Like any public institution in America, they face a growing threat from the corporate mono-culture who seeks out the bottom line in it’s never ending race to the bottom. The model tends to be proclaim the institution is failing and can only be saved by modern technology and being run by some sort of a private corporation. This pertains to great services like schools, health services and the post office. The New York Public Library is no exception and recently faced a massive “revitalization” that threatened to eliminate books in their written form and possibly close branches which provide free resources to local communities.
One way you can get to know your local library and support this valuable organization is the 2nd annual bike the branches held on Saturday, May 17th. It’s also another great way to explore NYC by bicycle.
Here is more from their website:
Join us on Saturday, May 17 for the 2nd annual Bike the Branches, a fun one-day bike ride where you can discover our borough in an exciting way and support Brooklyn Public Library at the same time!
Set your own pace and follow one of our suggested routes, curated by the Brooklyn Collection. Or, create one yourself and make an adventure out of exploring our network of 60 neighborhood libraries. Sign up to bike solo or cruise along with family or friends. Walkers and runners welcome, too!
Last year, more than 400 cyclists participated—this year’s event is shaping up to be even bigger:
And a video:
find out more details and register by riding over here.
The spring version of Harry Schwartzman’s Brooklyn Bike Jumble , NYC’s only bicycle swap meet, was a resounding success. Held last weekend on a humid (and finally stormy) May 10th, this version seemed like the biggest yet with vendors and individual sellers spreading out far and wide around Park Slope’s JJ. Bryne Park. (4th St. and 5th Ave.)
Beyond the usual precious bike frames and parts for snobs out there was a huge inventory of complete used bicycles which made for some really good shopping for those looking for affordable deals.
I volunteered at the Time’s Up tent which had super cheap bikes for sale and a couple of their super friendly mechanics on hand offering free tune-ups and answering bike repair questions.
Plus handing out calendar’s and spreading the gospel of NYC’s oldest bicycle education and activist group, going strong for over 25 years.
Seems like a lot of those in attendance had no idea that Time’s Up has free bicycle workshops which have short tutorial on basic repairs and then allow time for people to work on their own bikes.
Next to Time’s Up was the Right-of-Way table, the direct action street justice organization that has been building a strong coalition of activists fighting for street safety including changing the speed limit in designated areas of NYC to 20 mph.
One crew I found pretty interesting went by the name: Michael Angelo Cycles (email@example.com) Besides having a beautiful array of used bikes like this vintage pedicab from Thailand:
They were also set up as a mobile bicycle repair shop with an all-in-one trailer hooked off a pick-up truck.
Seems they operate out of New Jersey, so give them an email and they can probably come to you.
Then there was the usual vendors in attendance like Taliah Lempert and her awesome printed artwork at bicyclepaintings.com
My favorite mugs:
I started going for the wallet when I saw this awesome Rasta paint scheme form new comers North Brooklyn Cycles (121 Knickerbocker Ave.-Brooklyn)
Around 2:30pm the dark clouds rolled in and the torrential down pour began pretty much wrapping up the event. Although Time’s Up managed to sell one more of their donated bikes while we all cowered under the pop-up tent. A woman came from Manhattan, determined to buy a bike and didn’t let the thunder and lighting storm deter her as she tested out and eventually bought a nice Bowery Lanes cruiser.
A totally successful event all around.
You can see my whole album of photos by riding over here.
Don’t worry if you missed out. There will be another Jumble on June 1st in Red Hook (near the IKEA)
May is bike month, chalked full of great events and opportunity abound for discovering the joys of riding bicycles in NYC.
Here is a round of videos to get you pumped for the biking season.
First off, I was sent this by Right-of-Way safe streets activist Keegan Stephan. Last week was the monthly critical mass ride in Manhattan (4/25/14) which has been plagued by an over abundance of NYPD presence for about ten years. Frustrated with this unwanted attention towards a small group of riders, while motorists constantly break the law and kill pedestrians and cyclists, some of the riders decided to flip the switch. They stood on a corner during the ride with a speed gun and captured New York drivers doing “there thing”…speeding. This was a bit of a stunt to try and draw attention to reckless driving instead of a full scale intervention to a positive spontaneous group ride.
Here is a pretty amazing product. A new lock with an innovative locking system, that will drive any bike theft into a frustrated madness not seen since the Rubik’s Cube. Not sure about it’s practicality especially at a price $ 140.00 and I’m not sure anyone picks locks anymore. It does have a great design though, perfect for bike nerds everywhere. Introducing the “unpickable” Forever Lock.
Title: PedalBXL Rides Cargo Bikes On The Tour Of Flanders
Description: PedalBXL is a courier service in Brussels, Belgium, located relatively close to the famed Tour of Flanders spring classic. Epic roads out there, last year I had the opportunity to ride part of the Tour of Flanders course and it’s not something I will soon forget — steep climbs, serious cobbles, classic Belgian farmland views. Cobbled 22% slopes aren’t the easiest climbs I’ve ever done, and I’d certainly not want to do them on a loaded cargo bike or with a backpack full of gear. I like their style.
Title: TURF “Word Is Bond” Fixed Gear Freestyle Full Length Video
Description: Riders are killing it in this full length video from Turf Bikes. Fixed gear freestyle isn’t dead.
Title: Critical Mass- Istanbul
Title: Greg Lemond Fixing A Flat For Real
Description: Greg Lemond doesn’t need as asterisk next to his Tour wins, and didn’t just learn to fix a flat.
Title: 1930′s Paris Alleycat Film
Description: The first bike race probably happened just after the second bike was made — it just makes sense that people have been racing on open streets since cars first entered the picture. The text says that 150 riders race d a primarily uphill route 4 miles through traffic, changing clothes en route. It sure looks like an alleycat to me, some things never change. From britishpathe.com
It’s coming, next weekend. NYC’s premiere bike swap meet.
Saturday, May 10th, 2014
From the site:
The New York Bike Jumble returns to Washington/JJ Byrne Park around the Old Stone House at Fifth Avenue and 4th street in Park Slope, Brooklyn. for the sixth year in a row. Fulfill all your cycling needs for the summer! Get yourself a new or used bike, new and used accessories, clothing, collectibles, artwork, overstocks, and bargains galore.
Elisabeth Roberts, CEO of the woman’s cycling apparel Terry Bicycles.
Paulette Meggoe, a huge cycling advocate, volunteer and a TD 5 borough tour captain.
Jenn Cash co-owner and principal at Language Dept., a multi-disciplinary design studio based in NYC. She has taken her passion for cycle commuting and developed projects for the Leauge of American Cyclists (rebranding) and the Woman’s Bike Program. She is also the creator of Cyclofemme.com (see below)
Patty Chang Anker who’s life was radically changed by over coming her fears of cycling for her and her family through the bicycle education programs at Bike New York.
I also learned from VeloJoy, that 5/11/14 (Mother’s Day) will be a special event for Bike Month, for the ladies and around the world.
CyclcoFemme invites women around the world to ride together in their communities on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 11. And this year, you don’t even have to own a bike to join in.
CycloFemme and Citi Bike are collaborating on two self-led routes – a relaxed 2.5-miler that’s perfect for beginners and a 10-mile, multi-borough waterfront adventure — to help encourage more women to experience the fun of riding in the city! So, it’s super-easy to invite friends, family and co-workers to join in.
New York City leads the way among the more than 250 rides registered in 21 countries, so check out the awesome options here, or register your own ride.
Order CycloFemme temporary tattoos and gear, and share your ride with the global community by using the #weridetogether hashtag on social media.
The bike lawyer Steve Vaccaro will be on WBAI’s (99.5fm) morning show tomorrow (5/2/14) at 7:10am. He’ll be speaking with host Michael G. Haskins about cops, traffic safety & #visionzero. Oh, and the transportation commissioner, Polly Trottenberg will be on too.
Speaking of the traffic safety climate in NYC, check out the Freakanomics podcast on getting away with murder. I’ve been saying this for years, the “Perfect Crime?” Kill a pedestrian with your car…chances are not only will you get away with it…it won’t even be investigated.
Bikesharenyc.blogspot.com is your resident purveyor of NYC’s Citibike program. The site is helpful for things like tracking the “NotSpots” (stations with no bikes) shown here in a heat map of Manhattan with the white circles being completely empty.
Also to point out third party innovations like the versatile smart phone mount that easily attaches to the big blue bikes.
Accessibility can be a real problem and a challenge for the bike share program to keep their stations stocked. It was
always part of the plan to use trucks to move bikes around and try and balance out the stations but now there may be a non-polluting method.
Here comes the Trike Truck.
According to Bike Portland Alta (based in Portland and in charge of NYC’s bike share system) will introduce the new “truck” at a media event before it is shipped off the New York.
From Bike Portland:
Stites (right) and his employee Brian Hall in their shop.
Just in time for May, other wise known as bike month, Brooklyn Based has a list of its borough’s friendliest bike shops. Time to unlock your ride from your hallway or dig it out from the tarp out front of your stoop and take it to the nearest shop for a tune-up. Why not buy a bike of your very own this summer? BB makes it easier and less intimidating with a nice write up of shops that take out the snobbery and actually make the experience more accessible to their customers.
In no particular order they highlight some bigger operations like Ride Brooklyn with two locations. There is also some smaller places you may not even know about like Bed-Stuys the Bike Slug and Red Hook’s Dog Day Cyclery.
Check it out:
Brooklyn’s Friendliest Bike Shops
April 29th, 2014
Yes, the too-cool-for-school bike shop where no one will talk to you unless you come in on a vintage Italian racing bike or a fixie you built out of bamboo and scraps from the metalworking studio you interned at is a cliche. But, judging from the number of people who say they hate bike shops when you ask for recommendations, it’s also a real thing. For anyone who has ever paid for the privilege of being thrown shade, here are seven bikes shops that are baditude-free, friendly and stoked to help you find a new ride or tune up your wheels.
Here we go again. Another round of videos to brighten your day like a possible-oh-it-looks-like-a-nice-day-wait-its-rainning. Spanning the world wide web to bring you moving pixels of velo love sensation.
Title: Brillibrilliant / Unicorn Racing Dream
Seen on: Urban Velo
Description: I’m not immersed in professional-esque racing culture, and probably a lot of you aren’t either, but I can appreciate these road teams that bring a more grounded approach to road racing culture and maybe making themselves more accessible to everyday riders like ourselves who equally enjoy a good spin around town. The Unicorn Racing team has coupled with the Hotel AM Brillantengrund to support their racing endeavors and offer something to riders of all stripes in the process.
The Vienna hotel sponsor offers affordable rates for locals and traveling cyclists, supplying pasta nights, group rides, room space for bikes, and insider information for area rides.
Title: Urban Legend Cyclewear
Seen on: Urban Velo
Description: If you want to ride on a bike backwards…helmet-less…drinking alcohol…while also looking stylish, apparently Budapest, Hungary is the place to do it. Poor riding advice aside, the new Adventurers collection by Urban Legend is designed for the urban cyclist who is just as fashion conscious as they are in need of all-weather materials. The summer collection consists of pack away jackets and cape-dresses that also double as pillows when crumpled up.