Save the Date! Bike Night: "Beyond the Spandex" Is Coming

March 08, 2012

Bike Night: Beyond the Spandex

May 3, 2012

6:30 - 9:00 PM

Presented by the Westin Waterfront Hotel and MassBike


Individual Tickets are $75 or buy a Table (10 tickets) for $600 and save $150!!

Online ticket sales will be available until 4/27 after which you can call the MassBike office at 617-542-2453 for ticket information.

Bike Night: Beyond the Spandex is just around the corner and tickets are on sale now on the MassBike website. Get your friends together and purchase a table (10 Tickets) for $15 off each ticket.

This year at Bike Night, we will be having a fashion show highlighting the best in functional, stylish urban bike fashion. The event will be held May 3rd, from 6:30-9pm at the Westin Waterfront in Boston. The Westin Waterfront has graciously provided us with a beautiful space that is not only perfectly designed for the fashion show but also boasts exquisite views of historic Boston Harbor. The night will begin at 6:30 with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres provided by Bacardi and Sam Adams. Each ticket holder will be given two free drink tickets and any additional drinks can be purchased for $5.

After cocktail hour those in attendance will be ushered into the dining room for a seated three-course dinner including salad, entrée, and dessert. Entrée options will include chicken, beef, or vegetarian. Dinner will wind down around 8:30 and the night's entertainment will begin.

The fashion show will focus on clothing that goes "Beyond the Spandex" and will include garments that highlight bicycling as a practical, fun, stylish transportation option for all types of people. This year in the fashion show you will see items from Ibex, Hincapie, Swrve, Nuu-Muu, REI, Brompton, Rudy Project, Defeet, Geekhouse, Club Ride, EMS, and many more!

During the entire evening attendees will have a chance to buy raffle ticket to win one of three urban commuter bicycles from Specialized and Giant. In addition to the raffle there will be a silent auction with a number of premium items from Bailey Works, Hubway, Sam Adams, Grey Goose Vodka, ZipCar, Road ID, Mavic and more.

This should be a really special night for all in attendance - not only will it provide you a chance to show your support for MassBike, but it will also provide you with a high-end night of bicycle themed entertainment. From the sponsors and location to food, drinks, and entertainment, this year's Bike Night is sure to be the bike event that everyone is talking about. So get your tickets today!

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The Long View Of The Longfellow Bridge

March 08, 2012
MassDOT recently released the long-awaited Environmental Assessment for the Longfellow Bridge reconstruction project, which reveals the design MassDOT has chosen for the bridge. To its credit, MassDOT clearly listened to much of the input from the Longfellow Bridge Task Force (on which I served):

[caption id="attachment_18293" align="aligncenter" width="560" caption="Click to enlarge"][/caption]

As seen above, the outbound (Boston-to-Cambridge) side of the bridge as proposed will be truly multimodal, with a single travel lane for motor vehicles, a wide buffered bike lane, and a wide sidewalk. While we can (and will) push to further narrow the remaining travel lane to provide even more space for bicyclists and pedestrians - and to slow down the traffic that speeds over the bridge - MassDOT has the right idea for the outbound side.

Throughout the process, the design for the inbound side has been the focus of discussion and disagreement. The alternative chosen by MassDOT does not represent an improvement over current conditions for bicyclists; at most, the bike lane is six inches wider than the current shoulder/bike lane. So bicyclists who are not comfortable riding across the bridge today will not feel any safer riding across the reconstructed bridge. And the sidewalk, while wider than what exists today, is still narrow - too narrow to be comfortably shared by pedestrians, wheelchairs, strollers, and the inevitable less-confident bicyclists drawn by the wider-but-still-inadequate sidewalk.

Another option proposed by the Task Force would configure the inbound side much like the outbound side: wide sidewalk, wide buffered bike lane, and a single travel lane (see below). While there is disagreement over whether this configuration would provide an acceptable level of service for cars, one thing is certain: the decision we make now will determine whether or not we will ever be able to realize the Task Force's vision of maximized space for bicyclists and pedestrians, if and when future traffic volumes support doing so.

[caption id="attachment_18300" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Click to Enlarge"][/caption]

At the recent public hearing on the Longfellow Bridge reconstruction project, MassBike joined with other advocates to speak out in support of this longer-term vision for the bridge. Click here for our full joint statement.

There are tradeoffs for bicyclists and pedestrians in these design choices. The MassDOT plan would mean losing the opportunity for a wider sidewalk until the next time the bridge is rebuilt (50-75 years), because the crash barrier cannot easily be moved once built. Faster cyclists would be in the same narrow bike lane we have today, while slower, less confident cyclists would probably be jockeying for space on a narrow sidewalk (if they felt safe enough to use the bridge at all). On the other hand, the advocates' plan would move the crash barrier inward, creating a much wider space for bicyclists and pedestrians to share on the sidewalk, but eliminating the on-street bike lane. Neither proposed solution is optimal from either the bicyclist or pedestrian perspective.

Advocates for bicyclists, pedestrians, transit, the disabled, and the Charles River parkland all agree that the longer-term vision is the one we want and this is the only way to preserve that option. In the short-term, less confident bicyclists will feel more protected being physically separated from cars, and many more people may choose to bike over the bridge to Boston or the Esplanade. Some may view it as bikers and walkers sacrificing separate space for the possibility of a better deal in the future, but I don't see it as a sacrifice. Instead of separate but inadequate space for bicyclists and pedestrians, we'll get a much wider more flexible space that will be safer and more inviting for more people. It can work, and is already working on bridges elsewhere, like the busy Hawthorne Bridge in Portland, Oregon.

So let's thank MassDOT for demonstrating some real multimodal thinking on this project, and push them to think just a little further into the future we all want to see.
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Join Team Challenge Cycle

March 05, 2012

Team Challenge for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation is pleased to announce that it will be an official charity of Centurion Cycling’s 50 mile bike event in Lake George, NY on June 24th.

About Team Challenge: Team Challenge Cycle is an endurance training and fundraising program that prepares participants of all abilities to cycle 50 miles. Whether you’re an avid cycler looking to PR or want to get on a bike for the first time, this program is for you. Through Team Challenge, you can train for this cycling event while helping to find a cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, two chronic and often debilitating digestive diseases that impact 1.4 million Americans.

About the race: Team Challenge will participate in Centurion New York, which begins in the beautiful Village of Lake George and takes you on a cycling journey through some of the most picturesque roads and mountain scenery in the Adirondacks of upstate New York. Team Challenge Cycle participants will receive a daily training schedule for beginner, intermediate or advanced cyclists, roundtrip transportation for you and your bike, race weekend accommodations, pasta party the night before the race, race entry, race day jersey, a personal website and fundraising support .

Registration: To learn more about Team Challenge, attend an upcoming recruitment meeting or contact Alison at or 646-300-4208 to schedule an informational 1-on1. Training begins March 18th.

Team Challenge Cycle participates in MassBike’s Charity Ride Partner Program to help support MassBike’s advocacy and education program.
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Our Online Store Is Back!

March 05, 2012
After weeks of careful reorganizing, we are pleased to announce that the MassBike online store is up and running! Thank you all for your patience while we updated a few features within the store and to everyone who has been waiting to join, renew, or donate to MassBike, we invite you to take a moment out of your day and support Better Bicycling For Massachusetts.
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MassDOT, Make The Fore River Bridge Better For Biking

February 24, 2012
On Thursday, February 9th I attended a public hearing in the Town of Weymouth on the Fore River Bridge Replacement Project. This bridge, part of the Accelerated Bridge Program, is the main connector between Quincy (and the City of Boston) and points further down on the South Shore, as proven by the fact that it carries over 32,000 vehicles per day. Were it not for the Fore River Bridge, anyone wanting to travel between Quincy and Weymouth would have to go four miles out of their way on neighborhood streets, or get a canoe.

Currently, there is a temporary bridge in place that is slated to come down in the next couple of years (there's an interesting history to this bridge, which you can find more information about here). If you've ridden across the bridge before, then you know that it isn't bike or pedestrian friendly. I was there to make sure that there was a voice for bicyclists who hope to cross the Fore River Bridge in the future.

Unfortunately, you can see in the cross-section below that they are just planning to have a 5-foot "bike-accommodating shoulder", which means an unmarked shoulder that bicyclists can use. Given that this is a high-profile project, and one that will set the stage for future bridge replacements (just like the Whittier Bridge) we need to make sure that it sets a strong precedent for biking and walking on our bridges.

Unfortunately, there was a parade of elected officials who were given preference to provide public testimony at the beginning of the meeting, meaning that I had to leave before they could get to the open public testimony. The Mayor of Weymouth, state legislators, and even US Representative Steven Lynch came up to give comment on the bridge, mostly surrounding issues like noise abatement, aesthetics, and other construction concerns. In my written testimony, I voice four major issues.

  1. A "bike-accommodating shoulder" is insufficient with 32,000 vehicles a day going 40 mph (at least) over the bridge;

  2. At these speeds and volumes, five feet is insufficient for most bicyclists;

  3. The shoulder needs to be expressly designated for bicycles;

  4. As is, many bicyclists will use the sidewalks instead of the "bike-accommodating shoulder". This increases the chances of a bike-pedestrian crash.

I suggest instead building a raised bike lane, not unlike the cycle track-sidewalk design that was recently built on Concord Avenue in Cambridge. Beyond these specific concerns, I also pointed out that the approach to the bridge from the Quincy side (a classic New England rotary) is difficult to navigate by bike, and that they should increase the scope of the project to reconfigure the intersection.

We are working hard to make sure that the needs of bicyclists aren't overlooked in this high-interest project, and hope that we can successfully attain grade- or buffer-separated bike lanes on this bridge with easy-to-bike approaches. We'll keep you updated on the project as it progresses.
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Bicycle Dreams, Award-Winning Documentary Film, Coming To Boston On March 6

February 24, 2012

Bicycle Dreams, the award-winning feature-length documentary about the Race Across America (RAAM), will premiere in Boston at the Regent Theatre in Arlington on Tuesday, March 6 at 7 p.m. as part of the film's ongoing nationwide winter tour. The screening is presented as a benefit for MassBike and is co-sponsored by Team 4HIVHope, a local team that will be competing in RAAM later this year.

The film, which has been selling out theaters from coast to coast on its current tour, has won numerous awards at film festivals all over the world, "is an up-close look at what RAAM riders go through," says Stephen Auerbach, the director and producer of Bicycle Dreams. "They deal with searing desert heat, agonizing mountain climbs, and endless stretches of open road. And they do it all while battling extreme exhaustion and sleep deprivation. It's a great subject for a film."

"Bicycle Dreams is a spectacular and heartfelt film that offers a riveting portrait of extreme courage in the face of inhuman obstacles," writes "It is an artistic triumph that renewed my belief in the power of desire and the strength of the human will."

"We are very excited to be able to bring Bicycle Dreams to so many locations along the route that have never had access to the film before," says Auerbach. "Viewers will be overwhelmed by the amount of pain and suffering these riders go through."

To capture the mammoth scope of the race, Auerbach worked around the clock with a complement of 18 cameras. Embedded camera operators traveled inside the racers' support crew vehicles, gaining unprecedented access to the cyclists and their teams. Their footage captured emotional and physical breakdowns, late-night strategy sessions, and great moments of personal triumph, all in intimate detail. Auerbach then took on the enormous task of editing hundreds of hours of material and forming it into a powerful and inspiring look inside the most difficult race on the planet.

Bicycle Dreams has won major awards at the Fallbrook and Breckenridge film festivals, as well as the Yosemite, Grand Rapids, Red Rock and All Sports LA film festivals, among many others.

Most recently the film added the Best Foreign Film trophy from the Krasnogorski International Festival of Sports Films in Moscow and was also invited to be included in the 2011 World Cinema Showcase in New Zealand as well as the Mountain Film Festival in Istanbul, Turkey. And before that it made its Australian debut at the Big Pond Film Festival in Adelaide.

Critical acclaim for the film continues to pour in from all sources.

"An astonishing documentary," declares Pez Cycling. "This film is a ride of many stark contrasts; when it ended I felt both shattered and triumphant. I realized I was experiencing its genius. A central theme of Bicycle Dreams is the profoundly inspiring strength of the human in facing monumental challenge and tragedy. Bicycle Dreams is a race of truth."

"This film isn't for those who want to shy away from the tragic side of the human experience, unwilling to risk the cracking of their shell of denial, not willing to risk their coping mechanism," writes "Bicycle Dreams captures the human condition like few other films. Bicycle Dreams moves us to break through the barrier of the fear of death. I have seldom found a film that captures this 'life drama' as powerfully as does Bicycle Dreams."

Bicycle Dreams also has been named one of the top 10 adventure films of all time by both The Matador Network and Playground Magazine, calling it the best bicycle film since "Breaking Away."

Tickets will be $12 in advance and $15 at the door the night of the show. To purchase advance tickets, order online at The Regent Theatre is located at 7 Medford St. in Arlington.

The guest speaker at the event will be one of the racers in the film, Patrick Autissier of Boston, who is a member of Team 4HIVHope, which will be competing as a team in RAAM 2012. Three of the four members who completed RAAM 2011 in just over six days are living with HIV and two of them will return for this year's race. Autissier, who is an HIV scientist and researcher, will be conducting tests during the race in hopes of discovering the effects of endurance athletics on both HIV-positive and negative individuals and comparing the results. For more information, go to

For more information on the film, go to, or visit us on Facebook.
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Save The Date: Lets Get Beacon Hill Moving!

February 24, 2012

We are pleased to announce Massachusetts' first ever Bike/Walk Summit on Thursday, May 17th from 10am -1pm in Nurses Hall at the State House. This event will be the central MassBike event for Bay State Bike Week and is co-sponsored by the two statewide biking and walking organizations, MassBike and WalkBoston (respectively). It will give local advocates from all corners of the state a chance to tell their legislators how important bike/pedestrian issues and legislation are for Massachusetts.

We're looking forward to a great event that will provide a unique opportunity for citizens to come together and let their voices be heard (the specific legislative agenda is still being worked on). You can find some more tentative details here. This event is free and open to the public, and we highly recommend anyone interested in bicycling here in Massachusetts to participate. If you have any questions, please email More details to come soon!
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A Little Good News From Capitol Hill

February 17, 2012
If you've been keeping track of our blog, then you know that right now the US House and Senate are moving full steam ahead with a federal transportation bill. While advocates in the biking and walking community aren't crazy about the Senate bill, it is vastly better than the highly ideological House version (deemed by Sec. LaHood, "The worst transportation bill I've ever seen in 35 years of public service.").

All signs are that Massachusetts Representatives are ready to vote unanimously to kill the House bill, HR 7. (National opposition to the bill was so intense that House leadership has delayed the vote - see below.) We were even more excited to find out just yesterday that Senator Brown and Senator Kerry are co-sponsoring the Cardin-Cochran Amendment in the Senate, which would fix many of the problems in the Senate bill (more here). It is a profound statement to have the full Massachusetts delegation, on both sides of the aisle, stand up in full support of biking and walking. It is also a great sign that all the work we've been doing for years, with our advocacy partners, with Congress, and with our grassroots supporters is making a difference!

There are still a lot of moving pieces. On the House side:

  • According to Mass Transit, the White House recently issued a warning that if somehow the House Bill were to make it the President's desk, it would meet a veto.

  • Our national partners are also reporting that, because the House bill was so terrible that House leadership couldn't garner the votes to pass it, it has been broken up into three smaller bills. The transportation component won't be voted on until after President's Day (probably the week of February 27). (More info here.)

  • Even though the there is an amendment being introduced to restore bike funding in the House bill, killing the bill entirely is probably still the best option at this point.

On the Senate side:

  • The League of American Bicyclists reports that "the bipartisan Cardin-Cochran amendment is gathering support to restore dedicated bike/ped funding and preserve local control over this small sliver of transportation funding. We are hearing that MAP-21, the Senate bill, won’t now make it to the floor until the week of February 27."

We heard that the Senators are hearing from more constituents about this amendment than any other transportation issue - so thanks to all of you for contacting them! Thanks to you, biking and walking is front and center in the debate over transportation funding. Thanks to you, we have a fighting chance to continue funding bike lanes, mountain bike trails, multi-use paths, child bike and pedestrian safety trainings, and the many other programs and projects that our tiny stream of federal money makes possible.

If you want to thank Senator Brown and Senator Kerry for their support, please do. And please consider supporting MassBike so that we can continue to make biking a priority in Massachusetts.
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Action Alert: Contact Your Senators TODAY

February 13, 2012

We told you late last week that the crisis in federal transportation funding was only getting worse, and to stay tuned for an Action Alert. This is it. The consensus among advocacy groups, like the Alliance for Biking and Walking, Transportation for America and MassBike, is that there is no chance for salvaging the House transportation bill. MassBike is in close touch with the Massachusetts delegation and is confident that we will have their unanimous opposition to this horrible transportation bill. (Which is why we are not asking you to contact your House Representatives about killing H.R. 7 - but you can if you want.)

Hope, then, lies in the Senate. Over the past few days, two amendments have been proposed to the Senate's transportation bill (MAP-21, or S. 1813) that would fix many of the problems relating to bike funding. Without these amendments, the three key sources of funding for biking and walking (Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School, and Recreational Trails Program) will no longer receive dedicated funding and will instead be forced to compete with many other programs for a smaller pot of money.

Today, we need you to contact Senator Kerry and Senator Brown to ask them to support the Cardin-Cochran Amendment and the Klobuchar Amendment.

Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Thad Cochran (R-MS) are co-sponsoring an amendment which would give local communities more access to Transportation Enhancements and Safe Routes to School. In Massachusetts, this amendment would likely make it easier for towns and cities to access this funding.

Senator Amy Klobuchar's (D-MN) amendment would restore dedicated funding to the Recreational Trails Program, a key resource for off-road trails.

In Massachusetts, these programs have been leveraged into hundreds of millions of dollars of investment in off-road trails, paved multi-use paths, and improved signage, drainage, and crossings that remove barriers to biking. Just a few examples of worthwhile projects that received funding were:

We are asking you to do two things:

1. Call and/or email your Senators TODAY, tell them why bicycling is important to you, and ask them to SUPPORT the Cardin-Cochran Amendment and the Klobuchar Amendment to MAP-21 (S. 1813).

Senator John Kerry: (202) 224-2742, Email (select “Transportation” as Topic)
Senator Scott Brown: (202) 224-4543, Email (select “Transportation” as Topic)

Don’t have time to write your own email? Click here to send a pre-written email message.

2. Email and let us know you contacted them!

We know that we have been sending out a lot of Action Alerts on federal issues, but we want you to know that it's only because the situation has grown that dire. Thanks so much for adding your voice to this crisis - and stay tuned for more developments!
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MassBike Turns 35!

February 11, 2012

This year MassBike celebrates thirty-five years of promoting better biking. With its humble beginnings as the “Boston Area Bicycle Coalition” back in 1977, MassBike has had a history of growth and success. Since that time over three decades ago, we have expanded into a statewide organization with three local chapters, developed strong partnerships with other advocacy groups and government organizations, and hired an efficient staff of three full-time employees. MassBike has worked continuously to foster a safer, more accessible biking environment through education, legislation, and infrastructure design.

Here are just a few of the major successes we have had over the years:
  • 1970s - Launched our education program, which has since educated thousands of adults and schoolchildren on safe riding
  • 1985 - Successfully lobbied the MBTA to lift their ban on bikes
  • 1992 - Helped lobby for the creation the Minuteman Bikeway, now one of the most popular rail trails in the U.S.
  • 1996 - Secured passage of the Bike-Pedestrian Access Law, making Massachusetts one of only three states to guarantee equal access for cyclists on the road
  • 2000-2011 - Lobbied the MBTA to: allow bikes on the T without a special pass (2000), dramatically expand the hours during which bikes are allowed on the subway (2004), purchase bike racks for 250 buses (2005), revamp bus driver training to ensure that drivers are aware of bicyclists (2010), and Helped to win reduced peak hour restrictions on the T’s Blue Line (2011).
  • 2004 - Passed legislation requiring the Registry of Motor Vehicles to update the Driver’s Manual to include more information about bikes and bike safety
  • 2005 - Persuaded the state to create the first Bicycle Advisory Board in more than a decade
  • 2006 - Worked with the federal congressional delegation to win more than $5 million over five years to help make it safer for kids to bike and walk to school.
  • 2009 - Helped work with legislators to create the Bicycle Safety Act which supplies significant legal protection to bicyclist throughout the state.
  • 2010 - Partnered with MassDOT and MassRIDES to expand Bay State Bike Week into a truly statewide event
  • 2011 - Launched our Same Road, Same Rules safety campaign, aimed at educating both bicyclists and motorists about their rights to road.

Over the years and with each new success, MassBike has evolved to meet the needs of bicyclist in Massachusetts. Currently supported by a membership base of roughly 3,000 members, we hope you join us in supporting all of the great work we have done and continue to do to advocate for the rights of bicyclist throughout the Bay State. If you haven’t already, please follow the link to become a member and support better bicycling for Massachusetts today!
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