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April 2015
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If You Build It (Or Not)They Will Come.

Although needed bicycle  infrastructure may be stagnated, ridership increases in NYC according to this article by Sarah Goodyear.


The Steady Rise of Bike Ridership in New York Advocates say the latest numbers are encouraging, but the city could still be doing more. 

By: Sarah Goodyear
April 16th, 2015
The Atlantic-CityLab

  

The newest commuter cycling numbers are out for New York City, and they’re bigger than ever. The latest count available from the city’s transportation department shows a 4 percent increase over the previous year, as measured during 2014’s peak cycling season at key points in New York’s bike network [PDF]. The 12-hour weekday count at seven data-collection points was up to 21,112—compared to an anemic 5,631 in 2002.

Read more by riding over: Here.

10th Memorial Bike Ride

  

Sunday-April 19th, we honor cyclists killed in the streets by reckless drivers.

The 10th Annual Memorial Ride brings New Yorkers together to remember cyclists killed in our city over the past year. This will mark the tenth year that this event has occurred. Riders will visit the site of each ghost bike installed since our last memorial ride. At the final stop we will remember all cyclists and pedestrians who died in 2014. Bring flowers to honor those lost.

See more details: Here.

Spring Is Here. LockUp Your Bike. The Rise Of Theft

With any great trend in NYC, especially when it comes to bicycles and the increase in their popularity…comes the bad news. The increase of bicycle theft. To me this is personal, almost akin to a hate crime. How can one steal our trusted steads, our friends and companions? Also an analog non-polluting transportation solution in an age of inefficient mass transit, overcrowded streets and false claims that digital technology will make our lives faster. Bike theft also reminds us that we live in a city where you can’t just bike from one place to another without being very conscious of how and where you lock a bike.

Here was the cover of a today’s AM NY.

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 10.09.22 AM

New York City bicycle thefts on the rise: NYPD
by: Dan Rivoli

The city’s boom in bicycling has had an unfortunate side effect: more stolen bikes.
Reported bike thefts last year reached 4,849 — 600 more than in 2013 and a nearly 70% increase from 2011 figures, according to NYPD statistics provided to the City Council Wednesday.
“The trend is upward” and likely the result of the surge in bicycle use here, Susan Petito, an NYPD assistant deputy commissioner, told the City Council.
The stats showed a substantial increase in reported bike thefts each of the last four years.

Read more: here.

Yes, this is the reality we ride in.

Make sure you lock your bikes up within your building. I know, you just humped a heavy dutch style vintage beater bike up 5 flights of stairs and now you have to lock it to the railing? Yes. Many bike thefts occur within buildings, backyard spaces and other make-shift bike storage that landlords are too cheap to provide.

Here are some steps to keeping a bike as-safe-as we can.

Start by watching this hilarious classic video by the Neistat Brothers from 2005:

Then watch the updated experiment from 2012 by Casey Neistat:

Then check out Hal Ruzal, mechanic at Bicycle Habitat, who rates your bike lock up:

Then check out my bike locking tips on my Stolen Bikes Page.

There is only so much we can do to protect ourselves, especially from thieves who drive around in vans with battery operated 18 volt angle grinders that can cut through any lock in about 10 seconds.

Maybe when the NYPD spends more time on bike theft then this:

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 10.16.53 AM (photo by: @keeganNYC )

The environment can change.

New Bike Maps Are Out.

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 9.38.40 AM

Like the tulips popping up, the line at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden cherry blossoms thingy and the increase of bicycle snatching…Spring has Sprung in NYC.

And with all that good stuff, comes a really excellent resource that isn’t electronic…A map…made out of paper.

The Department of Transportation says over 370,000 maps, will be delivered to local bike shops around the five boroughs for free, just in time for May (Bike Month).

This map is always great for showing bike friendly routes, greenways and all of the nearest bike shops. Oh, and don’t tell the motorists…it’s also a really great for just plain getting around this vast city.

You can download a PDF as a poorman’s app on the D.O.T. website: here.

Or just go with the ultimate analog experience…Paper. Order one by calling 311.

Get A Cheap Bicycle And Free Events-Time’s Up

Looking for a cheap bike for the upcoming warm weather season?

Check out Time’s Up.
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Recycled bicycles for sale best prices starting at 4 o’clock at the times up Brooklyn space 99 South 6th St in Williamsburg from $90 to 175 open bike repair workshop starts at 530
Every Sunday and Wednesday.

Here is the latest events calendar from your fine environmental educators and activists.

+++++MONTHLY RIDES++++++++

PEACE BIKE RIDES – THIRD SUNDAY OF EVERY MONTH
co sponsored by PEACE MUSEUM NY
www.peacemuseumnewyork.org

April 19th 2 PM
Meet at Gandhi Statue, SW corner of Union Square (across from Staples)
Join us for a leisurely, peaceful ride to some of downtown Manhattan’s peace sites, including: Tibet House, Anthroposophical Society, Former residence of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Point Thank You, Teardrop Park, The Irish Hunger Memorial, Art from the Berlin Wall, Robert Wagner Park, The Labyrinth for Contemplation, Fritz Koenig’s “The Sphere,” St. Paul’s Chapel, the site of the Mother AME Zion Church (“first church in NYC built and led by Afro-Americans”) and the African Burial Ground. Great ride for kids and cyclists new to group rides. Route subject to change, not all sites are visited on every ride. DRESS FOR THE WEATHER! Heavy rain or snow cancels.

May 17th 2PM
Meet at Gandhi Statue, SW corner of Union Square (across from Staples)
A Peace Bike Ride (co-sponsored by Times-Up!) going to LES community gardens and ending at MoRUS where the “Cycle of Peace” photography exhibit will be on display. The photo exhibit will include photos that speak to the theme “Cycle of Peace” by 25 New York based photographers.

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CRITICAL MASS-MANHATTAN
Friday, April 24th, 7:00pm
Friday, May 29th, 7:00pm
Union Square Park-North

Critical Mass is a spontaneous celebration of what our streets could look like. This fun group ride encourages new cyclists and creates safer streets and new green infrastructure. Strap some music to your bike and make sure to bring the appropriate lights and bells.
Meets the last Friday of every month at Union Square Park North
More info: times-up.org/index.php?page=critical-mass
Good resource for other critical mass rides and info: www.bikeblognyc.com/critical-mass

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RIVERSIDE RIDE
Saturday, April 25th, 10:00pm
Saturday, May 30th, 10:00pm
Columbus Circle, SW corner of Central Park

Join us on bicycles or skates at 10 p.m. on the last Saturday of every month at the Columbus Circle (59th Street) entrance to Central Park for a totally safe, magical, evening ride in Manhattan. As with our Moonlight Rides, we’ll share the tranquillity of Central Park, plus we’ll add the grand vistas of the Hudson River from Riverside Park. The scenic tour continues down the greenway to the lovely pier where bicycles are welcome. After that, it’s a pleasant ride through streets back to Columbus Circle.
This ride usually covers about 10-12 miles and lasts about 2 hours. Weather? We only cancel when no one in their right mind would have fun. Dress for the weather. We hope these rides encourage folks to enjoy our parks at night, without motor vehicles: quiet, safe, and relaxed.
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Brooklyn Critical Mass
Friday April 10th, 2015
Friday May 8th, 2015
Starts at 7:00 pm
Meets the second Friday of every month at Grand Army Plaza

Prospect Park Moonlight Ride
Saturday April 11th, 2015
Saturday May, 9th, 2015
Starts at 9:00 pm
Meets the second Saturday of every month at Grand Army Plaza

Central Park Moonlight Ride
Friday, April 3rd, 2015
Friday, May 1st, 2015
Starts at 10pm
Meets the 1st Friday of every month at the Columbus Circle entrance to Central Park.

