The bike sharing in NYC, now in its fourth month. has created new levels of bicycle acceptability. Like getting married.
From the New York Times:
In Sickness and in Health, Long After the Bike Is Due Back
By: Matt Flegenheimer
October 11th, 2013 After marrying in June, Christie and Sean Hutchinson took the subway to Midtown for a day of sightseeing, then rode home to the financial district on Citi Bikes. Photo by: Gosia Labno
For years, the rise of cycling in New York City has sown disharmony.
There have been aggrieved cabbies, community meetings at which the Bloomberg administration was likened to the Taliban, and at least one seminude demonstration against a Lower Manhattan bike hub.
But now, four months into its first dalliance with a bike share program, the city appears ready to settle down.
Before you can get married on your CitiBike you need to be social. This Friday you get your chance:
–NYC Biketrain presents:
Nighttime Bridge Ride with Citi Bike — October 18th, 2013
Join NYC Biketrain and Citi Bike on the evening of Friday, October 18, for another social ride.
Led by the friendly, experienced urban cyclists of NYC Biketrain, and in partnership with Citi Bike, take a fun ride over the Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges on a gorgeous fall evening. This is great chance to discover the fun of riding by night and take in the city night. After the ride, we’ll recovene to enjoy a post-ride beer ($1 off for bridge riders) and some giveaways from Citi Bike. RSVP below.
From Outlier: This adventure started with the material. In one of our many fabric hunts we stumbled across something very different, almost alien. Nonwoven Dyneema – insanely lightweight, fully waterproof and many times stronger than steel.
When we encountered the elegantly pared back nonwoven Dyneema packs of Hyperlite Mountain Gear, we became one of their very first customers and then started about what we could make together. The result is the Minimal Backpack.
The premise was simple; what was the simplest and lightest pack we could make that was still suitable for daily use? Nonwoven Dyneema is an insanely expensive material, even by Outlier standards. It’s also extremely difficult to sew, so producing a simple yet highly functional design is crucial to making this stuff work.
Thankfully Mike St. Pierre of Hyperlite has been working with the material over the past few years and has even built a small factory in Biddeford, Maine. By the time Outlier got involved most of the hard work was done. We settled on a slightly heavier, all black version of nonwoven Dyneema simply because we love the way it looks and wears over time. A roll top backpack, 2!¡that’s highly water resistant and packs down to fit into a jacket pocket.
The bag sells for. $168.00 and is available at their on-line store.
Although pricey, these seems like a great bag for riding to work when you don’t want to feel like carrying a bag. The material sounds amazing too, ultralight and water proof.
Here is another article about the recent rightofway.org memorial stencil action.
From The Atlantic Cities: What We Can Do About Kids Killed by Cars
By: Sarah Goodyear
October 15th, 2013 photo by: Right of Way
It’s a biological imperative: We respond more emotionally to the deaths of children than we do to the deaths of middle-aged or old people. When kids lose their lives in preventable ways, whether from disease or violence, it makes us mad. And sometimes, it makes us do something.
In the 1940s and 50s, polio epidemics in the United States paralyzed and killed thousands of children, galvanizing research and later implementation of a vaccination protocol on an unprecedented scale. More recently, it was the sight of the bodies of children killed by chemical weapons in Syria that spurred a fresh round of international pressure to intervene. The massacre of first-graders in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012 reignited the national debate over guns.
Another example comes from the Netherlands. There, in the 1970s, the rising number of children killed in traffic crashes – in 1971, 450 children died on the streets and roads — led to a mass protest movement pressuring the government to create protected bicycle infrastructure and reduce the dominance of cars. The movement was called “Stop de Kindermoord,” or “Stop the Child Murder,” taking its name from an article by journalist Vic Langenhoff, whose own child was killed in a road crash.
More about them: Intandem is a non-profit organization that provides access to tandem bicycle rides to visually impaired or otherwise disabled athletes. Artie Elefant decide to start the tandem program after being inspired by a young woman giving rides to people around central park on her tandem bike. She and a friend were doing this regularly, and Artie thought it could really turn into something good. Artie made some phone calls, and the tandems were set to ride the Five Boro Bike Tour. They stored the bikes in the Central Park boat house until they acquired a trailer. After partnering for many years with Achilles International, Artie and friends decided it was time to go their own way. InTandem was born.
Find out how you can get involved at their upcoming meet and greet.
WE Bike NYC
Don’t have dinner plans tonight? GREAT, neither do WE! Join us for Happy Hour tonight instead, between 6 and 8pm. There’ll be coffee, beer, and good people (of all genders) AND you could win some free stuff.
More details: Facebook event page
WELCOME TO WE BIKE NYC!
WE Bike NYC is a community of women who ride bikes! Our goal is to provide a safe space for women to ride together regardless of skill, speed and riding style. Every month we offer a variety of events to get more women on the road including social rides, training rides, mechanics workshops and “field trips.” Rides are open to all women, trans, and gender non-conforming people with a bike!
Last month the group Right of Way took street safety into their own hands and extended the bike on 6th Ave. One of the tactics of this advocacy organization is to use visuals such as a stencil to make the public aware of the dangers on the streets to cyclists and pedestrians from reckless drivers. Although the group has been doing this kind of a thing since 1996, this action was prompted after a tourist got hit by a cab on the sidewalk and the driver tried to blame an angry cyclist.
Here is the article in the NY Times: Unauthorized Bike Lanes Created in Midtown
By Colin Moynihan
September 22, 2013
Bicycling activists including Liz Patek painted unsanctioned bike lanes along a stretch of Avenue of the Americas on Saturday evening.
Photo by: Robert Stolarok for the New York Times.
As night fell on Saturday, about a half-dozen bicyclists emerged from a huddle outside the New York Public Library and began pedaling north. They rode through crowded Midtown blocks where tour buses passed slowly and tourists walked along sidewalks, carrying cameras or copies of Playbill from Broadway theaters.
The bicyclists dismounted at West 49th Street and Avenue of the Americas, where a taxicab struck a tourist from England last month, severing the young woman’s leg.
Yesterday (10/13/13) Right of Way, used their signature stencil, a chalk outline and name, at eight spots where young children have been killed this year. This was part of a 50 mile, four borough ride to memorialize these children and advocate for safer streets.
Here is an article in the New York Daily News: Cycling advocates mark spots of death in four-borough bike ride
By: Reuven Blau
October 13th, 2013
Cyclists stenciled the names of kids killed by automobiles this year at the scenes of their death, part of a 50-mile, four-borough ride to highlight the dangers.–photo by: Barbara Ross
Bike activists cycled all over town on Sunday to stencil body outlines at eight sites where young children have been killed by cars this year.
The advocacy group Right of Way is urging the NYPD to further investigate the crashes, noting the drivers are rarely charged for speeding or other violations.
“From Staten Island to Flushing, it is unsafe to be a child on the streets,” said Keegan Stephan, a Right of Way member.
The NYPD’s policy of stop-and-frisk has been at the forefront of this year’s mayoral race with many potential voters wondering where candidates stand on this issue. At the heart of the debate are serious concerns about racial profiling and illegal search and seizers which tend to overwhelming target young people of color. Many people across the city are concerned whether this is an effective approach to stopping crime or merely a campaign of intimidation and harassment. For the last twelve years, the current mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg has taken a back seat to these procedures and deferred to the police commisioner Ray Kelly to implement these polices with little oversight, which is why so many city residents are wondering how the next mayor will handle things. Similar, although not nearly as invasive, is the NYPD’s attitude towards cyclists. We recently discovered the police’s campaign of harassment goes far beyond just random ticketing. Last month the New York Times reveled that the police have been spying on bicycle activist groups, and infiltrating group rides with under covers.
Recently there was a situation where both the profiling of stop and frisk meets the NYPD’s crackdown on cyclists. A double whammy for Jorge Crespo who had a run in with the police and got frisked, ticketed and possibly his wrist broken.
Here is his story:
My name is Jorge Crespo and on Sunday October 6th around 12:00 AM (or so) on my way home from Queens I was stopped by a cop for running a red light (which I actually stopped for and decided to cross since it was 12 AM and there weren’t any cars at the intersection). I was on the Grand Concourse riding north on the service side and the cop van was all the way on the South bound service side (for those not familiar with The Bronx Grand Concourse is a 6 lane Road divided by side walks and barriers at points). The officer felt that this was such a serious offense that he it was prudent to run over the first barrier cut through 4 lanes and then run over another barrier to get to my side of the road.
The officer asked me to pull over and was extremely hostile and offensive as soon as he walk out the van (at one point he even made light of my weight by saying “If you are a biker you should be in better shape”). He told me that “it is the law to abide by all traffic laws when on a bike”. I tried to get out of the ticket by pointing out that it is 12:00 AM, there is no traffic and i did stop for the red even if i did not wait for it to change. The officer did not care about what I had to say and told me to dismount my bike (not sure why I had to dismount my bike to be ticketed when they don’t ask you to dismount when you are on a car and get a ticket) and went on to frisking me and searching my bag (also not sure why this happen since you don’t get frisked or get your belongings tossed around when you get a ticket while driving a car, I guess cyclist are just such a big threat to society that extra precautions need to be taken). While I was being frisked (while wearing cycling clothing, snug and with no pockets) I heard a Sharp sound and when I turn back my bike was on the floor, when I asked the younger cop why he thew my bike on the floor he claimed he did not “Throw it” he merely “placed it” on the floor. I told them “this is a Thousand Dollar bike and it cant be on the floor” and picked up my bike up and leaned it on a parked card.
