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Product Review-Timbuk2’s Stork diaper bag

What’s the hottest accessory for your bike these days? Children.

Well maybe not for everyone, but if you are someone who may have traded beer bottles for milk bottles and Alleycat races for playdates, you may have noticed a serious change in your biking proclivities. Of course there’s no need to completely curtail your on-the-go biker lifestyle just because kids are in the picture now. You’ve still got to maintain you street cred, after all. However this new lifestyle will have you starting to reflect on the things you’ve learned as a cyclist, especially when it comes to packing gear.

One thing cyclists and parents can easily ponder is “how to carry all your stuff around?” Cyclists are generally gear heads who through trial and error have figured out the best way to pack for the road…where to keep the extra tubes, the pump, how to keep the laptop secure. Well getting around with baby starts to create parallels like where to put the baby bottles, how to pack the wipes so they are readily accessible. Start to see similar patterns here?

If the quintessential bag for the cyclist is the messenger bag, then the most necessary bag for Mom and Dad is the diaper bag. Who to better combine the two then San Francisco’s own pioneer messenger bag company… Timbuk2.

They took their vast knowledge of bag making for couriers and created their own diaper bag. Mom and Dad, presenting the Stork.

Being an aging hipster bike nerd…I was really into trying to get my hands on one of these. The main reason was because most diaper bags look like big puffy purses and the only other option (the company will go unnamed) has limitations…mainly size.

I approached the Timbuk2 booth at this year’s Bike New York’s expo before the 5 borough bike tour.

(photo by: www.dnainfo.com )

I went right up to one of their sales reps and asked if I could try this bag out and within a few days…they sent me one in the mail. SCORE!

I’m not a new parent, our son Max is 3 and a half, and we’d been using the other guy’s diaper bag since day one…but…one amazing thing right off the bat, Timbuk2’s stork is perfect for toddlers and beyond, especially when you go through potty training. So this bag has longevity…and can easily convert into a straight up messenger bag for later down the road, which is what attracted me to this product.

Timbuk2’s tag line for the bag is: “The diaper bag for people who don’t want to carry a diaper bag.” Which although wordy, sums it up. A diaper bag that looks and feels like a stylish messenger bag…because it is.

But, in addition, this bag is loaded with innovative features for parents on the go.

First of all the bag itself is roomy. This space inside the bag can easily hold multiple milk/water bottles, snacks, spare diapers, wipes holder, toys, blanket, spare clothes, pacifier, pacifier holder, portable potty, manual on parenting (ok, I’m teasing here). It’s 20 inches wide by 10″ high, which makes it about a medium size messenger bag. But it is also very deep at almost 8 inches. It’s subtle, but the bag is slightly taller then most bags so it’s kind of narrow and stout, which means it holds a lot, but doesn’t feel too bulky. Standard messenger bags tend to be wider.

The next best feature is the changing pad,

which nicely fits into one of the two main compartments. It feels like a laptop bag, but then transforms like Optimus Prime into a gigantic cushy changing surface (easily cleanable and machine washable) and it’s covered in lots of cute pockets for stashing stuff. It can also easily be folded and unfolded with one hand so as to get placed with a screaming wet child. The pad is a big bonus, because most diaper bags have insufficient, small changing pads and are sometimes bought separately.


This has been a great feature even for toddlers…that’s right the potty experience only gets more…well…challenging, especially when you are carrying around, diapers and underwear and the portable potty and bags for it and bags for the wet clothes and…get the idea. Yes…more stuff.

The bag has two compartments for separating water/juice/milk bottles and one is made out of neoprene so it keeps drinks insolated, the other side is a ventilated mesh, great for storing a bottle, well, maybe for you…just in case you have the audacity to hydrate yourself as well. It also does well for keeping bottles upright and not spilling. The bag has tons of pockets for keeping things divided, like that favorite chew toy or all the rocks and sticks your kid has collected on a 2 block trip to the park…when not biking there of course. Another cute baby friendly feature, is two short fabric pieces that can cover the main Velcro, so as not to wake a sleeping baby with that familiar ripping sound. Timbuk2, you thought of everything.

The rest of the bag has all the great features that have made this company legendary, adjustable closing straps, an easy quick release lock for adjusting the shoulder strap, padded shoulder strap and grab handle. There is an extra strap hidden in the front pocket to attach keys and an extra removable strap to help stabilize the one-sided shoulder strap when riding or maybe you can use it as a leash for a wandering toddler just learning to walk.

The bag is made of durable ballistic nylon fabric and a cute tricycle design, waterproof TPU liner in case things get messy inside-which they will or you’re caught in the rain. Like all their bags at Timbuk2 it comes with a lifetime guarantee and they really stand behind their products.

I even liked the bag that the bag came in: a waterproof map of San Francisco…what a great idea.

The $139.00 price tag is a little steep, but welcome to the world of parenting. Honestly, I think this is a great product and worth the price because your are getting a bag that will grow with your kid(s). Think of this bag as one you will use from front-rider baby bike seat all the way til junior is riding their own bike to school.

Seriously, this will be the only diaper bag you will need.

a video from Timbuk2 about the Stork:

Father’s Day–Skyscraper Classic in Harlem

June 17th is Father’s Day and also the perfect time to take Dad to a 1st class cycling event in the heart of Harlem, NYC.

The the Harlem Skyscraper Classic

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Learn more about this great event and others next weekend as well as a cyclist Father’s Day gift ideas from:

Velojoy.com

This week at Time’s Up

This Week At Time’s Up!

1. BROOKLYN CRITICAL MASS
Friday, June 8th, 7:00pm (Second Friday of every Month)
Grand Army Plaza
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2. BODY AUTONOMY RIDE
Saturday, June 9th, 8:15am Onward
43rd St and 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn
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3. PROSPECT PARK MOONLIGHT RIDE
Saturday, April 14, 9:00pm
Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn (Northern entrance of Prospect Park where Flatbush Ave. and Eastrern Parkway Intersect.)
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4. RIDE TO FIGMENT PEACE PARADE
Sunday, April 15th, 12noon
ABC No Rio, 156 Rivington Street, Manhattan
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5. TIMES UP RADIO HOUR
Sunday Nights from 7pm-8pm
http://www.radiohive.org/category/shows/times-up
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6. WEEKLY BIKE REPAIR WORKSHOPS
In both NYC and Brooklyn locations!
See events listing for details.
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FOLLOW US ON TWITTER!
@nyctimesup

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK!
facebook/timesup

BOOKMARK OUR EVENTS CALENDAR! http://times-up.org/calendar/calendar.php

Become a member at http://times-up.org/index.php?page=membership-support

Sign up for our volunteer list by e-mailing timesupvolunteer@gmail.com

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1. BROOKLYN CRITICAL MASS
Friday, April 13, 7:00pm (2nd Friday of the Month)
Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Park and Brooklyn side of the Williamsburg Bridge
http://times-up.org/index.php?page=brooklyn-critical-mass

Second Friday of every month, meeting at Grand Army Plaza. Come out and join Critical Mass in Brooklyn. Celebrate cycling, and assert your right to the road — Brooklyn style!

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2. BODY AUTONOMY RIDE
Saturday, June 9th, 8:15am Onward
43rd St and 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn
http://www.facebook.com/events/312411435507225

A joyous and liberating protest aimed at reducing the dangers posed to our world and our bodies by automobiles and oil dependence, the ride takes place in solidarity with the World Naked Bike Ride, in its 10th year internationally, with rides happening across the Northern Hemisphere on this date.

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3. PROSPECT PARK MOONLIGHT RIDE
Saturday, April 14, 9:00pm
Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn (Northern entrance of Prospect Park where Flatbush Ave. and Eastrern Parkway Intersect.)
http://times-up.org/index.php?page=moonlight-ride-prospect-park

Second Saturday of the month, every month. This is a safe, peaceful ride that visits many of the little-known treasures the park has to offer.

