Last night, I had a realization how wrapping a bicycle as a present is a perfect analogy for running a non-profit organization. To wrap the bike, I need to piece together all sorts of sizes and shapes of paper. It’s an awkward, unwieldy geometry that doesn’t fit standard packaging. And, unfortunately (as some of you are familiar with struggling in the garage this late in December...), the process is tedious and takes a lot longer than any reasonable person would want.
A 20" wheel bike, expertly "concealed"
However, 'tis the season for gifts and giving, and for me the joy of wrapping the bike is in the process. Struggling late at night taping pieces of colorful paper over bicycle pedals reinforces why we give to those we love.
I think of the joy to come when this present is unwrapped, when a little girl knows she’s moving up in the world, with a bigger bike, one with gears and hand brakes, that will bring her excitement, freedom, and health.
My niece 'Leona' learning to ride for the first time in 2017
And I’m remind of the gifts you all bring to MassBike, with your advocacy, your support, and your donations. Going back to the wrapping metaphor, in the midst of this late night tape job in a cold garage, I see our collective advocacy as the bits and pieces of paper that make a movement, and your support as the tape that holds this whole thing together.
So thank you for your gifts, and I wish you all a lovely holiday season with many happy rides in the new year!
Galen Mook, Executive Director
You may remember our summer intern Dina Gorelik, a rising senior at Newton North High School (you can read her first MassBike blog post here!). She is the founder and officer of the Newton North Bike Club and we're pleased to bring you another blog post that she has written:
After participating in a bike tour two summers ago, I became enthralled with the idea of biking. My bike fulfilled my teenage desire for independence and freedom. I began biking to school year round and realized the personal benefits of biking and the stark lack of bicycle infrastructure in Newton. In response, I started a bike club. I hoped to get more students involved with and educated about biking. I also wanted to advocate for safer bike infrastructure, so I connected with Bike Newton, our local advocacy group.Read more
We've got a victory to report for rail trails in Massachusetts!
The Leominster City Council voted 8-0 on Monday night to approve all of the necessary easements for the Twin Cities Trail project to move forward.
Press Release: Contact: Pressley.Press@mail.house.gov
WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-FL), co-chairs of the Congressional Bike Caucus, introduced the Bikeshare Transit Act of 2019, bipartisan legislation that supports local bikeshare programs by helping communities across the country access federal funds for bikeshare facilities and equipment.Read more
Last week, MassBike put out a call for your help, to join in the conversation on e-bikes and submit your comments to the Dept. of Conservation and Recreation in regards to their proposed regulations that would pertain to pedal-assist bicycles.
We appreciate the desire for the DCR to allow Class-1 Pedal-Assist Electric Bicycles on improved trails over 8' wide (like rail trails). However, we disagree with the proposal to prohibit the use of pedal-assist bikes on "improved DCR trails that are less than 8 feet in width, dirt roads that are not open to vehicular traffic, and any natural surface trails, regardless of width or other conditions," and compiled our feedback for the DCR to review.
We received several hundred responses in support of our call to action and we greatly appreciate your support and your comments. It makes a difference! We were thrilled to hear so many stories from so many of you about why access for e-bikes is important for you and your family. Thank you to all of you who provided comments on this topic and sent your feedback to the DCR.
As we put out the call for your support and letters, we also wrote our own. You can read the full text of that letter below:Read more
The public comment period on proposed changes to Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation rules as it pertains to electric bicycles remains open until Wednesday July 24 at 5pm.
302 CMR 11.00: Parkways, Traffic, and Pedestrian Rules and 302 CMR 12.00: Parks and Recreation Rules, would prohibit usage of electric bicycles on all natural surface trails, improved trails that are less than 8’ wide and on dirt roads that are not open to vehicular traffic.
Read below for why we think this issue is important at this juncture and for instructions and a sample e-mail script to provide your comments.Read more
Meet Dina Gorelik, a rising senior at Newton North High School and a MassBike summer intern. She is the founder and officer of the Newton North Bike Club and is helping us out with a multitude of media projects at MassBike HQ! Here from Dina and her story about why she rides:
On Friday, July 19th, at 1:30 p.m., Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack will join Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver, Senate President Karen Spilka and state and local officials from Natick and Framingham at a ground breaking event for the Framingham-Natick-Cochituate Rail Trail. MassDOT officials will also be releasing their Bicycle and Pedestrian Plans.Read more
MassBike is all about getting more butts on bikes. And with the percentage of bike ridership throughout the commonwealth in the single digits, we need more people choosing to bike. So we are excited about a new type of rider out on our roads, paths, and trails -- the person on an e-bike with an electric motor.
There are plenty of riders out there who rely on electric-assist who otherwise wouldn’t bike. Maybe they’re recovering from an injury, or have aging legs, or want to keep up with their friends, or they need to travel longer distances, or have to ride over those damn hills, or need to get to work without being sweaty, or want to enjoy the woods while battling health issues.
This emerging ridership is a good development, as e-bikes bring the same benefits we all know from “analog” biking; improving physical and mental health, forging a connection to the advocacy community, and getting folks out into open space. And, as each bike on the road is one less car out there, e-bikes help tackle the two biggest issues facing the commonwealth: our environmental crisis with greenhouse gas emissions and congestion on the roads.Read more
A victory for bicyclists on Beacon Hill - Mass. State Representatives voted 155-2 to pass a bill banning motorists from using handheld cellphones and electronic devices behind the wheel. MassBike is thrilled with the forward motion of this bill.Read more