The older cop told me “you cant tell us how to do our job” and told the younger cop to put it by the side walk where the bike fell again, this time with more force. At this point I am a bit upset about what is going on and try to walk towards my bike to pic it up once more. I was stopped by the older cop who tells me that I need to “Comply” or will be “taken in”. I told him he can give me a ticket after I grab my bike but I guess I was not “compliant enough” because I got cuffed and taken into custody.
My Ride to the precinct was a painful one, my cuffs were extremely tight and my arms quickly started to cramp up. When I told the officer that I was in pain he just smirked and told me “they are not designed for comfort. I was asked for my info and my identity was established and before we even got to precinct 44. The lead officer told the younger one that I was “clean” and to hand me over 2 summons, one for the light and one for not “complying”. Even though my identity was established and I was cleared before even arriving to the precinct I was still placed on a holding cell. I was in holding for a while before the officers decide that they are ready to let me go home. Eventually I was taken out of the holding cell and handed my 2 summons and shorty after my bike.
I am ready to go home now and noticed that my hands are swollen from the cuffs being too tight but don’t pay too much mind to them because I at this point I am more concerned about my bike than anything else. I decide to check my bike for damage before I leave the station when I discover that is really scuffed and dented all throughout the top tube. I spoke to the Lieutenant and filed a complaint with internal affairs for the poor handling of my bike.
The next day I noticed that I have cuff bruises on my wrists (something hard to pull off since I am dark skinned) but I went about my day as always. Towards midday I noticed that my right thumb was numb and I had lost some dexterity on my right hand. I became very worried and decided that I would go to the ER if my hand did not feel normal by the end of my shift. After a few xrays the doctor told me that I have nerve damage and also may have a broker bone on my wrist. As far as nerve damage goes it “should” heal over time but I need follow up and get more xray done in a week or so to see if the bone is broken or not. I am wearing a cast and cant work for 10 days until I follow up and make sure nothing is permanently damaged.
I believe that the amount of force used on me was extremely excessive totally unnecessary and It seems that this sort of behavior is starting to become a bit of a trend when it comes to how the police treat cyclist. I am very actively involved in the cycling community and lately I have been hearing more and more how cyclist are treated like second had citizens and some times even regarded as vandals just for choosing a healthier lifestyle.
I decided that I would not let this just slide and tell my story to anyone who would listen. I don’t want to sound like I want to pick and choose the laws I want to abide by, but, expecting a cyclist to wait 2 minutes until the light changes again when there are no cars on the road is a bit silly. I feel that traffic laws should reflect the difference between riding a car versus riding a bike and certain adjustments should be made since in this case it is obvious that equality does not mean justice.
Recumbent bikes seem too weird for many riders and chain drives can get greasy and make a mess. Riding positions and the ultimate elimination of the chain have been challenging inventors for decades, in the search for the perfect bicycle. Now, a Polish physicist and designer, Marek has come up with an interesting creation. Welcome to the IzzyBike.
It’s a front wheel drive, no chain, upright riding position, folding and ultra short wheel base bike that is creating a buzz across Europe.
Read more at from Road.cc:
Polish inventor rolls out IzzyBike chainless folder
By: John Stevenson
June 19, 2013
The chain, that nasty, greasy assembly of metal links that connects pedals to wheel, is a favourite target of inventors. The latest attempt to rid us of its grimy horror comes from Poland, where a physicist and inventor called Marek has been working for years on his perfect bike, the IzzyBike.
The IzzyBike is a folding, front-wheel-drive bike with an upright riding position and a ultra-short wheelbase. Marek’s come up with a clever cable mechanism to keep it stable, and has plumped for big fat 29er mountain bike wheels and tyres to keep it rolling well.
On Thursday, Judah took his creation across the Hudson River.
From the NY DailyNews
Judah Schiller introduces ‘water biking’ to New York with ride across the Hudson River
By: Tracy Miller
October 3rd, 2013
(photo by: Tracy Miller)
No bike lane? No problem.
Judah Schiller of San Francisco made a splash Thursday as the first person to ride a bike across the Hudson river – not over a bridge but inches from the water itself, on a contraption appropriately dubbed a “water bike.”