Like the tulips popping up, the line at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden cherry blossoms thingy and the increase of bicycle snatching…Spring has Sprung in NYC.
And with all that good stuff, comes a really excellent resource that isn’t electronic…A map…made out of paper.
The Department of Transportation says over 370,000 maps, will be delivered to local bike shops around the five boroughs for free, just in time for May (Bike Month).
This map is always great for showing bike friendly routes, greenways and all of the nearest bike shops. Oh, and don’t tell the motorists…it’s also a really great for just plain getting around this vast city.
You can download a PDF as a poorman’s app on the D.O.T. website: here.
Or just go with the ultimate analog experience…Paper. Order one by calling 311.
Looking for a cheap bike for the upcoming warm weather season?
Check out Time’s Up.
Recycled bicycles for sale best prices starting at 4 o’clock at the times up Brooklyn space 99 South 6th St in Williamsburg from $90 to 175 open bike repair workshop starts at 530
Every Sunday and Wednesday.
Here is the latest events calendar from your fine environmental educators and activists.
PEACE BIKE RIDES – THIRD SUNDAY OF EVERY MONTH
co sponsored by PEACE MUSEUM NY
April 19th 2 PM
Meet at Gandhi Statue, SW corner of Union Square (across from Staples)
Join us for a leisurely, peaceful ride to some of downtown Manhattan’s peace sites, including: Tibet House, Anthroposophical Society, Former residence of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Point Thank You, Teardrop Park, The Irish Hunger Memorial, Art from the Berlin Wall, Robert Wagner Park, The Labyrinth for Contemplation, Fritz Koenig’s “The Sphere,” St. Paul’s Chapel, the site of the Mother AME Zion Church (“first church in NYC built and led by Afro-Americans”) and the African Burial Ground. Great ride for kids and cyclists new to group rides. Route subject to change, not all sites are visited on every ride. DRESS FOR THE WEATHER! Heavy rain or snow cancels.
May 17th 2PM
Meet at Gandhi Statue, SW corner of Union Square (across from Staples)
A Peace Bike Ride (co-sponsored by Times-Up!) going to LES community gardens and ending at MoRUS where the “Cycle of Peace” photography exhibit will be on display. The photo exhibit will include photos that speak to the theme “Cycle of Peace” by 25 New York based photographers.
Friday, April 24th, 7:00pm
Friday, May 29th, 7:00pm
Union Square Park-North
Critical Mass is a spontaneous celebration of what our streets could look like. This fun group ride encourages new cyclists and creates safer streets and new green infrastructure. Strap some music to your bike and make sure to bring the appropriate lights and bells.
Meets the last Friday of every month at Union Square Park North
More info: times-up.org/index.php?page=critical-mass
Good resource for other critical mass rides and info: www.bikeblognyc.com/critical-mass
Saturday, April 25th, 10:00pm
Saturday, May 30th, 10:00pm
Columbus Circle, SW corner of Central Park
Join us on bicycles or skates at 10 p.m. on the last Saturday of every month at the Columbus Circle (59th Street) entrance to Central Park for a totally safe, magical, evening ride in Manhattan. As with our Moonlight Rides, we’ll share the tranquillity of Central Park, plus we’ll add the grand vistas of the Hudson River from Riverside Park. The scenic tour continues down the greenway to the lovely pier where bicycles are welcome. After that, it’s a pleasant ride through streets back to Columbus Circle.
This ride usually covers about 10-12 miles and lasts about 2 hours. Weather? We only cancel when no one in their right mind would have fun. Dress for the weather. We hope these rides encourage folks to enjoy our parks at night, without motor vehicles: quiet, safe, and relaxed.
Brooklyn Critical Mass
Friday April 10th, 2015
Friday May 8th, 2015
Starts at 7:00 pm
Meets the second Friday of every month at Grand Army Plaza
Prospect Park Moonlight Ride
Saturday April 11th, 2015
Saturday May, 9th, 2015
Starts at 9:00 pm
Meets the second Saturday of every month at Grand Army Plaza
Central Park Moonlight Ride
Friday, April 3rd, 2015
Friday, May 1st, 2015
Starts at 10pm
Meets the 1st Friday of every month at the Columbus Circle entrance to Central Park.
First Friday Ride
Friday April 3, May 1st, June 5th
Starts at 7pm
Meets the first Friday of every month at Union Square N. A fun leisurely ride, creating safe and sane streets. Route to be determined by participants.
Today in NYC we finally cracked the cold hard grip of winter with a glorious 60 degrees, by late afternoon.
The first warmish day of the year is kind of like bicycle ground hog day, for me. Cyclists start coming out of hibernation and like the furry rodent of a Bill Murray movie, predicting the length of winter, I like to make an impact prediction of my own.
What kind of a bicycle season will we have? How popular will it be? Will the streets be flooded with teaming masses of bicycles, darting in every direction…some even going with traffic?
It’s hard to predict what motivates people but back in 2010 a couple of Minnesotans decided to try something to kickoff the Spring and inspire people to ride bikes. They made a pledge of riding every day in April and recorded their progress across social media using:
Five years later, its’ still going strong and April is now a fun filled way to get biking and see who else is out there.
Perhaps all you need is some nice weather to get going. If not, maybe #30daysofbiking is a good motivator.
Bike couriers who take it to the next level, control their machines in a unique space in the crowded streets of the world. They operate comfortably in the margins, the tight inches between bus mirrors and car doors, as if with a sixth sense, a special street knowledge of their surroundings. The hunt for this space also intrigues them to travel outside of their work/play home cities and test their rules of space.
This is partially what lead NY’s Austin Horse and Nico Deportago-Cabrera of Chicago to travel to Beruit, Lebanon to go somewhere Yanks rarely experience, let alone on a bike.
With help from Red Bull, they traveled to Beirut to explore and to set up a messenger company.
Here is a recent video of their exploits with some great riding footage.
What do you do with an a abandon limestone mine in Kentucky? Build the world’s largest bike park for BMX and mountain bikers.
Upcycling, Underground: Huge Bike Park Opens In Former Limestone Mine
By: Bill Chappell
February 10th, 2015
With more than 320,000 square feet of riding area, the new Mega Underground Bike Park features 45 trails.
Some 100 feet below the Earth’s surface, BMX and mountain bikers are ripping up trails and soaring through the air in the cozy confines of a huge limestone cavern in Louisville, Ky. The cavern’s owners say they’ve created the largest indoor bike park in the world, with 320,000 square feet of riding. “There’s, like, jumps everywhere you look,” 9-year-old Tyler Bohm tellsmember station WFPL’s Jacob Ryan. “I’ve never seen anything like this in a cave.”
Forget bike mapping with paper (even if the DOT has great free maps every year) or fancy GPS apps. So 2014.
The new trend is brain waves. Arlene Ducao an MIT graduate–of course, has developed a bike helmet, Mindrider, which tracks riders brain activity and maps out routes based on chill areas and more stressed out zones.
Here is an article in Wired magazine:
MEASURING BRAINWAVES TO MAKE NEW KIND OF BIKE MAP FOR NYC
By: Alex Davies
January 30th, 2015
If you want to bike around Manhattan these days, it’s easy to find an online or physical map that can lead you to the bike lanes and keep you riding safely. But it won’t tell you much more, like which route would be the most relaxing, and which the most demanding of your attention.
That’s exactly the information Arlene Ducao wants to provide with the MindRider Map, which is created by deploying cyclists wearing a helmet that measures their brainwaves.
Do you have the need for speed? Need more extreme adventure then trying to bike to work in seventeen degree weather while cars and trucks try to drive you into piles of crusty slush?
A British based production company wants you for what appears to be a television show involving speed, travel and “the adventure of a lifetime.”
Wild Blue Media sent me a casting call looking for the following:
“Six highly competitive, speed junkies to take part in an adventure of a lifetime. They’ll be filmed as they travel the world taking on locals in an amazing and diverse array of speed events from Yak riding in remote Mongolia to drag racing in Africa?
We want men and women with real lives; all with a passion for speed – 18 or over. Over 12 months they’ll need to commit to a minimum of 13 trips to various remote and amazing destinations with all expenses paid.
We’d like to feature a cyclist/ courier rider in the mix so hoping you could help us connect with the right people in NYC and spread the word on to the East Coast bike scene.”
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