Summer Program to learn Urban Planning

“Bikesplorations” is a free summer program to teach young people about urban planning and design.
Velo City is hosting this program and have partnered up with Recycle-a-bicycle. They are looking for your support.
Here is a video from kickstarter.

Find out more about this project and how to help here.

Also check out the Velocity Blog for more information and keep up with the program.

cops in LA listen

hmmm, something for the NYPD to think about.

When cops harass cyclists during Critical Mass, they learn from it, according to this blurb in LAist.
(photo by Alex Thompson)
Headline–LAPD Takes First Steps to Train Officers on How to Properly Pull Over Cyclists
By Zach Behrens.
Relationships between cyclists and the LAPD cannot improve if police continually tackle cyclists for running red lights. Fresh from a recent Critical Mass ride in which several cyclists were reportedly tackled — one of them caught on tape — it looks like the LAPD is listening.

read more here. especially if your with the NYPD.

Scouting for Rumble thru da Bronx 7

Will have to wait to find out what happened on NYC’s 2nd participation in the World Naked Bike Ride.
Rumor has it, according to twitter: { #wnbrNyc headin east on bleeker 200 strong.}

Meanwhile I had a mission to scout out the Bronx for our upcoming book on biking in NYC. I combined this effort with Stone Tone, who’s been organizing messenger style alleycat races here in NYC for a couple of years.

In two weeks, he’ll be throwing: Rumble Thru da Bronx now in it’s seventh year.

First I stopped over at Vanderbilt Ave. to check out their auto free World Cup viewing party. The street will be closed to motor vehicles for the next two Saturdays, which is becoming a tradition throughout the summer known as Summer Streets.

Here is some more info:

Thanks to the DOT, Vanderbilt has received some bike friendly attention and is excellent option for riding through Brooklyn. It also houses the bike shop: Brooklyn Bike and Board.

I popped over to see Brian the owner and tell him I was sorry for his loss. Last week he was robbed from within the building and had 20 of his customers bikes stolen which were in for repair.

More about that from the Brooklyn Paper.
Thanks to some helpful work by the 77 precinct detectives, the shop has already been recovering bikes.
According to the store’s Blog, some observant people have been seeing the stolen bikes posted on Craig’s list. The thieves may have been crafty breaking in to this local business, but posting the bikes on craig’s list with a phone number and address?
Find out more here.
In an effort to make right on the theft, Brian has posted a list of the stolen bikes. If you spot any of these…please say something.

Then I went on to link up with Tone at the Wreck Room, over on Flushing.

We had a few Bloody Mary’s and then headed out to confirm the checkpoints for Rumble. Since most New Yorkers don’t know the Bronx, this race makes everyone an “outta-towner.” It becomes much more about endurance and hopefully following the wheel of someone who’s done their homework. To level out the playing field its has been a tradition to post all the checkpoints on line and to pre-ride the course.

Tone decided to review his checkpoints and invited anyone else to come along for the ride.

We were joined by Harold and Janessa who wanted to tag along.

After playing some French Connection in Queens,

we headed over the only path to the Bronx from Astoria, the RFK bridge formerly known as the Triborough.

Actually we headed off of Randall’s Island (a go-between Queens and the Bronx) and went to 125th St. in Manhattan to pick up Dave August Trimble. Dave is a serious road racer who wanted to check out the rumble course in hopes of winning it.

Then it was back to the Bronx to wait at the start of the race which will be at Joyce Kilmer Park. Here we were joined by last years winner, JT who is looking for a repeat.

We scooped out the checkpoints:

We were joined by Gio at some dope graffiti:

Then hung out in Pelham bay park after a tiring ride.

See all the photos on facebook.

Here are the Checkpoints according to Tone:

1. st. marys pk(e.146/st.anns)
2. big pun RIP mural(e.163/rogers pl)
3. Bay Plaza shopping center(Checkers fast food)Bartow av/baychester av
4. baretto point pk(Tiffany st/ viele av
5. peace park( W’Bridge Rd/Pelham pkwy N.)
6. 890 Faile st(Junn-Junn’s house)
7. stony tone stomping grounds(e 172/3-Boone av
8. williamsbridge oval playground(Bainbridge av/Reservoir oval east) island (the end)
10. Gun Hill #2 train station (white plains rd)
11. pelham bay park #6 train station
12. Finish–Orchard Beach
–checkpoints can be done IN ANY ORDER!!!

Here is a list of all the checkpoints on google maps.

The race always ends up at Orchard Beach with a party and amazing food West Indian food by Roz.
also Tone is looking for checkpoint people, so if you don’t want to race, but want to come out for the festivities…hit up Tone. nycmesskings{at}

See you in the Boogie.

Tahalia is having an art show

You may recognize Taliah Lempert from the biking community or for selling one of her t-shrts at local flea markets and craft fairs. She is the artist who makes amazing paintings of bicycles.

