ACTION ALERT: Critical E-Bike & Traffic Safety Bills Need Your Help Before February 2nd

January 26, 2022

February 2nd is the legislative deadline to get our bills reported "favorably" out of their respective committees, and we need your help to show the impact bike-friendly bills will have across Massachusetts! Please take a few minutes to write to the chairs of the committees and your local legislators, to share your personal stories about why safe and accessible bicycling is important to you.

How You Can Help

  • Learn about our priorities at www.massbike.org/legislation
  • Craft your stories: Why is this legislation important to you? Three significant themes we recommend focusing on are:
    • Combating climate change and greenhouse gas emissions
    • Reducing traffic congestion
    • Creating an equitable transportation system by improving public safety and welfare for all riders
  • Contact your local State Representative and Sate Senator to check-in
    • Tell your stories and how they relate to the bills
    • Ask them to get in touch with committee chairs
  • Contact the chairs of the committees this week!
  • Track the bills using the bill numbers and stay in contact with your local reps for support as bills move forward

MassBike has many priority bills, yet right now the bills currently in the Joint Committee on Transportation are the ones we most urgently need to pass to support roadway safety and electric bicycle regulations. Using the contact information below, email your personal comments sharing why you support the bills and request they be favorably reported out of committee. 

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Join MassBike at the 2022 National Bike Summit

January 18, 2022

Join MassBike for the National Bike Summit! The 2022 National Bike Summit will be taking place online & in Washington, DC from Sunday, March 27 to Wednesday, March 30, 2022. This year's National Bike Summit will be a hybrid event, with online sessions and in-person programming. All keynote speeches, plenary sessions, and panels will be held virtually. In-person attendees in Washington, DC, will be able to join the virtual sessions while also participating in in-person workshops, bike rides, and networking events. We want to bring a group of our coalition from across the commonwealth to share knowledge, learn from each other, and show our legislators that we have statewide support for better bicycling for all in Massachusetts.

Lobby Day will also be hybrid, with virtual House of Representative meetings for all attendees and in-person Senate meetings for in-person attendees. We hope to have a large delegation for the Lobby Day to show our stalwart public servants in Washington how much momentum there is behind better bicycling in Massachusetts.

Interested in attending but want to know a little bit more about what a virtual National Bike Summit entails? Check out our National Bike Summit 2021 Wrap Up and A Youth Perspective on the 2021 National Bike Summit blogs to learn more about last year's summit. You can also reach out to us at [email protected] with any questions you may have.

Early bird pricing is available until January 31st and youth participants (those under 21) can join the virtual summit for free. In-person attendance will require proof of full vaccination against COVID-19You can find more information on the Bike League Website.

Register Today

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January MassBike Meet-Up: MA Bike-Friendly Bills Update

January 15, 2022

On Monday, January 24th at noon we'll be hosting our first virtual MassBike Meet-Up of 2022. We'll be sharing a legislative update about bike-friendly bills in Massachusetts and what you can do to support them. We will also be discussing the National Bike Summit and how you can support bike-friendly initiatives at the federal level. 

Join to learn about:

  • The status of bike-friendly bills in MA
  • How you can help move bike-friendly bills forward
  • The National Bike Summit & Federal Lobby Day

Our virtual Meet-Ups are meeting style which allows for attendee participation and there will be opportunities to ask questions. This session will be recorded and posted on the MassBike youtube channel within a few days of the event.

RSVP: January 2022 MassBike Meet-Up

MassBike Meet-Ups happen every fourth Monday of the month, these virtual chats fill you in on our work, give you a chance to ask questions, and let us know what you’ve been working on in your community. If you have a topic you'd like us to cover, let us know by emailing [email protected]

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Join the MassBike Team as our E-Bike Grant Manager

January 14, 2022

MassBike is growing our team with an exciting opportunity in Central Massachusetts. We’re seeking a part-time employee to implement a 2-year grant program to distribute electric bicycles and track their usage in Worcester. The program will determine approximately one hundred riders in the Worcester area to receive bicycles, train riders through safe cycling and maintenance courses, and coordinate community events to encourage everyday riding. 

Job responsibilities include:

  • Develop educational curriculum for e-bike pilot in partnership with program partners and MassBike Executive Director
  • Community outreach for e-bike pilot program, and point person for e-bike pilot program participants
  • Design and implementation of intake survey with program partners: Central MA Regional Planning, Mathematica, Worcester Earn-a-Bike, Landry’s Bicycles, and others
  • Help design and oversee ride tracking platform & ride data collection
  • Monthly reporting on e-bike pilot program
  • Develops quarterly grant reports for program funder
  • Work with Communications Coordinator to generate public-facing program updates for MassBike Website, Social Media, and more
  • Coordinate MassBike’s statewide educational programs as point person for cycling instructors, as needed
  • Work with other MassBike staff to coordinate regional events in Central MA and as needed 

Applications are due February 15, 2022, with an anticipated start date in March 2022. Any questions can be directed to [email protected]

Learn More & Apply

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Shared Streets & Spaces Grant Round Open Until March 1st

January 11, 2022

Photo by Erin Clark

The Massachusett Department of Transportation’s latest Shared Streets and Spaces grant round opened on January 10th and will close on March 1st. This latest funding opportunity focuses on increasing roadway safety and speed management, bike share, and connections to new housing and includes a new award type for relevant equipment purchases under $50,000. The project implementation deadline for awardees is June 30th.

Eligible Shared Streets and Spaces grant projects include:

  • New protected bike lanes
  • New off-road trails
  • New bicycle parking
  • Traffic-calming measures
  • Capital costs for new bike share

In a webinar hosted by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) and MassDOT, snow removal equipment for sidewalks and bicycle lanes was discussed equipment that could be funded with the new “equipment purchases” award type. 

Shared Streets and Spaces grants have a focus on data collection and pre & post-project data will be required to help determine project impacts. The Barr Foundation recently published a study about Quick & Creative Streets projects which included projects funded by Shared Streets and Spaces grants that you can view at www.streetimpactma.org. The Barr Foundation will provide free technical assistance to any municipality interested in applying for the Shared Streets and Spaces funding, as they have done in previous grant rounds.

MassDOT is encouraging strong, creative projects and wants to see “every kind of project, community, and idea”. For municipalities interested in traffic calming projects, there is a new Safe Speed Resource, found that can be found at www.mass.gov/safe-speeds that includes a technical toolkit on new roadway treatments. MassDOT also anticipates another Shared Streets and Spaces grant round to open spring/early summer if your community doesn’t have a project ready for this round.

Learn more on the Shared Streets and Spaces Grant Program web page. You can get more information from the MAPC & MassDOT webinar by checking out our Twitter thread or viewing the webinar recording and slide deck.

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Top Wins for Bicycling in 2021

December 15, 2021

In 2021, MassBike helped make Massachusetts better for every rider through our Education, Legislation, Community Engagement, & Advocacy. By working with our coalition of partners, we were able to make impacts across the state as we rode towards a more bike-friendly future. Read on for a few of MassBike's top wins for bicycling in 2021 that were all made possible thanks to our generous MassBike Members.

Education

Cambridge "Cycling with Confidence" Program

  • Teaching bicycling safety to over 2,000 students across the state through the Safe Routes to Schools program. 
  • Bicycling education for older adults with our “Cycling with Confidence” program in the City of Cambridge and AARP webinars about getting back on the bike.

Legislation

MassBike Connecticut River Valley Board Ride with MassBike Staffers Galen & Jes

E-Bike Demo Day at Hale Reservation

Community Engagement

  • Showcasing over 100 bicycling events statewide on our Bay State Bike Month Calendar and encouraging more folks to ride through Bay State Bike Month activities
  • Distributing over 1,000 free sets of bike lights from Cape Cod to the Berkshires through our #LightsBrigade program to ensure cyclists across the commonwealth are riding safer and legally at night

Advocacy

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

  • Honoring the lives of cyclists lost in crashes with annual events like World Day of Remembrance, while continuing to advocate for improvements in dangerous roadways
  • Connecting MassBike staff, board, and fellow cycling advocates from across the state on a range of important issues through our monthly Executive Director Meet-Ups 

MassBike's Commitment to Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

  • Onboarding new MassBike Board Members who reflect the broad range of cycling interests and regions we serve 
  • Participating in ongoing equity, diversity, and inclusion training to better serve bicyclists in all communities

With your help, MassBike will continue to make Top Wins for biking! Join or renew your MassBike Membership before year-end and help shape our impacts in 2022.

Donate to MassBike

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Get your Tickets for Bicycle Film Festival Massachusetts

December 10, 2021

Take some time with friends and family this holiday season to celebrate bicycling with Bicycle Film Festival Massachusetts. Showing virtually December 17th-January 3rd.

The short-film lineup includes a diverse curation of filmmaking styles: narratives, documentaries, international award-winning filmmakers, and emerging directors– there is something for everyone to enjoy. Some of the short-film line up includes:

  • Kids in Worcester, MA use biking as an outlet to stay out of the cycle of inner-city violence
  • Access to education is opened up to young female students in Kenya after receiving bicycles
  • First female BMX competition at a major sporting event
  • The incredibly stunning and thrilling view of the annual Tour De Rwanda
  • The story of Marshall 'Major' Taylor
  • A charismatic Ghanaian immigrant in Amsterdam who teaches refugee adult women to ride bikes
  • The story of Leo Rogers
  • and more... 

