Bike Jam

Not to long ago, there weren’t that many people riding bicycles around Boston and surrounding areas. The few who did were pretty badass. Badass and lonely.


Bike Jam


Now the lone cyclist is not alone. Roads are changing, more people are riding bicycles…


Bike Jam

…and people are learning how to ride around other people who ride bicycles.

While bicyclists are still a small minority of commuters, there is visible growth and growing pains.  I’ve started taking a new commute route through Kendall Square each day. Each day I get stuck in a bike jam.


Bike Jam


Which is really cool. Except many still operate like they’re a lone cyclist. But hopefully with time, experience, and better infrastructure we’ll find a way to smooth things out.


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14 Comments on "Bike Jam"

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Yeah, the bike jam. But more and more I’m stopping at lights where bikers are lined up really nicely and single file and wait patiently. I love that. Then some dude usually swoops in front, but the other 7 of us are just nice and cued up. I think (and hope) that polite bike culture is seeping in.

Invisible Visible Man

My theory? Nearly every road-user – cyclist or otherwise – is caught in a constant struggle between maintaining his or her own momentum (a selfish impulse) and braking for others (a considerate impulse). I explained it here:

However, the great thing is that even a very selfish cyclist intent on maintaining his or her speed has a hard time doing the damage a selfish motorist will.

I always enjoy your work, Bikeyface.



Love the website bikeyface…have seen more and more bike jams but is it because there are more people riding or the bike lanes are to small…if we are supposed to act like cars, shouldn’t the lanes be at least a double lane?

Angela Hey

No – bikers should try to ride single file even if the queue is long – unless racing.


These are necessary growing pains in a changing culture. If you look at more “mature” biking cultures such as Amsterdam or Copenhagen, the civil lining up and waiting at a stop light is smooth. But they also have a better infrastructure so it all goes hand in hand. (love your site!)


so good! on my commute there is a bridge that swings open (not everyday) to let marine traffic through. Bike etiquette suggests that one should queue in the order that they reached the barricade. You’d be surprised at the cyclists that don’t understand this.

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