Galen Mook

  • E-Bike Demo Day at Hale

    Last week MassBike hosted an immersive event at Hale in Westwood to invite policymakers, parks advocates, and other key folks to ride electric-assist bicycles in an effort to get to know this emerging technology first hand, and to help further the conversation around e-bike definitions and regulations. The issue as to what these devices are, and where they should and shouldn’t be ridden, has come to the forefront of our work at MassBike as e-bike ridership has grown dramatically over the past few years, and especially recently in the pandemic-prompted bike boom. More and more people are out riding bicycles. and we’re seeing riders come back to the bike after many years of not being in the saddle.  E-bikes have shown to be a powerful barrier-breaker to allow more people to ride longer distances, over more difficult terrain, and to ride with friends and family for both recreation and everyday use.

    The demo day at Hale was designed to showcase the three classes of e-bikes, and to have folks ride them on pavement, gravel roads, and natural surface trails. Attendees included folks from the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR Commissioner Montegomery is pictured enjoying a Quadrini e-bike), the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, New England Mountain Bike Association, public land trusts, parks advocates and leaders of “Friends of ___” groups, and individuals who are advocating for the allowance of electric bicycles on our roads, paths, and trails. We had bikes in a variety of sizes and classes available from Specialized (national brand), Quadrini (based in Florence, MA), and 1854 Cycling (based in Framingham, MA). We did not have any local bike shops on hand, mainly because they're all slammed selling every bike available, and also to make sure this event is not about the local bike industry but more about the devices themselves.

    Read more

  • Thank You ebike demo day hale 2021

    Thank you for your RSVP to the ebike demo day on May 12th at Hale Reservation. If you have any questions or concerns please contact [email protected]

    Happy riding!

     


  • Thank You Confirmation Historical Urban Dirt Ride

    Thank you for joining us on this awesome ride, and for your donation to MassBike!

    We will follow up directly via email and by phone with specific details of the starting location, the route, and any pertinent details to prepare for this great event. If you have any questions you can reach out to [email protected]

    We're looking forward to having you as part of our fantastic group of riders!

     



  • Better Bicycling in the 192nd Legislative Session

    Better Biking Bills at MA State House

    The legislative bill filing season is moving along here in Massachusetts – and we need your help! We have several bicycle-friendly bills filed in both the MA House of Representatives and the Senate, and we'd like your local legislators to become cosponsors.

    Working with reps and senators from across the state, we have six bills we're supporting, which help improve road safety, promote electric bicycle regulations, offer incentives for bicycle commuting, and fund rail trails. You can find more information about these bills below, and on our Legislation Advocacy webpage.

    This is the very start of the bill-becomes-a-law process, and a good time to let your reps know to chime in.

    Our ask for you is to:

    1. Get to know our six bicycle-related bills that have been filed for the 192nd Legislative Session
    2. Find and contact your local state legislators, either by phone call or email
    3. Ask them to support these bicycle-related bills (reference the bills by "docket number," and remember to thank them for their work!)
    4. And please share a story about why promoting bicycling, improving road safety, and building our rail trails are so important to you

    To make this easy, we've created a template to use to reference the bills when contacting your legislator. If it helps, click HERE to use the template.

    Details of the bills we're supporting are below

    Read more

  • Ask Your State Legislators to Support Better Bicycling

    Please contact your Massachusetts elected officials and encourage them to co-sponsor these key bills this legislative session. Visit Find My Legislator to identify your Representative and Senator and to find their contact info, and call or email them today using the script below (please feel free to go off script, and please share a story about why promoting bicycling, improving road safety, and building our rail trails are so important to you!).

    If you’re sending in an email, we suggest using the subject “Please co-sponsor better bicycling bills” and cc [email protected] on your email.


    House of Representatives Version

    Hi, my name is ______, I am a constituent of Representative ______ and am asking for their support on the following bills that would make our roads safer by preventing traffic deaths, promote electric bicycles and bike commuting, and fund our state's rail trail network.

    An Act to reduce traffic fatalities, HD.1888, filed by Rep. Moran and Rep. Straus, ensures basic, necessary traffic regulations to guarantee safety for vulnerable road users, such as bicyclists, pedestrians, roadside workers, and more and save lives on our roads.

