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Alleycats in Louisville, Kentucky

This Saturday, October 1st.

More info at: myspace.com/louisvillealleycat

Tod Seelie–Photos of bikers and more.


Tod Seelie of Suckapants is having another photo show…opening in Portland, Maine.

Tod is a rising photography superstar and prominent member of the NYC bike community. His images take us on the road with high energy music tours, down rivers on homemade barges and reveal to us the exciting underside of art on the cutting edge.

From Tod:

“Hi,

My second solo show for the year, Constant Quarry, opens tonight at SPACE Gallery in Portland, ME. DJs Dirtyfinger, Stache, and Porkchop of the Black Label Bicycle Club will be spinning at the opening from 5-9, and then afterward they will ramp it up to a down-n-dirty dance party till 1 am. Tomorrow night (Saturday) will feature performances by Matt & Kim and Japanther, accompanied by another set by the Black Label boys. If you happen to be within striking distance of Portland, Maine, come on by. It’s beautiful up here, the leaves are starting to change and the air is crisp with the scent of the ocean. I will be in Portland for the next week as part of a small residency with the Bakery Photo Collective. I’ll also giving an artist talk at the gallery on Monday, Oct. 6th, and a guest critique at the Maine College of Art on Oct. 7th. Details below. Thanks!

More Links of Tod’s work:

everydayilive.com
ofquiet.com
Todseelie.com

This Saturday…Kids Bike Parade

Photo from last year

The Lower East Side Kids Art Bike Parade:

The neighborhood’s kids are psyched, waiting to unveil bikes they’ve transformed at the bike decorating workshops in September. The Rude Mechanical Orchestra and the Bari Koral Family Band are ready to play. Local chefs are cooking up treats for after the parade. And 47 bike-less kids now have donated bicycles that have been tuned up, decorated, and ready to take home after the parade.

Here’s the schedule:

10:00 am-11:00 am: last-minute bike decorating, bike helmet fitting, Learn to Ride workshops.

11:00 am: speakers including Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, New York State Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh, and City Councilwoman Rosie Mendez.

11:30 am: parade forms up; music by Rude Mechanical Orchestra

12:00 noon: the parade!

1:00 pm: Celebrate with music by the Bari Koral Family Band, free snacks, games, face painting and more.

1:45: Bike decorating winners announced; raffle prizes (free raffle for all participants)

Still don’t have a bike? Among the items in the free raffle are five bikes in great condition, courtesy of Recycle-A-Bicycle.

The LES Kids’ Art Bike Parade, sponsored by the East Village Community Coalition, celebrates sustainable transportation and community building, with the help of local artists, businesses and politicians.

Co-sponsors include Transportation Alternatives, Recycle-A-Bicycle, Bike New York, New York City Housing Authority, Lower East Side People’s Mutual Housing Association, New York City Department of Transportation, and the Children’s Museum of the Arts.

For photos from last year’s event, see Here.

For a video about last year’s event, see here.
###

Here we are at my new home.

Yes, I made the switch to WordPress. Things are moving along here at bikeblog and my life is a bit chaotic right now but welcome to my new site. I will be spending time updating this blog as I learn the fine intricacies of word press.

Not only did my blog move, but my wife and I moved from the hip and trendy Williamsburg to the South Side of Park slope, which I like to call Parkslopia. We are expecting our first child in November and well thats the law…you’ve got to be one of those people with the stroller and the food coop and the amazing park.

As I unpack the boxes and look for those field manuals on newborn care, I will continue you to do my best to bring you the good, the bad and the ugly sides of bicycle culture in NYC and beyond.

stay tuned.

Just experimenting with new things

bikeblog

Here it is

Bicycle News roundup 003

Well its that time again, mid week. So here is what google says is happening in the world of bicycle news:

From Velo News:

Sebastien Hinault wins stage 10 in the 63rd Vuelta a España, (Grand Tour of Spain)

Crédit Agricole couldn’t imagine a better going away present than a stage victory Tuesday in the 63rd Vuelta a España in what’s its swansong grand tour.

The long-standing French team — set to fold at the end of the 2008 season after a new sponsor couldn’t be found to replace the departing French bank — earned a rare bunch sprint victory with French veteran Sébastien Hinault.

Read the rest Here
………………..

Cincinnati

Local paper City Beat has an article on the unfriendliness of biking in this Ohio city.

Cover Story: No One Rides for Free
Lack of vision, planning and investment have made Cincinnati a ‘bike unfriendly’ city

BY Danny Cross | Posted 09/03/2008

It’s difficult to ride a bicycle in Cincinnati, and not just because it’s hilly and the weather sucks and our neighborhoods sprawl 30 miles away into another counties and states.

It’s not because there are few bike racks and even fewer bike lanes. It’s not because each neighborhood presents its own set of problems for planners and engineers or the fact that Cincinnati hasn’t had a planning department since 2002.

It’s not because the newest map of the city’s bike routes is from 1998 or that you’re just as likely to get a biggie-size Coke thrown at you while riding along Central Parkway than you are to receive a friendly wave.

Article here.
………………..

Arizona

The Leauge of American Cyclists has named Arizona the third most bicycle friendly state.

Arizona named a bicycle-friendly state
Reported by: Tricia Garcia-Captain

More Arizonans are ditching gas-guzzling cars for bicycles to commute to work and for recreation.

The League of American Bicyclists named Arizona the third most bicycle-friendly state in the country for its encouragement of bicycling among riders of all ages.

States were judged on six categories that support bike use, including legislation, education and encouragement, and infrastructure.

Washington is ranked number one on the list of bicycle friendly states, followed by Wisconsin at number two.

The rest here.
…………………….

Sydney Australia,

A group of researchers presented their findings from a study which states the best way to increase bicycle safety is to put more bicycles on the road.

Read this report from Scientific American. Includes a 60 second podcast.
……………………..

NYC,

From right here in New York, Stuart Post got his article in City Limits about his experience at the August Critical Mass:


WHO’S AFRAID OF
A PEACEFUL BIKER?
A spontaneous evening goes awry, leaving skid marks on this cyclist’s view of his city. By Stuart Post

City Limits WEEKLY #655
September 8, 2008

Editor’s note: Using a bicycle for transportation on the streets of New York City can be an intimidating, and downright dangerous, endeavor. The Bloomberg administration is working to make the city more bike-friendly – through newly designated bike-only lanes, to cite the most visible example. But how bike-friendly can a city be if its premier grassroots cycling event operates in an atmosphere of police hostility? That’s one question that occurred to self-described “accidental anarchist” Stuart Post, a 48-year-old resident of the Gramercy Park area, who joined last month’s Critical Mass bike ride.

read the rest here.

San Francisco has Summer Streets too.


Looks like the West Coast is also getting into the closed streets idea, much like our Summer Streets here in NYC.

I got this off Streetsblog

From, New Yorker Jen Petersen.

San Francisco held its inaugural car-free “Sunday Streets” event last weekend. New Yorker Jen Petersen was there and files this report.

Whatever the weather, San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf doesn’t suffer from a shortage of dollar-shelling, strolling tourists on weekends, and so clearing street space for more people-powered mobility on a sunny morning had instant takers. As was the case at New York’s Summer Streets, more than a few participants simply stumbled upon the event. And since Civic Center and Fort Mason was hosting the U.S.’s first Slow Food Nation, a foodie-drawing tribute to regional, small-scale food producers, there was an even greater influx of slow and deliberate pilgrims on this particular weekend. There wasn’t a chance that the northern part of the route would go un-used, though I wondered how many San Franciscans actually ventured that way. But save for the artisan street vendors set up as usual at Market Street and Embarcadero, the weekend-shuttered financial district was still a tourist no-go zone.

South of the Ferry Terminal Building (itself a regional foods marketplace), however, cyclists, walkers, rollerbladers, and runners transitioned to the physical activity-promoting leg of the route. And so rounding the bay’s curve to South Beach, where the SF Giants’ AT&T Park was open for base running, and the China Basin inlet, where Cheryl Burke Dance Studio offered Tribal Belly, Afro-Colombian, Salsa, and East Coast swing dance classes all morning, the re-appropriative potential of the street came to life. I maintain: there is no higher social use of street space than dancing!

read the rest Here.

Speaking of San Francisco. Chris Carlsson, one of the original riders of Critical Mass, author and world traveler will be the keynote speaker at this years Conflux festival. Sept 11th-thru the 14th. in NYC.

Conflux Festival is the art and technology festival for the creative exploration of urban public space.

Video from August Critical Mass

Video from last month’s Critical Mass. Cops forcing people stopped at a red light into the intersection and then ticketing them for running a red light. Nice. At least they didn’t tackle anyone.


CRITICAL TACKLE – “One Month Later” – (do the cops apologize?) from Xris Spider on Vimeo.

If you have enjoyed the last 8 years: the failed economy, the highest unemployment rate since 2003, invading a country based on false information, the erosion of our civil liberties, then be my guest and vote for these two.

You deserve another 4 years of the same crap.

One of the most frightening indications of the direction our country has taken isn’t thousands of miles away in some strange country we have occupied or are about too. Its right here in the USA and it was on display in the actions of thousands of police unleashed to handle demonstrations at this years Republican National Convention in Minneapolis. Maybe we can expect journalists to be jailed and beaten in Iraq. Maybe we can read about prisoners being tortured with black hoods over their heads in Abu Ghraib. Perhabs we can know about citizens being accused of terrorist acts for helping to plan protests in Fallujah. But all of this occurred and was documented outside the Xcel center where the Republicans announced their acceptance to the general election. It is the new face of homeland security in the privatized era of neo-conservative ideals. While Sarah Palin was busy bad mouthing community service, the police were doing a disservice to the community by indiscriminately using tear gas, rubber bullets, concusion grenades and mace on a few protesters with different political ideologies and wearing black bandannas. Knocking down newspaper boxes and blocking traffic is called: civil disobedience and should be dealt with by a procedural non-violent arrests. Instead it was brutal oppression by a militarized police force who think they are fighting insurgents in Afghanistan. An abusive display of violence which harmed innocent bystanders, accredited journalists and anyone who got in the way of a law enforcement and national guard rampage gone wild.

Now why did bikeblog report so much on these conventions when this is supposed to be a blog dedicated to the bicycle? Well, I’d love to report on warm and fuzzy stories like bike sharing programs at these gatherings…but it just doesn’t seem important when my fellow citizens and friends are being abused, chased, attacked, beaten and arrested. Sorry, I just can’t be silent. And besides I like to follow up on things.

So here is a wrap up report from I-witness video. A dedicated group of citizens, armed with video cameras who go to demonstrations to document police activity.


Hello folks,

Here is an overview of what the members of I-Witness Video saw and
experienced over the past week or so in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Regards,
Eileen Clancy

for the I-Witness Video Collective

————–

Violence and cruel treatment directed at protesters by police;
Journalists targeted for arrest, harassment, intimidation and surveillance

Police Violence in the Streets

The members of I-Witness Video have been appalled to see a high level of
violence directed against peaceful demonstrators, medics, legal observers
and journalists at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul,
Minnesota.

Concussion grenades, smoke bombs, CS gas (tear gas), rubber bullets and
pepper spray were used to attack and herd demonstrators.

In particular, pepper spray was used excessively and indiscriminately to
torment and punish demonstrators in a manner that violates widely accepted
law enforcement standards. In one instance a man was pepper-sprayed while
handcuffed and then punched in the kidneys. Peaceful demonstrators have
been restrained and forced to kneel on pavement for hours after being
pepper sprayed without being given medical attention. In another instance
where pepper spray was used to preemptively punish a person who was
perceived by police to be a protester, a lone street medic was entering
her car when police drove up, sprayed a small fire extinguisher sized
canister of pepper spray into her car, completely soaking her head to toe
before driving away, leaving her gasping for air and collapsing. The
medic was neither arrested nor charged.

Here is a clip showing police use of pepper spray.
CNN.com video Clip

Abuses in the Jails

The treatment of arrestees in the jails has been shockingly bad, even
grisly. Medical care has been withheld from many arrestees. In one
instance a hemophiliac was offered gauze as treatment for a wound. Elliot
Hughes, a 19-year old arrested while bicycling, was forced to wear a bag
over his head while being gagged and beaten. Hughes tells his story at a
press conference:
Youtube video

full video here.

The punishment of arrestees did not end at the jailhouse door. In almost
every instance, the Sheriff’s Department did not return any personal
belongings to arrestees upon their release. Many, including under-age
women and girls, were put out in the cold in the middle of the night
wearing thin prison-grade shorts and a white t-shirt. Some were dropped
off as far as five miles away from the jail without their house keys, car
keys, cell phones, identification, or money. In some instances this meant
that they were not able to access critically needed medication.

Targeting of Journalists

Many journalists working during the period of the RNC experienced
obstruction, harassment and arrests. Thirty journalists were arrested
including reporters from ABC News, Fox News, and Indymedia. On September
1, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar, two producers from Democracy
Now! were slammed on the pavement and against the wall, arrested and
charged with a felony riot. Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman was also
arrested and charged with interfering with a police officer. On September
4 Kouddous was arrested again, along with Democracy Now! producer Rick
Rowley.

Harassment of I-Witness Video

Members of I-Witness Video were visited by the FBI and a Wisconsin
sheriff, were falsely arrested without charges being filed, underwent a
search under an invalid warrant, were threatened on the street by police
officers, extensively surveiled by police officers with video cameras and
followed by undercover officers.

Two days before the convention opened, St. Paul police surrounded the
house we were staying in, effectively placing us under arrest for two
hours. When a search warrant was finally produced, it was for the wrong
house.

When we declined to allow them to search our house under an invalid
warrant, they broke in and held us at gunpoint. We were handcuffed behind
our backs and held in the backyard while the house and our belongings were
searched.

During the same period three other member of the collective were detained
while leaving the area on bicycles and two others in a car were pulled
over and detained for four hours.

An excerpt of a video by the Glass Bead Collective shows the St. Paul
police breaking into our house and pointing guns at us:
video here.

In a sinister progression of events, police officers arrived at our office
building four days later with batons at the ready, carrying a battering
ram and alleging that we were holding people hostage in the I-Witness
Video office. A prompt response by National Lawyer’s Guild attorneys
thwarted further police action. The unfounded and absurd allegation by
police that hostages were barricaded in our office could have allowed them
to enter our office without a warrant and possibly even shoot us.
5th.
Please check our website for updates – we will continue to let you know
more about the 2008 RNC and DNC as we investigate further.

But police brutality isn’t limited to just these big demonstrations, they happen all the time including at a concert last Friday, Sept. 5th in NYC.

Chris Ryan of team spider made these two videos.

see the violence and tazzering at:

Teamspider blog.

Bikeblog round up, 02

Searching the world of bicycle related blogs.

London, UK

Buffalo Bill at Moving Target Zine has a description of the Marcus Cook Award. Each year this prized trophy is awarded to an outstanding member of the international messenger community. Its time for the nominations.

Check out more Here.

Japan

Asakusa, at Fixylife has a few snapshots from this years bicycle film festival. My Japanese isn’t so good though.

my Korean’s not good either…but there’s a Korean fixed gear blog now.

Cranky

Europe

Heatherbikes has completed her bicycle tour of Europe. Check out some amazing photos from the trip and see the entire route.

Alaska

Jill a journalist and avid cyclist in Alaska has some notes on Sarah Palin and mostly some amazing photos of our most North reaching state.

Check it out at Arcticglass

NYC

All Posers Must Die has alerted me that the Rats are Back.

Starting Monday, Sept. 8th, sprint race series begins again.

More info at ratpackhustle

And in the New Blog spotlight…

I found:

Velotopia from my old home town of Seattle Washington. Their editor and chief, David Cole had a great quote: “Bicycling is the source and cure of all of my problems.” (I wish it were that simple)

Here’s what it says about their site: “About Us

We like bikes. We firmly believe that anything with two wheels and pedals will lead you down the road to happiness. This website is about that road.

There’s quite a few different bike subcultures out there: from brakeless fixie kids pedaling in skin-tight denim to hairless racer dudes drafting in skin-tight lycra and we tend to like them all. We like organized rides with bountiful food stops and numbers pinned to our jerseys just about as much as we like to get surly and take over the streets on the last Friday of the month. We like pump tracks, dirt parks, Sunday rides, midnight races, velodromes, single track, watching the tour, touring the countryside, climbing hills, Thursday crits, truing our wheels, anything to do with bikes we like. And that’s what this website is about: Bikes!”