Making connections, NYPD’s love of cyclists.

A little bit of connecting the dots here.

As devoted NYC cyclists, we’ve had a long history of battling the NYPD with our monthly critical mass rides, where law enforcement have tried everything in their power to stop the rides from happening.

This finally culminated in a parade law which requires more than 50 cyclists must acquire a parade permit in order to have a group ride, in direct violation of the public’s constitutional rights of free assembly. This makes it virtually impossible in regards to critical mass due to the fact that it is a spontaneous event with no leaders, therefore no individual or organized group could step forward and even apply for a permit, not to mention the city would never grant them one in the first place as we have seen with other politicized events.

Meanwhile, there have been a number of ongoing lawsuits against the NYPD for harassment and false arrest at the critical mass rides, much of which was not reported in the news.

Last Monday, a settlement was agreed upon by the city, awarding 965,000 to plaintiffs of the critical mass rides.

Then next day a press conference was held on the steps of the Federal Court House in Manhattan with the plaintiffs, critical mass participants and lawyers, Gideon Oliver and David Rankin.

The NYPD immediately responded with an announcement that there would be a “Crackdown” on cyclists in areas of the city that have seen higher incidents of collisions involving bicycles. This came from a recent New York Times article.

If indeed, there is a crackdown on illegal cyclist behavior we would hope that it would target issues of safety and be directed to number one complaints of pedestrians, such as riding on sidewalks.

Unfortunately we are starting to see things like this:

This report came in from Gothamist, yesterday. An NYPD squad car had parked itself in the bike lane and was issued a summons to a cyclist for “not riding in the bike lane.”

Read the report here.

With this kind of behavior, it’s hard to believe the NYPD is more concerned with maintaining a level of harassment and intimidation then in “cracking down” on illegal bike riding, thus learning nothing from the recent settlement.

Halloween Ditmas Rides

Dress up yourself, dress up your bike and come to our next Ditmas Ride this Friday (10/29) at 7:00 pm. Of course you can join us if you our your bike are not dressed up.

We will meet in front of the Qathra @ on Cortelyou between Stratford and Westminster.

The purpose of the Ditmas Rides is for us to have fun and to celebrate and spread a way of getting around we already enjoy. There is no planned route and we the participants will decide where we would like to go shortly before the ride starts. Ditmas Park has a lot of small streets so hopefully we can have a joyful and stress free rides. I myself are planning to bring my daughter Nona Lily along and hope that other parents will bring their children as well.

Police are going to crackdown in NYC

Well, it looks like the NYPD are going to reward the popularity of cycling with…a crackdown. And I’m sure this has nothing to do with having to award a bunch of cyclists over 900,000 for false arrest and harassment at critical mass, or the one or two people showing at protests to show their outrage for new bike lanes.

According to the New York Times, we should be on extra alert for being singled out.

City Will Crack Down on Scofflaw Cyclists
Published: October 21, 2010

The New York Police Department plans to step up enforcement of bicycle safety in parts of the city that have seen a disproportionately higher rate of collisions involving bicyclists, city officials said Thursday.

The initiative, which would be aimed at common cycling infractions like running red lights or riding on the sidewalk, comes after numerous complaints about two-wheeled scofflaws and recent protests against new bicycle lanes added to streets in Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan.

“We’ve installed 250 miles of lane over the last four years and thousands of new bike racks,” Janette Sadik-Khan, the city’s transportation commissioner, said at a news conference. “We have been friendly to cyclists. Now it’s time for cyclists to be friendlier to the city.”

Read the rest of the article here.
Please send me reports if you receive a ticket or witness police ticketing cyclists.

Halloween themed alleycat in Montreal

November, 13th

More info:

Video Promo from last year’s race:

Bike New York, bike commuting 101

Bike New York is presenting an adult eduction class for biking in NYC.

Bike New York, a non-profit that encourages bicycling and bike safety, is providing New Yorkers with the “ins and outs” of bicycling to work in an upcoming presentation. Bike Commuting 101 will provide participants with helpful tips as well as the many benefits of bike commuting.

Although there is no actual biking during the presentation, participants receive tons of information on ways to make a bike commute more comfortable, more efficient, and safer. Great giveaways will also be provided for each attendee, including a bike tune up voucher worth $75. No pre-registration is required.

Course content includes the following:

o Selecting a bike

o What to wear (helmets, bike clothes, being visible)

o Gear for carrying cargo, riding after dark, and bad weather

o Choosing the best route

o Parking and locking your bike

o Taking care of your body during and after the bike commute

o Co-workers’ perceptions of cyclists and bike commuters

· WHO: Bike New York

· WHAT: Bike Commuting 101 – Presentation

· WHEN: Thursday, October 28, 2010 6:30p.m. – 7:30p.m

· WHERE: Eastern Mountain Sports, 530 Broadway at Spring Street, Soho, Manhattan


Bike New York ( is a non-profit organization that promotes and encourages bicycling and bicycle safety through education, public events, and collaboration with community and government organizations. Best known as producer of the nation’s largest recreational cycling event, the TD Bank Five Boro Bike Tour, Bike New York also runs a Bicycle Education Program offering free classes and workshops for adults and children along with curricula, loaner bikes, and training programs for educators seeking to offer bike programs.

Cranksgiving November

NYC premier charity fun ride:

Ditmas Rides, again

Rene Netter organizes Ditmas Rides, a family oriented group ride in Brooklyn’s Ditmas Park region. Parents are encouraged to ride with children.

More from Rene:

The next Ditmas Ride will be this Friday (10/22) at 7:00 pm. We will meet in front of the Qathra @ on Cortelyou between Stratford and Westminster.

Dress warm! Also think about next Friday and how to dress yourself and your bike up. for Halloween

The purpose of the Ditmas Rides is for us to have fun and to celebrate and spread a way of getting around we already enjoy. There is no planned route and we the participants will decide where we would like to go shortly before the ride starts. Ditmas Park has a lot of small streets so hopefully we can have a joyful and stress free rides. I myself are planning to bring my daughter Nona Lily along and hope that other parents will bring their children as well.

I am really looking forward to seeing everyone soon. Thanks, Rene

Villager article on East Village bike lane protest

Not to leave out the East Village, here is an article from the Villager.

Bicycle-lane foe doesn’t get much traction at demo

By Lincoln Anderson

Photo caption: Leslie Sicklick, left, and Jeff Underwood, owner of Continuum Cycles on Avenue B, debated bike lanes at the protest. Underwood thinks bike lanes should be in the middle of streets.


More supporters of bike lanes than critics of them turned up last Friday afternoon at an East Village rally intended to decry the new, protected pathways along First and Second Aves.

Leslie Sicklick, an unemployed teacher and lifelong Lower East Sider, and a couple of other bike-lane opponents were far outnumbered by about 15 cyclists and advocates at the demo, at the northeast corner of 14th St. and First Ave.

Sicklick claimed the bike lanes have made the streets more dangerous, and that pedestrians are being injured. She said she was told this by a Ninth Precinct detective, though declined to provide his or her name. She said the bike lanes, furthermore, are a waste of money — pointing to the small, concrete traffic islands that have been added near intersections on First Ave., and even the paint marking the lane.

Read more here.

The latest from NY Times on PPW bike lane protest

Here is an article from Bicycle Journalist, J. David Goodman from the New York Times:

Dueling Protests Over a Brooklyn Bike Lane
October 21, 2010, 12:18 pm
New York Times-City Room Blog

(photo by: C.S. Muncy for The New York Times)
Photo caption: New Yorkers both for and against bike lanes in the city attended dueling rallies at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn.

Along Prospect Park West on Thursday morning, there was much ado about a green stripe of paint.

Before most residents had to be at work, dueling protests between supporters and opponents of the boulevard’s new separated bike lane massed in rival camps, hoisting signs and chanting slogans. If it wasn’t quite a merry war — each group was far too polite, and there were far too many cameras blazing — the close proximity of the two parties provided ample theater.

A steady drumbeat of media attention set the stage for what appeared to be the largest gathering of opponents to a bike lane yet. The rally attracted mostly those who lived in the immediate vicinity of the Prospect Park West bike lane, which has been a source of neighborhood controversy since it was installed over the summer. The protest dwarfed a similar one last week in Manhattan over new lanes along First and Second Avenues.

Read the rest of the article here.

PPW protest a success, for the bikers

Not sure the angry residents and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz were expecting to be out numbered in their “call to action” against an already created bike lane on Prospect Park West this morning.

According to a number of reports on twitter and one on It seemed like more people came out in support of the bike lane then those against, even with it being at 8:00am in the morning.

Here is a report from Streetsblog’s own Ben Fried, who was on the scene this morning.

Hundreds Rally In Support of Prospect Park West Bike Lane
by Ben Fried on October 21, 2010

Hundreds of Brooklynites gathered this morning at Grand Army Plaza to show their support for the redesigned Prospect Park West. They made a statement that should be hard for elected officials and the press to miss: Most people who live in the neighborhoods near PPW like biking and walking on the new, traffic-calmed street and don’t want to see those changes taken away.

Read more here.
A couple reports off twitter:

NoNeck, who I follow on twitter under the hashtag #bikenyc, put up this quick video: