On Monday, December 7th, over 220 MassBike supporters joined together over zoom to hear about the great work being done by our partners and cycling advocates from across the commonwealth. We at MassBike would like to thank everyone who came, we were overwhelmed by the support we received during the program. As promised, we have the recording of the event for those of you who couldn’t attend the entire evening.
You can view the entire two-hour program in full below. For your convenience, we have also created videos of each segment so you can tune into what you missed or are most interested in watching and sharing with others. In this post, we've included a recap of each segment, including the video and pertinent links so you don’t miss any of the great content that was shared on Monday.Read more
2020 has been a challenging year but it has also brought lots of new opportunities for bicycling advocacy so to tackle the work we’ve needed to grow our team. MassBike is excited to announce we’ve added two wonderful new staff members. Please welcome Chrystal Walsh our new Development Coordinator and Jes Slavin our new Communications Coordinator. We are thrilled to have their help as we use the momentum of this bike boom to drive advocacy forward across the commonwealth.
Chrystal and Jes both worked hard on our recent #GivingTuesday fundraising push and are currently helping to put together the MassBike Annual Meeting that’s happening on Monday, December 7th at 6pm. We wanted to introduce them to you before you meet them virtually for the first time at the Annual Meeting (which you should RSVP for right now if you haven’t yet).Read more
On November 15th, iconic bridges and buildings across the Commonwealth glowed yellow for the World Day of Remembrance for road traffic victims. As part of the MA Vision Zero Coalition, MassBike honored this day by remembering those we have lost in bicycle crashes this year. Usually, we gather together for World Day of Remembrance. But this year, like during much of 2020, we mourned those we have lost in bicycle crashes this year while apart. We lit candles at home and shared photos of the structures lit up yellow to honor road traffic victims. In this incredibly hard year, we are continuing to honor World Day of Remembrance throughout the month of November.
Christopher Weigl's Memorial Ghost Bike with his camera bag
Photo by Rachel Smook
We've wrapped up a successful Bay State Bike Month and MassCommute Bicycle Challenge, and we wanted to share the numbers and thank all the riders (and winners) for their collective efforts to get wheels turning this September for Bike Month.
Together, we all got more fit, had fun riding with friends, saved money, and (most importantly) helped protect the planet by reducing greenhouse gas emissions one pedal stroke at a time. Check out the stats below:Read more
Bike Month starts TODAY!
September is Bay State Bike Month, and our statewide events calendar and bicycle challenges are up and rolling. With so much going on both virtually and in-person (distanced), we hope you will join us for a unifying month of celebrating biking in all corners of Massachusetts.
Some highlights this week:
- Sep. 1: Bike/Walk Holyoke Virtual Scavenger Hunt
- Sep. 2: Webinar: Intro to Everyday Biking (feat. Galen from MassBike)
- Sep. 5: Concord Bike Rodeo
- All Month Long: Ride for Food: Off the Beaten Path
** 7/17/20 UPDATE: The e-bike and micromobility amendment 163 passed with a voice vote in the Senate to be included in their version of the transportation bond bill! Thanks to all the supporters and constituents who contacted their Senators to ask them to support defining e-bikes in Massachusetts. **
We need your help! This Thursday, July 16th the MA Senate will debate and vote on the transportation bond bill, which includes a specific amendment filed by Senator Sal DiDomenico to classify electric bicycles.
This amendment defines e-bikes to make them distinct from mopeds, so they can be regulated similar to bicycles. We need your help to ask your Senator to vote "YES" on Amendment Number 163. The vote is taking place this Thursday, July 16 so please take a minute to help TODAY!
This is our chance to ensure e-bikes are legalized throughout Massachusetts. Please contact your Senator before this Thursday.
For more information about MassBike advocacy related to defining electric bicycles, please see our page here.
MA Representatives Support Bicycling in the Federal Transportation Bill
Our representatives in Washington have been busy working to make sure bicycling concerns are included in the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee approved the INVEST for America Act. MassBike has been working with our advocacy partners and our friends in Washington to make sure Congress authorizes transportation dollars that don't leave out folks on two-wheels. The bill is likely to be voted in the House within a week, so stay tuned for action alerts to reach out to your congresspeople!
Big THANKS to Congresswoman Pressley (MA-7) for co-sponsoring the Bicycle Commuter Act and to Representative Neal (MA-1) for clearing its way through the Ways and Means Committee to have bicycle benefits included in the House Infrastructure Bill. With a little nudge from MassBike and our partners at the League of American Bicyclists, LivableStreets Alliance, Boston Cyclists Union, and Lyft (which is the operator of Bluebikes bike sharing system owned by the municipalities around Greater Boston), they were able to help shepherd the commuter benefit back into our transportation bill after it was suspended under the 2017 tax cuts.
Additionally, Representative Lynch (MA-8) led the inclusion of a National Road Safety Assessment that focuses on bicyclists and pedestrians by requiring the Federal Highway Administration’s district offices to identify and catalog roads and intersections that are unsafe for bicycling and walking. This will create an important tool for state and local governments--and for advocates--to identify priorities to target our advocacy where it's most needed.
We're proud to say bicyclists in Massachusetts are well represented in Washington, but we're still keeping a keen eye on this crucial legislation, and we'll be sure to reach out when we need help asking for support from our elected officials as this bill makes it way through the House of Representatives and onto the Senate!
A message from MassBike Board & Staff
All of us at MassBike have been moved and challenged as overwhelmingly peaceful protests against racism have swept our nation's cities. The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery, just the most recent among so many black Americans, and the people who are taking to the streets to express their outrage, have once again shown how we as a country are suffering from the unjust and racist power structures in our society. We whole-heartedly stand in solidarity and commitment with the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and we affirm ourselves as an organization dedicated to enabling and empowering freedom of safety and movement.
Getting around on a bike often has added layers of complexity and societal dangers for people of color, be it from law enforcement or traffic violence. MassBike recognizes the unacceptable fact that, along with prejudicial police practices, generations of discriminatory housing, urban development, and public transit policies disproportionately hurt minority communities, and that these structures of racism are interconnected. People from Black and Brown neighborhoods have the longest commutes, the highest air pollution and asthma rates, and the least amount of bicycle infrastructure and greenspace. We find this unacceptable, and we must think deeply about how our work challenges systemic racism.
Though the bicycle advocacy space has a reputation as being historically white, and MassBike is a majority-white organization, we strive (and sometimes struggle) to always view our work through the lens of Equity & Inclusion. So many people of color depend on their bicycles for transportation, livelihood, and physical activity to build healthier, more connected lives. MassBike’s mission is to create safer bicycling for everyone, and we need to focus where the inequities and dangers are the strongest. Especially in the major urban centers of Springfield, Worcester, and Boston and the Gateway Cities of Holyoke, Brockton, Lawrence, New Bedford, Lowell and beyond, we see the stark racial inequalities prevalent in people’s ability to access safe and active transportation.
Yet we are bolstered by our partners and allies working to reform racist practices in transportation, public health and safety, and law enforcement. We proudly join, fund, and amplify these efforts taking place in Black and Brown communities, and we at MassBike are actively creating spaces to discuss issues regarding unequal distribution of safe infrastructure, racial profiling, and interactions with police forces across the commonwealth – especially related to youth. MassBike must build ourselves as an organization that harnesses the power of “coalition.” Together, we all can make a difference.
How can those of us with white privilege raise racial awareness to better our communities by serving as allies?
We must lead all our conversations by acknowledging the historical and current-day racism, and ask ourselves how we can help undo racism everyday through our work. As evidenced by the voices taking to the streets, we remain resolute since much work remains to be done.
A few thoughts on how we can join together:
- Educate ourselves on what is happening regarding racial injustice. By exposing ourselves to the information being shared by racial justice organizations, writers, trusted media outlets, social media influencers, and neighbors who we perhaps have yet to familiarize ourselves with, we can learn about the policies that created and maintain racial disparities that have real impacts on our lives, including on everyone's experience of healthy, bike-friendly communities
- Have an internal conversation, reflecting on questions like “How can I participate in changing the status quo?” and “Who is not here?” then taking actions toward promoting equity and inclusion.
- Have conversations with others around us such as friends, family, colleagues, and fellow members of our cycling communities. Listen to those who are directly impacted, and encourage every voice to contribute to this cultural conversation.
- Contact our elected officials and hold them accountable so we can put an end to policies and practices that foster racism.
- Get involved. Donate your money, donate your time, donate your position to amplify those voices combating racial injustice. We can all help advance understanding and support efforts that create safe, healthy, equitable communities.
We see this statement as part of an ongoing dialogue, and we expect to follow with information and discussions to build upon these five points. We invite you to engage with us and share resources that are helping you take action. We have much work to do together.
Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition
Request for Proposals: Building Local Capacity to Improve Bicycling in Your Community, Mass in Motion Mini-Grants
MassBike is teaming up with WatsonActive to offer grants of up to $1000 to organizations for bike-related activities to support local advocacy and capacity building. Since we understand how stretched everyone is right now, we've extended the deadline by one week, and are now due by Fri, June 5. We're expecting a mix of community organizations to apply, and are asking our members to help spread the word. For more information, please see this short google form Request for Proposals, or by downloading the form HERE. and contact us with any questions or support needed to help fill out the application.Read more
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.