Biking Hurricane Sandy

This past Monday, my office closed along with much of the city while Hurricane Sandy struck Boston. Sitting at home, eyes glued to the Weather Channel, I felt like something was missing from my day; as my apartment windows rattled with the misty wind, I was feeling restless, legs shaking with bore and anxiety. The remedy to this came in the form of a text message from a friend who was on his way home from work, which had let out early to let folks catch the T before its 2pm closure: “Bike ride to Castle Island? I’m going soon”

YouTube Preview Image

The above video was shot with a GoPro HD Hero2 camera with chest-harness I’ve been capturing drum-biking footage with. At some points on the ride the wind was so strong we could not bike against it on even our lowest gears, and had to walk. When we reached the water we met two other cyclists who were out biking to experience the hurricane. Even though there wasn’t much wave action by the water, we rode around and caught tail-winds. Fortunately, unlike New York, there was not much damage done in the actual city itself.

And though I didn’t bring my drums, I did imagine what drum-biking in the hurricane would be like:

PS. While most folks in Boston were not hit so hard by Hurricane Sandy, it’s great to see that in the unfortunate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in New York City, plenty of people are discovering the joys of riding a bicycle around with all the disruptions to public transit and gasoline supply.

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Joys of Drum-Biking: Traveling Tropical Dance Parties

A while ago I wrote about how much fun it is for me to start dance parties while drum-biking, but sometimes it’s just as fun to join ones that travel around the city by bike. So when I heard about Nomadic Pico Picante, a “traveling tropical dance party” that would travel all over Boston on bikes organized by two fantastic local DJs known as Pajaritos, I grabbed my bike, my bucket drum, and my GoPro HD Hero2 chest-mounted sports camera and ran out the door to drum-bike for the ride:

I’m still not sure where my drumming accompaniment, Galen Mook, found that wiffle ball bat drum stick.

And even though I have to admit that I am flattered that GoPro, the camera-maker company themselves enjoyed my video,

I still haven’t heard back about drum-biking up and down their office hallways for “Friday drum-biking,” something I did have the pleasure of doing at the SCVNGR/LevelUp headquarters in Cambridge when I stopped by a while back for a free pair of sunglasses:

Perhaps I’ll have to bring a traveling dance party to them.

Posted in Creative, Drum-Biking, Joys of | Leave a comment

When The Internet Comes to Real Life. When Tron Guys Collide.

Back in 2008, I was trying to figure out what costume to wear for the annual Boston Halloween bike ride. Being a fan of the movie Tron and seeing famed internet sensation Tron guy put together an excellent costume by adding some stripes and lights to spandex tights, showcased at the first ever ROFLcon internet culture conference just a few months prior,


it only made sense to stick blue masking tape to my biking spandex and transform my bicycle into a light-cycle with glow sticks, and become Tron guy with a friend for Halloween.



So this weekend, when many of my friends were enjoying a variety of activities such as celebrating Cinco De Mayo, running the Bay State Marathon, or participating in the Wake Up the Earth festival in JP, I was volunteering at the third ever ROFLcon at MIT in Cambridge. Taking a break on a nearby bench to check out the #roflcon feed on my phone’s twitter app, a face I had only ever seen on the internet sat down next to mine,

and my life was complete.

Posted in Costumes | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Join 400+ Cyclists, Me and the “Greg Mobile” to support Bike and Build for Upcoming Christina Clarke Genco Mother’s Day Memorial Ride

A funny thing happens when you start playing the bucket drums through Boston’s city streets on a bicycle; friends walking or biking down the street who happen to hear your drumming whiz by their ears feel the need to call, text, or Facebook message you to let you know you’ve been spotted, like you’re this elusive Yeti in the city.

On December 8th, 2009, I received one of these messages on Facebook from friend and classmate Christina Genco: (facebook timeline doesn’t show old posts anymore, but thanks to Gmail, it’s archived):

The “stolen” here refers to her red, white, and blue Trek 1000, the one she crossed the country on with her first Bike&Build trip, which was later replaced by this bike:

That December was the first month I’d ever strapped a bucket to my handlebars and drummed on my bike, so theGreg mobile” Christina was referring to was a monstrosity that looked like this (cowbell included):

I was shocked and deeply saddened last June to hear of the unfortunate news last June that Christina Genco’s life came to an abrupt end last year when she was killed on her bicycle after being stuck by an SUV in Alabama during not her first, but second cross-country bicycling tour with Bike&Build.

However, in the past year since the accident, I’ve been thoroughly impressed and moved by the efforts of Christina’s family and the Bike&Build community’s grassroots efforts to start the Christina Genco Foundation to raise awareness for Bike&Build, affordable housing and safe cycling. Even fellow blogger IsolateCyclist has devoted much of his heart to getting to the bottom of what happened on the day Christina was killed and seeking justice for Christina and her family. I can’t seem to meet a Bike&Builder not wearing her memorial bracelet. Even though Christina’s death was tragic, the mobilization of the bicycling community as a whole is truly heartwarming.

So even though the “Greg-mobile” Christina once saw and heard flying down Comm. Ave has changed quite a bit in appearance since 2009,

I’ll be commemorating Christina this Mother’s day in her upcoming Memorial ride by “making some sweet beats on the greg mobile.”

More Info on the  first annual Christina Clarke Genco Mother’s Day Memorial Ride ride, happening Sunday May 13, 2012 – Mother’s Day:

Join us for a day of fun, filled with food, live reggae and world music by Toussaint the Liberator, prizes, and the joy of giving back to the community. Funds raised will support bike safety and affordable housing projects in partnership with Bike Newton, Bike & Build, and Habitat for Humanity.

This day is designed for families and elite cyclists, with bike routes including 3.4, 17, 34, and 68 miles. The distances of the routes reflect the number 34 in honor of Christina’s lacrosse jersey number. A safe biking clinic will also be provided.

Come with friends and family, or make new friends!

For more information, please visit: http://ccgfoundation.org/memorial-ride

See you all there!

Posted in Advocacy, Group Bike Rides, Joys of | 3 Comments

4th Annual 2012 Midnight Marathon Bike Ride: In the Boston Globe!

From this morning’s Globe West Edition, “No crowds but magic aplenty on the Midnight Marathon”:


For more than a century, Boston Marathon runners have laced up their sneakers to make the landmark journey amidst cheering fans. But for the past three years, in the dead of night mere hours before the run starts, a small group of locals have experienced the route differently.

No winner, no television coverage, no water cups littering the side. And, most notably, no running.

Since 2009, Greg Hum has traversed the route on his bicycle, beginning at midnight in Hopkinton on the eve of Marathon Day.

Continue Reading Here.

This Sunday marks the 4th annual Boston Midnight Marathon Bike Ride, ride that started as an idea rolling around in my head three years ago and quickly snowballed into something awesome. Teaming up with Boston Societies of Spontaneity again this year, we hope to break a new record in Midnight Marathon history: to reach over 300 riders from 250 last year. Can we do it? Join us for the ride to find out!

Thinking of riding? Details on this year’s 2012 ride can be found here, and my recap of last year’s ride can be found here.

Posted in Group Bike Rides | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Biking Boston’s Great Blackout of 2012 (and My Most Awesome Encounter With BPD Yet)

Last night I noticed my twitter newsfeed was blowing up with #bostonblackout, which led me to discover all the news about the transformer at the Hilton blowing up and causing a massive power outage in Back Bay. Even though it was almost midnight when I found out, there was only one thing I knew I had to do: grab my digital cameras, hop on my bicycle, and ride around Boston to experience and document the blackout myself. Especially since it looks like power will be completely restored by tonight; biking in a blackout Boston might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Biking over the Mass Ave. Bridge is one of my favorite places to bike in Boston because of the stunning view, and last night was no different. Well, actually, the view was very different:
Boston Blackout: Skyline from Mass. Ave Bridge

I ended up right by the Hilton where the transformer fire started and asked a Policeman about it, who was very happy to see I was exploring around by bike and even gave me a fist pump farewell:

I ended up making new friends with some other bicyclists who also biked into Boston to explore what it’d be like to bike in a completely dark Newbury St:
Boston Blackout: BPD and Lone Street Lamp Light Up Newbury St, the Prudential Center and the Hilton Hotel

Ghost Town Illuminated
Where we cheered on other bikers also biking down a completely dark Newbury St.
Hooray! For Blackout Bicycling

We rode all over the city, and discovered how strange it felt to bike from a completely lit Beacon St. into one that was completely dark except for the occasional headlights:

Dark Steeple at Berkeley and Marlborough
Last night was one of the most awesome bike rides I’ve ever been on. I’ll have more to add to this story soon, including more videos, but in the meantime, feel free to checkout the entire Flickr photoset here and keep posted on my Youtube channel.

A few things I noticed while biking: It felt strange for the brightest lights in the city to be the constant flashing of Police Cruiser lights. On the other hand, they were also strangely comforting. The streets were very quiet, and even in the darkest streets, there were a fair number of people walking around, hanging out, and enjoying themselves. We ran into a lot of bicyclists, and even a few other groups of people biking. Cars seemed to be much more cautious towards us, especially taxi cabs, who were not only going slow, they were cautiously approaching intersections and yielding to us bicyclists everywhere.

Oh, and happy Pi Day!

Posted in Adventures | 5 Comments

Brookline PD Cracking Down on Jaybikers, and How to Reduce Your Fine to $1

Eric Stratton of the Geekhouse Cyclocross team gets off his bike and jumps over course obstacles.

Every once in a while police departments in the area ramp up efforts to crack down on the worst menace to society: Bicyclists “running” red lights. This morning I received a note in my inbox from reader and bike commuter Melissa Mattison:

I wondered if you may want to get the word out to fellow cyclists that Brookline appears to have a new campaign to pull over cyclists for seemingly minor instances of not following traffic law perfectly. I live and work in Boston but have to bike through Brookline to get from home to work. 

Just this morning (3/8/12) on Longwood Ave just East of Kent, there were 4 Brookline cops pulling over cyclists. I was a group of 3 cyclists pulled over for **stopping at a red light appropriately, BUT starting a split second too soon before our light actually had moved from red to green*** I am all for cyclists being cited for not stopping at red lights and creating dangerous situations, but this seems a bit ridiculous.

This seems to be a part of a broader initiative in Brookline to target cyclists as another Police Officer who I see daily as a crossing guard in Brooline and is friendly with me told me last week that the PD was starting a new push to give violations to bicyclists.

So it looks like if you jump the gun on red lights at Longwood and Kent, you may be in for a surprise pullover from the friendly Brookline Police Department.

Last year, when Cambridge Police were “cracking down” at the intersection of Hampshire and Windsor St., I was ticketed for $20 and was given a free a pamphlet on bike safety by a friendly Cambridge Policeman, but the pedestrians jaywalking on the crosswalk at the same time got away scott free.

The maximum fine for jaywalking in Massachusetts is $1. And unlike drivers, we bicyclists have the ability to transform into a a pedestrian by stepping off our bikes. What do cyclocross racers do when they approach an obstacle? Like Eric of the Geekhouse cyclocross team is doing in the photo above, they get off their bikes and RUN.

Dear readers, I encourage you to wait for the green light and to exercise caution at any intersection you approach on a bike, but I’ll admit it right now: I not only jaywalk, but jaybike all the time around Boston. I’m not ashamed of it, and neither should you. But as the police crack down on bicyclists who “run red lights,” perhaps I’ll consider using my morning commute to train for the next cyclocross season.

P.S. Dear Brookline PD, I look forward to shooting helmet cam video of you writing me up a $1 jaywalking ticket.

 

Posted in Advocacy, Commuting | 4 Comments

Rhythm of the Charles

The cormorant, the weathered conductor, returns home to its symphony orchestra, the Charles river. The rowing team his stealthy, prominent, often overlooked, yet necessary bass drum.


A paddle, a pedal, a wing stroke

Rhythmic command, to the beat of the cormorant.

Posted in Writing | 2 Comments

How Your Cell Phone Can Help You…Take a Bite Out of Crime!

"Bike Theft!"

What do you do when your bike is stolen? Josh Zisson, bike accident lawyer and blogger over at BikeSafeBoston.com, wrote about ways to plan ahead in the unfortunate event of bike theft, like documenting you bike and serial number or buying renter’s insurance to cover cost of your lost or stolen bicycle. While all of these suggestions are excellent, what do you do if (god forbid) you see your bike being stolen? Personally, I depend on the eyes and ears of my fellow citizen Neighborhood Watch volunteers to patrol the steets and fight bicycle theft with big ‘ol trusty CB radios:

That guy didn’t even have time to close the doors to his van! Talk about speedy police!

But it’s 2012, and when was the last time you volunteered to carry around a CB radio to report crime? Luckily, these days, people have cell phones, which makes calling the Police to report crime from anywhere very easy. But calling isn’t the only channel of communication at your fingertips to report crime. Did you know you could not only call, but text message or even tweet crime to the Police, say if someone was exposing themselves on the T?

In 2010, The MBTA Transit Police set up a twitter account for T riders to report crime. In a video interview with MyFOXBoston, MBTA General Manager Richard Davie talks about how T customers tweeted a photo of lewd behavior on the T of a man “who had exposed himself on the Red Line,” leading to an arrest.

But twitter isn’t just useful for reporting lewd behavior on the T, Davey says. The potential is great: “[Twitter could be used to report] smoking, fare evasion, or parking in bus stops.”

But why should the twitter fun end there? We’ve come a long way in the past 31 years since 1981, when “neighborhood watch” really did mean volunteers patrolling our streets with CB radios to communicate directly to law enforcement. But the beauty of cell phones paired with technology such as text messaging, phone cameras and twitter is that it effectively gives us a fast, easy way to communicate with law enforcement to not only share thoughts and news, but to report crime. Bicyclings Crime. What if you witnessed a crime or accident involving a bicycle? or bike lane? Well if it’s an emergency, you should probably call 911. But what if you witnessed bicycle theft?

Has it occured to you that twitter could also be used to report and spread the word about bicycle theft? Or bicycle accidents,  parking in bike lanes, bicycle and driver collisions/interactions, or bicycle kicks? And that’s just the beginning, imagine the possibility! In fact, across the great Atlantic over in the UK, twitter’s being paired with a smartphone app for victims of bike theft to upload photos and spread the word about their stolen bicycles, in the same way Boston’s stolen bike registry helps spread the word.

While MBTA Police encourages tweeting, I could not find information from Boston Police offering it as an option, so I tweeted Boston Police today asking specifically if it was,

and am anxiously awaiting reply.

Given that the MBTA used twitter to help catch the perv on the T before they even considered encouraging the public to report transit crime on twitter, I’d say it’s safe to say that anything crime-related tweeted to BostonPD will be taken seriously.

Minnie Marth in 1981 taught us how to take a bite out of crime with her trusty CB radio.  Thankfully, you don’t need to tune into a police channel and shout “bike theft!” into a CB radio anymore to report crime. These days, reporting bike theft can be as easy as tweeting a photo of a bike thief to #biketheft @Boston_Police or @MBTAtransitPD. Or texting Crime Stoppers (27463). Yes, fellow citizen bicyclists, don’t forget, that you too, with your trusty cell phone, have the power at your fingertips to take a bite out of (bicycle) crime! But don’t forget: in a real emergency, these channels are no subsitute for calling 911.

Woof.

Posted in Advocacy | Leave a comment

Tonight: Live Blogging from the 4th Annual 2012 Boston Bike Report!

Last year, on my way to the 3rd annual 2011 Boston Bike Report, I was not only (unknowingly) photographed by LovelyBicycle herself, I also ran into other like bloggers at the event,  had no idea I’d show up on the big screen, and wrote up a summary of the report for all you who couldn’t make it.

This year, I’m taking the blogging to the next level. I’ll not only be bringing the bike blogging community together for the meeting through BABBA, but I will also be live-blogging the 2012 Boston Bikes Report. You know, the same way Engadget reporters live-blogged the last release of the iPad 2. I’ll be bringing you the latest scoop on Boston Bikes’ latest tonight. Right here. On The Humble Cyclist.

with Nicole Freedman, Director of Boston Bikes, City of Boston

Tuesday, February 28th
5:45- 6:15 PM 
Transportation Community Showcase
come learn what all the different community groups are doing to make Boston a world-class bicycling city
6:15- 7:30 PM Presentation (6:15 Mayor Menino, 6:30 Nicole Freeman)
7:30- 8:30 PM Q&A/Discussion

@ Boston Public Library, Rabb Lecture Hall, 700 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

I, for one, am looking forward to Mayor Menino raising his right fist into the air as he welcomes tonight’s audience with a booming  “The car is NO LONGER KING IN BOSTON!” 

2012 Boston Bike Update Audience

Full House!

6:16pm: BostonBikeUpdate begins! in an almost full auditorium, Steve Miller of Livablestreets welcomes…NOT Mayor Menino, who “got a flat tire on the way to update and could no longer attend.

6:18pm: Some other guy from the City of Boston, whose name I missed (anyone know his name?), is giving a speech on Mayor Menino’s behalf. Boston is first city in the country to have a “complete bike share system,” and we just “installed the 50th mile of bike lane.” *Applause*

6:22pm: Two Audience Questions for Mayor Menino Stand-in:

1st question: What will you do about enforcement of bike lanes? I’d like to see smartphone app to report potholes, bike lane violations. etc… what is the city doing about it?
Response: “We’ll definitely take that to heart. Police Capt goes to podium: *applause*, “bike lanes not just for double-parking. Mayo filed legislation to make parking in bike lane its own violation…We are working on better educating the drivers…Considering adding verbiage “bike ony,” “bike parking”  to bike lanes themselves. Hopefully a $100 ticket vs just a double-parking violation will have an effect on bike lane violations.”
2nd Question: Why don’t these “vehicles” have licenses, rules
Response: “We want bicyclists to follow rules, but don’t want to go too heavily on enforcement.”
6:25pm: Back to Steve Miller Intro: Giving history on Hub On Wheels. “Let’s try a bike festival…It wasn’t that long ago that people started talking about putting a bike lane on Comm. Ave…LivableStreets was laughed at for advocating Bike/Ped accomodations on Longfellow bridge…we need to foster culture of change. 5 game changers:
  1. Expand Hubway: support and build infrastructure that makes it safe.
  2. Create a bicycle Network: Incredible, now we have to implement, ideas to paint. Takes effort, need to think about how we have an “open streets” program, how to make “main streets” on each of our neighborhoods, get the community together. Let’s make bikes a visible part of our culture.
  3. Connect to Regional Greenways. Bike paths connecting to bike lanes, “neighborways,”
  4. Better Bridges.
  5. Prioritize Bicycling. There’s no good city without a good transit system. Encourage the city from “inclusion of bicycles” to “prioritization.” From research, when we prioritize bicycles, not only safer for bicycles, but safer for pedestrians and safer for cars (everyone).
Steve’s final works: “Stay Involved. Volunteer!”
6:33pm: Turn over to Nicole Freedman!: 
“First annual Boston Bikes Awards Ceremony for outstanding Boston Bikes Partners” Winners came up to accept awards on-stage.
  • 1st Award: Ethan Flemming (volunteer): “shows up everywhere, helped format report for the past few years.”
  • 2nd Award: Jed Jeng (Livable Streets Volunteer): “not only shows up to events, but stays around to help out.”
  • 3rd Award: Marty Walsh of Geekhouse bikes (Innovation Award)
  • 4th Award: International Bicycle Center: “Donated 400 bicycles to Boston City Youth.”
  • 5th Award: 2011 Lifetime Advocate Award:
    Nicole:”Jessica has been advocating for 27 years” Jessica: “Some of us have been around for a long time. My favorite ride is to loop around the city and use offroad trails as much as you can. If you do it every five years, you will see big changes you don’t see from year to year. Things are going faster now. We’re working on greenways. We’re almost there.”

    Jessica receiving "Lifetime Advocacy" Award. Photo credit: Lee Toma

6:40pm: Back to Nicole Freedman
Nicole talking about 2007 Boston Bikes Summit. Talked about how we can make Boston into a “world-class city.” Tells story about pulling Andy Clark from League of American bicyclists aside to say that in 3 years, Boston will be a League of American Bicyclists “Silver” rated city. All Andy said then was “Hmm.”
4 years later, we did it, Boston became a ‘silver” rated city and made it as a top 12 world class bicycling city.
What have we done?
  • Increased ridership by 50%
  • Ahead of New York, Ahead of D.C.
  • 15,000-20,000 new bike trips a day
  • #1 Safest, #1 Rank Walking and Bicycling City.
Milestones:
Milestone #1: Hubway:
Boston is “only city to have a “full sized bike system.” Nicole told story of when NYC bike commissioner came to Boston to visit and said “glad Boston and other cities are first, because we can learn from their mistakes.” NYC is rolling out large bike share system this year. Have definitely learned from Boston.
  • 140,000 trips, 3750 members
  • 60 stations, 610 bicycles
  • “when launched, need to launch in densest pasts of cities.” 
  • This year system expanding into Cambridge/Somerville.
  • Working hard to expand into Roxbury, JP, Dorchester; looking hard to raise money.
  • 60% riders local, 40% tourists, 75% of income from casual users. %60 of them live in boston, 80% work in Boston: says a lot for bike commuting. “We have a new cyclist on the streets here.”
  • Why choose Hubway? in order of #: Faster, Fun, Env,…
  • 39% of trips are made in conjunction wih transit. 
  • Top Ten Stations Slide
  • Distributing Subsidized Memberships with $5 helmets. Have distributed 70 so far.
  • Safety and Enforcement. 
    • BPD ticketing cyclists (222 for cyclists running red lights), 279 tickets to drivers. 
    • 5126 helmets given away on Hubway. (37 locations in Boston selling subsidized helments for $7.99 at CVS and Walgreens)
    • Outreach to drivers. Every driver gets a pamphlet on how to behave safely around cycists. 
    • HelmetHub, MIT Project: Working to get it out on the streets THIS SPRING.
Milestone #2: 52.2th Mile of bike lane.
  • Location is Key: Need impact. Mass Ave. is “spine” of city. Now we have bike lane from bridge in Boston *Standing ovation* “It was really close to not happening. Close to Christmas. Made it happen before new years.” Next year looking to expand all the wya to Dorchester.
  • Harborbike: Connecting seaport to charlestown area. In phase 1. In the future, is there room for a cycletrack? Peter Furth great inspirtation.
  • Downtown: Now have 5 miles of bike lanes downtown.
    • New wayfinding system. Signs coming to downtown! 
  • Bike Lanes on BU Bridge: “Thank  you MassDOT”
  • What will bike network look like in the future? Low stress sytem for novice cyclists? Toole design tasked with this. Working on bike network. 
    • Want to focus on protected facilities. Have 150 miles of protected bike lanes (off road paths). Looking to doubling in the next 10-20 years. On street cycletracks. Bikelanes, neighborways, etc: 417 miles of bike facility. Currently at 100 miles. *applause*
    • “This applause is so interesting!”
    • New bike industry even in a recession. Bike Innovation Hub in “Innovation District.”
    • 80% job growth.
    • Bike-Friendly business programs. 
    • Bike  Week/Bike Friday continuing to grow. 10% of people start biking because they came to an event. 
    • Looking of feasibility of more events, on the greenway. 
7:05pm: Nicole introduces John Bilderbeck who runs Boston Bikes Roll it Forward Program: Nicole:”A few
years ago, came up with plan to fix up thousands of bikes and give to youth, got a grant to do it. Hired John…always hire someone ‘smarter than yourself.'”
John: Working on new website for Boston Bikes (http://beta.bostonbikes.org)  (public feedback welcome):

Mayor Menino rides a bike across the homepage of Boston Bikes' new website (currently in beta).

  • Website trying to capture personality of people, more colorful, geared to share 
  • info for Community Sites, being made through volunteer efforts

  • Hope to have Bike Commuting 101 section.
  • 1088 Bikes Donated. Accomplished goal in 1 year. “In LA, california, tried to do the same things with more money, trying to repair 20 bikes for double the money Boston had. Fact that we were able to collect, fix, donate 1000 bikes is huge. While proud of numbers, just as proud of what’s behind how we crafted the program.( Imagine being a kid with 100 neighborhood, and 100 kids to ride bikes with) will have significant impact where we will flood neighborhood with bikes.”
  • Worked with youth programs to acheive their goals and BB Roll it Forward goals. “By working with groups, not only giving teams bikes, but had strong confidence that program leaders would mentor teams long after teams had gone away.”
  • Worked with shops for win-win bike donations.
  • Major thanks to International Bicycle Center. 400/1000 bikes came from there. Provided helmets and locks too.
  • Mechanics: Relentlessly working in a cold, windowless basement, fixing bikes is “as much art as it is a skill, we have two amazing artists: John Chamberland, John Parsons.
Youth Cycling Program (YCP): bring 30 bikes to schools in a truck to teach bike safety and bike fun.
  • 7,773 Youth Instructed on bicycling safety in the past 3 years. 
  • First step on getting them excited. “Kids go nuts when we come with bikes.” 
  • 1 day of safety lessons, 2nd day of being on the bikes. 
  • Kids have fun on the bikes.
  • Try to go back to schools to build culture of cycling in every neighborhood. Lessons get better, teachers get use to it, and schools become a hub for bicycling in that city. 
“what’s the total impact of this? We know that when a bike comes into a kid’s life, they use it. 81% of kids riding ‘everyday or whenver possible.’ 30% ‘gets them off the couch'”
Bike to Market
  • Thanks to Pete Stidman of Boston Cyclists Union, 80 farmers Markets, 1632 Repairs. 
  • 9 Partner Events, 672 Participants.
Back over to Nicole Freeman: “I want to recap the future:”
  • Bike Share will  expand.
  • Network Plan will expand
  • Bike Lanes will expand.
  • Helmets: Lots more public outreach, helmets into hands.
  • Bike Parking: Will add artistic racks and on-street bike parking.
  • Community Biking: Our city is model for “community equity”
  • Bike Events.
“Now every department in the city of Boston is working to make biking happen.”
7:30pm. End Presentation.

Q&A with Nicole ran for a good 30 minutes. Some of the questions I took coherent notes on before my internet died:

Question: Is Boston Considering bike rack signs like the dutch have, with a pole and a little sign atop of it to make it easy for bicyclists to find all the bike parking?
Answer: These have been considered before, but the design the city was looking at had some safety issues. We can definitely revisit this.

Question: What’s a good route around the Boston Commons? (Bikes are not allowed to ride inside) Answer: Downtown is the biggest challenge. We’re working on downtown a lot, as I mentioned we’ll be installing a way finding system and more bike lanes. We are also considering a plan for a cycle-track that goes all the way around Boylston, thank to the work of Peter Furth, who’s come up with a very complex plan for this. Toole Design is tasked with making biking in downtown better.

Question: Before Hubway I hadn’t ridden a bike in 3 years, and absolutely love it! What can I do to help make sure it continues to expand? Answer: Tell all your friends to sign up and ride Hubway! The more people that use it, the more successful it will become!
Question:There’s a lot of construction going on in my neighborhood at [location not noted], that obstructs the bike lanes on the entire road. There are detour signs for cars to get around the construction, but non for bikes. Can you please consider putting up
Answer: That’s a new question I haven’t heard! I’m going to write that down. Noted.

Question: Riding from Allston to the river is dangerous, no, deadly. Especially with the construction going on. Can you please note that something needs to be done to make this route safer?
Answer: Noted.

The Humble Cyclist asks a question. Photo Credit: Jed Jeng

My Question to Nicole: A few people mentioned wayfinding, and I’m really happy you’re bringing that downtown. However, what I see missing is on-street directions for bicyclists. I came back from a trip to Portland where I barely had to whip out my map at all while riding to the airport (imagine that, Portland has a bike route to the airport!) because there were painted route markers on the street telling me where to go, where my eyes are looking for potholes and other obstacles. They worked because I saw them. Are you considering expanding wayfinding plans to include on-street route markings like these? I know it works because I’ve seen and used it in Portland. Answer: As I mentioned, we’re excited to be bringing wayfinding to downtown. Navigating Boston is definitely complicated, as was creating the network of bike routes and paths. Portland doesn’t have to deal with the wear and tear of winter salt and snow plows like we do, which may be a problem for on-street markings, but it is definitely something to consider.

Posted in Advocacy, Bike History | 2 Comments