Welcome Our New Events And Outreach Manager

Please welcome aboard our newest team member to MassBike, Kyle Butler. Kyle has taken the role of Events and Outreach Manager, and has already dived deep into the work of getting the details perfect for Bike Night, the Summer Century, and the Berkshires to Boston Tour. In case you haven't noticed, MassBike has a lot going on this summer, and Kyle is going to ensure that these events are going to be super-fun celebrations on two wheels.

Switching gears from working in pediatric orthopedics, Kyle brings what was for him an activity in his spare time to a full-time career. He was first bitten by the cycling bug in college when he joined the Northeastern University Cycling Club. From there he helped to create Boston’s elite cycling team, Green Line Velo. Running weekly Wednesday night social group rides, hosting bicycle repair clinics, and organizing the Purgatory Road Race (which hosts the Massachusetts Road Race State Championship) have built the foundation for Kyle to take MassBike events to the next level.

Though you’ve most likely seen him driving a pedicab, leading a Bike Friday convoy or managing the course marshals at the TD Bank Mayor’s Cup Professional Criterium, Kyle is looking forward to putting his passion and skills into managing these upcoming MassBike events. Bike Night is our first big event coming up on June 7th! Be sure to chat him up while enjoying your cocktail and admiring the velo-couture.

Submit Your Bay State Bike Week Event ASAP

The month of May - Bike Month - is almost here. That means that Bay State Bike Week is just around the corner. We've already started getting events submitted for the upcoming week of bicycle celebrations (May 11-19). There is a Bike to School Day on the Cape, a Bike Rodeo in the Pioneer Valley, and a Bike Film Festival in Metro Boston, and the MassCommute Bicycle Challenge, to name only a few events.

Now is the time to submit your event to the calendar.

During the week of May 11-19, people across the state will be searching for events in their community or region - this calendar connects them up with your great event! Plus, registering your event for Bay State Bike Week also does the following:

  • Makes your event eligible for Bay State Bike Week swag, such as t-shirts and reflective ankle straps.

  • Provides branding materials for promotion of the event.

  • Gives event attendees a chance to win great prizes in a drawing!

If you have already registered your event, but want to request materials for Bay State Bike Week, check out this page here. If you have any questions about submitting an event to the calendar, requesting materials, or anything else, please do not hesitate to email BayStateBikeWeek@MassBike.org.

Finally, if you haven't yet planned an event but are interested in doing so, it's not too late! There is still plenty of time to put together a bike ride, bike breakfast, or other event for your community. We have included both weekends to allow for more recreational events, and not just work commuting. Check out our Event Planning Resources for more information on how to plan an event.

Cycle The WAVE Massachusetts Is Coming To Ashland

Women and girls of all ages and abilities
are invited to join this non-competitive cycling event.

On Sunday, June 23, 2013, the first East Coast event, Cycle the WAVE Massachusetts, will start and end at historic Marathon Park, Pleasant St., Ashland. All proceeds will benefit the local non-profit, Web of Benefit, Inc. This cycling event is an all-women, non-competitive ride, not a race, and there is no fundraising requirement. Women riders of all ages and abilities can sign up for the “Little Sister” (about 25 miles), or the “Big Sister” (about 50 miles). Beginning at the original Boston Marathon starting line, and winding through several beautiful MetroWest towns, the cycling event will include surprises and treats along the way, and a celebration party at the end.

All proceeds from this event will go directly to its proud sponsor, Web of Benefit. Web of Benefit promotes liberation from domestic violence and has given more than 1,100 Self-Sufficiency Grants to women in the Greater Boston and MetroWest area. Each woman “pays it forward” by performing good works for other women impacted by domestic violence.

To learn more, or to register, sponsor, donate, or volunteer (men welcome), visit ma.cyclethewave.org. Questions? Contact Deborah Maini: 781-974-4559 or info@ma.cyclethewave.org.

The Prouty Ultimate: Two-Days, 200 Miles In NH & VT To Fight Cancer!

