Cycling with Disabilities and Injuries

14 Below Zero - Broken Hand
I haven’t been on a bicycle for 7 days. The reason? A couple of cracked ribs. I’ve tried each and every day to cycle, but it hasn’t been possible. When a simple cough is enough to bring tears to your eyes, riding a bicycle is a long shot. A serious blow to my pride but hey, at least I can walk around the neighbourhood. Which is nice.

Many Danish cities have small cars like these to measure the level of comfort on the bicycle infrastructure. I have a better, cheaper idea.

The city should just give citizens with broken or cracked ribs a smartphone, with activated GPS and a live line to a person at the Bicycle Office. Then they just ride around the city. Every time an OWWWW! or groan is heard, the GPS location is registered. That way the city will be able to map the spots that need maintenence. Now broken ribs are one thing, but what of citizens with more serious injuries or disabilities?

So I thought I’d whips together this article with photos of Copenhageners and other urban dwellers cycling with injuries or disabilities or using other vehicles that improve accessibility and mobility.

Like the shot of a Copenhagener in the morning rush hour (above) riding with what looks like a broken – or at least injured – hand, above. Still looking cool as you like.
Bicycle Crutches 02
Then there is this Copenhagener carrying her crutches with her on her bicycle. Fair enough, she might have been heading to the hospital – across the street – to deliver the crutches back.
Double Crutch
Then I remembered this shot from a while back of a girl carrying her crutches and getting doubled by her mum. The bicycle is a versatile tool. I know several friends who, after many years playing sports, have problems with their knees. They are invariably advised to ride a bicycle by their doctors.

Urban Mobility
There is a bike for almost everyone.

If you also make the bicycle the quickest and safest way to get around a city, people will do so – whatever their physical challenges. The bicycle is a freedom machine for many people.
Mobility Five Wheels, Three Arms
The dapper gentleman to the left may have reduced mobility for whatever reason, but he can get out and about with ease on this tricycle. Note his cane sticking out of the back.

I see the man in the right photo quite often. He rides a tricycle and only has one arm. A friend of mine knows him and I’m told that he only has one leg, too. He lost his limbs in a landmine explosion in the country he was born. He still gets about with ease on his wheels. Both of these gentlemen were impeccably dressed.

Bicycle Mobility
This gent is amazing and so is his cargo bike. A retrofitted Nihola lets him ride around the city with no lower arms and only one leg to pedal with. Fantastic.

Rock Star
If you’re a legendary Danish rock star, like Steen Jørgensen (above), you have a certain look to maintain and Steen pulls it off to perfection. The fact that he has no left arm is of little consequence.

Disabled Motion
I took this photo in Tokyo. The man had some form of disability with his legs. It required effort for him to get the pedals to turn but you can bet that it was a fraction of the effort he’d use when walking.

Casting Call Crutch Bike Crutch Bike
The lady on the left has a kind of cast on her leg, but still rides. The two photos on the right are from last winter. The boyfriend was holding the girls’ crutches and she moved slowly along – injured foot wrapped in plastic – on a child’s bicycle they had borrowed. It was icy so the crutches were probably more dangerous than helpful so the bicycle stepped in to assist. They were heading to the hospital down the road.

Vienna Cyclist Sticks
I spotted this lady in Vienna, Austria. Carrying her walking sticks to help her after she got off her bicycle.

This quaint sign on this tricycle reads, “Slightly Disabled”.

Invalidecykler
What with all the bicycle options for disabled – whether permanently or temporarily – it’s not surprising to see a parking sign like this outside my local library. It reads “Invalid Bicycles”, reserving a space close to the door for those who need it.

Wheelchairs
Montreal Wheelchair
I took this photo in Montreal. A trike pulling a wheelchair behind. This takes intermodality to a whole new level.

Wheelchair Transport
This retrofitted Nihola (it really is the Danish brand that offers unique variations of their cargo bikes) is designed simply to carry a wheelchair with passenger.

Walker Transport
This gent has his walker in the front of his cargo bike – intermodality once again.

Active Cyclist
You see many trike brands in operation in Copenhagen on a daily basis. This gent had what appeared to be Down Syndrome and he enjoys active mobility on this trike.

Electric Vehicles
Amsterdam Cycle Chic - Wheelie
Spotted in Amsterdam. An electric scooter with the wheelchair on a rack on the back. Compared to other cities, you see so many of such vehicles on the cycle tracks of Amsterdam and Copenhagen. Used by people with disabilities and the elderly. It’s a massive market with many brands. Offering urban mobility to people who might be restricted to a wheelchair.

Heading For The City
Cool as you like in Copenhagen.

Bicycle Cane
If it is ripe old age that has reduced mobility, the bicycle still serves a purpose. I see this lady all the time in my neigbourhood. Always walking her bicycle with groceries in the basket. Perhaps too unstable to ride, but using the bicycle as a kind of crutch. Lovely.

Copenhagenize the planet. And have a lovely day.

World Remembrance Day This Sunday Nov 18th

From The BCU:

Sunday is World Day of Remembrance. Will you join the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition in honoring victims of traffic crashes?

World Day of Remembrance
Sunday, Nov. 18 // 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Learn more + RSVP

The day will begin with a ghost bike ceremony at 12:30 pm, followed by a vigil and silent march from the State House to City Hall to demand swifter action to prevent traffic deaths.

We know you are angry and sad about recent fatalities on our streets. So are we. These kinds of tragedies are avoidable with better, proactive planning and policy. Stand with us to show that life-saving infrastructure improvements cannot wait.

While Boston has made some progress toward reducing injurious crashes, change has not come quickly enough. In 2017, there were 1,162 cyclist and pedestrian incidents that prompted an EMS response — or more than 3 per day. Meanwhile, Boston’s bike fatality rate continues to be higher than the rates in comparable cities. (It’s one reason Boston fell this year to #20 in Bicycling Magazine’s ranking of the best bike cities in America.)

Friday’s fatal crash, in which a dump truck driver hit and killed BU graduate student Meng Jin as he biked near the Museum of Science, serves as another devastating reminder of the dangers posed by deadly street design. (A ghost bike ceremony will be held on Sunday before the rally and demonstration; for more information and to RSVP head here.)

Meng Jin Ghost Bike Ceremony
Sunday, Nov 18 // 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Intersection of Charles River Dam & Museum Way
Learn more + RSVP

On Sunday, members of the Coalition will be placing silhouettes at crash sites throughout the Boston area, as well as statewide, as part of the #CrashNotAccident awareness campaign. Crashes are not accidents — they’re the tragic, preventable results of inadequate planning and policy. People make mistakes; our streets must be designed so those mistakes are not fatal. Please join us to ensure that these lives are not forgotten and to demand safe streets for all in our communities.

Take part in the following memorial actions:

12:30 pm – Meng Jin Ghost Bike Ceremony at Charles River Dam & Museum Way
1:45 pm – Gather on the steps of Massachusetts State House for a Memorial Vigil
2:00 pm – Program for Memorial Vigil begins
2:45 pm – Silent Walk of Remembrance to Boston City Hall Plaza to demand safer roads
3:30 pm – Event ends

Please dress warmly and wear yellow in remembrance of those we’ve lost to traffic crashes.

We also encourage you to invite your elected state and local representatives. Show them the human toll of dangerous street design and urge them to support Vision Zero. You can find your city legislators here, and your state legislators here.

Help us spread the word via social media by using the following hashtags before and during the event: #WDoR2018 #CrashNotAccident #SafetyOverSpeed #VisionZero

The vast majority of these traffic crashes are preventable through engineering, education and enforcement. In numbers, we can recognize our loved ones, and also demand action from our elected officials.

We hope to see you there on Sunday, November 18th.

The post World Day of Remembrance, Sunday Nov. 18 appeared first on Boston Cyclists Union.

Another preventable tragedy and ACTIONS you can take to help

From Cambridge Bike Safety:

Last Friday we lost a member of our community. Meng Jin was killed while biking on the Craigie Bridge near the Museum of Science. He was a grad student at Boston University studying economics and had just arrived in Cambridge two months ago to start school. We cannot imagine the pain and grief his family is now going through. Our hearts go out to them.

MassDOT and DCR were told a long time ago that this bridge badly needs bicycle infrastructure, something which is obvious to anyone who tries to commute across it. They promised to work on it after the Longfellow bridge project completed earlier this year, but it never happened. Meng is dead because MassDOT and DCR prioritized six lanes of motor vehicle traffic over safe bike infrastructure.

While we can’t bring him back, we can tell our governments that this isunacceptable and that these deaths are preventable. While the Craigie Bridge is under DCR jurisdiction, Cambridge has control over most of the roads leading up to the Craigie Bridge and a responsibility to keep people safe on them. Furthermore, the O’Brien Highway is identified as requiring protected bicycle lanes in the Cambridge Bike Plan, and Cambridge must work to build out its plan for 20 miles of protected bike lanes—including proactively engaging with state agencies—to prevent future injuries and deaths.

ACTIONS

1. Attend the World Day of Remembrance this Sunday, Nov 18 at 2pm at the Massachusetts State House, and Ghost Bike Ceremony at 12:30pm near Museum of Science. 

