The latest installment of Bike Shorts is coming Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!
8pm at Galapagos Art Space in Dumbo.
Come vote on your favorite bike short film and the best film maker will win $100.00.
The bikeshorts website is a great archive of past participants with links to their movies.
Here is one from Heather Muller, now up on-line. “Get Faster”
Find out what it really takes to win NYC’s Monster Track.
We got a brief taste of good weather this Sunday and temperatures peaked up into a nice level of “take your bike out from the moth balls and see if you can get a tune up.” I noticed a small crowd had gathered near the Mom and Pop bike shop near my apartment in Park Slope. Everyone was looking like they wanted their bikes in working order to get ready for the hopeful onslaught of good weather. Its all good and here’s to more bikers on the streets giving the cars a run for their money. Maybe we can pick up a few more who are tired of being price gouged by the MTA who offer higher prices and lower service.
One place I’d like to recommenced for your winter dust off is the nice folks over at Brooklyn Bike and Board.
Website: Brooklyn Bike and Board
Location: 560 Vanderbilt Ave. Brooklyn, NY.
Started back in December by Brian Gluck this shop is mostly designed for repairs with three full time mechanics ready to fix your ride and answer questions, including Max who rode his Xtracycle all the way across country from Seattle.
I was impressed right when I walked in the shop because they had this huge wood electrical spool in the front window servicing as a work bench. The idea was to create a place where people could do quick flat repairs if they wanted to learn. I like the community feel of this shop and the DIY spirit.
I decided to give my Orange KHS a paint job. First step was to strip off all the parts.
One problem I had was my crank was stripped out.
Max had a solution which involved a hammer and a screwdriver. It was a mercy killing…had to be done.
They did an excellent job and fixed another track bike I brought in.
If you need a good group of wrenches…I highly recommend this shop.
Looks like they have some community welcoming plans for the summer including some morning rides in Prospect Park and eventually movie screenings in their backyard.
Right now there inventory is kind of sparse but they are slowly expanding. They also sell skateboards too, which accounts for the board part of their title.
Check these guys out and keep track of their blog too for upcoming events.
I asked Brian (the owner) a few questions about how he got started:
when did you open the shop and how long have you been in the bicycle business?
I opened shop on Friday, December 12th, 2008. It was such a strange day. I had gone to Home Depot to buy the â€œnonâ€ bike shop tools the previous Wednesday. The rest of the tools were delivered Thursday. I spent Thursday night setting up my work bench, organizing the tools, etc. It was exciting because I didnâ€™t have any merchandise or inventory, so these tools were the first physical and tangible evidence that I was, in fact, opening a bike shop.
I came into work Friday morning, and it sort of dawned on me. Hey… Iâ€™m open. Wait wait wait wait…. Iâ€™m open… Iâ€™M OPEN! WHAAA!?
And just like that I owned a bike shop.
I printed out a sign, taped it to the window, and that was it. No fan fare. No ribbon cutting. No party. Just me, my tools, a cup of coffee, and a very empty space.
what is good about that location?
Oh thatâ€™s easy: itâ€™s the people in the neighborhood. You have the Roadies peaking in sitting atop their Pinarelloâ€™s on their way to the park. The Pratt students with their thrown together single speeds. The momâ€™s and dadâ€™s and their three wheeled strollers, with one, two, and sometimes all three of their tires flat.Their look of helplessness is almost painful. Oh, and then thereâ€™s three-speed crowd. An indescribable group that love the classic look and European feel. Their indicator chains swinging sadly at the ground, waiting to be reattached to something. The variety of people and their variety of bikes makes for such a rich and exciting bike culture. This location is one giant cauldron thatâ€™s being mixed by a bike god that has a multiple personality disorder.
what makes your shop unique?
My goal is to ignite peoples love for their bicycles and to help them realize itâ€™s full potential. The only way to do that is to engage. Iâ€™ve set up the shop so that the customer is two feet away from our bike stand. And if they want to come around the counter to get a closer look, then they can. I encourage my mechanics to speak with them and answer any questions they have. Itâ€™s very important that we give people really sound and meaningful advice. Thereâ€™s a level of openness that I maintain between myself and the customer. In my shop, there is no room for ego or arrogance or attitude. Itâ€™s all about the bike love.
what are your future plans for the shop?
My long term plan is to continue to tune in to what people need to get around. Iâ€™m continually searching for useful and functional answers to peoples traveling problems. It may be a new product, but it also may come from a suggestion that someone casually mentions. It also may be an old idea or an old product thatâ€™s used in a different way. Iâ€™ll hear it or see it or read about it and say, â€œHey… what a sweet idea…â€ Where ever the inspiration lies, I hope to find it and tell people about it.
how has it been running a bike shop in this economy?
