Get glowing…BikeGlow

You still have two days to get a great lighting system for your bike at a great price.

Check out bike glow:

bikeglow22 from Michael Green on Vimeo.

Order yours today through my special Daily News reader offer.

And for all you heading out to burning man…

Wolfpacks, orange20 and Los Angeles bike scene

What’s so cool about LA’s biking scene? Lots.

Here is an interview profile with’s cat 3 racer, Fabian Vasquez talking all about why he races and the underground bike culture that is thriving on that other coast.

The underground racing scene in LA is blowing up, especially with the amazing races of the

Here is an article from the LA Times about a recent drag race they did at midnight through a major traffic tunnel, downtown.

Renegade bike race in L.A. tunnel goes mainstream
By: Ari Bloomekatz
Published: July 30, 2012
Racers push hard off the start during a street bike race inside the 2nd Street tunnel in downtown Los Angeles late Saturday night. (Gina Ferazzi, Los Angeles Times)

It was an unlikely setting for a bike race.

But as night fell Saturday, more than 2,000 spectators filed into the 2nd Street tunnel in downtown Los Angeles to cheer on riders. With their heads down and legs pumping as fast as they would go, the cyclists blazed through the tunnel in pairs at a pace that reached well over 30 miles per hour.

The best of the riders didn’t even have brakes — slowing down was not their concern.

“You just give it all you can, just pedal as fast as you can,” said 29-year-old Mike “The Cheetah” Chitjian of Monterey Park, who was one of about 200 participants. “Your legs hurt, but you just block out the pain.”

There have been bicycle drag races in the city before, but what made Saturday night’s event unique was that it was legal, permitted, and endorsed by city officials and the police.

That’s a big change for bicycle groups like Wolfpack Hustle, which created the event, because they have not always played by the rules of the road. For example, they have sometimes treated red and green traffic lights the same and have seldom — if ever — sought permission for their rides.

“We’re not trying to be outlaws,” said Don Ward of Wolfpack, who is known as Roadblock and was the event’s lead organizer. “We’re just trying to get our bodies in shape.” He hopes “The Midnight Drag Race: Codename ‘The Final Effin Sayso’ ” will become an annual event.

Read more: here.


Wolfpack Hustle. The Midnight Drag Race from Midnight Ridazz on Vimeo.

key #BikeNYC player goes #BikeLA, we say goodbye 8/8/12, Red Lantern Bicycles

Do you know fashion designer ( ) and blogger ( ) Nona Varnado?

You should, oh wait she’s leaving us. Nona has accepted a job in Los Angeles with the super rad bike shop Orange20.

Don’t worry, Nona has great stuff planned no matter what coast she ends up on.

Here is more about what’s going on with this bike community super star:

First the bummer: The cycling apparel concept (pop-up) that I had been planning with Hudson Urban Bicycles is NOT happening. The good news? I’m taking it to Los Angeles!

More than just a project: I’m moving myself and the production of my apparel line out to LA. I’ve accepted a role with Orange20 Bikes to develop their community outreach, development and sponsorship programs. (shhh!) Plus a super fun LA-based bicycle travel project that’s yet to be announced! No launch dates yet, but by XC season, be prepared for things to get super awesome in Southern California.

The apparel line will go on hiatus while the move, projects and production come online over the next year.

New Stuff!
In NYC there’s a bunch of exciting bike culture surprises coming up, from other pop-up’s to new shops, parties & events. I will be releasing ‘The Golden Bike Shop List’ a zagat like guide of the best, friendliest and most innovative bike shops in NYC. With the cooperation of Transportation Alternatives and a few fantastic sponsors, I’m hoping that the Golden Bike Shop List will grow into a trusted guide for a new audience of cyclists in NYC and expanding to LA & beyond.

The Bird Wheel will continue to be an active voice in bike culture and cycling for women. My partnership with Mike Green’s will grow as the ‘sister blog’ focused on the female perspective, but the content will also develop a bi-coastal emphasis on events in both NYC & LA. Liz Jose, who organizes the amazing WE Bike Program in NYC has generously agreed to take on much of the NYC specific advocacy work that I have done over the last several years through the resources and people that are working to make women’s community development in NYC the gold standard (sorry! couldn’t resist :) There is the very good chance that through Liz and Transportation Alternative, The Ladies Program for Bike Month will also continue as well as the events, shop outreach and creative side projects. I have absolutely loved creating the ‘Meet Your (Bike) Match parties, Maintenance & Manicures, women’s intro rides, Ladies Bike Brunch and so much more. I would like to thank everyone who has been so supportive and encouraging over the last several years.

I’m not disappearing – I’m just bringing the party to a new city! More than NYC, #BikeLA needs help to get the tidal wave of support and participation happening for everyday riders. I would please ask that you extend your talent, experience and generosity in helping me crush car culture! There will definitely be times that I will need all of you to give a little advice, make something happen or just send goodwill out to the giant car-clusterfuck that needs to be saved and that takes everyone working together.

Together we’ve changed NYC. I hope you’ll continue to support me as I move my efforts to #BikeLA.

You can get a chance to say goodbye to Nona and meet great #bikenyc people at a going away party hosted at:

Red Lantern Bicycles (345 Myrtle Avenue, between Adelphi and Carlton.) in Brooklyn.

Please come by Wednesday, August 8th starting at 6:30pm until, they kick us out.

CMWC Chicago

Congratulations to all those who participated in this year’s CMWC in Chcicago.
From their blog:

Preliminary results were posted

Sino from Japan is a maniac and may very well be the fastest messenger in the world…again.

The main race was today and were are eagerly waiting to find out who won.

Big shout out to all the NYC couriers in effect.

for the ladies:
Kym “nonstop” Perfetto,
Heather Muller
Laura Bobe
Ali Kowalsky

the Guys:
Austin Horse
Alfred Bobe Jr.
Josh Whitesnake
Andrew “Yeti” Escobedo
Geri “GerBear?” Lacaj
Corey “The Demoralizer” Hilliard
Aias “Sexy” Cienfuegos
Aaron “49” Lipke
John “Johnny Five” Alcantara
Tony “Stoned Tone!’ Monroe
DJ Fakemoney

Wheels 4 Workers-SEIU 32BJ’s ride for building service workers.

I got an email from Eugenio H. Villasante, Assistant Director of Communications for SEIU’s local 32BJ. This union has more than 120,000 members in eight states and Washington, DC, and is the largest property service workers union in the country.

He wanted to let me know about an upcoming ride in solidarity with workers rights. Always down to support my local brothers and sisters especially when they taking it to the streets…on bikes.

“Hey Mike, I’ve seen your blog and I may want to give a heads up to NYC bikers on 32BJ’s Bike Ride for the American Dream to call attention on some luxury real estate developers like T.F. Cornerstone denying their building service workers, safety-training and advancement opportunities afforded to 55,000 building workers in NYC.
“I feel I’m stuck as porter for life,” said Danny Carranza, one of the worker who will be riding on August 10th against the race to the bottom that is undercutting standards and opportunities for workers like him.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer described this fight as “an issue about fairness and equality,” and many of the workers at the Chelsea and Long Island City luxury Cornerstone developments where residents pay “big bucks” in rent think is a matter of developing the skill they need to advance in this industry.

See our facebook invite for more info:

Chillin with Cool Cyclists

Earlier this week I had a rare night out. First stop, I meet up with Rydel, organizer and blogger with Miami Bike Scene for drinks in Bushwick at the Trophy bar.

He got a special deal through Jet Blue, which they DON’T seem to advertise much, where they allow bikes to fly for free in the month of July, waiving an annoying $80.00 plus fee. It’s a Tour de France deal and Rydel was keen to take advantage of this to visit friends in NYC, put in a ton of mileage from the Bronx to Ft. Tilden and hop in on some pickup bike polo down in the pit.

