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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Yesterday morning a 27-year-old Cincinnati cyclist was killed while riding down a 2-way street. He was riding with the flow of traffic and wearing a helmet, unfortunately, all safety precautions became mute when the driver hit him from behind. The accompanying photo tells a cut and dry story and highlights the vulnerability of cyclists no matter what safety measures we take. Although I was hesitant to post this image, if the effect is a reminder to always keep an eye on what’s coming, then our job is done. Unbelievably, the author of this article openly wonders “why Gast was riding on the road instead of on the bike path along the side of the road”. Look at the wider image in that article. The “shared use path is gravelly, broken and filled with potholes still retaining water. Yeah, WHY wouldn’t he ride in that? And maybe the more pertinent question is why the driver HIT AND KILLED A CYCLIST RIDING PROPERLY? I’m sure this author is getting reamed, but feel free to have a cathartic release of your own.
Anyways, be safe out there friends. Tailwinds Andrew.
FreshDirect to Deliver Food by Bicycles
By: James Fanelli
Published: August 29th, 2012
MIDTOWN — FreshDirect has plans to deliver its greens by going green.
The mobile grocer is mulling a Midtown pilot program to use bicycles to ferry food to customers, according to sources. The program could start in as soon as a month.
To prep for the program, FreshDirect employees boned up recently on the city’s bicycle rules. Two workers attended an Aug. 14 forum the city’s Transportation Department hosted to explain its upcoming enforcement of commercial cyclist rules in January.
FreshDirect declined to comment on its bicycle plans but said in a statement, “We are constantly looking for ways to go green so we’re open to this idea as well as others.”