It's Time To Light Up!

November 02, 2009

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!
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Forest Hills T Stop Bike Cages: Video

October 30, 2009

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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Oldies But Goodies: MassBike's History With The MBTA

October 29, 2009
The old MassBike website, while not the prettiest or easiest to use, was full of great information (some of it we didn't even know was there)! We have been playing Indiana Jones around here and have been uncovering some real gems of MassBike history. As we uncover these wonderful, and often very useful documents, we have been been integrating them into the new site. MassBike has been working hard to integrate bikes with the MBTA for over 30(!) years. Check out the fascinating history of MBTA bike success stories, as well as what we are working on now here.

A small taste:

How awesome is that hair! Oh 1984...
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Another Busy MassBike Weekend

October 26, 2009
Thanks to everyone who came and helped out with the many events going on last weekend! With the help of you our awesome volunteers we were able to provide valet bike parking at several events this weekend, have several rides, and overall have a great time!

Boston Bike Film Festival:
It rained a bit, but we had a great time parking bikes for this great festival. Patrons enjoyed the silent auction, the good food, and the entertaining movies, while MassBike braved the rain. We had a great time and are looking forward to next years fest. Climate Events:
MassBike and a whole lot of people concerned about the environment converged on Christopher Columbus park. Bikes were in full force, as one of the most environmentally friendly ways to get around it made perfect sense to see people show up on two wheels.

We also had a bunch of great MassBike Spins rides this weekend. For more information about the many rides in our MassBike Spins series click here, if you have a ride you want to be part of the series, contact us, we can provide ride insurance, event insurance, and a whole lot more (and it is often free!).
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MassBike Calendar Of Events, Now With More Options

October 26, 2009
Visitors to our website have told us how much they enjoy the calendar of events we have on the home page (you can see a larger calendar here). We work hard to make this resource available to the public and you can help! If you have an event to add to the calendar contact us (see guidelines for submission under the contact form).

We wanted to make it as easy as possible to share these events with everyone, so you can now embed our calendar! Share our events with your readers, and stay up to date on all the many bicycle events going on state wide. For instructions on embedding the calendar click here.

If that wasn't enough, you can also add our calendar to your Google Calendar, either click on the calendar icon on the right (under Stay In Touch With MassBike), or click here.
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Work For MassBike!

October 23, 2009
We are seeking some highly motivated instructors to teach our youth education programs, if you think you would find this interesting please see the job description below.

Safe Routes to School Bicycle Safety Instructor

The Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition (MassBike) is seeking part-time Instructors for our statewide Safe Routes to School (SRTS) children's bicycle safety program. Instructors will report to and work closely with the Director of Education and Outreach.

About MassBike:

MassBike is the statewide bicycling advocacy group for Massachusetts. MassBike promotes a bicycle-friendly environment, and encourages bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation. MassBike's programs focus on promoting bicycle-friendly legislation; improving bicycle access and safety on roads and public transportation; educating bicyclists, motorists, children, and police about bicycling; encouraging bicycle commuting; and creating opportunities to ride together.


  • Work part-time from 0 to 20+ hours per month depending on the number and location of participating schools, as directed by MassBike.

  • Complete training program to become certified as a MassBike SRTS Instructor. Training is paid, and provided by MassBike.

  • Teach the SRTS bicycle safety class to children in grades 4-8 in schools statewide. This is a fast-paced, high-energy, 45-minute presentation. Classes are often presented multiple times in one day at the same school.

  • Coordinate class schedule with Director of Education and Outreach.

  • Obtain class materials from MassBike as needed and distribute in schools as directed.

  • Prepare report on each school as directed by MassBike.

  • Collect student survey forms and return to MassBike.


  • Associates degree or equivalent relevant work experience.

  • Teaching or public speaking experience preferred.

  • Experience teaching children ages 10-14 helpful.

  • Strong interest and participation in bicycling preferred.

  • Strong interpersonal skills required.

  • Excellent verbal communication skills required.

  • Access to email.

  • Current driver's license and access to a car.

  • Access to a bicycle in good repair and bicycle helmet (used as props during class).

  • Availability to work during school hours, Monday-Friday, 7:30am-3:30pm

  • Must pass Criminal Offenders Record Information (CORI) check.

Pay and Expenses:

Competitive hourly rate, plus reimbursement for mileage and tolls.

To apply, please submit cover letter and resume to [email protected]

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Park Bikes With MassBike This Weekend

October 20, 2009
Let's face it, you like bikes. MassBike likes bikes, too. That's why you should come help MassBike to provide bicycle valet parking this weekend! Bike valet is an easy way for you to show your support for bicycling, hang out with other MassBike volunteers, and ogle at some lovely bikes.

This Friday and Saturday (10/23 & 10/24), we will provide our top-notch bicycle valet services at the Boston Bicycle Film Festival outside the Brattle Theater in Harvard Square. Bike valet begins at 6:30 and ends at 11:30. We'll have two 2 & 1/2 hour shifts each night. After a shift ends (or before it begins), volunteers get into the film fest the night they volunteer for free!

