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the new olympic cycling event in London…getting arrested.

Critical Mass is a spontaneous cycling event that occurs in over 300 cities around the world and has been doing so since it started in San Francisco, coming up on 20 years ago. In most of the participating cities it is held on the last Friday of the month which can often coincide with other worldwide spectacles such as this years 2012 Olympic games in London.

Regardless of the peaceful history of the mass, law enforcement are so jacked up on security detail, when they see a thousand cyclists grouped together in a bike ride, they immediately assume the critical mass is some sort of violent anarchistic cabal, hellbent on destroying capitalism and blocking streets. After all, you have to justify the billions of dollars spent on militarizing the police force, especially around major events like the Olympics which are reported to be costing 17 billion dollars, 10 to 15 more than originally projected.

This was the case, last Friday when critical mass occurred in London, like it has been for decades and 182 cyclists were arrested.

Read more here.

Kind of ironic when pro-cycling mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has constantly been encouraging people to choose cycling at the Olympic games as a better mode of transport due to crowded streets.

Seems like the police were participating in their own version of the para-olympics by pepper spraying and arresting a violent threat to them…a man in a wheel chair.

Rumor has it, the biggest threat to London streets caused by critical mass, was delaying super soccer star, David Beckham from getting through in his motorcade.

If you were to actually protest the Olympics, people might be a little upset, that while the world financial crisis has caused massive austerity with social services cutting their livelihood, while at the same time fronting a bill with their tax dollars for an Olympics they can’t even get tickets too.

Sadly, many of the seats promised to local residents have gone to more deserving institutions that have done great things for the planet, major “non-people” corporations such as DOW chemicals (1984 Bhopal disaster killing 3,800 people) and BP (2010 Deepwater Horizons oil spill in Gulf region) major sponsors of the games.

An article in the Telegraph explaining why their are so many empty seats at the games.

More Olympic dissent coverage from WBAI’s Democracy Now,

Besides the defiant act of cycling in a group…don’t try and use any street art either during these Olympic ceremonies…
(UK graffiti icon, BANKSY)

Olympics graffiti crackdown.

Artcrank is coming to NYC, 8/9/12

What is Artcrank.com you ask?

Bikes are the world’s most fun, accessible way to get around. Posters are the world’s most fun, accessible art form. ARTCRANK™ brings them together.

ARTCRANK is a show of bicycle-inspired poster artwork that introduces people to talented local artists and sends them home with affordable, original works of art. Every ARTCRANK show features posters created by local artists from the host city. Admission is always free, and posters are priced to let everybody take home at least one.

ARTCRANK began in Minneapolis in 2007. Since then, we’ve held shows in Denver, St. Louis, Portland, San Francisco, Des Moines and Bend. In September 2010, we held our first international show in London. And in September 2011, we held our first show at Interbike, the bike industry’s annual convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. For 2012, we’re adding new shows in Austin, Los Angeles and New York.

A poster party for bike people.

ARTCRANK™ + A Poster Party for Bike People from ARTCRANK on Vimeo.

Now, Art Crank is coming to NYC, Thursday, August 9th. artcrank.com/newyork

Bicycle Habitat on Thursday, August 9, and we plan to put on bike poster party that does the Big Apple proud. In addition to limited-edition posters, we’ll be selling ARTCRANK glasses and filling them with craft beer by Widmer Brothers Brewing to benefit Streetsblog and Streetfilms.

RSVP here. for a chance to win a $100 gift card from Bicycle Habitat.

Participating artists:

Andres Rivera
Birks & Birks
Brandon Lockfoot
Briana Auel
Chris Streger
Claudia Reyes
Ed Nacional
Elliott Grubb
Eric Harvey
Grace Danico
Gregory Ugalde
Jennifer Daniel
Jeremiah Britton
Jessie Perlin
Language Dept.
Lee Trice
Lloyd Miller
Mads Jakob Poulsen
Meera Lee Patel
Mike Burrill
Peter Chang
Ryan Haigh
Sean Sutherland
Taliah Lempert
Tonja Torgerson

Give your bike a GLOW

You may not be able to make your bicycle as flashy as say this creation:


Read the article in Altanticcities.com

But it is important to be seen at night, the brighter the better.

You know the drill, white light in the front, red in the back…BOOORING.

May I suggest the BikeGlow, a 10 ft. length of electric wire to wrap around your bike or whatever turns you on.

Now in eight cool colors.

The NY Daily News reader offers, now has a special, 50% off (notice the blinking ad in the top of my right column)

This totally awesome light wire is only, $12.50 now through 8/8/12.

or if you have lots of time on your hands, maybe you want to make your own LED light creation.
Saw this on Urban Velo.

Find out more at Boing Boing.

Don’t Steal Bikes

With bike theft on the rise, I thought the latest t-shirt from ridebikesdrinkbeergetawesome.com was the perfect message to be seen around town…
Get one for a steal, here.
Meanwhile, I got this report from Emily who works at Bicycle Habitat in Brooklyn, (476 5th Ave.-Park Slope)

Hello,
I work for Bicycle Habitat in Park Slope, and we had two bikes stolen this morning. They are a Specialized Sirrus Limited, carbon, 56 (WSBC604019275H) and a Linus Gaston, black, medium (L1E0502700). They were stolen in boxes. If anyone sees them for sale, call us at the shop at (718)788-2543.

Chrome, new bags and lead sponsor of CMWC in Chicago

Is there really a cycling apparel company that does it all the way Chrome messenger bags does? I mean, not only banging out decades of solid merchandise from head to toe, but representing hard core urban riders like Ed Wonka and putting on a multitude of killer events for local bike communities where they have set up shop.

Yes, they,ve also given me some great free stuff lately so I love them even more.

It’s been hard to keep up with Chrome Industries lately as they just unleashed a whole new line of bags.
Like the Delta:

Features:

Weatherproof flap pack with ballistic nylon bottom panel
Wide mouth opening main compartment designed to fit 12-pack or large books and binders
Built-in laptop sleeve fits up to Macbook Pro 15 (padded sleeve recommended)
Industrial strength Velcro accessory shoulder mounting straps
Organization pockets for smartphone, and personal items
Internal d-ring key loop

Fit:

Ergonomic shoulder strap design
Sternum strap for load distribution
Industrial metal cam lock under arm compression buckles

Fabrication:

Weatherproof 600 denier TPU coated Cordura outer shell
Nylon 69 thread and YKK zippers

Here’s Wonka rockin his bag:

and the District:

This is the District bag Chrome sent me, more on that later.

District Bag
Features:

Weatherproof roll-top with ballistic nylon bottom panel
Weatherproof roll top opening for increased security and expandability
Built-in laptop sleeve fits up to Macbook Pro 15 (padded sleeve recommended)
Industrial strength Velcro accessory shoulder mounting straps
Organization pockets for smartphone, and personal items
Internal d-ring key loop

Fit:

Ergonomic shoulder strap design
Sternum strap for load distribution
Industrial metal cam lock under arm compression buckles

Fabrication:

Weatherproof 600 denier TPU coated Cordura outer shell
Nylon 69 thread and YKK zippers

But enough about the gear…over in London…as dudes in the pool break records…


another major sporting event will attract the world’s greatest athletes, and certainly something is bound to get broken…non other than the Cycle Messenger World Championships (CMWC) which is set to go off this weekend, in Chicago. That’s right, the world’s top cycle couriers are flocking to Chicago to see who is the fastest on two wheels.

Chrome is the signatory sponsor of the mayhem and opening registration will begin Friday night at the Chrome Chicago store (1529 N Milwaukee Ave)

Chrome will be throwing events all weekend, BBQ, alleycat and a Familia lead welcome ride by their own Squid from Cyclehawk couriers from NYC.

“We are stoked to be involved in the CMWC again this year. The venue, the organization staff, and the athletes are going to make it a year to remember. This is where we started and where we will stay; supporting the most epic athletes in the world.” Steve McCallion, President of Chrome Industries.

But no need to wait until Friday…Chicago’s own Tiny Fix Bike Gang, is hosting a welcome alleycat and BBQ on Wednesday, 8/1/12.

Stolen bikes are on the rise…Lets up our game.

Bike theft. Such a tragedy, especially when we loose our childhood friends…take the recent case of Bridget who had a bicycle stolen recently.

Bridget contacted me that her teal green Diamond Back mountain bike was stolen on July 29th between 2pm-11pm near the L stop in Williamsburg Brookyln. Even sadder was this was a present for her 10th birthday, she’s now 29 years old.

Here is what she had to say about the bike and how it was locked.

It was locked with a cable lock (not the best choice, I know. I’d been meaning to get a better one but b/c I hadn’t had any touble yet I thought it was OK. Live and learn). The lock was around the frame, through the front tire, and around a bike rack on N7th between Bedford and Driggs. I’m just now learning that the racks near subway stops are prime targets. I came back from studying at the library at NYU all day, around 11:30 pm, and there was no trace of the bike.

The only picture of the bike I have is attached. It’s kind of on it’s side but you can tell it’s got a black basket. I also found a picture on the internet of the men’s version of it. Same color, style. I don’t think they make the Traverse anymore – I got this one when I was 10 years old. It’s not “fancy” in any way, but I love that thing.”

Ouch. Sorry Bridget, we’ll keep an eye open. If anyone has information, contact Bridget McFadden, email: bridgetmcfadden@hotmail.com, or phone 574-238-3407.

Meanwhile, I heard some good news, but haven’t got the full details. Remember the 3rd ward bike stolen from the wife of an associate of Rankin and Taylor?
Saw this on twitter.

It does happen.

Meanwhile, DNA Info reports a big spike in bicycle thefts this year, especially in Williamsburg Brooklyn.

Bike Thefts Quadruple This Year in Williamsburg, Police Say
By: Meredith Hoffman
July 30th, 2012

WILLIAMSBURG — Bike thefts in Williamsburg and Greenpoint have quadrupled in the past year, skyrocketing from 24 in the first half of 2011 to 96 in the first half of 2012, cops said.

“It’s happening all over,” said the 94th Precinct’s commanding officer Deputy Inspector Terence Hurson of the thefts in North Brooklyn. “It’s been increasing since the spring.”

He would not speculate as to why the theft reports had increased.

Hurson said his officers had stepped up efforts to go after stolen bikes, and had made six arrests this year compared with none in the first part of 2011.

But he insisted that more people needed to get their bicycles etched, or tagged with identification codes, to help officers track down and identify stolen bikes.

Read more: here.

Not sure about how accurate the police numbers are, but there is good information in here. Regardless it’s important to securely lock your bike and find a way of identifying it. I don’t recommend getting your bicycle engraved by the local precinct, they tend to do a sloppy job, although I appreciate their efforts. One clever trick is to take some sort of identifying document, such as a bill of sale or photograph of you and the bike, wrap it in a zip lock back and stash it in the handlebars. Then if the bike is recovered, you can pull off the hand grip or bar wrapping and show the documentation. You may see your stolen bike out on the street, grab it and call the police, but they really won’t be able to help you unless you can prove it’s your property. You could get your local bike shop to put some identification on it, at least a sticker or maybe even a bar code.


Recently I discovered, Bike Shepherd which partnered up with lock giant, Kryptonite. They have a whole QR code id system that helps register your bike using smart phones.

Follow them on twitter, @bikeshepard.

Getting a lot of reports of theft here on my blog and reading that article I have revamped my stolen bikes page. It’s still kind of tedious for me to post there so I always recommend using, bikewatchnyc.wordpress.com It’s super up to date and utilizes twitter instantaneously for people to use social networking and be on the look out.

The page also included my tips on what equipment to use and some basic tips on secure locking. This was taken from a travel guide book I co-authored last year, Bike NYC.

Episode one: 718 cyclery helps Dhani Jones build a bicycle.

