From June 22-25 was the Velo-City 2010 conference in Copenhagen. This was one of the largest gatherings of cycling NGO’s, advocacy groups and bicycle professionals in the planet. Our own DOT commissioner Janette Sadikh-Khan was there being given a private tour by Mikael Colville-Andersen, of Copenhagenize. Looks like she had a ball.
Clarence Eckerson, Jr. was on hand video taping all the action for streetfilms.org
This is one of his first videos, more to come.
Apparently Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz isn’t on board with safer streets and a greener future. He’s trying to rally his rich friends who live in the Prospect Park Neighborhood and win political favors by meeting in private to remove the new Prospect Park West bike lane.
And to the haters out there who want to remind me of a quote I made in the Brooklyn Paper about not using bike lanes I say this: “Just because I don’t always use the new infrastructure but forward by the DOT, doesn’t mean I don’t think its important to support it and feel it is an important step towards making NYC a more bike-friendly place.”
Sometimes this is an occupational hazard from riding a track bike with laces on your shoes:
Fortunately their are choices, like using a slip on shoe like those made famous by classic skate apparel makers Vans. This is a good option and inexpensive vs the specialty cycling shoes, which often have to be used with specific pedals.
A few years ago Chrome got into the action making shoes. This San Francisco based company, known for making great messenger bags now has a full line of shoes that are comfortable and rugged for the needs of the urban rider and dorks like me who get their shoe laces caught.
I really can’t say enough good things about this company. Not only do they make long-lasting functional gear for cyclists, they are deeply involved in the biking community, putting on events and listening to the needs and requests of their riders demands-mainly because they are those same riders.
In March of 2010, they had this amazing giveaway called: “Turds for Gold” where they recycled your worn out shoes and gave you new ones of theirs. More on this from Prolly. (photo from Prolly’s site)
In addition to their lace up line of low and high top shoes…they now have a new slip on called the Tobruk. What’s with the name? Well if Alex Trebek were asking…”What is the name of an ancient sea-port town on the Mediterranean coast of Libya?” Otherwise I have no idea.
But my buddies at Chrome were kind enough to send me a pair of these fresh slip-ons to try out and take for a spin. (and I didn’t have to turn in any old shoes)
Made from durable Cordura material, these shoes are incredibly comfortable, on and off the bike. They’ve got three ring eyelets on the side for ventilation and a super strong stiff insert which makes for great pedal stiffness. They come in grey and black and sell for around $75.00.
I’ve been using them for a couple of weeks now and find them more comfortable than vans. I expected them to be strong and work with the toe-clips of the bike but was really surprised at how comfortable they are to walk around in.
I posted a bit of their stats on the shoes from a press release: Â· Low profile design to better fit into a toe cage
Â· 100% vulcanized construction
Â· Weatherproof 1,000 denier Cordura with back-padding
Â· Re-enforced nylon/glass fiber shank to support the midsole
Â· Board lasted sole to eliminate pedal hot spot
Â· Skid resistant contact rubber on the sole
Â· Polyurethane contoured crash pad insole
Â· Durable rubber heel cup with reflective safety hit
Â· Center gore slip-on design
I recommend these if you are looking for a light weight throw around slip on.
Thanks to Chrome for the hook-up.
On Monday, I reported of another meeting of local residents angry with the newly completed Prospect Park West bike lane.
This lead to the creation of a facebook group against the bike lane which you can check out here. (Although you have to join it to find out what its all about, which means its made up of a lot of pro-bike lane people who want to be part of the debate-maybe a flaw with facebook)
Seems like this group wants to argue that the bike lane is bad because it has removed a lane of traffic and then when trucks double park, things like this happen…
That’s kind of like the woman trying to sue McDonald’s for burning her mouth because the coffee was too hot. Hmmmmm…Common Sense vs finding someone to blame?
Then there was an article in Streetsblog about the lane, by Ben Fried-
As PPW Intrigue Mounts, Brooklyn Paper Defends the Completed Street Before I get to the “intrigue” part of this post (it’s juicy), first let me say that if you haven’t checked out the Prospect Park West re-design yet, you owe it to yourself to head on over and take a look. Last time I checked, some of the finishing touches have yet to appear, but it’s already one of the most effective street transformations the city has undertaken.