We have a tag line we sometimes use to describe our shop: No spandex and no carbon fiber. Itâ€™s tongue in cheek, but it points to the broader picture of what we are. The shop is geared toward the commuter and the urban rider. It targets people that use their bikes for utilitarian purposes as well as people who use them for travel. We build bikes that meet the cityâ€™s demands. Our bikes are useful, reliable, low maintenance, and inexpensive. The products that we carry reflect that. Blinkyâ€™s, locks, fenders… all these things are needed to get around in this city.
$5,000 Framesets and Campy Groupoâ€™s are not what you need to pick up groceries or to get to a bar in Alphabet City. So we donâ€™t carry them. If I did, then Iâ€™d definitely be worried about my business and the current state of the economy.
But there will always be commuters in this city. And this city will always have people who love and adore their bicycles. All those people need inexpensive, bike minded things that can take the abuse of this city. So thatâ€™s what I give them.
Those whacky bike lane liberating clowns are at it again.
DON’T BE A FOOL.
Last week it was a pie fight, this time its pillows.
TIME’S UP! FOOL’S RIDE: Don’t be fooled! Bike lanes are for bikes!
Saturday, April 4th, 2pm
Meet at the Brooklyn Side of the Williamsburg Bridge bike path, Continental Army Plaza, at the George Washington Statue. Ride ends at the nation-wide pillow fight in Union Square at 3pm
By Subway: J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue
This event is at the low cost recession friendly price: FREE (much like all of Time’s Up events)
Don’t be fooled! Bike lanes are for bikes! Join the April Fool’s Day ride with the Time’s Up! Bicycle Clown Brigade, a troop of colorful trickster cyclists, on Saturday, April 4th as we clear Brooklyn’s new bike lanes of illegally parked cars. Shenanigans, monkey business, buffoonery and mischief GALORE! Culminating at the nation-wide pillow fight at Union Square at 3pm.
Going.com is great place for events.
details on world pillowfight day:
Join the rest of the world on April 4th for World Pillowfight Day. Let out all of your frusteration about the economy by coming down to Wall Street and swinging a pillow until you get your bailout check. Or until it’s time to go home.
- Soft pillows only!
- Swing lightly, many people will be swinging at once.
- Do not swing at people without pillows or with cameras.
- Remove glasses beforehand!
- Do not abandon your pillow at the location.
- Dress in business suits, demand your bailout check.
Sorry for the delay. I was waiting on a picture of the bike itself. So it turns out the Bianchi Milano was stolen on Houston and Mercer in front of the Angelika theater in Manhattan. The lock that was broken was a Kryptonite KryptoLok U-lock
which sells for about $25.00.
These are good for locking a back wheel, but shouldn’t be relied on for the main lock of the bike.
Also if there may be some strategy to not looking a bike near a movie theater, which gives the impression to thieves that they have at least an hour and a half to steal your bike. I had a bike stolen locked to the bike racks at the 2nd Ave and 11th St. movie house, but that had a fairly crappy lock.
It sucks to think that you can’t just ride your bike to a movie in NYC without going to great lengths to strategize about where to lock up…but…its something to think about. Why not put it near a pizzeria or place that has food delivery so as not to be a more obvious target.
OH NO. Could be the beginning of bicycle theft season.
A good friend of mine, Nara, just alerted me her bike was stolen in what seems to be a rather bold attack.
My bike was just stolen from the corner of Houston and Mercer, right outside the Angelika. Someone smashed the Kryptonite lock, which was twisted in a heap when I came out and found the bike was missing. Description: 18″ celeste green Bianchi Milano — older model without fenders with a non-standard WTB saddle (black with red details). Anodized blue aluminum bell on left handlebar, and possibly the vestiges of a lock attached to the crossbar.
After getting a good healthy buzz off of Gothamist and the NY Times I thought it would only be fitting to follow up with David August Trimble and find his personal insights to the Redhook Criterium.
I asked him the following questions:
Who won? (race results) Only 7 riders finished on the lead lap and were scored.
