Visit MassBike At EarthFest, Free Valet Bike Parking!

This Saturday, ride to the Radio 92.9 EarthFest, and take advantage of MassBike's free valet bike parking. Let us watch your bike while you enjoy the music, booths and free samples. We'll also have an information booth where we'll hand out Bay State Bike Week t-shirts and more!

Volunteers Needed: If you are interested in helping out with bike valet or the MassBike booth, we can always use more hands. Just email volunteer@massbike.org to find out more - and thanks so much in advance!  It's only because of our volunteers that we are able to offer all the services we do.

See below for more information about EarthFest from their website.



"The 18th Annual EarthFest, sponsored by Radio 92.9 and Whole Foods Market, will be held on Saturday May 21, 2011 at the Hatch Shell in Boston. The Radio 92.9 EarthFest is the largest free radio station concert in Boston. The event is produced in conjunction with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. Past events have drawn in excess of 100,000 people.

"Music on the main stage starts at 11:30 am, and the event will feature performances by Atomic Tom, Sponge, OK Go, and Ed Kowalczyk of Live. The festival will also feature exhibits and environmental displays, staffed by sponsors and non-profit environmental organizations from New England. Each exhibitor is committed to raising awareness and offering educational information about different environmental issues facing the planet.

"In addition to the musical performances on the main stage, the 2011 Radio 92.9 EarthFest will also feature once again The Kids Planet—an expanded interactive family area. The Kids Planet will feature a wide variety of musical acts and entertainment as well as environmental activities and educational displays. Musical performers include Sarah Wheeler & Little Groove, RhymeZweLL, Vanessa Trien & the Jumping Monkeys, and Zumix Performers. Additional activities in The Kids Planet range from face painting to healthy treats, compliments of Whole Foods Market and a variety of other vendors.

"Numerous booths onsite will offer educational displays, exhibits and food sampling. The booths will be staffed by event sponsors and local environmental and non-profit organizations. Read CelebrateBoston's article about the EarthFest 2010 with photos and videos. The event was a huge success and a lot of fun for the whole family.

"For more information, please visit http://www.celebrateboston.com/earthfest.htm."

MassBike Hiring Bike Safety Instructors



As the warmer weather approaches, more people are going to be thinking "How do I get started bike commuting" or "What do I need to know to ride in traffic?" We at MassBike are working hard to teach people exactly what they need to know - but we need some help. We are currently looking for bicycle-friendly educators available to teach our popular Safe Routes to School bike safety classes and "Bicycle Commuting For Everyone" workshop series. The work is very occasional, and probably won't exceed more than 20 hours per month. A flexible schedule is also a huge plus, as many of these courses will be taught during the school day or workday.

The ideal candidate would have some teaching experience, excellent communication skills, is reliable and an enthusiastic (or at least interested) bicyclist. Having access to a car is also necessary for classes outside easy biking range. You will also need to pass a criminal background check.

The full job description is located here. If you think you might be a good fit for the job, send a cover letter and resume to price@massbike.org.

East Boston Youth, MassBike Take Bikes On Blue Line During Rush Hour

[caption id="attachment_4626" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="East Boston teen Angel Alvarez speaks as MassBike Executive Director David Watson and other officials look on. Courtesy of the Boston Globe"][/caption]

On Wednesday, MassBike staff joined the East Boston-based Chelsea Creek Action Group (CCAG) for a ceremonial first rush hour trip with bikes on the Blue Line. This initiative, spearheaded by East Boston youth, will reduce rush hour restrictions on Blue Line trains to 7:00 am - 9:00 am inbound and 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm outbound.  This is a significant improvement for residents in the historically underserved neighborhood, who currently have to bike a circuitous and dangerous route through Chelsea and Revere to get to downtown Boston.  MassBike was happy to assist the youth members of CCAG as they turned their good idea into reality.

MassBike Executive Director David Watson was among the speakers at the kick-off event (Globe report here). "It is so important for young people to see that their opinions and actions can have a meaningful impact on their community. Without their leadership, this project could not have happened," Watson commented.

The Blue Line pilot project, which is currently slated to run through mid-September, is another incremental step forward in improving bike access on the T and a huge step for East Boston in particular. To learn more, visit mbta.com/riding_the_t/bikes/.

[caption id="attachment_4646" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="MassBike ED David Watson with MBTA management at new Bike Ports"][/caption]

As an added bonus for East Boston, the MBTA unexpectedly unveiled brand-new covered bike parking (Bike Ports) at Maverick Station, effectively doubling the number of spaces available. The MBTA continues to be responsive to the needs of its bike-riding passengers - thanks T!

Download The All-New "Go By Bike" Brochure



If you've stopped by the MassBike tent at an event, chances are that you left with a Go By Bike brochure in hand. After years of use and tens of thousands printed, Go By Bike has been updated to be even more useful, with improved information, new traffic laws, better graphics and a more readable layout. It's a great resource for everyone from the first-time commuter to the veteran rider.

A big thanks goes to our partners at MassDOT and the Registry of Motor Vehicles for working with MassBike to make this possible. Please download Go By Bike FOR FREE and print to your heart's content!

Will Bike 4 Food Charity Ride: September 17, 2011


On September 17, 2011, The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts will host the first annual Will Bike 4 Food, a charity ride against hunger.

Casual and avid cyclists alike are invited to participate in ‘Will Bike 4 Food,’ a bike-a-thon charity event that will feature 25, 50, and 100 mile rides. The Food Bank has been working closely with local cycling experts to determine the most interesting and challenging routes for every level.

Starting from Millside Park in Easthampton, cyclists will experience beautiful Pioneer Valley in early Fall, one of the best times of the year to experience Western Massachusetts. The scenic routes will take advantage of the area’s natural beauty; riders can enjoy views of the Oxbow, the Connecticut River, and Mt. Tom.

Prizes will be awarded to those who raise the most money to fight hunger. Participants may compete in teams or as individuals, and will raise dollars for The Food Bank by collecting donations from friends, family members, and co-workers. Every $1 raised can in turn provide $13 dollars worth of food to our neighbors who need it most. All proceeds will benefit the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts

Register now on BikeReg.com! Feel free to call The Food Bank at (413) 247-9738 with any questions or visit www.foodbankwma.org/events/bike for more info about participating as an individual, forming a team, or becoming a sponsor.

The Food Bank participates in MassBike’s Charity Ride Partner Program to help support MassBike’s advocacy and education program.

Boston-Area Ride Of Silence Postponed

With the weather Wednesday predicted to be the worst of the week, we've decided to postpone the Boston-area Ride of Silence. The purpose of the Ride of Silence is to draw attention to bicyclist safety, and to do that we need lots of people to participate, which is unlikely to happen on a rainy evening. We're also concerned about the safety of running a group ride on busy urban streets under rainy, dark skies.

We will try again next Tuesday, May 24th. Please join us that evening at 6:45pm in Seven Hills Park behind the Davis Square MBTA Station. RVSP to rides@massbike.org so we know how many people to expect. For more information, read our original Ride of Silence post.

Rainy Bike Week Updates, And Free Stuff At MassBike Office

[caption id="attachment_4560" align="alignleft" width="280" caption="Courtesy of http://mrdaveygie.blogspot.com"][/caption]

As they say, if you don't like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes - and this spring has proven the wisdom of that sentiment.  The rain has come, and gone, and come back, and for this week it has decided to loom heavy.  As a result, it is very important to check the Bay State Bike Week Calendar to ensure that the event you want to attend hasn't been postponed or canceled. A few events, like the Boston-area Ride of Silence on Wednesday and the Cape Cod Cycling Club/MassBike Ride in Hyannis on Thursday, have been postponed, and the MassBike Pump & Lube stations on Monday and Tuesday have already been canceled (it's not very effective to lube a dripping wet chain). We don't want you to be disappointed, so please stay tuned.

Indoor Bike Fun! However, there are several excellent events going on regardless of the rain!  These include many indoor happenings, such as Bike Night at The Peoples Pint (Tuesday @ 5 pm at The Peoples Pint, 24 Federal St, Greenfield); Ciclismo Classico 2nd Annual Bike Film Festival (Wednesday @ 7 pm at the Regent Theatre, 7 Medford Street, Arlington); or the MassRIDES Travel Options Workshop (Thursday @ 12 pm at 10 Park Plaza, Conference Room 3, Boston) - just to name a few.

Free Stuff! Missed us at a MassBike Morning Giveaway (or it was rained out)? Bike to the MassBike office, 10am-4pm the rest of this week for your free Bay State Bike Week T-Shirts and Ankle Straps! We are located at 171 Milk Street (corner of Milk and India), 3rd Floor, in downtown Boston. So swing by and grab your swag, and as an added bonus meet MassBike staff in the process. We hope to see you soon!

Ask MassBike: Riding In Rain

We get a lot of questions here at MassBike, and we like to think we also give some pretty good answers. We realized that sharing these questions and answers on our website would be a valuable resource to others looking for the same information.

We got this question from Theo about riding in the rain:
Hello MassBike!

I have started riding for Bay State Bike Week, and unfortunately every time I go outside I manage to bike when the rain starts pouring! This makes it super stressful, not to mention soaking wet and potentially dangerous. What can I do to rain-proof my ride?

Wet and frustrated,
Theo

Hello Theo,

Your concerns about riding in the rain are definitely understandable, especially as a beginner. However, with the right gear and riding strategies, riding in the rain can be just as easy and safe as riding on a nice, sunny day.  Our tips for rainy day riding fall into three categories:

Maneuvering

  • Brakes don't don't work as well on wet rims. It can take much longer to stop (up to ten times normal distance!). Start braking earlier than usual, and be sure to periodically "wipe the rims" applying the brakes lightly for a short distance, ideally a little bit before you need to make a stop. Alternately, if you are interested in getting a new bike or some new parts, disc brakes provide much better stopping power in wet conditions than rim brakes.

  • Paint is slippery. Try to stay off pavement markings and lines - they can be extra-slippery when wet.

  • Metal is slippery too. Avoid manhole covers, grates, construction plates, and other metal objects. These things can be tricky to ride on in the best of conditions, and can act like ice when wet.

  • Tires lose traction when wet. Take turns more slowly than usual, don't lean into turns as much, and avoid quick maneuvers.

  • Stay out of puddles. Innocent looking puddles can conceal wheel-swallowing potholes, so you're better off going around any puddle you can't see the bottom of.


Above all, though, Slow Down! Motorists cannot see you as well because of the rain on their windows, and you probably can't see as well either because of the rain coming down on your face. It's even worse if you wear glasses. Be sure to wear bright colors and use a front white light and rear red light to make yourself more visible.

[caption id="attachment_4576" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="A Rain Cape. Courtesy of www.catoregon.org. "][/caption]

Clothing

In addition to bright clothing, getting rain-specific clothing will make biking in wet conditions much more tolerable. A rain jacket, rain pants and shoe covers are a good way to go, as is a rain cape. There are also helmet covers to keep your head dry. Try to get materials that breathe pretty well, otherwise you will keep the rain out but get soaked with sweat.

Maintenance

Getting your bike ready for the rain is crucial to a pleasant journey. Fenders are a great place to start, as they keep water from kicking up your back, reduce the amount of spray from the front wheel, and also can protect the person behind you from getting a face-full of dirty water.

[caption id="attachment_4579" align="alignright" width="300" caption="A rusty chain. Courtesy of steel-cut.blogspot.com/"][/caption]

There is a lot of salt and sand, not to mention dirt and muck, on the roads at this time of year. Be kind to your bike:

  • Wipe it down. Or spray it with a garden hose (gently, never with high pressure) once you get home to keep your bike from rusting and making all sorts of annoying pops and clicks.

  • Lube your chain. Lubing your chain keeps it cleans, prevents rust, and keeps things moving smoothly.

  • Clean your rims. Dirt and sand grind down your brake pads and rims much faster than normal use.


Riding in the rain doesn't have to be stressful or dangerous. If you follow some of the tips above, we think you will significantly improve your ride and will even enjoy the trip.

Test Yourself In the Mt. Washington Century Ride

The Mt. Washington Century ride is fast becoming known as New England’s Most Challenging Centurytm. We have mountain passes that thrill the eye and challenge the soul. For those wanting to ‘test their personal best’, the Mt. Washington Century Ride is it - Saturday, July 16, 2011! AND the first 250 registrants get a great tech t-shirt that wicks away your cycling sweat … SWEET!

For additional Mt. Washington Century information - http://www.tinmountain.org/?page_id=1205

To register - http://www.bikereg.com/events/register.asp?eventid=12264

The Mt. Washington Century Ride participates in MassBike’s Charity Ride Partner Program to help support MassBike’s advocacy and education program.

MassBike's Bike Week Events

The busiest time for bicycling in Massachusetts is right around the corner: Bay State Bike Week starts this Saturday!

MassBike will be out at events all week, encouraging people to ride and letting bicyclists know just how much we love them.

On Monday through Thursday, MassBike staff and Boston-area volunteers will be doing t-shirt and ankleband giveaways at various locations during the morning commute. In the evenings, we'll be doing our Pump & Lube service stations, giving bicyclists some air for their tires, cleaning their chains, and telling them about what is going on for bicyclists and at MassBike.

We need volunteer support to make our events happen, so if you can join us during a morning or evening commute please let us know! We'll have t-shirts for volunteers, plus our undying appreciation and the good feeling you get from supporting your state-wide bicycle advocacy organization.

If you can join us for volunteering, please email volunteer@massbike.org to let us know when you can help out. If you can't volunteer, stop by to get a shirt or get some love for your bike.

Here is where we'll be:

Morning Giveaways - 8:15am-9:00am
Monday: Broadway & Galileo Galilei Way (Cambridge)
Tuesday: Southwest Corridor (near Stony Brook)
Wednesday: Massachusetts Ave. Bridge (Cambridge side)
Thursday: Beacon & Aberdeen St. (Boston)

Pump & Lube Stations - 5:15-6:15
Monday - Southwest Corridor (Near Stony Brook)
Tuesday - Broadway & Galileo Galilei Way (Cambridge)
Wednesday - Davis Square
Thursday - Massachusetts Ave. Bridge (Cambridge side)
Friday - Charles River Esplanade (near the Hatch Shell)

The MassBike Pioneer Valley and Cape Cod Chapters will be at their own local events, too.

You can check out the PV calendar here, but highlights include the Bay State Village Big Bike Bonanza, Northampton and Amherst Bike Breakfasts, and the Manhan Rail Trail Grand Opening (MassBike Executive Director David Watson and Program Manager Price Armstrong will also be on hand for the ceremony).

Highlights from the Cape Cod & Islands Chapter include Bike-to-Work Day on Wednesday, May 18 and the Cape Cod Cycling/MassBike Ride in Hyannis on Thursday, May 19 (David & Price will be on the Hyannis ride as well). You can find the full calendar for the Cape & Islands here.

Plus, there are a couple events during the week whose proceeds go to MassBike.

On Sunday, May 15, you can ride on the Pedal2Pints Bike Brewery Tour. Take your bike our for a spin and enjoy some local breweries, all while supporting bicyclist advocacy.

You can also come to the Ciclismo Classico Bike Film Fest on Wednesday, May 18 from 7-10pm. Stop by to enjoy some great bike films, a raffle, and free refreshments!


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