Meanwhile I got a report from NYC’s naked ride from bikeblog reader and WNBR participant, Joe Sharkey:
Arriving at the starting point in the Chelsea about 5:30, apparent riders were heavily outnumbered by media, photographers, and onlookers. The ride did not get started until after 6:30, so there was plenty of time for reporters to photograph people having body paint applied and ask them about why they were doing the ride. Me and my buddies got tired of standing around in our underpants waiting to roll, as it was cold and slightly raining, so we did a few warm up laps around the park where the ride met at the far end of West 23rd street. Most of the riders were nearly naked as opposed to naked at the start of the ride. Most of the riders were also men. Only two women bared their breasts, of about 6 women total riding, and there were a dozen or so riders tagging along who were much more clothed. About 40 riders in total. 25 daring to bare.
Going up W. 23rd to 8th avenue, we got what seemed to be a generally warm reception from bystanders and passing traffic. We only took up 1 sometimes 2 lanes, but the traffic seemed to have difficulty passing us by at a normal speed for some reason. I was delighted to see a young dude on a bmx boldly baring shortly after we started up 8th ave, and his energy was definitely inspiring. There were 2 or 3 other truly naked riders at that point. We used 8th ave as an opportunity to refine our chants: “Burn fat! Not oil!” “More bikes! Less clothes!” and the ever-popular “Less gas! More ass!” Coincidentally, it seems these chants also spontaneously occured in other rides elsewhere. In my post ride media review, I heard “Burn fat! Not oil!” on a vid from Boulder Colorado’s ride, and Time Out Chicago covered thier ride with the “Less gas! More ass!” headline.
There were no problems and lots of fun up 8th to Columbus Circle. In fact, except for a few park rangers at the start, absolutely no police presence or response. This emboldened us, so after a few laps around and a brief pause in the circle, most of us de-briefed fully in front of all the tourists, and rolled out to go down Broadway to Union Square. The new “bike friendly” layout of Broadway proved too narrow to accomodate the wideness of our ride, but it was fun and increasingly crowded as we approached time square. People continued to be largely supportive and excited.
Then, I think around 47th street, our route plan went awry as they had closed off Times square to pedestrians only. The best video footage of the naked ride, no doubt, is from the NYPD times square tower survellience system which decended upon our arrival for a better angle. At that point, about 4 or 5 police officers, mostly plainclothes, started yelling at us to put our clothes back on. All the riders complied, but after slipping my panties back on, cops were still threatening me with three days in jail instead of responding to my inquiries about how much more clothing I had to put on, so at that point I encouraged the ride to alter its route before more police arrived. I heard another rider say he heard a cop on the phone reporting our demand of “Less gas, more ass” to HQ. We went with the only moving traffic and headed westward. We had picked up an unmarked cop car and one of those boxy meter-maid interceptor vehicles.
We circled back north and than east, losing the police car as we trickled through. At one point the interceptor did cork for us, and it always makes me happy to see the police actually interested in our saftey. The broadway confrontation had eliminated the less hardcore riders, so we were down to about 25, and we did indeed cork and run some reds, not much of a problem for that size of ride. We did lose the interceptor as well when we took 5th southbound to get back on Broadway near the Flatiron. It was still a fun ride, but we were no longer naked, and the thrill and liberation of the full nudity certainly made scantily clad less exciting. Approaching union square, the onlookers continued to enjoy our chants and our skin, “Love your body! Ride your bike!”, we went halfway around the square and went east on 15th to another, empty park where we “debriefed” on the ride by checking in who we had lost along the way. One of the organizers had people sign in so we could keep tabs if anyone did get NYPD’d in a bad way…to my knowledge our quick exit from the crackdown did spare us any tickets or arrests. Rain and darkness led us to disperse, some to a local bar, others to wherever, back to normalcy unfortunately.
All said and done a pretty good group ride for Manhattan, clothed or not. Definitely something for the tourists to remember fondly or with disgust. Children certainly were exposed to the fact that, beneath our clothing, we all have pretty much the same bodies. I don’t think anyone was scarred for life. I can’t wait until next year. The real question is whether the police will continue to be oblivious/overreactive, or will they actually attempt to control in a way that works? In boulder, bike-riding cops accompanied the ride and made sure everyone kept the minimal genital coverage. Less naked equals less fun, but more sensible policing equals more respect for law. I hope you can do your part to make next year’s ride many times larger.
Last Wednesday morning a bad accident occurred on the Brooklyn side of the Williamsburg bridge, involving a pedicab and a taxi.
The driver of the pedicab, 42, Nicholas Nicometi was in serious condition at Manhattan’s Bellevue Hospital.
There were 3 passengers of the pedicab who were injured in the crash.
This story was reported on in the NY Times.
