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.

Harvard Is Looking For Participants For A Helmet Study

The Harvard School of Public Health is doing a research study on head injuries among bicyclists.

Who can participate: Bike messengers and racers 18 years and older

What participation involves a 2-3 hr appointment at our Landmark Center research offices where you:

  • complete questionnaires about your history and behavior


  • take computerized tests of your brain function


  • have your brain’s electrical response to tones recorded


  • Contact from the research team over the next 3 years to identify if any head injuries have occurred.


  • In-person follow-up visits to the research office 1 and 6 months following any head injury, or possibly after another study participant experiences a head injury, for the same procedures described above.



You will receive $50 following each in-person visit.

To participate, or for more information, call Kimberly Newton at 617-384-8865 Or e-mail at knewton@hsph.harvard.edu

I Am A Wife, 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 Mary Ann.



Where I Ride: From Somerville to Belmont via Minuteman path
How Often I Ride: Usually 4 or 5 days a week, depending on the weather

My Story:

I love riding my bike. I ride to the post office, to the library, to Davis Square, to the North End, to Fenway Park for ball games or concerts; I ride downtown, or to the JFK museum -- wherever I need to go, wherever I want to go. I also ride for fun on the paths in and around Boston. I recently discovered the trails around Bedford and Concord and the beautifully marked trail from Watertown Square to Waltham. I biked in Tuscany in the summer of 09 and I fell in love with the countryside. It was an awesome riding experience. I enjoy riding to and from work. I've been biking around Boston for 30 years. It is a great way to get exercise for both body and spirit. I'm always in a better frame of mind when I've been on the bike rather than in traffic in the car. It is much less stressful. Biking relaxes me and puts me in touch with nature. It gives me time to think and enjoy the moment.



Biking also gives me great opportunities to photograph things I would never see or notice if I were in a car all the time. It opens up a whole new world and gives me a fresh perspective. I take two of my high school classes on week long bike trips to Nantucket twice a year -- in the Fall we study Hamlet and Astronomy while we bike around the island and in the Spring we read Moby Dick and visit the whaling museum in addition to biking the island. We never have a car on the island. I've been doing that for over 10 years. I'm a rider and I love it!


Thanks Mary Ann!

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:


AAA Takes One Step Forward, One Step Back For Bikes: MassBike Responds

In its April 2010 Horizons magazine, AAA did MassBike a huge favor by featuring our "Same Roads Same Rules" campaign. Read the whole article here. This reached literally millions of motorists with our message that motorists need to respect bicyclists on the road. Unfortunately, in the same article, AAA listed several "rules" for bicyclists that is a mixed bag of good advice and flat-out wrong:


For a safe ride, bicyclists should follow these rules:

  • Do not ride bikes on sidewalks. Stay on the roadway, traveling in the same direction as motor-vehicle traffic.

  • Bicycles should stay to the right along the curb.

  • Ride in single file unless passing another bicycle.

  • Before veering into traffic, make sure it is safe to do so.

  • Walk a bike across an intersection rather than riding.

  • Obey traffic signals and signs, and indicate actions such as turning and stopping by using appropriate hand gestures.


And, the rules are the same for adults and children.


Here is MassBike's response to AAA:

Thanks so much for including our Same Roads Same Rules campaign in the recent issue of Horizons. It is a big help for us to reach motorists. There is, unfortunately, some significant misinformation in the part of the article regarding rules for bicyclists.


  1. “Do not ride bikes on sidewalks.” While bicycling on sidewalks in business districts is prohibited by MA law, it is lawful everywhere else unless prohibited by local ordinance. We do believe it is generally safer for bicyclists to ride in the roadway, but many parents will not allow their children to ride in the road, and for some newer adult bicyclists it can be a step toward being comfortable riding in the road. So if it comes down to a choice of people riding on the sidewalk or not riding at all, we prefer to see them riding on the sidewalk and learning how to do so safely.

  2. “Bicycles should stay to the right along the curb.” This is incorrect. Bicycles are legally vehicles in MA, and are entitled to use the full lane. While bicyclists are permitted to ride to the right of other traffic, there are many situations when this is unsafe, such as when the road is too narrow for a car to pass safely, or when that would place cyclists in the door zone, or riding through roadside debris, or riding too close to the curb and risking a crash. Telling cyclists to stay to the right also encourages the very dangerous practice of weaving in and out of parked cars in an effort to stay as close to the curb as possible at all times. We always say that bicyclists should “hold their line” (ride as straight as they can) because this makes them more predictable and thus safer.

  3. “Walk a bike across an intersection rather than riding.” While it is of course legal to walk your bike across an intersection like a pedestrian, it is not something we recommend because when you get to the other side you will need to return to the roadway, which motorists are not expecting someone in the crosswalk to do. For young children, or at a complex intersection, or where bicyclists can legally ride on the sidewalk, crossing like a pedestrian might be a good option, but otherwise it is not. Telling bicyclists to walk their bikes across is more likely to lead to bicyclists riding in the crosswalk, which is illegal and hazardous to pedestrians, and increases the risk of the bicyclist getting “right-hooked” by a turning car that is not expecting bikes in the crosswalk.

  4. You do not mention that helmets are required in MA for children age 16 and younger.



I think these issues (particularly #2) are serious enough that you might want to correct them in a future issue of Horizons. We would be happy to work with AAA in the future to help you get the most up-to-date bicycle safety information to your members.

2010 Mass BikePike Tour Registration Is Now Open, Proceeds Benefit MassBike

The Mass BikePike Tour, a bicycle tour in Massachusetts, is now accepting registrations for its four-day event to take place August 5th-8th, 2010. The bike tour will begin and end in Amherst, MA with daily riding options ranging from 30 to 65 miles though Central MA, the Quabbin Watershed, the Connecticut River Valley and hundreds of small towns, quaint villages and lush parks, farms and scenic vistas in between.



The Mass BikePike Tour is a celebration of cycling in Massachusetts. Families and individuals alike will enjoy ample opportunity to explore the state’s scenic byways, quaint towns, and all the varied attractions the region has to offer. The routes are scenic with terrain that ranges from rolling hills to challenging climbs and a spectacular descent to banks of the Connecticut River. Riders can pedal fast and finish the day early, or take a more leisurely pace and explore the countryside. Organizers will provide information about the history of the areas, interesting places to visit, and even where to take a dip along the way or at the end of the day.

Overnight stops will feature great places to camp and hardy meals featuring fresh local fare. Last year, riders enjoyed great Bar-B-Que from BT’s Smokehouse in Warren, a Mexican Buffet at Anna Maria College in Paxton, and a gourmet Farmers Market Evening Picnic prepared by the Hardwick Cooking School and Rose 32 Bakery in Orange. Vegetarian options are available. Group breakfast can include coffee, fruit, bagels, eggs, pancakes, oatmeal, cereals, and toast. Snack stops with lots of fresh fruit, cold water and Gatorade will be provided along the route

Participants who prefer an alternative to camping can sleep indoors at host schools or choose to stay close by at local inns or B&Bs. The tour camps at local schools with all facilities including pleasant bathroom facilities. No tents? No problem! The tour offers Camptel VIP Service – ride into camp at the end of the day, and tents will be propped, air mattress filled, and clean towels and chairs await. One night, the tour will be staying at a local college and everyone gets to sleep inside with air conditioning and comfortable beds. A good night’s sleep equals a good ride the following day.

Registered riders will receive maps, route descriptions, lists of local attractions along the route, access to snack stops, SAG support, a commemorative T-shirt, and the camaraderie of friendly folks having a good time and sharing the love of riding, all while raising money for a great cause. Commemorative jerseys will also be available for $55.

Proceeds from the event will benefit MassBike, Massachusetts’ statewide bicycle advocacy group. Proceeds help it achieve its mission of promoting a bicycle-friendly environment and encouraging bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation. The tour is sponsored by Food Should Taste Good, Raw Revolution, Bike Rides for Ordinary People, Larabar, Landry’s Bicycles, Boston Bike Film Festival, MassBike, and Ciclismo Classico.

For more information and registration details, visit the web site at www.MassBikePike.org, visit Mass BikePike on Facebook or call Bruce Lederer at 617-710-1832. Registration is due by July 19, 2010.

I Am A Librarian, And I Ride

Here is yet another great And I Ride story. 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 Matt.





Where I Ride: Mostly Somerville, Cambridge and Boston, but all over eastern Mass

How Often I Ride: Daily


My Story:


I hadn't been on a bike since I lived in Amsterdam ten years ago during college. Then I was laid off from my job in Seattle last year and moved in with my long-distance boyfriend, Pete, in Somerville -- with no car, not much money and a lot of free time. Pete's a musician; the bassist in his band commutes by bike from JP to Nonantum and offered to hook me with a good deal on a used bike so I could get around. Two weeks after I moved here I spent Patriots' Day riding to Walden Pond via Lexington Green and Minuteman National Park. I've barely gotten off the bike since.



My bike kept me fit and sane through six months of unemployment. It took me to the interview for the job I ended up landing in September; now, it brings me to work every day. It helped me learn my way around my new home -- over hills, across rivers, and along beaches. It has couriered posters all around town so that people would come to Pete's shows. It means that all the daily errands that would take hours to by transit can get done in an hour on my way home in the evening. Even on the coldest winter days I'm pulling on my long johns and riding ten miles. I can't imagine doing without the convenience or the pure enjoyment of having a bike, any more than I can imagine not having Pete in my life. He loves the bike, too, because I love it so much!



Thanks Matt!


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:


Neponset River Bridge Lane Closings

MassDOT’s Contractor will be installing the final components associated with the work zone for the first phase of construction on the Neponset River Bridge Phase II, which carries traffic between Quincy and Boston.



On Monday, May 3, from 7 AM to 3:30PM – there will be a Southbound double, left-hand lane closure.

On Monday May 3, at 3:30 PM to Tuesday, May 4 at 7 AM – the Southbound right lane will be closed.

On Tuesday, May 4, from 7 AM to 3:30 PM there will be a Southbound double, left-hand lane closure.

On Tuesday May 4, from 3:30PM to Wednesday, May 5 at 7 AM the Southbound right lane will be closed.

On Wednesday May 5, from 7 AM to 10 AM there will be a Southbound double, left-hand lane closure.

On Wednesday, May 5 at 10 AM, the remaining components of the Phase I work zone will be implemented. Beginning at approximately 3:00 PM, Southbound traffic traveling to Quincy Shore Drive will be directed to the left lane that will occupy a portion of the northbound side of the bridge and Southbound traffic traveling to Hancock Street will be directed to the far right lane on the southbound side of the bridge in order to accommodate the work zone.

Once the Phase I work zone is implemented, there will be 3 northbound travel lanes from the mid point of the bridge to Neponset Circle and one southbound travel lane from Neponset Circle to the midpoint of the bridge weekdays between 6 AM to 10 AM. At all other times, two lanes will be provided in each direction on the main span of the bridge; however, there may be instances where only one southbound travel lane from Neponset Circle to the midpoint of the bridge will be available between 10:00 AM and 3:30 PM weekdays to allow for construction activities to occur.

MassDOT strongly advises drivers to reduce speed and use extreme caution when travelling through the work zone. Drivers travelling southbound towards Quincy over the bridge should pay close attention to signage and traffic control devices approaching the bridge and through the work zone to ensure that they utilize the correct lane to access either Quincy Shore Drive or Hancock Street.

MassDOT encourages auto commuters to consider taking advantage of alternative transportation opportunities during the construction work and avoid traffic and increased commuting times. There is currently available capacity on the Hingham Ferry, the Quincy/Hull Ferry and the Greenbush Commuter Rail line. The Red line also runs from Quincy to Boston. For additional information on alternative commuter options please see www.mbta.com or contact the MBTA Customer Support Services Center at (617) 222-3200 or TTY (617) 222-5146. Customer Service representatives are available Monday-Friday 6:30 AM - 8:00 PM and Saturday-Sunday from 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM

MassBike On The Airwaves: Listen To David Watson On WGBH 89.7

Click here for streaming audio of MassBike Executive Director David Watson on WGBH's The Callie Crossley Show on April 21, 2010. David discussed bicyclist safety with Boston's Director of Bicycle Programs Nicole Freedman.


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