And just because everyone loves bicycle parking so much, we're also providing bike valet at Climate Action Day Boston on Saturday, 10/24. The event takes place at Columbus Park in Downtown Boston, near the Longwharf Marriott. Parking begins at 2:30pm and goes until 6:00pm. We will have two shifts of 1 hour, 45 minutes each. We're planning for between 200-300 bicycles, so we need all the help we can get. We also need one volunteer who can help with setup. Setup begins at 1:30 and ends at 2:30.

Bike valet is an easy way to help out and all you have to bring is yourself! RSVP to [email protected] to claim a shift or ask for more details. Learn about other MassBike volunteer events at our volunteer calendar.
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Boston Bike Film Fest: Bike Valet Parking And Movie Set Ride!

October 19, 2009
MassBike does a lot of things, but one of them that always makes people smile is our high quality bicycle valet service. We hear over and over how nice it is to be able to simply give your bicycle to a pro and know that at the end of the night you will get it back safe and sound. Plus it's real classy.

Once again this year we will be providing our high quality bike valet service for the Boston Bike Film Festival. The Boston Bike film fest will be Friday and Saturday, October 23-24, 2009. Come see original films submitted by talented national and international filmmakers, and have your bike parked by the fine folks here at MassBike. A portion of the proceeds go to MassBike, so not only will you know your bike is safe and sound as you enjoy these fine movies, but you will also be helping out our advocacy efforts! Also be sure to check out the awesome silent auction items.

You can buy your tickets here, or see the list of movies and schedule here.

If that wasn't enough bike awesomeness for you we are also going to be having a very fun movie themed ride before the festival. Boston has been the set for many a fine film, join MassBike and the Boston Bike Film Fest on a fun tour of the various movie sets around Boston. The tour is free for BBFF ticketholders! (Helmets Required)

The ride is pretty flat but be aware that we will be riding on Boston city streets.

Sites we will visit include:
Two currently filming movies
The Town, directed/starring Ben Affleck with Jon Hamm and
The Tom Cruise/Cameron Diaz' Wichita project (as yet untitled)

Recently released films
The Surrogates
Bride Wars

Some old favorites
The Departed
Good Will Hunting

Several others filmed right here in Beantown

We'll finish in Harvard Square in time for dinner at any of the Square's many restaurants prior to the Festival.

Meet at noon on Oct 24th at
Urban Adventours
103 Atlantic Ave, Boston

Special thanks to Sam Baltrusis for designing this one of a kind ride!
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You Like Us You Really Like Us!

October 16, 2009
It is always great when we get to help people, I got this in the email today and it really brightened my day.

Hi Shane,
I was at the Dana-Farber bike commuting workshop you did yesterday.
Just wanted to let you know that I tried your trick of putting plastic bags over my socks for this morning's ride through the rain/ kept me dry and warm and happy! The little things make a big difference, so thanks very much. Great workshop!

Thanks Liz! I am glad you were able to stay dry and have a good ride. If you want to have someone from MassBike come talk to your employs about winter commuting (so you can learn all these tips) check out our commuter workshop information here.
Add your reaction Share Brookline Ghost Bike And Bicycle Registration

October 09, 2009
In today's article about the recent appearance of a ghost bike at a crash scene in Brookline, the reporter also mentioned that Brookline is considering requiring that bicycles be registered. (Executive Director David Watson is quoted on both topics.) MassBike is opposed to mandatory bicycle registration - in fact, we successfully repealed the long-standing statewide bicycle registration statute in the recent Bicyclist Safety Act. Requiring a prospective bicyclist to register their bicycle adds a layer of bureaucracy, and possibly expense if there are registration fees, for anyone who wants to ride. We are at a point in time where we need to remove as many obstacles as possible to getting more people on bicycles, not make it more difficult. And what about the fact that many bicyclists riding in Brookline, or most any town for that matter, do not live there and are just passing through? Those bicycles will not be registered. The old registration statute required bike shops in towns that adopted bicycle registration to register every bike they sold, identifying the purchaser - but if the bike shop in the next town over does not require registration, where do you think people are more likely to buy bikes?

One of the most often-cited justifications for bicycle registration is that it will enable police to better enforce the law against bicyclists who run red lights, hit pedestrians, etc. by identifying the offending bicyclist. But rarely do the people calling for bicycle registration call for increased enforcement against lawbreaking motorists or pedestrians, who represent the vast majority of people on the streets. In the United States, a city where even 5% of trips are made by bicycle is unusual; in Boston, for example, the number is closer to 0.5%. At the current level of mode share for bicycles, and with limited police budgets, there just isn't enough bang for the buck in targeted enforcement against bicyclists. Not to say that bicyclists shouldn't be held accountable for their actions - they should - but let's try to keep the enforcement problem in perspective.
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