Nelson Valis, The Cheetah-NYC Messenger Becomes First African American Olympic Cyclist. New Documentary

20140212-102434.jpg (photo by: Paul Rudman)

Nelson Valis, nicknamed, “The Cheetah,” was a former NYC messenger from Harlem who became an Olympic champion in cycling.
He was the first African American to win a medal on the track in the summer games of 84.
Nelson rode professionally from 1988-1995 and was inducted in the US bicycling hall of fame in 2009.

According to PROLLY, a new documentary about this legendary hero is premiering in NYC on Saturday (2/15/14)


Ticket info can be found: here.

A trailer:

Nelson Valis will also be the keynote speaker at this weekends Youth Bike Summit, at the New School in Manhattan.

He’ll be speaking Saturday, the 15th and inspiring cycling leaders of the future with his story of triumph from messenger to track superstar.

And speaking of the Youth Summit, Affinity Cycles founder, Jason Gallacher also speaks about urban cycling culture:

The Youth Bike Summit is an annual three-day national conference bringing together educators, advocates, activists, students, teenagers, practitioners, researchers, policy makers, and community leaders to engage around youth, bicycles, education, and advocacy. We bring people together from different disciplines and backgrounds to network, learn, and explore how the bicycle is a catalyst for positive social change.

If your in NYC this weekend, come check me out at the Youth Bike Summit. I’ll be speaking in a panel discussion at the New School Saturday February 15th at 11am to discuss the Urban Cycling culture. The panel will also include prominent NYC bike messengers including Kevin Squid Bolger founder of Cyclehawk and Carlos Ramirez of Urban Cyclist Worldwide.

Support your community and the future of cycling, for more info go to

Many thanks to the messenger poet Kurt Boone for organizing the panel, and to Recycle a Bicycle for hosting the event. See you this weekend!

Romance on the bike for #Velotinesday

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50 years ago the Beatles came to America and we all fell in love with rock n’ roll. This Friday is Valentine’s Day which I’m tagging: #velotinesday and it’s time to fall in love again. Looking for some romantic bike events for your and your lover? Here are a few options.

Friday, February 14, 2014 – 8:00am to 11:00am

Kick off your Valentines Day festivities with the NYC Bike Ambassadors! Let them know which Street you love best! Take a bike-in-tine photo with your steed! Free coffee as always from Brooklyn Roasting Co.

More info:

Friday, February 14, 2014 – 6:30pm

**This WE Bike NYC ride is open to ALL GENDERS**

Need plans for Valentine’s day? Invite your favorite guy or gal pal for a tandem ride around Central Park! We’ll meet at the southwest corner of E 79th and 5th Ave at 6:30pm. Register early if you want to ride a bicycle built for two, there are limited tandems available! You can ride your own bicycle of course though, so there’s no reason to miss out on the fun! Don’t forget to bring your helmet, and lights!

More info:

There are more ideas on the blog-

Be My Bike Valentine: 8 Romantic Date Rides in NYC

You love to ride your bike, so you’re in luck this Valentine’s Day.

Whether you’ve planned a wheeled rendezvous for two or you think cycling sweethearts are for suckers, you’ve got a very fine Valentine in your bicycle.

Whether you’re solo, coupled or with a whole bike crew, here are some of the most romantic bike rides in New York City.

Read more: here.

Bicycle Roots Bike Shop (Crown Heights-Brooklyn, 609 Nostrand Ave) summed it all up with this twitter post:

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Fly6, A Rear Mounted Dashcam and safety light for Cyclists

Every day on my commute in NYC I witness reckless behavior from motorists, pedestrians and yes…we bikers. Cars driving in the bike lane, newspaper delivery trucks running red lights, doors flinging open, pedestrians not paying attention when jaywalking…And that’s just what I can witness from the front. Who knows what’s going on behind me.

Dashcams, (dashboard mounted video cameras) have become super popular in Russia, due to police and insurance corruption. The footage has reveled some bizarre situations to the point where there are entire youtube channels dedicated to compiling the insanity.

Like, you know, hitting a bear on the highway.

See more at: here.