This Weekend is the opening of her show at the Elkzine Gallery.

Some info:

The Right Bike for the Right Situation
opening this SUNDAY, June 13th.
Opening Reception is: 5-8pm
The show runs from June 13 to July 11, 2010

At the Elkzine Gallery,
327 Bond Street (at President)
Brooklyn, NY 11231
Gallery Hours: Thursday-Sunday 1-7pm

A press release:
Taliah Lempert paints bikes and transforms something so prevalent as to be almost totally unremarkable
– there are an estimated 1.1 billion in the world – into sumptuous and forthright yet veiled portraits of these ubiquitous two-wheeled mechanisms.
Of the object itself, the bike, and by extension, its owner.

The bicycle is everywhere, the readymade that inspired the readymade. It is a tool, a work of art, a gratifying and enjoyable rolling machine depicted
in two-dimensions, lushly, lovingly rendered and suffused with vibrant reds, oranges, greens, pinks, and blues. A beast of burden, an omnipresent contraption
ridden in every country in the world by all walks of life, the bike equalizes.

These paintings lure the viewer into looking at bicycles in a way they never have before, while simultaneously bringing home the crucial importance
and widespread influence of these widespread things in our lives. A machine, standardized, but with an infinite variety of delineations:
big, small, tall, fast, slow, double, kid’s, fixed, gears, cruiser, and so on and so on. Brakes, tiers, spokes, headsets, seats.

Lempert’s thoughts on her favored subject are both straightforward and worth quoting:
“Bicycles are important, beautiful, and worth a close look. Most bikes I paint are, or have been, used daily
for transportation, recreation, messenger work and/or for racing. I paint bikes that are part of someone’s life,
or have been, or are intended to be. The bike they ride around, race, present themselves with. How they chose it,
how they use it and how they care for it. How each bike looks, develops because of a person, says a lot.”

“The world opens up. Moving through the neighborhoods, the sites and people on the way. Fast, often faster, than any other way
around town and always more fun. Watching the city lights while rolling over the bridge. The right bike for the right situation.
Worn when ridden, locked, or crashed. Grimy, sometimes cleaned, sometimes not. Finding the frame in a basement, fixing it, some brazing,
a new tube, stripped and painted. Do it up with style and parts gathered.”

In Lempert’s paintings the vessel of motion is paradoxically shown at rest, the dormant features of a kinetic machine
painted from observation caught at standstill. Blending saturated Bay Area-hued lyrical abstraction in her backgrounds
with acute attention to detail in the foreground representation, Lempert channels Manet, Hopper, Hockney, and Warhol
on the way to charting her own singular course. That is, intimations of Diebenkorn’s “Ocean Park” series in the abstract
setting and George Stubbs sans steeds and Thiebuad without pies in the front with a dollop of pop while completely transcending
those lodestars to achieve anatomically correct, poetical, and ravishing portraits of pedal-powered workhorses.

Directions: F train to Carroll Street, walk east (towards the Gowanus) on Carroll Street, left on Hoyt, then right on President.
Or ride a bike. Go to the end of the street. 327 Bond is directly to the right.

Presented with the cooperation and support of the Tinneny family and Macro-Sea.

Benefit for Jonathan

Last week I visited my friend Jonathan who was nailed by a car in Fort Greene, back in May.

He under went some lengthy surgery and a skin graft and was able to leave the hospital a couple of weeks ago.

He seemed in pretty good spirits despite having a bunch of metal in his hip and a walking cast covering a broken tibia and fibula.
Here he is with his nephew looking at the Velo book which he happens to be in, photographed by Keiko Niwa, from the NY Bike Jumble.

This Sunday will be a benefit for Jonathan.

He was rather embarassed about this and wanted it to be known he is not looking for fund raising, rather a hang out with friends from the bike community and film production world.

Bicycle Film Festival, next week!

New Bike Shop opening in Brooklyn

I know its hard to believe but it just keeps going:

Rolling Orange
269 baltic street (between Smith St. and
brooklyn, ny 11201
(718) 935-0695

A press release:

Rolling Orange will open it’s doors on Saturday June 12th at 2 PM, 269 Baltic Street in Brooklyn.

Rolling Orange is going to be more than a bike store; our mission is to introduce Dutch cargo and city bikes as common part of the Brooklyn streetscape (and beyond).
We are promoting a different urban life style; moving from ‘the fast lane into the slow lane’ with closer attention for what is going on in daily urban life.
In addition to selling bikes and accessories, we start hosting several events – from movie-nights, to lectures to bike-related events – in this way we would like to become a valued asset to the local community.

Governor’s Island: Pirates, Figment and more

Back in May, the three of us writing the book got a nice tour of Governor’s Island with Elizabeth Rapuano and Ellen Cavanagh of the Governor’s Island Preservation & Education Corporation. The whole idea is that this small land mass shaped like an ice cream cone just off of the southern tip of Manhattan is now becoming a great little summer spot that is practically auto free. The island was once a State park and home to Coast Guard housing. Now its owned by the city and is opened for weekends all summer long with great activities and concerts.

This weekend is the creative and interactive Figment Festival. The whole island is turned one big hands on art installation.

From their site: Figment celebrates an abundance of creativity and passion, challenging artits and our communities to find new ways to create, share, link, and dream.

On Sunday, June 13th, Time’s up will be heading to Governor’s Island with a pirate theme ride:

Be warned ye artsy landlubbers- the bike pirates are coming to takeover Figment Festival on Governor’s Island!

It’s the second annual pirate pillage of Figment!

When we board the island, several pirates will perform sea shanties on a reckless rampage that ends in the belly of a whale! Come along if ye dare!

Join us early for building pirate regalia 10:30am.
abc no rio- 156 Rivington st.
Ride leaves at 12pm prompt!
RRRRRrrr you comin’, matey?

Facebook event page.

Also Anita of will also be having a group ride out to the island. From her site:

New ride June 13th, 1pm to Governors Island!

This ride has two meetup locations. Meetup under the Grand Army Plaza Arch at 1pm or at at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge at 1pm.

Governors Island has more than five miles of car free biking and is the home of Figment this weekend. Plus we will be celebrating our #bikenyc buddy’s birthday by playing croquet and eating and drinking to our heart’s content. Join us!

Apparently Mikael Colville-Anderson of the blog will be on the ride.

Bespoke news and upcoming talks

There is an ongoing show at the Museum of Art and Design where the works of art are hand built bicycles. The show in entitled: Bespoke: the hand built bicycle and runs until August 15th. There is a story on NPR with a photo slide show of some of the builders involved with the exhibit and the new movement of having bikes built by hand.

Handmade Bikes Let Commuters Ride In Style
by Bill Chappell

Thousands of bicyclists will hit the road Friday, as part of National Bike to Work Day. But not all “commuter” bikes are equal. In fact, some are hand-built — and with a rider’s particular route to work in mind.
Photo of Sacha White at this years North American Handbuilt Bicycle Show (NAHBS) in Richmond Virgina)
Consider the high-school teacher who ordered a bike from custom builder Dan Polito in Cleveland, Ohio.

His client “wanted a comfortable, upright-position cruiser for their crushed-limestone commute,” Polito says. Most of the teacher’s route to school is on a bike trail.

So Polito designed a bike based on a 1950s British club racer. The bike is sturdy and lean, a good match for a daily commute.

The ‘Bespoke Bike’ Movement

Polito and other master bike builders were at the North American Handmade Bike Show in Richmond, Va., earlier this year. Currently, some of the same craftsmen are displaying their work in New York City, at the Museum of Arts and Design’s show titled Bespoke: The Handbuilt Bicycle.

Read the entire article here.

Meanwhile there will be two events at the Museum to correspond with the theme of the future of biking.

Here is a press release:

The Future of Bikes: Bikes as Urban Transport
Thursday, June 10th
7:00 pm
Free with Pay-What-You Wish admission

As part of the Future of Bikes series, this panel discussion brings together a vibrant group of architects, government agencies and alternative transportation organizations to discuss the impact of the bicycle on the urban landscape. Participants include Hayes Lord, Bicycle Program Director at the NYC Department of Transportation, Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives, and Brent Norsman, AIA, of Chicago-based Norsman Architects and owner of Copenhagen Cyclery. Moderated by Loren Mooney, Editor-in-Chief of Bicycling Magazine.

Space is limited, reservations suggested:

The Future of Bikes: Bikes as Object
Thursday, June 24th at 7:00 PM
Free with Pay-What-You-Wish Admission

As part of the Future of Bikes series, this panel discussion brings together designers of hand-built, mass-produced and alternative material bicycles to discuss the varieties of process and practices found in contemporary bike design. Presentations will be given by Johnny Coast (Coast Cycles), Marty Odlin (Bamboo Bike Studio), Peter Reich (Swift Folding Bikes), and Steve Baumann (Industrial Design Director of Trek Bicycles). A group discussion will follow with moderator Dave Perry, owner of Bike Works on Ridge St, NYC, and author of Bike Cult.

Space is limited, reservations suggested:

Saturday, June 12th-WORLD NAKED BIKE RIDE

New York City is joining in the madness.
Find out more at:
World Naked Bike Ride-Wiki NYC

follow along on twitter, search hashtag #WNBRNYC
June 12th, 2010 as part of World Naked Bike Ride
* Time – Assembly 5pm, ride out between 6:30-7pm

* Location – Grand Ferry Park between Grand Street, West River Street, and the East River Williamsburg Brooklyn. The final route will be communicated to riders who show up only.

I mean if this doesn’t get you to go, nothing will.