Stay Safe, Take These Classes!

[caption id="attachment_19748" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Source: bikeyface.com[/caption]

We hope you made it safely through the (sometimes hectic) return of students to the Boston area. There are certainly a lot more cars on the road, a lot more pedestrians everywhere, and a lot more bicyclists trying to squeeze between other users, including other bicyclists. If you need a little refresher course on the rules of the road, how to stay safe, riding skills, or just want to feel more comfortable getting from A to B, check out the classes below. Though these classes are all free and open to the public, we kindly ask you to register here. Stay safe!

Biking For Everyone Workshops


Urban Cycling Workshop (Sponsored by the City of Newton and Harris Cyclery)
Thursday, September 7:00 – 8:00 PM
Newton City Hall, Room 202
1000 Commonwealth Ave, Newton

Hubway Workshop
Friday, September 14, 12:00 – 1:00 PM
Boston City Hall

Hubway Workshop
Tuesday, October 2, 6:00 – 7:00 PM
Boston Public Library Main Branch, McKim Conference Room
Boston

Basics of Better Biking (On-Bike Workshop)


Saturday, September 15, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Boston University
Meets at the Corner of Agganis Way and Commonwealth Avenue

Sunday, September 16, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Boston University
Meets at the Corner of Agganis Way and Commonwealth Avenue

These classes are made possible through the generous support of the Boston Collaborative for Food and Fitness. If you have any questions, please email Education@MassBike.org.

Your Role In The Bicycle Revolution

[caption id="attachment_19746" align="alignright" width="231"] Click here for a copy of the companion document, "Shifting Gears".[/caption]

There are a lot of times here in the MassBike office that we get a familiar call. Our phone rings, and a concerned citizen starts telling the story of a terrible road, dangerous intersection, bad enforcement, or any number of other barriers that keep them from bicycling. And the question inevitably follows, "So, what should I do?"

What's more, we know that for every one of these calls we get there are dozens of others who don't call our office but are thinking the exact same thing. In response, we have put together our two-part Bikeable Communities Training, which gets to the heart of that critical question - "What should I do?" The first part of the training, "Plugging into the Process" goes over how local advocates can get involved. The second part, "Policies, Programs, and Projects," provides an overview of the different ways that a community can encourage bicycling.

The classes are free and open to the public, though registration is required. You can register here. See below for the class schedule, and feel free to email Education@MassBike.org if you have any questions.

Part One, “Plugging Into The Process”


Tuesday, September 18, 6:00 – 8:30 PM
Boston Public Library Main Branch, McKim Conference Room
Boston

Wednesday, September 19, 6:30 - 9:00 PM
Collaborative for Educational Services
97 Hawley St, Northampton

Wednesday, October 3, 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM
Metropolitan Area Planning Council, 3rd Floor Conference Room
60 Temple Place, Boston

Part Two, “Policies, Programs and Projects”


Tuesday, September 25, 6:00 – 8:30 PM
MassBike Office
171 Milk Street, Suite 33
Boston, MA

Wednesday, October 24, 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM
Metropolitan Area Planning Council, 3rd Floor Conference Room
60 Temple Place, Boston

These trainings are made possible thanks to the generous support of the Boston Collaborative for Food and Fitness and Mass in Motion.

Come Join The Fun At The 2012 Connnecticut Valley Century Benefit Bike Ride - Sept. 9, 2012

The COVAC 2012 is a fun but challenging ride offering four routes: 100, 75, 50 or 25 miles.

The rides are relatively flat and follow rolling terrain on the West bank of the Connecticut River to Brattleboro, VT, crossing into New Hampshire and returning following the East bank of the Connecticut River through picturesque farmland and passing a waterfall before heading back to Hatfield.

The Connecticut Valley Century was founded in 1985 and for the first 22 years was organized and hosted by the Franklin-Hampshire-Freewheelers Cycling Club to promote cycling in the Connecticut Valley.  Starting in 2007, the COVAC ride has been hosted by the Rotary Club of Amherst as a fund-raiser.

This is an all volunteer event.  Net proceeds of this annual event will go to benefit the Amherst Rotary Good Works fund, which supports a broad range of humanitarian, intercultural, and educational programs and activities, including local high school scholarships and charitable organizations throughout Hampshire County. A portion of this year’s proceeds will also benefit MassBike.

 

Registration is $30 before 9/5 and includes a free COVAC 2012 T-shirt

Day of Registration is $40

For More Information and to Register Online head over to COVACride.org

MassBike Comments On GreenDOT Implementation Plan

In 2010, MassDOT launched its GreenDOT initiative, a comprehensive program to combat climate change, encourage biking, walking and transit, and support smart growth. This year, MassDOT released a draft GreenDOT Implementation Plan, and invited public comment.

The plan focuses on what MassDOT can do to reduce greenhouse gases from its own operations and to make itself more sustainable. The plan also includes more general goals around improving conditions for and creating opportunities for bicycling, walking, and public transportation. MassBike is very pleased that MassDOT is moving forward with GreenDOT, and we offered comments to Secretary of Transportation Richard Davey to make the plan even better (click here for a full copy of our comment letter).

The over-arching theme of MassBike's comments was "change can happen faster". We recommended accelerating the proposed update to the MassDOT road design guidelines to reflect current standards, so that better projects for biking and walking would start happening sooner. We pushed for actually reducing vehicle speeds on busy roads, rather than merely studying how to do it. We asked for additional measures of dedicated bicycling facilities, bike parking, access to transit, and the number of school children who actually receive biking and walking safety training and then ride or walk to school.

We await MassDOT's response to our comments and those of other advocates and members of the public. And we will continue working with MassDOT to ensure that bicycling conditions in Massachusetts keep improving (and improve even more rapidly).

 

2 Mile Challenge Update - Only 9 Days Left!

For the past 22 days riders all across the country have been logging into 2milechallenge.com and recording their bike trips in support of MassBike. Each trip logged during August equals a dollar for MassBike up to $10,000. So far we have been really cruising, averaging 304 trips a day and logging a total of 6,783 trips! That is the equivalent of pulling 5 cars of the road for a year!  We are really pleased with the progress we have made so far but  in order to reach our 10k trip goal we need to keep riding and logging trips.  So get out there, go for a ride, and when you get home record it at 2milechallenge.com

Thank you to everyone who has been recording trips for MassBike and if you haven't started but need some help logging on we have created some step by step instructions just for you.

Happy Riding Everyone!

Completing Streets In Franklin County



On Monday, August 6, our Program Associate Sam Markovitz and I went out to Franklin County to help local residents and the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) perform a Bikeability Assessment in Greenfield, Colrain and South Deerfield. There were roughly a dozen people present to help with the assessment, which was undertaken to inform a regional Complete Streets Plan being drafted to address priority intersections and corridors for bikeability improvements.

After the assessment, we turned the raw data collected by our volunteers into a report on major barriers to bicycling and ways to improve the bicycling environment in these locations. Among these recommendations were adding bicycle facilities like bike lanes or sharrows, increasing the bike parking supply around businesses, and reducing motor vehicle travel speeds through traffic calming measures. These recommendations will inform the Complete Streets Plan being put together, which ultimately will guide decision making for future road investments in the region. This assessment is a tangible example of how concerned local citizens can directly impact the decisions made in their community.

We are in the process of scheduling future assessments in Hampshire County and the Berkshires. This work is being supported by Mass in Motion, and we are looking forward to supporting the efforts not only of the Mass in Motion communities, but also complement the work being done by our chapter in the Pioneer Valley. If you have any questions, send me an email at Price@MassBike.org.

Knowlege Is Power: Register Now For Free Classes!

With the students returning and the weather cooling off, the perfect fall bicycling weather will soon be upon us. We have a lot of classes scheduled for the Boston area, and a few classes in the works for the Berkshires and Pioneer Valley. Take a look below to see if there is anything that appeals to you. Thanks to the generous support of the Boston Collaborative for Food and Fitness, all classes are free and open to the public. However, since attendance is limited, you must RSVP here to attend.

Bikeable Communities Trainings


Bikeable Communities trainings come in two parts. The first training provides an overview of the decision making process in transportation, and outlines strategies for advocates to plug into that process. The second training focuses on specific infrastructure, programs and policies that can be used to encourage biking in a community. Together, these trainings lay the foundation for citizens and community leaders to effectively improve the environment for bicycling. Click here for more description of the trainings.

Part One, "Plugging Into The Process"

Tuesday, September 18, 6:00 - 8:30 PM
Boston Public Library Main Branch, McKim Conference Room
Boston

Wednesday, October 3, 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Metropolitan Area Planning Council, 3rd Floor Conference Room
60 Temple Place, Boston

Part Two, "Policies, Programs and Projects"

Tuesday, September 25, 6:00 - 8:30 PM
MassBike Office
171 Milk Street, Suite 33
Boston, MA

Wednesday, October 24, 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Metropolitan Area Planning Council, 3rd Floor Conference Room
60 Temple Place, Boston

Biking For Everyone Workshops


Urban Cycling Workshop (Sponsored by the City of Newton and Harris Cyclery)
Thursday, September 7:00 - 8:00 PM
Newton City Hall, Room 202
1000 Commonwealth Ave, Newton

Hubway Workshop
Friday, September 14, 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Boston City Hall

Hubway Workshop
Tuesday, October 2, 6:00 - 7:00 PM
Boston Public Library Main Branch, McKim Conference Room
Boston

Basics of Better Biking (On-Bike Workshop)


Saturday, September 15, 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Boston University
Meets at the Corner of Agganis Way and Commonwealth Avenue

Saturday, October 13, 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Seaport District
Meets at the Main Entrance of South Station

If you have any questions, please email Education@MassBike.org.

Need Help Logging into 2MileChallenge.com?

We have been getting a lot of feedback from folks who would love to log trips but are having trouble logging in to 2MileChallenge.com.  To help out we have put together some detailed step-by-step instructions (with screen shots of each step) for logging in and logging your miles. Follow these easy steps and you will be logging miles and raising funds for MassBike in time!


 

Logging into 2milechallenge.com

1.  Go to 2milechallenge.com

2.  Click on Join the Ride on a red ribbon button at far right of screen


3.  Enter your email and other required info, accept the terms and conditions and click register




4. You should get an email from 2 Mile Challenge verifying your email address, click the link and continue on to step 5.



5. Fill out all the contact information and then click "Get Rolling" in the bottom right hand corner.



Logging trips on 2milechallenge.com

6.  Click on Sign in in the upper right hand corner of the 2milechallenge.com page



7. Type in your user name and password and press "Login".



8.  So now you are on a page that should have your user name in the top right half of the page and just under that is a red tab that says LOG MILES

9.  In the white space to the left of the LOG MILES arrow, type in an estimate of your single trip mileage.  (Don't worry too much about this since it's based on TRIPS not miles, logging each trip is more important)



10.  After you type in your miles, you can if you want enter where you went, but I usually just skip this part and after I type in the miles, click that red LOG MILES arrow button, and that's it. You have now logged your first trip with the 2 Mile Challenge and raised $1 for MassBike!

Extra Step: If, after logging in, you find yourself on the main august page (see screen shot below) simply click on the dashboard tab in the upper right hand corner of the screen to get to your logging miles page.



I hope these instructions help! If you still have questions feel free to email me at bikeinfo@massbike.org or call the office at 617-542-2453. Thank you for participating in the 2 Mile Challenge and helping to raise funds for local bike advocacy.

Upcoming Safety Class And Bikeable Communities Training

As the riding weather keeps flying by, it's great to see so many people on their bikes. And what's better than a lot of people biking around? Even MORE people biking around! We have two classes coming up soon that will help get even more people on their bikes, and keep them safe while doing it, to boot. See below for details, and if you have any questions, email Education@MassBike.org.

What: Basics of Better Biking (an on-bike class)
When: Saturday, August 25, 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Where: Meet at South Station's Main Entrance, Boston
RSVP: This class is free and open to the public thanks to the support of the Boston Collaborative for Food and Fitness. To register, email Education@MassBike.org.

The Basics of Better Biking class is designed for adults who want to get back into bicycling, improve cycling skills, learn to ride more effectively and safely in traffic, and/or participate in a large-scale benefit ride. This four-hour weekend session provides guided instruction with simple practice drills in a parking lot, easy-paced riding on local roadways for short distances, and group-discussion breaks along the way. Topics covered include bike and helmet fitting, starting and stopping your bike in traffic, shifting gears, scanning and yielding, choosing the correct lane position in the road, handling intersections, and more.

  • A bicycle in good working order and a helmet are required.

  • Preregistration is required.

  • This class is intended for participants 18 and older. For minors wishing to take the class, please contact Price at price@massbike.org.

  • Sometimes we have to cancel a class due to low registration. We will let you know no less than three days in advance if the class is canceled.


What: Bikeable Communities Training (Part 1)
When: Thursday, August 16, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where: Northern Berkshire YMCA, 22 Brickyard Court, N. Adams
RSVP: This class is free and open to the public thanks to the support of Mass in Motion. To register, email Education@MassBike.org.

This first installment of our Bikeable Communities Training focuses on the decision making process and how engaged citizens can fit into the process to make their communities better for biking. Some specific points are:

  • How the decision-making process works for local projects and policies, and the interaction between local, state, and federal entities when making those decisions.

  • An overview of how projects are funded, and explanations of how the public is involved in the various stages of those funding decisions.

  • Building alliances with citizens and organizations sharing complementary goals or missions, and maintaining momentum behind efforts that can sometimes take years.

  • Case studies on successful bicycle initiatives and an overview of lessons learned.


Bikeable Communities Guide and Training

[caption id="attachment_19658" align="alignleft" width="231"] Click here for a copy of Shifting Gears[/caption]

 

MassBike is proud to present a brand new resource to help advocates around Massachusetts make their communities' roads better for biking. This guide, Shifting Gears: An Introduction to Better Biking for your Community, is designed to open the door for people who want to make things better for bicyclists, but don't know how to start. This document is the product of 35 years of advocacy experience, and we hope that the collective wisdom of our staff, board, and active members will help others learn from past lessons.

Shifting Gears begins by giving an overview of the different layers of government and, more specifically, who it is that you should contact to address your issues or concerns. The document goes on to explain best practices and helpful tips for maintaining a good relationship with public officials and other advocates. In the final section, the guide gives an introduction to the specific kinds of policies, programs and infrastructure projects that can help to overcome barriers to bicycling. Together, these three sections provide the tools to begin a conversation with municipal staff or elected officials, and gives guidance on how best to achieve a meaningful solution.

Shifting Gears is the companion document to our Bikeable Communities Training, which is being offered through the Department of Public Health's program Mass in Motion. The Bikeable Communities Training is a two-part training, each section taking three hours. The training augments the guide by providing case studies from around Massachusetts on successful bicycle initiatives, and includes discussion and exercises to brainstorm strategies for specific bicycle initiatives in the host community.

Paper copies are currently only available through the Bikeable Communities Training, but the digital copy can be found by clicking here. If you have any questions about the guide or would like to learn more information about the Bikeable Communities Training, please email price@MassBike.org, or call (617) 542-2453.


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