1. Neil Bezdek
2. David Trimble
3. John Kniesly
4. Chris Thormann
5. John Taki Theodoracopulos
6. Gabriel Allen
7. Lyle Driver
What were some of the challenges of putting on this race? The most difficult part of organizing this race was attracting the
racers. Perhaps the average alley cat racer was intimidated by the
promised speed of the event but the average road racer was terrified
about the idea of racing on an open street. In conceiving the idea I
received a lot of negative feedback about the format and seemingly
reckless nature of the race. Trying to convince a roadie who is
envisioning his entire season down the drain because of a cobbly crash
was extremely hard. In the end I had a much smaller field than I
anticipated (which actually worked out well considering the
conditions on course). I think the word is out now that this race is
relatively safe, fast, hard, and fun. I didn’t receive any negative
feedback about the race from anyone who competed.
For about a week before the race I was obsessively checking the
weather forecast. The day before the race there was a 90% chance of
thunderstorms. I was frantic and was exploring options to postpone
the event. I stayed patient and the rain gods smiled down on Red Hook.
The rest of the race organization while difficult was enjoyable. I
somehow attracted a stand up crew to help run and promote the race.
Every element from the party, race directing, to the press coverage
came together seamlessly. It even started on time (more or less)
which is unheard of in unsanctioned bike races.
What was the turnout like from the racers? We had approx. 30 entrants which was lower that I anticipated but
actually pretty good considering the misty weather conditions and late
start time. I think everyone also expected the race to be shut down
after all exposure in ended up getting in the press. I am forever
grateful for the racers that showed up. Several of the guys in the
field let me know they were only racing because it was my birthday.
How was it with the Roadies mixing it up with the Alleycats?
The roadies don’t give themselves enough credit. Before the race I
could see the terror in their eyes. Eric Robertson was muttering
under his breath about how fucking dangerous and crazy it was.
Gabriel Loyd was very calmly panicking about the wet cobblestones.
After the first lap I could see in their eyes that they were no longer
concerned with the danger and were racing race hard. I actually felt
relief in the race when I realized the fast roadies were mixing it up
through the corners. The alleycat racers were in their element.
Monstertrack champion Crihs was a monster out there. Every-time I
struggled through the chicane he would yell at me to go faster. The
bike handling skills displayed by everyone were impressive. There was
a lot of strong communication in the bunch when approaching the
What was challenging about the course? The original course could not be used. For some reason I thought I
would get away with running the pack through the IKEA parking lot.
The police barricaded the entrance and I was forced to go to plan B
which I wanted to avoid because of the tricky chicane on the back side
of the course. I had no idea if a fast pack could make it through
there safely. When it started misting the cobblestone corner picked
up a nice shine to it which is a tell tale sign that you’re about to
crash. The pack communicated well and everyone filed through the
corners with extreme skill. I still can’t comprehend how no one
stacked it over the slick cobbles. I held my breath every lap as I
turned in and transitioned onto the cobbles.
What was the cops reaction? The police were strict and professional. About an hour before the
race I heard rumors that they were stopping bike riders and trying to
find information on the race. I immediately went to the course with
Al and sought them out to do damage control. They were very concerned
about the use of the IKEA facility. We quickly reverted to plan B.
More cops kept showing up and Al had to speak to each one
individually. The police officer he was speaking with before the
start of the race warned that he would shut down the event if it
looked like we didn’t know how to ride our bikes properly. Al just
responded “Yes sir, I can ensure you these all are very skilled riders
sir”. During the race they even cheered us on a bit. Hopefully
next year I can get a permit.
How did you go about getting sponsors? My original sponsor was my friend Katherine’s homemade granola. She happened to make me a jar and it instantly dawned on me that all
cyclists love granola. After that I was contacted by Eddie from the
Coffee Den who is an avid cyclist. He expressed interest in
supporting the underground race scene. Through these two ideas I came
up with the breakfast and dinner themed Primes. All cyclists are also
obsessed with good food so it was perfect. I got Magia Zaferiopoulou
to donate the Greek olive oil and pasta. I donated the rest of the
food based off my favorites. Luckily my roommate won the Primes so
I’ll get to enjoy some of it.
My uncle Sam and I are forming the Trimble Racing entity and decided
to sponsor the race through that. Sam donated the first place cash
($300 in all $1′s!) and the bike swag. The day of the race we went
over to NYC VELO to buy the prizes and the owner Andrew hooked us up
with some heavy discounts which amounted to a sponsorship from his shop.
Did someone really win a cobblestone? I found the cobblestone in Red Hook. I wanted a pedestal to display
it on so I designed the trophy. Another uncle Roo fabricated the
trophy at his shop in Massachusetts. He is an industrial designer who
is currently designing a green “Alternative Vehicle”. He calls it the
Roo Pod (roopod.com).
