Bill Meier, known throughout the bicycle community affectionately as “Bilthy” because of his, shall we say rugged exterior, was as real as they come. He was a famous bike messenger and was recently delivering pizzas in Williamsburg (http://best.piz.za.com ) when he became ill and was hospitalized. After a couple of weeks fighting for his life he passed away on February 1st. He was 51.
Last weekend there was a memorial tribute and auction for funeral costs at Williamsburg’s Kinfolk.
Here is a short article about Bill and the event from Sam Paul. Polaroids by Nick McManus.
The Memorial for Bill “Bilthy” Meier
New York’s Bike Messenger Community Says Goodbye-Williamsburg, February 8th, 2015
Bill Meier, or Bilthy, as he was known to friends, was a man about town. He was a bike messenger for thirty years, longer than most of the most kids out on fixies have been alive. He toured with the Grateful Dead, worked at Best Pizza and delivered to pretty much everyone who has ever lived in Williamsburg. If he never came to your door with a pie, you saw him at the bar, or at every bar, or while riding in a snow storm at 10 at night with three boxes of pizza on his bars. Bilthy was a staple in more than one community—an annual bike ride across Iowa called RAGBRAI, the Williamsburg and LES bar scenes, and the bike messenger community. He was a friend. He was a brother. He was a father.
Bilthy passed away on February 1st after several weeks of hospitalization following an illness. On February 8, people from all walks of life—messengers, writers, bartenders, filmmakers, Best Pizza Patrons, a woman whose dog Bilthy always pet every time he passed – came together at Kinfolk to remember the man who in some way touched their lives. Friends and fans created artwork and shared prints of photographs collected over the years to be auctioned off for funeral expenses. At the auction and via paypal over $4,000 was raised.
Three rounds of pizzas were eaten, beers were drunk, shots were taken. Burning paper lanterns were sent into the sky. The cops came and broke up the party happening outside, and everyone laughed and stayed out too late. It was the kind of party Bilthy would have loved.
Here is a goodbye from BikeIowa on a RAGBRAI forum with a couple of really great Video links.
A RAGBRAI Legend passed away Feb 1st 2015 at 9:00 am.
Bill Meier, 52, was known as ‘Billthy’ to the world-wide bike messenger community and RAGBRAI back-of-the-packers.
“Wild” Bill was delivering pizzas for Williamsburg’s Best Pizza on his bike regularly until he became sick and was hospitalized last month and has been fighting for his life ever since.
Bill passed away at Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn NY. Funeral details are unknown at this point.
BIKEIOWA NOTE: We remember Billthy riding up on a party a few year back. His messenger bag was slung over his shoulder. Just the way he gracefully dismounted the trusty rusty fixed gear, letting it fall where it may transforming the “ride” into a “walk” was an art form. Classic Billthy!
Here is a video showcasing Bill in his daily habitat.
and another video…
Here is also a really touching post from Scoofy on Reddit.com
The Heavy Pedal have an new ultra light carbon wheel set for all your fixed gear delights.
Here is a quick write up:
The Tempo Carbon Wheelset
“The Tempo carbon wheelset features a U-shape body for a proven, more aerodynamic performance. We complimented the unidirectional (UD) carbon finish with a 10/2/6 logo placement in white. The decals are not stickers but rather durable, baked on decals. When Zac Felpel originally tested these wheels at Red Hook Crit (Barcelona & Milan) last year his response was great.
Our initial notes were that the original hubs were heavier than necessary and they didn’t add any level of aesthetic value. Thus, we went back to the drawing board and decided that the Gran Compe hubs were more attractive and lighter than the Novatec hubs we originally used. A lot of research and development went into the wheels before hitting the market and we are extremely happy with the outcome and performance of the wheels. Allez!”
The Cargo Bike. Sure they have weird dutch names, they’re boxy and are popping up all over hip Brooklyn with 15 kids in them, late for PS Blankity Blank. But now it seems they are slowly being embraced by businesses…and not just those selling artisanal coffee or locally sourced Kimchi burger-tacos.
Why not get in the action with all these cool companies…and make your own cargo bike. Here are step by step instructions from Ulyssanov, (imgur) who assembled a sweet looking two wheeled machine in his kitchen.
Cargo Bike Build
So I built a Cargo Bike in my Kitchen. Why Build one? Because it’s fun and I wanted one anyway. One other reason is that most Cargo Bikes you can buy only come in one frame size which is usually too small for tall people like me to ride comfortably. So this way I was able to build one that fits me like a glove. Why in my Kitchen? Because I don’t have access to any kind of workshop so I have to make due with what I’ve got. This is not the first project I’ve done under similar conditions so I’ve gotten pretty good at improvising.
