July 15th, a day after the French Revolution anniversary, Paris will launch a program with over 10,000 rentable bicycles making it the first city of its kind to have a cheap set of emission free wheels no more thn 900 feet away.
So while we here in NYC try to figure out how to tax people for driving with Bloomberg’s congestion pricing, Paris does the logical thing and provides people another way of getting around…the bicycle.
No surprise there, just check out Michael Moore’s new documentary, “Sicko” and see how advanced France is in caring for people instead of trying to find ways to make profit.
French revolution: Rentable bikes every 900 feet By Robert Marquand, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
Paris – The socialist mayor of Paris, Bertrand DelanoÃ«, has seen the future and it’s got two wheels, three speeds, an adjustable seat, indestructible tires, a basket, and a bell. It’s 50 pounds of ecofriendly handlebars, comin’ at ya.
The French are turning Paris into a bicycle zone, pretty much overnight. Even now, astride small alleys and behind boulangeries, paving stones are being ripped to fit 750 bicycle rent “stations.”
The concept is computerized and credit card driven. Each station has a large ATM-sized panel that gives instructions in French, German, English, and Chinese. Riders buy in for a day (1 rules), a week (5 rules), or a year (29 euro). The panel issues a card that can be swiped over a small locking pod to release the bike.
It is also a concept designed mainly for commuters, not tourists seeking a languid ride along the Seine. Riders have 30 minutes to get to their destination before any charge is made. After 30 minutes, the cost is 1 euro ($1.36). The bike is 2 rules for 1.5 hours, and 4 euro for 2 hours. “We hope each bike is used 10 to 14 times a day,” says Pierson, who notes that the stations are open 24/7.
A rider who arrives to find no locking pods available, checks in, and is given another free 15 minutes and directions to the closest space. Need to stop for a baguette? The bike has a lock.
Yet there’s also some personal responsibility tied up with bicycle freedom. To avoid problems found in Lyon â€“ nearly half of its 1,000 bikes disappeared or were destroyed in the first year â€“ initial membership in the Paris program puts a 150 euros hold on the credit card. People are charged for bikes that aren’t returned, placing an emphasis on rider care and oversight. Should a bike not be returned, an alarm inside the bike will go off.
Today, Lyon’s program seems to have lost its training wheels; it now has 4,000 bikes that get ridden 20,000 times a day, more than 40 percent of which are used by office workers.
For all the Tour de France glam and a general rise in bicycle culture in France, Paris has not been a bike town. A rising tide of bikers, though, are notorious for riding on sidewalks, ignoring traffic signals, and biking the wrong way on all those one-way streets.
So I missed another Critical Mass and am embarassed to be reporting on this now…
June’s Critical Mass was meet with the same repression…tons of cops occupying union square, videotaping the 100 or so participants of the ride.
Street preformer Reverend Billy decided to lend a hand by reciting the first amendment in Union Square:
Here is a bit of what happened-
New York, NY (July 2, 2007) – On Friday, June 29, the NYPD arrested and detained Reverend Billy, also known as Bill Talen, for reciting the First Amendment in Union Square. Talen was charged with two counts of harassment in the second degree and held overnight in The Tombs. The police were gathered in force at Union Square in preparation for the monthly bicycle ride known as Critical Mass, which draws attention to environmental issues and bicycle safety.
here is a video of the arrest from the Glass Bead Collective:
Apparently despite the ridiculous arrest for someone speaking in public…50-75 managed to form a critical mass and ride around NYC, cop free.