Four Hurt When a Pedicab Slams Into a Taxi in Brooklyn
(photo by: Theodore Parisienne) A witnesses said the pedicab had just crossed the Williamsburg Bridge and was â€œcoming off the bridge fastâ€ when it hit a taxi. By AL BAKER and MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM
Published: June 10, 2009
It should be noted that this accident occurred at 7:30 in the morning and brings up several issues about pedicabs and bicycle infrastructure here in NYC.
1) Who the hell takes a pedicab at 7:30am from Manhattan to Brooklyn? Although any accident of this nature is tragic, its seems rather random and reeks that the participants were not in a sound state and perhaps this was some sort of “joyride.”
2) The pedicab was traveling on the South path of the Williamsburg Bridge which is not the ideal route. The North side is much wider and doesn’t empty out into a busy street with limited visibility of on coming traffic. This is a dangerous design for any cyclist and would make sense to separate bikes from pedestrians on two paths which seems to be a rather consistent occurrence on the Manhattan Bridge. Its not official, but most people seem to get the idea that bikes only go on one side and besides the South side of the Manhattan bridge has stairs instead of a bike path acting as a natural deterrent.
3) There is currently a legal fight about regulating pedicabs which if resolved, may have helped to deter the accident and the injuries. Most of the parties involved can agree that safety standards need to be in place such as seat belts and laws against traveling on bridges or in tunnels, but Pedicab advocates are not happy with current legislation which would limit the numbers of the cabs given licenses.
This has now changed since the initial proposed rules of 2007 which is reported on in this recent NY Times article entitled: Stalled Plan to License Pedicabs Advances
By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM
Published: June 15, 2009
The city will move forward with its long-stalled regulation of pedicabs, officials said on Sunday, four days after an accident in Brooklyn seriously injured a driver and focused attention on the lack of oversight of the tourist-friendly tricycles.
Owners of the pedal-powered cabs would have a 60-day window to register with the city, under a proposal announced by the mayor and the City Council speaker. Those who provide proof of ownership and insurance would receive a license, providing that their vehicles pass a safety examination.
The proposed rules are a shift from the cityâ€™s first attempt at regulating the industry in 2007, when the city insisted on a limit to the number of licenses it would issue. Pedicab owners sued, arguing the cap would hurt established businesses, and regulation was held up for two years.
Join Time’s Up! at the Clearwater Hudson River Revival
Saturday, June 20th and Sunday, June 21st
Time’s Up! will be providing valet bike parking, tabling, and light repair. Since the 1960′s, the Clearwater Festival has grown into the country’s largest annual environmental celebration, it’s music dance and storytelling, education and activism attracting thousands of people of all ages to the shores of the Hudson River. www.clearwater.org/festival
Time’s Up! strongly supports the upcoming *Parade Without a Permit*
Friday, June 19th, 9 p.m.
Washington Square Park at the Fountain
Bring noisemakers, signs, and your dancing bodies to reclaim OUR streets! www.radicalhomosexualagenda.org
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.
1. VOLUNTEER MEETING- CALENDAR AND EVENTS
Monday, June 15th, 7:30 p.m.
156 Rivington Street, between Suffolk and Clinton Streets
2. CONEY ISLAND CYCLONE RIDE
Friday, June 19th
7 p.m.- Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge
7:25- Carroll Street Drawbridge, Brooklyn (between Nevins and Bond)
7:50- 69th Street Pier, Brooklyn (Shore Parkway Bike Path Entrance)
3. VALET BIKE PARKING AT CLEARWATER FESTIVAL
Saturday, June 20th and Sunday, June 21st, 10 a.m.
Croton Point Park, Croton-on-Hudson
4. MECHANICS MEETING
Monday, June 22nd, 7:30 p.m.
156 Rivington Street, between Suffolk and Clinton Streets
5. ABC No Rio Common Spaces ’09 & Party
Friday, June 26th, 8 p.m.
ABC No Rio, 156 Rivington Street between Clinton and Norfolk
6. RIVERSIDE RIDE
Saturday, June 27th, 10 p.m.
Columbus Circle (SW corner of Central Park, at the intersection of Broadway, Central Park South 59th Street, and Central Park West)
7. WEEKLY BIKE REPAIR WORKSHOPS
** Now in NYC and Brooklyn! **
Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday Workshops will be held at ABC No Rio which is located at 156 Rivington Street between Suffolk and Clinton Streets.
Wednesday and Sunday Workshops will be held at Time’s Up! Brooklyn which is located at 99 South 6th Street off Bedford Avenue
Friday, June 19th, there will be bike ride from Battery park to Harlem.
This is a ride to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Dutch discovery of the Hudson River, and will begin with a brief explanation of the Dutch influence on NYC by a local historian.
Attending this bike ride will be New York State first lady Michelle Paterson who, I am told, frequently bikes from her home in Harlem to her office in Lower Manhattan. She was recently in Haarlem, Netherlands and was fascinated by the history of how her neighborhood in New York got its name.
Start: 3 :00pm Friday, June 19, at the North Cove Marina
There will be a very brief talk from a historian, who will speak about the 400th anniversary of the Hudson, and the Dutch influence on NYC (including how Harlem got its name). We will then bike to 125th street, up the Hudson bike path – since this is open to beginner riders, we wanted to keep it short and relatively easy.
I know its at a weird time, but if can make this please come out and lets prove to the NYPD that we can ride in groups over 50 and don’t need a permit.
Oh, sure you could give money to one of those environmentally friendly places like the Sierraclub or locally to Time’s Up
or maybe the animal rights wrestling site:
or why not support a really great service to the cycling community…
I’ve set up a donation button (top left column) if you are feeling charitable in these times of great economic prosperity. I don’t have any flashy tote bags (yet) but I promise to continue my hard work and dedication, oh yeah and to blog too.
Next week, I’ll be setting up a survey to find out my readers cycling habits, what they are interested in and how I can stalk–I mean find ways I can improve this blog.
I mean if all my readers gave just $1.00, then I could get Sally Struthers on a bike and then have raised at least $5.00.
Check out bikeswipernyc.blogspot.com. They go around rating the effectiveness of how people lock up their bikes. If you fail, you get a sticker which is a playful reminder your bike is more vulnerable then you think. Also they have an amusing posting on how to get a bike when a swarm of paparazzi comes around trying to photograph stars in NYC.
twitter.com/bikechicago posted an article about the debate of sharing the road, motor vehicles and cyclists. Check it out here.
which also lead to an online sound-off by Baltimore’s Urbanite Magazine. Read more here.
34 year old cyclist Brian Dooba claims he was not only hit by an irate SUV but dragged 200ft. last week in Central Park.
The Daily News reports the driver of the vehicle that allegedly hit Brian is a FOX new reporter named Don Broderick.
Daily News article:
(photo of Brian Dooba from Daily News)
Fox News’ Don Broderick hit me with his SUV in Central Park, says bicyclist.
written by: Sarah Armaghan AND Jonathan Lemire
“Police are investigating a bicyclist’s claim that he was dragged more than 200 feet through Central Park by a SUV driven by a road-raging Fox News writer.
Brian Dooda, 34, says he was knocked from his bike last week and forced to cling to the hood of the SUV driven by Don Broderick, a former New York Post reporter who now works for Rupert Murdoch’s cable channel.”
according to this popular news blog an eye witness on the scene had this to say:
“It was a bizarre sight … a cyclist was on the hood, shouting at the driver, to please please stop the car. That cyclist kept shouting to the guy to stop, he was saying/shouting, “You could have killed me. Stop, Please stop. This is my life.” something like that. We saw his bike in the road, left behind, as the SUV drove on, with the cyclist on his hood.”
Apparently Mr. Dooba was riding in the roadway loop which is open to motor vehicles during designated times. I can think of easier ways to express ones opinions without resorting to using you truck as a violent weapon. I can also think of other roadways that motorists can use through Central Park designed specifically for motor vehicle traffic. There are 4 major roadways that cut through the park and are not involved with the cycling loop. They have different entrances on the East side vs the West side but they are roughly at 96th, 86th, 81st and 72nd. Also illustrated on this web page by TA. I’ve often asked myself while riding the park loop, “Why exactly do cars and trucks need to drive o n this loop?”
Streetsblog, recently used this recent malicious act of “road rage” driver to highlight the ongoing struggle in trying to make Central Park car-free.
“Over the years, Central Park’s recreational users have clawed back much car-free time, literally hour by hour. But as someone who has spent thousands of hours out on the loop road, I can report that clashes between drivers and park-goers — ranging from horn honking to curses to threats — occur with unsurprising frequency. The Dooda-Broderick incident made it beyond the park’s boundaries only because of the egregiousness of Broderick’s alleged actions. It stands as the latest stark reminder that Central Park’s loop road cannot be both a refuge and a commuting corridor.
The article went on to state the only thing stopping a car-free park according to sources at City Hall, is an increase of spill over traffic from Harlem. “Sources within City Hall say that potential spillover traffic in Harlem is the only thing standing between New Yorkers and a car-free park. In fact, Harlem is the neighborhood that has the most to gain from a car-free park. A 2007 Transportation Alternatives study found that 57 percent of private car traffic using the park’s northern entrances originates outside of Harlem. Closing the park to traffic would remove hundreds of cars from Harlem’s streets and reduce tailpipe emissions in the neighborhood by about 3,240 pounds each day.
To get involved with the pursuit of an auto-free central park: