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Small government unless of course it’s about bicycles

Give them an inch and well, you know the rest.

With all this hype about correcting “out-of-control” cyclists in NYC you’d think it were a problem with the magnitude of all those Mexican’s stealing our jobs in Arizona. (Also not a priority issue in our country as we are still bogged down in a recession and two illegal wars which this blogger feels is much more important issues effecting our country.)

Regardless the political rhetoric flies about and for some politicians creates openings for more legislation…oddly form a political party that is always going off about TOO MUCH GOVERNMENT CONTROL. So what does Queens Republican City Councilmen Eric Ulrich propose…
You guessed it: Mandatory licensing for cyclists. Why stop there…Let’s just have mandatory forehead barcoding for those law breaking two wheelers.


Don’t forget, this is the city where a judge upheld a ruling that a 4 year old on a bike should be held liable for negligence…SUE YOU…SUE EVERYBODY.

Yep, forget taking responsibility for your own actions…we need lawsuits, and the power for the NYPD to generate more income for the city…not make our streets safer.

Here is a recent article from Gothamist about Mr. Ulrich’s proposed plan.
Bike License Councilman: Cyclists Brought This On Themselves
Unlike the backtracking New Jersey Assemblywoman who withdrew her proposal for mandatory bicycle licenses, City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Queens) is serious about his bill, and he says there’s support for it in the City Council. Reached by phone, Ulrich elaborated on his proposal, which he cautions hasn’t been officially drafted or introduced yet. “This is so premature,” Ulrich tells us. “I have no specifics about what it will look like. But I imagine that when it is finalized I’ll gain a number of co-sponsors. Many of my colleagues feel similarly and will be supportive.” But it’s not that premature—Ulrich hopes to introduce the legislation on February 2nd.

We asked Ulrich how such a law might affect tourists visiting NYC with their bikes, and he said, “I can’t legislate for people that are outside of my jurisdiction. I’m sure it will be addressed in the final copy of the bill. It would be tough to tell people outside the city what to do.” Ulrich also stressed that the proposal would only apply to adults:

Read more here.

I guess I could be for it if the bill also requires mandatory 2nd degree manslaughter for any motorists who kills a cyclist, 1st degree if it’s while texting or illegally using a cell phone while driving.

NYC messengers new music track.

Get ready to add a new moniker to one of NYC’s most vibrant couriers…Stoned Tone.


Courier, race organizer and now MC.
He’s got a new track called Movin’ featuring Toronto’s own courier legend Sunny D the Red Sonia

and Angry Drew.

With lyrics dedicated to being a hardcore messenger (I especially like the tribute to Dead Prez) you can download this track on their new site FAKEMONEYNYC.com

Pay whatever you want and support the NYC courier community.

Also check out Drew’s blog: fakemoneynyc.blogspot.com

the Bike Heist, new Movie

You know me, always a big supporter of the arts.

I was just contacted by Curtis Cleveland a film director form Canada about his new upcoming picture:
The Bike Heist

Here is a sneak peak trailer, I especially like the line about Wayne Gretzky calling this film “the Great One.”

2011 The Year of The Bike Heist from The Bike Heist on Vimeo.

Here is a little plot summary:
“Mike and Barry are lifelong friends and roommates who have drifted apart, collateral damage from Mike’s misguided pursuit of a corporate career. One summer morning, Mike, an avid cyclist, becomes the victim of bike crime when his “Bullet” is stolen. Barry convinces Mike to borrow the bicycle of their lovely lady neighbour to get him to work on time. Unfortunately, this bike gets stolen too. Not to worry- Barry concocts a hairbrained plan in which the two friends and an unusual team of heisters will steal all of the bicycles locked up outside their apartment building in order to cover for the missing one. However, nothing goes according to plan and Mike and Barry must deal with the utter chaos that ensues. This bromantic comedy-caper takes audiences on a wild ride, illustrating the importance of friendship, cycling, and choosing your own adventures.”

I have a feeling we’ll be seeing this at the next Bicycle Film Festival.

Stay tuned for more on their website: thebikeheist.ca

Updated Stolen Bike

I just wanted to update my first stolen bike report for 2011.
Peter Shapiro a volunteer for the video crew at Time’s Up had his Orange Nashbar mountain bike stolen on the 15th of this month.
Here are a few photos:

Here is the updated listing on craig’s list including Peter’s phone number in case you see this bike or come across it being sold on line.

My Bike was stolen in front of the Old Navy, on Broadway, in SoHo
503 Broadway, between Spring and Broome streets, in NYC

This is an Orange mountain bike with no stickers on it, except a Reynolds 853 sticker, above the bottom bracket.
it has a thudbuster seat shock, and a hobsons proX2 bike seat. (it looks like 2 small loaves of bread). Red cruiser handlebars. two goofy bells. on handlebars. an “I heart my bike”, and an american flag bell. neither work.

Had bike chained to a building stand pipe, with chain going through rear wheel and frame post of bike. I double checked the lock before going in to store.
they might have been able to wedge the chain over stand pipe. or cut it there.
I was in store for 15 minutes.

Date Stolen: Saturday night 7:30pm / 01-15-11
if you see it, call me
917-324-3108

The source on Craiglist.

I will be providing this service for a while in 2011 but there are plans in the works to have a more complete map of stolen bikes as part of a new data team which is also going to keep track of all the ticketing going on. Stay tuned for that at www.seeclickfix.com

I have started a new google map to report the thefts of 2011 and also make sure to connect and keep an eye on Brooklyn Bike and Board’s stolen registry list as well.


View Bike Theft 2011 in a larger map

Stolen Bike

My friend from Time’s Up just had his bike stolen:

Hi,
please help / report / look out for my ORANGE-MOUNTAIN-BIKE
with a BIG SEAT for my BIG ASS
just stolen ( 8:20PM SAT NIGHT ) 1/15/11
location of theft: BROADWAY ( PRINCE/SPRING)

If you see a listing for an
-orange mountain bike, thud buster shock, VERY Orange, very BIG seat
or see it on the street for sale, whatever.. please contact me!

help a big butt out ( may still have chain lock going thru frame and rear wheel )

Please contact: pete23@gmail.com with any information.

Backlash responders

Here are a few opinion pieces from both sides of the bike lane.

Ben Shepard is an author, teacher and volunteer for the environmental action group Time’s Up. He recently wrote an op-ed in the Brooklyn Paper about the recent ticket blitz and safer streets in NYC.

January 14, 2011 / Perspective
Focus on making streets safer for all
By Benjamin Shepard
for The Brooklyn Paper

Time’s Up! Environmental Group has been advocating for safer streets for over two decades. We support efforts to make public spaces safer for all: pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. However, the crackdown targeting cycling announced by the NYPD will divert resources needed to address the real danger in our streets — speeding cars and red light-running motorists who kill people.

Over 200 pedestrians and cyclists killed by motor vehicles in New York City every year. Our concern is that this “ticketing blitz” which singles out cyclists will simply discourage bicycle usage.

The police do not have an encouraging track record. Hundreds of cyclists have filed civil complaints and successfully sued the NYPD over unlawful enforcement since 2004, including a lawsuit settled just a few months ago costing taxpayers nearly $1 million. Scores of police officers are issuing summonses without being properly trained on traffic laws pertaining to cyclists. Will Commissioner Kelly create yet another waste of taxpayer dollars with a new flood of cyclists fighting false tickets in traffic court?

Read more here.

During the recent snowpocolypse here in NYC, there was much hype from local residents that despite slow efforts by street plows, somehow the bike lanes got special treatment. These seem to be false claims and are responded to by another Time’s Up volunteer Barbara Ross:

Talking Point

Critics can’t roll back the progress on bike lanes

By Barbara Ross
The Villager, January 5th.
After being cooped up inside, watching the snow that blanketed the city melt from my apartment window, I grabbed the trusty bicycle I use daily for transport, eager to hit the streets again. I headed toward the First Ave. protected bike lane that I’ve become accustomed to using on all my uptown errands, only to find it still piled up with snow and unusable.

Being forced to ride with the fast-moving vehicle traffic heightened my appreciation for all the new bike lanes and other effective safety measures the Department of Transportation has put into place over the past three-and-a-half years. Although there is a small but loud anti-bike lane chorus, our City Council must resist the temptation to cater to the car-centric past and instead support healthier, lower-cost mobility with permanent protected bike lanes that help people of all ages ride safely in New York City.

