Ben Fried of Streetsblog reports on the latest feet dragging of our city council and the current state of the Bicycle Access Bill. (Intro 871)
Read the latest here.
Summer Streets on Vanderbilt will continue until the end of June. This weekend will feature many great activities, including more live music from Meryl Leppard, The Clubs, Lindsay Wolf, and We are the Light on the main stage. In addition, Scandinavian Half-Breeds will be playing music outside of Bike and Board (between Dean and Bergen). LAVA, a dance group, will be performing and teaching classes, and Gymstars Circus Camp will be giving juggling classes. Summer Streets on Vanderbilt will also have arts and crafts for the kids as well as a performance by Music for Aardvarks. As always, local businesses and restaurants will be open for plenty of great shopping and dining.
Summer Streets on Vanderbilt is sponsored by the Vanderbilt Avenue Merchants District and the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council in conjunction with NYCDOT.
When: Sundays, June 21st and 28th, Noon â€“ 5pm
Where: Vanderbilt Ave from Dean St. to Park Pl., Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
I got sent a link to this great round up articles and video from the World Naked Bike Day:
Check it out at: www.bikejuju.com
I particularly like this video from Portland:
and this article from the NY Daily News:
BY Clare Trapasso and Jotham Sederstrom
No oil and no clothes: Cyclists ride in the (near) buff
BY Clare Trapasso and Jotham Sederstrom
Sunday, June 14th 2009, 4:00 AM
The naked bikers on their Manhattan journey.
Rose Gagioti, of the West Village, during “World Naked Bike Day” held around the globe to protest oil dependency.
It was a protest in the raw.
Well, almost. About 40 scantily clad men and women braved the rain for a nearly nude bike ride on the streets of Manhattan Saturday – until cops forced the joy riders to button up.
Bystanders from Central Park to Union Square gawked as the cyclists stripped down at traffic lights – some even baring it all – in a two-hour ride meant to protest overreliance on oil and automobiles.
“I figure it’s the craziest thing I’ll do in my life,” said Darla Krupnik, 19, whose undone tan trench coat left little the imagination. “My parents are going to kill me.”
The mostly male cyclists began at a park on 11th Ave. in Chelsea and finished up at Union Square.
Similar bike rides – somewhere far more revealing – took place in Los Angeles, Albany, Portland, Oregon, Washington, London and Montreal.
Read the complete article here.
Ok, were a little more modest then the crunchy town of Portland Oregon who recently celebrated World Naked Bike Day with over 5,000 participants.
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.
More Ass, less gas,
Last Wednesday morning a bad accident occurred on the Brooklyn side of the Williamsburg bridge, involving a pedicab and a taxi.
Four Hurt When a Pedicab Slams Into a Taxi in Brooklyn
Read the complete article here.
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.”
This has now changed since the initial proposed rules of 2007 which is reported on in this recent NY Times article entitled:
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
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.
Check out the Time’s Up! website for more information and great biking directions from New York City
–SUPPORT TIME’S UP! Environmental Organization today by making a tax-deductible donation or becoming a member at times-up.org/index.php?page=membership-support. You can even donate real estate!
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.
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.
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.
A few new websites I’ve been asked to link:
www.twospoke.com/forum a forum for biking in Austin Texas.
The Bicycle Film Festival has a twitter site: twitter.com/bffworld
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.
Critical Mass Brooklyn Tonight followed by a Time’s up after party.
Brooklyn Critical Mass After Party
BROOKLYN CRITICAL MASS AFTER PARTY