What changed about your expectations? Were they met? My expectations were surpassed. All I did was organize the original
idea for the race and everything else followed. I never expected the
amount of exposure this race obtained. It was a combination of a
bunch of interesting people coming together and trying to create a
cool and completely grassroots event. The racing also couldn’t have
been better. We had an epic break away followed by a tactical and
unpredictable chase group battling for the final positions. The
podium celebration had very real energy as well. I knew that I had to
hold it immediately after the race to contain some of the excitement.
My only real regret was the amount of flats suffered by the field. I
guess that’s part of racing at night in the rain in a post industrial
part of town. Next year we’ll be more prepared to deal with this.
What may change for next year? I have lots of ideas for next year. I want to keep the basic feel of
the event but will definitely include many improvements. I also have
a feeling that I will have to accommodate a much larger field. I’m
going to look into what kind of permits I would need to ensure the
race doesn’t get shut down. One thing for sure is that I’ll have a
free lap and wheel in/wheel out policy to help take care some of the
flat problems. It will be very exciting to see if people are fast
enough to change a wheel and make it back into the field within one lap.
What did you think of your performance at the Race? I was suffering like crazy. I wasn’t able to train much leading to
the event and the night of the race was stressful and busy. I didn’t
get to warm up but nevertheless tried to attack straight from the gun
as I went for the 1st Prime. This was probably the stupidest thing I
could do on cold tired legs. Neil drove around me at the end of the
first lap and soon disappeared into the darkness. I was in serious
oxygen debt at that point. Aside from Crihs I pulled more than anyone
in the lead pack. After awhile I knew we were fighting a losing
battle against Neil and switched tatics. With (3) laps to go I
silently slipped to the back of the lead pack and recovered for the
most crucial part of the race. With (2) Laps to go I attacked hard
down the long front straight. Only Crihs was able to respond and we
put a gap on the field. I pulled for most of that lap before waving
him through. Crihs was probably the strongest rider in that bunch but
he pulled me around (and maintained our gap over the 3 chasers) on the
last lap. I made sure to stay tight into his draft through the
cobblestone corner and as soon as with hit the smooth pavement I
Who came to watch? Many people came to watch. Most of the racers had friends spectating and partying. The press was there along with the film crew. I had family fly in from far away to attend. A large contingent from my
Kissena Cyling Team showed up to cheer on the race. I’m pretty sure a
lot of the neighborhood also came out to watch. You get used to
racing road where there is never any spectators. To have a
(relatively) large and enthusiastic crowd cheering you on the whole
time makes you dig just a little bit deeper each lap.
what was with the video crew?
John Hoppin and Kalim Armstrong contacted me soon after I posted
details of the race on the internet. That had the idea to cover the
race like a real sporting event. I was instantly sold on the idea.
John Hoppin looked and sounded the part. I can’t wait to see the
final cut in the Bicycle Film Festival.
What was it like getting in NY Times article? I would like to thank Colin Moynihan for covering this race. I think
his article captured a realistic picture of the race atmosphere and
was very positive. Everyone I’ve talked to in the cycling community
is surprised with the exposure. We realized that writing an article
about a bike race that appealed to the general public and to the
cycling scene would be difficult. I hope he comes out and does a
follow up story about next years event.
Nice work David. Thank you for daring to promote competitive cycling here in NYC. I know it can be a stretch, especially when the safety of the Ikea parking lot at night might be compromised. (sorry I couldn’t help myself)
All kidding aside, you did a fantastic job and your efforts really benefit the cycling community as a whole. Thank you for daring to dream and bring together the different worlds of cycling.
This originally started as a Monster Track profile for an out-of-towner, but Andrew wasn’t able to make it to race.
But he has been kind to share his thoughts with me about the scene going on in Texas.
Name: Andrew “Dancakes” Stevens
How old are you? 22 yrs old
Where do you live? Born and raised in Austin, TX, with a 2 years stint in Portland, Or.
What bikes do you own? I own 1 Spanish track bike and 1 hand built eight-speed cyclocross/commuter bike.
What got you into track bikes? I got into fixed gears/track bikes because they were cheaper than the bus in Portland and because I could work on them myself.
Have you ever been a messenger? I have never been a messenger. I would like to be, but there are only, like, six of them in Austin.
What got you into alleycats? I got into alleycats initially because they were the only way i could meet other cyclists to ride with. Now I’m into them to push myself to the next level physically and mentally.
What do you like about them? I love the social aspect of alleycats because you get to meet riders from different cities and I love combining the culture of urban cyclists with actual athletic competition.
