Bring Your Bike To The Islands For Free

[caption id="attachment_4872" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Bike along the coast of Martha's Vineyard"][/caption]

We got this helpful tip from a member about a great deal being offered by the Steam Ship Authority in the Cape area.  Until June 22nd, if you download the coupon located here, you can bring your bike with you to Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket for free (normally $8 round trip).  This is a great time of year to check out the islands, so take advantage of this offer.  And who knows, maybe if enough bicyclists ride the ship, they'll make this a permanent deal!

For more information, visit

Action Alert: Support Needed For Vulnerable Road Users Bill

Following up on our announcement last week of next Tuesday's hearing on our Vulnerable Road Users bill (House Bill 3079), we need your help to get the bill moving out of the Joint Committee on Transportation. This is an essential first step toward getting the bill passed. Look here for more details about the bill.

How To Help: If you, or someone you care about, has been injured by a motorist while bicycling or walking, and the motorist was not ticketed or prosecuted, please submit your personal story about how this has impacted your life. Contact Executive Director David Watson at or 617-542-2453. You can submit your testimony either in writing, or in-person at the hearing, but be sure to let David know either way.

  • Telling Your Story In Writing: Send a letter or email to the chairs of the Joint Committee on Transportation. Be sure to reference "AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE SAFETY OF VULNERABLE ROAD USERS", House Bill No. 3079. This does not have to be complicated or formal - simply tell your story in your own words and in your own style.Senator Thomas McGee and Representative William Straus
    Joint Committee on Transportation
    State House, Room 134
    Boston, MA 02133

    You can also email your comments to and Be sure to send a copy to David Watson by email or mail too.

  • Telling Your Story In Person: The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, June 14, 2011, from 1-5pm, in State House Room B-1. Let David Watson know that you plan to attend the hearing. Please plan to arrive early to check in with David and sign up to testify. There will be several bills at the hearing, our bill is "AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE SAFETY OF VULNERABLE ROAD USERS", House Bill No. 3079. As with written testimony, this does not have to be complicated - just tell your story.The committee may hear testimony on all the bills in the order in which people sign up, or they may decide to group testimony on the same bill, so there is no way to know exactly when testimony on our bill will happen.

    It is a good idea to submit your testimony in writing even if you plan to speak - it will allow the committee members to refer back to your testimony, and if you have to leave early the committee will still consider what you have to say.

    Please do not wear bicycle clothing or helmets to the hearing - wear regular street clothes (or a jacket and tie). It is vitally important that we convey to the committee that bicyclists are mainstream people from all walks of life.

The more people who speak or write in support of the bill, the greater the likelihood that the committee will report favorably and the bill will move on to the next step. Every person's story will make a difference, so please participate!

First Hearing Scheduled For Vulnerable Road Users Bill

MassBike's Vulnerable Road Users bill is scheduled for a hearing before the Joint Committee on Transportation on Tuesday, June 14, 2011, at the State House in Boston. As previously reported, the bill was filed early this year. You can see the bill here. The bill will encourage motorists to exercise more caution when operating around vulnerable road users, such as bicyclists and pedestrians, and will provide law enforcement with additional tools to protect vulnerable road users.

What we need right now is to hear from people whose lives have been impacted by a crash between a bicyclist and a motorist in Massachusetts, particularly where the motorist was not held accountable. Whether you are a victim yourself, or close to a someone who cannot speak for him- or herself, we want to hear your story. Please contact Executive Director David Watson at or 617-542-2453. In addition to sharing your story, please indicate whether you would be willing to testify at the hearing in support of the bill. (Testifying is not as scary as it sounds - you just have to tell your story in your own words.) Feel free to also share your thoughts in comments to this post.

We may need help from the bicycling public to get the bill reported favorably out of this committee, and moved on to the next step in the legislative process. Keep your eyes open for possible Action Alerts from MassBike over the next week.

MassBike Education Program Gaining Momentum

When I started at MassBike a month ago, I hit the ground rolling with the education program. Teaching current and future bicyclists safety and confidence is an important part of what we do at MassBike, so I was glad to get started on it as soon as I joined the team.

Our commuter workshop program had classes lined up before the snow began to melt, before I had been even been hired.  At my first class, I taught a Basic Bike Maintenance course at Harvard Medical School, with about 30 bicyclists in scrubs looking on as I demonstrated how to change a tire and lube a chain. Just this spring, we've taught around 15 commuter courses to over 100 current and prospective bicycle commuters.

Beyond our adult education courses, we also have instructors teaching bicycle safety tips in schools to children ages 10 - 14.  Through the support of the MassDOT and a federal Safe Routes to School grant, MassBike is able to offer these classes around the state.  Since March, we have taught nearly 20 classes totaling to almost 900 students, in addition to two "Train the Trainer" sessions.  By training bike safety trainers at schools, we are opening wide the door to countless future youth trainings by school employees.

Now that Bay State Bike Week is finished, we are going to be moving forward full force with our education program and plan to offer classes open to the public sometime in July.  Keep an eye on our calendar, as those classes should be scheduled and posted within the next three or four weeks.

Finally, if you are interested in teaching bike safety courses yourself, please send in an application!  We are looking for experienced teachers with an enthusiasm for biking and an interest in making our bike trips safer.  You can read the job description here.

MassBike Takes Third In MassCommuter Challenge

[caption id="attachment_4790" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Courtesy of Joseph Marrone"][/caption]

This year, MassBike finished third in its size category (1-24 employees) in the MassCommuter Challenge, right behind Ciclismo Classico (2nd) and Urban AdvenTours (1st).  MassBike was honored with a certificate of accomplishment and a photograph on the winner's pedestal.  For an organization with only three employees, we were quite happy to have logged 370 miles during the week-long Challenge.  Despite the rain, we each managed bike over 100 miles during the week, much of it commuting to different Bay State Bike Week events.

The rankings were the following:

Organizations 1 - 24 employees:

1. Urban AdvenTours
2. Ciclismo Classico
3. MassBike
4. Patagonia
5. Aliaswire

All organizations:

70. Digital Lumens
71. Mass Department of Energy Resources
72. Ironwood Pharmaceuticals
73. IHS
74. MassBike
75. Metabolix
76. Charles River TMA
77. UMass Amherst
78. Patagonia
79. Draeger Medical

Congratulations to all the organizations who participated, and we look forward to biking even more miles next year!

Still Time To Join MassBike And Save!

There is still time to save money when you join MassBike!  During the month of May, new members get a $5 discount on a membership (normally $30 for an individual).  Once you join, you can get discounts at bike shops around Boston and the state, discounts at Bed & Breakfasts, a reduced rate for new Zipcar memberships, discounts on MassBike classes, and discounts on car insurance.

But most importantly, you are supporting a better bicycling environment in your community and in communities across the state. Join today to add your voice to thousands of other bicyclists speaking out for better bicycling.

Bay State Bike Week Wrap-Up: Bikestravaganza

Despite the rain, this year's Bay State Bike Week had a record number of events across the state. Bicyclists from Orleans to Pittsfield showed up to celebrate bicycling, as they channeled the thoughts of John Ruskin, who once wrote, "There is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather."  Or, as a bicyclist I met at the Boston Bike Bash put it, "We were our own sunshine."

With over 185 registered events and only 10 event cancellations, thousands of bicyclists around the state gathered together for rides, film festivals, free breakfasts, a ribbon cutting, the BCU  Bike Month Photo Competition, and countless other events.  MassBike wants to extend a big thanks to our main partner, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, and all the local event organizers, without whom this bikestravaganza could not have happened.  Below are updates about some of the events.

[caption id="attachment_4717" align="alignleft" width="295" caption="Rodrigo Marion (front right) and others at Stoughton's event"][/caption]

From Stoughton, James Conlon (City of Stoughton) and Rodrigo Marion (Old Colony Planning Commission):

"In celebration of Mass Bike Week 2011, two group bicycle rides organized by the Stoughton Bicycle and Pedestrian Task force were held in Stoughton.  The first ride was an off road trail bike ride at the Bird Street Conservation land. This was a ride which featured a tour of historic sites on publically owned land under the care, custody and control of the Stoughton Conservation Commission.

"The points of interest visited and discussed were Gilbert Gate, Gilbert Quarries, the stone wall at the northern boundary of the 12 Divisions lots, the site of the Lemur Bird/Teddie Conner’s farm homestead, the Bird St. Meadows, the Messer’s Quarry and the stone house foundation."

From Salem, Dan Shuman, owner of Salem Cycle:

"Comprehensive Racing and Salem Cycle’s kick-off event kicked off Bay State Bike Week in style with arm reflectors and T-shirts from MassBike/MassDOT and water bottles courtesy of Specialized and Salem Cycle. We had 18-1/2 in attendance, all made the picture [below right] with the exception of Dan Cooper who flatted, not once, but twice finishing an early ride and was rescued by his wife Steph who is also not in the picture. The event was well attended by bike enthusiasts but was light on community riders. Thanks Grandpa, Papa and little Maclay and Cathy for attending. I tried to convince some additional store shoppers to join us but we must have looked intimidating in all that spandex.

