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Boston Transportation Department Hosting Riding Through Winter Forums

December 13, 2018


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"How to" discussion on traveling around Boston by bike during the winter months

The Boston Transportation Department is hosting Riding through Winter Forums to share tips and strategies for bicycling around Boston during the winter months.  The forums are meant to bring together a community of residents interested in continuing to cycle in cold weather conditions.  Together, they can ask questions and share what’s worked for them.

“At last count, over 40,000 bike trips per day were taken at key locations in Boston,” said Boston Transportation Commissioner Gina N. Fiandaca.  “The BTD team works to plan and design bike infrastructure that will attract even more riders aligned with our Go Boston 2030 goals.  These forums will help encourage residents to take advantage of our growing bike network all year long.”

Each forum includes a guided discussion of common concerns.  BTD staff will share tips and source ideas from attendees on how to dress for very cold days, the best strategies for biking during darkness and winter-specific bike maintenance, among other topics.  Tips include:

  • Use Bluebikes as your winter bike and you’ll never worry about cleaning winter-related grime in your drive chain.
  • Don’t overdress.  You’ll be chilly at first but will warm up in a few minutes.  Wear insulating layers and choose moisture-wicking fabrics since you’ll still perspire.
  • Cold weather can drain your lights’ batteries faster so bring back-up lights or extra batteries.  Remember to always have a front-facing white light and a rear-facing red light or reflector.
  • Stay hydrated.  Stop in at your favorite coffee shop, bakery or café.
  • Just try it!  Go at your own pace and ride only when you’re comfortable doing so.

“We want to help socialize the fact that most people can continue to bike in Boston throughout the winter,” said City of Boston Active Transportation Director Stefanie Seskin.  “The forums are a great way to connect with other bicyclists and feel supported, whether you’re trying winter riding for the first time or you’ve been at it for years.”

The forums are free of charge and open to the public.  Upcoming forums are scheduled to take place:

  • Thursday, December 13, 6pm-7pm, West End Branch Boston Public Library, 151 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA 02114
  • Thursday, December 20, 6pm-7pm, Parker Hill Branch Boston Public Library, 1497 Tremont Street, Roxbury, MA 02120
  • Thursday, January 24, 6pm-7pm, Brighton Branch Boston Public Library, 40 Academy Hill Road, Brighton, MA 02135.

The City of Boston Public Works Department works to provide safe access for bicyclists during the winter months.

  • As part of neighborhood plowing operations during winter storms and to ensure the safety of our riders, the Public Works Department consistently allocates pieces of equipment to clear snow from our dedicated bike lanes.
  • PWD utilizes skid-steer equipment (Bobcats) for snow clearing efforts in bike lanes, as well as spreaders to distribute salt to assist in ice melting efforts.
  • PWD has added 3 new pieces of equipment dedicated strictly to bike lanes. Photo here: .

During any major snowstorm, the City of Boston appreciates the patience of our residents regarding snow removal efforts and we encourage residents to utilize 311 for non-emergency related inquiries.

Bluebikes, the regional bike share system owned jointly by the municipalities of Boston, Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville, remains open during the winter months, although with fewer docking stations.  Since 2011, more than 8 million trips have been taken on Bluebikes.  Information on the system is available at: .

More information about riding a bike in Boston can be found at

More information about Go Boston 2030 can be found at