Planning the Build to figure out what parts I need and how everything would come together took about two months. Then I was ready to order most of the Steel I would be using as well as buying a used donor frame – a 90s Scott steel mountainbike frame.
(the completed bike)
Read more and get to work: here.
January 31, 2015 10:00 am WHERE
The Renaissance Charter School
35-59 81st Street
350 Fifth Avenue
Transportation Alternatives Office
127 W. 26th Street
RSVP Facebook MORE INFO Facebook
January is a hard month to bike with your kids, but the perfect time to talk about it! This January Forum is to make it (biking with your kids/kids biking) happen for you, or because you want to make it happen for others.
Kidical Mass NYC representative(s) – who we are, how we formed, our rides, and how anybody can take their kids riding with them (or kids can take their parents!)
Meet Local Parents that ride with their kids in the city, and specifically in your area. Learn and share local resources, routes, shops, programs.
Meet Kids who ride, talking about who they ride with, how long they have been riding. Why they ride, and what resources and groups are out there to make it happen for your kids or your neighborhood.
Activity – Biking in the city is about being out and about, in the streets, in the parks, in the world We will have some interactive activities to keep us moving forward.
Got a message from @Aunt_Bike in need of some attention and a petition to be signed, concerning Staten Island and an important fatal crash investigation unit of the NYPD.
Here is more: Keep Staten Islands NYPD Fatal Collision Squad in Staten Island
Keep Staten Islands NYPD Fatal Collision Squad in Staten Island
The small NYPD detective squad that handles Staten Island’s fatal and serious vehicle crash investigations may be moved from centrally located New Dorp to a Brooklyn office.
Law enforcement sources have expressed concern that taking the squad’s office from Staten Island will increase all important response time to deadly and injurious collisions, and that Staten Island investigations might take a back seat to those in Brooklyn.
Please sign the petition and help keep our streets safe.
Food venders have really upped their game over the last few years by being able to provide great delicacies on the street, through food trucks. Enterprising restauranteurs have seen a huge advantage in the ability to cut the overhead of a retail space and be mobile, condensing their wares into a vehicle and using social networking to tell their customers where they’re at. These have often lead to success stories, going from super popular mobile truck to an established space such as Calexico, Mud Coffee and Van Leeuwen desserts, just to name a few in NYC.
Now it looks like the bicycles are getting into the act with a number of success stories emerging from the non polluting, two wheeled variety.
Here is a recent story from NPR’s food series-THE SALT.
Food Trucks, Share The Lane. Food Bikes Are Merging Into The Business
By: Alastair Bland
January 16th, 2015
(Photo: Charlie Wicker of Trailhead Coffee Roasters makes all of his deliveries within the 6-mile radius of urban Portland, Ore., on one of his custom-built cargo bikes. He can also pull over to brew and serve coffee.
Photo by: John Lee/Courtesy of Trailhead Coffee Roasters)
When upscale food trucks roared into popularity a few years ago, the folks running them praised their rolling operations as far cheaper and simpler to launch than a bricks-and-mortar restaurant.
Now, entrepreneurs are finding similar advantages in food bikes.
Brewers, chefs, baristas and even farmers are turning to pedal-powered vehicles to bring their goods to consumers — and, sometimes, actually produce them on the street.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
A motivational mantra for cyclists and all those struggling for equal rights and justice.
(photo of: lead rider, Marshall Walter “Major” Taylor-track cycling legend)
Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day. For more inspiration:
Democracy Now has a newly discovered speech from Dr. King, from 1964, on civil rights, segregation and apartheid South Africa.
The Brooklyn Museum has art works dedicated to Dr. King and his spirit:
From their site:
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. –Martin Luther King, Jr.
In the Spirit of Martin, #BKMLibrary pays tribute to the living legacy of the fearless Civil Rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Today, January 19th the nation celebrates King’s birthday and honors his commitment to nonviolent activism to unite all people and protect their freedoms.
#BKMLibrary’s collection houses some wonderful historical documents and photographs from the Civil Rights Movement. For example, the exhibition Art Festival for NAACP Legal Defense, 1963 featured many notable artists and was organized to raise funds for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund through the sale of art work. The records for this exhibition were given to the library last February as a gift from Cynthia Dantzic.
The ladies from Comedy Central’s Broad City make me laugh. The stars, Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer do a great job of highlighting life in the big city in your 20’s, getting high, “Vag” humor, getting in trouble and not taking life too seriously. It’s pretty simple stuff, very NYCcentric but spot on and it’s refreshing to see two talented young funny ladies making their mark in sketch comedy tv.
(Photo by: Gavin Bond)
Their second season launched January 14th and as part of on going celebrating…they did a photo shoot for Vanity Fair magazine. See the girls all dolled up in pin up girl theme acrobatics on a bicycle.
Here is a video of the photoshoot and short interview: