How biking shaped my life todayJanuary 31, 2017
My name is Kyle fox I grew up in a small town in shrewsbury mass near the city of Worcester. I've been biking since the age of 3 but started flatland biking when I was 10. ive gotten into biking when a couple of my friends had bikes and I decided to go out and buy one but this was at the time where I had no good hobbies that's made me happy. When I went out to buy my first bike at the age of 3 I got a Kent, don't know the model last name of the bike and rode with training wheels for about 2 weeks before I took them off. As time passed by the age to 7 I got a mongoose fire red bike from Walmart which I thought was the coolest bike I could get at the time. I mostly cruised around about 10 miles from my house all the time and my dad would yell at me when I got home from being out to late. parents divorced by 2007 and that's when biking started to become more of a cure from problems in my life. When I was about 14 years old I bought my first haro 200.1 bmx bike from a bike shop called fritz in Worcester mass. I started doing wheelies for simple tricks and 180s on flat ground and got better and better as time progressed. Later at 15 years old I found a skatepark next to green hill park and decided to try out 180s out the bowl and rolling around trying to gain speed around the bowl. The park had 2 bowls, 3 boxes, 2 hips and 1 grinding rail in the middle between the 2 boxes. I started to ride everyday more often and met new friends over time from biking there. At around 16 years old I started to try harder and harder tricks including the peg manny bar to a foot plant 180 half cab. When I was about 17 years old I learned my first 360 turn down out the bowl and double bar manny also a couple spins on the peg about 3 times. To my age now 18 I learned tons of flatland tricks including the turbine, peg manny bar, 360, 180, nose peg manual, seat manual, wheelie, jumps, rocket whips and many more. The reason why it changed my life Was because it kept me out of trouble, depression and hating everything. My parents divorcing, being bullied at Assabet high school and had to switch to shrewsbury, dealing with family and much more. But the only thing that kept me sane and happy was the hobby biking. I've thought to put biking into a career for myself instead of having to go to colledge and being in debt for a job that I'll hate later in life even if I was paid 100,000+ for the job. Over the recent I've been noticed and put on #newenglandbikelife in Boston and noticed in New York from my recent videos, also my hometown Worcester. My next planned trip is to Europe for the amateur division flatland championship In the future. This is my story 👍🏼 Instagram is (kylefox228) see my bmx vids if you want.
Boston bike lanes need to be redesigned - they still have a dooring problemNovember 09, 2016
The summary below is an updated and expanded version of what I sent out to some friends who had heard about the accident. I am also filling in more details in this email.
I was riding on Columbus Ave, on Thursday, 10/27 going in bound having started on Columbus from Ruggles Station
I had stopped at the light on Mass Ave and went with the green light.
I got past the USES building or Tubman House and had gotten to the corner of West Springfield on the inbound side of the corner at about 9:15 am.
I was staying to the left side of the bike lane practically on the left hand white line to avoid doors.
That is when the driver of the red, two door Mini opened up the door. I never had time to react
I didn’t hit the middle of the door; as best as I can figure out the edge of the door hit my right knee, probably when it was in the 3 O’clock position
I went down like a ton of bricks on my left side, hitting my left shoulder, elbow and left side of my hip and legs
I probably skidded on that side (holes in the jacket) and flip over on to my back, probably hitting my head too (wearing a helmet)
I didn’t get run over by a car once the door from the parked car had knocked me over and I was down on the ground
I got run into by the bicyclist who was right behind me-she went down and into me as well
I did bang the heck out of almost all of me
A bystander on the street called 911 and Boston fire and Police responded
It took me about a minute to get up out of the street – I was pretty fuzzy
I think it was the Boston Police or the Boston Fire who suggested I go over to the stoop of the corner house and sit down
When I tried to walk over to it is when I began to realize that all was not well
Lots of pain in the groin and in my leg muscles leading to the groin; really could put any weight onto the right leg
Eventually I figured I should go to the ER and get checked out
I got taken by Boston EMS to the Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital
Where they kept me in the ER for 27 hours doing multiple X rays and CAT scans
The final conclusion of the orthopedic doctors is that I had 4 fractures in areas of my pelvis
That they didn’t need to operate and that I would need Physical Therapy and could go home
I got discharged Friday afternoon and am home on crutches
So unfortunately you can still get doored even riding in the left hand side of the bike lanes
Maybe we can discuss this problem at the advocacy training on Dec 17th
Traffic calming in NewtonOctober 31, 2016
Following is the email I sent the City of Newton on 10/19/16 relative to the crazy traffic calming measures on Concord Street:
As a driver and bicycle rider, I was alarmed and disappointed to see the "traffic calming measures" on Concord Street between Washington Street and St Mary's Street. I appreciate the concern about vehicular speed on Concord Street. But the already implemented "solution" puts bicycle riders at severe risk, as the newly installed calming measures force cars into the path of bicycles, creating a more dangerous situation than was previously present. I strongly urge that the city take biking needs into account for any of its proposed traffic changes. Ideally, bike riders should sign off on changes like those on Concord Street.
