks, especially in low-income neighborhoods.
  2. Conduct bicycle and pedestrian safety assessments in every state. Recently in Quincy, MassBike and WalkBoston led one of the three pilot assessments in the country.
  3. Create a “road diet” guide to help states and communities make streets safer for everyone. This is essentially a national Complete Streets guide.
  4. Launch a bicycle and pedestrian safety action team to examine and improve how government approaches these issues.

This initiative is the most comprehensive that USDOT has ever put forward for bicyclist and pedestrian safety. In his announcement, Foxx asked Congress to pass a long-term surface transportation bill. A long-term bill will help create opportunities that are often lost with short-term funding, such as the chance to have a broader conversation on how to engage communities in the highest efforts. Foxx asked all of us to tell Congress to pass a long-term transportation bill.

MassBike Executive Director David Watson, who is attending Pro Walk/Pro Bike and heard Foxx speak on this important issue, said “We’re confident the Massachusetts Congressional delegation is supportive, but we will all need to help convince the rest of Congress.”

UPDATE: Here is a link to the Safer People Safer Streets initiative.

 

Oak Hill 32 Miler...Acton, MA

Greater Boston Cycling and Fitness Meetup - September 6, 2014 - 6:37pm

Greater Boston Cycling/Outdoor Fitness Group

Join me for this 32 Miler....

Here's the Ride with GPS Route...

http://ridewithgps.co...

Bring the usual....Helmet, Bike in excellent condition, adequate water, energy food, spare tire etc..

Call me if you have any questions,

Rob Fox, Founder/Organizer

Cell 617-894-8454

robfox@verizon.net

Acton - USA

Sunday, September 7 at 9:00 AM

Attending: 1

Details: http://www.meetup.com/bike-207/events/205650122/

Will Beer for Bike

Mass Bike - September 5, 2014 - 2:25pm

You may have heard about how The People’s Pint was supporting bicycling in general and MassBike specifically back in June. Last week we had a chance to enjoy the beer along with the support during a Training Wheels tasting at the Craft Beer Cellar in Newton.

At the tasting a steady stream of people came in, sampled the American session ale, and chatted with us about bicycling.  Training Wheels was a big hit with the crowd, and we enjoyed getting to know fellow beer and bike lovers.

The People’s Pint’s Alden Booth presented us with a check for $310, representing 25 percent of the profits from the sale of Training Wheels. The People’s Pint has been supporting bicycling from their Greenfield, MA brewpub since 2003 with their Bike to Live program. Bike to Live encourages patrons to travel to their restaurant by bike instead of car and logs miles to demonstrate the impact of the program. They currently have over 63,000 bike miles logged on their website. Looking at all of the aspects of promoting cycling, from financial to physical, is part of what makes The People’s Pint a brewery with a serious focus on biking.

A percentage of the profits of Training Wheels still goes to MassBike. If you want to support MassBike and have a taste of the “hop forward” Training Wheels ale, you can find it at many craft beer stores. If you are lucky enough to live nearby, bike on over to the People’s Pint brewpub for a taste.

Biking in Melrose: Good for Business

Mass Bike - September 5, 2014 - 2:18pm

Steve Leibman of the Melrose Pedestrian & Bicycle Advisory Committee shows Kara Showers of Mass in Motion how to change a bike tire.

This August, Melrose became the latest community to participate in MassBike’s Bikeable Communities Program. The Melrose Pedestrian & Bicycle Advisory Committee, which promotes biking and walking in Melrose, contacted us because they wanted more information about how they could implement bike infrastructure in their city and encourage more biking for transportation. As Kara Showers, of Mass in Motion: Melrose/Wakefield and the Melrose/Wakefield Health Department, told us, “There is much interest in bike riding around [Melrose] for pleasure and as a mode of transportation. It is exciting to be able to support this community interest!”

Melrose has a lot of opportunities for bicycling infrastructure and increasing bicycling in the city. In our first meeting with them, we highlighted these opportunities and a few key strategies that will help them reach their goal. Together we

  • Identified areas that would benefit from bike lanes, bike racks, or other physical changes that would make Melrose an even safer and more attractive place to ride a bike
  • Discussed how cycling and bike parking grows the local economy and how the committee could use this information to strengthen their relationship with local businesses
  • Identified people and organizations who could be allies in advocacy

We then joined the Melrose Pedestrian & Bicycle Advisory Committee at the Sally Frank’s Farmers’ Market for the first Bike Day. Showers saw a great deal of excitement for bicycling during Bike Day where, “[Committee] staff answered cyclists’ questions, talked about rules of the road, and [demonstrated] how to change a flat tire.” Mass in Motion: Melrose/Wakefield also provided helmets, and we helped out with helmet fittings and informational materials for kids and adults. Visiting the market gave us a chance to connect with Melrose’s enthusiastic bicycling community and learn more about how the city can improve cycling.

After engaging with the Melrose Pedestrian & Bicycle Advisory Committee in our meeting and the Melrose community at the farmers’ market, we were able to work with the committee to identify assets that will help them grow bicycling for transportation in Melrose. Some of these assets are

  • A farmer’s market that sets up near a commuter rail. Here the committee can promote cycling and provide education and safety trainings in a location with a lot of foot (and wheel) traffic, as they did during Bike Day. The farmer’s market is also a good place to meet cyclists who might be interested in advocacy.
  • A nearby T station, Oak Grove, with a Pedal & Park bike cage. The secure bike parking at a convenient location gave the committee the idea to encourage a group of commuters to ride together to this station. Creating this convoy will attract potential cyclists who want support, encouragement, or tips.
  • An active cycling community in place. In Melrose a lot of people already ride their bikes for transportation. This community of users will help show a need for biking infrastructure and are likely to be advocates.
  • A few popular corridors wide enough for bike lanes. Bikes lanes often encourage more riders.
  • A potential ally in the local business community. By working with local businesses, which benefit financially from a greater cycling community, the committee can create strong support and backing for projects that require city approval or funding, such as bike racks. As with new bike lanes, adding bike parking encourages cyclists to shop and dine.

Melrose is just one example of how MassBike’s Bikeable Communities Program helps local advocates improve cycling in a city or town by providing support and education. Your community’s opportunities, needs, and wants for biking might be different than what you have read about in Melrose. If you would like to discuss our Bikeable Communities Program and what it could do for your neighborhood, please email Program Manager Barbara Jacobson for more information.

MassBike Is Hiring a New Executive Director

Mass Bike - September 5, 2014 - 2:09pm

Yesterday we announced that David Watson is stepping down as the Executive Director of MassBike. Now we are starting the search for a new ED. If you or anyone you know is interested, read the job description here (pdf), and send an application to EDsearch@massbike.org!

Executive Director David Watson Shifts Gears

Mass Bike - September 4, 2014 - 2:34pm

Today our Executive Director, David Watson, announced that he will be leaving MassBike. David has been with us for more than eight years and in that time has used his passion for biking to help make Massachusetts safer for all cyclists.

Watson remembers biking in the streets of Massachusetts at the beginning of his tenure at MassBike. “Bike commuters were bravely riding along, but largely limited to the strongest and most fearless among us,” he wrote in his announcement (pdf). “There were precious few bike lanes in the state, and none at all in Boston. State transportation policies were just beginning to contemplate biking and walking, but that had not yet translated to change on the streets. Little or no funding was dedicated to bicycle infrastructure or education.”

Now, eight years later, much has improved. Massachusetts has installed more bike lanes and increased state funding for bike paths. More residents have an interest in biking for transportation and health. In a time when federal funding for biking and walking has been cut, Massachusetts has created a state policy to triple biking, walking, and transit, and is providing funding to make it happen. With David at the helm, MassBike has:

  • Launched our Safe Routes to School Program in 2008, which has reached more than 11,000 kids
  • Championed the Bicyclist Safety Bill, which became law in 2009
  • Trained MBTA bus drivers since 2010 to better prepare drivers for interactions with bicyclists
  • Successfully advocated for improved bike parking at transit stations and bike racks on all buses
  • Expanded Bay State Bike Week in 2010 to a statewide celebration in partnership with MassDOT
  • Introduced legislation in 2011 (and again in 2013) to protect Vulnerable Road Users
  • Secured expanded bicycle hours on the MBTA Blue Line in 2011
  • Published bike safety information in seven languages in 2012 (now 10 languages!)
  • Launched the Bikeable Communities Program in 2012, which has helped more than 40 cities and towns improve bicycling conditions
  • Created the annual Massachusetts Bike/Walk Summit in 2012
  • Helped educate police officers in 2014 with our training video
  • In 2014 successfully advocated for increased funding for bike paths, including more than $130 million in the MassDOT capital budget and $377 million in bonding authority

“A tireless advocate – and a tireless cyclist – David has been instrumental in seeing so many wins for safe biking in Massachusetts,” said Jim Bradley, President of MassBike’s Board of Directors. “We thank him for serving MassBike, bicyclists in Massachusetts, and the community so well these last eight years. We will remember his time at MassBike as one of action, commitment, and enthusiasm.”

The Board now begins a search for a new Executive Director. The right person will capitalize on the successes of Watson’s tenure to provide Massachusetts with a future of greater acceptance of and enthusiasm for bicycling.

“I am very proud of the team, the organization, and the partnerships we have built together over the past eight years,” Watson wrote of the MassBike board, staff, and community. “This has been the most challenging and the most rewarding job I have ever had, and I thank you for giving me the opportunity to do it.”

 

 

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