Breaking Away Thursday, Jun. 28, 2007 By DAN KADLEC Recreational cycling appears to have peaked in the U.S., its popularity cresting sometime during Lance Armstrong’s record runs at the Tour de France. But as the sport has lost enthusiasts overall, a surprising demographic has stuck around and even begun to dominate the trails and bike paths of the U.S., if not yet the world: retirees and near retiree. eople ages 45 to 64 account for 20% of all those over age 7 who rode a bike at least six times last year, according to the National Sporting Goods Association. That’s up from 13% a decade ago. Yes, this age bracket is expanding as a percentage of the overall population, but demographics can’t tell the whole story. After all, golf–the quintessential 50-plus sport–is moving in reverse, at least in some respects. Last year, for the first time in 60 years, more golf courses shut down than started up, and the number of frequent golfers declined. The appeal of cycling is most pronounced among the youngest baby boomers (ages 45 to 54), who are also tackling other vigorous leisure activities including hiking and running marathons. Such pursuits embody the active later lifestyle that much of the boomer generation has come to adopt, and which has been embraced as the ad media’s new image of older Americans at leisure. Certainly, semi-seniors wake up the morning after a vigorous outing with more aches and pains than they had in their 20s, but the physical benefits exceed the cost. Regular exercise lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, keeps weight down and improves mental outlook. This is all good news. Yet there is more at work in the biking trend than a desire to stay fit. Armstrong’s string of wins starting in 1999 might have made cycling cool, and health concerns might have made it smart, but technology made it accessible. If you’ve been eager to take up the sport but are put off by the discomfort of a traditional bicycle, take another look. Many of today’s models come with bigger seats and higher handlebars–easing the strain on bottoms and backs–and even automatic gear shifting. Features like these have helped create a whole new line of bikes, known as hybrid or comfort, the latter word particularly appealing to older riders. The very hottest part of the market is road bikes, which also appeal to boomers who may be giving up on yesterday’s phenomenon–less comfortable mountain bikes, a category in which sales have tailed off dramatically. With its grayish skew, could cycling become the new golf? A number of things suggest it already is. Stories increasingly surface of businesspeople cutting deals or doctors swapping medical techniques while on a ride, as opposed to the fourth tee. Early this month, at a gathering of the Neurosurgical Society of America in Kohler, Wis., the docs for the first time had the option of skipping an afternoon on the links and instead going for a group ride–and at least 20 signed up. The Kohler outing was put together by Trek Travel trektravel.com) which arranges cycling events around the world and is benefiting from the graying of the sport; 85% of its clients are ages 45 to 60. “There’s been a huge upswing in our group-travel business,” says sales manager Michael Meholic. While plenty of Trek Travel’s trips are for business groups, the majority are still for folks taking up the sport as a means of maintaining or establishing social groups and staying connected with kids and grandkids. Among the top trends in cycling-related travel are programs that include children, says Cari Gray, a spokeswoman for Butterfield & Robinson butterfield.com) which arranges cycling trips around the world. Gray says clients value intimacy with the countryside, which you can’t get on a tour bus, as well as the personal time they get with loved ones. But that doesn’t mean boomers aren’t serious cyclers. “People have epiphanies on our trips all the time–climbing a hill they thought they couldn’t or going farther than they thought they could,” says Gray. B&R clients are mostly 45-plus, and she says they are far better riders today than the firm’s clients were 10 years ago. “Boomers are different,” she says. “They want more from their vacation than a hangover and a tan.”
Pedal pushers Urban planners see European-style bike sharing in Gothamâ€™s future. by: â€” Daniel Derouchie
A lot of New Yorkers bike, and more probably would (especially in hard-to-reach parts of town), if only they didnâ€™t actually have to, you know, own a bicycle. Luckily, the Forum for Urban Design just might have the answer. Saturday 7 through Wednesday 11, theyâ€™re teaming up with the Storefront for Art and Architecture to conduct an innovative study called the New York Bike Share Project. â€œThe hope is to see how New Yorkers might use bikes for short trips,â€ says Forum executive director David Haskell, â€œif they were made readily available and free.â€
During the project, 20 bikes will be available for pickup and drop-off at the Storefront on Kenmare Street and at a rotating series of spots that includes City Hall, Washington Square Park and Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn. Inside the Storefront gallery, a display of maps, pictures and literature will detail bike-sharing successes in eight European cities. The way it works over there is simple, according to Haskell: Bikesâ€”usually no-frills, brightly painted and durableâ€”are locked in racks until they are released, either by swiping a credit card or by sending a text message via cell phone. Since both methods are traceable, stealing a bike is difficult.
Currently, bike sharing appears most promising in areas with public transportation gaps, including parts of Williamsburg and Red Hook. But it could also relieve stress on overcrowded subway lines like the 6. â€œThere are millions of minor trips that New Yorkers make every day,â€ explains Haskell. â€œThe goal is to incentivize short trips.â€ Which may explain why the city of Paris offers the first 30 minutes free and the second half-hour for the equivalent of 50Â¢.
Haskell notes that New York is a long way from Paris, which is set to have 10,000 bikes and 750 stations by the end of summer. But the results of this study will help City Hall determine which model might work here and how best to implement it.
Nightly from 6 to 8pm, riders will also be able to offer comments and listen to presentations by city leaders and experts from the companies that manage these cycling systems. â€œBottom line: Bike shares are cheap and easily implemented,â€ says Haskell. â€œAnd soon people will realize that we arenâ€™t looking to limit anyoneâ€™s options. In fact, weâ€™re giving them one that previously didnâ€™t exist.â€
I know, Bikeblog has really slacked on his duties of informing the public of whats happening in the bike world…sorry, been busy with work.
So Saturday the 7th of July is an Alleycat race…7-7-07 (get it) more details on that soon. And there is The DANCE PARTY RIDE!
Here is info from Ryan…
hey hey hey
so, this summer i am leading rides for this cool bike group, FREEWHEELS.
the schedule includes some rides to the beach, some historical tours, brooklyn farm visits and one of my personal faves…the dance party ride.
it just so hapeens that this saturday is the infamous dance party ride….i am now gonna try and tantalize you with some fun facts about the night, hoping you’ll jump on your bike and join us.
the ride is called the dance party ride because we end up at one of brooklyn’s best dance parties…First Saturday. First Saturday is the Brooklyn Museum of Arts freebie activity. Starting at 5pm on the first saturday of every month, the museum is free to enter and there are tons of lectures, art activities, movies, and MUSIC. Each month has a different musical theme, with performances from 5-830pm of local musicians and then a dj dance party from 9-11pm. In the summer months (unless it is raining) the dance party is outside under the stars. (ooh la la).
this month–JULY– the theme is Afro-Punk. Typically, there is a ton of activities circling the general theme. They will be playing the eddie murphy movie–coming to america–you can make a wood tile mosaic, you can go to a feminist hip hop lecture, etc etc. typically, the ride skips this stuff because it is to early to motivate. (for full schedule see: Brooklyn Museum
however, this is not a typical month. one of the early bird activities is a performance by CIRCUS AMOK. (http://www.circusamok.org/about) From 5-7pm, they will be out in the public plaza performing. Since they are not to be missed, anyone who is interested should congregate at the museum during this time, check out the circus, and then we will ride together to the 730pm williamsburg bridge meet up.(probably leave the museum sometime between 630 & 7).
then the fun will really start. we will hook up with freinds and fellow bikers at the base of the Wiliamsburg Bridge. We usually kick back from 730 to 8 as people arrive from all over Manhattan and Brooklyn. The ride to the museum is fun…especially with lots of people so bring your friends!! We wind our way through Hassid-land, skirting the Navy Yard, and traveling up through the historic tree lined streets of Fort Greene.
and then it’s time for a dance party. this month we will be treated by an Afro-Punk Festival with DJs CX Kidtronik and King Cole, and bands The Exit and the Dragons of Zynth. we usually head for a spot on the grass with a good view of the dance floor. set up a picnic (feel free to bring something to eat, drink, and be merry with…i highly recomend filling your bottles with a summer sangria or rum punch) and then go dance.
anyways, its a good time and i hope you will join us.
Dance Party Ride: ***meet anytime from 5-7pm @ the Circus Amok performance in the public plaza. (look for bikers. call 718 781 1195 if you are lost and cant find us). Group will leave museum no later than 7pm. ***meet at the base of the Williamsburg bridge @ 730pm…on the wall or over by the statue. look for a group of bikers. Ride will probably leave @ 745-8pm.
Alrighty, feel free to forward this email to any of your friends with bikes. The more the merrier. Yeah bike power!
Join the… ***ROVING GARDEN PARTY *** ***FOLLOWED BY A RALLY/PARTY TO SAVE CHILDREN’S MAGICAL GARDEN*** One Part Ecology, Two Parts Mardi Gras! & Rambunctious fun for all!
Come dance down the streets to celebrate community, our public space, and the gardens! We’ll visit some gardens, throw some seeds balls, unleash some surprises, partake in ritual, stand up against some slimy developers and end with an after-party/ rally at Children’s Magical Garden
Special Guests Rude Mechanical Orchestra! The Stop Shopping Choir Bike-Lane Liberation Clowns Fairy Brigade Jugglers, Puppets & Tap Dancers More Gardens! Coalition Time’s Up! You & Your Crew Supporters of Children’s Magical Garden As well as a few friends from Gardens Past Present & Future.
Come downtown and dance to save the community gardens! So far this year, five gardens have been attacked by developers! Over 50 gardens still endangered –21 in Harlem alone!The Children’s Magical Garden de Carmen Rubio is in Danger!
Lets do what we have always done when faced with a threat: Dress up, Play music, Dance and make some noise as we call for support from the garden creatures!
We all need places to play, to dream, to connect with each other and theworld. For NYC, community gardens are some of those places. So are the streets. Unfortunately, the public commons are under attack. Let’s revel in the places and people that are still untamed.
The parade will finish with a rally and press conference at Children’s Magical Garden. (For more information on the struggle to save the garden see http://www.thevillager.com/villager_182/stantonstkids.html and http://www.kidsmagicgarden.net/)
Bring drums and instruments! Bring the kids! Bring food, plants and seeds to share! Dress as the garden creature of your dreams!
Come by Times Up! (49 East Houston) on Saturday morning starting at 11am on to decorate yourself and bike!
raindate June 17th
June 15th, 2007 | Category: General | Comments are closed