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Tech Watch: Iphone app for bike repair

Check out this latest app for repairing a bicycle.

www.bikerepairmobile.com

From their site:
Are you tired of searching the web to find your solution? Most web site are not well structured and have too much text to read before finding your solution. Then you go to the garage to fix your bike and realize you have forgot half of what you have read online.

Bike Repair on your iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad is the solution. You have your reference with you all the time.

Each step contains a few simple phrases/tasks. It goes straight to the point, no long paragraph explaining something that has nothing to do with the repair and that you will forget anyway. The most important thing, we don’t assume you know everything about bicycles. Every term used is simple, if they are technical, we show you what it is on the picture, so you are not left wondering what it is and trying to look for it on your bike.

Here is a review from www.ievolution.ca

and the facebook page for the app.

You guys can thank me later. Maybe a free app?

the High Wheelers are coming to Manhattan.

This week is the 43rd annual gathering of the Wheelmen, a national organization to preserve the history and heritage of the bicycle. They’ve been rolling around Monmouth University in New Jersey, where the group has gathered. Here is an article in the New Jersey, Star-Ledger:

Monmouth University, nonprofit group The Wheelmen host 100-mile antique bicycle tour in N.J.
Rohan Mascarenhas/The Star-Ledger

MONMOUTH COUNTY — With his sleek plastic helmet and sweat-resistant jersey, Carson Torpey cut the perfect image of a bicyclist ready for a 100-mile ride Wednesday.

The course, a winding tour of Monmouth County and the Jersey Shore, drew him from his home in Louisville, Ky., and even after 30 years of biking, he seemed eager to start, munching quickly on an orange for a last-minute energy boost.

There was just one problem: Torpey’s bicycle. It had no gears. There was no suspension. And, even more oddly, its front wheel was nearly four feet tall, dwarfing a much smaller wheel behind it. It looked more suited for a museum than a jaunt through Allaire State Park.

But to Torpey, it was perfect.

Read more here.

This Sunday, the highwheelers and vintage bicycles will be touring around Manhattan. According to their schedule, they’ll be coming off the Staten Island Ferry around 10:00am.

Don’t miss it.

Here is a video to give you a taste, from the Star-Ledger.

Antique bicycles roll through the streets of Monmouth County

Community Garden’s ride makes the press

Time’s Up plan to bike ride around the city tonight and draw attention for the plight of community gardens makes the NY Daily News:

Cyclists’ advocacy group Times Up! plans to protest outside Mayor Bloomberg’s townhouse
BY Simone Weichselbaum
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Thursday, July 29th 2010, 4:00 AM

(photo by Hagen for the DailyNews)
Photo caption: Benjamin Shepard of Times Up! plans to ride to Bloomberg’s home Paul Revere style.

It was the green thumb biker buff version of the Boston Tea Party.

Instead of fighting off the British, two dozen community gardens loyalists will pedal around Manhattan on “horsecycles” Manhattan Thursday night rallying the cry to keep the spaces safe from developers.

Cyclists’ advocacy group Times Up! has stuck cardboard horse heads on over 20 bikes for their Paul Revere-style night ride from the Generation X Garden on E. 4th Street to Mayor Bloomberg’s townhouse on E. 79th St.

Read the rest of the article: here.

Also I got a mention in the New York Time’s city room blog:

Paul Revere, Rat Zoos and the GTL Index
By J. DAVID GOODMAN

The sunsetting of a 2002 agreement on community gardens has some advocates and bloggers feeling like Paul Revere.

“The developers are coming! The developers are coming!” a headline on EV Grieve shouted Wednesday morning, in a post promoting a bicycle ride in opposition to the city’s proposed new rules for managing the gardens.

The proposed rules have come under criticism from those who see a watering down of the language in the 2002 agreement between the city and the New York State attorney general’s office that prevents the development of 500 or so community gardens. Where the old rules explicitly state that development will not occur, the new rules include no such language.

“The gardens have really thrived over the last eight years, but the city has to maintain its options,” Adrian Benepe, the parks commissioner, told my colleague Colin Moynihan. (The parks department has managed many of the city’s community gardens since 2002. NotBored.com sketches a timeline of some key moments in the history of the gardens.)

Read the entire posting here.

Drawing attention to the fact that community gardens make good use of green space which could easily fall prey to neglect like the dozens of empty lots around the city. Then you get this:

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/28/paul-revere-rat-zoos-and-the-gtl-index/

Here is a link to a press release by Time’s Up about the community gardens.

