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City Room Blog…Bikers Blog React while Drivers Chat.

cityroom.jpg
The NY Times has a blog called CityRoom which has had a couple of stories that struck the fancy of this Bicycle Blogger.

One was about NYC fixed gear forum, an online source for fans of the single cog to discuss everything from the best music to rock while bombing broadway to who’s making the most colorful parts to pimp your ride. (or more important stuff like the new romance of Tour De France winner Lance and one of the Olsen Twins)

the article, posted on November 14th by Joshua Brustein and titled: Stolen Bike? Geeky Chat comes to the rescue.

Some loyal forum contributers took offense to being called geeks, but the article pointed out how this tight online community was able to help out Agata Slota win back her custom fixie which had recently been swiped.
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Thanks to this bike “geek” Jack for being alert…jack crank.jpg

the other blog posting was about a recent project by Hunter College researchers who monitored 3,210 NYC drivers at 50 intersections just to see how distracted they were while driving…check out the findings… here the next time your quick to blame a cyclists death because they didn’t wear a helmet.

Ugh, Holiday season is close at hand…

There used to be one way to get through the maniacal rash consumerism of the holiday season…Santacon. Now we may have another visual aid, no its not Fred Claus (possibly the worst Holiday movie ever)

Its, “what would Jesus buy”, the new documentary by filmmaker Rob Van Alkemade and produced by Morgan Spurlock.

Its about Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping choir as they travel the country enlighting people of the empending “shopocalypse!”
See the trailer here.

The movie talks about the environmental devastation from Holiday Waste. Did you know…

• From Thanksgiving to New Years Day, household waste increases by more than 25%.

• The amount of cards sold during the holiday season requires the harvesting of nearly 300,000 trees.

• 38,000 miles of ribbon is thrown out each year, enough to tie a bow around the Earth.

This Friday, the film opens in NYC at Cinema Village.

Bike too heavy?

Are you tired of lugging that 20 pound bike up 5 flights of steps? Maybe you should get a bike that weighs 2 pounds and it can survive an attack from schrapnel when your trying to ride to work in the Green Zones.

Check out this video of a new kevlar bicycle…(click image for link)

also it seems there is a new trend of bicycle manufacture’s making “urban bikes.” Bikes meant for the needs of city riders.

The November issue of Dwell magazine, the ecco-sheik, rag had an article on 6 hot new bikes.

Future Gringo talks about the article and here is a link to a dwell’s gallery of 6 bicycles and messenger bags for the new “urban rider.”

bicycle by Kona
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Tricks are for Kids this Thursday

For those of you who like to do things like this on your fixed gear…

Picture by: Cadence

or the things in this video from Luke Stiles:

Then come out this Thursday, under the BQE in the WILLY B. and rip it up at the Peel sessions:

backin up…

Whats been going on? Well I had a pretty hard crash on my bike…yes the fixie, the one with no hand brakes…for all you “victim-blamers” out there. Oh yeah, and I was riding on the sidewalk. I’m not going to lie…it was very unglamorous. I hit a some sort of a weird storm grate down by the Shaffer landing apartments in Williamsburg. Down on Kent Ave. where the cement mixers coming barring through a 2-way roadway nicely lined with cars. Sometimes the sidewalk is the best option. I wasn’t riding very fast and there were no pedestrians insight for me to bother or to witness one of the hardest falls I’ve ever experienced on two wheels. I just flipped over the handelbars and landed right on the old noggin. One word. HELMET. I can not imagine what condition my skull would be in if it were not for that 1/2 an inch of compressed stereofoam padding and a thin layer of plastic. I still got a nice bruise on my head, even with the helmet. But I realized, helmets are a good thing…even on that little trip to the dry cleaners or the deli. Then I tried to not ride my bike for a couple of days, just till I fixed the flat and remembered how to ride a fix again. Every journey on public transportation made me refirm how much more efficient the bicycle is. Sitting there waiting for the F train that never comes and the totally packed L train…I longed to be back on the bike no matter what the road conditions. Once you go bike, you never go back.

Then I turned 37 years old and we celebrated with a bowling party in Williamsburg’s new alley: The gutter. Really fun dive bar and 8 lane bowling alley from the folks who brought you your Pac Man and Donkey Kong vintage arcade fix at Barcade

here are some pictures from our our party.

Here are a few things from the past…

Did you wonder who won the La Bruja Halloween Alleycat in NYC:

NYC 13th Annual Halloween Race

1st Dan Chabanov *Edged Felipe for the win in the last few blocks.
2nd Felipe The King *Caught a massive skitch over the Williamsburg Bridge to put him self back in contention.
3rd Andrew Toews *Don’t sleep on this guy. Third 3rd place finish in a row for him.
4th Ralph N. *Was in the lead after the bridge but got lost in Brooklyn.
5th Chris Cali
6th Yatica
7th Brantley
8th Dominican Chris
9th Cooper *Heard this kid was like 15?!?
10th Wesley

1st Girl Heather M.

Thanks to six racing for posting that…here is a report back from the race…

“The Halloween weekend in NYC is always epic and 2007 was no exception. Whatever your in the mood for its happening here. Want to race bikes that go no where? Well Friday night was your chance. Chris Kim provided the bikes and the fastest legs in this city went at it. Corry the Courier vs. Felipe the King… Watching people ride nowhere was never this exiting. In the end Felipe was still the king. But Crihs still managed to crash a bike that wasn’t moving….”

more at team six report

The race ended at the 5th annual Black Label Bike Club’s Bike Kill…here are two photographers who took some awesome pictures of my favorite mutant bike event…

Tod Seelie of suckapants
I must have left early cause I didn’t realize, they had bike surfing…
photo by Tod Seelie

and our own Ed Glazar took some dope pictures too:

ed’s set

Article on Portland Oregon’s bicycle business

Portland Oregon, “bike city” usa.

Here is a article from the NYtimes

In Portland, Cultivating a Culture of Two Wheels

Cyclists have long revered Portland, Ore., for amenities like on-street bicycle parking.

By WILLIAM YARDLEY
Published: November 5, 2007
PORTLAND, Ore. — Susan Peithman did not have a job lined up when she moved here in September to pursue a career in “nonmotorized transportation.” No worries, she figured; the market here is strong.

Multimedia
Video
The Business of Biking
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Stuart Isett for The New York Times
Trains with spots for riders to park their bikes.
Enlarge This Image

Stuart Isett for The New York Times
Now, business owners like Tony Pereira, a bike builder, are part of the city’s growing cycling industry.
“In so many ways, it’s the center,” Ms. Peithman, 26, explained. “Bike City, U.S.A.”

Cyclists have long revered Portland for its bicycle-friendly culture and infrastructure, including the network of bike lanes that the city began planning in the early 1970s. Now, riders are helping the city build a cycling economy.

There are, of course, huge national companies like Nike and Columbia Sportswear that have headquarters here and sell some cycling-related products, and there are well-known brands like Team Estrogen, which sells cycling clothing for women online from a Portland suburb.

Yet in a city often uncomfortable with corporate gloss, what is most distinctive about the emerging cycling industry here is the growing number of smaller businesses, whether bike frame builders or clothing makers, that often extol recycling as much as cycling, sustainability as much as success.

Like the local indie rock bands that insist they are apathetic about fame, many of the smaller local companies say craft, not money, is what drives them.

“All the frame builders I know got into this because they love bikes,” said Tony Pereira, a bike builder whose one-man operation has a 10-month waiting list, “not because they wanted to start a business.”

Mia Birk, a former city employee who helped lead Portland’s efforts to expand cycling in the 1990s, said the original goals were rooted in environmental and public health, not the economy.

“That wasn’t our driving force,” Ms. Birk said. “But it has been a result, and we’re comfortable saying it is a positive result.”

Ms. Birk now helps run a consulting firm, Alta Planning and Design, which advises other cities on how to become more bicycle-friendly. In a report for the City of Portland last year, the firm estimated that 600 to 800 people worked in the cycling industry in some form. A decade earlier, Ms. Birk said in an interview, the number would have been more like 200 and made up almost entirely of employees at retail bike stores.

Now, Ms. Birk said, the city is nurturing the cycling industry, and there are about 125 bike-related businesses in Portland, including companies that make bike racks, high-end components for racing bikes and aluminum for bikes mass-produced elsewhere. There are small operations that make cycling hats out of recycled fabric. Track, road and cyclo-cross races are held year-round, and state tourism groups promote cycling packages. There is Ms. Birk’s firm, which had two employees in Portland in 1999 and now has 14. There are nonprofit advocacy groups and Web sites, including www.bikeportland.org, that are devoted to cycling issues and events in Portland.

And then there is the growing, high-end handmade bike industry, which was made up of just one or two businesses a decade ago but now has more than 10. The Portland Development Commission is working with a handful of the bike builders to improve their business and accounting skills and help them network with one another.

This month, the city will be the host of a trade show featuring bike builders from Oregon, which locals say has more makers than any other state. And early next year, the North American Handmade Bicycle Show will bring its fourth annual event to Portland for the first time. It is expected to be the largest national show so far.

Sam Adams, a city commissioner in charge of transportation, joined development officials to help lure the show to Portland. It seemed a natural fit. The city regularly ranks at the top of Bicycling Magazine’s list of the best cycling cities and has the nation’s highest percentage of workers who commute by bike, about 3.5 percent, according to the Census Bureau. Drivers here are largely respectful of riders, and some businesses give up parking spaces to make way for bike racks.

“Our intentions are to be as sustainable a city as possible,” Mr. Adams said. “That means socially, that means environmentally and that means economically. The bike is great on all three of those factors. You just can’t get a better transportation return on your investment than you get with promoting bicycling.”

Although the city has worked to help drivers and riders share roadways, two cyclists were killed in October when they were hit by trucks, and questions persist over whether enough is being done to protect cyclists.

Mr. Adams said he was preparing a budget proposal that would spend $24 million to add 110 miles to the city’s existing 20-mile network of bike boulevards, which are meant to get cyclists away from streets busy with cars. Doing so could “double or triple ridership,” he said.

The streets were not always so crowded with cyclists. Andy Newlands, by most accounts the first person in Portland to start making bikes by hand, got into the business in the 1970s. Back then, he said, young men would come to him for help piecing together racing bikes. Now, he said, “More and more it’s some guy with a wife and kids and a BMW and all that, and he wants a handmade bike.”

Thirty years ago Mr. Newlands sold frames for under $300. Now a new bike might cost the buyer well over $5,000.

“There’s so much mass-produced stuff out there that there’s just kind of a little bit of a backlash,” he said. “People like a handmade product.”

Sacha White, who was a bike messenger before he started Vanilla Bicycles, one of the most prominent bike makers in Portland, said city officials embraced not only cycling but also the niche industry that has grown out of it, something he considered striking given the size of most operations. His company, among the largest of its kind, has six employees including himself.

“I think the biggest thing that’s come from the effort the city has put into this is the vote of confidence,” Mr. White said, speaking of bike riders and bike makers. “They want us here.”

Ms. Peithman, the recent Portland arrival, had lived in Chicago until September, where she worked for the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, a nonprofit advocacy group. She decided to move here on her own without any job prospects based “90 percent on the bike thing,” she said.

“I’m a long-term-thinking, spreadsheet kind of girl,” Ms. Peithman said. “This is the most rash thing I’ve ever done.”

Damn, I’m so behind…

Saturday, Oct. 28th was the 5th annual bike kill. Thanks to Black Label Bicycle Club for putting on a great event.

You have to go…make tall bikes and mutant choppers or just ride ones you find at the event. ITS FUN FUN FUN…next year.

There were some great events…the six pack attack, footdown. Some new events like bike surfing, and the big attraction of the evening…Tall Bike Jousting.

Chunk 666 was representin and the Cutthroats from Richmond, VA…who seemed to kick ass at most of the events.

Here are some great pictures from photographer Konstatin Sergeyev
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Flickr set

other photosets:
not elyse

grantcornett

abreck

my flickr set
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Speaking of mutant bikes. If you want to make tallbikes and choppers and other welded creations or you just wanna work on a bike…check out the 1,2,3 Freegan space and their bicycle workshops Wednesday nights 6pm till midnight and Saturdays 2pm to 7pm

more info here and myspace page.

The space is located in Brooklyn at: 123 Tompkins Ave. Between Myrtle and Vemon Ave.

google map

They are having a party This FRIDAY, November 2nd, whoo hoo. with Team Spider and others.

Here is a flyer

here is a little plug from Team Spider:

FREEGAN BIKE PARTY
FRIDAY NOV 2nd 2008
123 Tompkins Street (near myrtle) *G train to Myrtle
Co$t: 7 dollar $ug. donation, 1 dollar BEER$
bands: “Hipster Holocaust,” “Free Stuff”, “Bust the Clocks”, and “Team Spider” ( expect a sweaty mosh pit pogo’rific time )

An article on bike safety.

Normally I wouldn’t post an article like this to dissuade someone from biking based on statistics or to undermine the simple FACT that biking is more popular these days of hyper inflation, global warming and wars for that black stuff that made Ol Jed a millionaire. Is Biking Dangerous? It just stinks of that “blame the victim” bullcrap that folks like to utter like parrots when ever they hear about an accident or worse a fatality. The kind of nonsense of people who think bikes are only for exercise. Biking to work is no more dangerous than being a Puerto Rican in NYC with “Road Rage” undercovers who can’t distinguish a pair of fingers from a wallet. But there are few good tidbits in here that the author points out.

I will post the whole article so it will be archived forever unlike the NYTimes which will eventually make you pay for it.

Thanks to Astoria bike for posting this.

Freakanomics

October 18, 2007, 11:15 am
Will Bicycling to Work Get You Killed?
By Ryan Hagen
Bicycle commuting is on the rise, as evidenced by the following articles in Treehugger.com , the Boston Herald (Dead link) , and USA Today. But if the idea of hitting the road on two wheels — with little to protect you from cars and trucks but good manners — strikes you as pretty risky, you aren’t so far from the mark.

Per kilometer, cyclists are 12 times more likely than car drivers to suffer a fatal accident, according to Rutgers University urban planner John Pucher and Lewis Dijkstra of the European Commission (the same study found traveling by foot to be 23 times more dangerous than driving, per kilometer). To put this finding in perspective, there were 785 bicycling fatalities on American roadways in 2005, compared to 4,881 pedestrian and 43,443 automotive fatalities that same year.

On the other hand, a Danish study (which was done 7 years ago) found that people who do not bike to work suffer a 39 percent higher mortality rate than those who do. So, assuming you can avoid a fatal accident on the road, biking to work may actually help you live longer.

The risks associated with cycling decrease dramatically when more cyclists are on the road, and especially when those cyclists obey traffic laws. This second point is hammered home in this bizarre but brilliant 1963 bike safety film, “One Got Fat” (the eagle — or is it monkey? — eyed among you will have recognized a clip from this film in the Freakonomics video “Does Sport Cause Crime“).

awesome old video:


One thing “One Got Fat” doesn’t mention is helmet use — helmets weren’t widely used until the 1970s, and controversy remains over how effective they are in reducing bike fatalities. (Full disclosure: I bike to work whenever possible, and wear a helmet, an adherent to what a few cyclists I know like to call the Cult of the Styrofoam Talisman.)

So, Freakonomics readers, just how effective are bike helmets?
———————
wow, are we in first grade…like we’ve only advanced so far as to think about weather to wear a helmet or not.

Something more relevant of a debate…

Christian Science Monitor
article on trying to bring the bicycle back to a city so polluted from new economic growth and car culture hysteria.

5 borogeneral awards and goldsprints party

A major endeavor was put on this summer, a 5 borough race series. This Friday they will have the awards and race some goldsprints…

EAST RIVER BAR
GoldpsprintsNYC at 10p
5BoroGenerals Awards 1130pm
Skids and Tricks Shootout – tbd

S6 St and Berry. Williamsburg. Brooklyn.

Come after the cops shut times up party down….

Halloween…what to do?

Ok, if you thought last weekend was fun…Now its Halloween time.

In NYC here is bikeblog’s list of suggestions for bike events Friday and Saturday…

Friday, October 26th…NYC.
First off go to Union Square North around 7:00pm for the annual Halloween Critical Mass. Dress up and ride with friends. (remember this is police state NYC still hellbent on harassing cyclists) best bet is to trickle out of Union Square and join up with friends to ride a bit later than 8:00pm…you’ll figure it out. nuff said.

Then its:

Veloween, the Time’s Up halloween party at 49 East Houston St. featuring Rude Mechanical Orchestra and guest DJ’s. This is a fundraiser for our favorite environmental activist group…so pay what you can. There will also be a costume contest so get creative.

Saturday.

LA Bruja, traditional Halloween Alleycat.

Registration 2:00pm Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn…more details to come…we hope. here

There is my favorite drunken mayhem:

Bike Kill

Brought to you by the fine young folks of the Black Label Bike Club.

1:00pm Sanford and Willoughby…BROOKLYN.

For inspiration: (Bike Kill 06)

The alleycat will end at BikeKill and there will be an after party, nearby.

There is also a DANGER party at 195 Morgan AVE.

and for those in other cities in the US…there are alleycats galore..

New Haven, CT

Washington DC

Pittsburgh, PA

Charlotte, North Carolina
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Detriot Rock City
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San Francisco: Trickster Treat
Proceeds to benefit Glide Memorial
October 31, 7PM, Bow & Arrow at Embarcadero and Folsom.
Costumes, games, candy, prizes, and more.
$10 entry with glow tee shirt, $5 without shirt.
Providence RI
Bike cave for more info

Tallahassee Florida
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Berlin always throws a huge bash:

Wednesday in Boston:

Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Halloween Bike Ride
Meeting at Green Street T Station in JP
8:00pm meet up
8:30pm ride off
Costumes and costumed bikes ghoulishly encouraged!
Helmets and Lights too!
This is a Free Event, DIY Organized and community based.
more info will be posted here as it developes. check back. and spread the word.

we’re planning stops along the way. If you have suggestions or questions, please send them to hwr @ truthserum.org but close the gaps and put “halloween bike ride” in the subject line.

more info and pictures here

Let me know about more…