What The Heck Is The MABPAB?

The MABPAB is the Massachusetts Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board, which is a very important forum for MassBike to influence statewide policy on bicycling. The MABPAB was established by law, championed by MassBike and WalkBoston, to "oversee the state's bicycle and pedestrian activities and advise the bicycle and pedestrian program office [now part of MassDOT]." Bicycling advocates occupy seven seats on the board, appointed by the Governor. The board meets monthly and often invites transportation officials for Q&A sessions; recent guests include the Secretary of Transportation and Boston's Director of Bike Programs. The board often sends comment letters to the Governor and agency heads offering advice on bicycle and pedestrian issues both general and project-specific.

Highlights from yesterday's MABPAB meeting:

  • Federal stimulus money is funding a number of bicycle and pedestrian projects, including $4.8M for secure bike cages and other bike parking at MBTA stations, $3.6M for the Alewife Greenway to connect Somerville and Medford to the Minuteman Bikeway and Alewife Station, $8M for Nonantum Road in Watertown including significant bike/ped improvements, and over $15M for the North Bank Pedestrian Bridge from Cambridge to Charlestown.

  • $30M in funding for 12 bridges needed for the 48-mile Blackstone River Bikeway project has been "lost" due to the transfer of Accelerated Bridge Program resources from DCR to MassDOT.

  • Boston got $20M in federal stimulus funding to resurface 27 miles of roads, including adding 4 miles of bike lanes (the other roads are not suitable for bike lanes).

  • Boston has changed its policies on minimum road lane widths and will now consider 7-ft parking lanes and 10-ft travel lanes, which will free up additional space for bicycle and pedestrian accommodations such as bike lanes and wider sidewalks.

  • The board endorsed a letter to MassDOT supporting the addition of bicycle and pedestrian accommodations to the Whittier Bridge/I-95 Improvement Project in Newburyport, Amesbury, and Salisbury. This is a $300M project, one of five "mega-projects" in the Accelerated Bridge Program. While bikes/peds are not usually permitted on interstate highways in Massachusetts, this is the best opportunity available to provide a way for bicyclists and pedestrians to cross the Merrimack River to access Salibury, Amesbury, an expanding trail network and beaches.


The 13th Annual Jingle Ride Supports MassBike, RSVP Now!



Join The 13th Annual Jingle Ride & Open House Holiday Celebration brought to you by Ciclismo Classico and MassBike

Two Great Events to Celebrate the Season
If you can't make it to the ride, please join the party afterwards!

Join Our 13th Holiday Jingle Ride Expected to Be the Biggest & Most Festive Yet

Bring Your Holiday Cheer, Your Friends and Your Bike - Sunday, December 13 This year's event will benefit MassBike!

THE TRADITION CONTINUES! Don't miss what has become the most anticipated Ciclismo event of every holiday season, the 13th Annual Jingle Ride.

On what has become our most colorful, cheerful and musical ride of all, donations collected at this year's ride will benefit The Massachussetts Bicycle Coalition. MassBike promotes a bicycle-friendly environment and encourages bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and advocates for better bicycling across the entire state.

So get out your most festive and warm riding gear and get ready to pedal!

Warm Up at the Post-Ride Party
Please join us at the post-ride party at 3:30pm at Lauren Hefferon's house for warm and tasty food and drink, celebrating great rides and good friends in with true Ciclismo and Italian hospitality! Please join the party even if you can't make it to the ride!

THE DETAILS

When Sunday, December 13, 2003 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
10:30 am: Registration
11:00 am: On time departure

What 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.

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

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

View Larger Map
If you would like to meet us in Cambridge or downtown, call 617-640-4837 for time and place. There will be fun prizes for best costume, best decorated bike, and more!

Need a great costume?
Check out Eastern Coast Costumes, 329 Moody Street, Waltham, Massachusetts, 1-800-924-6836.

We'll provide free coffee, treats for kids and a repertoire of Christmas Carols to sing. We'll stop for hot toddies and other goodies along the way. Don't forget jingle bells for your booties and remember those layers!

Special thanks to our prize sponsors:



Landry's Bicycles for providing $25 gift certificates
Colavita USA for the Colavita gift basket
Urban AdvenTours for a coveted "I Bike Boston" T-shirt


Please RSVP
To RSVP for Jingle Ride and Post-Ride Celebration: email us here.
To RSVP for the Post-Ride Celebration ONLY: email us here.
Please include your NAME and NUMBER of PEOPLE IN YOUR PARTY.


Ride for a Cause
Each year, we ask participants to make a holiday donation to a local non-profit organization. 100% of donations collected will benefit MassBike.

Donations will be collected at the ride's starting point. Cash and checks are accepted, payable to MassBike. Suggested donation is $25 per rider.

Not yet a MassBike member?
Donate $40 at the ride and a new one-year membership is included. Member benefits include local bike shop discounts of 10% or more, discounts at bike friendly B&Bs;, discounted cycling skills classes, and much more! Visit MassBike.org for full member benefits.

I can't make the ride, but I will make a tax-deductible donation to MassBike.

I can't make the ride, but I will join the Open House Holiday Celebration at Lauren Hefferon's home (email name and number of guests).

Open House Holiday Celebration
After an invigorating ride full of holiday spirit, all riders are invited to the home of Lauren Hefferon, Director and Founder of Ciclismo Classico, for a post-ride holiday celebration with lots of munchies and drinks.

Open House Location Lauren's House, 13 Marathon Street, Arlington. 3:30pm - 5:30pm

See you on Sunday, December 13 at Jam N' Java in Arlington Center!

Help Us Make Our Path And Trail List More Useful!

We need your help! MassBike has been around for a long time, and during that period we have collected all sorts of wonderful information. One bit of information that a lot of you seem to enjoy is our list of paths and trails statewide. The problem is that the list is woefully out of date.

That's where you come in! You probably know your local paths and trails much better than we do, you might even know where there is a website we can find more information, maybe you are working at getting more paths or trails built and they are not even on our list!

Here's how you can help:

1. Look at the list (link)
2. If you spot an error, either list it in the comments here, or contact us
3. Be sure to include as much info as you can, descriptions of the trail, websites, phone numbers, maps, etc all help
4. Be sure to let us know if this is an existing trail or one that is being planned

We can't offer much, but we will be sure to let everyone know that it was you that helped and your efforts will go towards making this resource better for everyone.

MassBike Is On Twitter


That's right, we tweet (?) now. Yet another way for you to stay in touch with all the many fun and exciting things going on around here. Follow us by clicking that little button on the lower right, or click here.

Law Officer Training Page Updated



The law officer training page has been update to include some new resources, and all the videos are now available in easy to embed YouTube format! Check it out and let us know what you think in the comments below. If you want more information about the law officer training contact us.

Here is a little taste of the new YouTube videos.


Volunteer Night A Great Success!

We had a fantastic night Tuesday, so many volunteers came that we ran out of chairs!



Thanks a bunch to everyone who helped out. If you are interested in getting involved with MassBike, check out our volunteer information and then contact us.

Bike Charlie Cards Still Available

We have received reports that people have recently had difficulty getting Bike Charlie Cards (the special cards that open the secure bike parking at Alewife and Forest Hills MBTA Stations). The Jamaica Plain Gazette reported on the problem last week. We contacted the T, and here is the scoop:

  1. The T is not out of Bike Charlie Cards, however they are currently available only at the Downtown Crossing customer service center. Apparently, many Bike Charlie Cards have been handed out to people who just wanted a regular Charlie Card, depleting the relatively limited supply of Bike Charlie Cards.

  2. The T was considering limiting distribution to one or two central locations (like Downtown Crossing), but we advised that Bike Charlie Cards must be available at the stations with cages. The T agreed to replenish supplies at the stations ASAP. We expect this to be resolved within a few days; please let us know if it is not.

  3. MassBike has distributed Bike Charlie Cards in the past, at our office and events, and we will resume doing so.


Books About Bicycling

In our quest to recover all the great old data from the old website we have uncovered this wonderful list of books about bicycling. If you have any more you would like to add please do so in the comments!

(This page put together with a lot of help from Doug Mink)

Massachusetts On-Road Bicycling


Short Bike Rides in Eastern Massachusetts and Short Bike Rides in Western Massachusetts by Howard Stone, Globe Pequot Press Lots of good short rides on well-tested routes.

Exploring In and Around Boston on Bike and Foot, by Lee Sinai, Appalachian Mountain Club Books, 1996 Globe Pequot Press. I bought this from the author at Bike to Work Day in Boston, three weeks after it was published. It contains 11 on-road, 10 off-road, and 19 walking loop trips in Boston and its suburbs, all inside I-495, many inside Route 128. I haven't tried any of the rides as listed in the book, but I have ridden many of the trips and found the routing and commentary in the book quite helpful. There is a bit more description than in Howard Stone's books, and I like the inclusion of both the Minuteman Bikeway (on-road) and its extension to Concord (off-road).

Bicycling the Atlantic Coast: A Complete Route Guide, Florida to Maine, by Donna Ikenberry Aitkenhead, Seattle: The Mountaineers, 1993. In my days as LAW State Touring Information Directory, the most common request from out of state was for a route along Massachusetts' seacoast. The Massachusetts portion of the route described, with maps and points of interest, in this book is a good first step toward such a route, though it bypasses the scenic and historic South Shore by taking the ferry to Boston from Provincetown.

The Cape Cod Bike Book, by William E. Peace (P.O. Box 627, South Dennis, MA 02660). This little book covers Cape Cod, including the Cape Cod Rail Trail, with very detailed maps which let you get off the routes and explore without getting lost.

Short Bike Rides on Cape Cod, Nantucket and the Vineyard, by Edwin Mullen, Globe Pequot Press I have used earlier editions to find interesting places to ride when visiting unfamiliar parts of the Cape, and found it an OK starting book, especially when used with Andy Rubel's map. The new sixth edition includes more routes and should be an improvement over the earlier editions I've used.

The Boston Basin Bicycle Book, by Edward Goldfrank, Janice Goldfrank, Alexander Humez, and Nicholas Humez (1975, David R. Godine, 300 Mass. Ave., Boston) It's now out of print, but is worth tracking down in used book stores. It contains 30 rides within the basin defined by the hills through which Route 128 (now I-95 and I-93) runs. Cue sheets are provided, and the routes are laid out on sections of U.S. Geological Survey maps with added information about local geology. The authors not only tell you where the hills are, but why they're there, as well as what many interesting rock outcroppings are made of. Following these routes is a good way to explore the city in a systematic way; later, when you have to get to a specific place, by bike or by car, you'll know where it is in the grand scheme of things. Contact the publisher in Boston to ask them to reprint this book.

Bicycle Touring in the Pioneer Valley, Nancy Jane, University of Massachusetts Press, 1978. ISBN 0-87023-248-7; 88 pages; $6.95 A good little book which is useful if you are riding around the Connecticut River valley. There are 16 rides ranging from 5 to 25 miles. There are distances and riding times for each loop, and good maps which show other roads in the area, a helpful feature if a turn is missed. A useful appendix describes interesting sites and indicates which rides to take to get to them.

The Bicyclist's Guide to the Southern Berkshires by Steve Lyons (1993, Freewheel Publications, Lenox, P.O. Box 2322, Lenox, MA 01240. ISBN 0-9632585-5-9; 272 pages, paperback, $14.95. The southern part of the Berkshire valley is quite FLAT unless you choose to go up into the hills. The Southern Berkshires are rural and crammed with cultural and scenic attractions. Tanglewood, the Norman Rockwell museum in Stockbridge with a bike path right through the grounds (Rockwell was a bicyclist!) and the Albert Schweitzer Center are just a few of the area's many noteworthy stops. One ride from the book retraces the route of Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant littering crime expedition, complete with a hilarious photo of Arlo. (John Allen)

Short Bike Rides in the Berkshire Hills by Lewis Cuyler (1991, Berkshire House, Box 297, Stockbridge, MA. ISBN 0-936399-02-3; 200 pages; $8.95) This is a nice book of rides for all of Berkshire county, including the superb, challenging ride up and down Mt. Greylock. You can also ride all the way around Mt. Greylock without any serious climbing. (John Allen)

There is a whole lot more, click below to continue reading.


New England On-Road Bicycling


The Best Bike Rides in New England, by Paul Thomas and Paul Angiolillo, Globe Pequot Press Shameless plug: I rode one of "The Best Bike Rides in New England" by Paul Angiolillo, published by Globe Pequot Press. I thoroughly enjoyed my ride and am told I am credited in the book, though I've not yet heard of its release. You might just ask if the revised edition is available. Check out this interview with author Paul Angiolillo.

Bed, Breakfast, and Bike in New England: A Cycling Guide to Country Inns by Alex & Nancy May (1991, White Meadow Press, P.O. Box 56, Boonton, NJ, 07005. ISBN 0-933855-05-2; 224 pages; $12.95) Available from Adventure Cycling. One of my favorites; it has a selection of nice B & B's, not cheap, several bike routes near the B&B's, and breakfast recipes in the back (my favorite part). (Bonnie Friedman).

Touring New England by Bicycle, by Peter Powers, Terragraphics, 1991 I have not tried the routes in this book, but it is interesting in giving route altitude profiles and computer-generated 3D "maps" of route terrain. (Anne Anderson)

New England Over the Handlebars, by Michael H. Farny (1975, Little, Brown, Boston). Contains 41 rides through five of the six New England states. This one might be in stock at the Lincoln Guide Service, where author Farny presides. For each ride, a map and cue sheet is augmented by a running narrative describing points of interest and obstacles along the route.

25 Bicycle Tours in Vermont, John S. Freidin, Backcountry Publications, 1993 The earlier edition of this book inspired me to take my 15-year-old nephew bicycle touring for eight days in Vermont. We had a wonderful trip, using some routes from Freidin's book. (Anne Anderson)

New England Bike Paths and Trails


Great Rail-Trails in the Northeast, by Craig Della Penna, $12.95 Good descriptions of trails. Adventure Cycling carries this.

Lost Railroads of New England, by Ronald Dale Karr, Branch Line Press, Pepperell, MA, 1996 Focusing on abandoned railroad lines, this is the second edition of a book which was first published in 1989. The included maps delineate an enticing array of present or future rail trails. The contorted corporate and geographical history of the maze of rail lines in New England makes for interesting reading. Being involved in the Wayside Trail, I was particularly interested in the history of the Central Mass. Line. The history of every existing or proposed rail trail (that I know of) is included. The author is on the library staff at U. Mass Lowell. He has done a lot of work researching railroad history in New England and has written books on several subjects including railroading. It is available from the publisher for $12.95+$3.00 S&H, 1st book, $1.50/copy for subsequent books (MA residents add 5% sales tax). It is also available in many bookstores, including some Barnes & Noble, WaldenBooks, etc. (Richard C. Williamson)

The Rail Lines of Southern New England, by Ronald Dale Karr, Branch Line Press, Pepperell, MA, 1995 As the title indicates, the book focuses on Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. All rail lines are described including those still active, those out of service, and those abandoned. As with the other book, there are lots of maps, photos, and interesting history. It is available from the publisher for $22.95+$3.00 S&H, 1st book, $1.50/copy for subsequent books (MA residents add 5% sales tax). (Richard C. Williamson)