Knit bike

I’ve seen some street art where some crafty types have made knit art, mostly around street sign posts, but this is turning it up a notch.

Everyone needs a Knitch.

source.

Ride to Save Community Gardens, and other actions

NYC’s community gardens are in trouble again.

Time’s Up has been on the forefront of saving community gardens in the past from having them be turned over to private development. In 2002, there was a Spitzer Agreement to preserve 500 green spaces (2002 Preservation Agreement) but this is set to expire in September of 2010. More about the details are included in a press release at the end of this posting.

Meanwhile, there has been a call to action to make people aware of the plight of these sacred green spaces in our city. Time’s Up is once again leading the fight.

Here are a number of events to get involved with this week.

Please join us for the events listed below and bring your friends, neighbors, family, co-workers!

1. “Get Your Horse Head On” Prop Making Session for the Paul Revere Ride
July 28th, 6 p.m., (Wednesday) Generation X Garden (4th St between b and c), NYC

2. Paul Revere Ride – The Developers Are Coming! Dress like Paul Revere – colonial style!! Be prepared to dance to save the gardens!
July 29th, 7 p.m. (Thursday)- meet at Tompkin Square Park

3. Save Our Garden Celebration/BBQ (with flag and banner making)
Bring food, friends, family and garden stories to share – prepare for fun!
July 31, starting at 4 p.m., (Saturday) Generation X Community Garden (4th St btwn b and c) NYC

4. Harvest Day Rally at City Hall (in conjunction with other garden groups’ press conference)
August 2nd – 10 or 11 am (Monday) (exact time and location TBA)

5. Proposed Rules Public Hearing/Rally – Let’s rally around the hearing and let them know how we feel about saving our community gardens! Bring instruments and props – be creative!
August 10, 10:30 a.m. rally before 11 am public hearing (Tuesday)
Chelsea Rec center, 430 W. 25th Street, Manhattan

Remember if you want to speak at this Public Hearing, email by August 9th Laura Velle, at Laura.LaVelle@parks.nyc.gov and write, “I intend to make a statement at the August 10th Public Hearing on the Parks and HPD Rules for Community Gardens. Please add my name to the list of speakers.”

Press release
With the new parks and HPD rules (see below), the city has taken a huge step backward. Community gardens in New York have thrived since the 2002 Spitzer Agreement which preserved these precious green spaces (“2002 Preservation Agreement”). Yet, with the Preservation Agreement expiring on September 17, 2010, the city appears to have abandoned its efforts to preserve green spaces. With the new rules, all the gardens may now be legally transferred for development, rather than preserved.

The benefits of gardens are many. “Community gardening is a way to fight the systemic injustice of poverty and other forms of structural oppression. Most of the gardens are in poor areas of the city, with much higher rates of asthma and lower rates of open space equity. From an indigenous/community perspective, gardens offer a way for our community to heal itself and to recover a humanizing sense of itself – its dignity – in an otherwise very hard city,” explained Friends of Brook Park gardener Ray Figueroa. For New Yorkers of all walks of life, the gardens provide much needed green space (particularly in low-income communities of color).

“Don’t destroy our gardens. Don’t destroy our communities,” declared long time Lower East Side activist Paul Bartlett. “Gardens helps us connect with both the earth and our communities, in ways which parking lots, coffee shops, and other urban spaces fail to.”

“Make all existing community gardens permanent for the sake of our children, and our children’s children,” declared Lower East Side Ariane Burgess heeding the call for the city to preserve, not to destroy, their green spaces. “Such spaces promote positive youth development, as well as spaces for community members to come together.”

“Gardens are a place for us to form communities in connection with nature, the foundation of our existence. The more connected we are with nature as a community, the more likely we will become more sustainable in our economic lives, step by step. The more disconnected we are to nature, the more likely we are to destroy the environment that is the foundation of our existence,” Bartlett continued.

“Gardens are amazing spaces to educate students about the environment, environmental research, planting, sustainable agriculture, and urban farming, as well as positive forms of community development and democracy renewal,” explained Benjamin Shepard, a New York college professor and father of two girls. “I bring a group of students to a garden every semester, and they love seeing these unique spaces. My kids love the gardens as a much needed space to play and explore outside of the asphalt of the concrete jungle of New York City.” In this way, gardens function as distinct park and play spaces used by all New Yorkers and tourists.

All gardens have something to contribute. After all, Burgess concludes, “In the future the community gardens are going to play a huge roll in Food Security – many offer opportunities for establishing urban farms.”

