A report from US PIRG notes that driving in the US is in decline:
- The New York Times how this decline is affecting Charlotte, NC.
- Closer to home, WBUR looks into motoring on the wane in Boston.
- StreetsBlog asks why road building for cars continues apace even as driving declines.
- Recent blog posts by Clay Harper and Steve Miller address the idea of more equitable urban planning instead of just (re)building for cars in the cases of the Casey Overpass and McGrath Highway, respectively (with some brilliant writing by both of these men).
In other bike news, Boston plans to use crash data to help make cycling safer.
And a New York study finds that protected bike lanes are a boon to local businesses.
Have you seen any interesting news about bikes or transportation lately? Let me know in the comments!
With Bike Week starting tomorrow, here’s an update on Bike Rides and Events in the Boston area. If you plan to attend any of these events or have a report back after they’ve happened, leave me a note in the comments.
May 11 – 19 – Bike Week
May 12 – CycloFemme Women’s Rides
May 12 – JP Bikes Spring Roll
May 12 – Somerville Historic Ride: Industrial Somerville, Past and Present
May 18 – Franklin Park Bike and Kite Festival
May 18 – Cambridge Bikes “Sweet Ride”
May 19 – Brookline Bike Parade
May 19 – Brain Tumor Ride, Waltham
June 1 – Best Buddies Challenge, Hyannisport
June 2 – Bikes Not Bombs Bike-A-Thon
June 2 – Bike to the Sea Day
June 16 – Tour de Natick
June 28 – Bike Friday
July 14 – Circle the City Open Streets on the Avenue of the Arts.
July 20 & 21 – New England Kids Triathalon at MIT, Cambridge
July 26 - Bike Friday
July 28 – Summer Century and Family Ride
Mid-to-Late August – Boston By Bike at Night (details tba)
August 30 - Bike Friday
September 7 – Coast to the Cure Bike Ride, Gloucester
September 21 – Harbor to the Bay, Boston to Provincetown
September 22 – Hub on Wheels
September 28 – Rodman Ride For Kids, Foxboro
September 29 – Circle the City, Open Streets on Blue Hill Avenue
October 5 – Middlesex Canal 11th Annual Bike Tour North
October 5 – Tour de South Shore, Hingham
October 31 – Halloween Bike Ride
Cycling Massachusetts has provided a handy list of 2013 Charity Bicycle Rides throughout New England as well as an interactive map of cue sheets for your own Massachusetts Bike Rides. If you know of any other one day rides for charity, advocacy, or just for fun, let me know in the comments.
In the month of April I made the pledge for the 30 Days of Biking, and ….
I rode 22 out of 30 days, ironically with the days I missed falling almost entirely on weekends (plus a Friday when law enforcement asked us to “shelter in place”). In fact, I didn’t ride on a single Saturday in the month of April, although there was one day I did help my five year-old son learn to ride with training wheels for the first time. Then he got more interested in practicing baseball than biking again, but I will work on him over the summer. I can’t let the kids keep me so busy I have no time to ride, after all.
So here are my stats for April.
- April 1 – 6.3 miles
- April 2 – 6.9 miles
- April 3 – 3.9 miles
- April 4 – 3.6 miles
- April 5 – 3.6 miles
- April 6 – 0
- April 7 – 11.3 miles
First week total: 35.9 miles
- April 8 – 1.8 miles
- April 9 – 5.6 miles
- April 10 – 15.5 miles
- April 11 – 6.8 miles
- April 12 – 3.6 miles
- April 13 – 0 (teaching my son to ride day)
- April 14 -1.3 miles
Second week total: 34.6 miles
- April 15 – Patriots Day, busy with kids
- April 16 – 9.3 miles
- April 17 – 1.6 miles
- April 18 – 1.3 miles
- April 19 – Shelter in Place day
- April 20 – No biking, but did hike 3 miles on the trails at Moose Hill
- April 21 -2.9 miles
Third week total: 15.1 miles
- April 22 -16.1 miles (best day in April)
- April 23 – .83 miles
- April 24 -2.2 miles
- April 25 -3 miles
- April 26 – Crazy weekend w/ my wife out of town begins
- April 27 – Marched in Regan Youth League parade, but no biking
- April 28 – Watched the Red Sox at Fenway sans bike
Fourth week total: 22.13
- April 29 – 14.35 miles
- April 30 – 3.2 miles
Total for April: 125.28 miles
Here’s to a good May.
