Galen Mook

  • 2022 MassBike Annual Meeting

    Join us on Tuesday, December 6th at 6pm for our virtual MassBike Annual Meeting. Tune in to learn about all the bike-friendly work MassBike did in 2022 with our coalition partners and catch up with advocates from across the state. The formal agenda will include a legislative update with some bike-friendly champions, a look into our Worcester E-Bike Program, and more. The evening will conclude with short break-out sessions to allow for small-group conversations with fellow better bicycling advocates. RSVP below today- we look forward to seeing you on December 6th.

    The 2022 Annual Meeting will include...

    Legislative Panel

    Massachusetts was named the #1 Bike-Friendly State by the League of American Bicyclists– our one ding was lack of state legislation. However, this was a big year for bike-friendly initiatives on Beacon Hill. MassBike Executive Director, Galen Mook, and MassBike Board Member, Kristen Sykes, will co-host a panel with two of our legislative champions on Beacon Hill.

    Representative Dylan Fernandes (Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket)

    Co-Sponsor of An Act relative to electric bicycles

    Representative Natalie Blais (1st Franklin)

    Sponsor of An Act relative to electric bicycle rebates

    Worcester E-Bike Program Update

    Our E-Bike Grant Manager, Alex Salcedo, will give a program update and we'll hear from participants about the impact of the Worcester E-Bike Program.

    Older Adult Programming Spotlight

    The MassBike team will discuss our partnership with the City of Cambridge on the Healthy Aging Bicycling Clinic & Group Rides and the expansion of our older adult programming in the City of Worcester thanks to support from AARP Massachusetts and an AARP Community Challenge Grant.

    Worcester Mechanics & Modifications class with AARP Massachusetts

    Cambridge Healthy Aging Bicycle Clinic (Photo credit: Susan Margo Ecker)

    After the formal agenda, join fellow better bicycling advocates from around the state for 30-minutes of small group conversations.

    RSVP below today– we look forward to seeing you on December 6th!

    WHEN
    December 06, 2022 at 6:00pm
    WHERE
    Virtual
    198 rsvps rsvp

  • Worcester Cycling History Workshop

    Riders at MassBike's Bike to the Ballpark event pose with the Major Taylor Statue, photo by Neal Mcnamara

    Did you know that Worcester was home to the world's first Black sports superstar? Marshall Walter "Major" Taylor was a world cycling champion who trained in the streets of Worcester!

    Adults aged 50+ and youth are invited to join MassBike and the Major Taylor Association for a Worcester Cycling History workshop. Lynne Tolman of the Major Taylor Association will give a presentation about the "Worcester Whirlwind" Major Taylor and cycling history in Worcester.

    At 5:30 pm, the event will begin with networking and snacks. Lynne's presentation will begin at 6pm sharp.

    This workshop is part of our AARP Intergenerational Programeligible adults aged 50+ and teens aged 14-18 will earn a $10 gift card for their participation.

    Workshop Details

    When: Thursday, December 8th

    WhereMajor Taylor Museum (2 Main St, Worcester)

    Networking & Snacks: 5:30pm

    Presentation: 6pm-7pm


    This workshop is part of MassBike's AARP Intergenerational Program, adults aged 50+ and youth aged 14-18 are invited to join our upcoming workshops and rides through the end of November.

    Funding Provided by

    WHEN
    December 08, 2022 at 5:30pm
    WHERE
    Major Taylor Museum
    2 Main St
    Worcester, MA 01608
    United States
    Google map and directions
    13 rsvps rsvp

  • Thanks Carlos for chiming in. We agree that focus should be on accessibility for ALL riders, especially those with disabilities, and have heard very loudly that e-bikes facilitate riding for those with physical limitations such as older adults, those recovering from injuries, and folks who don’t have the stamina to ride longer distances. The bill we’re supporting here is designed to match MA with the federal and consumer standards of classifications established throughout the country. And the wattage is designed to keep the speeds relative to what bicyclists normally ride at top speed which is around 20mph (you may be able to hit 40mph, but won’t ride at that speed consistently, and it’s a rare cyclists who can get that speed not on a downhill during the Tour de France!).

    After years of technological development, we find that most e-bikes are typically ~250W, and by going up to 750W this allows for faster class e-bikes as well as cargo and multiple-person bicycles (like e-tricycles and pedicabs). Anything above the federal and consumer protection standards could be separately regulated by the registrar, and may be considered a separate class such as low speed electric vehicle: https://afdc.energy.gov/laws/6581

    We’ve found this article helpful to run down the differences in wattage for e-bikes and light-weight electric vehicles.
    https://electrek.co/2019/06/06/how-much-power-does-an-electric-bicycle-need/

  • World Day of Remembrance 2021

    Ghost Bike Memorial for Peter A. Del Sette, Jr.

    This Sunday, November 21 is World Day of Remembrance. As a somber tradition every year, those who participate in World Day of Remembrance will pause to reflect on the humanity of those lost to traffic violence in Massachusetts. The purpose of World Day of Remembrance is to note that each fatal crash is not a statistic, but a person lost. Whether they were driving, walking, biking, or otherwise caught in a terrible circumstance, we remember a person with family members, mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and community members who still mourn.

    Every day through our work at MassBike, we strive to build a better world. We earnestly believe that by advocating for safer cycling, we are saving lives. This is a noble cause, and we believe each fatal crash is avoidable and the dangers able to be mitigated through changes to infrastructure design, vehicle modifications, and education for all road users. At MassBike, our intention is not to focus on the dangers of our roads, but rather on the work we can do to make our world safer for everyone out there. 

    Specifically, World Day of Remembrance emboldens our work in our legislative capacity to pass bills that would define Vulnerable Users on our roads and require a 3+ foot passing distance for drivers, mandate safety protections such as backup cameras, convex mirrors and side guards on trucks, and standardize crash reporting so we can better analyze and react when crashes occur. 

    World Day of Remembrance also gives humanity to our infrastructure advocacy. As we pursue road redesigns at specific crash sites that realign dangerous intersections, paint bicycle lanes, and slow traffic, we are able to honor those killed at sites by placing memorials, or “ghost bikes,” and giving a place where a bicycle rider took their last breath a sacred reminder to the severity of responsibility we all accept when we choose to drive and ride on our roads.

    How will we remember this year? Throughout the state on Sunday November 21, in cities and towns across the commonwealth, we are encouraging local advocates to organize vigils that call attention to the people killed. In the major cities of Springfield, Worcester, and Boston, where people have been killed in the past few years, we will gather to lay flowers at crash sites and at city halls, and call on our elected leaders and policymakers to join us.

    When someone dies on our roads, we all feel a shudder of loss throughout the community. And together with our allies, we want to be clear that we are redoubling our efforts to extend this work for all roads, bridges, intersections, and paths. And we vow to not slow our efforts until the perceived and actual danger no longer requires us to call aloud those killed and to reaffirm our demand for no more ghost bikes.

    How to Celebrate World Day of Remembrance 2021


  • 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 

    Alan Harris Memorial

    Charlie Proctor Memorial Fund

    Christopher Weigl Memorial

     

    If you have a loved one you want 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 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.

    Read more