“In the midst of a fiscal crisis, the city could only dream of having such unique spaces which help the city so much, yet cost so little,” explained Benjamin Shepard. “Gardens help stabilize communities and reduce crime. They are also places where people of all walks of life come together. They are places of education about the environment and the city, as well as the world ecology. These are precious public spaces, which should not be privatized.”

“This is the hottest summer on record,” explained Lower East Side gardener JK Canepa. “Community gardens help cool Manhattan. If you allow the gardens to be turned into concrete spaces, the city only gets hotter.” After all, gardens promote health and the reduction of heat throughout the five boroughs.

Sharon S., a community gardener in East New York, said he wants to ask the mayor, “What kind of green are you preserving? In Plan 2030, you say you want this to be a green city. Being a green city does not mean catering to developers. To be truly green, Mr. Mayor, we need you to expand green space in every neighborhood, not just the wealthy ones. Community gardens are the only open green spaces that many low income neighborhoods have. Yet you’re replacing the good 2002 Preservation Agreement with rules that will bulldoze gardens one by one.”

“In a time of fiscal crisis when New Yorkers have seen reduction in services and increases in costs across the board, why cut something people love and that costs the city almost nothing?” asked Lower East Side environmental activist Bill DiPaulo.

“Most other cities consider the gardens something to cherish. This is an opportunity for Bloomberg to demonstrate he appreciates green space is a resource for global cooling and community development,” explained Times Up! Director Bill DiPaulo. “Why should the mayor sell this space off to developers when there is such an opportunity to create a different kind of green, more forward leaning New York? Making gardens permanent could be Bloomberg’s legacy.”

In the end, those involved with Times Up! and the garden movement urge the city to reject these rules and makes a final commitment to a green city by making all the gardens permanent once and for all. The group plans to organize to defend these precious spaces using a wide range of means, from legal advocacy to direct action. The group plans to stage a “Paul Revere” Group Bike Ride to the gardens next week to sound the alarm that the gardens are in danger.

Awards

Just wanted to thank a few people.

I did a really impromptu contest and gave away a free bikeblognyc t-shirt to my 1500th follower on twitter.com.

Congratulations to Steve Ferdman of Hell’s kitchen for plugging in at the right time.

Also,

A while back I had a contest to give away sun care products from Kiss my face.

Toby Miller was the winner, instantaneously guessing the questions I posted.

A face you just wanna kiss!

Toby is a film maker who along with his girlfriend, Martine Charnow just completed a short film called Bike Love.
Great job! Enjoy.

Bicycle Paparazzi

Here’s a new segment I’d like to call:

Spotting famous people on bicycles in New York City…

Guess this couple seen pedaling 38th and 6th Ave.


find out at mrpaparazzi.com

then there was:

Justin Timberlake with girlfriend Jessica Biel, taking time out from filming a new NBC Show, Friends With Benefits. Seen on the Hudson River Greenway.

Read more here.

But even more famous, at least to me anyway:

This is Radioman, a New York institution. This guy is on just about every movie set and knows all the productions going on in town. He travels from one film shoot to another on his green rolling rock bicycle. Check out his website: He’s a kook, but he’s our kook.

He was scene here on Brooklyn Bike and Board’s website.

NYC compost needs your help

According to NYCgo.com NYC has 18,696 eating establishments. What it does not have however is a city wide program in which to compost. Therefore, reusable food matter goes where…you guessed it, into the landfill. The folks at New York Compost would like to change that.

I learned about this on Treehugger.com who pointed out that the food recyclers want to get funding for a program to move recyclable food matter from “table to farm.” Oh yeah, and they want to use cargo bicycles to make it a reality.

Here is more on their Kicstarter page:

“Won’t you please help?”

Here is part of their kickstarter campaign pitch that really appeals to me…
This is where we come in. We believe that we have developed a method of organic material pick-up that will surmount all of these obstacles. We want to use low-cost cargo bicycles that would collect food scraps from small to medium sized restaurants, containerize them, and deliver them to farmers who would be in the city for farmer’s markets and CSA drop-offs.

Now I know, one pretty amazing cargo bike company that would be ideal for this.
Larry vs Harry and their super fast Bullitt bike.

Check it out.

Bike lanes, keep coming

I know, there’s a whole lot of emphasis on bike lanes in this town. As if they are some sort of litmus test for gauging weather we can function more like a European city, less dependent on motor vehicle transportation. To the seasoned cyclist who’s been biking in NYC long before we had green painted pathways to aid us, it often seems like a bizarre slap in the face, especially when we are also given the mixed signal that every lane is a bike lane. Weather it helps new cyclists feel comfortable riding or its just something that looks good in a Bloomberg power point presentation, most people can agree they are symbolic of a movement in the right direction, never dreamed possible 10 or even 5 years ago.

