Photos From Boston Cyclists Union’s Inaugural Pride Ride
Over 200 people could be seen riding from Moakley Park to the Landsdowne Pride Bar Crawl across town in Fenway this past Saturday for what was a colorful, music filled, queer-organized, and queer-led group ride – the first of its kind hosted by the local nonprofit, Boston Cyclists Union.
At the staging area in Moakley Park, the event welcomed folks with rainbow-colored bagels, a tarot card reading table, and a wide variety of bright clothing to choose from for the outfit contest. Many people took advantage of one of the many BlueBikes available to anyone who needed to borrow a bike.
Jarred, who commutes to work by bike, highlighted the great weather, “It’s a beautiful day. Honestly, for pride weekend in Mass, this is good! I’ve been to several (pride events) and it’s been a lot of cold rainy ones in the past. This is a great atmosphere.”
Sara, who recently moved to Medford from the Bay Area, drove to the event and planned on using one of the BlueBikes. She shared she was comfortable biking in the Bay Area, but was still learning her way around Boston. “Lots of potholes!” she added.
The event involved different organizations like Boston Harbor Now, who shared information about their work with the City of Boston on the redesigning of Moakley Park into climate-ready and community-centered park, as well as Trans Resistance MA.
Moakley Park is the final destination of the Columbia Road Greenway, a Go Boston 2030 project aiming to connect Franklin Park to South Boston to complete a never-built missing link of the Emerald Necklace.
“The proposed greenway would preserve vehicle travel in both directions while consolidating the median, sidewalks, and wider areas into a context-sensitive linear park stretching from Franklin Park to Moakley Park,” according to Go Boston 2030, Boston’s transportation plan.
Filled up on rainbow bagels, we headed out as Bad Bunny’s MIA (feat. Drake) played through one of the many speakers folks carried on their bikes. Only after leaving the park and seeing everyone ride together on the street did it become clear how large the group was.
With the Melnea Cass bike path recently resurfaced, plus the South Bay Harbor Trail, Boston only needs about .71 miles of bike infrastructure in between the two paths to safely connect Northeastern University to Fort Point —a bike ride that is currently doable, but only if you’re willing to ride on the sidewalk in the opposite direction of traffic along the I-93 Frontage Road.
For a little break, we pulled into Rolling Bridge Park – a gem of a green space for any transportation enthusiast as you can see and feel the commuter rail go past you as you pedal over the Bass River, parallel to the tracks:
“We’re super excited about the opportunity to see so many people in our community coming together and taking back the streets for people. It’s really exciting,” DJ Pussy Willow, who along with DJ Achaziyah volunteered to bring music to the pride ride, told StreetsblogMASS. “And you know, everyone’s all upset about not having a big pride parade, but this shows that you don’t need a $100,000 and a giant nonprofit to tell you when the pride parade is. You can have a pride parade when you want! We all have the power to do this.”
Before heading back out after our break, Ana showed me the tambourine she carries in her bike basket.
Back on the road! From Rolling Bridge Park we made our way to W Fourth Street where the crowd took over the entire length of the bridge’s bike lane and waited for the traffic signal to change and bike across I-93.
We headed down East Berkeley Street and eventually made our way to Charles Street, around the Public Garden to Newbury Street, where pedestrians and people having lunch outside in the parklets cheered and showed their support.
Alex Shames, Community Organizer with the Boston Cyclists Union, said he’s very happy with how the event turned out.
“I’m a queer person in the bike world and it can be kind of lonely sometimes because there’s not a lot of us, and I am so unbelievably overwhelmed with how many people wanted to help organize it, how committed they were. Really, the volunteers who organized this event deserve all the praise,” said Shames.
For at least one person on the ride, this was their first pride event as an out person.
“The most vulnerable people in our community need the most support and so we wanted to make sure queer people felt safe on a bike… If you’re a queer person and you’re running around town blasting some gay music, some queer music, it is so much fun! And you feel, at least I feel, so good!” said Shames.
Don’t worry if you missed the ride, because it sounds like there will be more opportunities on the horizon!
“Hopefully next year, hopefully also maybe even before that, maybe a monthly thing. Halloween is kind of like pride 2.0, so watch out on the road for some queer bike riders around Halloween, but yeah, we’d love to do more of this!” said Shames.