You’re going to love this ride! Two days of unforgettable cycling (July 12-13, 2013) along New Hampshire and Vermont roads, by pristine lakes and rivers, and through picturesque New England villages with stunning views of the White Mountains. The Prouty is already established as one of the finest century rides in New England, a result of 31 years of paying attention to the details: frequent SAG stops, strong road support, great food, and unparalleled camaraderie. The Prouty Ultimate is an extension of that tradition, with an epic 100 miles from Manchester to Hanover, N.H., added the day before joining The Prouty classic century. The Ultimate is limited to 150 cyclists, ensuring we’ll deliver a quality, fully supported ride.

Join the Ultimate fight against cancer and support research at Dartmouth’s Norris Cotton Cancer Center – one of just 41 NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the country and one of just nine Centers of Nanotechnology Excellence. The Prouty Ultimate fundraising minimum is $2,500 (or $1,850 each if you sign up with a friend).





Prouty Ultimate Perks include:

● Exclusive group dinner at the St. Anselm College event HQ, July 11th

● Pre-ride bike inspection

● Strong route support with a police escort start, a total of 12 SAG stops (some with live music), two water stops, and roving support bikes / vans

● Complimentary massage at the end of each day’s ride

● Special cocktail reception at the Canoe Club restaurant in Hanover on Friday

● ProutyGear points to “spend” on great Prouty-branded cycling apparel or other Prouty items (earn 1 point for every $500 raised)

● Amazing door prizes – all Ultimates entered into a drawing for two chances to win a bike (one from Drummond Custom Cycles,  another from The Bike Hub).

● Overnight stay at the McLane Hall Dartmouth dormitory on Friday

● All-day Prouty Party July 13th from 6:30am-5pm (at the Richmond Middle School event site) with tons of food, live entertainment, the NCCC Discovery Tent and more!

● Transportation from Hanover to Manchester on 7/11, back to Manchester on 7/13

To learn more, watch our Prouty Ultimate video (https://vimeo.com/57085364), visit www.theproutyultimate.org and contact us with any questions: info@theprouty.org or 800-226-8744.

MassBike's New Program Associate

We are proud to introduce our new Program Associate, Shawn Musgrave! Shawn will be coordinating the Education Program and helping out with communications, so you can count on seeing him on the blog and in the classroom.

A recent graduate of Boston University, Shawn is deeply committed to bicycling for recreation and transportation. One of Shawn's current projects includes a travel guide to the Boston area by bike, requiring extensive research (riding around). Shawn has good experience to draw from, since he was a pedi-cabber prior to joining the staff at MassBike.

Shawn is also an improv comedian, doing past work with Improv Boston. This is great experience for his current role. Half the battle when teaching bicycle education classes is keeping the students engaged. Children and adults alike are going to be in for a real treat when Shawn is the class instructor.

Finally, you might be seeing Shawn's name in other venues as well. He is an active freelance journalist, and just yesterday had a story published on the front page of the Boston Globe! Basically, we're really lucky to have him in the MassBike office. Be sure to welcome him as you see him in the classroom or at tabling events in the coming months.

ACTION ALERT: Critical Moment On Beacon Hill

Monday, the Massachusetts House passed a dramatically scaled-back transportation finance plan - only about 50% of the amount multiple independent analyses have concluded is necessary to maintain our crumbling transportation system and invest in much-needed expansion projects. You can find out more information about the debate here.

MassBike is very concerned about the Legislature's plan to fund transportation. A major issue is that, unlike the Governor's Transportation Plan, the Legislature's alternative does not dedicate any funding to biking and walking. Further, it would require large increases in transit fares and tolls, while abandoning capital projects such as the Green Line extension, South Coast rail and South Station expansion - all critical to economic development and new jobs. And it would forfeit federal funds available to pay for much of these projects. Instead of investing in the future of Massachusetts transportation, the Legislature's proposal will cost us all more without any discernible improvement in our infrastructure.

Tomorrow is a big day for biking and walking. The Bike/Walk Summit is taking place, and we are asking local advocates come to the State House to educate their legislators about our six pieces of legislation (see below). But perhaps even more urgently, the Senate is going to be debating and possibly voting on the transportation finance bill. We need you to call your legislators at this critical point TODAY.

1. Please call/email and ask your state Senator:

  • Will you support adequate transportation funding, which at a minimum is $800 - $900 million annually?

2. Please call/email and ask both your Senator and Representative:

  • Will you support the following bills to improve road safety for all users?

    • Senior Safety Zones Bill, HB 550 - Establishes reduced speed limit zones in areas with larger elderly populations;

    • Vulnerable Road Users Bill, SB 1639 - Adds protections from being struck by a motor vehicle to bicyclists, pedestrians, and other vulnerable users of the road;

    • Active Streets and Healthy Communities Bill, SB 68 / HB 3091 - Creates a certification process for "Active Streets Communities," which would provide eligibility for certain kinds of funding;

    • Bike Lane Protection Bill, SB 1640 - Prohibits parking motor vehicles in bike lanes;

    • Snow Removal Bill, HB 1570 - Incentivizes snow removal from sidewalks;

    • Speed Limits Bill, HB 3129 - Reduces the prevailing speed limits on most local roads to 25 mph.

3. Email Action@MassBike.org to let us know how it went.

Don't know who your legislators are or how to contact them? Find out here.

Email is OK, but phone calls are preferred. Again, this is a critical point in the transportation conversation. We are hoping to put pressure on the Senate to pass a larger transportation bill, which will give us an opportunity later on to re-establish dedicated funding for biking and walking when the House and Senate reconcile the two versions of the legislation. As always, it is only with your help that we are going to be able to make progress on this. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to call the office at (617) 542-2453 or email Advocacy@Massbike.org.

Bring MassBike to Your Kids' School!

Each school year, MassBike teaches thousands of elementary and middle school children how to ride their bikes more safely. Since beginning our youth education outreach, we've brought our school-age workshops to schools in Worcester, Cambridge, Salem, Franklin, Framingham and dozens of communities around the state.

With April vacation upon us, MassBike already has bike safety classes scheduled at multiple elementary and middle schools around Massachusetts. With your help, our expert instructors could reach even more children (including yours!) on the importance of bicycle maintenance, helmet use and road safety.

The MassBike Safe Routes to School curriculum reviews basic maintenance (Air, Brakes, Chain & Quick Release), rules of the road, proper helmet fitting and nighttime visibility. Our instructors tailor the message to age-level to ensure that these critical safety lessons are most appropriate, effective and empowering.

The classes are funded through the state's Safe Routes to School Program, thus free to the participating schools. To receive these courses, talk to your school’s principal, P.E. teacher or another employee and let them know you would like MassBike to lead these classes.  To schedule a class, send an email to Education@MassBike.org and we can get the ball rolling.

More about Safe Routes to School

MassBike is able to offer these youth safety classes through the state’s Safe Routes to School Program.  Safe Routes to School is a federally-funded initiative which promotes healthy transportation alternatives for trips to and from school.  The program aims to foster a mobile and active lifestyle and to reduce traffic congestion and improve public health by encouraging the use of alternative transportation. MassBike has been teaching through the Safe Routes to School Program since 2009.

Cycle Into History On The South Shore

The Board of Directors of the 1699 Historic Issac Winslow House of Marshfield are pleased to announce the kickoff fundraiser for 2013: The Historic Winslow Sprint on Sunday, May 5, 2013.

Join them (rain or shine) for a great day of bicycle touring in Marshfield, Scituate, and Duxbury. This 43.5 mile tour will follow along the salt water marshes, beaches, historic districts and, most likely, a few cranberry bogs in three beautiful South Shore towns.

The $200 registration fee includes a Vomax Cycling Jersey, cinch sak, water bottle, and entry to the LOBSTER BOIL after party with complimentary libations. Family and friends are invited to the after party, $30 for a ticket (children eat free, cash bar). This year's featured musical guest is local musician, singer, songwriter Peter Mundt!

The Winslow Sprint is a fundraiser that supports the ongoing efforts of preservation and operations for the the Issac Winslow House of Marshfield, MA. The house is a 501 3 (C) non-profit organization, and the flat rate donation to participate in the Tour is tax deductible.

Join us for a fun way to get out and enjoy spring, and represent a cornerstone of the history of Marshfield, and South Shore! Please register at: www.winslowhouse.org

Holyoke Plans For Better Biking

Since the summer, MassBike has been working on a bicycle planning project with the City of Holyoke to assess the level of public support of bicycling, and next steps to making it easier to go by bike in The Paper City. To that end, last week the City held an open house for gathering input on ways to improve bicycling. MassBike Programs Director Price Armstrong (me) was there to give ideas on particular routes for bicycling, cite examples from other communities, and brainstorm solutions for barriers that were identified.

In the end, the two maps of Holyoke (which included the downtown area and a more suburban/rural part) were thoroughly marked up with problem spots, ideas for improvements, and general comments about bicycling in Holyoke. A lot of local expertise was provided from members of MassBike's Pioneer Valley Chapter, in addition to other residents of Holyoke. Overall, there was one key area of agreement - while Holyoke has a number of bicyclists, more work needs to be done to bring them together. The Open House was the first step of that process.

Some of the other preliminary findings include:

  • Recreational riding opportunities are excellent, with both on-road and off-road routes providing scenic and exciting rides.

  • There are no bike-friendly river crossings from Holyoke into Chicopee or South Hadley.

  • The riverfront is an underutilized area, and a great opportunity for a multi-use path.

  • The bicycle facilities that do exist (bike lanes) typically disappear by the end of winter, resulting in motorists entering the bicycle lanes more frequently.

  • There should be more bicycle safety education offerings, especially in Holyoke schools.

  • Biking to the Holyoke Mall, a major commercial area, is very difficult.

Over the next several weeks, we will work to combine these findings with the results of a community survey and other outreach activities into a "Needs Assessment." The intention is that this document will provide the foundation for continued relationship building and dialogue, crucial ingredients to the longer-term goal of building the infrastructure, both built and human, for better bicycling conditions.

This work is part of our Bikeable Communities Program. Do you want to see an activity like this in your community? Email Services@MassBike.org if so!

Action On Beacon Hill And Victory On Capitol Hill

The MassBike office has been busy for the past several weeks with action not just in the State House, but also in the Capitol. We wanted to not only give you an update, but also ask for your support as we work toward better biking in Massachusetts. Read below for how you can help.

State Bike/Ped Funding - Action Needed

MassBike, in partnership with WalkBoston, has been working to organize the Bike/Walk Summit on Thursday, April 11th. This year, we have five pieces of legislation that would make the roads safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. Additionally, we will be asking participants to support the Governor's Transportation Plan, and specifically the $430 million dedicated to bike/ped facilities. To register, click here.

In the meantime, there is a coordinated effort this week being led by Transportation for Massachusetts (of which MassBike is a member) to let the legislature know that investing in our transportation system is essential. While their focus is on transportation broadly, we urge our members to specifically reference support for the $430 million set aside for biking and walking infrastructure. MassBike Executive Director David Watson kicked things off by testifying at the transportation bond bill hearing at the State House on Monday, where he urged the members of the Joint Committee on Transportation to fully fund Massachusetts' transportation needs, including biking and walking.

Here is how you can take action now:

  1. Join in on the Transportation Day on the State House steps on April 2. If you can't make the Bike/Walk Summit on April 11, or if you want to have your voice heard on broader transportation issues, then this is a great opportunity.

  2. Email your legislators using this simple template.

  3. Call your legislators and tell them you support adequate transportation funding, including funding for biking and walking. If they are supportive, ask them to express that support to the Speaker of the House and the Senate President. Phone numbers can be found here.

Victory On Capitol Hill

When we were in DC for the National Bike Summit, we weren't able to meet with the Massachusetts Congressional delegation due to a snow storm. Despite that setback, we have been keeping in close touch with members of Congress and their staff. This has recently paid off by the news that more than half of Massachusetts' US Representatives signed on to a letter to USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood asking that USDOT establish performance goals for reducing bicyclist fatalities.

Please send a thank you email to these US Representatives if you live in their districts:

Things are only going to get more hectic as the transportation funding debate comes to a head in the State House, and as the current federal transportation authorization nears its expiration in 2014. As always, we depend on you, our members and supporters, to make sure that bicyclists aren't forgotten in these discussions - thanks so much for your hard work.

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