New York Times sees Orange bikes and I see Red Flags.

Another video of the orange bikes explaining DKNY wants an Auto-free NY: “hey their message was unclear…we gave them a message.”

I would like nothing better then to put this whole Orange bike thing to rest, although its done wonders for the readership of this blog. I hope we get it by now…DKNY sprinkled spray-painted orange bicycles about the city, chained them to trees and poles with their logo on the down tube. They did it for fashion week to promote themselves and there was also some odd chance people might go to their website, click on the Spring 08 collection page, then clink the picture of the orange bike in the left column, then this would easily lead them to a page that stated the fashion company gave money to the DOT to promote cycling. Easy right? Most people never got that far and instead scratched their heads at the orange bike which looked abandoned but had enough street sense to know someone was promoting something like the guy in front of the Virgin megastore that just asked them if they liked Hip-hop or Comedy. The bicycle community knew the image of a spray painted bicycle and was instantly offended. The all-over orange paint was a blatant rip-off of the white ghostbike memorials which are placed around the city explaining that someone died on a bicycle by a motorist. A bunch of people started talking about this, blogging about this and some videos were made. I was supposed to go on NPR, but they dropped the story, before I had a chance to speak. Then the New York Times had to go and spoil it for me. They write this article in their blog City Room saying “Rounding up the Orange bikes.” I guess this is summarizing the whole affair by asking a lot of questions. Eventually the author Jennifer 8. Lee does a good job of explaining that DKNY doesn’t actually give money for bicycles, but rather for free bike maps thorough the D.O.T. who also states they had nothing to do with this promotion. Then they include this quote form someone in PORTLAND. NOT again. Its kind of like this:

NY TIMES REPORTER: Hmmm, there couldn’t possible be anyone here in NYC who could speak to this issue? Nope, no one from a bike blog, or from the NYC bicycling community, let me see where can I go? I know…OH great Utopia of bicycle everything with your rainy organic tofu scramble and your interlocking network of bridges allowing everyone to commute by bicycle. Please enlighten us with your opinions on these orange monstrosities that plagued our city for a week.

Hellooooo???? No I’m not just jealous they didn’t talk to me…but rather angry because they end up getting other sides of the story form people like this guy:

Who the hell is Carl Larson?
“As Mr. Larson explained in a lengthy e-mail message:

As far as I’m concerned, it’s less productive to consider DKNY’s orange bikes an insensitive, greenwashing, publicity stunt than to look at them positively. DKNY is riding New York’s new bike wave while contributing to it by putting brightly colored ones on the street, proudly linking their name to them and, at the end of the day, providing every scrapper, freakbike builder, and petty thief with some great materials. If New York’s bike gangs like Black Label and CHUNK666 are worth their salt, I fully expect to see some bright orange parts on their next creations.

Why do you have to bring Black Label and Chunk666 into this? Do you also expect them to ride around with “parts of Ghostbikes” in their mutant choppers and tallbikes?


Just going on the 29 responses to the City Room blog like this one:

“Had DKNY’s motivation been what they claim, wouldn’t they have attempted a viable bike share program with the resources which have instead been wasted? I find it difficult to believe that eco-consciousness was at the center of this scheme, considering the net environmental “benefit”. Why not a DKNY-sponsored installation of bike racks (a la Cemusa street furniture)? Or supporting a Velib-like startup here in NYC? Come on, corporations, if you’re going to claim to do some good for the city and/or the planet, you gotta actually do some good. Hope DOT gets that pledged check soon.”

— Posted by Alicia

you can tell there are a lot of people here in NYC who could better speak to this then Carl’s lengthy email which probably had better things to say.

Ok, enough already. I’ve got to go promote biking by biking in 11 degree weather…brrrrrrrrrrr.

4 comments to New York Times sees Orange bikes and I see Red Flags.

  • Lola

    New York magazine tars DKNY’s “rip off” campaign as “highbrow despicable” (Approval Matrix, 2/18/08). It ranks this cultural incursion just below plans to drill for oil near Robert Smithson’s environmental artwork, Spiral Jetty. Yep, some folks will do anything for a buck.

  • waffle

    The paragraph about Portland was absolutely hilarious. I wish I had a friend who would understand it without 10 minutes of explaining beforehand what bicycling, Portland, the orange bikes and tofu are. Either way, it was super funnnny.

  • teamspider

    it all part of the slow re-co-opting of a message / reality / pleasure, till we all differentiate each other by how we chose to NOT pollute, show disrespect, ’cause divisions…


    (unless Cloverfield is real, in which case we’re F*Ck’d)

  • Chloe

    I saw one and snapped a picture, thinking that it was a really touching message, like “those ghostbikes that commemorate the dead bikers.” I honestly don’t remember what prompted me to google “orange bicycles nyc,” but this was the first link, and imagine my utter disappointment to see that it was another promotion scheme released by a “designer” that hasn’t had an original idea in years, and chooses to hide behind an “ecofriendly” facade, doubly offending those who respect the ecofriendly among us and the ghostbikes.

    Grrr. What is happening to us? To our society? To our city?