We will gather to mourn the people who have died on our roads this year and to tell our elected officials that protected bike lanes save lives. We will not accept any more heartless trade-offs in our streets.

Please tell everyone you know about this, including your elected officials, both local and state. We need a huge turnout to show our elected officials that many people care deeply about this, and that their decisions affect the lives of many people. Please attend this event if at all possible.

Earlier that day there is a ghost bike ceremony in memory of Meng Jin. Meet us at 12:30pm at the intersection of Charles River Dam Road and Museum way, near the Museum of Science where Meng Jin was killed. After the ceremony we will ride to the World Day of Remembrance event at the State House.

2. Email Cambridge officials council@cambridgema.gov,ldepasquale@cambridgema.gov and cc clerk@cambridgema.gov andinfo@cambridgebikesafety.org and tell them:

  • We want them to stand with us at the World Day of Remembrance so that they can hear the stories of people who are closest to the pain and learn from them.
  • We want them to support rapidly building out the city’s own plan for 20 miles of protected bike lanes because protected bike lanes save lives.

3. Email your state representatives (find them here) and tell them:

  • We want them to stand with us at the World Day of Remembrance. Their support is crucial for making changes happen at the state level.
  • If the State House acts quickly there is a chance they can pass the piece of the bike omnibus bill which requires state and state-contracted trucks to have safety side-guards and convex mirrors. Tell your state representative that they should help pass this bill to keep us safe around trucks. (Only the State House can help here; the State Senate has already passed this bill.)

Every death leaves our community hurting and scared. We will work together to make sure our streets show compassion instead of violence.

Safer Trucking For Cities

Most of the deaths of cyclists in Boston are because of large trucks.

more information from the Boston Cyclists Union here

Cyclist Killed On O’Brien Highway

Not much information yet, more when I get it.

CORRECTION: Victim who was struck by a pickup truck this AM on O'Brien Hwy in #Boston was a bicyclist, not a pedestrian. That victim, an adult male, has since been pronounced deceased. Lane restrictions remain in place on O'Brien Hwy for investigation. https://t.co/IgHG6h9SDg

— Mass State Police (@MassStatePolice) November 9, 2018

Slightly more info here

The cyclist has been identified. 

A ripple of rage went through the bike community Friday when it was learned a 24-year-old cyclist and Cambridge resident was struck and killed by a dump truck at Museum Way and Monsignor O’Brien Highway, near the Museum of Science.

The truck was reportedly trying to make a turn onto Museum Way shortly before 8:15 a.m., with the cyclist on the right waiting to make the same turn. “When both the truck and bicyclist began to make their right turn, the bicyclist was struck by a tire of the truck,” according to state police.

The bicyclist was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead from injuries from the incident, police said. The crash is under investigation and police are withholding the name of the victim until next of kin is notified. Boston student media identified the victim as Meng Jin, of Shanghai, who expected a graduate degree in economics next year.

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Cambridge Bike Safety Update

from the email:

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We wanted to update you on a few new action items for safer streets but first, a reminder about our petition campaign! We want to show city officials that people throughout Cambridge support a safe, connected network of protected bike lanes. Sign the petition here if you haven’t already and share widely!

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1. Act Now for a Protected Lane on River Street – and an Implementation Plan for the Citywide Network

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This Monday, there are two key bike related items on the Council’s agenda.

First, the City Manager is requesting funds to update the implementation plan of the bike network (see the second ask on our petition!) Additionally, there is also a request for a protected bike lane on River Street. Take action, more details below.

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ACTION ? Email council@cambridgema.gov, ldepasquale@cambridgema.gov, and cc clerk@cambridgema.gov and info@cambridgebikesafety.org and (1) request the council to approve the budget allocation for an implementation plan for the citywide bike network, and (2) let them know that the reconstruction of River Street MUST include a safe, protected bike lane.

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If you can make it please show up on Monday Nov 5, 5:30pm at City Hall to speak in support of the budget item and policy order. Sign up to speak here or in person.

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The implementation plan for a citywide bike network is potentially quite important, as this could provide a blueprint for implementation of the full bike network within 5 years, as our petition requests. We need to make sure that the council approves this budget item, and that the implementation plan the City comes back with lays out how a complete, safe, connected network of protected bike lanes across the city can be built ASAP.

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The city is rebuilding River Street in 2020 and they have the opportunity to include a protected bike lane. Since River Street goes inbound it would complement the Western Ave protected lane, providing a key connection to and from the Charles River paths.

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On Monday November 5th the City Council will vote on a policy order specifically requesting a protected bike lane as part of the River Street reconstruction. The order was originally scheduled for this week but it was delayed by Councilor Simmons.

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Also, as part of the redesign, they will be forming a working group of stakeholders and thank you to everyone who applied to help advocate for safe bike and pedestrian infrastructure!

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2. Ask your employer to sign on to our business platform

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Local business support can be crucial in getting safe bike infrastructure built. Many employers recognize that a protected bike lane network would be a great asset to Cambridge as well as providing safe transportation for their customers and employees. All we need to do is ask for their support!

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If you work in Cambridge, see here for instructions to ask your employer to sign onto our business platform supporting safe bike infrastructure.

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3. Other updates:

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  • Read the beautiful remembrance written by friends of JJ Zhao who was tragically struck and killed by a dump truck driver in early October while she was walking at Putnam Ave and Magazine St.
  • World Day of Remembrance: This Nov 18 is the World Day of Remembrance. Come to the State House in Boston at 2pm to mourn the people who were killed on our streets this year. Last year’s event was a powerful reminder that the number of pedestrians and cyclists who were killed is much higher than you expect and that urgent action is needed to correct this public health crisis. After the vigil there will be a bike ride and a march to demand safer streets.
  • In addition to signing onto our business platform, two local businesses Industry Lab and Synapse Energy Economics also took the additional crucial step of emailing the city to express how important a protected bike lane network is to them (read Synapse Energy Economics’ statement here). Thanks Industry Lab and Synapse Energy Economics for supporting safe bike infrastructure!

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Industry Lab is a co-working space located in the vibrant hub of Inman Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Inhabiting nearly 20,000 square feet of a historical brick building with wood floors and lots of windows, Industry Lab is a neighborhood for artists, engineers, scientists, and designers to co-exist and collaborate.

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Synapse Energy Economics provides research, analysis, expert testimony, reports, regulatory support, and other consulting services related to energy, economics, and the environment.

Ride A BlueBike To Vote!

From the email:

Election Day in Massachusetts is Tuesday, November 6th, and Bluebikes is hosting a Free Ride Day to help you get to your polling location. Grab a free Adventure Pass from the Bluebikes app on Election Day by using code BIKETOVOTE: gift codes to redeem at a Bluebikes kiosk will be made available from our website before Election Day. The Adventure Pass includes unlimited 2-hour trips for a 24-hour period, so you can #BiketoVote in style on Election Day.

Once you have your free pass, head over to our Bike to Vote Guide to find a Bluebikes station near your voting site.

The early voting period is open until Friday, November 2nd. Head over to our early voting blog post to learn more about how you can cast your vote. You don’t need a reason to vote early, you just need to be a resident of the municipality where you cast your vote. If you have any questions on how to vote early or find your polling location, stop by and speak to one of our ambassadors at our Bike to Vote Pop-up Event next week:

  • Boston City Hall Plaza | Thursday, November 1st | 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Let’s Go on a Boo-Bikes Ride: Halloween Edition 

Celebrate Halloween and take Bluebikes to one of the many spooky events popping up across Metro Boston. From cheese and candy tastings to exploring historic graveyards in Boston, there is so much to do. We put together some of our favorite Halloween events and activities to attend across Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, and Somerville. Check out our Halloween Guide, and hop on a bike today.

Now in a Neighborhood Near You

You may have noticed our new stations in more neighborhoods across Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, and Somerville. Here is a look back on some of the major new updates and milestones for the Bluebikes system:
  • 60+ New Stations
  • 2,000+ Additional Docks
  • 800+ Bikes Added to Fleet
Record Day: September 9th, 9,974 Rides
Pop-Quiz Time: Want the chance to win free one-month membership extension? With 800 additional bikes in the field, how many additional wheel spokes have been added to our fleet? Leave your guess on this form by midnight on Thursday, November 8. The closest guess will be announced on Friday, November 9.

Closing Out Women’s Bike Month

Women’s Bike and Brunch

A little rain could not put a damper on our Women’s Bike Month close-out celebrations. The event kicked off with brunch and networking at Lucy’s American Tavern on Saturday, October 27th. With weather in our favor, we closed out the weekend with a leisurely ride along the Neponset River Greenway on Sunday, taking in the peak fall foliage.

Thank you to all the amazing women that came out to support the event: this is the first of many rides to come! Head over to our blog and check out the full recap and see additional photos.

Behind-the-Scenes Feature: Lindsey

Lindsey has been with the Bluebikes team since 2013. With a little bit of experience in every department, she now serves as the Bluebikes Field Staff Manager:

“I’ve been most excited about collaborating with other departments to help make the expansion into Dorchester, Mattapan, and Roslindale a success. It’s exciting to see bike share in Boston reaching different neighborhoods.”

Head over to the Bluebikes blog and check out Lindsey’s full feature. Interested in joining the Bluebikes team? We’re hiring.

As Women’s Bike Month 2018 wraps up, we took some time to recap all of the amazing women that we featured throughout the month. Check out the #WBM2018 blog post to learn more about some of the women who bike in Metro Boston, and staff members that keep the Bluebikes system rolling.

Let’s Go on a Bluebikes Ride

Bike to Vote Pop-Up Event
November 1st | 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. | Boston


Moving Together Conference
November 1st | 7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. | Boston


Massachusetts Cheese Festival 
November 3rd | 10:30 a.m. | Somerville


Pumpkin Smash!
November 3rd | 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. | Boston


Somerville Neighborhood Cleanups
November 3rd – 10th | Various Times | Somerville


Roslindale Farmers Market
November 3rd | 9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. | Boston


Election Day & Free Ride Day
November 6th | All Day


Winter Biking Basics Workshop
November 19th | 6:00 p.m. | Cambridge


Community Thanksgiving Dinner
November 24th | 1:00 p.m. | Brookline

Women’s Bike And Brunch

from the email:

Bike and Brunch, This Weekend! 

Due to stormy skies in the forecast, the Women’s Bike Month group ride has been moved to Sunday, October 27th. Don’t worry! We’re still ending Women’s Bike Month 2018 with a bang with a weekend-long celebration for women. The festivities kick off Saturday, October 27th with a networking brunch, and conclude with a group ride along the Neponset River Greenway in Mattapan. You don’t want to miss out!

Part 1: Networking Brunch

  • Where: Lucy’s American Tavern | 13 Granite Ave, Dorchester
  • When: Saturday, October 27th | 11:00 a.m – 2:00

The weekend kicks off with our Women’s Networking Brunch. Food will be served buffet style, and we’ll have lots of giveaways including a specialty branded Bluebikes helmet, Bluebikes membership discounts, and fun plant favors (courtesy of the Urban Farming Institute). You don’t want to miss out on the fun! Just fill out this form to let us know if you’re coming.

Part 2: Women’s Ride

  • Where: Mattapan T Stop Station
  • When: Sunday, October 28th | 2:00 – 3:00 p.m

The group ride will start and end at the Mattapan T Stop Station, and travel along the beautiful Neponset River Greenway – which includes a protected bike lane that is perfect for a leisurely ride.

All riders are welcome, you just need to know how to ride a bike. Bluebikes will be provided for riders who RSVP.<

RSVP Today

Urban AdvenTours/Urban Cycles is Hiring!

From Urban Adventours:

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Bike enthusiasts wanted!

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Urban AdvenTours/Urban Cycles in Downtown Boston is looking for hard-working and positive individuals who want to be part of a 14-year-old bike company that is growing and expanding in downtown Boston and in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.

Located in the North End/Waterfront, we specialize in high-end, quality bike rentals and unique bicycle tours of the Boston area, with an emphasis on customer service. Complimenting these offerings is our full-service bike shop which offers convenient services with the bicycle commuter in mind. We are known for our fun and friendly attitude and our ‘I Bike Boston’ branded goods which help support the local cycling community.

Now hiring:

  • Bicycle Mechanics
  • Sales and Retail Associates
  • Bicycle Tour Guides
  • Tour and Rental Manager

Full time, Part time, and Seasonal positions available. If you would like to set up an informational interview to find out more about immediate opportunities with us, please just send along a resume to jobs@urbanadventours and a short note on your desired position, availability and cycling experience to email provided. Keep it wheel!

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Want to Get Involved? This Thursday – Training, Intro, Meet & Greet

from the email:

The rally last week was amazing! With more than 175 of us gathering on City Hall lawn, we sent a clear message that Cambridge needs to do a lot more to make its streets safe for those biking and walking. But there’s a lot more work to do to make this a reality.

If you’re feeling energized by the rally, or if you had to miss it but want to get involved in pushing for a safe and equitable transportation system in Cambridge, we are holding a fun introductory event this week that you don’t want to miss: “CBS 101”. Come meet others pushing for safe streets, learn about Cambridge Bike Safety’s history and current efforts, and find out how you can get involved in ways large and small.

What: CBS 101 – Intro, Training, and Meet & Greet
When: This Thursday, Oct 25, 7-8:30pm
Where: The Democracy Center, 45 Mount Auburn St in Cambridge

RSVP on the Facebook event and share it with friends who might be interested.

Sincerely,
CBS Core

P.S. Check out coverage of the rally in the Cambridge Chronicle and Cambridge Day.