Why did you start the blog? Chris Lee, Ahlee, and I started ATXfixed because we wanted to develop a singular voice for the Central Texas fixed gear scene. We, along with riders in College Station, Houston, Denton, and San Marcos are all working our asses off filming, editing, reading, drinking, hosting races and racers, wrenching, eating, training, and creating on our bikes in order to establish a powerful network of friends and peers, involve riders from different towns, and hopefully interest people in what we are doing down here in Texas. We started the blog in order to document our progression, and to get free shit
What Kind of people read your blog? Typically it’s the riders who are looking for local events to attend. Because we try so hard to showcase original and exclusive content, we get a lot of feedback from locals that read our blog everyday after they read Tracko, Prolly, Bootleg, Zlog, and BBNYC, but ideally we want to appeal to the national audience by offering articles, pictures and opinions that are unique to us and our regional culture. We have a consistent and dedicated following for our monthly Fab Friday races and our weekly Sexy Sunday trick meet, but we are proud to have such a wide variety of people show up. Trialthetes, cyclocross and road racers, bmx and cruiser guys, mountain bikers and pedicabbers, messengers and food delivery folks, and then the predictable urban fixed gear riders all show up to our events after reading the blog, so we try to come up with content that is interesting to all of them, and hopefully we can continue succeeding at that.
What is the scene like in Austin? The scene in Austin is just now coming into it’s own. There have been SO many races this last 9 months, whereas it was really hard to find them before. With our crew/group of friends starting the Fabulous Fixed First Friday races, we have definitely become a more solid social group, and a good amount of us have started going out to races in other parts of Texas, and hosting races so racers from out of town can come and crash on our floors and get drunk with us. We have freestyle dudes, commuters, and straight up mashers who can all hang out and talk about bikes and learn about bikes from eachother. At this point a lot of us are building up bikes for different purposes, like cyclocross, which is gaining a lot of momentum down here, or geared commuter bikes for groceries, or road bikes for longer training rides and short tours. It all comes back to the track bike standpoint, though, in the way we move ourselves through the city and react against all of the random variables. Essentially we are just cross training, which ultimately helps our riding on our favorite bikes: our track bikes.
What do you think of all these fixed gear blogs? What surprises you? What bike blogs do you follow? I think fixed gear specific blogs are great, but I think that there too many of them out there that don’t update enough. It is really hard to update a blog consistently when you have a job that doesn’t allow you access to a computer (or when you don’t own a computer, like i didn’t for the first 4 months of ATXFixed!) or when you are a busy student like Ahlee and Chris, so we have added several moderators to try to make up for our busy schedules. It is also really really difficult to come up with original content, as opposed to just reading the bigger blogs and culling content out of them. I keep up with Prolly, Maca, Mash, Bootleg, Bike Blog NYC, and Tracko, as far as the big blogs go. I love Bike Jerks from Minneapolis and I always check Jason Abels’ and Les Bennetts’ local blogs, ATXBS and OneLesCar. My reading has gotten narrowed down because I have eventually figured who puts up original content more often then others. Again, a lot of that seems to have to do with what kind of job you have. Guys like Prolly and Jason both work desk jobs, so they have access to computers all day at work, and that turns into where they get most of their blogging done. They get a lot of face time with the community and by being so accessable, they are given information first in order to post it and bring it to the masses. I appreciate how quickly they work, and at this point we are trying to figure out how to have that same access to original content so that we can eventually become a nationally read blog.
What was one of the most interesting experiences you had on a bike? To me, the most consistently interesting thing about riding my bike is hanging out with all of the awesome people that get together to ride. I loved (and hated) hosting all 6 of the raven feeders during SXSW this month, as well as ben w and justin from feetbelts and bootleg sessions. We got to ride all day for a week, simultaneously filming and drinking, talking shit and playing dice, and I got to be a part of some of the most elevated riding I have every witnessed. Recently, all of the races and premiers we have been helping with have put ATXfixed in the forefront of the austin fixed gear community. We like that. We like to bring people together. We like hearing other ideas and seeing how different towns call for different bike setups and riding styles.
What are your future goals for the blog? More content. More recognition. More race sponsors. Personally, I want to be able to go to NYC or SF or Seattle and hang out with the people who write what I read. Big blogs like Bootleg, Maca, MASH, Prolly and Tracko are really seen as tastemakers in the fixed gear culture, and I feel that ATXfixed has a role to fill, too. I really have a huge amount of respect for those bloggers, and I pull information and inspiration from their hard work and connections. Ideally, we want to be able to supply enough content to get readers in other parts of the world interested in what we are doing in Central Texas, but on a day to day level, we are just glad that we get to write about how much fucking fun we have.