With all the positive moves in NYC for cycling I really don’t have a lot of time to focus on the negative, especially when its the same ol victim blaming game. Then Hunter college sociology students came out with this study to monitor the behavior of cyclists in the City. Oh great. It isn’t hard enough to take environmental matters into your own hands and brave the hyper aggressive streets of NYC or just plain ride your bike. Nope. Some brain surgeons over at Hunter decided to take a tiny cross section of the cycling community and realize what most people in this town are already keenly aware of. Cyclists don’t stop at red lights and don’t wear helmets. GASP? WHAT? That’s preposterous? I suppose your going to tell me next that pedestrians never jaywalk either and drivers never disobey parking laws? Well the pecking order from walkers to drivers, can have a field day and now refer to this study to backup their hatred for cyclists in NYC and instead of trying to figure out the benefits of cycling, they can rest assured and feel safety in the wonderful passive blame game. Pity we don’t spend more time trying to do research studies on the health benefits and sociological attributes of having cleaner air, less car traffic and a healthier society. I guess Hunter college doesn’t have a Public Health department. Maybe they should put that time and energy into figuring out what to do about the Governor’s tuition hike plan, and why New Yorkers aren’t going to be able to afford to go to school…let alone how they are going to get there by bike.
If you have about an hour of time to waste, you can read the study Here. or read this article by J. David Goodman in the NY Times blog, spokes department.
I would like to give a personal thank you to William Milczarski, professor of urban planning, at Hunter College, who concocted this rather useless observation study. Now we cyclists can spend further wasted time trying to do positive PR and justify why we ride in NYC (and you should too) to %*#holes like this guy from the fair and balanced NYPOST.
Wow, what a shocking suprise, just a few days after last week’s study came out…the NY Post had an editorial. Weird.
Kyle Smith had this editorial. This is what I am talking about. Studies come out, which Kyle refers to to justify his hatred for cyclists, because he got knocked down on the Westside Highway bike path. Well Kyle, that’s unfortunate. But aren’t you a bit over reacting with an editorial with the headline: “DANGEROUS BIKE RIDERS RUN WILD WITH IMPUNITY IN NYC!” hmmmm. Yes people, another thing FOX news wants you to be afraid of like that sadistic swine flu that’s going around killing millions of New Yorkers…ok actually just two so far. Well Kyle, you live in NYC and Kurtis Blow said it best…”These are the breaks.” Maybe you were equally pissed off when 56 year old Doctor Carl Nacht was killed on the west side highway by a Tow Truck…or when 22 year old Eric Ng was killed by a drunk driver on the same “safe” bike path that you enjoy running on. Funny I didn’t see any angry 2 page editorials from the NY Post saying, “DANGEROUS DRIVERS KILL CYCLISTS TWICE ON BIKE PATH.” I’m sure you were very traumatized by that “bike rider gone wild,” and I’m glad you get to play the victim blame game. I mean, I’m sure that Eric and Dr. Carl deserved to die on their bikes…after all, they weren’t wearing helmets.
Kyle’s editorial was quite funny however because he introduced us to new categories of cyclists:
* Messengers of Mayhem. These are young, aggressively fit men, often clad in futuristic outfits complete with face-obscuring visors that make them look like Boba Fett. They’re professional bike messengers who primarily operate in Midtown during business hours. They won’t stop or even slow down for red lights or for pedestrian-heavy intersections, so to warn you they’re coming they’ve developed terrifying bird call-like whistles that make them the pterodactyls in the prehistoric fight for survival that is life in Manhattan. When you hear the whistle, though, you don’t know if you’re supposed to stop or keep going on a predictable trajectory. Cops watch them barrel through red lights while discussing the relative merits of French roast vs. house blend.
(Yeah, those lazy cops…they should be body checking cyclists)
* Szechuan Psychos. Working for tips and of questionable immigration status, they serve in the mechanized infantry of General Tso’s army. Rusted rides and dumpling physiques generally prevent these wonton warriors from building up much speed – but they prowl residential neighborhoods at night. You’ll never see the one that gets you. Nor will you be able to sue him for all he’s worth, unless you don’t mind being paid in moo shu pork.
* Lance-a-Louts. You can tell by their high-performance bikes, their high-performance yellow-spandex racing jerseys, the high-performance dorkiness of their wee caps with precious little upturned visors: These weekenders think they’re l’il Lance Armstrongs as they pedal furiously down your street on the way to the park.
Corey the Courier answered back with this great comment and some categories of his own for pedestrians:
“I will not deny the presence of the three types of scofflaw cyclists. Nor will I try to refute the study of some random urologist, eager to emasculate male cyclists by his findings from a severely limited population sample.
I cannot condemn the wish for a more civilized use of the roadway by cyclists. I am thankful for the work of organizations like Transportation Alternatives who diligently work with the government to implement greener ways for the 8.3 million residents of the city to go to and fro.
But there are two sides to every coin…
Jaywalking pedestrians who get hit are usually unaware of their surroundings. Their presence in heavy numbers prevents the reasonable flow of motorists and cyclists from continuing onward to their destinations. I’ll describe three types of jaywalkers who, by their inappropriate place in the roadway, are usually the first victims to your triumvirate of mechanical menace:
The Dorothy’s: Just like the Wizard of Oz they abide in the green of the bike lane or the red of the bus lane despite a perfectly acceptable sidewalk nearby.
The Prairie Dogs: These are the people who spontaneously appear from behind parked vehicles into the path of oncoming traffic. They wander out mindlessly, then jump back when they see man-and-metal barreling toward them.
The Topeka Kansas High School Marching Band: These are the worst and make life hell for anyone with a desire to reach their destination in a timely fashion. These are the ones who see Prairie Dogs, Dorothys or just basic jaywalkers, following them into the street without a single glance to check for danger. The light could be red, traffic may be careening toward them, but they eagerly join other members of the band creating a mini parade. They stifle traffic flow and create road rage.
If jaywalking in New York became illegal or equally scorned public behavior as the kamikaze cyclists, maybe the police could actually catch these derelicts that trouble you so.
Sustainable L.E.S. Community Bike Tour
& Garden Party
UNION SQUARE SOUTH
Sat, May 23 2:00 pm
Join members and friends of the 4th Street Food Co-Op for a leisurely,
two-wheeled tour of sustainable community in the Lower East Side.
Ending (at around 4:00) at the 4th Street food Co-op and on to
Childrenâ€™s Magical Garden (corner of Norfolk and Stanton) for
refreshments with the kids!
In the years of the City’s neglect of the Lower East Side, local
residents, activists and homesteaders reclaimed abandoned buildings
and lots to create a vibrant community of environmental and social
responsibility. Despite the continuing struggles against
gentrification and development, many of these places continue to
thrive and actively contribute to the community. This tour will visit
gardens, community centers, compost drop off sites, and various other
co-operative grassroots endeavors which are now lost, saved or still
struggling for survival. The ride will start at Union Square South,
last about 2-3 hours, cover around 3 miles.
John has been an institution in the world of cycling here in NYC for decades. He is currently the director of the Kissena velodrome out in Queens. He has been a prolific force in keeping NYC’s only cycle track open and running, offering track racing experience to the young and old. He has been a key figure behind the Velocity race series which gives messengers and other city riders a chance to win tickets to the latest cycle messenger world championships…held all over the world. He is also an accomplished musician and now author. It was a real honor for me that he agreed to do one of my Q and A profiles.
Please welcome, John Campo.
Name, Age and Where you reside?
John Campo aka Campocat
I’m old enough to know better.
Born Dec. 1, 1946 in Greenwich village. At 56 Leroy Street.
I live in a rental car most of the year, but my home is The Bowery, the worlds quintessence of skid row.
What bikes do you own?
I race a Griffen Vulcan that was made for me, and I love it.
