Beer, Food, Bikes

The Pioneer Valley chapter of MassBike knows how to put together a meeting for cyclists – have beer and food.

Alden Booth, chapter president announced a meeting at The People’s Pint in Greenfield, MA tonight:

Greenfield, MA — This Wednesday, June 17 @ 7 pm, The People’s Pint is hosting an informational session about and with our statewide bicycle advocacy organization, MassBike. Come drink $3 pints of Training Wheels Session IPA, meet the MassBike/Pioneer Valley board, members and executive director, eat free appetizers and get lots of information about why it makes sense to become a member of MassBike.

But mostly enjoy hanging out with fellow cyclists for an evening.

However, if you do choose to become a member you will be given a bottle of Training Wheels to take home with you (and membership is a real deal anyway)!

The owners of the People’s Pint are cyclists and very supportive of the cycling community in  Western Massachusetts.  Even if you can’t make the meeting, make a stop at the People’s Pint post of your next ride through Greenfield and thank them for their support.

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West Springfield Public Hearing Scheduled

The town of West Springfield has posted a notice of hearing on their plans to develop a trail along the Connecticut River. The kidsConnecticut Riverwalk and Bikeway trail would be for biking and walking.

Hearing details:

A Public Informational Meeting will be held by MassDOT to discuss the proposed Connecticut Riverwalk and Bikeway project in West Springfield, MA.

WHERE:

West Springfield Town Hall Auditorium

26 Central Street

West Springfield, MA 01089

WHEN:

Tuesday, June 16 @ 6:30 PM

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this meeting is to provide the public with the opportunity to become fully

acquainted with the proposed Connecticut Riverwalk and Bikeway project. All views and comments made at the meeting will be reviewed and considered to the maximum extent possible.

If you’re a resident of West Springfield and want this trail developed, get to the hearing and make your support known.

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Norwottuck Rail Trail Repairs Completed

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Come ride the Norwottuck Rail Trail

There’s nothing like riding freshly  prepared rail trail through beautiful scenery.

That’s exactly what bike riders heading east out of Northampton through Hadley and Amherst can look forward to doing on the newly repaired Norwottuck Rail Trail in Western Massachusetts.

The Norwottuck is part of the ever expanding Massachusetts Central Rail Trail, which currently runs from the Connecticut border to Belchertown (construction in Westfield moves forward, while Southampton had yet to begin).

The Springfield Republican newspaper reported this week:

After nearly two years of work, the 8.5-mile stretch of the Norwottuck Rail Trail from Damon Road in Northampton to Station Road in Amherst is repaired and fully open.

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The bike ride along the Norwottuck Rail Trail takes you on the repurposed railroad bridge high across the Connecticut River, through beautiful farmland and spectacular views of the Holyoke Range in Hadley,

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then finally through quiet forest and college campuses in Amherst. 11. 5 miles of smooth, spirit restoring riding.

Come on out and enjoy this Pioneer Valley cycling treasure.

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Spring MassBike Pioneer Valley Meeting

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Norwottuck Rail Rail, Hadley, MA

Hey, Spring is here. Get out and meet your fellow cyclists, get inspired about riding in the Pioneer Valley, and become part of making cycling in Western Massachusetts even better.

Get yourself to Pizza Paradiso in Northampton on April 15 at 7 p.m. for the MassBike Pioneer Valley meeting.

Here’s the announcement:

Greetings fellow cyclists!

The weather has taken a change for the better, almost all of the snow has disappeared from the ground, and temps are slowing climbing up. All of this can mean only one thing: cycling season is almost upon us!

Come celebrate the changing of the season with other like minded folk at the next MassBike Pioneer Valley chapter meeting.

Where: Pizzeria Paradiso, 12 Crafts Ave, Northampton, in the reserved basement room (sort of like the bat cave, but even more secret – ask hostess)
When: Wednesday, April 15th from 7:00 pm – ????
Who: Cyclists of all persuasions
Why: Why not?

In addition to rubbing elbows with clever company, you’ll be able to hear about what the chapter is up to as well as be in attendance for a VERY special announcement! Food and drink will be available to order from our hosts but will not be including with the price of admission (which is $0!)

Be there or be a recumbent rider! (Totally kidding, no offense to our low riding brethren!)

Sean Condon
MassBike PV President
Sean smcondon11@gmail.com

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Bike Path Spur Dispute Resolved

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton as seen from the rail trail.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton as seen from the rail trail. 2011

One of the goals of the Open Space Recreation, & Multi-Use plan in Northampton, MA, has been to create little rail trail spurs throughout the city so that more residents have easy access to existing Manhan Rail Trail and Mass Central Trail.

