In these times of ticket blitzing cyclists, being called
#OpSafeCycle, it’s hard not to be cynical and merely discredit the NYPD ‘s efforts as merely ways to make money and punish people instead of trying to create real significant change in street safety. Former D.O.T. commissioner and now traffic analyst, sheds some light on the subject. In this article he gives some positive suggestions on how NYC can create better bicycle behaviors.
Improving Bicyclist Compliance With Traffic
By: Sam Schwartz and Gerard Soffian
August 20th, 2014
Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative to substantially reduce traffic fatalities can only be achieved if all users of our roadways respect traffic rules. This needs to include bicyclists for their own safety and for the safety of others. On the streets of New York City compliance by bicyclists is not the norm. They frequently do not stop for a red traffic light, and often are seen bicycling against traffic flow, riding on the sidewalk and committing other infractions. What is needed is a more rational and appropriate way to promote compliance. Past culture-changing efforts in the City such as cleaning up after your dog, banning fireworks and restricting cigarette smoking have been remarkably successful. Changing the behavior of bicyclists also can be accomplished, but only with a new approach.
The late great comedian and actor Robin Williams had a huge affection for bicycles. Here is a recent article from the Wall Street Journal on his obsession and collection of bikes and his relationship with frame builder Dario Pegoretti.
Robin Williams and Dario Pegoretti: The Comedian and the Bike Builder
By: Jason Gay
August 14th, 2014
By now, you may have heard that Robin Williams was a cycling fanatic. He loved the sport—its history, its pageantry, its champions magnificent and raffish.
He was also a devoted rider, and adored the machinery. Over the years, Williams accumulated a substantial bicycle collection—what Jay Leno does with cars, Williams did with bikes.
“He had everything,” said Chad Nordwall, owner of Above Category, a high-end bicycle retailer based in Marin County, Calif., where Williams was a devoted client. “Everything.”
Williams collected bikes of all types, but he was passionate about one brand in particular: Pegoretti. If you know bicycles, you probably know Pegorettis. Custom-made in Italy by master builder Dario Pegoretti, who built frames for cycling icons such as Miguel Indurain, they are wild pieces of art, almost always steel, colorfully painted by hand. They’re also serious road machines. Imagine riding a high-performance Basquiat. That’s a Pegoretti.
Racial tensions seem to be reaching a fever pitch in the US, set off by a series of killings of unarmed black males by the police. 22 year old John Crawford was shot dead in a Beavercreak, Ohio Walmart (August 5th, 2014) for apparently failing to put down a toy gun he was purchasing for his son.
(August 9th, 2014) 18 year old Michael Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson, Missouri. Police claim the teenage was banishing a weapon although eye-witnesses on the scene say Mr. Brown was killed with his hands in the air and was complying with the officers that shot him. Only making things worse, were five days of violence that followed by militarized riot gear cops shooting tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators who took to the streets to protest a long history of racial motivated harassment.
Both incidents and a similar killing of 25 year old, Ezell Ford in Los Angeles come in the shadow of a fourth homicide right here in NYC.
43 year old Staten Island resident Eric Garner, a father of six children who pleaded with officers that he couldn’t breathe during a choke hold–Not to mention a whole team of EMS workers who stood by and did nothing…all captured on video in broad daylight.
This is the first case of an unarmed black man being killed in NYC within mayor DeBlasio’s watch which definitely has local citizens concerned about how it will be handled, especially with such a long history of similar killings during past administrations all ending in officer acquittals.
Race is definitely a factor in these killings but doesn’t seemed to be addressed by the NYPD or other police forces, who would much rather discuss a few bad apple officers or debate whether the victims were “resisting arrest.” Within this politically charged climate…the police have scrutinized over their priorities and come up with: Operation Safe Cycle? A rather Orwellian term to crack down on bad biking behavior. I’m sure this will ease the family of Eric Garner on Staten Island awaiting a proper investigation.
Here is the latest from Time’s Up.
We’re giving a big shout out to our all volunteer mechanics staff, who not only help to fix your bicycles but also empower YOU to learn valuable skills to fix your own bike. Now that’s teaching a “Person How to Fish.” Oh, yeah and they do it all for FREE…the Time’s Up way.
So we are giving some of that love back with an appreciation party, Friday, August 22nd.
Details of the party are in the events listing below.
There is a crowd funding page set up for you to show your support for this celebration: www.commitchange.com/times-up campaign”>
Donate what you can for this great cause.
Also, not a Time’s Up specific event but a super awesome bike event in NYC (not to be missed)
It’s the second installment of the famous Warriors Ride. They say it couldn’t be done… class=”alignnone size-full” />
Track or Die presents: Warriors Ride 2
Saturday, August 23rd-August 24th.4:00pm till Sunup, Sunday morning.
In 2002, the messenger community decided to host an event that would appeal to more cyclists then the usual “alleycat” street racing crowd. The idea was to have a scavenger-hunt-messenger-style-race that captured the “underground” cult aspect of NYC and could keep participants busy from 7:00pm-7:00am. This facilitated the theme of the Warriors, the cult classic movie from the 70’s depicting an alternate NYC, controlled by street gangs. The protagonists of the films, a gang called “Warriors” had to get from the Bronx to Coney Island, while being chased by rival gangs all through the night.
The bike ride attracted over 800 participants from all over the world and really inspired and united the bike community. Here is a video documentary from the 2002 event:
Get your gang together and check out the facebook events page: www.facebook.com/events/471936076283694/
Time’s Up will most likely be helping out with this event. It should be a great coming together of the bicycle tribes…from old skool to new.
Time’s Up! is a 20-year-old nonprofit, grassroots environmental organization working to make New York City- and the world- a healthier and more sustainable place to live. All of our events and campaigns are free and open to the public- educational and fun bike rides, bike repair workshops, movie nights and presentations, community garden workdays and outreach, bike and public space advocacy and more.
Come join us for the rides, events and workshops listed below. Details follow the headlines.
1. CONEY ISLAND CYCLONE RIDE
Friday, August 15th 7:00pm, 7:40pm & 8:00pm (three meeting spots)
Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge (SW corner of Chambers and Centre St/Park Row)
2. DUMPSTER DIVING FOOD RIDE
Thursday, August 21st, 8:00pm
Tompkins Square Park.
3. TEN YEAR MECHANIC’S APPRECIATION PARTY
Friday, August 22nd, 7:00pm
ABC No Rio, 156 Rivington St.-Manhattan.
4. HISTORY, MYSTERY, MURDER AND MONEY TOUR
Saturday, August 23rd, 10:00pm
Entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Side.
****************** Continue reading August Events From Time’s Up
August 17th, 2014 | Category: General | Comments are closed
Want to test ride a $4,700 Bianchi road bike that rocketed Lars Boom to a rousing 5th stage victory at this years Le Tour?
Now you can through Spokesman Cycles in one of their 4 locations in NYC.
Here is a press release with details:
SPOKESMAN CYCLES HOSTS BIANCHI INFINITO CV DEMO DAYS
Test Ride The Innovative Italian Road Bicycle at Four NYC Bike Shops
New York, NY, August 1, 2014. New York cyclists can test ride an award winning $4700 bicycle this month at all four Spokesman Cycles locations. Riders will get a free, hour-long spin on the Bianchi Infinito CV at Spokesman Cycles’ East Side, Union Square, Atlas Park Mall, and Long Island City bicycle shops. The Italian made road bike features exclusive Countervail technology, developed by an aerospace company to incorporate viscoelastic, vibration canceling properties into the carbon fiber layup process.
Demo bikes will be available in sizes 50-59 cm on the following dates:
August 1-7 at Spokesman Cycles East Side: 313 East 60th Street
August 8-14 at Spokesman Cycles Union Square: 34 Irving Place
August 15-21 at Spokesman Cycles Atlas Park Mall: 8000 Cooper Ave, Glendale, Queens
August 22-28 at Spokesman Cycles Long Island City: 49-04 Vernon Boulevard. L.I.C.
Test rides are free, but customers must have a valid ID and credit card. Walk-ins are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make a reservation. Customers who test ride the Bianchi Infinito CV will receive coupon good towards $500 off the purchase of the Infinito, as well as discounts on other in stock bicycles. More details are available here.
The Infinito was designed for the rider who wants to mix it up on Saturday’s fast tempo group ride yet still remain comfortable logging a century on Sunday. It recently made headlines as the bicycle that propelled Lars Boom to victory in the dramatic 5th stage of this years Tour de France on a course noteworthy for its cobblestones and rainy conditions. More information about the bike is available at www.bianchiusa.com/bikes/road/infinito-cv.
Spokesman Cycles is a family owned and operated chain of bicycle stores with four New York City locations. The stores are all full service bicycle shops offering sales, service, repair and rentals. It was founded in 2004.
Finally, a merger I can get behind. Innovative design firm Pensa, who are responsible for those handy mobile charging stations you’ve probably seen around the city,have teamed up with local bike building sensation Thomas Callahan of Horse Cycles.
They have created a prototype bicycle with the New Yorker commuter in mind, with really well thought out design innovations, that are integrated.
Introducing the swiss army knife of cycles:
This bicycle is loaded with awesome features: USB powered internal lighting.
and a folding rear rack that fits inside the top tube.
The creation of this bicycle was part the 2014 edition of the Bike Design Project by Oregon Manifest. Five design teams from five U.S. cities competed to create the ultimate urban utility ride. To take a look at the competition and cast a vote, ride over: here.