A portion of all ticket proceeds will support MassBike’s work. Buy tickets today and enjoy some #bikejoy this holiday season.

Buy Tickets to BFF Massachusetts

Thank you to our premium Bicycle Film Festival partners, the New England Mountain Biking Association (NEMBA) and Commonwheels, for helping us spread the word about BFF Massachusetts. Learn more about these two great organizations below:

About NEMBA: The New England Mountain Bike Association (NEMBA), is a community of mountain bikers committed to creating epic riding experiences, preserving open space, and guiding the future of mountain biking in New England. Trails. Advocacy. Community.

About CommonWheels:
CommonWheels is a 501c3 non-profit collective based in Allston, MA. Our mission is to use the bicycle as a tool that empowers all people to be more self-reliant, healthy, and connected to their community. We provide free skill-sharing workshops, social rides, tools and guidance, multilingual resources, and community—and we encourage participation and support from all who share our vision for better bicycling, in Boston and beyond.

 

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2021 MassBike Annual Meeting Recap

December 10, 2021

On Monday, December 6th, Massbike hosted our 2021 Annual Meeting, emceed by MassBike Executive Director, Galen Mook, and MassBike Connecticut River Valley President, Kristen Sykes. Over 200 advocates from across Massachusetts tuned in to hear from bike-friendly champions from across the state and learn what MassBike has been working on in 2021. Our featured speakers, Ricardo Morales, Mayor Joshua Garcia, and Alex Morse, showcased the ways local leaders are making Massachusetts more bike-friendly through municipal action. The evening also included presentations on ValleyBike and the Connecticut Riverwalk and Bikeway. After our featured presentations, Galen highlighted some of MassBike's 2021 top hits, gave thanks to our interns, and shared a forecast for 2022. We are so grateful to everyone who made the evening such a success- our coalition is strong because of your support! 

The recording of the meeting has been added to the MassBike Youtube Channel, along with clips of individual speakers and highlights from the evening. Below you will find the entire recording, along with segment clips accompanied with a small synopsis. You can also view the slide deck from the meeting where you can find links & additional information.

 

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Enjoy a Great Read and Support Bike Safety Too

November 24, 2021

By Jack B. Rochester

My journey on bicycles and a special offer just for MassBike members.

Dear Fellow Cyclists of MassBike,

You and I ride one of the most innovative machines in world history. Bikes became popular in the 1800s because of a shortage of horses caused by -  whoa! a volcano eruption? - and henceforth were called “hobby horses!” Before flying, the Wright Brothers had a bicycle shop, selling bikes named “Van Cleve” and “St. Clair.” Mark Twain wrote a ludicrously humorous article about his experience riding – and falling from - a “penny farthing” bicycle, pictured here.

I got my first bike at about seven or eight. I swear it was cast iron. My father must have taken pity on me because the following Christmas he gave me an Raleigh English racing bike with a three-speed shifter. When I got my first paper route, age ten and a half, I rode a sturdy Schwinn with a Bendix two-speed shifter.

I rode a Trek, then a Cannondale, equipped with the Mavic Mektronic gruppo, over about 20 years. Of course, Shimano eventually introduced its SEIS “electronic intelligent” shifting system, and has continued to innovate its gruppos ever since. 

There’s been so much innovation in the simple bicycle over the years! As a round-the-world cyclist and technology writer, how could I not want to write a novel about cycling and a radical new shifting scheme? Yes, my fellow cyclists, I created the Spinner in the fab shop of my imagination. 

My novel is Bridge Across the Ocean. It’s a story set in New England and Taiwan in 2011 about cycling, technological innovation, international business espionage and last but not least, love. It starts with a hit-and-run killing of a cyclist and takes off like a time-trialer from there. 

Since cycling safety is paramount for all of us, I’m donating 100 percent of my earnings from Bridge to Mass Bike. You get a great read and MassBike gets a bunch of money to devote to its cycling safety initiatives. You get to help determine how much. 

Please go to the Bridge Across the Ocean website, click on “Get Yours” from the photo menu, and choose your favorite book format – hardcover, paperback, eBook or audiobook. Payment is easy with PayPal - you don’t need an account. 

As a bonus gift for your purchase, I’ll send you the Spinner PowerPoint presentation, which doesn’t appear in the book or elsewhere. Even though it’s imaginary, you’ll soon see it could certainly become a reality in the very near technological future.

So please, let’s raise a bunch of money for cycling safety in our neighborhoods. Thanks so much from both MassBike and me. We appreciate your support so much!

Get Your Copy of Bridge Across the Ocean

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World Day of Remembrance 2021

November 18, 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

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