Jingle Ride Rained Out: New Date December 19th

The 14th Annual Ciclismo Classico Jingle Ride had been postponed due to rain. Join us for the Jingle Ride next Sunday, December 19, 2010!

NOTE: The registration link in the email notice is no longer working - use the link in this post to register for the new date.



Don't Miss the 14th Annual Jingle Ride and Holiday Party - Sunday, December 19th

The Jingle Ride is a leisurely and festive 10-to-25 mile round-trip bike ride from Arlington Center to Boston, including the Charles River Bike Path and some of Boston's most festive streets. We'll ride into town, have lunch at Quincy Market before spinning back to Arlington via Boston's historic Public Garden, Newbury Street, and the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge.

All participants are asked to make a voluntary donation to MassBike. Suggested donation is $25 per rider. 100% of proceeds will be donated to MassBike.

Holiday Party at Lauren's Home All participants are also invited to a holiday party with food, drink and good cheer and the home of Ciclismo founder Lauren Hefferon.

Date: Sunday, December 19, 2010
Time: 10:30am registration, 11:00am ride starts, 3:30 post-ride party

Bring your best singing voice, costume, jingle bells and bike decorations!

RSVP for the Jingle Ride and Holiday Party here.

Jingle Ride Starting Point Jam N' Java, 594 Mass. Ave in Arlington Center (MAP)

There will be fun prizes for best costume, best decorated bike, and more!

Support MassBike This Holiday Season

There’s no other way to say it: 2010 has been a big year for bicycling in Massachusetts. With more bicyclists on our streets and paths, more focus from politicians and government officials, and more awareness from motorists, bicycling is on the cusp of reaching a new level.

But even with this progress, huge challenges remain to protecting bicyclists and to making sure that we continue to make gains. MassBike is the leading voice for bicyclists in Massachusetts, but we need you to help to make sure that bicycling is a priority during this critical time.

For over 30 years, MassBike has been the respected advocate for bicyclists in our state. We are leading efforts to make sure that the unprecedented support for bicycling continues during the winter months and into 2011.

With the help of our members and supporters, we have been making a difference! Here are just a few of our recent accomplishments:

  • Worked with the MBTA and other advocates to revamp their bus driver training, leading to a full-day training and evaluation for all bus drivers who have had incidents with bicyclists, part of which all drivers will have to take within the next 18 months.



  • Advocated for and won bicycling infrastructure on precedent-setting projects across the state as part of our Building For Bicycling campaign.



  • Launched our safety campaign, Same Road, Same Rules, in partnership with MassDOT and other state agencies, designed to educate both motorists and bicyclists about the rules of the road, bicyclists’ rights, and how to safely interact.



  • Led the campaign for the passage of the Bicyclist Safety Act, which made 13 important changes to law, making Massachusetts a safer place to bicycle.


But even with these important victories for bicyclists, large challenges remain to ensuring the safety of bicyclists on our roads.

Looking forward to 2011, we are planning an ambitious campaign for improving bicycling, including revamping police training to include better information about bicyclists and their rights, continued work in East Boston to remove peak hour restrictions from the Blue Line as a pilot program for the rest of the T and to help community members advocate for bicycling, continuing work to make infrastructure a priority, and movement on a new legislative agenda.

We can make Massachusetts a better place for bicycling, but we can’t do it without you. Please follow the link to donate to our Winter Appeal. Or if you aren't a member yet, please join MassBike and add your voice!

Boston Conducting Bicycling Survey: Have Your Say



The City of Boston is conducting a brief 2010 year-end survey of people who bicycle in Boston. If you ride a bike in Boston--rarely, occasionally or perhaps every single day--please take a moment to complete this important survey. They will ask questions about your riding habits and ask for your feedback on their events.

To take the survey go to http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BostonBikes

Please forward this to anyone else you know who bikes in Boston. The City of Boston thanks you very much for your input and wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!

No Love For Bicyclists In Charlestown

We were shocked to learn that the bike lanes installed on Main Street in Charlestown just weeks ago were removed last week. Especially when the City of Boston has been doing so much to encourage bicycling and improve bicyclist safety. Apparently, there was some sort of public process snafu. We'll give the City of Boston the benefit of the doubt that the problem was serious enough to warrant removing the bike lanes immediately rather than resolving the problem another way, but this is a very troubling development. We need government to stand firm on the need for bicycling infrastructure and neighborhoods that encourage biking and walking - even in the face of opposition to change. In this particular case, this is a community's Main Street (literally), and cyclists want to travel that street and patronize the local businesses safely, just like everyone else. (See our comments to the Charlestown Patch.)

Public participation is critical to the success of all infrastructure projects, not just bike lanes. Neighborhood residents should be fully informed and have the opportunity to comment on infrastructure projects. But just as there should have been public participation in the decision to install bike lanes, once the bike lanes were in, there should also have been a public process to discuss removing them. Because the City went to the trouble and expense of removing the bike lanes, getting them back on Main Street seems unlikely, but local cyclists need to speak up in support of bicycling improvements in Charlestown, particularly cyclists who actually live or work there.

MassBike is reaching out to our members and contacts in Charlestown to urge them to get involved. We've also offered our assistance to the City of Boston to help them resolve this situation.

Here are the people you can contact:

Nicole Freedman, the City of Boston's Director of Bike Programs.

Mike Ross, Boston City Council President.

Salvatore LaMattina, Boston City Councilor for District 1 (includes Charlestown).

Tom Cunha, Chairman of the Charlestown Neighborhood Council.

Your Precinct Representative to the Charlestown Neighborhood Council. Find your Precinct Representative here

You Can Make Bicycling Better In MA

While you might have put away your bike for winter, or you might be bundling up on your rides as the cold sets in, the season for bicycling advocacy never ends. Especially now, when there is more interest in bicycling than ever before and there are more opportunities to ensure that bicycling is a priority in Massachusetts.

You can help make bicycling better in MA and get a free MassBike water bottle!

That’s why we need your help. MassBike has been the voice for bicyclists in Massachusetts for over 30 years. We are a coalition made up of all types of bicyclists—commuters, recreational cyclists, mountain bikers, messengers, students, and everyone in between. And we need you to join with us and the thousands of other bicyclists who are already members to make sure that the opportunities of the moment are not missed. If you are already a member, help introduce a special bicyclist in your life to the MassBike community.



We all know the benefits of bicycling—it’s healthy, good for the environment, a cheap way to get around, and it’s fun. But to make bicycling safer and easier, and to get more bicyclists on our streets and paths, we need to make sure that bicyclists are represented where it counts.

Joining today makes you a part of the leading advocacy group making pro-bicycling changes across our state. With the help of our members, we are making a difference! Here are some of MassBike’s recent accomplishments:

  • Advocated for and won bicycle infrastructure on precedent-setting projects across the state as part of our our Building For Bicycling campaign.

  • Launched our safety campaign, Same Road, Same Rules, in partnership with MassDOT and other state agencies, designed to educate both motorists and bicyclists about the rules of the road, bicyclists’ rights, and how to safely interact.

  • Worked with the MBTA and other advocates to revamp their bus driver training, leading to a full-day training and evaluation for all bus drivers who have had incidents with bicyclists, part of which all drivers will have to take within the next 18 months.

  • Organized the first truly state-wide Bay State Bike Week in partnership with MassDOT, with thousands of participating bicyclists and over 100 events.

  • Led the campaign to pass the Bicyclist Safety Act, which made 13 important changes to the law and has made Massachusetts a safer place to bicycle.

  • Continued our education program, educating thousands of adults and schoolchildren about safe riding.


By joining or giving a gift membership to MassBike today you can be a part of creating a better bicycling environment. If you aren’t already a MassBike member, joining today will help to make our advocacy possible. If you are a MassBike member, giving a gift membership to another bike rider in your life is a great way to show that you care. And until January 1, 2011, anyone who joins or gives a gift membership of $50 or more will receive a FREE MassBike water bottle!

Join us by clicking one of the following options which will take you straight to our online store:

New Membership

Gift Membership

Or you can call us at the MassBike office at 617-542-2453.

MassBike needs you to make bicycling in Massachusetts better. Join today and be a part of making a difference!

Don’t forget: MassBike Membership also gets you or your friend great discounts at bike shops across Massachusetts, special rates at B&Bs; and hotels around New England, discounts on environmentally-friendly car insurance (that funds efforts to reduce motorized vehicle miles traveled), special membership pricing on classes, and more. Just follow the links above to get or give a membership. Thanks for your support!

Join Us For MassBike's Annual Meeting: December 14, 2010

The board and staff of MassBike cordially invite you to our Annual Meeting on Tuesday, December 14, 2010, from 6:30-9:00pm, at Coogan's, 171 Milk Street, Boston. (MassBike's office is located in the same building.)

Starting at 6:30, the MassBike Board of Directors will hold its final business meeting of the year. The Annual Meeting itself will begin at 7:30. Executive Director David Watson and Development Manager James McBride will report on MassBike's 2010 accomplishments and preview our 2011 plans, followed by Q&A.; We'll conclude the evening with our Volunteer Awards and socializing. Come meet the people making things happen for bicyclists in Massachusetts!

The event is free and open to the public, but donations are welcome. Not a member yet? Join at the event and save $5! You can RSVP to events@massbike.org so we can tell Coogan's how many people to expect, but you can just show up too!

Light appetizers will be provided, and we will have drink and/or meal specials for those who want dinner.

Last Chance To Attend Chapter Summit: RSVP Now

Our first-ever MassBike Chapter Summit is this Saturday in Worcester. We've extended the registration deadline, but you must RSVP to events@massbike.org before 5pm on Friday. The location and other details will be emailed to registrants.

You should attend the Chapter Summit if:

  • You are ready to play an active role in making bicycling safer, better, and more popular in your town or region


  • You want to find out what MassBike is doing statewide and how it can help local advocates


  • You want local and statewide advocates to work more closely together



Still not sure? Review the draft agenda (subject to change).



MassBike will hold its first-ever Chapter Summit on Saturday, December 4, 2010, 9am-1pm, in Worcester. The theme for the summit is "Local Issues, Statewide Vision". For years, MassBike has had regional chapters in Metro Boston, the Pioneer Valley, and the Cape & Islands, to help local advocates focus on local bicycling issues with the support of the statewide organization behind them, and our chapters have had some great successes. But we know we can do even better, and that's why we're having the Chapter Summit.

The Chapter Summit will bring together leaders from our existing chapters, people interested in learning more about advocating for bicycling in their area, and MassBike board and staff members. We'll hear about the chapter program as it exists now, what the chapters have been doing, and talk about how to improve things to strengthen both MassBike as a whole and the chapters individually. Those interested in possibly starting chapters will benefit from the experience of our current chapter leaders, and will have the opportunity to help shape the new-and-improved MassBike Chapter Program.

This event is open to the public, but advance registration is required. Space is limited, so please RSVP by December 3rd to events@massbike.org. If you have questions, please contact Executive Director David Watson at 617-542-2453 or david@massbike.org.

Lights ... Again!

Last month, we posted our annual Fall reminder about using lights at night. While many bicyclists are using lights and making visibility at night a priority, lots of people are still riding around in stealth mode, almost invisible.



You've seen them too (or perhaps not!): People without any lights or reflectors; others with tiny, dim lights you can barely see; oh-so-fashionably-dressed riders in chic dark clothing. While the number of bicyclists has increased dramatically over the past few years, drivers still haven't learned to expect us and look for us, especially at night. Do you really want to trust your safety to someone who isn't looking for you and possibly can't even see you?

Get front and rear lights so drivers (and other bikers) can see you, and at least think about adding some reflective clothing. Lights and reflectors are the law (details), but don't get some dinky little lights just to be legal - get something people might actually be able to see at a distance. I know that Day-Glo yellow clothing isn't for everyone (though it is the most visible color in all lighting conditions), but there are lots of more palatable options for the fashion-minded. (I'll admit to often wearing the Day-Glo at night, but I've also got a black jacket with some discrete reflective material for when Day-Glo just won't do.) Remember that you aren't fully visible unless you can be seen from the front, back, and sides.

Here are my own choices for total visibility:

  • Front white headlight: I use a very bright LED light with a rechargeable battery pack, usually set to flash.


  • Red taillight: My taillight has two regular LEDs, and a powerful LED strobe.


  • Extra red rear light: I commute with a backpack that doesn't have much reflective material on it, so I added small red blinky to the back.


  • Lighted ankle straps: Yes, lighted, battery-powered and very visible from the back and sides. I know they sound geeky, but people tell me almost every night that they are incredibly visible and ask where I got them. Simple reflective ankle straps are OK too.


  • Reflective clothing: Day-Glo yellow jacket or vest, or black jacket with reflective material. All are made for cycling, wind and water resistant, with adjustable vents if you get too hot.



I don't use all of this stuff on each and every ride, but I mix-and-match to make myself more visible as appropriate to the situation. Please give it some thought and figure out what fcvisibility options will work for you.

MBTA Unveils Expanded Bicycle Parking

With help from MassBike and other advocates, the MBTA has become more and more receptive to the needs of bicyclists. With new bicycle-friendly policies in place, the MBTA is increasing their bicycle facilities throughout the system. MassBike has the latest on the T's planned improvements.

From now through next Spring, the MBTA will be installing 50 BikePorts around their stations. The BikePorts are canopied bike racks, so you'll be able to lock up with some protection from the elements. The first was recently installed in Worcester:



During 2011, the T will also complete six more Pedal & Parks, the T's secure bike parking facilities. So far, the three operational Pedal & Parks (two at Alewife and one at Forest Hills) have been a huge success, and are constantly filled with bicycles. The new facilities will be located at South Station, Davis, Ashmont, Malden, Oak Grove, and Braintree. Each location will be able to hold 100-150 bicycles, so parking your bike at these stations should no longer be a problem. The MBTA is also improving the access system for the Pedal & Parks so the doors lock and unlock more reliably with your Bike CharlieCard.

Lastly, over the next 18 months, 100% of the MBTA's bus fleet will be equipped with bike racks, so you'll finally be able to rely on the next bus having a rack (and let your bike do some of the riding for a change).

We're excited to continue working with the MBTA to keep improving bicyclist access to transit.


Ciclismo Classico Jingle Ride To Support MassBike This Year!



Don't Miss the 14th Annual Jingle Ride and Holiday Party - Sunday, December 12

The Jingle Ride is a leisurely and festive 10-to-25 mile round-trip bike ride from Arlington Center to Boston, including the Charles River Bike Path and some of Boston's most festive streets. We'll ride into town, have lunch at Quincy Market before spinning back to Arlington via Boston's historic Public Garden, Newbury Street, and the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge.

All participants are asked to make a voluntary donation to MassBike. Suggested donation is $25 per rider. 100% of proceeds will be donated to MassBike.

Holiday Party at Lauren's Home All participants are also invited to a holiday party with food, drink and good cheer and the home of Ciclismo founder Lauren Hefferon.

When Sunday, December 12, 2010 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm . Bring your best singing voice, costume, jingle bells and bike decorations!

RSVP for the Jingle Ride and Holiday Party here.

Jingle Ride Starting Point Jam N' Java, 594 Mass. Ave in Arlington Center (MAP)

There will be fun prizes for best costume, best decorated bike, and more!


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