Bike Parade on Sunday, May 21st, 2017

The Brookline Bike Parade will be held on Sunday, May 21st, 2017, at Amory Park. Registration and safety checks begin at 11:30 AM and the ride starts at 1:00 PM.

Frequently Asked Questions

Photo: Katerina West

Beacon Street Parade Questions

What is Brookline Bikes Beacon?
When is it?
How much does it cost?
Where will it begin and end?
Directions to Amory Park?
Car parking?
Who is running the event?
How do I register?
How old do I have to be?
Why can't younger children ride in the parade?
Will you have activities for children too young to ride in the parade and too old to be on their parents' bikes?
Why "bikes only"?
Will it be safe?
How long is the parade? How long will it take?
Where will we ride?
What if I'm late?
May I go as fast as I want?
What if I can't keep up 8 mph? Or I get a flat tire?
What about the weather?
Will there be technicians to do bike safety checks?
What kind of riders will participate?
May I decorate my bike? helmet? shirt?
What if I don't have a bicycle?
Why Beacon Street?
What if my bike needs a tune-up?
What can I do to help?

Cottage Farm Loop Questions

What is the Cottage Farm loop?
Why are you having it?
What age groups can enter the Cottage Farm loop?
Where will the Cottage Farm loop start?
Will there be a safety vehicle in front of them?
Will the route be safe?
How about the Beacon Street part of the route?
So what is the route?

What is Brookline Bikes Beacon?

Brookline Bikes Beacon is a bicycle parade. It is a chance to bicycle Beacon Street like you've never done before -- with no cars to get in your way. Ride the entire length of our historic avenue -- both east and west -- all car free! Brookline Bikes Beacon is a community event. You'll be with lots of families, friends and neighbors... on bicycles.

When is it?

Sunday, May 21st, 2017. The ride starts at 1:00 P.M.

How much does it cost?

It's free. Generous, civic-minded supporters are helping to run the event.

Where will it begin and end?

Amory Park

Directions to Amory Park?

Amory Park abuts Amory Street between Beacon Street and Freeman Street. Check out our maps.

Car parking?

It is Brookline. Parking will be difficult. There will be no parking along Amory Street nor in the parking lot.

Who is running the event?

The Brookline Bicycle Advisory Committee with the help of the Brookline Police, Parks, Recreation, and Public Works Departments.

How do I register?

You can register online, or you can register on the day of the event by coming to Amory Park between 11:30 AM and 12:45 P.M. If you register online, you do not need to register on the day of the event.

How old do I have to be?

To ride in the Beacon Street loop you need to be between the ages of 8 and 88+. Each cyclist must have a bicycle in good working condition, a helmet, and be able to keep up a pace of 8 miles per hour on a hilly course. Anyone under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Young children may participate in the Beacon Street loop only if accompanied by an adult and in a child bike seat, on a tandem, or trail-a-bike, or in a trailer. There will be a shorter supervised parade for younger cyclists around Cottage Farm. It will start and end at the same time and place as the Beacon Street parade.

Why can't younger children ride in the parade?

Our agreement with the Brookline Police is to maintain a speed of 8 miles per hour over the length of the route to keep the parade safe and to not totally disrupt Beacon Street and side street traffic. Younger children will have to defer to their older siblings for this ride.

Will you have a parade for children too young to ride in the big parade (Beacon St,) and too old to be on their parents' bikes?

Yes. There will be a shorter supervised parade (Cottage Farm loop) for younger cyclists who can safely ride their own bikes. It will start and end at the same time and place as the Beacon Street loop. Children must be accompanied by bike-riding adults.

Why "bikes only"?

The event is being run by the Bicycle Advisory Committee. It is being organized to celebrate, encourage, and call attention to the environmental, physical, and social benefits of bicycling. Also, for safety concerns, this is not the right event for in-line skaters, runners, skateboarders, wheelchairs, strollers, electric bicycles, mopeds, or scooters.

Will it be safe?

The Brookline Police will be leading the parade, riding in the parade, and bringing up the rear. They will do rolling road closures at major intersections. We will ride as a group with the road open to traffic ahead of us and behind us. All rules of the road apply. Please ride safely and courteously. Cyclists will stay behind the lead police car and in front of the rear police car at all times -- traveling about 8 mph. Helmets are required. Any physical activity in such a large group will have some risks, but they should be minor. Follow directions of the police and parade organizers.

How long is the parade? How long will it take?

The Beacon Street parade is exactly 5 miles. Bicycling at 8 miles per hour should take about 35 minutes.

Where will we ride?

Check out the route map. We'll bicycle down Amory, take a right on Beacon, go west to Ayr Street in Cleveland Circle, cross the tracks, head east all the way to Saint Mary's Street, make a u-turn just before Audubon Circle, head west again, and turn into Amory Park. We'll be riding in all the lanes.

What if I'm late?

We have to leave promptly at 1:00pm because we are all riding together. Latecomers won't be able to ride with the group.

May I go as fast as I want?

No. The police cars at the front and the back will set the pace. Riders must stay behind the lead car and parade leaders and ahead of the rear car.

What if I can't keep up 8 mph? Or I get a flat tire?

You can pull over and walk your bike on the sidewalk or cross Beacon Street and rejoin the parade on its return from Cleveland Circle.

What about the weather?

Steady rain will force a cancellation. If the weather looks doubtful, call the Brookline Recreation 24-hour program line at 617.730.2083 or check the brooklinebikes.org web site or the parade's Facebook page.

What kind of riders will participate?

All kinds. This will be a family-friendly group. For some it will be the first time they've been on a bike in years. Others will say they never felt comfortable bicycling in Brookline because of the traffic. Some will be long distance riders fresh from an early morning ride. Some will be racers in lycra. Some will be local celebrities and government and business leaders. Most will be just regular people out for a ride. But we'll all be going at the same moderate speed.

May I decorate my bike? helmet? shirt?

Yes! It's a parade! Some groups will be wearing shirts to identify themselves by family or school or club or work or cause or team.

What if I don't have a bicycle?

Urban AdvenTours rents bicycles. You can make arrangements with them.

Why Beacon Street?

Beacon Street was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the Father of American Landscape Architecture and former Brookline resident. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2006 it was renovated, planted, and redesigned to include bike lanes where possible. This is a chance to celebrate our historic boulevard.

What if my bike needs a tune-up?

Landry's Bicycles, Ferris Wheels Bike Shop, Urban AdvenTours, Eastern Mountain Sports, and REI all tune bicycles. We recommend you bring your bicycle in at least two weeks before the parade to ensure they have enough time to perform any needed repairs.

What can I do to help?

We need lots of volunteers. See our volunteer page to help out.

Cottage Farm Loop Answers

What is the Cottage Farm loop?

The Cottage Farm loop is a 1.5-mile bicycle parade for children not old enough to do the Beacon Street parade, their parents, and novice riders who want a shorter, easier alternative to the Beacon Street parade.

What age groups can enter the Cottage Farm loop?

The Cottage Farm loop was designed for children who are comfortable on their own bicycles and are currently in grades 1-3. Obviously, their bike-riding parent(s) will be escorting them. Finally, novice cyclists who want a shorter, easier parade experience are welcome to join the fun.

Where will the Cottage Farm loop start?

It will start on Amory Street at the very front of the pack. Parents can register their children and themselves online or at Amory Park. Then they will go to the head of the line. At 1:00 PM they’ll start rolling.

Will there be a safety vehicle in front of them?

There will be adult leaders to pace the parade. Behind them will be the children and their parents. Brookline Police on bicycles will be at the back of the pack.

Will the Cottage Farm route be safe?

Yes. Beacon Street will be blocked off for the start. Intersecting streets will be blocked off or have parade marshals to restrict traffic. Most of the route will be on quiet, tree-lined, residential streets. Not only is it a safe route, it is a beautiful route. There is always some risk in riding in a group with novice riders. Of course, parental supervision adds to the safety of all.

How about the Beacon Street part of the Cottage Farm route?

The Brookline Police sector officer will be at the intersection of Carlton Street and Beacon Street to insure safety. Plus, barricades will be up along Beacon Street between Carlton Street and Amory Street to separate cyclists from motorists.

So what is the actual Cottage Farm route?

Amory to Beacon, right on Powell, right on Freeman, left on Amory, right on Worthington, right on Cottage Farm, left on Ivy, right on Chilton, left on Churchill, right on Carlton, right on Beacon, right on Amory and back to the park. See a map of the route.