I Am An Aunt, And I Ride

Here is 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 stories 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 Kathryn.



Where I Ride: North Shore, MA (Stoneham, Salem, Gloucester and in between)
How Often I Ride: A couple of times a week (more during spring/summer triathlon season)

My Story:

I have a busy life between work, friends, my dog, and my family. I have 2 nieces and 2 nephews, plus 3 siblings, and my parents. My siblings (two sisters and a brother) and I try and get together at least monthly for long rides and we do charity rides together as well. One of my nieces is also getting into cycling (she's cool and always wants to join us...even when she knows we'll be out for a few hours!



I am also a triathlete, so much of my riding is for training. The best part thought, is it's such a great way to see a community. I try and squeeze in an hour ride after work when it's light enough a few nights a week in and around my neighborhood. I'll occasionally ride with some of the local cycling teams - which is a great way to discover new routes. I've started taking trips to cycle in different countries or places - went to New Zealand last year for a 2 week cycling trip with one of my sisters - what an amazing experience...if only the US would become so cycling friendly everywhere.



I'm hoping that in 2010 there will be a "bike to work" group for the North Shore - there are a lot of us up here that work in the city and I would love to participate in that event and discover the best ride into the city from where I live - which means, I would ride more!



Thanks Katherine!



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:


Hear MassBike On MBTA Platforms!

I am featured in public service announcements being broadcast on MBTA platforms starting this week! I'm talking about Bay State Bike Week, taking bikes on the T, and folding bikes. Many thanks to MBTA General Manager Rich Davey for helping us reach out to the large audience of transit riders.

Biking on the T PSA
Folding Bike PSA
Bay State Bike Week PSA

You can find out more about MassBike's long history of pushing for bicycles on the T here.

You may also hear spots from Biker Boy, "Boston's bicycling superhero". I won't reveal his secret identity, but you may have seen him at the Boston Bike Safety Summit. He is particularly concerned about bike safety for kids.

We Need You On The Ride Of Silence This Wednesday

MassBike will lead the Boston-area Ride of Silence on Wednesday, May 19, 2010, one of hundreds of such rides taking place worldwide in memory of bicyclists killed or injured while riding on public roads. The ride occurs during Bay State Bike Week, the statewide celebration of bicycling. We've seen lots of you riding this week, and we urge as many of you as possible to attend this important ride tomorrow evening. We need to send a strong message to the public that bicyclist safety on the roads is an important issue that affects many people. Let us know if you plan to attend by RSVPing to Shane@massbike.org.

Steady rain cancels, we will post an update on this site on Wednesday if we need to cancel.

The idea of the Ride of Silence is to draw attention to the human toll caused by roads that are poorly designed for bicycling and by motorists who fail to drive safely around bicyclists. The need for the ride, and the need for more attention to bicyclist safety is clear - just look at the recent toll with three bicyclists hit in Boston last month (one of them fatally) and one killed in Newton just yesterday.

The ride will depart Seven Hills Park behind the Davis Square MBTA Station in Somerville at 7pm, then make its way through Cambridge to Boston where it will conclude at the Charles Street entrance to the Boston Common. The six-mile ride will take place in total silence, at a slow pace, with only signs worn by the riders to explain the purpose of the ride. The route intentionally takes busy streets in order to draw the greatest amount of attention, though the riders take care to follow the law and minimize interference with motor vehicle traffic. The ride will conclude with brief remarks at Boston Common.

In addition to the Boston-area ride, there are rides in Leominster, Martha's Vineyard, and Worcester. Check our calendar or the Ride of Silence website for details.

This year, the Ride of Silence goes hand in hand with several MassBike campaigns. The And I Ride campaign is an ongoing series of personal stories and photographs that put a human face on bicyclists. The Same Roads, Same Rules campaign educates bicyclists and motorists about how to interact safely on the road. Finally, MassBike intends to introduce a bill in the Legislature next year that will toughen penalties and make prosecution easier for motorists who kill or injure bicyclists or other Vulnerable Road Users.

I have been leading our local Ride of Silence for several years, and the power of simply riding a bike in silence with my own thoughts, yet still with a large group, always moves me, so please consider joining me or one of the other Rides of Silence tomorrow night.

Bay State Bike Week Rolling Strong, Get Out There And Ride!

The first official statewide Bay State Bike Week is in full gear! We've already had awesome bike breakfasts and other events all over the state, with much more to come. The MassCommuter Challenge has blown away its goal of 125,000 miles pledged and is closing in on 200,000 miles! MassBike and MassDOT got together this year to throw a unifying umbrella over Bike Week, showing everyone just how many people want to get around by bike. Yes, you heard it, our state government is actively encouraging bicycling, and we really appreciate the collaborative effort this year. MassBike has been working hard to build a stronger relationship with MassDOT and other state agencies, and Bay State Bike Week and the Same Roads, Same Rules campaign are the most visible fruits of that effort to date.

Check out the calendar, get a free t-shirt or ankle reflector, grab a Same Roads, Same Rules spoke card, and have fun!

Here is a small sample of events this week:



Click here to find events near you



Live From Mayor Menino's Bike Week Kick-Off

MassBike was at Mayor Menino's Bike week kick-off this morning. After a nice ride out to the new Comm. Ave. bike lanes we listened to several speakers talk about the many improvements that Boston has made in the last couple of years. We had a great time riding with a police escort, and the new bike lanes on Commonwealth Ave. are really nice. We even got a chance to try out the cities first bike boxes!

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Live From University Park Bike Breakfast



I'm at my first bike breakfast of the week, and there is a great crowd here. Check baystatebikeweek.org for the full schedule.

MassBike Launches Statewide Safety Education Program, Partners With Top State Agencies

MassBike is very excited to announce that today the Governor, the Secretary of Transportation, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of Public Safety, and the DCR Commissioner announced their partnership with MassBike on our Same Roads Same Rules campaign and Bay State Bike Week. You can read the complete press release below.



Same Roads, Same Rules is aimed at both bicyclists and motorists. It is about coexisting in a shared space, respecting each other as human beings, using common sense, and keeping yourself and others safe by following a common set of rules. As the number of cyclists has skyrocketed in recent years, the need for more information has become urgent, with many on the road, bicyclists and motorists alike, unsure how to safely interact with each other.

The heart of the campaign is the website at SameRoadsSameRules.org, but you will also see our street teams handing out Same Roads, Sames Rules spoke cards. The spoke cards have simple safety tips for bikers and drivers, and we encourage bicyclists to stick them in your wheels and share them with others on the road.

The campaign is featured on the Registry of Motor Vehicles website, and the RMV will be distributing spoke cards to motorists at RMV branch locations. We expect other agencies to feature the campaign as well so that we reach as many people as possible.

TAKE ACTION: We need your help to get the word out, so please pass a link to SameRoadsSameRules.org to everyone you know who rides a bike or drives a car in Massachusetts.

And what better time to spread the word than Bay State Bike Week, May 17th-21st (next week)! Check the website for a complete calendar of events statewide and near you, then get on your bike and celebrate bicycling in Massachusetts at a bike breakfast, one of our own Pump n' Lube Stations, a film fest, and much more! Be sure to register your mileage for the Mass Commuter Challenge, whether you ride for fun, fitness, or transportation next week. Over 100,000 miles have been pledged already!

Press Release:

SURGE IN BICYCLING SPARKS "SAME ROADS, SAME RULES" SAFETY CAMPAIGN
State Agencies and MassBike Partner on Education Effort, Encourage Residents to Bike to Work on Bay State Bike Week May 17-21

BOSTON - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 - In response to the sharp rise in bicycle commuters and recreational bicyclists, MassBike, in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Department of Public Health, has launched a new safety campaign to educate both bicyclists and motorists about the role of bicycles on the state's roads. The centerpiece of the "Same Road, Same Rules" campaign is an educational website unveiled today at www.SameRoadsSameRules.org.

The agencies and MassBike are also encouraging residents to bike to work and take part in Bay State Bike Week on May 17-21, a week long series of bike events occurring statewide. For a calendar of events and more information visit www.baystatebikeweek.org.

"Bicycling is a fun, healthy way to travel, whether you're just going to the store or commuting to work," said Governor Patrick. "Due to the increase in popularity of bicycling we encourage both drivers and bicyclists to educate themselves about their separate roles and responsibilities on the road."

The state's partnership with MassBike on the Same Roads, Same Rules campaign is part of the Healthy Transportation Compact, an initiative of the Patrick-Murray Administration's historic transportation reform that promotes collaboration between the departments of transportation and public health to adopt best practices, increase efficiency and achieve positive health outcomes through the coordination of land use, transportation and public health policy.

"It is thrilling to see all the bicycles during my morning and evening commutes. With so many bicyclists taking to the road it's increasingly important that bicyclists and motorists learn how to interact safely," said MassBike Executive Director David Watson. "Many of these bicyclists are new to riding in traffic, and many motorists are unsure what to do around bicyclists, but the common thread is that everyone wants to get where they are going safely."

The Same Roads, Same Rules website focuses on the most important things both motorists and bicyclists need to know about the role of bicycles on the road. Visitors can explore safety tips for bikes or cars, detailed information about state laws or common myths and misconceptions from both bicyclist and motorists perspectives. The MassDOT and DCR websites will promote the Same Roads, Same Rules website and MassBike plans to heavily promote the new site to bicyclists via postcards, stickers and other materials.

"The Same Roads, Same Rules campaign aims to welcome both new and old bicyclists to the road and educate all road users, including drivers, about both the rights and responsibilities of bicycles on our roads," said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Jeffrey Mullan. "MassDOT is working closely with the bicycling community to strengthen safety and education for our employees and to our customers throughout the state."

"This campaign complements the work we do with Mass in Motion to encourage residents to take steps to improve their overall health and wellness," said Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. JudyAnn Bigby. "Riding a bike is an easy way for residents to incorporate exercise into their daily routines. This initiative will help create an environment where residents who choose to ride their bikes on our roads can do so safely."

"Biking is practical, fun and healthy as long as riders and drivers alike share the responsibility of road safety," said Public Safety Secretary Mary Beth Heffernan. "To promote bike safety, we will provide 157 communities over 14,000 helmets, purchased with public safety grants, to be distributed free of charge at local events during the spring and summer months."

"The increased interest in cycling and bicycle safety is very heartening," said DCR Commissioner Rick Sullivan, "and the Same Roads, Same Rules campaign is an excellent initiative to educate cyclists and motorists alike in how we should all behave to keep everyone safe."

For transportation news and updates visit MassDOT at our website: www.mass.gov/massdot, blog: www.mass.gov/blog/transportation, or follow MassDOT on twitter at www.twitter.com/massdot.
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Globe Gets It Wrong: MassBike's Response

The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine ran an article last weekend (written by a bicyclist, no less) that seriously missed the mark, offering a mixed bag of advice for bicyclists and assigning too little responsibility for road safety to motorists. See the article here.

I was quoted, accurately, in the article, but the quote did not reflect the main point of my comments to the reporter, so here is the Letter to the Editor I sent to the Globe today:

Doug Most’s response to a recent cycling tragedy in Boston (“What cyclists neglect, Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, May 9, 2010) is well-intentioned but off-target. As an initial matter, Mr. Most’s advice for bicyclists has one serious fault: Bicyclists should not leave the roadway and ride on the sidewalk to avoid buses and other large vehicles – sidewalk bicycling is illegal in many places, creates conflicts with pedestrians, and endangers cyclists reentering the roadway where they are not expected. Instead, bicyclists should wait for the bus to move on, or pass it safely on the left after making sure the driver can see them in his or her left-side mirror. Of greater importance is Mr. Most’s disproportionate assignment of responsibility for safety. While he is correct that bicyclists, like any road users, bear a large measure of responsibility for their own safety, he too readily dismisses changing the behavior of motorists as impossible. The greatest responsibility for protecting other road users must lie with the people piloting the most dangerous vehicles - multi-ton steel machines - in space shared with bicyclists and pedestrians who are vulnerable even when acting entirely legally and sensibly. We are in the midst of a culture change as more and more people choose to get around by bicycle, and that change must extend to motorists, through driver education, public outreach by our transportation agencies, enforcement to curb aggressive behavior, and a recognition that we are all people trying to get somewhere safely.


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