Reporting Joe Joyce
The second annual Bay State Bike Week kicks off May 14 with nearly 200 participation options throughout Massachusetts. Second only to running marathons, Massachusetts residents love riding their bicycles. In spite of imperfect weather during half the year, a certain number of the state’s cyclists continue to pedal on and commute to work every day to stay fit and encourage greener transportation. Coordinated by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition, Bay State Bike Week ropes in the entire cycling community with fun rides, business sponsorships and myriad educational opportunities for budding cyclists and environmentalists alike.
Ordinary Cycle Shop
247 North St.
Pittsfield, MA 01201
5 miles north of Berkshire Mall on Route 8
Hours: Mon, May 14, 6 p.m. and Sat, May 19 at 10 a.m.
A gentle 6-mile evening ride, Pittsfield’s community ride, sponsored by the city of Pittsfield kicks off the city’s bike week participation. The following Saturday, the city’s Adaptive Program ride will last roughly 9 to 10 miles and will include bike inspections and safety checks. Riders will include everyone to a Vietnam veteran with no legs to cyclists on tricycle-like bikes adapted to their needs. Towns throughout the Pioneer Valley-area of Massachusetts have scheduled bike-week events, and Amherst has an event scheduled every day of that week, including a tour of its Human Performance Lab to see how distracted driving and other issues effect cyclists. Westfield always has a handful of events also, including a photo scavenger hunt (the most popular event last year), a 300-kilometer ride by the Berkshire Brevets, a French-based group of certified distance events, an off-road ride into a single track, and a walk/ride by the Friends of the Columbia Greenway Meeting Trail.
Au Bon Pain Restaurant in front of the Holyoke Center
1350 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138
Hours: Wed, May 16, 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Price: free to anyone who brings a bike helmet
Part of Harvard University’s encouragement of cycling commuters, and its dedication to sustainability, this event includes fruit, pastries, breakfast beverages, giveaways and raffle prizes. At last year’s breakfast, 137 bicyclists showed up. The Harvard event is the centerpiece of a week full of bike-related events and breakfasts in Cambridge, including a Green Homes Bike Tour May 15, University Park Bike Breakfast May 16, Alewife Bike Breakfast May 17 and Kendall Square Bike Breakfast May 19.
Nurses Hall at the Massachusetts State House
24 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02133
Thurs, May 17, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
A first-ever event, sponsored by Mass Bike and Walk Boston, it encourages bicycle advocates to talk to their representatives and senators about bike legislation, such as a vulnerable road users’ bill which is now in committee, a second bill allowing towns to lower the speed limits within their towns, and discussions on bike safety at schools including crosswalk regulation. Bike/Walk Summit organizers suggest cyclists set up a meeting with their representative or senator ahead of time to schedule an appointment on the day of the Bike/Walk Summit to discuss major area issues affecting cyclists today. The Bike/Walk Summit is Bay State Bike Week’s central event.
Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art
1040 Mass MoCa Way
North Adams, MA 01247
Thurs, May 17, 8 p.m.
A bike documentary film and bike commuter panel discussion serve as part of a series of events in the Berkshires that include bicycle history exhibitions and bike washes, a family bike rodeo with skills and obstacle courses, a parade, history of the bicycle presentation and commuting workshops. They will be hosted by Bike North Berkshire, an organization made up of local individuals, businesses and organizations serving the North Berkshire communities of Williamstown, North Adams, Adams, Clarksburg and Florida. Berkshire BIKEfest puts on fun breakfasts with the help of local, and not so local, businesses, including Whole Foods. If you’re planning to attend any events in the western part of the state, check times and dates, as last year, the entire bike week went rainy, so the Berkshire bikers postponed their activities until the first week of June.
Related: Boston’s Best Bike Trails
Bike Safety Day in Brighton
District D-14 of the Boston Police Department
301 Washington St.
Brighton, MA 02137
Hours: Sun, May 20, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The District D-14 police department hosts bike safety day every year in conjunction with Bay State Bike Week in an effort to keep the community safe, especially during the event. Members of Commonwheels Bicycle Group will safety test helmets, bikes and equipment during the event, but the biggest part of this day is the bike rodeo. During the bike rodeo, five bicycles, as well as helmets and safety devices will be given out to kids. The Boston Police Retired Police Officers Association will also provide child ID programming, fingerprinting and photographing. The Oak Square YMCA, West End House, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and Boston Centers for Youth and Families of Jackson Mann will demonstrate water safety and programming as well.