Now you probably won’t run into a large furry animal on the streets of NYC (insert inappropriate joke) but there is definitely a need for documentation, especially when road rage occurs or reckless driving may endanger you or worse, lead to a crash. When crashes occur, often the scenario is the NYPD arrives at the scene and chalks it up as an accident, with little or no investigation. Sometimes survillence footage can be acquired form within the area, but there’s no guarantee and it may be difficult or impossible to get from store owners.

As the new administration works towards #visionzero, cyclists may have to take matters into their own hands.

Two Australian cyclists also saw a need for documentation on their rides. One of them, was even shot at by a sling shot which lead them to create an on board dashcam of their own.

Introducing the Fly6 rear light with and HD Camera.

The owners from Perth, Australia-Andrew Hagen & Kingsley Fiegert were kind enough to send me one of their latest prototypes.


Due to our wonderful NON-australian weather and still recovering from a broken nose, I haven’t been able to test this unit out on the road but I definitely like what I see right out of the box.

The camera is super light weight and easy to instal to a removable bracket on the seatpost. It’s simple to operate and the footage is easily downloadable and viewable on my computer.

Here are a list of features.

• HD 720p video recording + audio with looping technology. There’s a built in microphone which will probably come handy in recording expletives from angry drivers. It’s meant to be used in the daytime but in well light areas at night–like most streets of NYC, the footage is still fairly good. It’s got a built in wide angle to maximize the range.

• Nano technology, which means they’ve packed a lot into a small light weight unit. It’s also water proof for wet rides…although I wouldn’t try and submerge it in a pool.

• Highly visible tail-light. It has three modes of operation which are cycled through on a switch. A light always has to be on but you can vary the amount of flashing and intensity of bulbs.

• USB rechargeable lithium battery that can last for 5 hours. It’s easy to charge through a computer or plugged into the wall.

• Weight 105 g – 100 mm long. It feels like a slightly large rear tail light.

• 8 Gb micro SD card, which will fit into an adaptor of a card reader.


The main idea of this camera is not to be used as a go pro to document your bad ass rail slide or alleycat, but rather to be record your ride with out having to put much thought into it.

Eventually the idea is also to change the culture and let motorists know their being watched and hopefully act more civil.

Fly6 has just launched a kickstarted campaign in order to get funding to complete their product which is very close to full production.

Here is their kickstarted video to learn more about the product:

To help fund this project and get a fly6 of your own, click the link: here.

Magnetic Bike Lights

Bike lights with a magnetic personality. Stick them on and they start blinking… in red and white variety.

Helsinki based industrial designer Emanuele Pizzolorusso has a new product called Lucetta.

Here is a video:

Get yours today:

Now does this mean you need a steel frame?

Get a Used Bike at

Looking to buy a used bicycle in NYC, that is more personal experience than the anonymousness of Craigslist or EBay?

Check out the new Get Biked.

You’ll be sent a weekly email with a
thorough list of used rides, carefully screened by a moderator. This definitely helps to weed out some of the inflated pricing or confused postings often seen in personal on-line want ads. Like this one recently seen in


A nice looking road bike, but the only information is a store open 7 days a week and a phone number? We’re just supposed to guess where this store is? No store name? No website? Nothing to research?

Not to mention the DIY bike sellers who seem to have an unlimited supply of fresh stock, available on random street corners.

Get Biked seems like a good place to sell a used bicycle for the exact same reasons. They make it easy and offer a simple formatted listing, which helps on what specifics to list.

Cars and Comedians Meet Bikes and Sweets

There is side of me that always feels being an avid cyclist is being the underdog. Maybe it was because I was the awkward short kid who always got picked last for team sports. That made me lose interest in the game, but when I soloed out on a long bike ride, I felt very competitive and actually really came to love sports. This is why I’m always looking for a bike alternative to, well just about anything. I start thinking…”hey, if you can have a car pool…why shouldn’t we (the cyclists) have a bike train.” or “hey, if you pay a lower fee for transporting large amounts of luggage, why do you have to pay a higher set fee if the flight staff finds out your checking in a bicycle?” It’s should be about equality…or maybe the cyclist should get a little better advantage for not polluting the planet…that’s a whole other story though.

Take for example in our media-the big dogs, like Jerry Seinfeld who has his own web only show about driving in CARS With Comedians Getting Coffee (a pretty good idea for a web series)

But, the underdogs should have a show about biking around with your buddies getting sweet things to eat.

Enter Steve Issacs from Los Angeles.
He is the host and creator of:, a web based tv show that explores the vast region of LA on bikes looking for amazing dessert spots.


How awesome is that!

Here’s a little of Sweet Ride’s vision:

“My name is Steve, and I believe in the bicycle. I live in Los Angeles, definitely not the most cycle-friendly city, but riding here has totally changed my perceptions of not just this city, but of how great life can be when you’re not boxed up in a car all the time. The bike also lead me into a vibrant culture of people and ideas that I’d like to share with you as well.”

Steve is a great choice for a host, very informative, a straight talker and not pretentious. The format is great too…Guests are introduced in the beginning who are a great representation of the local bike community. Steve maps out the route and describes the sweets about to be consumed. Then a resident dessert expert (Erika) explains more about the food and how much calories the group will be devouring and burning off.

The latest episode, number 3 in the series, has our old pal Nona Varnado as a guest who has been super busy in LA creating get social networks like:

Check out the show:

Friday Night Videos…from Russia with…Bike Videos.

Here’s a late addition of Video Friday.

I know you’ll all watching the Sochi Olympics waiting for something like this to happen:

There’s nothing like watching an opening ceremony of an Olympic event and see a host countries history depicted through Cirque du Soleil looking performers in unitards.

Perhaps we will feel the unity and the world coming together with Russian Police hoping to “Get Lucky.

I dunno, seems a little flamboyant to me…especially with Russia so particular about sexual preference.
We did get introduced to this year’s Olympic mascots:
(left to right) Fabulous Bunny, Stray(f) the Dog and Pussy Cat Tiger Riot.

In case you’ve missed the action here is a 2 hour special of pre-event coverage by Russian TV.

I know, poor Russia is getting picked on, but I really like the take on Gawker’s sports site Deadspin:

The Haters Guide to the Sochi Games.

If your not interested in obscure winter sports festival hosted by a corrupt country with an abysmal record on human rights…then let’s watch bike videos.

Here is some better sports competition: American Style!!
(seen on: Urban Cyclist Worldwide.

Ok, the bike videos:
Title: State Bicycle Shockwave Video
Seen on: Urban Velo.
Description: Fixed gear freestyle isn’t as visible as it was just a few years back, but there are still plenty of riders out there getting rad. State Bicycle has long had one of the more affordable FGFS complete bikes out there, with this being the latest incarnation, the $579 Shockwave. We reviewed the similar Massacre from State back in May 2012.

Title:CX Hairs: #SVENNESS 2.17
Seen on: Prolly
Description: This is it, the final race of the year for #SVENNESS. This one takes place in Hoogerheide, Netherlands for the 2014 UCI Cyclocross World Championship. Surely by now you’ve seen how brutal this course was, so sit back and enjoy!
Excellent job this year, CX Hairs!

Joe The Ripper Fixed Gear Freestyle Edit

Seen on: Urban Cyclist Worldwide.
Description: Fixed Gear Freestyle Rider Joseph Montano
Aka Joe The Ripper
Two Strap Krew NYC
Song-Ten Cent Pistol- The Black Keys
Shayquan Greenidge
Joey M Rojas
Shayquan Greenidge

Title: Luke Binder #leadthepack
Seen on: TRACKO

Title: A Day in the Life-Budapest
Seen on: TRACKO

Title: A Day in the Life-Overdrive London
Seen on: TRACKO

Continue reading Friday Night Videos…from Russia with…Bike Videos.

Velo Love, Gifts for Velotines Day

That’s right, I said #velotinesday. Start the hashtags now and get your sweetheart biker something nice for this lovely Hallmark holiday., has some cute ideas and put them into a gift guide.

Maybe a complete bicycle is too much. How about some real love, a rim job. Get your mind outta the gutter, I’m talking a about coat hangers, made from bicycle rims.

I saw this over at Urban Velo.


