Even though some time has passed, I thought it would be important to recap this past weekend since right before Halloween is always chalked full of bike culture here in NYC.
Last Friday (10/25/13) is traditionally the most festive Critical Mass ride of this monthly global phenomenon. Generally the cops tend to back down a little and give the group some room, more in line with the costumed spirit of the ride. Another tradition is the ride ends with the Time’s Up Halloween party/fund raiser, where the bike community gets to dance the night away in costume, often in sweaty donated spaces. This year for logistical reasons the party didn’t happen and I can only imagine with the way things have continued with the NYPD’s hatred of bikes…the ride was probably subdued. It seems worth mentioning this event since Critical Mass is a world wide happening and other cities across the US continue to flourish as well as making Halloween a great time for costumes of riders and their bikes.
Such as the birthplace of this event, San Francisco, where they bring out the sound tree bike contraption:
Was a couple of legendary events. First was the Halloween alleycat race which is one of the longest running messenger style races in NYC.
Now even though I set the gears in motion, the real people to thank for this race are probably hanging out with you right now grabbing a coffee before riding to work. Without our community none of us could do what we do well and with all we have.
Many many thanks to Dagga BeMe, Victor Ouma, Cheylene Sharkeye, Hiromi Bruni, Josh Rovner, Greg Ugalde, Krys Blakemore and Nicholas Chatfield-Taylor.
Every single one of these people put themselves and their skills into this race.
Lastly but not leastly, I want to thank the Sponsors who shipped out or gave up a few grand worth of goodies in under three weeks.
State Bicycles gets the biggest thanks for being our title sponsor.
718 Cyclery, Clementine Courier, Fyxation, Harvest Cyclery, Cinelli, Bern, Boombotix
52 Racers Entered 32 finished it alive… one zombie slipped through by finding me in my room during the after party, Crazy Nick is your DFL champion. I’m amazed that many people finished this hard ass race.
Until next year gals and ghouls,
Race winner Josh Rovner ”
This year the race ended at the annual Bike Kill hosted by Black Label and celebrating its 10 year anniversary of mutant bike mayhem.
Photos, Video: Exuberant Bike Kill Turns Ten, Gets Shut Down Early (Photo by: Tod Seelie)
The tenth annual Bike Kill rumbled into Bed-Stuy Saturday afternoon, bringing music, wet tennis balls and lots of modified bicycles to a dead end street in front of P.S. 54.
The party was as raucous as ever (key bumps in broad daylight? Why not!) despite the ominous shadow of an NYPD helicopter hovering above Sandford Street, but it came to an abrupt end without the usual night-time tall bike jousting. At 6:01 p.m. sharp, NYPD officers moved in and ordered everyone to disperse; one organizer told us that the permit issued this year had an earlier end-time than previous Bike Kills, which usually ran until 8.
Another source said there was there was no tall bike jousting this year in remembrance of a Black Label member who recently passed away. A ghost bike memorial was prominently displayed in his honor. In the end, the NYPD dispersal order was respectfully obeyed, and many of the participants grabbed plastic bags to help clean up the mess.
Update: Here’s some fun video of the festivities, courtesy Maks Suski:
Then on Sunday (10/27/13)
Was the launch of a new Pop-Up bike repair cooperative in Havemeyer Park called the Bikeyard.org This is the brain child of Austin Horse and Keegan Stephan and shares the space of the new dirt track across from the demolishing Domino Sugar Factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. (Kent Ave, between South 3rd and 4th St)
Volunteers are encouraged to become yearly members for either $80.00 or 10 hours of service to Haveymeyer park. To use the space and tools for bike repair or to become mechanics themselves to fix other’s bikes.
UK street artist Banksy has had quite a run in his October residency in NYC. Carbon polluting to send a message about eating animals…I guess.
and fairly accurate complaint of New York rising to the level of mediocre in it’s generic design of new Freedom Tower, while slowly destroying the real culture of this city’s uniqueness. Could be a healthy argument of the terrorists winning.
This was just seen on 178th street in Washington Heights at the site where Alexian Lien was pulled out of his SUV and beaten while a few undercover cops (members of the motorcycle club involved in the assault) not only stood by but also participated in the violence.
Banksy or another group finally capitalizing on this “Eyes-of-the-World” moment to send a more important and localized message about NYPD infiltration into activist groups that do way more to help New Yorkers than the cops?
You haven’t really experienced #bikenyc Halloween until you’ve gotten your costume caught in your chain while playing cat-and-mouse from the NYPD during the monthly critical mass. Or put on your ghoul make-up and raced in live frightening traffic at one of the longest running Alleycat races…or tried to maneuver one of Black Label’s contraptions over a pile of dirty mattresses that have been puked on like your likely to find at BikeKill.
Well it’s time to see if you can bike in that slutty nurse outfit and hit the road, because the Halloween fun on a bike starts today. 10/25/13.
Here is a rundown:
Reduced in numbers, but not forgotten is the monthly critical mass ride in Manhattan. This is always a festive one with participants ride in costume. Don’t worry about those guys dressing in cop uniforms. They have no originality.
7:00 Union Square North. Route determined by the group. Democracy in motion.
Start off with a piece of NYC messenger lore…one of the longest running alleycats around. Test your street skills in open traffic and ride with other speed demons. Here are details from Urban Cyclist Worldwide.
Halloween 2013 NYC Alleycat
Organized By: Pablo Airaldi
-5 points in order.
-No games, all speed.
when the sun goes down, the danger begins.
This race ends at a festival of mutant bike mayhem known as Bike Kill, hosted by the Black Label Bike Club. This year is the 10 year anniversary of this gathering of local bike clubs who compete in playful acts of skill, riding various contraptions of bicycle mutation, like tall bikes, choppers and a few things rigged with dildos. New comers welcome and participation is highly encouraged except for the pinnacle of the event, the tall bike jousting which is generally reserved for the experienced or demented. Bikes will be Killed at the dead end road behind the Home Depot in Williamsburg Brooklyn:
Willoughby Avenue and Stanford Street.
Gothamist had a posting on this as well along with some other kickoff Halloween events: here.
Then there will be an after party nearby at the chicken hut with Black Label’s own:
For a fun family event, WeBike is hosting a ride at 1:00pm through Prospect Park on Saturday (10/26/13)
Join us for a light-hearted, family friendly, Fall frolic in the park! Kids and cyclists of all levels welcome, costumes encouraged!
WE will meet at 11AM, at 9th Street and Prospect Park West, ride a loop-and-a-half around the park at a slow, comfortable pace, and then end at the Grand Army Plaza Farmer’s Market, where WE will indulge in some seasonal cider, donuts, caramel apples, and other goodies of a fall nature. If you’d like to show off your costume some more, WE will head over the Ghouls and Gords Festival Festival at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens around 1pm after our picnic.
Admission to Ghouls and Gourds is $10, but ride with us for free!
Keegan Stephan has being doing amazing things for cyclists in NYC.
Occupy Wall Street, providing bike generated electrical power and relief with Occupy Sandy, Volunteer Mechanic with Times Up, deliveries on Cargo bikes, hosting bicycle radio programs, organizing rides and garden clean ups…just to name a few activities.
Recently he’s been involved with Right of Way and is about to open a community bike repair garden space in Brooklyn-Bikeyard.org (more on that later)
Tonight he will be speaking about his activities and the rise of bike culture at a discussion, part of new pop-up news room space. This is a project created by New York Magazine and NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute.
Then head over to the Streetsball, a benefit for Streetsblog and Streetfilms.
The bike sharing in NYC, now in its fourth month. has created new levels of bicycle acceptability. Like getting married.
From the New York Times:
In Sickness and in Health, Long After the Bike Is Due Back
By: Matt Flegenheimer
October 11th, 2013 After marrying in June, Christie and Sean Hutchinson took the subway to Midtown for a day of sightseeing, then rode home to the financial district on Citi Bikes. Photo by: Gosia Labno
For years, the rise of cycling in New York City has sown disharmony.
There have been aggrieved cabbies, community meetings at which the Bloomberg administration was likened to the Taliban, and at least one seminude demonstration against a Lower Manhattan bike hub.
But now, four months into its first dalliance with a bike share program, the city appears ready to settle down.
