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A new facebook group, “My Building hates the environment”

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Today I had a dream. That one day buildings all over NYC will truly be free for cyclists.
It’s safe to say that cyclists don’t face the same hurdles like Dr. King and the freedom riders of Birmingham Alabama, with dogs and water cannons, but here in NYC we’ve got some strong obstacles to overcome.

Last week I read this article from John Prolly’s popular blog: Prollyisnotprobably.com.

An anonymous reader wrote in about having some friction with bringing his bike into his place of work. He wrote in:

“Hi John,

The building I work in will only allow for bikes through the freight elevator (I’m aware that this is legit), however it’s only open from 8-5. 90% of the employees in the building leave after 6pm. Here’s the biggest kick in the nuts, management wants to charge $75 per person if you choose to take your bike out of the building past 5pm! I asked if we could use the stairwell…”nope”. I asked, “what rights do the owners have to fine people?”, no real answer to that either!

Thanks,
Reader

According to the new bikes in building law which took effect in the middle of December last year, commercial buildings in NYC with freight elevators are required to allow bikes access as long as their is a request from the tenants and an agreeable plan is drafted.

This was a huge milestone in getting the law on your side and strong steps closer to making more access for people who ride their bikes to work.

But judging by the complaint above, its seems as if there are still many hurdles to get over. That is why I created the facebook group: My Building Hates the Environment.

The goal of this group is to monitor and evaluate how this bill is being implemented and weather buildings are being agreeable or creating more friction. If there is positive usage of the bill, then let us know so other buildings can lead by example. If there are stories like the one from Prolly’s reader, then we need the hear about and launch a campaign of public ridicule that lets people know which buildings hate bikes and in my opinion, hate the environment. This way we can not only have the law on our side but the support of the cycling community as well.

Join this group today and lets start organizing.

Details on the frostbite race

Details of Saturday Night’s Frostbite race, from organizer Dan G.

“Dont Forget, This saturday Late Night Frostbite: Empire State. Tompkins
Square Park, 8PM registration, 10PM race. After Party at Bushwick
Country Club, Grand St. Brooklyn. Raffle, art and photos, tons of
sponsors. All proceeds go to the TKBMA, including the proceeds from
Jameson Whiskey and select pints. CMWC Tokyo Bike Frame up for raffle.
B there or miss out big time. Peace Dan G.”

Road Rage Doctor gets 5 years

Los Angeles ER doctor Christopher Thompson, has a new place to practice medicine…a jail cell. He was sentenced to five years in prison for deciding to use his car as a weapon and slam on the brakes in front of two road cyclists.

One of those, who suffered severe injuries is Ron Peterson, recently spoke out about the conviction.

“Cyclist Ron Peterson breathed a sigh of relief this week after a driver who deliberately slammed on his car’s brakes in front of him, leaving him with horrific injuries, was jailed.

Los Angeles doctor Christopher Thompson was convicted of mayhem, assault with a deadly weapon (his car), battery with serious injury and reckless driving causing injury, and sentenced to five years in prison.”

Read the rest at Bike Radar.com

Philly GoldSprints, 1/17/10

The Philly Bike Messenger Association presents:
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hanks to everyone who has been coming out racing and supporting the bma so we can continue to make these events happen!

Blockley Pourhouse is a HUGE, amazing space so I hope we can get as many riders out as possible. Also they have really good food and some decent drink specials $2 Lionshead bottles, $3 Budlight Draft and $4 Jack Daniels.

Doors open at 2:30pm
$5 cover will include your registration if you choose to race, a spoke card, and a drink ticket! As always our sponsors have provided us with some outstanding prizes for those with the best times!

Very special thanks to:
BICYCLE REVOLUTIONS
RELOAD & CADENCE

Mid-West Mayhem

Milwaukee may have had it’s bike polo team busted, but fear not…the MAYHEM is coming.
MWMFlyerFinal-PINP

The Black Market is open

Stevil Kenevil of the hilarious cycling blog all hail the black market has his web store ready to go. Purchase beer cozys, hats and great t-shirts like this:

whine

Get your gear today at all hail the black market.com

Late Night Frost Bite...Is Back. 1/16/09

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Skateboarding is not a crime, neither is bike polo

Ok, I can understand the police kicking someone out of private space where people are skateboarding, doing grinds on a bmx bike or in this case playing bike polo. But arresting a practicing bike polo team who’d been coming out for years and having them spend 11 hours in jail? Excessive.

Sad but true, to the crew from Milwaukee Bike Polo.

 

Seen on John Prolly, and the Cog magazine blog

Group ride in Helsinki, Finland…with a torch

Saw this video on John Prolly’s Site and in my continued effort to highlight how global the world of bicycle culture is, a group ride from Helsinki, Finland:

HELSINKI 78-82 – CRUISING from Top Billin on Vimeo.

More info at fixedgearbikes.blogspot.com

Article about German couriers dealing with bad weather.

From Joe Hendry of messmedia.org
 
Bike couriers grappling with enduring snow and ice
The Local, January 8, 2010
 
While most workers can retreat to the warmth of their offices or cars during the harsh winter weather, bike messengers across Germany have been braving the cold – but not without a few extra layers.
These days Patrick takes a little longer getting dressed in the morning. The 27-year-old bike messenger spends about ten hours outside in Berlin’s icy temperatures, making long underwear, several pairs of socks and a ski mask essential at the moment. He says he can handle the cold relatively well.
 
“I’m in motion most of the time, so it passes,” says Patrick. Unfortunately, his hands and feet are perpetually frozen. “For them, I’ve yet to find a remedy.”
 
Such is the case for many bike couriers in Germany, who work in some 57 cities throughout the country and not just larger metropolitan areas like Hamburg or Berlin.
 
Patrick says he has not fallen ill once since he became a bike messenger some two years ago. “The job strengthens the immune system,” he explains with a grin. Even though he’s not worried about catching a cold, he rides at a slower pace to avoid sweating. “If you’re drenched with sweat, you immediately begin to freeze, so you have to go home and change clothes right away.”
 
The icy streets are also forcing bike messengers to reduce speeds and delay their deliveries, though.
 
“The slipperiness is a real problem for us,” said Dirk Brauer, who is both a supervisor and bike courier. “The side streets have not been cleared and are barely passable by bike. The couriers are forced to use the main roads and are stuck in traffic along with the cars,” says the 46-year old. With such delays, the competitive advantage of bike messengers is melting away. Patrick estimates that he needs about 20 to 30 percent more time for a delivery.
 
The mirror-slick roads have already caused some casualties. Two of Brauer’s 50 cyclists have had accidents in the last few days. For most freelance bike couriers, the risk of injury is a serious problem and they often pay high premiums for health insurance.
 
Brauer’s fleet of cyclists is already smaller than usual. “Messengers, who are new to the city or inexperienced, are taking fewer trips or not travelling at all,” said Brauer. Some of the messengers have switched to mountain bikes as they are somewhat safer on slippery roads. In order to endure the winter, couriers must be in good physical condition, but also have “snow experience.”
 
Even though Patrick is a fit, experienced biker, the weather conditions are taking a toll. “It’s incredibly stressful,” he said. “I really enjoy my job, but at the moment it’s just no fun at all.”