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Pablo is free


Remember those charges against Pablo Airaldi owner of Greenpoint Bikes? Well after months of court cases and a nasty detention, He’s been freed and all charges dropped.

Here is more from the Brooklyn Paper.

Pablo is Free!

By Aaron Short
The Brooklyn Paper
January 6th, 2011

The beloved bike messenger and cycling shop owner, who has been held in a deplorable immigration detention center in New Jersey for 10 weeks stemming from a decade-old, out-of-state theft case, was released early this morning after a New York immigration judge threw out the criminal case.

“He has been released,” said Airaldi’s attorney Stan Weber. “The judge has terminated his case and his immigration troubles have ended. He’s home.”

The decision marks the end of a turbulent few months for the 28-year-old former bike messenger, who was detained by Immigration National Services after a routine court appearance in October and faced deportation to Uruguay, where he was born.

Read the entire article here.

News from Texas

Here are few reports from that big state featured in one of my favorite bike movies…

That’s right Texas. Maybe I’m just longing for warmer climates.

Joe Hendry, every vigilant about messenger related articles on his site Mess Media, found this feature story from the Houston Press.

Reporter John Nova Lomax spent time investigating the life of some old school messengers and learned there is some animosity between real couriers and those who just dress the part.

Don’t Kill the Messengers

By John Nova Lomax
Houston Press, January 5, 2011

Back in the good old days for bike messengers, every weekday
at four o’clock, the front steps of the Harris County Civil Courthouse were the
gathering spot for a happy hour for that pierced, tattooed, hedonistic horde.

Those days are as gone now as earnest talk of Monica
Lewinsky’s stained dress and jubilation over the Dome derring-do of the Killer
Bs. Today, Old Man Tim Bleakie — at 55, his nickname is not ironic — is one of
the last messengers riding. As he locks his snow-white Italian Cinelli
SuperCorsa to one of the racks out front, he remembers the days gone by fondly.

“The ’90s, oh, the ’90s, you were at the height of the
implant case, and there were no electronic filings or late filings,” he
says. “Everything had to be done by five o’clock. Four o’clock was
basically social hour at the courthouse. Attorneys would hate having to come in
there then because they would be around a bunch of sweaty bike messengers
talking about partyin’ tonight, partyin’ last night, or partyin’ next
weekend.”

Read the whole article here.

Related video:

Speaking of Texas, I wanted to give a shout out to Chris Curnutt, who writes the cycling related blog:

www.bikingindallas.com

Bike Lane Debate in the Times

Here are some good talking points for the holiday table for New Yorkers, especially if you are a biker and family and friends want to challenge you about the new 250 miles of bike lanes that have been installed. The New York Times has brought together five writers and advocates for livable streets who bring up excellent points about bike lanes and weather they are working or not here in NYC.

As part of the Time’s section, “Room for Debate,” first we hear from Alex Marshall who is a columnist for Governing Magazine, and author of the book: “How Cities Work.” He offers specifics of what the city can do to get more cyclists on the streets and make better relationships with motorists including eliminating one-way roads such as Kent Ave and enforcing traffic laws for drivers.

Read more here.

Then there is Felix Salmon, a finance writer for Reuters who recently wrote a few articles on the realities of biking in NYC. His stance is basically that were all just impatient and shouldn’t really expect the city to become Copenhagen overnight.
Read his side of the debate here.

Next at bat is Robert Sullivan who is a contributing editor for Vouge writer of the environmentally conscious blog, The Thoreau you don’t Know He also brought us a socially acceptable way to ride on the sidewalk, the schluff. He cracked some jokes about cyclists, taking the bike haters stance for the sake of comedy and then went on to advocate for increased ticketing of riders who break the law.

Read The Car Culture’s Blind Spot.

Next is Sam Staley, the director of urban and land use policy at Reason Foundation and the co-author of “Mobility First: A New Vision for Transportation in a Globally Competitive 21st Century.”

He is hopeful that the controversy about bike lanes will stir up necessary debate on the practical ways to make NYC more livable. Read what he has to say here.

And finally there is Caroline Samponaro, the director of bicycle advocacy for Transportation Alternatives. She seems to have plenty of statistics on the increase of cycling due to bike lanes (maybe she can lend them to the DOT) and gives positive arguments for the lanes.

Read more here.

I agree with many of the points these writers and advocates bring to light. Mainly, I believe our planet is in crisis and regardless of whether you are an inconvenienced driver or a hard core year round riding bike nut, we are all in this together. It’s very interesting and at the same time frightening to watch how the debate on bike lanes has highlighted just how deep the car culture runs into our mentalities, to the point were people are willing to argue reckless driving, pollution, safety and public health vs less congestion, cleaner air and a better way of life. Sure we all bitched at the smoking ban at first and now, isn’t it nicer to drink your brains out in a bar? Let’s work for a safer, healthier and cleaner city for 2011.

Please feel free to submit your comments on points raised by these people and issues about bike lanes in general.

Caption the photo

(photo by Clarence Eckerson Jr. of streetfilms)
Happy Holidays to all.

Check Dmitry Gudkov Photography

Dmitry Gudkov loves bikes and taking photographs.
Recently he’s been taking photos of local bikers and writing profiles on them, like Willie (shown above) who’s been living in the Bronx for over 30 years.

See more on his site, gudphoto.com/bikenyc
Maybe you’ll be next.

Yellow Card, to get across the message of reckless driving

In soccer when you misbehave you get this:

A fellow blogger had this idea to affix to motorists who misbehave:

Peter Miller came up with the text and the idea that cyclists could make magnets of this and stick it to drivers cars when they act reckless.

Find out more here.

Thanks for this Brooklynbybike.com

New York Woman killed in Portland Oregon

26 year old Angela Burke was killed in Portland Oregon last week by a drunk driver while walking her bicycle. Here is a report from Portland’s famous bike blogger Jonathan Maus of Bikeportland.org as he investigated who Angela was as a person and about this tragic loss to our community.
Who was Angela Burke?
Piecing together a picture of who 26-year old Angela Burke was has been difficult. Now I know why.

Today I got a call from her mom, Athena Burke. Ms. Burke, fighting back tears throughout our conversation, said her daughter had just moved to Portland a month or so ago and that she “was lonely and hadn’t found her people yet.” Given what I know about Angela now, I feel like it would have been just a matter of time until some of us would have eventually become her “people.”

read more here.

A vigil was held on Monday for Angela in Portland.
(complete set of photos here.)

A report from Bike Portland here.

My condolences to all who knew Angela and her family. However you travel this holiday season, be safe and think of others.

Press on Marty’s Golden bike action

A press release from Time’s Up.

Time’s Up! Love Your Lane Bike Clowns serenade Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz with singing telegrams, and deliver a “Golden Bicycle” Holiday Gift.

Excellent Gothamist posts on the yesterday’s Time’s Up! action with awesome video and photos (by Adrian Kinlock) links:

Gothamist

YouTube video

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The Brooklyn Paper & Bike Blog posts on the action as well:

Brooklyn Paper

bikeblognyc

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Thursday, December 16th, the “Love Your Lane” cyclist clowns from the environmental organization Time’s Up! came to Brooklyn Borough Hall dressed in holiday- and festive-colored costumes. The clowns were ready to recruit. After Brooklyn borough President Marty Markowitz’ clownish behavior last week at the well attended bike lane oversight hearing, the clowns hoped to invite Markowitz to join their circus. After all, his rendition of “My Favorite Things” to the City Council’s Transportation Committee hearing on NYC Bike Policy, chalk full of anti-bike lane misinformation, made him an ideal candidate.

The “Love Your Lanes” clowns were also interested in adding a verse to the childhood anthem, “My Favorite Things”:

When the car honks,
and trucks double park,
when we’re run off the bike lane
I simply think of Prospect Park’s designated bike lane
And then I don’t feel so bad.

Keep reading here.

Lyrics to all the songs they sang here:

http://times-up.org/index.php?page=time-s-up-love-your-lane-songs

Press Release:

here.

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

You think it’s cold here…
Try biking in the Netherlands:

a little video from cyclingwithoutahelmet.blogspot.com via copenhagenize.com

Video of the golden bike gift giving to Marty.

Here is a quick video from yesterdays gift giving fest to Marty Markowitz.
Huge thanks to Peter Shapiro who shot and edited this.