As fashion week’s madness passes here in the big city, a bicycle still remains the best accessory on the street and off the runway. I mean just look at these guys: (from copenhagencyclechic.com)
Now I believe there is a soundtrack to go with this worldwide cycle chicdom. Ladies and Gentleman presenting Nora and One Left, a D.C. based band that is the perfect accoutrement to a leisurely bike ride in your hood or around the globe.
They were kind enough to give me a free CD and I’ve been riding with it for a couple of weeks now with their smooth poppy and whimsical sounds floating in my head space.
Nora and One Left remind me a lot of the pop anthems of the 60′s like the sugary flavor of the Turtles and more recently the playful harmonies of the Swedish band the Cardigans. This is light fun stuff with an occasional ukelele and banjo thrown in for a little Southern Twang. If Country is about pickups and gun racks, then let Nora and One Left be modern country for tandems and bike racks.
Their most notable hit is “Cycle Chic” , which is a real worldwide roll call to all the European towns to ride in and the Cycle Chic Republic that started as a fashion blog in Copenhagen and has clone sites all over the planet.
This is a really fun album with lots of great tracks, perfect for a mellow ride on your bicycle: “Lazy Afternoon”, “Out in the Rain” and “On Down the Road” to name a few. It’s all about how no matter what, bad weather, lost relationship…life’s just better on a bicycle, or at least it’s a great way to clear your head.
I’m not sure if every song on this album is about bike riding, but I can’t help but think when Nora sings: “Got a dollar in my pocket, got a song to sing, And I have no idea what tomorrow will bring, We’ll meet on down the road…” It’s meeting friends for a bike ride.
I really like this album for its fun spirit and gave it a shout on my website’s ad column. Definitely give it a listen on your next commute…with one ear bud (that’s the law) or a portable speaker…of course.
Uncommongoods is having a design contest: Uncommongoods is a Brooklyn-based online retailer, is hosting a Bicycle Lovers Design Challenge from now until September 15 and we would love to see the work of the online bike community.
DEADLINE: September 15, 2012 at 11:59 PM ET
GRAND PRIZE:$500 cash + an UncommonGoods vendor contract
This open call is for any designer to submit a finished product that would appeal to a bike lover. This can be anything featuring a bicycle, an accessory or gadget to use while riding or a gift made of recycled bike parts. The winning designer will win $500 and a vendor contract with UncommonGoods, getting their design in front of thousands of customers. All finalists will have the opportunity to submit their entire portfolio to UncommonGoods buyers, get their work critiqued by a panel of judges that will include designer Emily Rothschild and Pasqualina Azzarello of Recycle-A-Bicycle, and experience some serious online exposure.
Calling all designers, inventors and especially velophiles!
Has your beloved bicycle made its way into your artwork or designs? Have long rides in the saddle inspired a new gadget or accessory? We want to see what amazing gifts and accessories you have for the avid cyclists and “dandy horse” enthusiasts.
RUNNERS UP: All runners up will receive a critique of their work from the guest judges, as well as tips for marketing and growing your business. Additionally, the UncommonGoods buying team will be happy to review your full portfolio in consideration for future work.
WHAT CAN I SUBMIT:We love all things bikes! We want to see your creative gadgets, accessories, and cycling gifts. Take a look at our bike products to get an idea of what we might be looking for.
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE AN UNCOMMON ARTIST:Your designs should tell a story, be intelligent, and show your individuality. We love to see designs and gadgets that are original and uncommon!
WHAT KINDS OF MEDIUMS CAN I USE? We accept all sorts of materials as long as they are safe and animal-friendly — so no lead, leather, feathers, or pearls. But we love unique materials that tell an interesting story. Don’t forget to share that story with us in your product description and with alternate images.
GOT A QUESTION? Browse through our rules. or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have trouble with the form, make sure you’ve filled out your contact info — especially a valid email address! — before you upload your images.