[caption id="attachment_4720" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Salem bicyclists at Salem Cycle"][/caption]

"Thanks all for participating, thanks Salem Cycle for hosting the meeting, thanks MassBike, MassDOT and Specialized for the giveaways, and thanks Comprehensive Racers and Salem Community for attending.  Ride safe, ride smart, just ride (and love your bike)!"

From Hyannis, Lev Malakhoff (Cape Cod Planning Commission) and Rob Miceli (MassBike Cape Cod Chapter):

[caption id="attachment_4728" align="alignright" width="350" caption="From left to right: Glenn Cannon, Cape Cod Commission; Tom Cahir, Cape Cod RTA; and Rob Miceli, MassBike Cape Cod Chapter "][/caption]

"The Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority (CCRTA) unveiled a new resource to benefit both transit riders and bikers: 'Getting To and Through Cape Cod' – a Transit-Oriented Bike Map.  The ceremony included guest-speakers (pictured from left to right) Glenn Cannon, Cape Cod Commission Technical Services Director, Tom Cahir, CCRTA Executive Director, and Rob Miceli, MassBike Cape Cod Chapter president.  Refreshments were served and free maps and BikeWeek shirts and ankle bands were distributed."

From Meryl Mandell (MassDOT) and Brian Markey (Pioneer Valley Planning Commission):

"Attached are some of the photos from our Amherst Bay State Bike Week events.  The bulk are from the Breakfast - there are some great ones in there.  Hope you enjoy them.  We had about 200 people at our events!"

[caption id="attachment_4734" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="MassDOT's Meryl Mandell on a Pennyfarthing"][/caption]

From Rutland, Ed Yaglou (Wachusett Greenway):

[caption id="attachment_4736" align="alignright" width="350" caption="Joe Reynolds Thanking the Breakfast Servers"][/caption]

"Here is a photo from Wachusett Greenways' bike ride on the Wachusett Greenways' section of the Mass Central Rail Trail, west of the Wachusett Reservoir: Sterling to Oakham, held Saturday, 21 May 11.  It shows shows cyclist Joe Reynolds thanking the breakfast servers."

Redbones Bike Party 2011 - Be There June 6th!

A long-time leader in the local bike community, Redbones is the place to be during the annual bike party. The block party is a great way to hang out with other bicyclists, have a good time, and get a delicious meal. The fifteenth straight year of this event, the night includes food, drink, live music & an amazing raffle. Plus, all proceeds go to support MassBike and NEMBA! This event has raised thousands of dollars over the years to support biking, so we hope to see you there!

Date: Monday, June 6   (rain date: June 13)
Time: 5 - 9 pm, raffle drawing @ 7:30 pm
Place: Redbones, 55 Chester Street, Somerville
Information: 617.628.2200 &
Tickets: $15.00 includes bicycle valet parking, a Redbones sandwich, soft drink or beer & a raffle ticket.   All tickets purchased on site.

Sponsors & Raffle Prizes:
The Grand Prize, a custom made cargo bike, is being donated by returning lead sponsor, Alternative Needs Transportation (ANT).   Many additional sponsors donate awesome prizes for the raffle including  amazing bikes, gear & lots of swag.
Entertainment: Live music by The SAPS - 2nd Line Social Aid & Pleasure Society Brass Band:  we aim to please if the cause is true and the time is right.

Ride Of Silence Tonight: Making Our Presence Known

Tonight at 7:00pm (meet by 6:45pm) in Davis Square, bicyclists will depart on a six-mile ride through Somerville, Cambridge, and Boston on the Ride of Silence. This ride honors cyclists killed or injured on public roads, and raises awareness among drivers to be more careful around bicyclists. The more riders that participate, the more powerful the message will be.

We'll depart Davis Sq (behind the T Station) at 7pm, then will take Mass Ave to Harvard Sq, then continue on Mass Ave through Central Sq, across the Harvard Bridge to Boston, then turn onto Boylston to the Common. The ride will circle the Common once, then stop at the Charles Street entrance. If you see us pass by, feel free to follow (but remember to stay silent).

There is a chance of rain and thunderstorms tonight. However, because the Ride of Silence is such an important statement for bicyclists, we are going to try our best to do the ride. The forecast is very uncertain and has been changing hourly, so we have decided to make the call on-the-spot at the start. So, unless it is raining steadily or thunder-and-lightning, please plan to join us for this meaningful ride. Helmets are required, and lights are strongly recommended because of the hour and the weather.

If you think you can join us tonight, please RSVP to And please pass this along to your bicycling friends.

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 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"

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