The Turnpikes of New England, by Fredric Wood, updated by Ronald Dale Karr, Branch Line Press, 13 Cross St., Pepperell, MA 01463 This is the first paperback edition of a book first published in 1919. I've abridged it somewhat, and modified the maps. Some of these old turnpikes may be of interest to cyclists. It is available from the publisher for $22.95+$3.00 S&H, 1st book, $1.50/copy for subsequent books (MA residents add 5% sales tax). (Ron Karr)

New England Off-Road Bicycling


Mountain Biking in Southern New England (or The Mountain Biker's Guide to Southern New England) and Mountain Biking in Northern New England (or The Mountain Biker's Guide to Northern New England) by Paul Angiolillo Falcon Press. Available from Ingram. Both in third printing, with a total of over 100 rides throughout New England.

Mountain Bike Rides Around Boston, by Stuart Johnstone.

Bicycle Maintenance and Repair


Anybody's Bike Book, by Tom Cuthbertson, 10-Speed Press. When I was 13 or so, I got a book called Anybody's Bike Book by Tom Cuthbertson published by 10-Speed Press. I recently saw it out in a second edition. It's very approachable for the not-so-mechanically-inclined. My first thought puts it in the category of repair manual, but if I recall it also has other good advice like equipment selection, locks, technique, etc. (Joel Parks)

The Bike Bag Book - A Manual for Emergency Roadside Bicycle Repair, by Tom Cuthbertson and Rick Morrall, Ten Speed Press, 1981. Small, clearly-written book with essential repair operations detailed. (Anne Anderson)

Sutherland's Handbook .Great but it's expensive and really geared for professional mechanics not beginners. (Joel Parks)

Glenn's NewComplete Bicycle Manual, by Clarence W. Coles, Harold T. Glenn, and John Allen; published by Crown Publishers. I rewrote much of the book for the 1986 edition. It is unusual among repair manuals in covering geared hubs. Sutherland's also does, including newer ones, but at a higher price. (John Allen)

Richard's Bicycle Book, by Richard Ballentine, Ballentine Books. A fairly complete listing of different kinds of bikes, as well as a second half devoted to maintaining them. Much more history than most of the other books, and not nearly so technical as my description might lead you to believe. It's my favorite general book about bikes. (David Wittenberg)

Building Bicycle Wheels, by Robert Wright, Anderson World, Inc., 1982 Small book, but packed with information. (Anne Anderson)

Bicycling Skills



Effective Cycling, by John Forester, MIT Press. The bible on cycling in traffic, this book also includes quite a bit on maintenance, repair, and safety.

Bicycling Street Smarts, by John S. Allen, published by Rubel BikeMaps All the information you need to hit the street on a bike. Available online or in print at bike shops and from MassBike. This 46-page booklet covers the nuts and bolts of safe and legal on-road cycling including lane-positioning, navigating intersections, expert control of brakes and steering, emergency maneuvers, and dealing with difficult situations (ordering information).

The Complete Book of Bicycle Commuting, by John S. Allen. Rodale Press. 1981. "Street Smarts" is actually a much-abridged version of this book, which I think is better than Forester's, but which Rodale Press let go out of print after one edition. Copies occasionally turn up; grab one if you can. Check Amazon's used books.

Bicycle Touring


The Road of Dreams, by Bruce B. Junek. Fascinating, well-written account of a couple's two-year bicycle tour of Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia and Northern India, focusing on the Asian and Indian segments. Incredible scenery, incredible experiences, all by bike. A coworker loaned this to me last year, and I read it cover-to-cover. Adventure Cycling carries this. (Anne Anderson)

Bicycle Racing


Beginning Bicycle Racing, by Fred Matheny, Velo-news, Brattleboro, VT, ISBN 0-941950-04-2, 1983 A good introduction, explaining the various types of bicycle races, tactics, training, etc. (Anne Anderson)

Complete Bicycle Time Trialing Book, by editors of Bike World Magazine, World Publications, Box 366, Mountain View, CA 94042, ISBN 0-89037-123-7. Has some good information, although equipment coverage is out of date. (Anne Anderson)

Other Books About Bicycling


Bicycling Science, by Frank Whitt and David Gordon Wilson, MIT Press. Full of high-powered analysis and lots of other good stuff. (Joel Parks) David Gordon Wilson is older in years than in spirit. That just shows what a daily bicycle ride will do for a man. (John Allen)

Cycling Science, on-line magazine.

BikeCult, by David B. Perry; publisher 4 walls, eight windows.
ISBN 1-56 858-027-4 570 pages, $23.95. Lots of short biographical snippets on riders, and discussion of historic races. "Neat all around stuff about bikes" (David Wittenberg)

Guidebook Issue, from Recumbent Cycling News. Recumbent Cycling. A very thorough look at what is available as cycling alternatives. Given how popular feet first bikes are with the health club crowd, they just might convert some people that were turned off 15 years ago by a saddle suited to a 100km of training daily European racer. (Jeff Del Papa)

Pedal Power in Work, Leisure, and Transportation, by James C. McCullagh, ed., Rodale Press, 1977. Apparently out of print, but a fascinating collection of pedal-powered tools and adaptations of standard tools to pedal power. Has given my 8-year-old daughter and me hours of design ideas, including a pedal-powered snowplow for our driveway which we have never built, but continue to design every time we shovel snow. (Anne Anderson).

Bicycles and Tricycles, by Archibald Sharp, reprinted by MIT Press. Interesting history and mechanics. (David Wittenberg)

EnCYCLEopedia, Open Road Press EnCycleopedia describes bikes they find "interesting". Some are quite practical, others pure racers, but always interesting. They have more information on recumbents than most other sources. EnCycleopedia is an annual put out by the same folks who publish the Bicycle Culture Quarterly. (David Wittenberg)

Bike Culture Quarterly, Open Road Press "Published in Britain, Bike Culture Quarterly (BCQ) reports on the latest technological advances in bicycling and alternative bicycling products available, covers cycling advocacy efforts around the globe and includes features on the world's fastest and wildest human-powered vehicles and their designers. Commentary, photo essays, bicycle art, humor and fictional pieces round out BCQ making it the only magazine that thoroughly examines all types of cycling everywhere." (BCQ website)

Tales from the Bike Shop, by Marynard Hershon; published by Vitesse Press. A warm, friendly collection of stories set in a bike shop, but more about the people than the bikes. Requires a little knowledge of bicycling to make sense. (David Wittenberg)

Sources for Bicycle Books

Chelmsford Paperback Booksmith, 7 Summer St., Chelmsford, MA 01824-3063. (978)256-3514. This is the store that loans us books to sell during Bike to Work Week. I have found them friendly and helpful, and they have a reasonable selection. (Anne Anderson)

Globe Corner Bookstore Harvard Square, Cambridge. Guidebooks and maps to everywhere. They sponsor lectures by people who have traveled and written the guidebooks.

Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS). A good assortment of bicycle books as well as other useful wilderness access books.

Eastern New England Council of HI-American Youth Hostels. 617-779-0900 x17

Adventure Cycling Association. Excellent source for bicycle maps and books. Publishes Cyclist's Yellow Pages annually, a collection of sources for bicycle tours, maps, advocacy, etc. in the U.S. and around the world. As an organization, Adventure Cycling develops bicycle routes and advocates for bicycle access and awareness. Publishes a good monthly magazine for members in addition to Yellow Pages. (Anne Anderson)

Adventurous Traveler Bookstore, 1-800-282-3963 A search on the word bicycle returns a long list of bike books, including several of those mentioned above, and you can order from the comfort of your SSL-enabled web browser using their secure server.