In the latest developments…I saw on newamsterdamize.com, that the Flushing Ave. bike lane in Brooklyn has arrived:

More on this from Gothamist.com.

The new bicycle infrastructure is causing angina, with local business even though they were informed from the DOT.
Gothamist has a report on grumblings over the new bike lanes going in on 1st and 2nd Ave, in Manhattan.

Complaints like this:
Hardware store owner Jim Doria has been particularly hard hit. He tells NY1, “My truck has to park away from the curb. Now my employees have to cross through an active bike lane and there’s a possibility of being hit by a bicycle, and there’s cyclists getting hurt. My driver’s getting hurt.” What do those merciless DOT bastards expect his employees to do, look both ways before crossing a street?!”

I’m a little confused here? Your business is being “hard hit” because of the 10 feet extra you have to walk now? The DOT bastards expecting people to look both ways when crossing the street? That’s something you should have learned as a 5 year old. I mean the nerve of these DOT, the next thing you know their going to expect people to wear a seat belt or not stick a fork into a toaster. And a driver complaining about getting hit by cyclist? Aww. Maybe you’ll take few seconds to be aware of other people on the road and how your delivery truck send cyclists to the morgue when you don’t take time to think. I mean lets be realistic here. Do we really have so much bicycle traffic in the bike lane that deliveries are really inconvenienced? What we should really try and figure out, is how to make more deliveries by bicycle.

But what does it matter, according to the NY Post, our streets are under siege with killer cyclists!
( picture by Jamie NYC)

Well until the renegade bikers from hell kill everyone…here is a bit of pro cycling love.

This is not my big beautiful bike lane- David Bryne riding in a piece for the NY Times.

And last year a great PSA with Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, made by Daniel Leeb of cinecycle.

Regardless, we really shouldn’t clog up or streets with motor vehicles or bikes. It gets in the way of people doing important New York City things…like beating the shit out of one another.

Great time at the tweet-up.

I had a great time meeting people at the tweet-up last night. Thanks to @noneck and @brooklynbybike for putting it on. This was basically a meet-up with a group of people who’ve been using twitter to post about things bike related in NYC, using the hashtag #bikenyc. We all sort of geeked out last night and hung out at Adeline, Adeline, who we also have to thank for letting us be there and giving discounts.

We avoided the rain and went next door to the Reade Street Pub for beer and pizza, where we were rather happy about our decision not to ride judging by the rain delay footage from the Yankee game on the big screen.
(photo by noneck of our Meta conversation)


What? I was thirsty…geeks can drink too.

It was great to meet this crew of bike entusiast. If you use twitter, follow along with #bikenyc and you’ll get linked to stories like this just posted on WNYC.

It’s a brief video of some “man on the street” conversations of people responding to the new bike lanes.

The source of the story is here.

I was happy to see my man Matt Levy in the video:

Matt is part of a family who hosts unique tours of NYC. Check him out at Levysuniqueny.com.

Which reminds me, Matt wanted me to post this story from his blog about coming to a cyclists aid. Yes, Matt’s got a blog too and posts some interesting experiences on and off the bike.


Cyclists to the Rescue! by Matt Levy

Aunt Reba was in town from Seattle and I only had one night to see her. This meant a bike ride from my apartment in Greenwood Heights Brooklyn, over the Manhattan Bridge, coast through Chinatown and zoom through the East Village over to Sheridan Square, where Reeb’s East Coast BFF Maxine has an apartment with million-dollar views.

After sliding down the bike ramp into Manhattan and turning north onto Allen street, I came up and passed another cyclist, a cool looking dude wearing a vintage Mets teeshirt and baseball cap, zooming on a powder-blue single speed fixie. I nodded, he nodded, just two cyclists in the city on a warm spring night.

After Delancey street, just north of Sammy’s Roumanian, something caught my eye on the West side of Allen; a taxicab pulled over at an acute angle to the sidewalk, with the driver out of his cab and face to face with yet another cyclist. This cyclist’s bike was flat on the street. The driver looked to be a modern Middle-Eastern man, mid 30s, polyester clubbing shirt and trimmed beard, and the cyclist was white, blue undershirt and curly hair sticking out from under his helmet.

Read the entire piece here.