I first meet Meredith Sladek on Staten Island, when researching for our travel book Bike NYC
She was an outstanding resource of the area along with her boyfriend Peter Lang and some other friends who gave me a thorough bike tour of this rather uncycled borough.
Now she is working with a special comittee of Transportation Alternatives to develop a 50 mile bike and pedestrian loop around the New York Harbor, uniting Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island, and New Jersey (Bayonne, Jersey City)
More from Meredith: The Harbor Ring provides stunning views of the metro area skyline, Statue of Liberty, the Verrazano Bridge, and Ellis Island, while reconnecting residents and visitors to New York and New Jersey’s spectacular waterfront, offering access to enjoy some of the region’s most historic landmarks and destinations. Spreading the word about the Harbor Ring project will build support towards our ultimate goal: bicycle and pedestrian access over the Verrazano Bridge, the “missing link” to the Harbor Ring.
This Tuesday, we officially launched our campaign and also kicked off our fundraising efforts to produce a print fold-out map of the entire route, which we will distribute gratis at businesses, bike shops, and at events along the Harbor Ring, so anyone can easily get a copy and locals and visitors alike can make the most of their trip around the New York Bay and experience the charm of the local sights and tastes. Donations are 100% tax-deductible–$25 or above gets you a copy of our new map, and $50 or above gets you a map and a T.A. membership. We also have opportunities for businesses to buy ad space on the map.
Title: Hellion First Ramp
Seen on: reddit.com/r/bicycling
Father and 4 year old son downhilling. Great commentary by the youngster and his first run.
Title: I Hate My Bike!
Seen on: reddit.com/r/bicycling
Kind of sad yet enduring of a child’s bicycle riding experience. Good insight into parenting and lessons of patience and not giving up.
Title: Best 3 peaks faceplant 2012
Seen on: reddit.com/r/bicycling
The exciting world of cyclocross. The glory and the mud.
Classic video of our good friend doing a superb face plant coming down from Ingleborough during the 2012 3 peaks cyclo cross race.
Title:Tour d’ÖÖ Tallinn (Estonia) X and Goldsprints Party
Seen on: urbanvelo.org The final Tour d’ÖÖ Tallinn of the season is happening this Friday in Estonia starting with the opening of Premium Rush and ending with Goldsprints and the usual partying to go along with.
Title: BicycleSPACE Demo Week: Back to School with Christiania Cargo Bikes
Seen on: urbanvelo.org A bike shop in DC, BicycleSPACE put out a call for volunteers to try out their line of Christiania cargo bikes which I understand are pretty standard in Europe. A family that usually rides their kids to school took them up on the offer and this video documents their experience and thoughts on riding as a family. The information is pretty 101 and there doesn’t seem to be a great deal difference between a front-loading cargo bike and a rear situated trailer. Regardless, whatever gets more of these in our culture is awesome in my book. Contact BicycleSPACE if you live in DC and want to try one of these out for yourself.
Title:Alleycat (LMR add-on)
Seen on: urbancyclistworldwide.com What a crazy night in Downtown LA. We shot this footage of an alleycat race for our short documentary “Last Men Riding”. But somehow we couldn’t fit it in anywhere, so we decided to make a little add-on out of it.
Strada Customs online retailer of bicycles, known for having mix-and-match color schemes custom made to order and shipped directly to their customers…now has a pro model.
Taking it to the next level of urban bike chic.
Check out this recent article in Hyperbeast:
Strada 2013 Pro Model Bike
On a quest to assemble the finest personalized bicycles, Strada Customs releases its 2012 Pro Model track bike. Equipped with a VP-A46ACK threadless headset, a high modulus carbon fiber fork and Sugino messenger 48T crankset, the 6061 aluminium track frame offers impeccable style and performance thanks to its light-weight, aero dynamic design. Additional performance features include a Velo racing saddle with chromoly rails, Maxxis Xenith 700x23C tires, 43mm deep V rims and Wellgo track pedals with metal toe clips and leather straps. The Pro Model was built to take amateur riders to the next level, and it does just that with a reasonable price tag of $949 USD. Options and sizing are available now through Strada’s online store.
Bike sharing programs in America may be even more successful if they (gasp) lose the helmets.
New York Times reporter Elisabeth Rosenthal explains why in this op-Ed.
To Encourage Biking, Cities Lose the Helmets
By: Elisabeth Rosenthal
Published: September 29, 2012 Image by: Eric Hanson
ONE spectacular Sunday in Paris last month, I decided to skip museums and shopping to partake of something even more captivating for an environment reporter: Velib arguably the most successful bike-sharing program in the world. In their short lives, Europe’s bike-sharing systems have delivered myriad benefits, notably reducing traffic and its carbon emissions. A number of American cities — including New York, where a bike-sharing program is to open next year — want to replicate that success.
So I bought a day pass online for about $2, entered my login information at one of the hundreds of docking stations that are scattered every few blocks around the city and selected one of Vélib’s nearly 20,000 stodgy gray bikes, with their basic gears, upright handlebars and practical baskets.
Then I did something extraordinary, something I’ve not done in a quarter-century of regular bike riding in the United States: I rode off without a helmet.
MEET GARY FISHER
The Past, Present and Future of Cycling
On Friday, October 5th, meet the legend, Gary Fisher, father of mountain biking and pioneer advocate for the advancement of urban cycling as transportation.
Join us at Bicycle Habitat for a discussion about the future of cycling and the chance to chat with a true cycling legend.
Friday, October 5th @ 6:30pm
250 Lafayette Street
(Free. Sponsored by Trek Bikes.)
Then, join us and Gary Fisher on October 6th for a day of mountain biking in NYC.
Ever wanted to take your bike off the pavement and onto some trails? Join us October 6th for a day of mountain biking in New York City! Free rides, free clinics and free cycling, it’s a day open to all experience levels and all types of riders.
Trek Bikes will be offering free test rides (available on a first-come, first-served basis), and Trips for Kids NY will be hosting free kid’s rides all day. Plus, a special visit from mountain biking pioneer Gary Fisher! Together with us (Bicycle Habitat), we look forward to you joining us for a fun adventure in the great outdoors!
RSVP and more info, including schedule and directions: getoutdoors.eventbrite.com
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