Velocity Rims, makers of the classic Deep V’s are now taking their rims that don’t pass quality control and selling them as coat hangers, for $8.00. Now that’s not recycling, it’s up-cycling!!

Here is more from about this product:

And a little taste of Velocity’s operation:

Urbanvelo is a great place to learn about slick bike products such as:

Shimano Gets in the Camera Game: Shimano Sport Camera


Lightweight, mountable cameras have become a cyclist’s best friend these days. A brand synonymous with bikes themselves, it’s no wonder that Shimano is getting in on the camera game. At 86 grams, Shimano’s Sport Camera weighs less than many bike lights–which is good, since it uses an adhesive mount. Waterproof up to 10 meters and sealed to keep out dust and mud, the camera can record for up to two hours in 1080 HD and offers a standard 135-degree and super wide 180-degree mode. WiFi capable, the Sport Camera settings can be controlled through a smartphone, which can also be used to view footage immediately. What that really means is that all your bike exploits caught on camera can be uploaded and shared before you even get home. Available in May for $299; watch footage from the Sport Camera now at


Now if your looking for laughs…here’s a great gift. Remember how the knights got around in Monty Python’s the Holy Grail? Bang a couple of C
coconuts to make a horse sound effect?

Now available for your iron steed.

Check out: k

Slush, Studies and Summits.

One thing cyclists love to do is ride their bicycles…well maybe not in the #slushopoclypse that plagued the streets of NYC over the last couple of days.
20140205-194726.jpg(Photo by: @ClosestBikeNY )

Even die hard mechanic Hal Ruzal from Bicycle Habitat known for commuting shirtless, (not in this weather) opted for the subway.
He did however find a sweet bike for the ride home, incase you were worried. 20140205-193743.jpg(photo by: @khp_art )

Bike blogger, Liz Patek at: wrote about getting around in what she called: “Slush-Apaloza.”

Getting from A to B this morning was a hot slushy mess this morning no matter which mode of transportation you chose.


Read more: here.
Continue reading Slush, Studies and Summits.

the Youth, the Youth…the Youth are on Fire! 2014 Youth Bike Summit-NYC

Once again, Recycle-A-Bicycle is bringing together young people from NYC and around the country to inspire the next bicycle leaders of tomorrow. It’s the 2014 Youth Bike Summit –Next week, February 14th-16th at the New School-55 West 13th St. NYC.


Mission of the summit:

Youth Bike is an organization that embraces the values of the Youth Bike Summit and fosters our work on a national scale. The structure of this new model more accurately reflects the complexity of our growing movement, its outcomes, and its potential. Youth Bike is a key element in helping to transform the future of national bike advocacy as it takes the necessary steps toward becoming a more accessible, inclusive movement.

Their will be everything from hands on activities, craft making and interactive lecture series on subjects such as LED construction, Bike Zines and strategizing about youth inspired bicycling revolution! (ok, maybe I got carried away.)

Just for a little inspiration, Steve Vance from Chicago Streetsblog has an interview with the Girls Bike Club, an after school program in the Chicago area of young woman cyclists. They’ll be heading to NYC for the YBS and he caught up with them to get their thoughts.

Girls Bike Club Gets Ready For the Spotlight at Youth Bike Summit
by Steve Vance
February 3rd, 2014
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Girls Bike Club, a youth group and after school program at West Town Bikes in Humboldt Park, is gearing up for an expanded role at the Youth Bike Summit in New York City on February 14.

Girls Bike Club has about six core members and meets every Wednesday to organize upcoming bike rides or garden days, hang out, and, for months preceding the summit, plan their involvement.

Having seen the successful Heels on Wheels Fashion Show at the Logan Share last month, I met with Girls Bike Club and one of the volunteer adult facilitators, Sara Laurino, at West Town Bikes to learn more about what they’re up to.

Ulana Coutts, who will be going to the Youth Bike Summit for the first time this year, said the group “focuses on getting girls on bikes, to make it easier for women and girls to be part of the bike community, and to do bike maintenance ourselves.” Marissa Macias added that it’s a “female youth council, to figure out our role as young females.”

Read the whole story and see a video: here.