Today is one of those days where it’s insanely easy to get caught up in the daily grind of it all, until you realize what date it is. Three years ago, we lost our incredible friend Christina Genco, and thinking about it still cuts deep.
I’ve had the immense fortune of knowing Christina as a friend, serving my community alongside her through Bike & Build, and now being a part of this foundation that carries on her legacy. As the years get longer, we all realize that more and more people who hear about and our touched by our foundation’s works — whether that be donating money to affordable housing organizations, installing free lights onto Boston cyclists’ bicycles, or supporting opportunities for youth athletics — will be people who never got to know her sweet, kind, giving soul. And you know what? Though that seems sad on the surface, we should look at that as pretty amazing, since we’ve had incredible support from the community at large as much as we’ve had support from Christina’s friends and family. For that, I can tell you, the foundation is eternally grateful.
I’m reminded of some answers to a ’20 Questions’ game that Christina played with her co-leaders before departing on her last Bike & Build trip. One of the questions was, “You are at a doctor’s office and she just informs you that you have one month to live. What do you do with your remaining days?” Christina said, “I would want to spend the rest of the time with my family and friends. I would want to celebrate my life rather than be sad about it coming to a close.”
Honestly, for what it’s worth, I think we’re doing a pretty good job of it on her behalf. Endless appreciation goes out to anyone trying to change the world for the better, today or tomorrow — because whether you know it or not, you’re celebrating what Christina was about.
-Sarah Royal, Board Member of the Christina Clarke Genco Foundation
If you got a set of free lights, or simple have heard about our light giveaway heres the deal.
Want to voluneteer for our next giveaway?
Email your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject header: Bike light volunteering. Include your contact information.
As soon as we have a date set we will email you with our next giveaway date and all the relevant infomation.
Pay It Forward
Its that simple. We hope to see you lighting up the streets of Boston.
We’re super excited to have, on the heels of our incredible Memorial Ride, the SOULCYCLE fundraiser with Mayor Setti Warren on June 7 @ 2:30 p.m.!
SoulCycle is an awesome, upbeat, indoor, re-invented spin class that is definitely not your typical gym session. SoulCycle riders climb, sprint, jog, dance, and have a total blast with a vibrant instructor and a classroom full of excited participants. Plus, you get to ‘race’ the Mayor — can’t pass up that opportunity for bragging rights.
Spread the word to your friends in the Boston area, and sign up here today!
Note: this event is the NEW date for the previous postponed SoulCycle ride — those of you who signed up and registered earlier are already still signed up, so just show up to the event and you’re good to go!
Great news — the weather forecast is calling for ZERO rain this Sunday, May 11 for our third annual Mother’s Day Memorial Ride, starting at Newton City Hall!
There’s still time to register for the ride online at bikereg.com, but keep in mind that you can always register day of, too. We’ll be ready to take cash, check, or credit cards at the registration booth. Be sure to show up at least a half hour before the various start times:
- 8:00 am – 68 mile route
- 9:00 am – 34 mile route
- 10:00 am – 17 mile route
- 10:30 am – 3.4 mile ride for families… with PRIZES for best costume and best decorated bike!
BONUS: Care to attend our indoor event with art, booze, and delicious food to hide from the rain Saturday, May 10? Check out our Spring Benefit… also available, of course, to register day of. Bring a few friends and just show up!
Our SoulCycle benefit class has been moved to June 7th at 2:30PM!
All tickets purchased from the original May 3rd date will be honored. If you cannot attend the new date we will gladly issue a refund. Please contact us (email@example.com) with any questions or concerns.
If you’re still itching to bike, sign up to ride one of our four routes on Mothers Day May 11th in the mean time!
Data is one of the most important components of modern bike safety. Collected by interest groups and local government agencies, this information is organized and displayed to paint a grand, detailed picture of what cycling is really like in a city or town.
Here are three examples of how data is being used to make streets safer for cycling:
Crash Data – Boston began properly gathering and analyzing cyclist crash data in 2010 from Boston Police and EMS. In 2013, the city released its first crash report. The information collected in reported crashes involving cyclists from 2010-2012 included the cause of crash (cyclist ran red light, motorist failed to yield, etc.), the location, and if the cyclist was wearing a helmet. The city and its cycling advocacy organization, Boston Bikes, used the data to shape their programs and actions for 2013. For instance, as 22% of reported crashes were caused by “dooring”, city officials began encouraging taxi companies to post signs in their vehicles alerting passengers to check for cyclists before exiting.
Traffic Data – New innovations make it easier than ever for cities to collect data on bike traffic. Arlington, VA installed a new “bikeometer” last week to count the number of cyclists that pass through one of the busiest intersections in the city. The device displays a real-time count of daily cyclist traffic along with monthly and yearly totals.
Commuter Surveys – Many cities across the country survey residents and commuters to find out how they travel, where they go most, and what they’d like to see for improvements. Calgary, AB recently conducted a survey of residents and found that residents were particularly concerned with the combined lack of bike infrastructure and amount of bike traffic in downtown. The city council’s transportation department is taking quick action and planning on creating a network of two-way cycletracks for a pilot program as early as next summer. The city even believes that area bicycle traffic will double in the first year. Calgary’s plan is a great model for how cities can save money by going straight to the source, the public, to create the most effective infrastructure first.
