DCR Notice: Work Near Charles River Bike Path

Heads up everyone, seems the DCR will be doing a bit of work that might affect the bike path for the next couple weeks, see below.

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Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) crews will begin lead-abatement work on about one mile of decorative fencing between the bicycle/pedestrian pathway and the Charles River along Memorial Drive in Cambridge. During the work, bicyclists and pedestrians may experience minor detours.

Lead abatement is the first step in DCR's plan to replace the roughly 5,700 feet of embankment fence, which is decaying. The $2 million project, to be funded through DCR's capital budget, will replace the existing fence with new, historically correct, fencing. The fence replacement is expected to begin in March and be completed by the end of June.

WHEN: Monday - Friday
Beginning January 18, 2010, and continuing about three weeks
7 a.m.-3:30 p.m., each day

WHERE: Bike/Pedestrian pathway
Between Fowler Street and the Longfellow Bridge
Cambridge

MassBike: Now In 48 Languages



We understand that not all bicyclists in Massachusetts use English as their primary language, we also know that we get a lot of visitors to our website from people in other countries, with that in mind we have recently integrated a translation system here that will allow you to read our website in any of 48 different languages. Look over on the right (I will wait), see those little flags, click on the appropriate flag to select the language you want to read our website in, it's that easy! We know it is not perfect, but it works pretty well, we hope this will allow you to read our site in a language that is most convenient for you.

Mass BikePike Tour Registration Now Open!

The Mass BikePike Tour, a bicycle tour in Massachusetts, is now accepting registrations for the four-day event on August 5-8, 2010. The bike tour will begin and end in Amherst, with daily riding options ranging from 30 to 65 miles.

The Mass BikePike Tour is a celebration of cycling in Massachusetts. Families and individuals will enjoy ample opportunity to explore the state's scenic byways, quaint towns, and all the varied attractions the region has to offer.

[caption id="attachment_1000" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Photo From dlogrono photoset on flikr, click for link to original."][/caption]

Overnight stops will feature great places to camp and hardy meals featuring fresh local products. Participants who prefer an alternative to camping can sleep indoors at our host schools or choose to stay close by at local inns or B&Bs.;

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.

Proceeds from the event will benefit MassBike, the statewide bicycle advocacy group.

Early discounted registration is available until March 1st, 2010

For more information and registration details, visit the web site at www.MassBikePike.org, visit Mass BikePike on Facebook or call 617-710-1832.

Bike To Fenway

We recently received a great email from Mike Beck detailing a fantastic brochure he made for how to bicycle to Fenway Park from points north. These same directions could be modified for points south east and west, the bicycle parking information is particularly valuable. Below are some excerpts from the Brochure, download the entire thing here (.doc)

Love the RedSox but dislike the cramped GreenLine? Do you put off driving to a game to avoid shelling out $30 for parking? Does RT 2 traffic backed up to Lake Street, make you reach for the remote? Fenway Park may be closer than you think!




Check out this great map of how to bike to Fenway.

Even though Fenway Park is in the heart of the city, it is only a baseball throw from the Esplanade and the Paul Dudley White Bikepath along Storrow Drive. There is a Boston University ramp wheelchair/pedestrian bridge over Storrow Drive opposite Silber Avenue. That bicycle bridge makes getting to Fenway as easy as 1, 2, 3.

From Arlington Center “ ride along the Minuteman Trail to Alewife Station. Cycle to Concord Avenue to Huron and Sparks across Brattle to Memorial Drive. Cycle along Memorial Drive, past Anderson Bridge and John Weeks Footbridge to Western Avenue bridge. Cross over to the Boston side of the Charles River and continue left on bikepath. Once on the Paul Dudley White bikepath, you have a flat enjoyable scenic ride until you reach the Silber Street bike-ramp bridge at Boston University.


If you have any favorite routes to Fenway please let us know in the comments. If you have links to maps I will update this post with them.

Ask MassBike: Crash On The Esplanade

We get a lot of questions here at MassBike, and we like to think we also give some pretty good answers. We realized that sharing these questions and answers on our website would be a valuable resource to others looking for the same information.

We got this question from Farzad about a crash he had on the esplanade.

hello massbike,

i'm a cyclist living in cambridge and i use the paul dudley white bike path along the charles to get to work. i've noticed that the city seems to plow the path but does not salt it, and, as a result, the path becomes a sheet of ice in the winter. i'm upset because on my way to work on friday i hit a huge patch of ice as i tried to go around a runner by the longfellow bridge, and i hit the ground hard and badly fractured my clavicle. i go back in two weeks for more x-rays to determine whether i'll need surgery. i'm writing to get your help in determining what my rights are, if i have a case. thank you so much for your advocacy and for helping make MA a better place for cyclists!

cheers,
farzad


Hello Farzad

Yikes! I hope you heal up fast, I have broken a collar bone before, and while painful doesn't always need surgery. Good luck with the recovery.

The bike path on the Esplanade is maintained and plowed by the DCR, not the City of Boston. We would guess that the DCR probably limits or prohibits the use of salt and deicing agents on the Esplanade due to the proximity to the river and risk of contamination from runoff, however we do not know for sure.

For information about how the DCR clears the bike path in the winter, we recommend contacting Samantha Overton, Director of Urban Parks and Recreation Samantha.Overton@state.ma.us.

Unfortunately MassBike is unable to give legal advice. For legal advice, we recommend consulting a lawyer. We recommend Andrew Fischer of Jason & Fischer, 617-423-7904, is very good, other lawyers also handle bicycle cases.

Hope this helps

Ask MassBike: Youth Cycling And Racing

We get a lot of questions here at MassBike, and we like to think we also give some pretty good answers. We realized that sharing these questions and answers on our website would be a valuable resource to others looking for the same information.