Former NFL linebacker Dhani Jones was quick to realize he needed a better performance mode of transportation for riding around NYC, so he traded in his clunker Porsche and headed over to Joe Nocella of 718 Cyclery in Gowanus, Brooklyn.

Here is the video:

Actually this is episode one of a seven part series created in collaboration with Porsche and Men’s Journal. The original series is a travel log, following Dhani’s journey from New York to Alabama, where he shares such experiences as building a bespoke bicycle in Brooklyn to learning to smoke meat in Virginia to fly-fishing in North Carolina.

I dunno, I pretty sure episode one will be my favorite.

Need more: mensjournal.com/spiritedescapes.

What you need to know about Olympic cycling

The Tour de France is over and now cycling athletes set there ambitions on Olympic gold in London. The opening ceremonies kicks off tonight (7/27/12) on NBC at 7:30pm EST, with the festivities directed by UK director Danny Boyle who promises no gruesome arm chopping like in his film 127 hours. Although if it’s anything like past ceremonies with lots of little kids in bizarre spandex outfits…you may pop in the DVD for more excitement.

Speaking of bizarre lycra…

Tomorrow kicks things off with the men’s road race which is a one-off, where a few heavy hitter will try and take the gold including Mark Cavandish and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins. There is the men’s and woman’s road race and then both genders have an individual time trial.

Schedule is here.

Here is Bradley Wiggins in the Guardian talking about the massive strength of the UK team.

Bradley Wiggins: We may be strongest team ever in an Olympic road race
After the Tour, it’s payback time for Mark Cavendish and I will do whatever job is asked of me by the team.

(Photograph: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Enjoying a spin in the Box Hill area are the Team GB road race team of Mark Cavendish, left, Chris Froome and Ian Stannard, ahead of David Millar and Bradley Wiggins in preparation for the men’s road race in the 2012 Olympic Games.

Four weeks ago I was in Liege getting ready for the Tour de France, now I’m in a golf course hotel in leafy Surrey waiting for the start of the Olympic Games. It’s been a crazy few weeks, and the last seven days was the maddest of all. A week ago I rode the time trial of my life in the Tour, with James Murdoch in the car behind, the power flowing perfectly and the last five kilometres spent knowing I was going to win, thinking of everything that had gone before: training on the Trough of Bowland in the rain, emptying the tank for Shane Sutton in Tenerife, the sacrifices my wife Cath had made so that I could train as I needed.

Read more here.

Then its onto the track where there will be 10 olympic track events (5 for each gender)

For a complete guide to the track check out the coverage in: Telegraph.co.uk

NY Waterway and Summer Streets

Summer Streets will be back this year, three Saturdays in August, 4th, 11th and the 18th. 7am-1pm…then it’s back to carbon polluting, business as usual.

A massive chunk of Manhattan streets get closed off to motor vehicle traffic and embarrassed by bikers, dancers, joggers and pedestrians.

It’s like what critical mass would be like if it were corporately funded.

The route will run from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park, up Park Ave in Manhattan.

Why not start things off with a ferry ride. I just got word that the NY Waterway Ferry will be waving it’s $1.25 surcharge during summer streets.

Hmmm, kind of a ridiculous fee, since bike riding should be encouraged…everyday, but maybe it’s a start.

Stolen bike-Green Third Ward NYCbike

Michael Auerbach, is an associate with Rankin and Taylor who I like to call the bicycle lawyers…I mean need I say more:

His wife Lindsay had her green NYCBike 3rdward bicycle stolen yesterday, (7/25/12) early in the morning on Huron street between Manhattan and Franklin. (Greenpoint, Brooklyn)

Be on the look out.

There are a lot of these bikes out there, since 3rdward gives them to it’s members. A few recognizable details, which may be stripped by now, are a brown wicker basket and an old school Brooks saddle.

According to Michael, the bicycle was locked with a kryptonite lock to a new tree support outside of their building. The thieves snapped a ribbon holding onto the support and lifted it over, lock and all.

Any information please contact: Lindsay.Illion@gmail.com