Behind every great cycling community is a highly productive team of organizers, constantly working to provide innovative resources and programs that ensure everyone is riding safer.
The 2013 recipient of the CCG Foundation Bike Safety Fellowship, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA), performs this type of on-the-ground work in the greater Washington DC area.
Here are some of the above-and-beyond educational efforts WABA provides to make cycling even safer in their community:
Motorist Awareness: WABA works with public transportation and bus fleets to increase drivers’ awareness of cyclists on the road. While educating all motorists can seem like a daunting task, focusing on these drivers is especially important. Buses and cyclists often share lanes, and those buses will also need to cross bike lanes to pick up customers.
Educator Resources: Teaching the next generation of cyclists safe and proper habits creates a safer future for everyone. WABA provides tools to parents, teachers, and community leaders for every aspect of personal bike safety, including fitting helmets, administering safe riding courses, and teaching bicycle law.
Bike Share Member Safety Courses: This year WABA and Bethesda Transportation Solutions are teaming up to make cycling even more accessible in Washington DC. Members of Capital Bikeshare (the Hubway or CitiBike of Washington) will be able to sign up for a free “Intro to City Cycling” course where participants will learn about bike infrastructure, coexisting with other vehicles on the road, and some best practices for urban riding.
Creative and forward thinking cycling infrastructure play a major part in safety. Boston is a shining example of this. In 2007, the city was rated the least bike-friendly major city in the United States. Seven years, 82 miles of bike lanes, 1500 bike racks, a few bike paths later, and countless hours of work later, we are now one of the best! Check out some even more futuristic infrastructure that could make cycling in our community even safer:
Protected Cycle Tracks
While several neighborhoods in the Greater Boston Area do boast one or two cycle tracks, most are not as advanced as this one in Brooklyn, New York. The Sands Street cycle track, which was built in place of a median, helps cyclists navigate this tricky and congested corridor. The two-way path runs down the middle of the street, as opposed to traditional cycle tracks on sidewalks or next to parked cars. Cyclists no longer worry about cars cutting through bike lanes as they exit and enter the major thoroughfares along Sands Street. Instead they can ride easy knowing they are protected by concrete barriers and fencing.
Boston already has a subway AND a highway that go underground, so the next logical step could be a cycle tunnel, such as the Maastunnel Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Finished in 1942, the path was used by over 40,000 cyclists per day in the 1950’s and still sees thousands of local cyclists each day. Escalators at ground level of the take riders down to the river floor where they traverse the 1400 meter bikeway to the other side. Perhaps one day in the future we’ll see a bike-dedicated tunnel of this capacity underneath the Charles River or in the Boston Harbor!
This awesome piece of infrastructure in Trondheim, Norway is like a rope-tow for bikes. Imagine you live on top of a hill. You might be stuck commuting on a flatter main road where cars travel faster and more frequently than the steeper, less congested street. The Trampe saves its 20,000-30,000 yearly users the sweat and the time of struggling up this precipitous roadway.
Bicycle helmets are only effective when they fit correctly. Take a few minutes for a safety check to ensure your noggin is as protected as possible on the road:
Size It Right: A helmet should sit snug on the head. It shouldn’t slide around or move back and forth. If it’s a little too big, you might be able to add some additional padding. If it’s a little too small, you could remove some of the interior pads. You should also be able to see the front of helmet above your brow when you look up toward your forehead. The finger test is also a great way to ensure a safe fit.
Strap It Tight: Straps should fit in two ways. First, check to make sure your ears sit inside the “V” made by the straps on each side. If the V is too big or too small, adjust the straps accordingly so they’re snug but comfy. Second, buckle the helmet and open your mouth as wide as you can – like you’re at the dentist. The connected strap should be snug under your chin and your helmet should be pulling tight on your head. If it’s not, shorten up each strap so the buckle lightly touches your chin when your mouth is closed.
Wear It Always: Whether you’re just going down the street to the store or to the end of the driveway, your helmet can only keep you safe when it’s on your head. Most bicycle accidents happen at low speeds and are caused by road debris, railroad tracks, or other non-automobile hazards. Your helmet is most effective in these instances, so make sure you don’t pedal without it!
For a great visual example of how to fit a helmet on yourself or your child, take a look at this chart from SafeKids.org.
Staying visible is the only way to cycle – there’s no such thing as being too noticeable! Go above and beyond to make sure you’re seen while biking with these three tips:
Stay Out of Blind Spots: Cars and trucks have big blind spots, sometimes making it impossible for drivers to see cyclists next to or behind them. When you’re behind or next to a vehicle, check to make sure you can make eye contact with the driver in their mirrors or through the passenger window. If you can’t see them, they can’t see you!
Be Reflective: There’s no such thing as being too visible! Light up the night by putting on one of our safety triangles and wear a high-visibility vest, create designs with reflective tape on your bike, helmet, and backpack, and clip reflectors onto your bike. Drivers won’t be able to not see you when you shine from every angle! Order one of our wearable safety triangles or get it for free when you register to ride with us this Mothers Day.
Stay Bright: Use headlights and taillights starting 30 minutes before sundown until 30 minutes after sunrise on clear days and wear your lights at all times in the rain or snow. Select the blinking or flashing settings to best catch drivers’ eyes. Consider wearing lights on your helmet in addition to on your bike.