The Union Rider: March 2020

Before getting to the newsletter: How are you?

The coronavirus pandemic continues to change how we connect and communicate with each other. We wish we could be advocating side by side, or even just biking together, but that’s not possible right now. The camaraderie of Boston’s bike community is one of its greatest assets, and we eagerly await the day when we can join together again, in person, around our shared passion for making Boston a better place to bike.

In the meantime, stay safe, take care and take care of those around you.

Now on to the newsletter.

What would improve walking and biking during the coronavirus crisis?

Take our survey + inform our advocacy!

The Boston Cyclists Union and our partners in the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition want to know how coronavirus is impacting how you get around. Your input will inform our work to meet the needs of people riding bikes in Boston during this unprecedented time. For instance, many cities are installing pop-up bike lanes or closing streets to cars to create more space for people to safely walk and bike. 

The entire survey takes just a few minutes. Make your voice heard!


Get Involved: Boston Bike Budget Campaign

Before pausing all in-person activities, we held the first constituent meetings for our annual Boston Bike Budget campaign, which urges the city to increase funding to plan and build protected bike lanes. In early March, SouthieBikes led a walk along Summer Street with Councilor Ed Flynn and an aid from Councilor Michael Flaherty’s office — and both Councilors agreed to support our 2020 Boston Bike Budget proposal. Please send them a thank-you note so they know how many people appreciate their support! 

We don’t anticipate being able to hold any walk- or ride-along meetings in April, but will share info soon on how to engage online and ensure Boston commits to funding a #ConnectedProtectedEquitable bike network. 

Biking in the time of COVID-19 

With all the uncertainty in the world right now, we wanted to answer some questions you may have about biking at this time. Below is a condensed Q&A. For a complete overview, check out the full FAQ on our site.

Read the full FAQ here

Can I still ride my bike? 
Yes! It’s great for physical and mental health, and now is a perfect time to rediscover the joy of biking alone

Are bike shops still open? 
Yes, Massachusetts has deemed bike shops “essential services” that may remain open at this time. Please call ahead for availability and to plan your visit. 

I want to start biking, or bike more often. Can you help me with that?
We sure can. With bike ridership on the rise right now, we put together this guide to help you get going.

Now hiring: Bike to Market Lead Mechanic and Coordinator 

We’re hiring a part-time, seasonal mechanic to lead our Bike to Market program, which provides free bike repair at farmers markets in low-income neighborhoods of Boston throughout the summer. This position is responsible for setting up and running each event (we aim to hold 40-50 events this season) and providing hands-on instruction to Bike to Market participants. This position would begin training in mid-May, with Bike to Market events beginning in June. You can find a full job description and instructions on applying here.MORE INFO + APPLY

Join Cambridge Bike Safety’s emergency delivery network

Our partners at Cambridge Bike Safety are coordinating the delivery by bike of groceries and essential items to vulnerable folks in Cambridge and Somerville — and they need more people to help.

If you’d like to sign up to help, or want more info, click here.

If you’re a senior or are otherwise vulnerable to complications from coronavirus, you can request help from this service by clicking here.

Bos/treal: Postponed

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we have postponed Bos/treal from late May to August. There are too many challenges and uncertainties to move forward with our annual fundraising bike tour at this time, but we hope that by August conditions will have improved enough that we will be able to lead the ride then.

Chain of events

  • Boston Cyclists Union Activist Group Meeting — 4/21
    Please note: As of now we plan to conduct this meeting remotely via Zoom. Email Eliza at if you would like to get notifications and details about Activist Group meetings. 

Full chain of events here.