Some of the trail links are welcomed by their neighbors. One link was vehemently opposed.

The spur from the section along King Street in downtown out to the road was the subject of a dispute from the property owner and the City of Northampton. The City wanted the Catholic Church which was doing renovations to its church parking lot to include a spur from the trail which was behind the church, to King Street, which was in front of the church’s lot. The church objected to the City Planing Board’s requirement that the spur be built as a condition for the building permit for the rest of the work, and sued the City. [You can read more about the background in my previous post, Letter to the Editor – St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton.]

While it seemed the Church didn’t want the City to tell it what to do with its land, they also didn’t want people crossing the property for fear of disruptions to their religious services.

I saw this situation a little differently.

In letter to the local paper, The Daily Hampshire Gazette, I wrote:

Being a spiritual person and a cyclist, Lynn Shelley’s letter published May 27, and the Springfield Diocese’s decision to sue the Northampton Planning Board, saddens me. I think the church’s proximity to the rail trail is a huge asset. Connecting to it could enhance the church community in so many ways. Continue reading

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New Northampton Rail Trail Spurs

[This is a post I put together some time ago but failed to actually publish.]

Those Norwottuck Rail Trail sections in Northampton, MA are really coming togehter!

Via Nick Horton of Friends of  Northampton Trails and Greenways and the MassBike Pioneer Valley Chapter, comes news from Northampton Director of Planning and Development Wayne Feiden of new rail trail spurs connecting more city neighborhoods to the main trail.

I am happy to announce two closings on the Manhan/Hospital Hill Rail Spur, the final closing being today.

1.  Courtesy of Smith College (thank you very much Smith for this extremely generous donation) we closed today on a right-of-way for the multi-use trail from West Street up to the top of Hospital Hill, adjacent to the Smith College sledding hill.
2.  Courtesy of  Mass Development (thank you very much Mass Development) we closed a week or so ago on a right-of-way from the trail from the top of Hospital Hill to Olander Drive.
Thank yous are especially due to the two City Councilors whose ward these trails run though, Councilor Pamela Schwartz and Councilor Paul Spector.

Enjoy the riding.

 —
Wayne Feiden, FAICP
Director of Planning and Development
City of Northampton

These rail trail spurs are mentioned in the city’s Open Space Recreation & Multi-Use plan (beginning at p. 161), and connect some of the newest city neighborhoods. Let’s hope the residents and businesses there get out and ride them!

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Bike Breakfast Northampton 2013

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No rain (or snow)!

Bike Breakfast in Northampton means  catching up with old friends. I’ve been walking much more than I’ve been riding this Spring, so I mostly see my biking friends as they zip past me. At Bike Breakfast, I got to catch up with some friends and be reminded how much I love biking.

Continue reading

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Springing Back To Action

OK, Western Massachusetts. We’ve made it through the winter. The sun feels noticeably warmer and snow is clearing from the roadways. Time to get those bikes turned up and ready for riding.

It’s also time to find out new developments and plans for cycling infrastructure in the Pioneer Valley and across Massachusetts.

Mass Bike Pioneer Valley Chapter is hosting its annual General Meeting on Tuesday, March 12 at 7:30 pm. The meeting will take place at Northampton Friends Meeting social room
in the former Elks Building
43 Center St., 2nd floor
Northampton.

If you want to know first hand what’s going on, this is the place to be!

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A Little Help Up The Stairs

Getting up to the rail trail bridge is easy!

A few weeks ago, I was downtown in Northampton with my bike. On my way home, I decided to take a detour from my usual roundabout route home, and go more directly. This meant not going away from the main intersection of Pleasant/King Streets and Main/Bridge Streets to the rail trail entrance down by the parking lot at Union Station restaurant. Instead,  I went to the rail trail bridge over Main Street.

The reason I usually avoid going this way is that there is a flight of steps from the street up to the bridge, and I don’t want the hassle of carrying my bike up the stairs.

The whole way over to the stairs, I was lamenting to myself that there wasn’t a bike ramp on the stairway which would allow me to just roll my bike up the stairs. I was just resigned to carrying it.

But lo, and behold,

There’s the bike ramp I was hoping for!

So, now I know there *is* a ramp for bikes on the staircase up to the rail trail. Yay!

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Manhan Rail Trails Signs Coming

This empty post is getting decorated!


The Manhan Rail Trail (Mass Central Trail) in Northampton an Easthampton is getting something which has been a long time coming – beautiful and informational signage. 

An article in The Daily Hampshire Gazette (subscription) announced that the signs had been shipped from the manufacturer and are scheduled to be installed within the next two weeks.

Funding for the signs comes as a result of the work done by Friends of Northampton Trails and Greenways. Well Done!

 

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