I train on a Leader and i love it too only it is slightly heavier than the Griffen but I’ve won a couple of races on it this year. My road bikes are a Litespeed Ultimate 1997 model
and a Vitus 1987 model. I have raced both for many years. My street bike is a classic steel Bottecchia – red white and black model.
What got you started in Track riding
It started I guess with my Father mostly talking about it, the allure, tales of Madison Square Garden. I was a good racer anyway and maybe wanted my Father to see me follow in his footsteps.
I had no idea it would lead to this…
What have been the biggest obstacles of maintaining and fixing up the track at Kissena?
Defusing miss information is top, trying to get people involved, stopping the vandal’s, getting funding for junior programs, keeping all volunteers going in the same direction by giving correct information as to how to deal with daily problems.
Some memorable stories of conditions on the track? Storms, sweeping up during snow storms? etc?
There are at least twenty every day. People stealing, someone put a
very strong nylon black string across the track at neck level. People coming
on the track when racing in going on. Keeping the storm drains clear so the
water doesn’t buckle the track any more then it is. The toy plane and car people.
The day riders. People wanting to use the track for non cycling events.
The conditions are what they are out there fixing surface conditions made
by nature and by humans is all the same. It takes time and a lot of effort not
to mention money.
What do you think of all these kids doing tricks on track bikes?
I think I’ve had something to do with that, and I very proud of it. The campagians done by Puma and others to make the messenger look popular is something I supported. I raced for Puma to bring the velocity tour about. I was a win – win situation. I got riders to come to the track and they sold clothes. What ever program you are trying to make grow you start with making it cool to the public. If you get 1000 participants you wind up with 50 willing to race. It is a numbers game. I couldn’t be happier the track bike is becoming the bike to ride. Even Lance Armstrong is doing it.
Talk about the challenges of getting messengers on the track?
Getting messengers on the track was easy. There has
been tremendous support from the messenger community
around the world for me and I am so so grateful. It is where I
came from and where my dad came from and where my daughter
What got you involved in Velocity?
Kevin Bolger aka Squid; got me involved in Velocity. Our relationship and team Puma and all the events that have happened since have not only increased my ridership but has increased the ridership of all the velodrome in this country and probably the world. It is one event that always puts a smile on my face and a warm feeling in my heart.
Believe me the directors in other velo’s see what we have done and want to get involved.
A 110 riders last weekend at Kissena opening day???? Who wouldn’t want that at there track.
What has been the evolution of skills you’ve seen on riders coming from the messenger world and urban riding to riding competitively on the track?
The evolution I’ve seen is that messenger and urban riders is the same
basically, these riders are learning quickly and making a change.
Last night in the 123 field or the best field we have, some very good road riders
showed up who basically are clueless but fast. I causes many troubles when
riders don’t know the difference between road racing and track racing.
Most track riders are more willing to learn and learn be example.
They are willing to take pulls on the front when it is their turn
to chase down or stay off the front. Sandbagging should be left to Donald Trump.
It isn’t a quality you want on the track. It certainly won’t make you too many friends.
On the road you don’t see it because it is done way before the finish line.
On the track you can’t avoid seeing it. It comes down to putting in the time.
Riders must come to training sessions, and not just show up for races. We have national
champions that have never been to a track training session?? Beats me what goes on in there
Who are some of the urban riders/messengers you have seen really come a long way?
Alex, Todd, most notably and close to me have made
the most from where they started – Jared, LA Jack,
there are so many now it is hard to name them all.
What kind of programs do you offer for kids? How do you get young people on the track?
We have an after school program with Parks for kids 5 to 14, run by Diedre Murphy – and
DelRoy Walters. And I run the junior program 15 to 18. I get them any way possible.
How can people get involved in track riding?
People if they want can come to the track or
go on line to bikereg.com and register for
our classes. The childrens program is StarTracks@parks.
Juniors can contact me directly at 212-431-9732
Or through cyclehawk.com or kissena.info.
How was opening weekend this year?