I have always wanted to meet this guy in person because he single-handedly transformed the bike scene in Miami, a city known for hyper aggressive drivers where hit and runs are common. He took over organizing the monthly critical mass rides back in 2007 and morphed a sluggish attendance into a thriving mobile party on the last Friday of each month into numbers topping 1000 riders.

He said the strategy that worked was less democracy. Ride routes are picked in advanced and rotated semi-randomly between 1-4 set paths. There are also dedicated riders who act as ride leaders, corking intersections and keeping everyone together.

We had a real good bike blogger pow-wow discussing each others cities cycling culture histories and what has worked and not towards our corresponding critical mass rides.

He seemed really modest about his involvement in the scene, but still with numbers into a thousand riders at their critical mass, in a such a car culture heavy city like Miami, he’s obviously doing something right.

Time Lapse – Miami Critical Mass July 2012 from Brian Wagner on Vimeo.

Then I went to meet with fashion designer and sister blogger, Nona Varnado of She has found some great opportunities in Los Angeles and sadly, will be leaving us within the month. We have been collaborating on few projects and she has vowed to keep her organizing of ladies events and female enriched cycling content alive and well no matter what coast she’s on. Besides, LA can use a real infusion of her community building, marketing skills, fashion sensibilities and bike culture creating. She was having drinks with Joshua Rechnitz, and wanted to introduce me to the wealthy patron and cycling enthusiast who’s donated 40 million dollars to Brooklyn Bridge Park in the hopes of creating NYC’s first indoor velodrome. This is the largest donation to an NYC park to date.

Oddly enough, that night was an article in the NY Times about the current status of Josh’s cycling dream.

A $40 Million Gift, a Proposed Bike Arena, and Now Skepticism in Brooklyn
By: Lisa W. Foderaro
Published: July 30, 2012
(photo by: Ruby Washington)

It may very well be the $40 million dollar gift horse.
In April, Joshua P. Rechnitz pledged that amount — the largest single gift in the history of New York City’s parks system — to build a field house in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The gift was heralded as a much-needed boost for the 85-acre waterfront park, which is still under development. But attention quickly turned to the centerpiece of the plan: a velodrome with a 200-meter inclined indoor cycling track and stadium seating for almost 2,500 spectators. At the track’s center would be limited space for more traditional sports like basketball, gymnastics or tennis.

Read more, here.

I can’t help but draw parallels to the new Barclay’s stadium about to open in downtown Brooklyn especially when listening to local community critics who seem opposed based merely on not knowing what a velodrome is. If rich rap star Jay Z can get his dream of bringing professional basketball to Brooklyn, why can’t Josh get a sports facility that has way more participatory potential and good for the health of NYC? This is also a facility that wouldn’t require any eminent domain to remove local businesses, but rather a vast improvement to an abandon space. Friends of mine often try and call me out on the Nets stadium, saying I wouldn’t be kvetching if it were the NY Rangers hockey team. I always tell them that’s not the point…Now if it were professional track cycling…I’d be in line for tickets faster then a Jewish Mom looking for seats to Barbara Streisand. Babs is returning to her home in Brooklyn, Thursday October 11th…I mean, if your into that sort of thing.

Weigh in your opinion on the Velodrome/Field House on informal poll or leave comments here.

Sunday, August 5th-Time’s Up Beach Ride

Sunday, August 5th, 11:30am–Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn.

From Time’s Up:
Bike ride to Rockaway Queens beach (Fort Tilden). Bring swimsuit, towel, sunscreen, food and/or money for food, lock for bike, or leave your bike on the beach. Come prepared (tools, tubes, water, etc.) to ride some miles at a brisk pace.
Walking to the beach on a beautiful sunny day.
Communal picnic on the beach, paradise!

We will be having a big communal picnic lunch so BRING SOMETHING TO SHARE (or take a quick detour to the grocery store in Breezy Point or the concession stands at Jacob Riis Park).

source of the event.

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 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.

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

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.