I Am A Manager, And I Ride

Here's another great story from our And I Ride campaign! We are seeking to put a face on cycling in support of a legislative campaign that we are working on this year. You can read the rest of these great bicyclist bios here.

We are still accepting entries, so be sure to read below to find out how to send in your story.

Our next story comes from Doug.



Where I Ride: Mansfield to Natick, Sharon, Attleboro, Walpole, Canton, Milton, Sherborn, Dover, Foxboro, Wrentham, Easton, Plainville, Rhode Island

How Often I Ride: 3 to 7 days a week.

My Story:

I am a husband and father, and have been a foster father for 3 children. I’ve also have been riding bikes for nearly 40 years. Cycling is part of who I am, like Lance Armstrong's book, It’s not about the bike. Cycling has been the catalyst for many wonderful experiences that I have been fortunate enough to have. Sometimes it's the little things, like a helpful push from a fellow competitor while struggling up a steep hill in a bike race, just enough of a push to get over the top. Or catching a glimpse of a Fisher Cat sneaking across the road on a quiet morning in the back roads in Norfolk. Other times it is the opportunity to help others, once I came upon a woman with at least 3 whining kids in her broken down car on an empty country road, (long before the advent of cell phones). Being a mechanic, I made a small repair to her car and sent her on her way.

The sheer efficiency of cycling to work is a kick; I am really doing several things at once, staying fit, reducing my carbon footprint, reducing traffic, and saving my gas money. Just to name a few. I have to temper my religious like advocacy for cycling because for so many it just does not click, and the only reason that I can come up with is that non-cyclist's perspective is a bit different from mine. This must be true because I don't know how many times I have witnessed others doing things with apparently equal enthusiasm that I can see that might be enjoyable but cannot imagine doing, (scratching lottery tickets, ice fishing, riding loud motorcycles...).

For the past 6 years or so I have ridden almost 10,000 miles each year, mostly commuting to work. I have commuted to work by bike for over 14 years, my only disappointment is not being able to recruit others to do the same, I’d really like to see and ride with more people riding their bikes to work. What I have done is get noticed and built a reputation. On more than one occasion, a coworker has told me that I am their hero as I leave to ride home, on another occasion, a stranger stopped me in a store (I was in street clothes, not my cycling gear) and asked if I was the cyclist they see every AM in all kinds of weather on their way to work. The stranger told me that he thought it was very cool that I got out there and rode to work in all weather. While the attention is nice, it means that riding a bike to work is still seen as unusual. Changing minds and behavior can be difficult. Cycling is an adventure, and I have a thousand stories about my experiences, experiences that I would have missed had I been sitting in a car.



Thanks Doug!

We want to hear your story. Tell us about yourself and how bicycling is a part of your life. Just copy and paste the form below into an email, fill it in, and send it to shane@massbike.org.

  • Name:

  • Email:

  • Where You Ride:

  • How Often You Ride:

  • Your Profession/Relation/Title (lawyer, nurse, Grandma, son, etc):

  • A picture of you on your bicycle, or you in your daily life (be sure we can see your face):

  • A paragraph or two about your life and your bicycle:


Last Chance To Submit Films To Boston Film Festival!

We received this message from the director of the Boston Bike Film Festival, act now to get your film shown! Act now as the deadline is this weekend (Sept. 19th).



Last chance to submit your film to the 6th annual Boston Bike Film Festival is this weekend. This festival, held each October at the Brattle Theatre, is a fundraiser for area cycling advocacy groups such as Mass Bike and Bikes Not Bombs. We count on local, regional and national filmmakers who have an opportunity to effect change in the cycling community, so this is your chance to be heard. Or you can just submit a fun film! So Come Pedal Your Film, and join us October 22-23 in Harvard Square!

Cat Bryant
director, Boston bike film festival
October 22-23, 2010
come pedal your film!
www.bostonbikefilmfest.org

Construction Alert: Longfellow Bridge, Boston

We don't usually issue alerts for local road construction, but this one will affect thousands of bicyclists daily for a few days/weeks.

Bicyclists riding across the bridge from Cambridge to Boston are affected by construction near the Boston approach to Charles Circle. The bike lane and one travel lane are temporarily blocked to allow construction of a long-needed sidewalk to allow safe pedestrian and wheelchair access where none exists today. The bike lane will be back as soon as construction is completed (a matter of a couple of weeks if the just-completed work on the other side of the bridge is any indication.) But for now, bicyclists need to merge with car traffic as they approach the Boston end. Please be patient and don't try to squeeze through to the intersection - there really isn't enough room. Signage is in place to remind drivers that bicycles may use the full lane.

While this is inconvenient, it is necessary to get the sidewalk built, and it is an improvement over the way the sidewalk construction on the other side of the bridge was handled. MassDOT made sure that signage was in place this time right from the start to put motorists on notice that bicyclists would be using the full lane.

On the other side of the bridge, the construction reduced the lanes getting on the bridge to one, with no signage to warn drivers and bikers that everyone had to merge into a single lane briefly. This caused confusion and at least a few close calls (including one I experienced personally). We contacted MassDOT about the lack of warning signs, and were told that MassDOT had specified signs but the contractor failed to install them. At this point, the new sidewalk on the other side is done (see below), and the lane restriction is gone.

This is part of the first phase of the much more extensive project that will happen later to completely reconstruct the bridge. After seeing the challenges to safe bike access during construction that even this small part of the project caused, we will be working closely with MassDOT to ensure that they have a complete and workable plan to maintain safe bike access when the real construction starts.

Join Team MassBike At Hub On Wheels!

Join Team MassBike at Hub On Wheels on Sunday, September 26, 2010. Support Hub On Wheels and raise money for MassBike at the same time!



Ride 10, 30, or 50 miles. Experience a car-free Storrow Drive, explore hidden pathways and historic neighborhoods, and take in views of the Boston Harbor that you've never seen before.

Cost: $45 Hub On Wheels registration and a suggested $50 fundraising commitment for MassBike.

Click here for one-stop registration for Hub On Wheels and Team MassBike. (Register with us and we'll handle your HOW registration for you!)

Already registered for HOW? No problem, you can still click here to join Team MassBike! All we ask is that you raise at least $50 to support our advocacy and education programs.

Questions call Shane Jordan at 617-542-2453 or email events@massbike.org.

Action Alert: One Last Congressman Needs To Hear From You!



Back in March 2010, we invited Massachusetts bicyclists to join us for a Virtual Lobby Day in support of an exciting piece of legislation to fund bicycling and walking infrastructure improvements, H.R. 4722, the Active Community Transportation Act. Massachusetts Rep. Michael Capuano was one of the original sponsors of the bill, but we wanted support from the rest of our delegation. Your emails and phone calls had an immediate effect, with Rep. Edward Markey and Rep. James McGovern immediately signing on as co-sponsors. With your help, we kept up the pressure, and Reps. William Delahunt, Barney Frank, Steven Lynch, John Tierney, and Niki Tsongas all signed up as co-sponsors, making Massachusetts a national leader on this issue (see how we stack up here).

Now, eight out of ten of our Congressional Representatives support the ACT Act. Only Representatives Neal and Olver are not co-sponsoring the bill. Chairman Olver leads the Appropriations Committee, so he cannot sponsor this funding bill, but Representative Neal can, and we need your help again to convince him. If you live in Hampden, Hampshire, Norfolk or Worcester counties, click here and enter your address to check if Rep. Neal is your Congressman.

If Rep. Neal is your Congressman, please call his office at 202-225-5601 and ask him to co-sponsor the Active Community Transportation Act (H.R. 4722) introduced by Congressman Earl Blumenauer of Oregon.

When you call, you can use these talking points:


  • Bicycling and walking are part of the solution. Half of all trips in the United States are three miles or less, yet the majority of these short trips are made by car. Shifting more of these short trips to biking and walking would not only reduce congestion, air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and our dependence on oil, but will also improve physical activity, safety, and livability.


  • Investing in bicycling and walking infrastructure works. Commuting by bicycle has increased 43 percent since 2000 – and by 69 percent in designated Bicycle Friendly Communities that have invested in infrastructure improvements.


  • MA is a leading supporter of this bill, with eight of our ten Representatives already co-sponsors.




MassBike is partnering nationally with Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's Campaign for Active Transportation to make sure federal funding for bicycling and walking infrastructure is a major part of the next transportation bill.

Get Geared Up To Find The Cure For Cystic Fibrosis!

Who: The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Massachusetts/Rhode Island Chapter proudly announces the Eurand CF Cycle for Life (formerly the Cycle for Haylee) bike tour to raise funds for cystic fibrosis research, medical programs and patient care. The Cycle for Haylee (CFH) has a 12 year history of dedicated riders and sponsors raising more than $550,000 in the quest for the CF cure and control. In 2010 CFH expanded into a national bike tour with 17 rides taking place across the country.

What: The Eurand CF Cycle for Life is a 12, 30 and 65 bike tour fundraising event that will take place Saturday, October 2, 2010. The event is a one day, fully supported bike tour through the metro west area including the towns of Ashland, Concord, Dover, Framingham, Holliston, Marlborough, Maynard, Medfield, Medway, Natick, Sherborn, and Sudbury on picturesque 12, 30 and 65 mile routes. Riders will receive a delicious BBQ provided by Tennessee’s BBQ, a t-shirt, entertainment and much more.

In Massachusetts our 2010 goal is to host 250 cyclists and raise $150,000. Together, we can make this happen!

Each rider will contact donors in the process of fundraising and be eligible for wonderful prizes. When this is combined with the grass-roots initiative, and the engagement of volunteers and sponsors, more than 1,000 people will receive information and communication about The Eurand CF Cycle for Life Bike Tour.

The Eurand CF Cycle for Life Bike Tour offers an opportunity for corporations, individuals and local business to strengthen their involvement in the community and gain positive exposure. Outlined below are some general rider demographics.

Where: Start and finish line, Fatima Shrine, 101 Summer Street, Holliston

When: Saturday, October 2, 2010
65 mile route riders register at 7:00 am
30 & 12 mile route rider register at 9:00 am

How: Get involved by riding, donating or sponsoring by calling the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at (508) 655-6000 or 1-800-966-0444 and asking for Terry Waite or visit the website at http://mass-ri.cff.org/cycleforlife

Why: Cystic Fibrosis is an incurable genetic disease primarily affecting the respiratory and digestive systems. Not long ago, the life expectancy was 20 years of age. Research supported by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has extended the expectancy to 37 years of age.

The Cystic FibrosisFoundation participates in MassBike’s Charity Ride Partner Program to help support MassBike’s advocacy and education programs.

I Am An Attorney, And I Ride

Here's a great story from our And I Ride campaign! We are seeking to put a face on cycling in support of a legislative campaign that we are working on this year. You can read the rest of these great bicyclist bios here.

We are still accepting entries, so be sure to read below to find out how to send in your story.

Our next story comes from Chris.


Where I Ride: All over the Boston area
How Often I Ride: Daily

My Story:
I ride a bike. I have punk rock tattoos. I am an anarchist. I usually
dress in all black. When people first meet me they often think I am a bike
messenger. I am not. I am an attorney. This often seems to invoke
judgment from both others bikers, and lawyers. Many seem to think that
people who ride bikes (especially in the winter) are too poor to own a car,
have had their license suspended from OUIs, are Lance Armstrong or “hipster”
wannabes, are environmental fanatics, or are otherwise some sort of social
anomaly.


I ride a bike for many reasons, but for none of the ones listed
above. First, and most important, I ride because it is just plain fun. I
don’t think any adult can ride a bike without some flashback to the
childhood enjoyment of a first bicycle. That fun is still available to
everyone in their adult life. One just needs to start pedaling again.
Second, I ride because 90% of the time it is faster than driving, or taking
public transportation. Third, I ride because it is great way to keep
healthy. Forth, I ride because it is far cheaper than gasoline. Fifth, I
ride because I never have to drive around looking for that all-elusive
parking spot. Biking is a faster, a cheaper, and a more enjoyable way to
get around the city, while keeping healthy. What more could you ask for?



Thanks Chris!

We still want to hear your story. Tell us about yourself and how bicycling is a part of your life. Just copy and paste the form below into an email, fill it in, and send it to shane@massbike.org.

  • Name:

  • Email:

  • Where You Ride:

  • How Often You Ride:

  • Your Profession/Relation/Title (lawyer, nurse, Grandma, son, etc):

  • A picture of you on your bicycle, or you in your daily life (be sure we can see your face):

  • A paragraph or two about your life and your bicycle:


I Am A Retired Professor, And I Ride

Here's a great story from our And I Ride campaign! We are seeking to put a face on cycling in support of a legislative campaign that we are working on this year. You can read the rest of these great bicyclist bios here.

We are still accepting entries, so be sure to read below to find out how to send in your story.

Our next story comes from Bert.


Photo shows me a few years ago in Brookline, MA, with the Breezer bike that I won in an online Massbike raffle, to my complete surprise. A great city bike.
Where I Ride: Boston area, New Hampshire, France
How Often I Ride: Every day

My Story:
I started biking in New York City some 60 years ago, mainly commuting to City College in Manhattan. For more than 50 years now, I’ve been commuting by bike first from Cambridge to Northeastern and then from Brookline--a beautiful ride along the Muddy River and through the Fenway. I also bike a lot near Marseille, France, where I’ve been working and living part of each year for the past 30 years. There, I do most of my errands by bike and do also a lot of recreational biking on the steep hills in this area by the sea. At 79, I’m still able to make it up these hills mainly, I firmly believe, because I’ve stayed in shape by biking practically all my life.