Here are some cycling products that have been recently profiled in NYC specific publications.
New York Magazine was on a quest to find the perfect on-the-go bike pump:
An On-the-Go Bike Pump for Peace of Mind
By: Emma Whitford
(appears in the July 28th, 2014 issue)
The goal: Find an on-the-go bike pump for predawn flats and peace of mind on your haul up to Nyack. We spoke to die-hard cyclists (many of whom work at the city’s top bike shops). They steered us toward a barrel that’s about a foot in length—still half the size of a traditional standing pump, but a couple inches longer than many portable models, providing just enough leverage for inflating curbside.
The Verdict: Topeak’s aluminum Road Morph G ($50 at Bicycle Habitat, 244 Lafayette St., nr. Spring St.; 212-431-3315) has the sweet-spot measurements, fitting snugly below your crossbar. The built-in pressure gauge prevents overinflation and is suited to both road and mountain tires. And unlike typical handheld pumps, which require you to make a flimsy base with your nondominant palm, this one has a mini-footpad.
Between the Bike Cult Show—Brooklyn Bike Jumble’s annual exhibition of hand-built bicycles—coming up in Queens a couple weeks from now and the Bicyclists’ Ball being put on by Transportation Alternatives on Aug. 14, we’re definitely in a two-wheeled state of mind. Even without these upcoming events, summer in general is a busy time for cycling, and by this time every year, our two-wheelers start looking a little road weary. Here are five gear upgrades to help our bikes (and ourselves) go the extra mile.
Since Greenpoint designer Jonathan Sabutis talked about Ringtool as part of our Meet Your Makers series last summer, the keychain-friendly fix-all has become our go-to bike gadget—and not just because it’s fashioned with a beer-bottle opener. The circular tool is made of tempered stainless steel and outfitted with 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm and 8 mm hex heads; flathead, Phillips and torx head T25 screwdriver bits; and wrenches for both 3.30mm and 3.45 mm spoke nipples. It makes bike adjustments on the go a lot easier to do on my own (and has come in handy helping me assemble Ikea furniture on more than one occasion). Best of all, Sabutis offers a lifetime warranty on his invention, making the $28 a no brainer in my book.
If you haven’t already heard, Boombotix makes ultra light and LOUD portable speakers. There also connect through bluetooth as well as a mini cable (they can be daisy chained together) and can play while being plugged in while charging.
July 29th, their latest model the Boombotix Rex is being released in limited supply honor one of our own: Bike Courier extriodinaire NYC’s Kevin “Squid” Bolger.
Here is more from Boombotix:
Available July 29th, Boombotix will release 300 limited edition models of the Cyclehawk Boombot REX. The Cyclehawk Boombot REX features artwork from NYC bike messenger, Kevin “Squid” Bolger. Fans can purchase the Boombot REX for $120 USD.
In two months, Boombotix will release 300 additional releases of the newest Boombot REX.
The Cyclehawk Boombot REX Limited Edition is part of Kevin “Squid” Bolger’s partnership with Boombotix. Bolger was one of Boombotix’s first team riders.
To transform Bolger’s Cyclehawk design to fite the Boombot REX, Bolger worked with Chombo during the design process. Chombo is a mechanic at Red Lantern Bicycles in Brooklyn.
–About Kevin “Squid” Bolger
Bolger is one of the most veteran bike messengers in the NYC area, and has been interviewed in multiple publications.
Bike Cult Show
2nd Annual Hand-Built Bicycle Show in NYC
Be part of the Bike Cult!!
from the website: Please join the Bike Cult this August 16-17th at the Knockdown Center to see the ultimate expression of the joy that cycling brings, as translated through the hands of artisans working in Steel, Carbon Fiber, Wood, Titanium and Aluminum. Exhibitors will range from traditionalists to those who look to completely re-consider the notion of pedal power; but they will all adhere to the principle that what they produce is beautiful, useful and at the cutting edge of excellence in fabrication and design.
When it comes to the luxury version of common utilitarian objects, anachronisms are usually the norm when it comes to the ultimate form. Well heeled pen collectors collect fountain pens, while watch aficionados go gaga for manual wind up watches, long consigned to the obsolete bin by the majority of the timekeeping industry. The same goes for bicycles: a utilitarian tool that is used daily around the world is transformed from the mundane into the sublime by the hand of the maker.
Congratulations to a persistent Vincenzo Nibali for winning this year’s Tour de France. On Sunday (7/27/27) in Paris France, Team Astana’s Nibali became the first Italian to win cycling’s most coveted event since Marco Pantani won in 1998. The 29 year old form Scily, nicknamed “the Shark” is also the sixth rider to win all three Grand Tours, Paris, Italy and Spain.