Friends Bike Stolen

Another bike is kidnapped. My good friend and co-worker, Matt Craig, had his bicycle stolen today near 11th and 5th Ave. According to police, this is a high target area for bicycle thieves. The lowest of the lot. Of course the mere fact that the police know this is a little unsettling, but after all we can’t expect a tiny police force like the NYPD with 40,000 cops (6th largest standing army in the planet) do anything about petty bike theft. I mean they’re way to busy making sure we don’t ride in groups of more than 30.

Matt had just been given permission by his adoring wife to buy a commuter bicycle to be able to get to the various location he frequents for work. The deal is that Matt is going to work as much as he can while Lisa stays home and takes care of their baby son Liam. Believe me, this is a fair compromise because it may seem glamorous to work in Hollywood but we often put in 18 hour days and 80 hour weeks. (I know, I can hear the worlds tiniest violins playing now)

Matt, like me, works as a freelance union lighting technician in the film and television industry. That’s right, those people who take over all the parking, shine bright lights into your windows late at night and have young production assistants with headsets on, trying to tell New Yorkers where they can cross the street.

I had just gotten off a television pilot shooting on location in Lower Manhattan where almost the entire electrical crew rode bicycles…slowly my local union is realizing just how convenient it really is and I’m not just a freak for riding my bike everywhere. Like many people who work here in the city, us film people have the same problems…unsafe bicycle parking. Luckily for us, on this job, our boss was very bicycle friendly, a fixed gear junkie, and made sure we all stored our bikes on the electric truck. This was a rare occurrence, kind of like finding a midtown office allowing you to take your bike into the building.

Well that job has long past and Matt had just locked his bike up near set, thinking it would probably be safe. He did not have a very good lock however. These days you can not slack on the bike locking. Petty theft is up, bike theft is up. Bikes should be locked with Kryptonite chains (thats right the $90.00 one) and both wheels should be locked. As well as something dealing with quick release wheels and some sort of solution for locking the seat. Its still New York after all.

So I am writing this not to slag on the NYPD, not to tell ridiculous anecdotes about the film industry but to alert people that this bicycle was stolen.

Here is a stock picture of the bicycle:

It is a mustard colored Salsa Casserole, single speed bicycle. He bought the bike about a month ago from NYC Velo.

If you have any information about this bike please call: Matt Craig at (917)922-9384 or email him:

Please help this poor film technician be able to get to work clean and efficient and not continue to do something god awful like take public transportation or a motor vehicle.

Party tomorrow at Affinity Cycles

Bike Sharing Program gains popularity.

This just in from Gothamist:

Bike sharing program…

read more here

A new bike sharing program on Governors Island has proven so popular that the DOT is considering ways to implement a similar program throughout the rest of the city.

The forum for urban design is offering a bike sharing program starting today.

Awesome short documentary on CMWC 2008

Bad to the Bike

Another article found by Joe Hendry of Mess Media

Picture of Augie Montes, 34.

Bad to the bike

Messengers dodge traffic—and peril—in the streets of Chicago

By Leonor Vivanco

Red Eye, July 8, 2008

They are the road warriors of Chicago streets.

Bike messengers slice through traffic, clashing with drivers, battling buses, sometimes yelling at cabbies and dodging pedestrians who dare to cross their path. Broken bones and scars are their badges of honor. Their armor: simple, speedy bicycles, messenger bags large enough to hold a 30-pack of beer, cargo straps to carry boxes, dispatch radios and, most important of all, helmets.

More than 300 bike messengers in Chicago work year-round to accomplish one important mission: delivering packages as safely and quickly as possible. They make an estimated 1.1 million deliveries a year, mostly downtown, according to the city’s 2015 Bike Plan, which was implemented in 2006. The more runs they make, the more money they earn.

But, as they buzz along city streets, bike messengers ride a fine line between adventure and risk. Some drivers and pedestrians who share the road see messengers as reckless riders who follow their own set of rules.

Messengers admit to breaking traffic laws and riding aggressively.

“A lot of times it’s very likely the messenger who just broke the traffic law you saw is delivering a document that directly affects your life,” said Augie Montes, 34, co-owner of 4 Star Courier Collective and a bike messenger for eight years.

“It’s not really about trying to be the biggest badass downtown. It’s trying to get the job done and trying not to break your neck in the process,” he said.

The job has its occupational hazards—including the risk of injury or even death.

More than 6,000 crashes between bicycles and motor vehicles were reported in Chicago between 2001 and 2005, with 30 bicyclists killed, according to the city’s Transportation Department.

City officials are trying to make roads safer for all cyclists. In March, the City Council approved fines ranging from $150 to $500 for certain driving violations, including turning left or right in front of a bicyclist, passing a bicyclist with less than three feet of space, opening a vehicle door into the path of a bicyclist, and parking in a bicycle lane.

Some bike messengers doubt the new laws will be enforced. Even so, the fines are a positive step, said Amy Polcaster, 20, of Humboldt Park.

“It sends a message there are bikers in Chicago. We’re not trying to hurt anybody, but we’re here, and we’d like a little room in the street,” said Polcaster, who delivers food for Freshii catering on her bike, often hauling 50 sandwiches and 50 cans of pop to businesses.

Even though the job can be dangerous, bike messengers brave blistering cold winters, wet springs and humid summers because they say they love the job.

“You don’t have someone looking over your shoulder. You’re not stuck in a cubicle all day,” said Rene Cudal, 40, a messenger for 13 years who lives in Noble Square and a co-owner of 4 Star Courier Collective.

On an average day, a bike messenger makes roughly 30 deliveries and clocks at least 30 miles, messengers say. They can take home an average of $100 a day, Cudal said. Some messenger companies pay commission per delivery, while others pay an hourly wage plus commission.

The messengers defend their job, saying it’s not an easy one. Instead, it’s a balancing act in a race against time.

“A lot of people do not really realize how hard it is. [They think] ‘Oh, you’re just riding your bike,’ ” Cudal said. “But let’s see you cut through this traffic and get to North Avenue [from Superior and Wells Streets] in seven minutes.”

The need for speed

Bike messengers’ skills will be put to the test Labor Day weekend in the 11th annual North American Cycle Courier Championship in Chicago. The sanctioned event, which crowns a working bike messenger in North America as the winner, will be held on a closed course in Garfield Park, where checkpoints and assigned pick-up and drop-off locations simulate a day of work.

Slacktivists hit the streets on Friday.

Old school protest on Friday…”Let Him Eat Shit.”
Read all about it here

Good blog for Tour coverage

No P only V.

Thanks to the success of the Hellcat, the all woman’s alleycat in NYC,
(Photos by J. Martinez, more from that event here)

…Philly presents:

Saturday, July 19th in Philadelphia. All V, no P. Registration is at 1pm @ Lemon Hill. There’s even a BBQ after party with DJ Lady Prowl.

Think Bikes

and what do you think of?

Death deifying feats of acrobatics? wanted a shout out. They are a mountain bike stunt team available in the UK for all types of events including weddings, bar mitzvah’s and more…they’ll even train you in the technical mastery of handling your ride to do things like this:

Who is the next tv star…

Perhaps its squid and the crew at cyclehawk.

They’ve got a new trailer for a tv show.