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Love your lanes Marty, Love your lanes!

In the federal government, the Democrats and Republicans have divided themselves further away, bickering over tax breaks for billionaires and mandatory health reform. Big government, small government, let’s just fight and hold the financial future of hard working Americans hostage until Sarah Palin is done with her reality show and can figure out how to pull off an election campaign in 2012, or at least see Russia from her house. After all, she’s still super hot and now we’ve seen her raise a family and shoot bears.

I mean we can always print more money to bail out the banks that got us into this mess…but extend unemployment? Is that socialism?

Here in NYC, we’ve got much more important issues to worry about…No not why a woman without a master’s degree in education was given a waiver to become schools chancellor,…No, a much more devastating threat to our cities health and safety…

BIKE LANES.

Like the tax debate, this issue has divided out civic government into two groups.
On one side of the isle, you have the Pro-bike-lane-lets-make-NYC-more-livable-and green people of the DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Kahn and on the other side its the: Lets-make-NYC-more-livable-and-green-so-long-as-cars-don’t-have-to-slow-down-and-loose-parking-spots, being lead by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.

Marty’s up in arms. No NOT about proposed bike infrastructure that hasn’t been approved by local community boards and then constructed, but rather one that has been in place already and being used on a daily basis by strollers, joggers and even cyclists. We’re talking about Prospect Park West and the separated 2 way bike lane with the fresh coat of green paint. More than just one specific lane, this is anger is reflective of the direction of the city to create more room for cyclists to ride.

Last Friday, the City Council’s committee on Transportation decided to have a hearing to bring Janette Sadik-Kahn to task and have her explain herself in putting in all these new bike lanes. As if they hadn’t gotten the memo on the direction of Mayor Bloomberg’s appointee and acting as if the DOT commissioner was just secretly painting bike lanes randomly, in the middle of the night.

They committee wanted to get some public input as well and allowed people to testify…well sort of.
Mostly it was former politicians who got to jump the big line of people there early and be able to speak for way longer then the time permitted, like former deputy mayor Norman Steisel, Who?
Marty took all of this very seriously and condensed his viewpoints into a Christmas carol which he sang for the committee.

Not bad for a Jew, kind of like this guy:

Ok, I know, MY FAVORITE THINGS is not a Christmas song.
Janette Sadik-Kahn did get to explain the bike lanes program and came loaded with all kinds of facts and figures demonstrating the effectiveness of the bike lanes in NYC such as a three year growth in cycling.

Speaking to this, was one Marcus Wollen who told the crowd he’d loosed 30 pounds this year by riding his bicycle.
By the time the general public was allowed to speak for their allotted time limit of 2 minutes, around 2:00pm (they’d been there since 9am) most of the committee had left…so much for civic input from the public.
One person did manage to share his viewpoints which was equated in Streetsblog, last week.

Joanna Oltman Smith,

I want to thank Chairman Vacca and his staff for today’s lesson in how our democracy really works whereby well-connected, powerful, very important citizens representing their own personal opinions get priority and are encouraged to buck the rules of public testimony, while earnest, early-bird, little “nobody” citizens like the rest of us are made to wait for hours. So, I am left to wonder whether the committee, most of which is no longer present, really cares about how we feel about biking in New York?
Read the whole thing here, on Streetsblog.org.

Yesterday, 12/16/10, a group of Time’s Up volunteers wanted to respond to Mr. Markowitz and his lovely rendition from the hearing.
They also wanted to present him with a golden bicycle, as a gift so he could get in touch with reality that people, in Brooklyn love the bike lanes and love to ride their bikes. I mean, no offense Marty, but maybe if you rode a bike instead of bitching about lanes, you could be like Marcus Wollen, lose a few pounds? I know it’s before the new year.

I was in the area so I decided to join in the festivities in Downtown Brooklyn at Borough Hall.
So a few of us, including bike activists who have been hosting “love your lane,” clown rides, dawn we now our gay apparel and sang some goofy carols of our own.
There was Bikes to the World (joy to the world) and Prospect Lanes (jingle bells)
Video to coming soon.


Photographer Adrian Kinloch, was on hand to take some photos in the frigid temperatures.
The whole set can be seen here.

We got our message across to the local press and then spoke with Marty’s chief of staff who talked about his bosses position on the lanes. He also said as much as he’d love to accept the bike for Marty, he wasn’t in the building today and we should donate the bike to a needy kid.

We tried to deliver the bike to Marty’s office but the NYPD had other plans for us and we ended up keeping the bike…until we can find a needy kid and get them to ride in the bike lane.

Who’s affraid of a little cold…NYC winter ride.

Got sent this from artist & biker Kim Burgas:

As temperatures dip into the teens here in New York, coworker and fellow winter cyclist Ms. Marcy Cruthirds and I decided that it is ABOUT DAMN TIME that we head out for a night on the town…on our bikes. While the city may be well below freezing, it is always hot on a bike.

Please join us this Friday, December 17th at 7pm for the hottest freezing cold bicycle caravan in the city (I’m pretty sure this is the only one on Friday, but still!). The evening will include gallery hopping, ice skating, cocoa sipping, alcohol drinking, and dancing (oh yea, and biking). See the attached invite for more info. Forward to anyone you know who won’t let a little cold get in their way of having a damn good time or who needs a serious kick in their arse.

Can’t make it right at 7? Text me (513) 519-6515 and I’ll update you with our location.

Make sure to bring: lights, locks, helmets, gloves and money for skating ($13).

See you Friday!
-Kim

Tumblr this

Maybe you haven’t spent enough time surfing the web.

Once you’ve updated your facebook account, tweeted about it and then checked into foursquare…what’s left.

How about check someone’s Tumblr site. A Tumblr is a really quick way for people to make a website and post really valuable information like this:

One of my personal favorites:
Kim Jong il Looking at Things.

Here is a cool bike related site I was sent from bikeblognyc fan, Steven Rea. It’s a pool of photos of celebrities, mostly from the past, on bikes.

Being a member of the tribe, we would often say things like…”Hey did you know this guy’s Jewish?”
(photo from caralanzendorfer.tumblr.com

Now you can do the same with celebrities…”Hey did you know the Fab 4 rode bikes?”

Check out more at Ridesabike.tumblr.com

He really has compiled some great classic shots.

Gotta Plug it, Our new book

So our publisher, Sky Horse Publishing, has added our upcoming cycling guide to NYC to their catalog.

Look for it here, on their site and coming soon in June 2011.

IKEA gives employees bikes

We’ve heard of companies rewarding their employees and recently that has come in the form of a Bicycle.

Last October, Blue Ribbon’s owners, the Bromberg Brothers, gave their workers 200 bikes to keep and use on the MS ride.

Now, I heard through Urban Velo that IKEA is giving employees over 12,000 bikes.

Read more here.

Transportation Alternatives Holiday Party


It’s that time of year again when we celebrate our amazing members, volunteers and advocates. We hope you can join us for the 11th Annual Transportation Alternatives Holiday Party!

You are cordially invited to join us in celebration of a wonderful year of winning better biking, walking and public transit for New York City. Join us for great company, music, snacks, drinks and some awesome raffle items!

Complimentary drinks provided by Brooklyn Brewery and Cycles Gladiator Wines.

Friday, December 10th
7pm-10pm

Gallery Bar
120 Orchard Street
New York, NY 10002

This year we’re happy to offer pre-sales online, to help you get in the door quicker at party time.

Members!
Buy advance tickets here for only $10!

Not a Member? The Holiday Party is the best time of year to join.
Buy advance tickets here with your very own T.A. membership for $30 total

You can still buy tickets and memberships at the door, don’t worry!
$15 for Members
$36 to join as a member with free entry

Bike Valet parking will be available (note: rain or snow cancels bike parking)

More info here.

Recycle-A-Bicycle’s Sweet Sixteen

RAB is turning 16 and they are having a winter celebration:

It’s Recycle-A-Bicycle’s Sweet Sixteen!

Celebrate in style with complementary inner tube bow ties, spoke flower corsages, and bicycle drivers licenses!
Enjoy an evening of Dutch Bikes, Vintage Kids Bikes, and Recycled Bicycle Crafts! Purchase a bike from the NY400 Batavus Bike Fleet or win a chance to travel home on a bike signed by one of our favorite artists and cycling advocates, David Byrne!

When: Wednesday December 15, 2010 from 6:30-9:30pm
Where: The Powerhouse Arena @ 37 Main Street in Dumbo, Brooklyn

Admission Price/ Metals of Honor:
All tickets include entry, delicious food, and drink.
All tickets $50+ come with a special RAB t-shirt!

$20 Steel
$50 High Tensile Steel
$100 Stainless Steel
$250 Alloy = Bike Maintenance Class
$500 Aluminum = 2 Bike Maintenance Classes
$1,000 Chrome = Free Winter Bike Storage
$5,000 Chromoly = Bike Tour for Ten
$10,000 Titanium = NY400 Batavus Bicycle

Tickets/Contributions: For advance ticket purchases, please visit our website, click the “donate” button, include your name and contact information, and designate your donation as “Celebration”. If you are unable to attend the celebration but would like to make a contribution, please send a check made payable to Recycle-A-Bicycle to 35 Pearl Street Brooklyn, NY 11201. You can also make a donation through our website by clicking the “donate” button on our homepage. All contributions are greatly appreciated.

Directions: F Train to York (Exit station, take right on Jay Street, left on Front Street, right on Main Street) -or- A/C Train to High (Exit station at Cadman Plaza, walk across park, left on Washington Street, left on Front Street, right on Main Street)

RECYCLE-A-BICYCLE: Recycle-A-Bicycle is a community-based bike shop and non-profit organization that facilitates educational/job training programs and encourages environmental stewardship. Through innovative programs such as Earn-A-Bike, Ride Club, Cycle Craft, and Summer Youth Employment Program, RAB is dedicated to the health, development, and empowerment of NYC youth. In the past year alone, RAB worked with more than 1,000 young people who collectively built 500 bicycles, pedaled 10,000 miles, and burned 1,750,000 calories. On average, RAB salvages 1,200 bicycles each year from the waste stream, diverting a total of 36,000 pounds of waste from NYC’s landfills.

For More Information:
Recycle-A-Bicycle: 35 Pearl Street Dumbo, Brooklyn – 718.858.2972
The Powerhouse Arena: 37 Main Street Dumbo, Brooklyn – 718.666.3049 –
For more information, please contact Pasqualina Azzarello: 718-858-2972 or director@recycleabicycle.org

Facebook Event Page

New Bicycle Repair Book and Challenge

In my brief attempts to fix my own bikes I always relied on Bicycle Magazine’s Complete Guide to Bicycle Maintenance. You know, back when we used to use things called books…to find information.

I had the 4th edition, written by Jim Langley back in 1999. It was a very informative guide and always helped me to avoid having to take a whole bag of parts in a zip lock bag to my local bike shop. Complicated repairs, should be done by qualified technicians, but for the routine maintenance and general wear this book was invaluable. It also gave me a thorough understanding of how bicycles work, what parts are what and helped me identify which tools I should have on hand. This really is the bible for bike repair.

The fine people at Rodale Publishing (who also produce Bicycling Magazine) were kind enough to send me the latest version (the sixth addition) written by Todd Downs.

This updated and revised edition is packed with 17 chapters of valuable information and includes maintenance and repair tips for both mountain and road bikes.

There are over 450 photos detailing step by step instructions to basically build a bike from scratch.

It is so detailed it even includes individual manufactures of parts, so when they are talking about a crank extraction they reference Shimano, SRAM and Campy.

You may not be up to truing your own wheels, but this book will come in handy for basic wear on the bicycle, with lots of detailed charts and info on proper tire inflation, brake adjustments and gearing.

More about the book and to buy a copy go to the Rodale Store here.

To celebrate the new book, this Wednesday, 12/8/10 Bicycling Magazine and Park Tools are hosting:

The Bike Repair Challenge.

Here is more about that:

Are you a hotshot amateur bike mechanic? Come prove it.

To celebrate the newly released Bicycling Guide to Complete Bicycle Maintenance & Repair, Bicycling magazine and Park Tool Co. are teaming up to find the cyclist with the fastest bike repair skills in the New York City area.

On December 8, 2010 at 6:30pm at Sid’s Bikes (151 W. 19th Street, NY, NY) 12 lucky cyclists from New York City will compete to see who is the quickest at classic bike repairs, with the Bike Snob and Bicycling editors on-hand to give play-by-play on all the action. The prize for the top wrench? A trio of excellent prizes from Park Tool –including a professional tool kit, repair stand and floor pump, altogether worth more than $800 — along with a $500 gift certificate to Sid’s Bikes, and a premium membership to local advocacy group, Transportation Alternatives. The second and third place finishers will also take home great prizes. In addition, Bicycling and Park Tool will be raffling off plenty of swag to audience members, so come check it out even if you’re not competing.

If you’re up to the challenge, submit an application and a short essay found on the this website. In your essay, tell us in 250 words or less “Why should you be picked to compete in the Bicycling Magazine Bike Repair Challenge?” Bicycling will then choose 12 contestants to compete in the Bike Repair Challenge. Contestants will be notified by email.

Event Details:
– Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010 @ 6:30pm
– Sid’s Bikes in NYC, @ the Chelsea location (151 West 19th Street, NY, NY)
– For a chance to compete, fill out an application and submit an essay below
– Space is limited — please arrive early to attend

I know, it’s kind of last minute to be one of the contestants, but it sounds like it’s going to be pretty interesting to watch the action.

Chrome Wish List Contest

Chrome Bags is having a Wish List Contest.

Chrome Offers Chance to Win $500 Holiday Wishlist
This Holiday Season, Chrome Picks Up the Tab for Three Lucky Winners

Chrome, the world’s leading manufacture of bike messenger bags, footwear and urban cycling apparel, invites all online shoppers to register for a chance to win their dream Chrome Wishlist worth $500 in Chrome gear.

Browse to win:
1) Login or register at www.chromesf.com
-Submission deadline: Sunday, December 19th, midnight PST
2) Browse the site and add your favorite items to your Wishlist.
-Do this by going to the desired product page and selecting the “Add to Wishlist” link.
-The product will automatically be added to your list.
-To view your Wishlist, click the “View Wishlist” link, located at the top of each page.
3) Winners announced: December 20th-just in time to receive your new gear for the holiday!

It’s quick and easy to enter. Shoppers can create one wishlist per email address, share their list with friends and family and three luck wishers win their list–FREE!

For more information and to enter: www.chromebagsstore.com/winawishlist

GOLDEN BIKE AWARDS

Forget the Grammy’s, the Oscars or that Dumb Country Music award show…

This weekend…get Golden.