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Video footage from at the banks…


Video by Nubloom

and he says he has no video experience…

DC’s AZ wins Markus Cook Award…congratulations

Andy Zalan, from 2006 perverts invitational in DC. photos by demoncats

from tour LeMond:

Congratulations to Washington DC’s own Andy Zalan, race organizer, messenger, tricks master…nice work.
This comes from Joe Hendry of messmedia.org:
“The International Federation of Bicycle Messenger Associations (IFBMA) is pleased to announce that Washington DC messenger Andy Zalan has been awarded the 2007 Markus Cook Award. The Cook Award is given annually to bike messengers who best represent the camaraderie and community spirit of the international messenger community. In the past year, Andy set up the Destination Dublin race series in Washington that enabled several DC messengers to travel to the Cycle Messenger World Championships in Dublin, Ireland. His annual bike messenger calendar is a tribute to those who work day in and day out.

However, beyond Andy’s accomplishments of the last year, lies a decade long history of community advocacy and bridge building among American and European messengers. Andy is one of the founders of the District of Columbia Bike Couriers Association, one of the first organizers of alleycat racing in Washington and he brought the world to his city as host of the 1998 Cycle Messenger World Championships.

Andy has been instrumental to the continued success of the CMWC and is a critical component of the international messenger community. In his nomination for the award, veteran Swiss messenger, Luk Keller accurately summed up the international messenger community’s appreciation of Andy Zalan:

“He never loses the spirit. He unites every aspect of what I like about messengers (he’s uncomplicated, he can race, he can party, he’s good-looking, he’s smart, friendly, badass…helpful) and by being the way he is he unites the messenger mob with the messenger snob.”

With all this in mind, the IFBMA and previous Markus Cook Award winners are pleased to welcome Andy to the list of winners.”

Yesterday was great for bikes…MASH Screening and more.

New York City’s bike community provides. This Saturday was the New York premiere of the freestyle track bike riding sensation: MASH SF. This 1 hour video, three years in the making from film makers/photographers Gabe Morford and Michael Martin, is the first of its kind to present track bikes in the same visual documentation synonymous with bmx, skate and snowboard videos. The two filmmakers, hailing out of the bay area, achieved a fluid visual style, showing off their top riders and utilizing the varied topography of San Francisco proper. That’s right…long, steep, winding HILLS. 17 members make up the MASH crew of bikers, each with their own unique style. Some messengers, some former skateboarders and some new to the idea of riding a 4 block wheelie on a bicycle designed for a spandex Olympic athlete on a velodrome. Track bikes have been in the spotlight for years and its no surprise the level of ability both for riders and for the bikes themselves, but MASH SF brings it the big screen and there is no doubt this video has and will influence the scene.

Gabe Morford was in town to show the complete video for the first time in NYC. MASH SF, has taken many forms, first as a trailer distributed widely on the internet, then as a shorter version first being unveiled at last years bicycle film festival. Now the movie has premiered in its home town of SF, and beginning to travel which brought Gabe to NYC. Then its back to LA and then to Tokyo, where track bike culture has recently exploded.

I called Gabe on Saturday to try and set up an interview to get more of the story behind the film. I hadn’t heard from him and assumed he wad just busy with the hectic schedule of setting up the screening. Sunday he called back with an apology. Turns out he had just gotten out of jail. No more than an hour or so in New York, Gabe was fixing his bike for the abuse of airplane travel. He rode up on the sidewalk in Brooklyn and was stopped by undercover officers who saw a small clip in his front pants pocket. Turns out Gabe had a pocket knife which later turned out to be enough of a blade to somehow merit felony charges. I’d love to laugh this off and file under a humorous “Welcome to New York,” but come on…lucky he wasn’t an African immigrant or we might be filing this under a coroners report. Well, welcome to Police state New York.

After a night in the tombs, getting a lawyer to smooth a felony down to community service in SF, and a busted tooth (unrelated), Gabe was ready to begin the enjoying himself portion of this sour experience. First up was an alleycat race put on by Kyle of Skate/BMX/Track bike boutique: Dave’s Quality Meats and Brad of Trackstar, local hangout, bike shop, purveyor of slick parts to up your ride’s slick appearance and your body with cool clothes.