CycleBooks David White-Lief has many of the books listed above and says that he "will try to work all of the ones in print into my list."

Pedaling History Bicycling Museum 3943 North Buffalo Road, Orchard Park, NY 14127-1841, 716.662.3853. A great collection of historical information about bicycling, including vintage and collector books, reprints, and proceedings of the annual Cycling History Conferences, as well as other bicycle books.

Pete & Ed Books 5506 Madison Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46227, (800)793-7801 An extensive assortment of books about bicycling available by mail or phone order through their web page. Their catalog seems to cover the Midwest quite thoroughly, including maps as well as guidebooks, but they have books covering the whole world, sorted logically, with a brief description of each book.

Tamassee Guidebooks, Maps, & More, 401 West Main Street Walhalla, South Carolina 29691 Toll Free 888 770-5463, Fax 864 718-0042, email guides@tamassee.com They carry the bulk of bike titles and give wonderful service. (Madeleine Noland).

The Globe Pequot Press They publish a lot of bicycle touring and route books, including several covering New England. You can order from their Web site if your local bikeshop or bookstore doesn't carry the books you want. They suggest ways to find a bookstore from which to buy their books.

Rubel BikeMaps, 617.776.6567 info@bikemaps.com. Andy Rubel now publishes great bike maps of Eastern, Western, and Central Massachusetts as well as the second edition of his Cape Cod and Cape Ann map. He has also updated David Weaver's Boston Bike Map, originally done for the Boston Area Bicycle Coalition in the late 1970's.

Bicycle Books, San Francisco, CA. A few interesting books, including Cycling in Cyberspace.

Seidler Productions, Crawfordville, FL. Producers of the Effective Cycling Video and a long list of others.

It's Time To Light Up!



Today is the first workday since Daylight Savings Time ended, so almost all of us will be riding home after dark tonight. You need to be seen! What's that you say - you can see well enough by streetlight/moonlight/starlight to get home? Maybe so, but riding in the dark is about 25% seeing where you're going and 75% being seen by others on the road. So make sure the people driving 2000 pounds of steel can see you way before they get near you.

Reflectors Alone Don't Cut It: Most bikes come with reflectors, but these tend to be too small, too dim, and, worst, only shine when light is pointed directly at them (so a car pretty much has to be heading right for you to have a chance of seeing your reflectors). Lights can be seen from much further away.

Headlights And Tail Lights Are A Great Start: That's a huge improvement over reflectors alone, but think about this: most lights cannot be seen from the side. So you are only visible to cars approaching from side streets when they are coming right at you!

The Total Visibility Solution: Ideally, you want to be visible from all angles. This does not mean wrapping yourself in holiday lights or looking like a disco ball - there are many options to satisfy both safety and style. Massachusetts actually has a law about bicyclist visibility, and it provides a good checklist:

  • White front light (it must be white, but it can be solid or flashing)

  • Red rear light or reflector (red only, and forget the reflector and get a light)

  • Pedal reflectors or reflective ankle straps (old-school pedals come with reflectors, ankle straps do double duty by keeping your pants away from your dirty chain, and some very stylish cycling shoes have reflectors built in)

  • Reflectors or reflective material visible from the side (lots of options, including wheel reflectors, reflective tires, jackets, vests, and reflective tape and stickers that can go on almost anything)


You don't have to dress in fluorescent yellow clothes, but don't be a bike ninja - there are no extra points for stealth.

Check your local bike shop for lights and other safety gear. Found a great deal? Post it here so everyone can light up!

Forest Hills T Stop Bike Cages: Video

New Bike Link to Orange Line from Chris Lovett on Vimeo.



Found this little gem, you may notice cameo's from Laura Smeaton one of our board members, Nicole Freedman Boston Bicycle programs director, and David Watson our executive director. They really are nice cages.


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