We got this question from Josh about the youth cycling clubs, and youth racing.

My son is 8 years old and loves to bike... we have been looking for a sport that has many positive values and that he is passionate about and this seems to be it. do you have any resources, or contacts for youth clubs or how to buy the first bike with shifters for a young aspiring cyclist?



Hello Josh

It is so great that your son is into cycling and that you want to get him a nice bike. I would suggest that you stay away from big box retailers, as they are not going to have the experience needed to get your son a nicer bicycle. I would go to your local bike shop. Not only will you be supporting local business, but you will also be tapping into the years of experience that the local bike shops have. They are really the best place to learn about bikes, and get advice about bicycles. You can find a list of shops that support MassBike here.

As far as local clubs that do youth rides, we are not aware of any, but you can contact the ones we have listings for here, and see if they do any youth rides. I also think that NEBC has some programs to get kids into racing, which might be of interest.

Also be sure to check out our youth safety education here.

I hope this helps!

If anyone knows of any cycling clubs that have youth related rides please leave them in the comments, if you have a question for MassBike, contact us.

MassBike Welcomes It's New Board Members!

We are pleased to announce the results of the MassBike Board of Directors election!

The following people have been elected to serve a three-year term:

Ellen Gugel
Bob Nesson
Sam Thompson
Phil Posner
Timothy Libby
James Bradley
Michael Augustine

We had eight candidates for seven open slots. 230 members voted, which is an outstanding turnout.
Thank you to everyone who voted and we look forward to working with our board and making 2010 the best year yet for MassBike!

MassBike Leads Effort To Revise Bike/Ped Engineering Directive

[Ed. Note: We revised this post to resolve some confusion among our advocacy partners.]

Sometimes it's the seemingly little things that can make a big difference. We often work behind the scenes on the less-than-exciting minutia of government agencies. This involves many meetings, phone calls, and emails about things that most people never hear about, but have a big impact on the daily lives of cyclists in Massachusetts. We are able to do all of this because of the support of our wonderful members.

Last August, MassDOT (formerly MassHighway) issued an Engineering Directive (pdf) intended to clarify (1) the minimum standards for bicycle and pedestrian accommodation on roads statewide, and (2) the process for requesting an exception from those standards (in other words, how to ask for permission NOT to accommodate cyclists and pedestrians). Directives like this are used by MassDOT and engineers statewide to guide the design of road projects. While the state, with the help of MassBike and other advocates, has made great progress establishing more bicycle and pedestrian-friendly design standards, we thought this directive represented a step backward (though we are confident that was not MassDOT's intention).

MassBike's Technical Advisory Committee carefully analyzed the directive, then we organized a joint effort with MassBike, LivableStreets Alliance, WalkBoston, and the Institute for Human Centered Design, to bring these concerns to MassDOT's attention. We all met with them today. (our memo about the directive pdf)

To MassDOT's credit, they recognized that the directive was not as clear as it could have been, and invited the advocates to work with them to revise it. MassBike will work with the other groups on a revised directive and follow up with MassDOT. We appreciate MassDOT's willingness to recognize the problem and work with us to solve it.

Longfellow Bridge Bike Lane Saved, And Sidewalks Too!

In a victory for bicyclists and pedestrians, MassDOT today agreed to change its plans to remove a portion of the bike lane on the Longfellow Bridge in order to install sidewalks where none currently exist. Instead, MassDOT opted to build the sidewalks and keep the bike lane by implementing an alternative proposal submitted by MassBike, LivableStreets Alliance, WalkBoston, and the Institute for Human Centered Design.



MassDOT also agreed to perform further analysis of the traffic patterns on the bridge in order to determine whether the lane configuration currently planned for the long-term reconstruction of the bridge is necessary, or if alternative proposals to provide even more space for bicycles and pedestrians are feasible (such as this one submitted by MassBike pdf). Finally, MassDOT agreed to continue the discussion with the advocates about the future configuration of the Longfellow Bridge.

Thanks MassDOT, and thanks to all the advocates for a great joint effort! Special thanks to State Representatives Marty Walz and Will Brownsberger, whose leadership on these issues is making a real difference.

Broadway Commuter Repair Clinic Classes, Date Changes

Due to a slight mix-up the very fun and very informative Broadway Commuter Repair Clinics have had their dates changed.

Below is a re-post of the original posting for these classes with corrected dates. There are still some slots in each class but they have been going fast so sign up now!

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Be ready to protect your bicycle against the ravages of winter, or get it ready to start riding again next spring! Learning how to perform basic repairs on your bicycle is an important part of bicycle commuting. To help you get there, Broadway Bicycle School has teamed up with MassBike to offer some great commuter repair clinics.



Learn the ABC Quick Check, how to change a flat, how to use your barrel adjusters to adjust brakes, and how to determine when the bike needs repairs. These great clinics will also cover how to properly lube your chain and other parts of the bicycle, how to clean your bike and why that is important.

Bring your own bicycle. Learn hands-on how to maintain the bicycle you ride each day.

Class size is limited to 8 people, and classes are expected to fill up fast, so sign up now in order to get the class date you want.

Classes offered:

Each clinic is 2 hours long and from 4-6pm, cost is $30 per 2-hour clinic.

Dates have changed! below dates are correct



Jan. 10 (sign up here)
Jan. 17 (sign up here)
Jan. 24 (sign up here)
Jan. 31 (sign up here)

Each class will be at the Broadway Bicycle School, 351 Broadway, in Cambridge.

If you own or operate a bike shop that offers repair classes and would like to team up with MassBike to offer them to our members contact us.


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