    An Act relative to automated enforcement HD.3705, filed by Rep. Ciccolo, allows municipalities to install cameras to enforce certain traffic infractions, while protecting drivers’ and vehicle owners’ privacy.

    An Act relative to electric bicycles HD.1396, filed by Rep. Fernandes and Rep Owens, defines electric bicycles as distinct from mopeds so they can be regulated more similarly to bicycles.

    An Act relative to electric bicycle rebates HD.2436, filed by Rep. Blais, provides rebates for electric bicycle purchases as part of the State's electric vehicle incentive program.

    An Act relative to commuter transit benefits HD.2249 , filed by Rep. Vitolo, adds bicycling to the pre-tax benefits claimed for commuting, related to taxable income, specifically for costs related to bikeshare membership, purchasing a bicycle (including electric bicycles), repairs and upgrades, and storage, as well as Regional Transit Authority passes.

    and An Act authorizing municipalities to expend certain funds for the acquisition of land to be used for rail trails HD.456 , filed by Rep. Gentile and Rep. Sabadosa, clarifies that municipalities are allowed to use Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding for acquiring right of ways for the development of rail trails.

    These collective bills represent the statewide interest and demand for roadway safety and better bicycling for all riders throughout the commonwealth, and I appreciate the concerns of the Representatives who filed them. Can we count on you to sign onto these bills this session?

    Thank you.

    Sincerely,

    [YOUR NAME]

    [YOUR ADDRESS]

     



    Senate Version

    Hi, my name is ______, I am a constituent of Senator ______ and am asking for their support on the following bills that would make our roads safer by preventing traffic deaths, promote electric bicycles and bike commuting, and fund our state's rail trail network.

    An Act to reduce traffic fatalities SD.1613, filed by Sen. Brownsberger, ensures basic, necessary traffic regulations to guarantee safety for vulnerable road users, such as bicyclists, pedestrians, roadside workers, and more and save lives on our roads.

    An Act relative to automated enforcement SD.1962, filed by Sen. Brownsberger, allows municipalities to install cameras to enforce certain traffic infractions, while protecting drivers’ and vehicle owners’ privacy.

    An Act relative to electric bicycles SD.2303, filed by Sen. DiDomenico, defines electric bicycles as distinct from mopeds so they can be regulated more similarly to bicycles.

    An Act relative to commuter transit benefits SD.1340 , filed by Sen. Keenan, provides rebates for electric bicycle purchases as part of the State's electric vehicle incentive program.

    and An Act authorizing municipalities to expend certain funds for the acquisition of land to be used for rail trails SD.160 , filed by Sen. Eldridge, clarifies that municipalities are allowed to use Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding for acquiring right of ways for the development of rail trails.

    These collective bills represent the statewide interest and demand for roadway safety and better bicycling for all riders throughout the commonwealth, and I appreciate the concerns of the Senators who filed them. Can we count on you to sign onto these bills this session?

    Thank you.

    Sincerely,

    [YOUR NAME]

    [YOUR ADDRESS]


     


  • ABCs of Bike Maintenance Webinar

    We all know that bicycling is a great way to get around town, keep fit, and reduce your carbon footprint. And especially during this time of quarantine, going on a bike ride is a great way to keep yourself sane by clearing your head (while keeping distance from others). But, along with your sanity, you've also got to maintain your bike if you want your ride to go as planned... so we're here to help you know what to check so you're ready to roll. Please join us for an evening virtual workshop to cover how to maintain your bike to keep you riding safe and smooth. We'll go through the basics in an hour-long presentation to cover how to diagnose your bike's ABCs (Air, Brakes, and Chain). You'll come away with bit of home-mechanic know-how, so you can check the condition of your bike, and also fix your bike when things start to go awry.

    See the whole presentation video of the webinar on our YouTube channel.

     


  • In Memoriam

    MassBike works to memorialize bicyclists who have been killed when riding by installing ghost bikes to bring attention to the advocacy needed for safer bicycling. We believe all serious crashes and deaths on our roads and pathways are preventable, and we will work tirelessly until the day finally comes when there is no need to install another ghost bike.

    MassBike has set up memorial funds in honor of those lost in bicycle crashes where you can donate to support our advocacy for safer roadways and education for all road and pathway users.

    Peter A. Del Sette, Jr. Memorial Fund 

    Charlie Proctor Memorial Fund

    Christopher Weigl Memorial

     

    If you have had a loved one you would like to set up a MassBike Memorial Fund for, please reach out to us at [email protected] 


  • Christopher Weigl Memorial

    Christopher John Weigl, 23, passed away suddenly December 6, 2012 as a result of a crash on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. He was riding his bicycle in the morning to attend the his photojournalism class at Boston University, when the driver of a tractor trailer truck made a sudden right-hand turn, resulting in a collision and Christopher’s death.

    A lifelong Massachusetts resident and Boston University graduate student, Christopher was born in Framingham and lived most of his life in Southborough, MA.

    An avid outdoorsman, Christopher obtained the rank of Eagle Scout at age 14 and remained an active member of Boy Scout Troop 1 till his eighteenth birthday. In addition to scouting, Christopher was an accomplished clarinet player throughout his years of schooling, and played in a variety of ensembles including the Central District Band and Orchestra, MetroWest Youth Symphony Orchestra, and Worcester Youth Symphony Orchestra. After graduating Worcester Academy in 2007, Christopher matriculated to Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. Although eventually deciding upon a bachelors in English, photography supplanted music as the central passion of Christopher’s life, and he could often be found shooting campus events for the student paper or the school’s communications department.

    By graduation, Christopher had served as both Photography Club President as well as Photography Editor of the Skidmore News. These pursuits were in addition to internships with Panorama Magazine, Emma Dodge Hanson Photography and KCK Photography, as well as a semester abroad in Florence, Italy to take more specialized photography classes.

    After graduation, Christopher indulged his love of travel by embarking on a six week trip through Operation Groundswell, a “voluntourism” organization, to find a story and do service projects in Cambodia and Thailand. It was on the little Cambodian island of Koh Rong, where he interviewed locals and uncovered a government takeover of the island, that Christopher found a story and cemented his love for photojournalism. The experience in Southeast Asia seeded the first thoughts of graduate school, and after a year of working at Ritz Camera, driving limousines, building a photography business, and freelance reporting for the weekly Community Advocate, Christopher moved to Brighton to attend Boston University’s Photojournalism Masters Program.

    You can see Christopher's work on his photography website HERE.

    Fueled by his passion, his love and excitement for his work continued to grow, with new opportunities unfolding seemingly every day. Christopher’s warmth, humor, integrity, love of life and friends, and his way of picturing the world will be missed by all who knew him.

    Advocacy on Commonwealth Ave

    The incident that took Christopher's life directly led to the advocacy for protected bicycle infrastructure on Comm Ave, right in the heart of the Boston University Charles River Campus. MassBike believes that the crash was entirely preventable, and after the crash we worked with our partners in student groups and with the Vision Zero Coalition to encourage officials at the City of Boston, MassDOT, and Boston University to transform Commonwealth Avenue to make the street safer for all road users.

    In 2012, there were no protected bike lanes in the entire City of Boston, and Comm Ave was one of the most popular cycling routes with thousands of bicyclists passing through every day. This was made even more important as this stretch is the center of Boston University, which brings students new to Boston every year to ride their bikes alongside car traffic, buses, delivery trucks, MBTA trolley tracks, and all the dangers associated with a convoluted and busy corridor.

    Yet there was the opportunity for this stretch of Comm Ave to be redesigned and rebuilt by the City of Boston and MassDOT as part of the Comm Ave Phase II Project. However, the design of the roadway at that point was to replace the bike lane as a single white line with no physical separation.

    In order to drive attention and support to the project, MassBike collaborated with several advocacy organizations to invite Boston Mayor Marty Walsh on a bike ride in 2014 to tour this stretch of Comm Ave and allow the Mayor to experience the dangers from behind the handle bars. Once the Mayor Walsh felt how the street layout leaves riders vulnerable, he directed the Boston Transportation Department to design a new roadway that would inherently mitigate crashes like the ones that took Christopher's life by changing the road layout and providing a protected bicycle lane.

    “The ride was good,” Walsh said after the trek. “From a biking perspective, it was certainly eye-opening. I didn’t get the full effect of riding by myself, but coming down Comm Ave, where the cars are there, it really opens your eyes.”