Here is the City's response on 10/31/16:
Thank you for your email to the city of Newton. We are aware that cyclists do use Concord Street and felt that reducing speeding on the street would provide the maximum safety benefit for all users on the street. Through the islands, it is anticipated that the bicycles and cars go single file through the roadway. We will certainly keep your concerns in mind with future projects as well.
It sounds like the City's attitude is to force cars and bikes together and see what happens.
"She was biking too close to traffic"September 15, 2016
Almost a year ago, as I was biking my usual route to work from Cambridge to Boston, I was struck by a car. I was riding about 1/3 of the way into the car lane as there was no bike lane on this two-lane thoroughfare in downtown Boston. As bike and car collisions go, this one was really lucky - the car came up behind me and its rear view mirror tapped my handlebars at a pretty slow speed. Of course, this was enough to throw the bike out from under me, landing me in the middle of the road in front of oncoming traffic. But again, I was really lucky because the driver behind me stopped and got out to see if I was ok. This happened in front of a fire house, so all the firemen ran out to pick me up as well (lucky me!).
Another perspective to be considered in the effort to achieve safe cycling.August 30, 2016
I bike a lot but am not what I call a "spandex cyclist." I wear street clothes, have two baskets on my bike, run errands, commute to work, etc. All around Somerville and Cambridge and into Boston. And I am grateful for your advocacy efforts in support of safe cycling.
That said, my on-the-road experience suggests that you're overlooking a key factor in the mix, which is the behavior of cyclists. Just yesterday, I observed in succession two acts by cyclists that could easily have resulted in serious accidents - both in or near Inman Square of all places (thinking of Amanda, of course). These accidents would have been considered the fault of the drivers but, in fact, in both cases they would have been caused by erratic and unpredictable behavior of the cyclists. In one, a cyclist unexpectedly cut from the far right bike lane across four lanes of traffic to get to the sidewalk on the other side - it was in a spot just shy of an intersection, just as the light turned green and the cars were beginning to move. In the other case, a very fast moving cyclist came from my right as I moved along in the bike lane on Hampshire Ave (I'm not sure where he came from, to be honest) and as he approached a cross street, a car was already in its right turn onto that street but the cyclist zoomed through in front of the car, swerving to avoid it, which to me was further evidence of the car being well into the turn by this time.
On top of this, just a few hours later, I saw yet another cyclist riding on a busy sidewalk just outside of Davis Square.
None of these incidents are rare occurrences. I see this sort of thing all the time, as I'm sure the rest of you do, as well.
And all of these incidents are happening in places where city officials and advocates are working hard to improve bike infrastructure, and yet these folks are flaunting those efforts to the detriment of the larger cause. It's maddening, to be honest, and something I think must be addressed for us to make the kind of progress we so dearly need regarding safe cycling.
