Last week I discovered my blog was the target of an evil hacker group in Turkey.
Apparently they also hacked Domino’s Pizza of India so I guess I’m flattered to be in such prestigious corporate company.
In talking with my hacker on twitter, @Ren4s1 they stated:
I was just a victim of some random cyber attacking. Good to know people are putting their time to good use on the Internet.
Regardless, this cost me major time and energy and alerted me to how clueless I am to things like wordpress, MySQL databases and how this blog is actually hosted. Just some basic things a blogger should know. I should probably brush up on my Turkish too.
Thankfully my web master, Taylor Kruse was able to get me back up and running.
This couldn’t come at a worse time due to the fact that I’m moving apartments and our life is in major disruption.
I apologize for the inconvenience and the lack of content. There are still some bugs in the site that I’ll be trying to fix so bear with me.
The big event I missed both virtually and in person was the 20th anniversary of critical mass.
A whole week of festivities kicked off in San Francisco where critical mass got it’s start back in 1992, hosted by Chris Carlson and other founders of this world wide cycling phenomenon.
Here is an article from the San Francisco Bay Guardian:
Critical Mass at 20The movement changed the rules in cities all over the world — and almost, almost, took the Bay Bridge.
By: Steve T. Jones
Published: September 25th, 2012
Chris Carlsson helped spread Critical Mass around the world. Guardian Photo by: Mike Koozmin
I was in Zeitgeist on a Friday summer evening, at a planning meeting for the 20th anniversary of Critical Mass, when I first heard about the idea of kicking off the celebration week with a renegade bicycle ride over the Bay Bridge.
The people who first shook up the city’s commute two decades ago were going to take the idea of seizing space from cars a step further — and fulfill a longtime cyclist fantasy. They were going to take the bridge.
Chris Carlsson, the author/activist who helped found Critical Mass and has evangelized the concept around the world, reminded me of this super-secret ride last Wednesday when I finally got around to starting my reporting for this story. I was surprised that I’d forgotten about it — but yes, I told him, I still wanted to be there.
“This will galvanize our sense of the week,” Carlsson told me, explaining that Critical Mass has always been about “opening up a space for a conversation,” whether it’s about how urban space is used or who gets to make that decision.
“There is a real necessity to have a place for people to start thinking creatively. That’s Critical Mass’s enduring contribution, 20 years ago and today.”
A few NYC bicycle culturists made the trip West including, Brooklynbybike.com’s Anita Singh and Chris Ryan of Team Spider.
Chris brought the whole family (wife Allie and daughter Virginia-start em young)
They went to give some presentations about Time’s Up’s involvement in critical mass and to launch their new website dedicated to a documentary about NYC mass ride: lastfridayofthemonth.com
Transportation Alternatives has teamed up with 150 local businesses to create a “Bicycle District” in the East Village. Consumers will receive discounts and freebies for arriving by bicycle to stores with participating stickers in their windows. There will be a kick-off launch party and bike tour tomorrow (9/22/12) at Veselka’s Ukrainian Dinner, corner of 2nd Ave and 9th Street (Manhattan)–11am.
Here is an article from DNAinfo:
‘Bike District’ In East Village, Lower East Side Offers Deals To Cyclists Updated 4 Hrs Ago
Published: September 21st, 2012
EAST VILLAGE — Not having to pay for gas isn’t the only thing saving cyclists cash.
Bike-loving businesses of the East Village and Lower East Side are banding together to create a “bicycle district” that will give discounts to those who prefer to travel on two wheels.
Transportation Alternatives, the nonprofit group that advocates for cyclists, is launching the initiative Saturday with a map outlining businesses that offer deals to bikers, while also working with local stores to improve biking infrastructure.
Here is the latest in the Villager’s series on bike activism in NYC. Time’s Up volunteer Keegan writes about how cyclist got radicalized due to a bicycle ban in Time’s Square in the 80’s, the 20 year anniversary of Critical Mass and an upcoming celebration bike ride, film screening and panel discussion.
The battle of the bike ban
By: Keegan Stephan
Published: September 20th, 2012
This month marks the one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. Activists across the world are celebrating effective direct actions and strategizing ways to move forward. In New York, we have a special victory to celebrate and an important opportunity to facilitate next steps: a victory 25 years ago in a struggle that’s at the forefront of New York City politics again today, and a celebratory event to recall the lessons of the past and regroup for the future.
In 1987, Mayor Koch issued an edict banning bicycling on Fifth, Madison and Park Aves. from 31st St. to 59th St., between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. The ban was a clear attack on bike messengers, who were being scapegoated in the press and public for unsafe streets. In response, six messengers rode up Sixth Ave., taking up the road width, slowing down traffic, and stopping at red lights to let pedestrians cross safely.
For these reasons, the cycling community will once again gather in the spirit of direct action. At 6:30 p.m. on Fri., Sept. 28, the 20th anniversary of Critical Mass, we will meet at Sixth Ave. and Houston St. and bike the ride that defeated the 1987 ban. At 9 p.m., we will convene at Cooper Union’s Great Hall, at 7 E. Seventh St., for a free movie screening about the ban, followed by a panel discussion on how to cultivate community and create positive change with cyclists and other road users. For more details, visit: www.battleofthebikeban.com
Panelists for this event include messenger and race organizer: Tony “Stoned Tone” Monroe, Laura Solis (@Lalitadynomite) of @WeBikeNYC and Charlie McCorkell founder of Bicycle Habitat and one of the driving forces of the bicycle uprising.
Using twitter? Follow along on this event: @BicycleUprising and use the hashtag: #S28 and #CM20
NPR just had a great article on how Japanese sake makers are now trying their hands at making local craft beer. Kiuchi Brewery vice president Youichi Kiuchi holds a bottle of his company’s Hitachino Nest beer. To make beer, the brewery is using equipment that once was used for sake.-Photo by Lucy Craft
Chrome industries has just improved their Truk shoe, which is perfect for urban cycling.
It’s available today (September 19th) in all your local Chrome stores.
Here is a little press:
(San Francisco, CA) Chrome is the original maker of Urban Bike Footwear that provides performance on and off the bike. Designed and developed to be worn all day, the Truk is the latest in Chrome’s Pedal Series shoes created for commuters and messengers who want more riding performance without sacrificing walking comfort.
The Truk’s upper is built with the same bombproof 1000 denier Cordura that Chrome uses in the bag-line and makes the Truk model 25 times stronger than typical canvas shoes. The Truk’s sole construction includes a 100% vulcanized outsole, an integrated nylon shank for increased pedal power, a cushioning heel pad, resilient PU insole and Chrome’s signature reflective heel detail for visibility at night. The Truk is BUILT to ride and is simply stiffer, stronger and bomber.
For a quick promo, here is hill bombardier and track bike technician, Massan in a video showing off the Truk shoe:
Izhar Gafni has designed a bike that weighs 20 pounds, costs between $9-12 to build, can hold up to a 485 pound person, and it made out of cardboard.
Engineers told Gafni that his idea was impossible. Yet he realized that paper could be strong if treated properly. As in crafting origami and tearing telephone books, he explains, “[if] you fold it once, and it’s not just twice the strength, it’s three times the strength.”
The development to what you see today took three years. Two were spent just figuring out the cardboard complications–leading to several patents–and the last was spent converting a cardboard box on wheels to a relatively normal looking bike.
I have to give a big shout out to Fyxation, makers of sleek fixed gear cycling parts and now frames (more on this in a minute.)
They were super kind to answer my request for some new pedals and foot straps.
For you brakeless fixed gear riders out there who haven’t tried a foot retention system, this is worth giving a shot.
Not as easy to get your foot into as a classic track pedal and metal toe clips, but where it lacks in a quick flip of the foot, it makes up in a secure and snug fit that really locks the shoe in for serious power stopping. For urban commuting, brake or not, these straps do not incumber the foot, until you really need it. Free style riders have really embraced this system for popping wheelies and a wide variety of tricks. I’ve found these straps incredibly comfortable on my daily commute for quick handling to avoid the onslaught of joggers who think bike lanes are their own personal running track.
Fyxation hooked me up with their classic Gates pedals, inspired by the world of BMX. These are made out of high impact nylon for all kinds of abuse and incredibly light weight. They have a molded surface for a grippy ride and come in 7 colors for your color mix-and-match needs.
To complement the system are highly durable Gates straps made with nylon and 2″ of solid velcro.
These straps really mold with your foot and maintain their shape. There are a lot of straps out on the market, and the gates pedals will take just about any one of them. Gates straps will work with most BMX platform pedals.
Meanwhile Fyxation has been super busy. As well as maintaining a large selection of handlebars, tires, saddles and stems they have just released their 2013 catalog which includes 3 new framesets, taking urban cycling to a whole new level.
Here is a little about their new product line from Fyxation:
One product we’re particularly excited about is our Quiver frameset.
The concept behind this bike is to offer riders and shops a versatile frameset that can be built up as a single speed/fixed gear, internal hub or geared bike. This one bike can be your “quiver” due to it’s versatility. We used 132.5mm rear spacing so the frame can accommodate a wider internal hub or a cassette.
To maintain the look of a single speed bike we used a horizontal dropout and the frames come with removable cable stops if you’re running gearless.
In order to get around the issue of hanging a derailleur off of a horizontal dropout we designed our own derailleur hanger that can be used to mount a derailleur.
The Quiver is our street frameset and will be available in black, white and silver with a bladed/aero track fork.
The Third Ward is our city frameset and has the same geometry as the Quiver but will be available in polished black and beige with a more traditional curved fork. Both can be built up with fenders and racks so any rider can customize their bike as they see fit.
Looking pretty hot, and innovative too. For their complete 2013 catalog, go here.
Today is definitely a day of reflection. Remembering all those who lost their lives on this day, eleven years ago.
I felt compelled to ride my bike today to my job site in the Bronx near Arthur Ave. It was 18 miles each way and although tiring, I felt determined to use a non-polluting form of transportation. As I rode home under the shadow of the blue beams of light, a memorial beacon in the sky, I couldn’t help drawing the connections between that ruthless terrorist act and our dependence on foreign oil. It made me think about the United States ties to to the Saudi’s and exactly what these relationships have caused in international wars and the collateral damage waged on both sides through the senseless murder of civilians.