First Friday Ride
Friday April 3, May 1st, June 5th
Starts at 7pm
Meets the first Friday of every month at Union Square N. A fun leisurely ride, creating safe and sane streets. Route to be determined by participants.

Continue reading Get A Cheap Bicycle And Free Events-Time’s Up

4/11/15-1st Saturday, Bikes & Brews

Part spring cleaning for the non-profit bicycle education and shop, Recycle-A-Bicycle and part bike show from Dave Perry’s Bike Cult Show. Plus great beers from Rockaway Brewing Company

This Saturday in R.A.B’s Long Island City workshop space. 

  

Here are more details: 

Attention bike builders, tinkerers, admirers, and beer lovers! Mark your calendars for our first annual Bikes and Brews event! We’re having a HUGE bike parts sale, a bicycle art show from Dave Perry and the Bike Cult Show, and beer from Rockaway Brewing Company. The sale is on April 11 from  12 to 6 p.m. at our Long Island City workshop, 46-01 5th St. and 46th Ave (entrance on 46th Ave.).

  

Spring is here! #30daysofcycling-Make the Pledge

Today in NYC we finally cracked the cold hard grip of winter with a glorious 60 degrees, by late afternoon.

The first warmish day of the year is kind of like bicycle ground hog day, for me. Cyclists start coming out of hibernation and like the furry rodent of a Bill Murray movie, predicting the length of winter, I like to make an impact prediction of my own.

What kind of a bicycle season will we have? How popular will it be? Will the streets be flooded with teaming masses of bicycles, darting in every direction…some even going with traffic?

It’s hard to predict what motivates people but back in 2010 a couple of Minnesotans decided to try something to kickoff the Spring and inspire people to ride bikes. They made a pledge of riding every day in April and recorded their progress across social media using:

#30daysofbiking.

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Five years later, its’ still going strong and April is now a fun filled way to get biking and see who else is out there.

Perhaps all you need is some nice weather to get going. If not, maybe #30daysofbiking is a good motivator.
Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 10.53.47 PM

Take the pledge now:

www.30daysofbiking.com/pledge

April Fool Alley Cat-Today.

It’s a tradition. 

  

American Couriers Ride Beirut

Bike couriers who take it to the next level, control their machines in a unique space in the crowded streets of the world. They operate comfortably in the margins, the tight inches between bus mirrors and car doors, as if with a sixth sense, a special street knowledge of their surroundings. The hunt for this space also intrigues them to travel outside of their work/play home cities and test their rules of space.

This is partially what lead NY’s Austin Horse and Nico Deportago-Cabrera of Chicago to travel to Beruit, Lebanon to go somewhere Yanks rarely experience, let alone on a bike. 

With help from Red Bull, they traveled to Beirut to explore and to set up a messenger company.

Here is a recent video of their exploits with some great riding footage.

From an article in the Lebanese Examiner:
VIDEO: American urban cyclists navigate Beirut traffic

Bike Culture Goes Underground-Literally

 What do you do with an a abandon limestone mine in Kentucky? Build the world’s largest bike park for BMX and mountain bikers.

From NPR:

Upcycling, Underground: Huge Bike Park Opens In Former Limestone Mine

By: Bill Chappell 

February 10th, 2015 

With more than 320,000 square feet of riding area, the new Mega Underground Bike Park features 45 trails.

Jacob Ryan/WFPL

Some 100 feet below the Earth’s surface, BMX and mountain bikers are ripping up trails and soaring through the air in the cozy confines of a huge limestone cavern in Louisville, Ky. The cavern’s owners say they’ve created the largest indoor bike park in the world, with 320,000 square feet of riding. “There’s, like, jumps everywhere you look,” 9-year-old Tyler Bohm tells member  station WFPL’s Jacob Ryan. “I’ve never seen anything like this in a cave.”

Read more by riding over: Here.

And here is a great perspective with a drone camera: