Archives

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

Shockproof, Dustproof, Waterproof-Lifeproof cases and bike mount

More often these days I find myself using the smart phone in conjunction with my bike commute. It tends to come in handy as a navigation tool, a weather forecaster, and an entertainment system for podcasts like my daily Democracy Now! or my favorite DJ mix on soundcloud.

Now we all know cycling is a simple form of transportation and shouldn’t be made more complicated with such distractions, but if your a multitasking bike rider like me, you may want your phone handy and one of the best methods of using the phone and keeping your hands occupied on more important things like operating the bicycle in traffic, is mounting it to the handlebars.

A number of companies make mounting hardware but one particular company also makes a hardcore yet light weight case for the phone, that is highly resistant to the elements and shock.

Introducing the LifeProof for the Iphone 4S.

Lifeproof is a small company based out of San Diego California. Their main goal is to provide sleek, lightweight cases that seal your phone and protect it from the elements. They’ve even taken it to the extreme by making the phone 100% water proof…That’s right, you can do underwater photography in the pool…or just protect your phone from breaks or damaging the front and back elements. The case completely seals your phone including a removable screw cover for the headphone port.

The company likes to say it protects from the 4 proofs…
Dirt, Water, Snow and Shock.

Dirt–the case is sealed and provides protection against mud, sand and grit as well as micro particles like dust which can cause severe damage to the inner electronics of your phone. Take it to the beach, the construction site or burning man and feel confident your phone won’t get scratched or damaged.
(photo by: Burning Man Dave )

Water–completely water proof up to a depth of 2 meters (6 ft) After a simple water test (without the phone) you will be able to take photos and video underwater whether its with juniors first bath, a water park or a snorkeling trip to Bermuda.

Snow–Ski the double black diamond or take video of your cousin’s first time on the ski lift as they plow into the crowd, the lifeproof case is made to handle sleet and the snowy elements.

Shock-although it’s been military tested, it won’t survive a road side bombing, but for everyday drops it tough polycarbonate frame will keep the phone intact up to a 6.6ft drop.


Now for the mounting options.
Lifeproof sells a bike mount for $39.00 that clips to most bike handlebars using a easy to remove metal clip. They also provide rings of inner rubber at various thickness to adjust to thicker handlebars.

The mount comes with a really simple to use ball mount for easy adjust ability, simple tighten the ring and rotate the case on the fly in either vertical or landscape mode.

They’ve even designed the mount with a cutout for the camera in the rear so you won’t miss that shot.
” class=”aligncenter size-large wp-image-13759″ />
There is also cut out holes for the speaker on the front bottom for listening to music or using the speaker phone, in case you actually talk with real human beings, I know weird. The case mounts into this rack, from the bottom and is held in place with a locking clip which can be removed with one hand.

For the most part, I am super excited about this case, especially for the handlebar mount, but there are a few drawbacks when incorporating the phone into life off the bike.

One complaint I have is not being about to use any headphones or mini plug with the phone in the case. Because of the water seal, the headphone jack on the actual phone is quite recessed in order to fit the removable screw. This small part also gets easily lost. Lifeproof has compensated with this with an adapter but then on the daily use of the phone, your walking around with this strange short umbilical cord that feels rather goosh.

I ended up foregoing the underwater aspect and hallowed out the top hole so I could always be able to insert any mini cable. I still maintained all of the waterproofing and shock for the occasional rain storm however, deep sea photography in the YMCA pool is out.

You also can’t add an external battery like a Newtrent or a Mophie, but this is not the cases fault, rather just a general design flaw with multiple companies.

So if you are looking for a light case that is easier to get in and out of then some of the more industrial brands, this is a great option. I especially liked the easy to instal and adjust handlebar mount making me feel like I now have a high tech dashboard on my bicycle.

There are other handle bar mounts for I phones that don’t lock you into a case, but I definitely appreciate the features of the lifeproof case and how it protects my phone.

It retails for $80.00 and comes in a variety of colors.

More info visit: Lifeproof.com
Twitter: @LifeProof

Triple Rush Screening TONIGHT at Affinity Cycles

Remember that Travel Channel show: Triple Rush?


Yeah, it got cancelled rather quickly, but it was an honest documentary portrayal of NYC messenger companies, dispatchers and life on the road for working couriers.

You can’t view it on tv any more, but there are some screenings at Affinity Cycles (616 Grand Street, Brooklyn)
and then later onto other locations.
(Art by Greg Ugalde (featured in the show)

Find out more: affinitycycles.com/triplerushparty

Tour de France swag giveaway.

Now that the worlds greatest bike race is over, here is a little giveaway in conjunction with tourdefrancecycles.com.

We’re giving one lucky reader a TDF accessories package:

To Win, please leave your comments about the following advice. Positive feedback? Does it apply in NYC? General thoughts…
The winner will be selected by me, yours truly, overlord king of the bike nerds.

Check it out here.
The Tour de France is the single most important competition in the entire sport of cycling with billions of viewers each year, and more than 10 million spectators lining the roadway. Cycle Force Group is an importer of bicycles, parts, and accessories serving all facets of the cycling industry and produces TDF bicycling gear. Cycle Force Group is excited to share with you bike tips to keep you and your family safe and healthy this summer.

Road Safety

• Pump check: Before going for a ride, check your tires! Pump the tires with your pedals to make sure that it will be a safe ride.

• Get a headlight: For those that are bicycling at night do not forget to add a headlight. It not only is required by the law but will keep you safe.

• Wave: Always wave at the driver! It is easier for drivers to see arms indicating your direction instead of seeing a bicycle coming.

• Arm Signs: Learn the different arm signs that will let drivers know the direction you are turning.

• Road Rules: Stop at all stop signs and obey traffic lights.

• Direction flow: Ride in the direction of traffic so people can predict the movement and direction of a bicyclist. In some states such as Flordia, bicyclists can get a citation for not riding in the same direction as traffic.

• Keep Your Distance: Stay away from parked cars, for doors can open suddenly.

• Crossing An Interaction: When you arrive at an intersection, walk your bicycle across the crosswalk.

• Leader Of The Pack: If riding with a group of people, always ride behind one another to share the road with motorists.

• Avoid Noise: Avoid wearing listening to music while biking. Many bicycle accidents could have been prevented if riders were not distracted.

Choosing a Bicycle and Helmet For Your Child

• Maturity Level: The most important component of buying a bicycle is the child’s age and the environment they are going to be biking.

• Be Bold: Make sure that the bicycle is visible to drivers and other cyclists.

• Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC): Each certified helmet will have a sticker that indicates that the helmet is a quality helmet.

• Check Your Helmet: Because they lose their ability to absorb shock, routinely check your helmet each season.

• Tight Fitting Helmet: Do not wear a hat underneath.

• Love Your Helmet: Do not throw your helmet around. A damaged helmet may be unable to protect you in the event of an accident.

• Spacing: There should be a space of 1-2 inches between your body and the top bar of a road bike, and 3 to 4 inches between your body and the top of a bike.

Caring For Your Bicycle

• Inflate Tires: The recommended pressure to inflate your tires is listed on the sidewall of the tire.

• Regular Maintence: Oil the bike chain regularly and remove any dirt.

• Adjust The height: Change the handlebars to appropriate height as children frequently have growth spurts.

• Complete A Break Check: Look for frayed cables and worn-out brake pads.

• Checking The Tread: Check your tread regularly. By letting the tread on your bicycle wear out you are setting yourself up for danger.

Health Benefits Of Bicycling

• Activation Of Muscles: The muscular system is made stronger and is able to function more efficiently through cycling.

• Balance: Cycling improves balance through the circulation of oxygen.

• Calorie Burning: Bicycling not only is good for the environment, but it also burns calories.

• Exercise Alternative: Bicycling is an alternative exercise for people who are unable to run.

Hydration and Nutrition

• Hydration: For each hour riding drink 20-24 ounces of water. By taking the time to rejuvenate your body you are helping to prevent Charlie Horses & muscle cramps.

• Weigh Yourself: If you have lost a significant amount of weight, such as a few pounds after a ride, it means that you are dehydrated.

• Nutrition: Take time to plan your meals to ensure that you are getting your daily need of vitamins to prove ample energy for your ride.

• Professional Advice: Seek advice from a nutritionist and your general practitioner to help with your training.

About Cycle Force Group
Cycle Force Group is an importer of bicycles, parts, and accessories serving all facets of the cycling industry including independent bicycle dealers, sporting goods retailers, e-commerce customers, premium and incentive companies and OEM customers worldwide. Cycle Force Group’s Premium and Incentive Division also offers custom designed products for promotional and incentive needs. Le Tour de France® is a Registered Trademark of, and used under license from Amaury Sport Organization.

About Tour de France
The Tour de France is an amazing event that has extraordinary deliverables as an annual global event. The Tour de France is the single most important competition in the entire sport of cycling with billions of viewers each year. With more than 10 million spectators lining the roadway the inherent brand media exposure for Le Tour de France far exceeds the media footprint of all other bicycle brands combined.

TourdeFranceCycles.com
Facebook.com/TourdeFranceCyc
Twitter.com/TourdeFranceCyc
Pinterest/TourdeFranceCyc
YouTube.com/TourdeFranceCyc

Good luck!