Camp to Teach People With Disabilities How to BikeAugust 01, 2016
Hi there! I'm a biker and high school student in Cambridge and a friend and I are organizing a camp to teach people with disabilities how to ride bikes. We are looking for volunteer spotters to help out. It's a great experience and you can sign up here. Please share with your networks and friends!
Overcoming Ignorance And FearJune 30, 2016
This is my story: http://iamtraffic.org/equality/overcoming-ignorance-and-fear/ .
Jo-Anne's storyJune 30, 2016
August 23, 2011, started out like any other beautiful summer day - I rode my bike to work. After an acupuncture appointment in Copley Square, I started to ride home. As always, I was wearing a brightly colored bike jersey and had both my front and rear blinky lights flashing, even though the sun was still shining high in the sky. I was aware of a car behind me as I descended the hill on Corey Street toward VFW Parkway in West Roxbury, but since I knew I had the green light to cross the intersection, and since there was a hill to climb on the other side, I took advantage of the downhill to gain some speed. The car was behind me for about 1/2 mile, overtook me as we crossed VFW Parkway, then started to slow and turn right into the driveway to the gas station just after the intersection. I was going quickly and was beside the car's right rear quarter panel when it started to turn right. There was nowhere to go so I started to also turn right to try to mitigate the full effect of the impact. I was right hooked, flew off my bike, into the air and hit the front hood of the car before making contact with the sidewalk. I don't remember anything between hitting the car hood and lying on my back, surrounded by many people, including one holding my head steady in his hands. I was shivering, despite the 80 degree temperature so someone else brought a blanket. Then the pain hit - I thought I had broken every bone in both arms. The pain was worse than childbirth!
The fire department arrived, then the paramedics. They bundled me into the ambulance. I was told that the police officer would come to the hospital to speak with me about the crash, but after a 3 day admission, no police officer arrived or tried to call me. I then called and was connected with the officer who investigated all bike/ped crashes in Roslindale and West Roxbury. No response after 3 calls. When someone picked up the police report for me (which was completed without ever contacting me for my statement), I read that the driver had reported "the bicycle was speeding up to pass me on the right" and "I never saw her". Apparently, this was accepted as gospel as the driver was never cited by the police for turning right into me, even though that is specifically precluded by MGL.
After two hospital admissions, one surgery, many months of PT and issues with pain control for my injuries which included a spinal cord injury (central cord syndrome), three ruptured cervical disks (which were surgically fused two months post crash), concussion (which would have been much worse if I hadn't been wearing a helmet), and a shoulder impingement injury, and after being out of work for four months and off my bike for eight months, having to be reliant on my friends for food and help with many things, I was very unhappy with the decision of the investigating police detective who, when I finally spoke with him several months after the crash, told me that I was "lucky" not to be cited for trying to pass on the right. As cyclists know, the only reason I was appeared to be go speeding up as compared with the car is that the driver was slowing down to turn. The driver's insurance, however, did find her liable, which is not usually the case when the police find no liability. After the driver appealed this decision, the case was finally settled with the driver responsible for the crash. Because the driver who hit me had minimal insurance coverage, I ended up with nothing because I had to use the entire settlement to pay off liens placed by my health insurance for the cost of my medical care, which actually exceeded the total amount I received for the settlement.
The part that continues to irk me to this day is some of the statements made by the police detective:
"Bicycles don't belong on the road. They should only be on off-road bike paths."
"Bike lanes are the reason there are more bike accidents."
"I know that you told me that bikes can pass cars on the right but that law isn't right and I just won't uphold it."
And the best: "The driver didn't see you. She's not at fault."
I'm hopeful that my story and those of others will spur some action in the tragic deaths recently in Cambridge and Lincoln and yesterday's critical injury in Dorchester. I applaud Wellesley police and Middlesex DA for bringing the death of a cyclist to trial a few years ago and am incredibly frustrated that the driver was acquitted by a jury, despite the proof and law to the contrary. I am upset that no charges have been brought in the deaths of several other cyclists in Boston and Cambridge over the past several years. It's time to do more!
Thank you, MassBike and Richard Fries, for taking this on!