About 30 riders showed up to race at the bike polo grounds at Broome and Chrystie. The Sunday ritual pick up gang was going on in the sunken court while players nursed hangovers. The racers waited as grey clouds rolled overhead with a possible threat of rain. Racer lined up against the wall with their bike out of site in the ramp leading to the polo courts. Here, race organizers put their manifests in their spokes so no one had any advance notice of the checkpoints and it was on. Chris Ryan of team spider was shooting for me. He lives the Fuck brakes lifestyle named after his bands new album. Now when I say fuck brakes, I don’t mean a brakeless fixed gear, that you can stop with your feet. I mean…fuck brakes…no working brakes except to hear the Fred Flinstone scaping sound behind me of Chris’s Vans as he tries to make some attempt to slow down. Wait this is the guy carring the expensive video camera?

After the start of the race, we head over to the closest checkpoint at Trinity and Exchange Place which turned out to be on of the last points before the finish since all of the racers head to destinations uptown first. The off the cuff goal at this checkpoint was to pick one of the dead flowers in a box, give it to a complete stranger and say something romantic. Doug, hit the checkpoint first in about 40 minutes. We all had a great time watching sweaty racers trying to give a mangled flower to tourists. We got great footage of this.

Then we rode to the finish which was also the site of a Tricks competition hosted by Cadence Clothing. Doug, of local food delivery and polo king, won the race in record time. Congratulations.
Here are the race results:

1. doug (free)
2. crihs (track)
3. jersey dan (track)
4. raphael negron (track)
5. andrew (free)
6. yatika (track)

Thanks Crihs for posting this. (I sure as hell didn’t know what was up)

The tricks event was down at the Banks, famous skate and bmx spot under the Brooklyn Bridge on the Manhattan side. The place was filled with skaters going off ramps and bmx riders getting serious air on a side of the bridge itself. The Banks got their name for their brick, steep sides which cover one whole length, under the bridge, about 2 blocks long. Its amazing this place exists and thankfully it has remained the same way for decades. Check out this old school video. Back in the day.

This was a fun day…spent watching the emergence of a new style of bike riding…doing tricks on track bikes. People began to see the possibilities. Mike Dee and Kym Perfetto were our host of short webisode we are making at play in traffic productions…coming soon to blog near you…hint hint. They spent time interviewing the film maker Gabe and Garret a MASH rider who came to NYC to hang out, one of the stars of the movie. One of Cadence riders tore it up on his Brooklyn Machine works bike, making it look like the ease of a BMX bike.

Then everyone got down for a great game of footdown and battled it out till about 6:00pm I think NYC’s Pablo won it.

Then a nice group shot of the event, which I didn’t seem to get in focus. I blame my camera…yeah that’s it.

So then it was time for the big event, the screening of MASH SF at the Saint Marks Church in the East Village. Thanks to Frank Morales, this has always been a safe haven for bike activists and was where we all sought refuge during the police attack of the Republican National Convention.
Time’s up was on hand, volunteering as valet bike parking, but many guests choose the obvious hanging their bike on the fence.

The screening was packed and there was a real excitement in the air. The song by the Bay area band: The Mall set off the screening, basically replaying the trailer which we have all been jamming to on youtube and the MASH website. Awesome.

The movie was a great achievement both for the ridership and for the shooting with the difficult covering of bikes going top speed in traffic.

People cheered at all the tricks and laughed at the some of the brief glimpses into the characters of the MASH crew.

We talked with EMI and Massan of the movie and the conclusion was clear…It doesn’t matter what you wear, if your rim color matches your frame…just do one thing: RIDE BIKES. ahh, if only it were that simple.

There was a lot of talk of NYC trying to push the limit and represent the grimy side that makes NYC so unique. It may not have been the intention of the film makers but I can bet 2 things were going on in people’s heads as the left the screening:

1) The Mall’s catchy punk song…

2) and what tricks can I do on my fixed gear…(I bet everyone rode just a little bit harder)

and probably thoughts of how to put in all into a video, NYC’s response.

Many people will have different responses to this video, which is what Gabe predicted would be the first thing people who do after the screening:

Here is an honest reflection of the movie, but more about the scene…giving props to the old skool riders, the working SF messengers…Respect DUE:

Check out Messnyc’s perspective on MASH SF from BILL DOZER

Trudy’s Pictures

Some of mine, that were actually in focus:

Garett and Massan checkin da map-
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Yatika hits Trinity checkpoint
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Fuck brakes…team spider
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Popin tricks
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Filmmaker Gabe Morford
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Footdown
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group shot
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riding to the screening
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The crowd:
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all my photos:
flickr set

Last Night, a memorial for Hope Miller

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Yesterday, 6:30pm, with the night time construction of a mangled Houston Street as a backdrop, Time’s Up held a memorial for Hope Miller who was killed by a car on September 25th, last week. According to the NYTImes, Ms. Miller, an actor from Queens, was struck down by a truck while crossing the street at 6th and Houston. The Driver, a man from Brooklyn, was arrested by the police trying to flee the scene and was found to be driving while under the influence of drugs when he ran down the young 28 year old woman.

Gothamist reported that Miller was an aspiring actor on her way to acting class.

This marks the 4th fatality on Houston Street of pedestrians and cyclists within the last 2 years.

Houston street has becomed mired in controversy due to the number of deaths and to the massive construction that has been taking place there.

Local community residents, working with City Councilman Alan Gerson have been fervently working to make Houston Street safer for cyclists and pedestrians. The idea of putting in bike lanes was struck down by the City because they claimed there was no room. Local community board 2 then opted for alternative lanes on Bleeker and Prince streets as reported on by Streetsblog in April of 07.

Councilman Gerson has resorted to sueing the Department of Transportation and the city itself, alleging the Houston Street project “constitutes a present and future public nuisance and health, safety, and welfare hazard to area and community pedestrians and to bicycle riders.”

About 30 people came with flowers, candles, cameras and their dedication to a better city to pay respects, speakout and listen to those involved in the issues of a street that is unsafe and emblimatic of our lack of infustructure for pedestrians and bikers.

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Yesterday was not just a chance for reflection but a platform for people to air views about a situation that doesn’t seem to be improving.

Bill Depola spoke first about how talk is cheap and visual reminders like the ghost bikes and dedication plaques are a positive way to increase awarness of the problem.

Then Council member Gerson spoke about when is our city going to make pedestrian safety priority number one. He wanted to know when this is going to end? Gerson beleives New York City should be a model for the world of how a city should be structured for public safety. He told the crowd not to give up and that their vigilance should inspire government officials to act.IMG_9851.JPG

Then Charlie Komanoff spoke from Right of way. He wanted to make several points.
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1) was that the corner of Houston Street and 6th Ave. right behind the memorial was a park that was at the center activists trying to stop the bike ban. 20 years ago in the park bike messengers and community activists worked together to stop Mayor Koch for imposing a bicycle ban from midtown. It was a fitting place for people to commorate someones tragic death due to the automobile.

2) it was Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday.

3) That it was 10 years ago that a 6 year old boy form the South Bronx was killed by a motor vechile, Dante Curry. Charlie spoke about how Evelyn Cancel, Dante’s mother, will never get over the tragic loss of her son, but knowing that people still care and create memorials is an inspiration for her and her pain.

Other people spoke to about the disruption of Houston Street. Candles were lit and a memorial stencil was created on the street in honor of Hope Miller as well as the unveiling of her plaque which hangs on the metal fence on the South East corner of 6th and Houston.
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More of my pictures of the memorial are on flickr slideshow

Somehow with all this fuss and focus on one of the most heavily used artieres in Manhattan, we still find ourselves hanging plaques, painting ghost bikes and honoring our fellow killed citizens. While the jackhammers continue to roar and traffic gets backed up along 6th Ave. maybe we can build memorial Gaps and Banna Republics to honor those who died so we could make more room for big box corporate chain stores and less space for those who live here. Somehow Billionaire Mayor Bloomberg has time to go to Paris to see how their bicycle program is working to increase public safety, but not enough time to address his own citys urban clusterfucks that are killing us.
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The event before the event.

Sunday.

Before the MASH NYC premiere screening…get your trick on.

Silly rabbit…tricks or for…track bikes.

Report back from Parade without a Permit…


Photo by Anne Nomus nyc indymedia.org

PARADE WITHOUT A PERMIT REPORTBACK

Report from one of the organizers of the parade…

September 29th: The Parade Without A Permit formed around the fountain of
Washington Square Park. At 7:45pm, the drummers played soft beats and 200
of us circled the park center. The vibe was both tense and jubilant.
Nobody knew how the police would react, when and if the seven cops on foot
would call in the reinforcements surely clustered just out of view along
the surrounding blocks.

When we stepped out of the west side of the park and onto the streets, we
were immediately in Speaker Christine Quinn’s district and immediately in
violation of the new rules the police wrote and Quinn rubber-stamped.
Since February 2007, it’s been illegal for 50 or more people to process
through New York City without first requesting and then receiving
permission by the NYPD.


Photo by Anne Nomus nyc indymedia.org
By the Stonewall Inn, the drummers played harder and faster, and everyone
chanted, “Resist! Resist! Raise up you fist! Resist! Resist! We know you
are pissed!” We swarmed Christopher Street. From that point on, we moved
along in the streets of the Village and, when we turned up Eighth Avenue,
transformed all four lanes into a dance hall.