    After years of advocacy and a robust public process, a coalition of partners, including BU Bikes student group, WalkBoston, LivableStreets Alliance, the Boston Cyclists Union, local businesses, and Boston University worked with the City of Boston to design the roadway to create separated facilities for cyclists known as a “cycletracks,” shortened the distance for pedestrians to cross Comm Ave, provided raised crossings for pedestrians to reach bus stops, consolidated MBTA Green Line stops, and was at the forefront of innovation for bicycle-signalization, all while maintaining on-street parking and allowing for the flow of general traffic, emergency vehicles, buses, and trucks on Comm Ave, which is also an evacuation route, and Route 20.

    The redesign of Comm Ave means that all bike riders, and indeed all road users, can now navigate safely. Thanks to MassDOT and the City of Boston, this is now the gold standard of how we want our streets to operate for generations to come.

    We are proud to honor Christopher's legacy through this transformative work.

     

     

    DONATE to MassBike through the Christopher Weigl Memorial Fund


  • Christopher Weigl Memorial Fund

    Thank you for your contribution

    On behalf of all of us at MassBike, we are deeply saddened by Christopher's passing. Your donation will support our advocacy in Boston and beyond – it is our charge to work tirelessly in Christopher's memory to improve the safety of roads and intersections around the state before someone else dies on them, and we will work towards a future in which no one need to to suffer through the grief and terror of losing a loved one to unsafe streets. Thank you for your contributions to our cause.

    You will be receiving an email shortly with a receipt of your tax-deductible donation. If there are any questions or concerns about your donation, please feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] or call us at (617) 542-2453



  • Charlie Proctor Memorial Fund

    Thank you for your contribution

    On behalf of all of us at MassBike, we'd like to say that we are sorry for your loss and deeply saddened by Charlie's passing. Your donation will support our advocacy in Arlington and beyond – it is our charge to work tirelessly in Charlie's memory to improve the safety of roads and intersections around the state before someone else dies on them, and we will work towards a future in which no other families need to to suffer through the grief and terror of losing a loved one to unsafe streets. Thank you for your contributions to our cause.

    You will be receiving an email shortly with a receipt of your tax-deductible donation. If there are any questions or concerns about your donation, please feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] or call us at (617) 542-2453



  • Peter Del Sette Memorial Fund

    Thank you for your contribution

    On behalf of all of us at MassBike, we'd like to say that we are sorry for your loss and deeply saddened by Peter's passing. Your donation will support our advocacy in the North Shore and beyond – it is our charge to work tirelessly in Peter's memory, and for all those lost to road violence, to improve the safety of roads and intersections around the state before someone else dies on them, and we will work towards a future in which no other families need to to suffer through the grief and terror of losing a loved one to unsafe streets. Thank you for your contributions to our cause.

    You will be receiving an email shortly with a receipt of your tax-deductible donation. If there are any questions or concerns about your donation, please feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] or call us at (617) 542-2453



  • Speed and Sprocket Repairs Come With MB Memberships

    If you're pulling your bike out during the spring thaw after a few months of storage, your bike likely needs some good T.L.C. MassBike recommends getting your bike checked out by a professional for a tune-up at least once a year, especially at the start of the riding season.

    To help you get rolling in the Connecticut River Valley in 2020, and as as way to encourage and help grow our advocacy reach, MassBike is partnering with the mobile bicycle repair shop Speed & Sprocket Cycle Works to offer MassBike memberships to their customers with every tune-up! For each tune-up, Speed & Sprocket will cover the costs of an "introductory membership" for their customers.

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  • Support funding for rail trails!

    Rail Trails need all the $upport we can provide, this bill will help!

     

    Please support identical bills Massachusetts H.286 and S.148 An Act authorizing municipalities to expend certain funds for the acquisition of land to be used for rail trails by writing or calling your State Senator and Representative.


    The Issue: Many Massachusetts cities and towns have used Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds for rail trail development; including purchasing land, and paying for studies, design and construction of rail trails (a great option for rail trail development). However, a 2009 Massachusetts Department of Revenue interpretation of the laws disallowed the use of CPA funds to purchase a federally rail banked railroad rights-of-way (ROW) because theoretically the intact ROW could be repurchased by the railroad to restart service.

    Yet experience shows that railroads would only do this if it was in their economic interest to do so (i.e., there was enough projected traffic on the line to justify the investment). This is a rare event nationally (e.g., an Appalachian coal mine spur line restarted so it could import garbage from New England to bury in the vacant mine), and virtually unthinkable in Massachusetts where the economics and the permitting fights strongly prohibit such an investment.

    This restriction is currently blocking the use of CPA funds to extend the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail (BFRT) in Sudbury and the Southampton Greenway. Both segments are important connections: The BFRT should link to the partially constructed and envisioned 103-mile Mass Central Trail from Boston to Northampton, and Southampton Greenway to the 85-mile mostly constructed and envisioned New Haven to Northampton Canal Trail.


    Our Proposed Solution: Proposed legislation H.286 and S.148, filed by Rep. Carmine Gentile & Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa and Sen. James Eldridge, resolves this issue in a straightforward fashion by clarifying that use of CPA funds may be used to purchase federally rail banked ROWs. This not only solves the issue in Sudbury and Southampton, but also for any future ROWs that face the same conundrum. This clarification would open up CPA funds currently available in 175 cities and town throughout Massachusetts!


    Take Action! 

    Let your representatives know! Please write, call or visit your legislators and tell them why you support H.286 and S.148. More information on emailing your legislators, as well as a sample script, can be found HERE .


  • Script - Testimony to Co-Chairs to Support Funding for Rail Trails

     

    SAMPLE TESTIMONY SCRIPT FOR SUPPORTING H.1790

    Letter Template of Submission of Testimony to Co- Chairs of Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government

    YOUR ADDRESS
    YOUR ADDRESS
    YOUR ADDRESS
    October XX, 2019


    Rep. James J O’Day, House Chair
    Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government
    State House, Room 540
    Boston, MA, 02133

    Sen. Rebecca Rausch, Senate Chair
    Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government
    State House, Room 218
    Boston, MA, 02133

    Dear Chairman O’Day and Chairman Rausch,


    On behalf of [GROUP / myself], [we/I] write to express our support of H1790, An Act authorizing municipalities to expend certain funds for the acquisition of land to be used for rail trails and ask that the Committee report favorably on the bill. H.1790 would allow municipalities to expend monies from their Community Preservation Act funds for the purpose of acquiring land held for railroad purposes to be used by the city or town for recreational purposes as a rail trail.

    Many Massachusetts cities and towns have used Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds for rail trail development; including purchasing land, and paying for studies, design and construction of rail trails (a great option for rail trail development). However, a 2009 Massachusetts Department of Revenue interpretation of the laws disallowed the use of CPA funds to purchase a federally rail banked railroad rights-of-way (ROW) because theoretically the intact ROW could be repurchased by the railroad to restart service.

    Yet experience shows that railroads would only do this if it was in their economic interest to do so (i.e., there was enough projected traffic on the line to justify the investment). This is a rare event nationally (e.g., an Appalachian coal mine spur line restarted so it could import garbage from New England to bury in the vacant mine), and virtually unthinkable in Massachusetts where the economics and the permitting fights strongly prohibit such an investment.

    This restriction is currently blocking the use of CPA funds to extend the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail (BFRT) in Sudbury and the Southampton Greenway. Both segments are important connections: The BFRT should link to the partially constructed and envisioned 103-mile Mass Central Trail from Boston to Northampton, and Southampton Greenway to the 85-mile mostly constructed and envisioned New Haven to Northampton Canal Trail.


    This legislation, filed as H.1790 in the House (and S.83 in the Senate), resolves this issue in a straight-forward fashion by clarifying that use of CPA funds may be used to purchase federally rail banked ROWs. This not only solves the issue in Sudbury and Southampton, but also for any future ROWs that face the same conundrum.
    Thank you for your consideration of this matter.

     

    Sincerely,

    [full name
    Organization – Title, if appropriate
    Street address
    City/town, state, zip
    Phone:
    Email: ]


  • 351 Club

    674 donors
    GOAL: 351 donors

    For as little as $20 a month, become a member of MassBike's 351 Club. 

    To ensure that MassBike can act on bicycling issues in all 351 communities in Massachusetts, we are launching the MassBike 351 Club. Please become a monthly donor to MassBike with a gift of $20 or more per month. Our goal is to get 351 new monthly donors – one for every community in Massachusetts.

    As a member of MassBike 351, you will receive special updates, invitations to events, and opportunities to help inform our strategic plan. Help us reach our goal of 351 new monthly donors and join MassBike today.

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