The Helmet Dilemma


If you’re a Boston biker, you probably heard about the Boston Public Health Commission’s recent helmet campaign.  In an attempt to encourage bikers to wear helmets, the BPHC commissioned graphic posters (see below) of injured cyclists which were displayed prominently around the city.

I recently met with Nick Martin, the Director of Communications at the Boston Public Health Commission, to discuss the campaign.  I have two main problems with this effort, and I thought I’d share them here.

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First Annual Walk Bike Week in Newton, MA

I was asked to pass this along by Newton Transportation Advisory Group.  Yes, it’s a local event, but I think it should still be relevant to my readers outside of Massachusetts.

As more and more places decide to officially recognize biking in this way, our culture will continue to adapt to accommodate more bikes on the roads.  This is the sort of celebration that should be going on in every city.  Go out and make it happen.

Here are the details:

If you’re planning to be anywhere near Newton, MA at the end of September, you’ll want to check out its first annual celebration of Walk Bike Week.

The city is highlighting all the good ways to walk or bicycle there, while also opening up discussion about where things could be made better. What’s more, it promises to be fun and do some good.

For cyclists, there are coordinated rides—including a Friday ride into Boston for commuters with added benefits—a bicycle census (sign up at, various street openings, a learn-to-fix-your-bike workshop at International Bicycle, and free fitness classes for anyone who cycles to either the JCC or the YMCA in Newton. Details are here.

That’s the fun. The doing good part is both a shoe collection at City Hall for children in need, and a 20- or 40-mile ride to benefit LivableStreets and honor the life of Newton resident Bob Zeeb. Bob died in a cycling crash in 2009 and was a passionate cyclist and environmentalist. To ride or donate visit

A full listing of all the events, including walks, a street mural and more, is here.

The safest t’s in town, now available at Hub Bicycle Co.

I’m pleased to announce that the Bike Safe Boston reflective t-shirts you’ve heard so much about are finally on sale in an actual shop!

That’s right, we’ve officially gone brick and mortar (totally retro). Now you can feel for yourself how exceptionally soft these ultra-premium American Apparel tri-blend T’s are before you buy. As always, 100% of the profit goes to supporting local bike advocacy.

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Hands: They’re not just for flipping off cars anymore!


One of the dorkier parts of cycling has to be hand signals. You might as well be wearing elbow pads and yelling “Gangway for foot cycle!” as you navigate through a crowd of pedestrians on the way to a meeting of the local Philatelic Society (you’re the treasurer).

But even though hand signaling may seem dorky or antiquated, it can actually be a pretty big deal.

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Ride on Washington

From L to R: Jeff Brown (VP/Marketing Manager of Entercom Boston), Tim Johnson (6-time National Cyclocross Champion) & Keith Hartstein (CEO of John Hancock Funds)

A Bike Safe Boston reader sent me this story this afternoon:

Northshore resident and 6-time national cyclocross champion Tim Johnson kicked off his second annual Ride on Washington today.

Ride on Washington is a 5-day, 500-mile bike event from Boston to Washington with stops along the way in Hartford, New York City, Philadelphia and Baltimore. Cyclists will ride for an average of 8 hours per day in an effort to raise funds for Bikes Belong Foundation, which works to enhance children’s bike program and make bicycling safer and better across America.

One notable participant in the event is Entercom Boston VP/Market Manager Jeff Brown, who is participating in the first two legs of the trip — from Boston to Hartford then Hartford to New York City, a total of 238 miles. Also partaking is CEO of John Hancock Funds Keith Hartstein, who has committed to riding the entire journey.

These two men, along with 20 other cyclists and like-minded Boston business leaders, are braving the weather and riding alongside other professional cyclists and triathletes from the local cycling community.

Best of luck to everyone participating! The money is being raised for a good cause, indeed.  Also, I should mention that I’ll be heading to the National Bike Summit too (though I’ll be taking a train to get there).  If anyone wants to meet up, just send me an email or get in touch on twitter and we’ll make it happen.


Introducing: Bike Safe Boston t-shirts

A few months ago, I asked Tim to come up with a logo for Bike Safe Boston. He made a bunch of really great designs, and we eventually settled on the one you now see in the corner of this page. It’s great, right? Nice and simple, just what I was looking for.

The thing is, the other ones he made were pretty great, too! It didn’t seem right to just forget about them. I was discussing this quandary with my dear friend Jenny, a top-notch designer at J Sherman Studio, when she suggested the answer: Why don’t you make them into tshirts and sell them on the website?


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