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4. RIDE TO FIGMENT PEACE PARADE
Sunday, April 15th, 12noon
ABC No Rio, 156 Rivington Street, Manhattan
http://times-up.org/calendar/detail.php?calendarid=3709

Come revel with Time’s Up!’s peace pirates, peacebikes, and peaceful dancing cyclists at PEACE PARADE 2012 at Figment!

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5. TIMES UP RADIO HOUR
Sunday Nights from 7pm-8pm
http://www.radiohive.org/category/shows/times-up

Times Up!, the NYC Direct Action Environmental Organization, now has a show exclusively on Radiohive. Hosted by Geoff and Keegan. Tune in Sundays from 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM EST. Details: The Time’s Up! Radio Hour will keep you abreast of Time’s Up!’s current campaigns. Hosts Geoff and Keegan will introduce you to the volunteers who are spearheading those campaigns, update you on past victories, and inform you of upcoming events and ways you can get involved. Come listen to our radio show, join our bike rides, and volunteer to save the planet!

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6. WEEKLY BIKE REPAIR WORKSHOPS
In both NYC and Brooklyn locations!

http://times-up.org/index.php?page=bike-co-op

*MANHATTAN WORKSHOPS*
156 Rivington Street, between Suffolk and Clinton Streets in the Lower East Side, and
NEW IN JUNE: First Street Green, Houston St and 2nd Avenue

MONDAY BIKE REPAIR WORKSHOP, 156 Rivington St
Every MONDAY, 6:30 p.m.
Come learn how to fix bikes, do simple maintenance and tune-ups at the bike mechanic skill share.
1st Tuesday- Basics for Beginners
2nd Tuesday- Brakes and Gears
3rd Tuesday- Cups, Cones, and Bearings
4th Tuesday- Wheels and Spokes

THURSDAY FIX YOUR BIKE WORKSHOP, 156 Rivington St
Every Thursday, 6:30 p.m.
Bring your bike and share skills with other cyclists while you fix up your own bike.

NEW IN JUNE:
FRIDAY BIkE REPAIR WORKSHOP, FIRST STREET GREEN
Every Friday, 6:30pm
Come learn how to fix bikes, do simple maintenance and tune-ups at the bike mechanic skill share.

*BROOKLYN WORKSHOPS*
99 South 6th Street, off Bedford Avenue under the Williamsburg Bridge

TUESDAY BICYCLE RECYCLING AND RIDE
Every Tuesday, 2pm
Come Recycle Bikes with Time’s Up! and Occupy Wall Street Bike Coalition, then go on a fun group ride at 5pm.

TUESDAY WOMEN AND TRANS BICYCLE REPAIR NIGHT
Every Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.
Come learn how to fix bikes, do simple maintenance and tune-ups at the bike mechanic skill share.
1st Tuesday- Basics for Beginners
2nd Tuesday- Brakes and Gears
3rd Tuesday- Cups, Cones, and Bearings
4th Tuesday- Wheels and Spokes

WEDNESDAY FIX YOUR BIKE WORKSHOP
Every Wednesday, 6:30 p.m.
Bring your bike and share skills with other cyclists while you fix up your own bike.

SUNDAY FIX YOUR BIKE WORKSHOP
Every Sunday, Open Workshop from 6 p.m.

Bike Tour of Historic Morningside Heights, June 10th.

Got this sent to me:

“I am leading a bike tour of historic Morningside Heights on behalf of the Morningside Heights Historic District Committee this coming Sunday and was wondering if it would be possible to post on your blog.