My son commutes half the year to his job in Montpelier, VT, and his whole family does a great deal of mountain biking. My daughter and her family all commute to school and work in Bern, Switzerland. Only my wife does not bike.


Thanks Bert!

We still want to hear your story. Tell us about yourself and how bicycling is a part of your life. Just copy and paste the form below into an email, fill it in, and send it to shane@massbike.org.

  • Name:

  • Email:

  • Where You Ride:

  • How Often You Ride:

  • Your Profession/Relation/Title (lawyer, nurse, Grandma, son, etc):

  • A picture of you on your bicycle, or you in your daily life (be sure we can see your face):

  • A paragraph or two about your life and your bicycle:


MassBike Affair Casino & Fashion Show Presented By Cycle Loft: Tickets On Sale Now!

Join us from 6 – 10 PM on Thursday, October 14th, 2010 at The Greatest Bar, 262 Friend Street, Boston, near North Station and the TD Garden (map). Come and spend a great night with friends in support of the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition!

THE FIRST 100 PEOPLE TO PURCHASE TICKETS WILL RECEIVE $5 IN CHIPS FOR THE CASINO, SO BUY NOW AND DO NOT MISS OUT!!!

This will be a fun evening filled with bikes and accessories from local manufacturers, a fashion show (bikewear doesn’t have to be spandex!), silent auction with some great prizes, and try your luck on the casino floor with games including Blackjack, Texas Hold ‘Em, Roulette, and more.

Early Birds Win! First 100 people in the casino receive a FREE beer, courtesy of Harpoon!

Dinner Specials! Light Appetizers will be provided but we’ll also have dinner specials including a classic burger or veggie quesadilla and beer for $10!

Clothing for the fashion show provided by some of the top designers and merchants, including Pedaler Clothing, Outlier, The Hempest, Cycle Loft, Wheelworks, and more!

All proceeds support the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition (MassBike) and our mission to promote a bicycle-friendly environment and encourage bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation.

FREE VALET BIKE PARKING! Ride your bike and take advantage of our signature valet parking. Or, take the T to North Station. Car parking is available in the area if you must drive.

Tickets should be purchased in advance:
Members $20
Non-members $25
At door: $30 for everyone!

Click here to purchase tickets now!


Presented By Cycle Loft


Sponsors:

More Free Fall Classes! Sponsored by EIA

MassBike, through generous sponsorship from our partner, the Environmental Insurance Agency, will be offering four more fall classes free of charge open to the public. The classes will held in downtown Boston, at the Conservation Law Foundation office , EIA's HQ.

We will be offering our standard Commuter Workshop, two Maintenance Classes, and one Winter Commuter Workshop for those of you looking to continue riding as the weather starts to cool.

The Commuter Workshop is a fast-paced, one hour workshop covers topics ranging from bike choice, gear choice, route planning, safety, rules of the road, how to look professional when you get to work, and other general tips and tricks. It is a great introduction to a variety of aspects of bicycling, and most people leave this class feeling much more confident about riding their bicycle.

The Maintenance Workshop covers how to fix a flat, how to adjust your seat post, how to lube your chain, and a basic overview of bike parts and what they do. Presenters bring all tools/props needed to teach this class, so attendees will not need to bring anything other than themselves to this presentation (please do not bring a bicycle to be repaired). This class will teach you the absolute basics you will need in order to perform some of the most common bicycle upkeep tasks.

The Winter Commuter Workshop contains an abbreviated version of the summer workshop as well as additional tips for how to stay warm and dry. We'll also covers how to maintain your bike, special gear for the winter, and safety tips for dealing with cold and wet weather.

Here is the class schedule:

Wednesday, September 15th: Maintenance Workshop 6:30pm-7:30pm
Wednesday, September 22nd: Commuter Workshop 6:30pm-7:30pm
Tuesday, September 28th: Maintenance Workshop 6:30pm-7:30pm
Wednesday, October 6th: Winter Commuter Workshop 6:30pm-7:30pm

(learn more about these classes here)

Each class is one hour long, and is limited to 30 students. These classes are easy to reach by both bike and public transportation, so they will fill up quickly. Be sure to RSVP by emailing Shane@massbike.org. Specify how many people will be attending and the date of the class you wish to attend.

Check out our calendar for more class listings.


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