Erin is the senior buyer at UncommonGoods. She rides her hybrid bike from Manhattan to the UncommonGoods offices in Brooklyn. Her favorite bike accessory is her purple helmet and the Bike Glow Safety Light.
Emily Rothschild is an Industrial Designer interested in all things art and design. Equal parts problem solver, designer, maker, and writer, Emily can usually be found building, prodding, torching, or tinkering. She aims to identify areas of our lives that are often overlooked in order to create new, lasting, and often humorous design solutions. Emily lives and works in her hometown of New York City.
Pasqualina Azzarello is an artist, public muralist, and director of Recycle-A-Bicycle. Recycle-A-Bicycle is a grassroots community bike shop and non-profit organization in NYC that teaches youth how to build bikes, ride bikes, and transform old bike parts into beautiful, wearable art.
ABOUT UNCOMMONGOODS: Since 1999, UncommonGoods has worked with independent artists and designers to promote their work via our catalog and website, and we place a high value on supporting emerging artists and designers in a variety of ways. This year, we’re expanding our business to support local artists with development events, provide content on our blog to help them grow their craft and business and give opportunities to more fine artists through our challenges.
Here is the first installment written by Time’s Up volunteer, Keegan:
Communication breakdown: Bikers and critics just can’t see eye to eye.
By: Keegan Stephan
Published: September 6th, 2012
Bicycling has become one of the most volatile subjects in New York City. Almost no other topic inspires such passionate responses from both sides; few people have no opinion on the issue, and there are virtually no “middle-of-the-road” points of view. Some of our most esteemed writers have spent countless column inches trying to convince people one way or the other.
About a month ago, Randy Cohen, the original “Ethicist” for The New York Times Magazine, came out of retirement to write a column about why he believes the way he and thousands of other New Yorkers commute on their bicycles is ethical, if illegal. Two weeks later, in his review of the new movie “Premium Rush,” Will Leitch, founding editor of Deadspin, posited that almost all cyclists, even if they are perfectly pleasant and normal in the rest of their lives, become rude and dismissive of everyone else the moment they mount their bikes.
Stephan is a member of Time’s Up!, a New York City-based cycling advocacy and environmental organization.
Thule, Sweden’s own bike rack giant is sponsoring a video series to promote their new line of commuter bags, “pack n’ pedal.” (see sneak peak on Bike Rumor)
The documentary series is created by Peter Sutherland of Pedal fame and takes a look at several key members of our worldwide bike community.
They were kind enough to allow me to post up one in advance of it’s release on their YouTube channel.
Here is NYC’s own Gina Scardino, owner of the high end track boutique King Kog.
More about the video and Gina from Thule:
King Kog bike shop owner and drummer Gina Marie Scardino gives a unique tour of her legendary shop and takes the family on velodrome afternoon.
Gina Marie Scardino has managed to turn her bike shop King Kog in Brooklyn into a phenomenon. It is reputed to be the Aladdin’s Cave of bike shops, and the truth is even better than fiction. King Kog is famous for selling everything a dedicated fixed gear and vintage bicycle enthusiast may ever need or want, from apparel to custom made bikes.
Fixed gear bikes have existed since the late 1800′s, but in recent years the interest in them and the surrounding culture has boomed. The rumour has it that Gina Marie and her shop has somehow predated the current fixie-fad and will most certainly outlive it as well. When Gina is not running the shop, she is busy creating art or making music. Drums are her specialty, and she is currently drumming in the punk band Guts for Garters.
On a side note, I forgot to include this but one of my readers Al Silber sent me this note that he saw abandon bikes in Central Park.
It’s a little late now, because these bikes were seen over the weekend, but maybe it is some insight if you’ve had one of these stolen, at least to know it’s out there. Al saw them unlocked at 85th St. near mariner gate. Thanks for looking out.
Speaking of Central Park, the good news is it might be a source of dumped bicycles, the bad news is the Police are continuing to crack down on cyclists daring to use the park loop as (GASP) a place to ride their bikes.
This all started last year during the NYPD’s famed…”Operation Safecycle” which sounds like a term out of an Orwell novel. Judging by the sting operations and the ticketing we all know the NYPD couldn’t give a crap about safety and it might as well be called “Operation F with the Cyclists to Make Buck.” I mean let’s face it, there is bad cycling behavior out there, especially with more of us on the road but really…you can always find naughty street behavior if you choose to look for it. It just seems to be the cyclists are the flavor of the moment.
It seems especially odd in Central Park. Isn’t this the one place we are supposed to ride our bikes? But now your expecting us to stop at every traffic light? During car free hours? Yes, some of the more competitive types tend to go rather fast, often in groups…it’s called training. It’s why we have one of the largest cycling clubs in North America. (CRCA) Pedestrians and tourists should be advised, look both ways when crossing the bike path in Central Park. Wait for oncoming traffic…then dart across. It’s how NYC works. You also have to watch for the in line skaters, skateboarders, joggers, pedicabs, horse carriages and everyone else flaunting the lights in the park. Are we supposed to tell all New Yorkers to stop jaywalking too while were at it in the Nanny state?
It is really infuriating.
Another of my readers, Dr. Gene Boccialetti, alerted me of the recent crackdown in Central Park. He wrote:
Not sure if you can post. There’s yet another (apparently very selective) crackdown on cycling in Central Park. I learned today that on Monday September 10 at the Central Park Precinct there’s going to be an open meeting with the NYPD for community input.
I spoke briefly with a police officer today who said that cyclists caused eight deaths in the park last year(!!) I was astonished and incredulous. The only deaths I knew of were from falling trees. Apparently, folks are making up facts to justify leaning on recreational cyclists. I also noted this crackdown comes as all the tourists are leaving for the season. I ride 5 (sometimes 6) days per week for three hours each day. While I see a fair number of accidents most are caused by tourists.
Can you help get the word out?
Meanwhile, I see a lot of reports like this on twitter:
Harry Schwartzman’s Brooklyn Bike Jumble is coming once again to Washington Park by the Old Stone House. On Saturday, September 8th, from 10 am–4 pm, the bike-themed flea market will feature up to 100 vendors selling everything from vintage bikes to trendy accessories, and offer plentiful opportunities for bike enthusiasts to meet up and network. Local bike shops, Ride Brooklyn, Dog Day Cyclery, and 9th Street Cycles, will be there, plus independent dealers from all over. Tip: get there early to get the best deals.
Regretfully, Patricia had her Silver Trek stolen from Orchard Street in Manhattan. She included a stock photo of a similar bicycle although her seat was black.
17″ Silver Trek Hybrid 7.3 stolen from Orchard Street between Hester and Canal Streets on the night of August 28th. Was locked up with Kryptonite U- Lock and wire. Black wheels, black saddle (no blue). Serial No.WTU049C4010G. Police report filed with NYPD Seventh Precinct on August 29th. If you have seen this bike, please e-mail immediately. My email is email@example.com.
1. SARA D SUSTAINABILITY SERIES – BIKE REPAIR AND SAFETY, LAST WEEK CELEBRATION TONIGHT!
Friday, August 31st, 6:30-8:30pm
M’Finda Kalunga Garden (Entrance on Rivington between Forsyth and Chrystie)
2. CRITICAL MASS
Friday, August 31, 7:00pm (Last Friday of the Month)
Union Square North
3. BEACH RIDE
Monday, September 3rd, 11:30am
Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn (NE entrance of Prospect Park)
4. TIMES UP RADIO HOUR – NEW DAY AND TIME!
Tuesday Nights from 9pm-10pm http://www.radiohive.org/category/shows/times-up
5. VOLUNTEER BICYCLE RECYCLING DAYS
Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays
99 S 6th St, Brooklyn
6. WEEKLY BIKE REPAIR WORKSHOPS
In both NYC and Brooklyn locations!
See events listing for details.