Read more here.

Ok, so where is the other side you ask? Those for a citywide crackdown on cyclists and removal of recent bike infrastructure? Here is a NY Times Op-Ed from two recent NYC officials former Deputy Mayor Norman Steisel and former transportation commissioner, Iris Weinshall:

Your editorial about the problems caused by law-evading bicyclists mentions data released by the New York City Department of Transportation that purport to show that the 50 miles of bike lanes it is adding each year “calm” traffic and cut down on fatalities.

But as the rest of your editorial suggests, the connection between encouraging biking — which we also strongly support — and making our streets safer and more pleasant for all users is far from established. The D.O.T. data produce more puzzlement than enlightenment.

When new bike lanes force the same volume of cars and trucks into fewer and narrower traffic lanes, the potential for accidents between cars, trucks and pedestrians goes up rather than down. At Prospect Park West in Brooklyn, for instance, where a two-way bike lane was put in last summer, our eyewitness reports show collisions of one sort or another to be on pace to be triple the former annual rates.

Furthermore, the D.O.T. data’s lack of credibility is reinforced by our own videotapes. These show that the Prospect Park West bike lanes are used by half the number of riders the D.O.T. says, and that cyclists are not riding to commute as originally contemplated but are recreational users who could be better served by enhancing the existing lane 100 yards away in Prospect Park.

Finally, your point about the difficulty of giving tickets to cyclists who break the law is well taken. Educating bikers is a nice idea. But requiring them to be licensed like other potentially life-threatening high-speed vehicles is the only thing that will make enforcement any easier in the long run.

Louise Hainline
Norman Steisel
Iris Weinshall
Brooklyn, Dec. 17, 2010

The writers are members of Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes. Ms. Hainline is its president. Mr. Steisel is a former deputy mayor and sanitation commissioner of New York City, and Ms. Weinshall is a former transportation commissioner.

The source is located here.

Video Friday

Video Friday is back:

Here is one from Barcelona, a night race shot with the Canon D7 and GoPro helmet cams. Only One Winner, by Francesc Morata.

Only One Winner from Francesc Morata on Vimeo.

Videos seen on JohnProlly.com

DK productions out of Seoul Korea has been putting out a video series called Seoul 2 Soul.

[SEOUL got SOUL] The Year of The Bunnies (Trick time) from David Jongkwon Kim aka DKshop on Vimeo.

Nice work to David Jongwon Kim.

Here is video from clothing company Rapha, a ride shot on training rides in the Dolomites. Video by: Video: Ben Ingham
Music: Andy Carroll
Rapha Rides Monti Pallidi I

Rapha Rides Monti Pallidi I from RAPHA on Vimeo.

Here’s a little taste of what it’s like being a bike courier in the slushy streets after a snowpocolypse.
Boda Boda (Hiromi) caught up with Ky.

Meet Kylan from BODABODANYC on Vimeo.

Videos seen on Trackosaurusrex.com

In Germany, they start them young:

Reminder: Youth Bike Summit this weekend.

Don’t forget, this weekend is the Youth Bike Summit being held:
Friday January 14 – Sunday January 16, 2011
@ The New School, Johnson/Kaplan Hall, 66 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10011

People are coming from all over including Tuscon, Arizona…a state we could all use some friendly, peaceful activities…like riding bikes.

Here is an article from a local Tuscon paper:

Local cyclists heading to youth summit in New York

Four Tucson cyclists representing BICAS and El Grupo are leaving for New York City on Friday to take part in the first Youth Bicycle Summit.

The summit is hosted by Recycle-A-Bicycle one of the county’s first bicycle collectives.

BICAS education co-coordinators Kylie Walzak and Ignacio Rivera de Rosales, El Grupo’s coach, are taking El Grupo riders and BICAS youth employees, Ashley Batchelor and Donovan Caputo to New York.

Read more here.

Come support biking in NYC

Hey there bike community. We need your help and we need to be heard.
Brooklyn Community Board 6, in the district of the contested Prospect Park Bike Lane will be the place for the DOT to present the findings of their survey about the lane and it’s impact on the neighborhood.

Bike lanes seem to be the big litmus test whether the new infrastructure is working and how cycling is perceived.

Thursday is the meeting on transportation.

Jan 20 Transportation
Presentation by representatives for the Department of Transportation on their findings and recommendations regarding the Prospect Park West bicycle lanes and traffic calming project installed in Summer 2010.

Old First Reformed Church
729 Carroll Street
(Corner of 7th Avenue)
Brooklyn, NY 11215

6:30 PM

More details can be found on the BCB6 website, www.brooklyncb6.org

Bye Bye NY auto show…here comes the Bicycle Show

Remember those bicycle shows put on by Montauk ride tour master Glen Goldstein? They used to be in the Lexington Armory in Manhattan and were a great gathering of bicycle makers, retailers and bike culture scene makers? We definitely have to give Glen a big tip of the hat for attempting to put on such an event and to the guys at the Bike Jumble for carrying on the torch.

Now it looks like a new show is coming to town one day before May, Bike Month.

This time it’s the New Amsterdam Bicycle Show coming to a large 33,000 square ft space in Chelsea: Center 548. (more details to come)

Here is some press about the event:
New York, NY January 13, 2011- New York Press, Manhattan Media’s lifestyle publication for the city’s creative class, and Transportation Alternatives, announce the first New York City bicycle show in five years. The New Amsterdam Bicycle Show: Benefiting Transportation Alternatives promises to dazzle attendees as much as The New York International Auto Show, which will end the same weekend that the bicycle show begins. This pivotal event will take place April 30, 2011, at Chelsea’s new cultural venue Center 548 from 10 am to 7 pm and will kick off Bike Month NYC 2011.

Tickets are now available online at (www.newambikeshow.com) and cost $15 for general admission in advance and $20 day of the event. The show will benefit Transportation Alternatives, the advocacy group dedicated to reclaiming the city’s streets from automobiles. TA representatives will be on hand to provide valet bicycle parking to guests as well as safe and useful bicycling tips for new New York City cyclists.

“Our readers are curious about the challenges they face when embracing a cycling lifestyle in the city,” said Jerry Portwood, New York Press editor-in-chief. “We want them to be educated and have a good time discovering the opportunities out there.”

This large bicycle show will feature more than 33,000 square feet of unique bikes and accessories over three huge floors and is geared to promote “the alternative transportation lifestyle” to the ever-growing number of New York City cyclists. Transportation Alternatives recently estimated 201,000 New Yorkers were riding each day in 2010.

“This show heralds New York City as America’s leading bicycle metropolis. It’ll have something special for
everyone, especially those just getting into biking,” said Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives.

Author of The Bicycle Diaries, musician and bicycle advocate David Byrne added: “TA has been in the forefront of helping rebalance our priorities as far as urban transportation goes. For too many decades we all just rolled over and gave the automobile whatever it, the oil companies, and the carmakers wanted. Now we know better—cars are a wonderful invention, but there are greener ways to get around this city. Having a good life in our cities is possible, and these folks are helping bring us closer to that goal.”

As New York City embraces the cycling lifestyle by altering the landscape with hundreds of miles of bike lanes across the boroughs, this new consumer-based bicycle show will feature the many nuances of bike culture—from bikes for commuting, racing, transporting and pleasure rides—as well as those people who are conscious of the environment. The New Amsterdam Show will focus on the future of cycling and the burgeoning New York City bicycle industry, which includes bicycle makers such as Mike Flanigan of A.N.T. and Bowery Lanes Bicycles. Also participating are New York’s specialty shops like Adeline, Adeline, Bicycle Habitat and Brooklyn’s Rolling Orange, as well as many national and international bike brands, designers, bike tours companies and lifestyle accessories.

The New Amsterdam Bicycle Show takes its cue from Amsterdam, Holland’s capital and the friendliest biking city on the globe. The event will also feature information on many bike-centered events related to Bike Month NYC 2011—from organized rides by BIKE NEW YORK to film screenings and fashion shows in and around town.

We invite all bike makers and lifestyle products related to bicycling on a global level to become involved. To find out more about tickets for this event, how to become a sponsor or how to become an exhibitor at The New Amsterdam Bicycle Show, please visit newambikeshow.com