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
70. Digital Lumens
71. Mass Department of Energy Resources
72. Ironwood Pharmaceuticals
76. Charles River TMA
77. UMass Amherst
79. Draeger Medical
Congratulations to all the organizations who participated, and we look forward to biking even more miles next year!
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.
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."
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 & www.redbones.com
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.
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 email@example.com. And please pass this along to your bicycling friends.
Volunteers Needed: If you are interested in helping out with bike valet or the MassBike booth, we can always use more hands. Just email firstname.lastname@example.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."
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 email@example.com.
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!
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!
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.