Citibank’s Citibike is Citibroke and Looks for CitiBailout

You’ve probably been hearing through the airwaves that the highly successful bike sharing program of NYC, Citibike is facing finnacial woes. Hampered by a brutal winter, which greatly decreased ridership, there also seems to be some short sighted planning from the system creator Alta, based out of Portland.

Apparently this bike share is the one of the only ones that doesn’t rely on funding from
the city it’s based in like other programs. Cities working with their bike share sends a message they are united together to provide clean yet affordable transportation options unlike NYC which allows these types of programs but does little to support them. It reminds me of the mixed message of the Bloomberg
administration where the Department or Transportation was saying “everyone ride bikes,” while the cops were ticketing people for running red lights in Central Park, or clamping down on group rides.

Without city help, the bike share relies on their sponsor, the “Too Big To Fail” Citibank, who provided startup operational costs, but mostly on it’s customers.

Those users of the system quickly realize that it makes the most sense to pay the one time fee and become annual members. This is the best finnacial choice for the riders, but doesn’t help generate enough revenue leaving Citibike strapped for cash and looking to the city for a bit of a bailout.

Transportation Alternatives director Paul Steely White was interviewed in Brooklyn Magazine and does a good job of breaking down what’s going on:

Systemic Issues Threaten Citi Bike Long-Term
By: Phillip Pantuso
March 25th, 2014
20140326-134003.jpgphoto by: AM NY/Getty

Here is today’s “woe is Citi Bike” update, wherein we explore why the beleaguered bike sharing program is facing financial difficulties (a.k.a. “hemorrhaging” money), even as it’s become an indispensable part of New York City’s public transportation infrastructure.

By many measures, the implementation of New York’s first bicycle-sharing program has been a success. Despite hysterical warnings that Citi Bike would bring ““total carnage” to the streets of New York, the program has been remarkably safe. There has been a lot of demand and enthusiasm, too. “People want the system to succeed,” Paul Steely White, the Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives, who were instrumental in bringing the program here in the first place.

Read more: here.

Vision Zero? More Like Nightmare 48. Recap of WNYC’s Reporting on Traffic Fatalities

Last week WNYC radio launched several journalistic endeavors into a surge of traffic fatalities that has been plaguing the citizens of NYC and newly instated mayor DeBlasio who has committed to #visionzero, a title for an initiative to reduce all traffic deaths to zero.

In only two and half months of 2014 there have been quite the opposite of zero, 48 traffic deaths in NYC, an alarming number indeed.

WNYC’s traffic blog, Transportation Nation has recently launched their Mean Streets tracker, a one year reporting project that will have an on line running total of a traffic deaths.

Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 9.00.01 PM

Follow the story here:

March 19th, 2014
By: Jenny Ye & Kat Aaron

More than half of the 27 pedestrians killed by cars in New York City this year died on major roadways. That’s just one of the findings of a new WNYC analysis of traffic deaths, Mean Streets. We wanted to help New Yorkers understand who is dying on the city streets from traffic-related causes, and why.

As of March 19, 45 people have been killed in traffic crashes in 2014: 27 pedestrians, 13 drivers, three passengers and two cyclists. The youngest person killed was 5-year-old Rashard Charles, who died in Crown Heights on March 16. The oldest was 81-year-old Ruben Rivera, killed in a hit-and-run on Atlantic Avenue in February. Nine of the 46 deaths did not get media attention until now.

Read more: here.

Last week, reporter Jim O’Grady did three stories on traffic fatalities including a profile of Hsi-Pei Lao who’s 4 year old daughter was killed by an SUV while legally crossing the street in Flushing Queens.

Girl Gone: Anatomy Of a New York City Pedestrian Death
March 18th, 2014
Jim O’Grady

Girl Gone: Anatomy Of a New York City Pedestrian DeathHsi-Pei_Liao_1Hsi-Pei Liao at an intersection in Flushing. Behind him is the street where his four-year-old daughter, Allison, was struck and killed by an SUV. (Jim O’Grady/WNYC)

On a recent chilly Sunday, Hsi-Pei Liao stood with his back to the intersection of Cherry Avenue and Main Street in Flushing. Over his shoulder was the spot in the crosswalk where an SUV hit his four-year-old daughter Allison and 71-year-old mother Chin Hua. The two were walking hand-in-hand, crossing with the signal.

It was Sunday, Oct. 6, around 5 p.m. He’s thought a lot about how Allison got to that spot, at that moment. “That day, Allison really wanted to go outside to get a watermelon,” he recalled. “She was pretty insistent, which normally she wasn’t. She normally just watched TV, watched Dora.”

Read more: here.

Audio file:

Other stories by Jim last week:

Tracking NYC Traffic Deaths -A look into WNYC’s Mean Streets tracker.


An ‘Insult to Broken Hearts': Families Denied Traffic Crash Reports -how difficult it is for families to get information about their loved ones killed.


WNYC launched a page with a heat map showing which police precincts issued more-and fewer-tickets last month for moving violations compared to February of 2013.
Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 10.05.50 PM

Spring Has Sprung-Events from Time’s Up.




It’s time to come out of hibernation and join the fun and exciting world of Time’s Up.
The weather is getting better and there’s lots of great ways to spread the Velo Love like blossoming flowers.

Time’s Up is kicking things off with a great event. Time to wash off this brutal winters grime and dirt you’ve been building up like a badge of honor on your ride.

Free pop-up bicycle workshop in the back yard of the Diamond Bar, with Beer.

Tools, bike stands, a washing station (w/ parts-washing station) and a couple of bike mechanics will be there.

Show your weather-worn bike some love.

Sunday, March 23rd 2014
The Diamond-43 Franklin St. Brooklyn, NY 11222
(between Quay and Cayler Street)

Facebook event page.

On Going events:

Time’s Up! Movie Night!
Every 2nd Thursday
Free entrance and popcorn (vegan)
local beer available
7:30pm doors, 8:00pm screening
XUP Brooklyn Space, 99 S. 6th Street-Williamsburg (off of Bedford Ave-right under the Williamsburg Bridge)

April 8th:
Celebrate April Fools and oncoming warmer bike weather with a night of weird and humorous short bike films.

May 13th:
Gripping, first-person footage of Alleycat races from around the world. From the helmet camera mastery of rider/film maker Lucas Brunelle.

SUPPORT TIME’S UP! Environmental Organization today by making a tax-deductible donation or becoming a member at


Time’s Up! is a 20-year-old nonprofit, grassroots environmental organization working to make New York City- and the world- a healthier and more sustainable place to live. All of our events and campaigns are free and open to the public- educational and fun bike rides, bike repair workshops, movie nights and presentations, community garden workdays and outreach, bike and public space advocacy and more.

Become a member at


Continue reading Spring Has Sprung-Events from Time’s Up.

Bike Shop News-NYC Velo New Location and Shop Rides

NYC Velo is an awesome neighborhood bike shop in the East Village with a Cyclocross, Road and Mountain bike competitive edge. Now they have a new shop in the Gotham West Market (600 11th Ave) in Manhattan. hk5-600x467

A recent post from their blog:


NYC Velo is proud to announce its newest addition in Hell’s Kitchen! The new shop is situated in the (also new) Gotham West Market at 600 11th Avenue (spanning the length of the block between 44th and 45th streets) and 1 short block east of the Hudson River bike path (at the Intrepid Air & Space Museum). The Gotham West Market is an amazing collection of food and drink purveyors, all focused on providing an excellent product.The new location is very much an extension of the original NYC Velo (in the East Village), with a similar (but not identical) product mix and a top-notch Service Department. Speaking of Service Departments, the Mechanic Team will be on site at the new location on an extended schedule. In the Spring, Summer, and early Fall, the Service Department will be staffed and ready to repair your bike starting at 7am and running until 10pm. With extended service hours, we will be able to offer a significant convenience to customers who may need to drop off or pick up bikes outside of normal retail hours, and be able to dramatically reduce service order turnaround time.


In addition to offering great products (bikes, apparel, accessories), both road and hybrid bike rentals, convenient and comprehensive bicycle repair and maintenance services, and professional bike fitting services, the Hell’s Kitchen location offers safe and secure bicycle storage. Whether you need short term storage for your beloved bike while you grab an espresso at Blue Bottle next door or a long-term solution to free up space in your apartment, NYC Velo has you covered!Starting in March, the NYC Velo Shop Ride returns! The dates and times will be posted soon, though all rides will meet at the Blue Bottle Coffee at the Gotham West Market. In addition, we’ll be streaming professional bike races (from the Spring Classics to the Tour de France to the Cyclocross World Championships) live in the Market, right next to The Cannibal Beer & Butcher. Look for other great cycling events coming this year with our friends ( Little Chef, The Brooklyn Kitchen, El Colmado, The Genuine Roadside, Court Street Grocers, and Ivan Ramen) at the Market!

Spring has Sprung and March is here so the Shop Rides are on starting this Sunday, March 22nd and continuing on all summer long.
Here is a message from NYC Velo:

Happy first day of Spring! Excited to let you know that NYC Velo, the bike shop at Gotham West Market, will kick off their group “shop rides” this Saturday, March 22, and will continue weekly through the summer.

Rides will meet every Saturday at Blue Bottle Coffee inside the Market at 9am. An average ride will take around three-and-a-half hours, so guests are encouraged to consider their ability and equipment before heading out, though of course, no rider will be left behind and there are several “out & back” points along the ride.

Lead by NYC Velo staff, a typical route may follow the northbound Hudson River bike path and proceed over the George Washington Bridge to River Road in the Palisades State Park before stopping to refuel in Piermont, New York. The group will then return down Route 9W to the bridge and eventually back to Gotham West Market. Routes are subject to change weekly.

Please note that riders must wear helmets to participate and there will be no direct medical support and limited mechanical support on the ride.

Source: here.

Latest Kickstarter-iPhone case to hold bike Tools

Here is a crowd fund campaign for an ultra thin iphone case which also has bike tools.

MYTASK-iPhone Case with Built-In Utility

MyTask, not just a case…

MyTask is not just a case for your iPhone 5/5s, but a revolution in phone protection and utility. Our new myTask case has a built-in sliding tray that seamlessly integrates with your phone to help you carry and store all those items you need everyday. Manufactured from a tough polycarbonate and covered with a luxurious Black OR Red soft-touch coating, myTask will protect your iPhone against drops and scratches all while looking and feeling great.

Find out more: here.

Woman’s History Month-Cyclings Old and New

Last month, February was Black History Month and although it’s a bit shallow in sentiment only to be given a month, it’s a nice way to honor those who we may never have been aware of. It also makes for good times for book reports for the kids. I was pleasantly surprised to learn about Nelson “the Cheetah ” Valis who was the first African American cyclist to win an Olympic medal. He was the key note speaker at the Youth Bike Summit and reflected on his days as a NYC bike messenger.

Now it’s March and we move on to honoring the ladies for Woman’s History Month.

Now you über bike nerds probable know all this but I just learned about
Alfansia Strada who just had a plaza named after her in Italy’s Piemonte region in the town of San Salvatore Monferrato.


Alfansia was the only woman ever to ride in and complete the Giro d’Italia.
Here is more from:

Bicycling magazine has a nice profile of 8 innovators of bicycle advocacy in the US and sure enough, many of them are women.

Including our own Helen Ho of Recycle-a-Bicycle.


While You Were Out Riding, Bike Advocacy Became Cool

Helen Ho

Development Director for Recycle-a-Bicycle, Founder of the Tour de Queens
Queens, NY

“We’re training the next generation of bike mechanics and bike riders,” says Ho. The nonprofit teaches maintenance courses in 20 NYC public schools and takes 1,000 kids on rides with the motto “Have fun, ride safe.” After completing about 30 volunteer hours, kids start their earn-a-bike apprenticeship—10 to 20 hours of wrenching per bicycle—with no limit to the number they can earn for themselves and their families. For Ho, the potential for forming new connections via the bike seems equally boundless—she’s discovered that it’s an ideal vehicle for her talents as a community organizer. In 2008 she created the Tour de Queens, an 18-mile family-friendly ramble around the ­borough; last year it sold out, drawing 1,250 riders.

For more information: &

Read more of this series: here.

By Kim Cross.

Grand Opening-King Kog in Oakland


King Kog is opening a store in Oakland and celebrating with 2 parties.

Sneak peek.


Follow Friday with Urban Velo

In their never ending quest to aggregate the world wide social network-o-sphere Urban Velo came up with a clever idea.

Starting today, it’s Follow Friday, where they will highlight instagramers worth following for their coverage of bicycle culture.

Check it out: here.

Video Fridays 3/7/14

We’ll I moved apartments and no it didn’t fit on a cargo bike.


Things have been a little chaotic but we’re back in the South Slope right around the corner form Mayor DeBlasio.

So let’s watch some bike videos:

Title:All-City Frostbike Snowball
Seen on: Urban Velo

Title: Wolfpack Hustle Unified
Seen on: Urban Velo
Description: The kids at Wolfpack Hustle just released this Unified Title promo video, kicking off the 2014 Marathon Crash Race series with the upcoming race going down on the 9th of March (which is now cancelled.) If it’s too late for you to jump into the crash race, get in on all the future action and still compete for the Unified Title.

Get all the necessary info at Wolfpack Hustle.

Title: Summer Long
Seen on: Urban Velo
Description: Appropriate for Hinamatsuri …This is a very nice video that features Above Bike Store in Kawasaki. Check out photos from our recent visit.
Title: One Day Bike Messenger
Seen on: Urban Velo

Title:Upright Cyclist-Jacob Hashimoto
Seen on: Urban Velo
Brooklyn-based artist Jacob Hashimoto travels the world installing art exhibitions. And when he does he brings a variety of bicycles. See more at

Continue reading Video Fridays 3/7/14

Tweet Your Local Reps for Bicycle Policy

One thing to come out of this year’s National Bike Summit was a twitter campaign to reach out to local politicians and influence cycling transportation policy.

According to Bicycle Retailer Magazine:

At Bike Summit, the League launches a Twitter campaign
By: Brian Staff
March 5th, 2014

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — As the National Bike Summit is underway in the nation’s capital, the League of American Bicyclists is promoting a Twitter campaign in an effort to gain support in Congress.

“Maybe you’re here in D.C. with us. Maybe you weren’t able to make it, but you still want to be involved. Either way, make sure Congress hears bicyclists’ voices loud and clear today,” the League said in a release Wednesday morning.

The League is asking bicyclists to find their elected officials’ Twitter handles at and then to direct a Twitter message to them, asking them to co-sponsor legislation that will increase the safety and equity of bicycling.

The League suggests supporters use the following format:

@MemberX] Please co-sponsor these bills for bicycling #nbs14

The period at the start of the message makes it public. The link in the message goes to a page on the Bike Summit website that describes five bills: HR 3494- The Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act; HR 2468- The Safe Streets Act; HR 3978- The New Opportunities for Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure Financing Act (New Opportunities); S 1708- The Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act; and S 2004- The Safe Streets Act.

Source: here.