Photo by Anne Nomus nyc indymedia.org

Our front line consisted of pink and black clad queers holding three
banners: the center one stated “Defend Freedom of Assembly! Stop the Cop
Law!”; the right one, “Quinn Betrays Queers!”; and the left depicted
Speaker Quinn in a way-oversized police hat with the message “Quinn Cops
Out!”


Photos by Anne Nomus nyc indymedia.org


photo by James Wagner

Fists raised, drums thumping, our pack proved you don’t need permission to
process through the City with 50 or more people. It wasn’t just a healthy
sign of the democratic process. It was a fucking good time. Diners smiled
and clapped. Passersby jumped in.

Over the rhythms, revelers towards the back of our roving carnival started
a spontaneous chant that we all took up: “No permit! No permit! We don’t
need no permit! We’ll burn it! We’ll burn it! Your fucking permit!” Most
of us wore a patch depicting the number “51” to underscore this point.

Plainclothes cops were in the streets with us. A police car zoomed up to
the back of the parade, and the officers in it shouted through
loudspeakers to intimidate the crowd. But really, the police response was
minor. In many similar kinds of actions, the NYPD have made arrests and
even cracked skulls. That they weren’t on Saturday night was the clearest
indication we’re focusing on the right target: Quinn gave the NYPD the
cover to pass the anti-assembly rules, and the police were returning the
favor.

“Chris Quinn! Hypocrite!” everyone chanted. “Your policies are full of shit!”


photo by James Wagner

We’re going to keep exposing the fact that Speaker Quinn wants to be mayor
and she’s willing to sell our civil rights down the historical river for
her own personal gain. As an out lesbian, she has betrayed the political
legacy that gave her the power she enjoys today. We’re not going to let
Quinn take the streets away from us—not without a fight.


We danced through the Meatpacking District, longing for the days when
trans-sex workers still made transactions and six-story billboards didn’t
exist. Then we processed south to Christopher Street, where we picked up
more people and steered towards the piers that still serve as a meeting
place for queers, especially queer youth of color—though the area is now
under heavy surveillance and locked down at night. By 9:30 p.m., fireworks
were erupting, and we were lounging in the grass, passing around beverages
and grins.

This is what democracy looks like. We hope to see it more often in the City.

Love and Rage,
the Radical Homosexual Agenda

More photos:
NYC indymedia.org

Its UP…finally.


This took forever but our video from this years monster track is finally up at play in traffic productions.

Right now it is just up for streaming so depending on your connection speed, it may take a while to load up.

Thank you Ken Stanek, for getting this thing up. Enjoy.

Messenger Appreciation Day…Friday.

Messenger Appreciation Day
Friday, 10-05-07 -All day!
Happy Messenger Appreciation Day! We will be kicking off MAD by giving out free food and water to messengers at a park. (Park location TBA) From 10am to 6pm.

Our party will kick off at 6:30 at 49 E. Houston St. More free food, cheap booze, music and dancing! We will also have a raffle with fabulous prizes and your once in a lifetime opportunity to *win a date with the NYBMF*! All proceeds go to your favorite non-profit foundation that grants money to injured messengers and messenger programs…the New York Bicycle Messenger Foundation!!!

Please help spread the word to other WORKING MESSENGERS!!! Thank you!

Bloomberg is in Paris looking at bike program.

This article explains about NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s trip to Paris.

In Paris, Bloomberg Eyes Bike Program for Home
By DIANE CARDWELL
Published: September 30, 2007

PARIS, Sept. 29 — Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, on his first trip here since he took office, acknowledged the challenges of bringing home a popular Parisian bike rental program the administration is exploring, saying he was unsure it would translate to New York.

Noting challenges like roads damaged by seasonal changes, the lack of bike lanes, liability problems and the possibility that commuters would not want to carry helmets to work, Mr. Bloomberg said: “You try to see whether it fits, and some parts of it will, but it may very well give you an idea to do something totally different.”

Under the program, which started in July, thousands of bicycles are docked along Paris streets, and customers can rent them after buying a membership ranging in time from a day (about $1.30) to a year (about $38). Members pay by the half-hour, with the first 30 minutes free. To discourage long rides, the fee rises from $1.30 for the second half-hour to $5.20 for the fourth.
Noting challenges like roads damaged by seasonal changes, the lack of bike lanes, liability problems and the possibility that commuters would not want to carry helmets to work, Mr. Bloomberg said: “You try to see whether it fits, and some parts of it will, but it may very well give you an idea to do something totally different.”

Under the program, which started in July, thousands of bicycles are docked along Paris streets, and customers can rent them after buying a membership ranging in time from a day (about $1.30) to a year (about $38). Members pay by the half-hour, with the first 30 minutes free. To discourage long rides, the fee rises from $1.30 for the second half-hour to $5.20 for the fourth.

Judging from the lines of empty consoles in the city center and the ubiquity of riders, even in the rain, the program has been a hit here, despite occasional technical glitches and a lack in some places of empty spots to return a bicycle. One official told Mr. Bloomberg that 100,000 people had signed up for yearly membership and that customers had taken more than 5 million rides.

Whether such a system could survive in New York, where bike theft is common, remains to be seen. Lionel Bordeaux, a press officer for City Hall here, said the fact that all fees were paid by credit card, and a roughly $200 charge for unreturned bikes, discouraged stealing.

Mr. Bloomberg’s trip is shaping up to be a lushly appointed tour for him and his close aides, with meals and meetings with business, academic, cultural and governmental luminaries, including the American ambassador, Craig Roberts Stapleton; Bernard Arnault, chief of the luxury goods behemoth LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton; and Luc Jacquet, the director of “March of the Penguins.”

Arriving at the Hôtel de Ville, the grand City Hall, Mr. Bloomberg gave Mayor Bertrand Delanoë an apple-shaped silver dish from Tiffany. Mr. Delanoë presented his counterpart with a silver tray and gave a gold brooch in the shape of the Paris logo, a ship, to Mr. Bloomberg’s companion, Diana L. Taylor, who promptly put it on.

The couple, along with Mr. Bloomberg’s deputy mayors Patricia E. Harris and Kevin Sheekey, then joined Mr. Delanoë for a lunch including foie gras and mushroom soup, fish and several glasses of wine, including a 1995 Château Margaux Pavillon Rouge that Mr. Bloomberg seemed to particularly enjoy.

“The wines were French, and they were excellent,” Mr. Bloomberg, a fan of California merlot, told reporters, saying that he did not normally drink at lunch but had made an exception out of deference to Mr. Delanoë’s hospitality. “Can’t explain the second glass of red, but that’s neither here nor there,” he joked.

Mr. Bloomberg ended his day in Blackpool, England, at a dinner with David Cameron of the Conservative Party, whose conference Mr. Bloomberg is to address on Sunday.
————————————–

I wonder if Mayor Bloomberg explained to the French that a bicycle program also might not work in NYC because the city spends millions of dollars to harass cyclists….hmmm. Probably didn’t come up during lunch time wine tasting…It must be so hard to be a billionaire.

Memorial Today.

MEMORIAL TO BE HELD FOR PEDESTRIAN HOPE MILLER, KILLED BY A CAR ON DEADLY
HOUSTON STREET

After a third death in the Houston Street construction zone, Time’s Up!
remembers the lives lost and pushes the City to take action.

HOUSTON STREET MEMORIAL AND SPEAK OUT
Tuesday, Oct 2nd, 6:30pm at Houston St. and 6th Ave.
Elected Officials, Pedestrian and Public Space Advocates have been invited
to attend.
**Memorial plaque, created by Visual Resistance, and stencil will be
placed at crash site

New York, NY (October 2, 2007) – Time’s Up! will hold a memorial to
commemorate Hope Miller, 28, and raise awareness of the City’s failure to
address unsafe conditions for cyclists and pedestrians on Houston Street.
Miller was struck and killed on Houston Street at 6th Avenue on Tuesday,
September 25th by a hit-and-run driver allegedly fleeing a previous accident.

Hope Miller’s death is the third known fatality since June, 2005 to occur
in the area of Houston Street undergoing construction. Cyclist Andrew
Morgan, 25, was killed by a furniture truck turning on the corner of
Houston and Elizabeth Street on June 22, 2005 and cyclist Derek Lake, 23,
was crushed beneath the wheels of a tractor-trailer at Houston and
LaGuardia Place on June 26, 2006.

Uneven pavement, unclear lane delineations, improperly placed metal
plates, and absent safety workers have been a consistent problem since the
construction began over two years ago. The DOT plans for Houston include
traffic signals and turning bays that will facilitate faster vehicular
traffic and result in an even more dangerous street. The DOT also
abandoned their ten-year-old plan for protected bike lanes on Houston.

”The City needs to switch their priorities from accommodating cars and
trucks on Houston Street to protecting cyclists and pedestrians,” says
Bill DiPaola, Executive Director of Time’s Up! “The City’s reneging on the
10-year promise for safe bike lanes on a newly paved, eight lane Houston
Street, is a decision that will continue to endanger pedestrians and
cyclists.”