There are lots of great reasons to outfit your bike with a bell, but here’s one you may not expect.
Wow, I had no idea. We generally ring our bells when passing pedestrians out of courtesy anyway, but it’s good to know this is actually a law on the books. Though, I’m realizing more and more that people don’t generally know what to do when they hear a bell. I get dirty looks sometimes (perhaps bc in Boston its easy to equate bell-ringing to car-honking, which happens with annoying frequency). If this is indeed a law on the books, educating both cyclists and pedestrians about when to use the bell, and what it means when you hear a bell would be really helpful. Especially given how many busy mixed-use paths we have in the Boston area.
It was my first race ever, and I came in first. I’m batting 1,000. Maybe it’s time to retire, while I’m still on top.
Yesterday’s Rush Hour Race through Somerville and Cambridge pitted bike against car against the T in a race from Davis to Kendall… and the cyclist won (while obeying all traffic laws)! Congrats to bikesafeboston!
Some pics from yesterday’s CycloFemme ride… such a fun day! Much love to fellow ride leaders/organizers Pam, Pam, and Honor. -Carly
We are so looking forward to the Boston CycloFemme Ride this Sunday! When we started Boston Bicycle Belles, it was really just a way to have supportive friends to ride with—for some of us, it had been many years since we’d been on a bike, and the first time we’d tried to ride in an urban setting. Since starting the group, our confidence and our numbers have grown, but the focus around fun, casual rides in a supportive environment has remained the same. And now, we get to share that support with a whole new group of people. Awesome!
If you plan to join the ride, please RSVP on Facebook so we know how many people to expect. And check out the few updates/thing to know/etc. below:
A few updates about the ride. The full ride route and the two (yes, two!) starting points are now detailed on the Facebook event page. We’ll be meeting in Cambridge at 11:30, and we will have a 2nd starting point in Boston at 12:30, for those not wanting to start in Cambridge, or who prefer a shorter ride. Look for the ride leaders in white CycloFemme tees. And get there early to snag some Mass Bike/Bike Week and CycloFemme goodies.
What to wear and bring. The weather gods seem to be with us, and the forecast calls for a partly sunny afternoon with temps in the upper 60s/70s. But, there is a chance of rain in the evening, so we recommend preparing for anything. Murphy’s law dictates that if you bring a rain jacket, it won’t rain, but if you dress for sunshine, it surely will. Layers are your friend! Also, please bring water and lunch to enjoy at the picnic, and a towel or blanket to sit on. Helmets are encouraged but optional, but please note that we will be riding with traffic in a few places—however, most of the ride will be on bike paths.
Girl.Bike.Love. and CycloFemme are also asking for your help to document the ride. If you use Instagram or Twitter to share updates and pictures about the ride, please use the hashtags #CycloFemme and #bikeBOS. There will be an interactive map posted on http://CycloFem.me on May 13th that will keep everyone updated about what is happening around the world.
If you have any questions about the ride, shoot us an email at bostonbicyclebelles AT gmail DOT com.
See you all on Sunday! (And don’t forget it’s also Mother’s Day!)
Come Ride with Us!
As part of the global CycloFemme women’s ride on May 13th, 2012, Boston Bicycle Belles is organizing a local ride in Boston. Join us, and bring your friends! The ride will highlight the lovely bike paths and parks in and around Boston, and will include stops for a picnic lunch and water breaks. Please bring lunch, snacks, and water (there will be water fountains along the way to refill water bottles). RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/263002600451736/
We tested the ride route this weekend, and are REALLY excited about the ride. It is the perfect time of year to ride along the river and through the Emerald Necklace.
Here is the planned route map and timeline:
View CycloFemme Boston 05/13/12 in a larger map
We will have 2 starting/meeting spots:
Harvard Square @ 11:30, 12 Noon start time
For the Cambridge start to the 16.5 mile loop, we will meet at 11:30 at the Harvard University Boathouse (aka Weld Boathouse) on the corner of Memorial Drive and JFK Street. The ride will leave promptly at noon, but we will be there early to answer questions, talk a bit about the ride, and pass out goodies from Bay State Bike Week and CycloFemme. Get there early to snag some gear!
Back Bay Fens @ 12:30, 12:45 start time
For the Boston start, and shorter 8 mile loop, please plan to meet outside the Emerald Necklace Conservancy Visitors’ Center in the Back Bay Fens at 12:30. Assuming we make good time from Harvard, we should roll up between 12:30 and 12:40, and we will plan to rest quickly here, meet the new riders, and head out around 12:45. Please note: The Visitors’ Center is also the meeting spot for a 1pm walking tour about 19th Century Women, so it may be a little crowded. Just look for the other ladies on bikes.
Picnic @ 1:30
It’s Lilac Day in the Arboretum, where we plan to stop for a long rest and picnic lunch. If the Arboretum is too crowded, we will just ride through the park, stop to refill water bottles and use the restrooms, and continue on to Jamaica Pond, where we can picnic on the lawn by the pond.
Ride finish: 2:45ish in Boston, 3:15ish in Cambridge.
The Boston portion of the ride should be done around 2:45 ending near the Fenway T stop on Park Ave. The longer ride should take about 3 hours total, so we plan to be back in Cambridge around 3:15-3:30 pm, if you’d like to have your friends or family meet you after the ride (may we suggest the Charlie’s Beer Garden as a good post-ride refuel spot).
ABOUT CYCLOFEMME: http://cyclofem.me/
Our upcoming CycloFemme ride is now officially part of Bay State Bike Week! So awesome to be a part of this event.
CycloFemme is presented by Girl Bike Love. Their mission is to create a unified voice for women in cycling, encouraging and empowering more riders. By highlighting the health and environmental benefits, community building and positive social impact that cycling can have on our world, we hope to engage more female riders.
This is a mission we couldn’t agree more with, which is why we decided to host our own Boston ride. We’re not racers, many of us haven’t been biking that long, most of us are primarily bike commuters who ride city bikes around town, not centuries. This ride will be at a leisurely pace, and will celebrate cycling as a great means of transport, exercise, and JOY.
RSVP on our Facebook event page, or email us for more info: bostonbicyclebelles AT gmail dot com.
UPDATE: Ride route and more info posted here: http://bostonbicyclebelles.tumblr.com/post/22606751955/cyclofemme
“This 1910 illustration, first published by Keppler & Schwarzmann in 1909, shows an automobile driven by a chauffeur speeding down a road, surrounded by newspaper clippings with headlines about numerous traffic accidents involving pedestrians struck by automobiles, including one where a chauffeur was charged with first-degree murder in the death of a 13-year-old boy. (Courtesy Library of Congress)”
From a really interesting article in the Atlantic about how public perception of street-use (and who has the right to be in the street) has changed since the automobile was introduced 100 years ago. It really underscores the need for groups like Livable Streets Alliance to do the important work of making city streets safe and accessible for all users, not just cars.
EDIT: Don’t read the comments unless you feel like diving head first into an Us vs. Them bike-car war. Not sure why this debate always brings out crazy car-drivers, but alas, there they are.
…bike helmets reduce the severity of head injuries but not the frequency of accidents or the percentage of head injuries caused by those accidents. Worse, the passage of mandatory helmet use laws have actually been associated with increased accident rates because they led to significant decreases in the overall number of bicyclists, undermining the “safety comes from numbers” reality, with particularly disastrous impact on bike share programs.
A great round up of statistics and evidence about helmet use and bike safety on Steve Miller’s blog: http://blog.livablestreets.info/?p=561