Before you can get married on your CitiBike you need to be social. This Friday you get your chance:
–NYC Biketrain presents:
Nighttime Bridge Ride with Citi Bike — October 18th, 2013
Join NYC Biketrain and Citi Bike on the evening of Friday, October 18, for another social ride.
Led by the friendly, experienced urban cyclists of NYC Biketrain, and in partnership with Citi Bike, take a fun ride over the Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges on a gorgeous fall evening. This is great chance to discover the fun of riding by night and take in the city night. After the ride, we’ll recovene to enjoy a post-ride beer ($1 off for bridge riders) and some giveaways from Citi Bike. RSVP below.
From Outlier: This adventure started with the material. In one of our many fabric hunts we stumbled across something very different, almost alien. Nonwoven Dyneema – insanely lightweight, fully waterproof and many times stronger than steel.
When we encountered the elegantly pared back nonwoven Dyneema packs of Hyperlite Mountain Gear, we became one of their very first customers and then started about what we could make together. The result is the Minimal Backpack.
The premise was simple; what was the simplest and lightest pack we could make that was still suitable for daily use? Nonwoven Dyneema is an insanely expensive material, even by Outlier standards. It’s also extremely difficult to sew, so producing a simple yet highly functional design is crucial to making this stuff work.
Thankfully Mike St. Pierre of Hyperlite has been working with the material over the past few years and has even built a small factory in Biddeford, Maine. By the time Outlier got involved most of the hard work was done. We settled on a slightly heavier, all black version of nonwoven Dyneema simply because we love the way it looks and wears over time. A roll top backpack, 2!¡that’s highly water resistant and packs down to fit into a jacket pocket.
The bag sells for. $168.00 and is available at their on-line store.
Although pricey, these seems like a great bag for riding to work when you don’t want to feel like carrying a bag. The material sounds amazing too, ultralight and water proof.
Here is another article about the recent rightofway.org memorial stencil action.
From The Atlantic Cities: What We Can Do About Kids Killed by Cars
By: Sarah Goodyear
October 15th, 2013 photo by: Right of Way
It’s a biological imperative: We respond more emotionally to the deaths of children than we do to the deaths of middle-aged or old people. When kids lose their lives in preventable ways, whether from disease or violence, it makes us mad. And sometimes, it makes us do something.
In the 1940s and 50s, polio epidemics in the United States paralyzed and killed thousands of children, galvanizing research and later implementation of a vaccination protocol on an unprecedented scale. More recently, it was the sight of the bodies of children killed by chemical weapons in Syria that spurred a fresh round of international pressure to intervene. The massacre of first-graders in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012 reignited the national debate over guns.
Another example comes from the Netherlands. There, in the 1970s, the rising number of children killed in traffic crashes – in 1971, 450 children died on the streets and roads — led to a mass protest movement pressuring the government to create protected bicycle infrastructure and reduce the dominance of cars. The movement was called “Stop de Kindermoord,” or “Stop the Child Murder,” taking its name from an article by journalist Vic Langenhoff, whose own child was killed in a road crash.
More about them: Intandem is a non-profit organization that provides access to tandem bicycle rides to visually impaired or otherwise disabled athletes. Artie Elefant decide to start the tandem program after being inspired by a young woman giving rides to people around central park on her tandem bike. She and a friend were doing this regularly, and Artie thought it could really turn into something good. Artie made some phone calls, and the tandems were set to ride the Five Boro Bike Tour. They stored the bikes in the Central Park boat house until they acquired a trailer. After partnering for many years with Achilles International, Artie and friends decided it was time to go their own way. InTandem was born.
Find out how you can get involved at their upcoming meet and greet.
WE Bike NYC
Don’t have dinner plans tonight? GREAT, neither do WE! Join us for Happy Hour tonight instead, between 6 and 8pm. There’ll be coffee, beer, and good people (of all genders) AND you could win some free stuff.
More details: Facebook event page
WELCOME TO WE BIKE NYC!
WE Bike NYC is a community of women who ride bikes! Our goal is to provide a safe space for women to ride together regardless of skill, speed and riding style. Every month we offer a variety of events to get more women on the road including social rides, training rides, mechanics workshops and “field trips.” Rides are open to all women, trans, and gender non-conforming people with a bike!