Opening weekend was fantastic like I said 110 rider signed up.
Amazing! I did well which is always a good thing.
It was mainly local tri-state riders. We were hoping for more big names,
but it didn’t happen. A funny thing happens on the track which
is – it doesn’t matter who you are or how fast you are.
The crowd gets involved…Hell I’m a grand dad and people root for
me like crazy in my races.
What are you future cycling goals?
Dude if I win a national championship I will be done.
But mostly it is the give back. We have to give back to the youth of America our knowledge
of the sport we love and make it flourish. You just can’t take and take and expect someone
else to build track and run programs and just sit around and wait for it to happen.
I want to better the only facility I had available to me. You have no Idea how mad
I was to find out Kissena velodrome even existed in 1984 and no on brought
me here as a 12 year old. Lucca, Kai, Stephanie, Cosme, Khary,
Gabby… These kids keep me young and all I want is for them to reach as high as they
can while they are young and healthy. I even turned a 65 year old Mom into a national
champion last year.
Goals for the Track and for track riding in the NYC area?
The goals are obvious but the cycling community has got to get on the same page.
We need a year round facility that is covered and is a regulation 250m track. But most
of all we need to use Kissena as the model of how a velodrome is run. Junior and children’s
programs, good racing of all types, great officials and promoters and coaches but we
need it to be year round. Then we need track racing to be an event like TTown ‘ on a Friday night.
A place where Celebe’s would want to come and watch the excitement. TV coverage.
Goals for Velocity?
Velocity has become what we want out of track racing in general.
An organic event structure that in building a grass roots following build on track racing
for the masses. Local sponsors local riders local tracks local spectators.
How about teams like Godspeed and Puma traveling a circurit like in the old days.
Start your three day Bike month off right with movies…
Seattle is having a West Side Invitational…
Here is a promo for their up coming Core Whore, alleycat for the ladies. Here’s a promo.
Speaking of dirty races… Tour D’Afrique. That’s Four months on a bicycle from Cairo to Cape Town.
Check out this trailer for, “Where you go.” Where Are You Go captures the 7,000 mile expedition as a constant adventure full of playfulness and mysterious beauty, and is a testament to the endurance of human curiosity.
So this website: mountian-bike-racing.info is basically reposting my postings word for word and not giving me any credit. He has also set up google ads so this person is making money off of my work.
If you respect what I have been doing for 5 years (and haven’t asked for a cent in return) please email the host firstname.lastname@example.org and complain for me.
Or leave comments on the site.
His latest posting was this: Posts will be a bit delayed this week. I am in China and it appears that Blogger, where this blog is hosted, has been blocked by the authorities again (sigh). I can still get around it with my super geek skills but it greatly delays getting info up. Look to be back to normal late this week. Thanks, slashk.
So we know his is being blocked by Google (which owns blogger) Why? Probably for similar complaints.
Does anyone know how to contact Google Ads and complain? I’m sure this is a violation of their service.
Hopefully his geek skills won’t keep allowing this to occur. Anything anyone can offer for help would be greatly appreciated.
Outlier has made these tailored bike pants answering the call of fellow cyclists who want comfort and style.
Different body types need different clothing, and at Outlier, they are out to make clothing that fits all sorts of cyclists shapes.
The OUTLIER Climber pants are a full on reengineering of slim cut pants for a cyclists world. The innovative vertical yoke removes most of the traditional stress points that cycling generates in a garment, allowing for a free range of movement. The curved waistband is higher in the back to keep certain areas hidden and lower in the front to allow you to lean forward and ride in comfort. The spread back pockets are easy to access and positioned so you don’t sit on them while riding. Cut slim for comfort, form and aesthetics.
Made with Outlier’s 4Season Lotus fabric, these pants have four-way stretch which allow full movement on and off the bike. Quick drying, breathable, water and grease resistant to keep you crisp and comfortable in any situation. Made in New York City and available in Black and Slate Gray at www.outlier.cc for $180.