Just in time for National Bike Month, People For Bikes are asking anyone who travels on two wheels or four to pledge to:
- Look out for my fellow travelers — on bikes, in cars, and on foot.
- Keep my cool with other riders and drivers.
- Recognize that there are real people behind the steering wheel and the handlebars.
Watch the video and #rolltogether.
This terrific post on Steve Miller’s Blog called BICYCLING SAFETY: Preventing Injury Requires Multiple Strategies is a long read but worth reading for it’s compilation of strategies for making bicycling safer and desirable for everyone. Check it out!
In my cycling life, I’ve gone through many cyclometers. They are a useful tool for tracking your speed, mileage, or even just to check the time. But they are also easy to lose or break and expensive to replace.
Similarly, I’ve used a pedometer to track how many steps I’ve taken but it’s also hard to keep track of. Then there’s the odd challenge of making sure the pedometer is NOT tracking bumps on a bike ride as steps.
So I was pleased to learn of the Moves for iPhone app, which tracks walking, cycling, and running whenever you’re doing these activities (and are carrying your smartphone). For cycling, you get the mileage covered and time elapsed, while with walking you get an additional count of number of steps. Any time you spend on a motorized vehicle (car, bus, or train and presumably boats) is counted as transport.
There’s also a detailed storyline of what you did (walk, bike, run or transport), where you went, and what time it took to do it.
So far I’ve been pleased with Moves as an easy way of keeping track of my biking and walking. I should also mention that it is free.
- As long as your phone is on and you’re moving, it is keeping track. No need to remember to turn it on and off.
- The app keeps of summary of activity by days, weeks, and months.
- It’s easy to correct mistakes. For example, the app sometimes rather flatteringly describes my slow-ass biking as “transport” but it’s easy to reclassify it as “biking.” The app is supposed to learn from such mistakes.
- Unlike a cyclometer, it doesn’t show your speed as well as other data points you may be interested in. It’s just mileage and time elapsed (and steps for walking).
- It obviously doesn’t help much if you forget your phone or the battery dies. And there is no way to manually enter in activity that you do in the circumstances.
- Moves uses GPS data to track your activity. If you’re concerned about privacy, this app is literally creating a record of your every movement. (I do wonder if it would be acceptable evidence in court if you needed an alibi).
Do you use any apps to help with your bicycling activity? Have you tried Moves? If yes, let me know in the comments. I’d love suggestions for alternate apps, as well.
Myths about getting around by bike debunked in this great Bike Arlington infographic.
This morning I picked up a Hubway bike at Central Square to ride the rest of the way to work. Since Western Avenue is undergoing (seemingly endless) construction, I decided to try Pearl Street instead. For the first time I noticed plaques on several of the cross streets relating to the War of 1812. This is not a coincidence, since according to the City of Cambridge website:
Perry, Lawrence, and Niagara streets,
Lake and Erie,
Decatur and Hamilton—
these seven street names commemorate commanders, ships, and a decisive naval battle of the War of 1812.
Biking can be so educational.
This morning while riding along Massachusetts Avenue, I looked ahead of me and saw a long line of people on bikes.
At a light, I looked behind me and saw more people on bikes.
Ok, so where not yet Amsterdam or Copenhagen, but “go Bostonians!” for getting out and filling the street with bikes.
Hubway and the Red Sox, two great Boston institutions, will celebrate the return of spring with opening day celebration on Monday April 8th.
Hubway will mark the occasion with a rolling celebration around Boston, Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville. Join in if you can and perhaps win a prize!