With two lanes of traffic instead of three, PPW feels like it’s been reclaimed for the neighborhood. I haven’t biked the new two-way path since it opened, but I’ve walked on each side of the new PPW, and it’s a pleasure. The highway speeds and zooming traffic noise are gone, and the calming effect seems to rub off on everybody.
Read more here.
Ben pointed out last weeks op-ed in the Park Slope Courier against the new lane… Here.
and then the Brooklyn Paper’s response in defense of the new lane… here.
This lead to a pro-bike lane facebook group which can be found here.
This group has some valuable information such as if you’d like to write the people who support the new lane and helped put it in place you can email them:
Community Board 6: Info@brooklyncb6.org
Council Member Steve Levin: firstname.lastname@example.org
Council Member Brad Lander: http://bradlander.org/contact
Results of my impromptu poll shows: 143 people voted, 11 said have the lane removed at once, 3 wondered why it couldn’t be a regular bike lane, 5 said they were ok with the lane but cyclist need to be more careful and 124 people loved the lane.
That’s right its Tour Time! That other world famous sporting event about to set off July 3rd, besides that thing that’s been going on where people kick a ball around.
Yes the world’s greatest cyclists are gathering in France to battle it out for 2 wheel supremacy.
-By no means am I any expert on professional cycling, but I can’t help but get excited about this internationally famous event, and besides people are sending me things to promote around the tour so I felt a bit obligated to pass along some information.
I’ve been doing a bit of searching on twitter, to get a little preview of this three week cycling extravaganza.
First I found a very short podcast with some commentary form Australia’s own Phil Wrochna, from the triathlon cycling blog: firstoffthebike.com.
I know this is kind of a stretch but it was 11 minutes of commentary that made some good predictions and summarized some of what to expect in this years 2010 Tour.
The race kicks off with a prologue in Rotterdam, the Netherlands on Friday, July 2nd.
Here is a pretty cool map showing the course:
There will be three stages in the Netherlands including a rather brutal decisive stage 3 in Wanze- Arenberg Porte du Hainaut which will involve 7 cobble stone sectors. This is reminiscent of the famous 1 day cycling event, riddled with difficult roads-the Paris-Roubaix.
Now on to the participants.
Favored to take it all, is last years winner, Alberto Contador (Team Astana) (photo by: Bas Czerwinski/Associated Press)
Known for his all-around abilities including speed and intense hill climbing, the 27 year old Spaniard may have an easy time in this year’s race.
For some other profiles of popular contenders, check out this article in the NY Times.
Well, the LeTour is never without controversy and this year it may stem not for the modifications done to the human body through DRUGS, but rather what’s done to the bikes. Instead of hiding substances in the body, racers are being accused of hiding motors in their bikes.
Thanks to Paige Landsem, from Bicycling Magazine for sending these links to Tour resources.
Also the cycling map app and website Map My Ride, is having a TDF challenge which you can resister for and follow along with tour riders. Find out more Here. (Photo by John Prolly)
Cycling wear company, Rapha has a new store opening up on the Bowery and will be having live tour coverage. Their Grand opening is Saturday, July 3rd.
John Prolly has been all over the stores activity including a press party they held tonight.
A couple of riders in Brooklyn want to train for TA’s NYC Century in September. They also love pizza so they started a new blog called: pedalforpizza.com
They want to have group rides and search for the best pizza in town.
Thanks to my suggestion…they are headed to Coney Island to Totonno’s for their kickoff ride and they want you to come along.
Thursday, July 1st
Here is some info on the ride: Special thanks go to Michael Green of BikeBlogNYC (twitter @BikeBlogNYC)
Not only was he the second person to follow us back, he also banged out an email expressing his interest so fast it made our heads spin. Totonnos is his favorite pizza place, and his suggestion, so credit goes to him for this one, thanks Mike!
From their â€œaboutâ€ page
â€œStill standing, Totonnoâ€™s is the oldest continuously operating pizzeria in the U.S. run by the same family. â€œ
They now have 3 locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan and have been heralded by the likes of Zagat as â€œThe best pizza in New York, possibly the worldâ€ and â€œOnly God makes better pizzaâ€ and Readers Choice as the â€œBest pizza in Manhattanâ€
Weâ€™ll be meeting in front of Ginoâ€™s at 6:30p with a 6:45p departure time