Sunday, June 10 – 10 a.m.
Bike Tour of Historic Morningside Heights
Gather at St. John the Divine, Amsterdam Ave at W. 112th Street
Subway: Broadway Local to 110th/ Cathedral Station For more info: morningsideheights.org/

Get the ins and outs by the seat of your bike as you travel around one of NYC’s most scenic—and significant—neighborhoods. Get the inside scoop on Olmsted’s parks, Grant’s Tomb, Columbia University, Saint John the Divine, and a host of other institutions that made Morningside Heights the quintessential “Acropolis of the New World” by the turn of the twentieth century. Architectural Historian Gregory Dietrich and Adam Cohn will lead this cycle-delic tour which promises to leave no cornerstone unturned.

Cost $10.00″

From: Gregory Dietch (ggdietrich{AT}msn.com

4th World Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships

Get your mallets and your passport ready.

Coming to Geneve, August 14th-18th. 4th annual World Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships.

Seen on: urbancyclistworldwide.com

More info: geneve-velo-polo.com

Used bike and shoe drive, June 17th.

Got this message from the NYC Surf Blog, NYCUrchin.com

“NYC Urchin is partnering up with sustainable clothing line Loomstate on a used bike and shoe drive on Sunday, June 17th at the Brooklyn Flea on the Williamsburg waterfront at North 7th Street, 10am-4pm (rain or shine). We are incredibly excited to unite forces with Pedals for Progress and Soles 4 Souls to give new life to some overlooked materials and help mobilize some fellow humans! We look forward to your involvement in this effort!

Pedals for Progress collects 5,000 – 7,000 bicycles annually, over 130,000 to date, distributes them to developing areas of Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe where they are repaired by local affiliates and sold at a low cost, directly developing the local community. In many cases, bikes are essential tools for survival, used for commuting to work, accessing health care, education, and food. All bike donations are tax-deductible.

Soles 4 Souls collects shoes and distributes them where they are needed, especially in disaster relief situations to decrease disease transmission. The EPA estimates Americans throw out 790,000 tons of footwear and apparel each year! The solution seems simple, doesn’t it?

Where YOU come in – Please start your spring cleaning!

Drop off adult or children’s bikes that are in repairable condition, but are not missing any major components. It costs $40 to get a fixed bike into the hands of a deserving individual, which is why we require a minimum $10 donation with each bike. P4P will also take working portable sewing machines.
Bring us your new and lightly used shoes! All shoe types are accepted, even single shoes! Please donate $1 with each pair to help with shipping. You can also simply donate for a chance to win the below prizes.
Volunteer for the day or for an hour…come hang out with us and help out!

The Perks – In addition to simply feeling great about changing someone’s life, your good heart also deserves some goodies! Bike donators will receive a discount at Sole Bicycle (opening up in Brooklyn this month) and will be entered into a raffle to WIN your very own fixed gear Sole bicycle. Shoe donators will receive a discount at JackRabbit Sports and will be entered to win organic cotton beach balls courtesy of Loomstate.

Questions or want to help out? Contact Annie at 201.519.0488, NYCUrchin@gmail.com.

For a chance to win an awesome bike by Sole Bicycle Co. donate here! For every $10 donated, YOU will get a raffle ticket to win! www.solebicycles.com

Calendar for NYC bike events

I’ve started a resources page on this blog, which so far includes a calendar of upcoming bike and environmentally friendly events in and around the NYC area.

Like this one:

25th Anniversary party for Time’s Up, at the Brooklyn Brewery.

For more information: times-up.org/25thanniversaryparty

To get your event added to the list, just email me: mgreen@bikeblognyc.com.

Crackdown summer part 2-your opinions.

With the nice weather out, I’ve been able to do much more of my favorite pastime. No not mutant bike polo,
CHUNK Polo (photo by: knifefight.)

No, I’m just talking about good ol fashion bike riding:
Just picture a bicycle under me in this photo.

–I’d love to be writing about great positive things like the Tour de Brooklyn, but instead I see headlines like this, from the bike snob:

“There’s no surer sign of springtime in New York City than when the anti-cycling cockblockers emerge from their hidey-holes and resume their seasonal efforts to outlaw the act of riding a bicycle.”

So I’m forced to write about the latest NYPD crackdown on bicycles.

Here is an article in NYMAG:

With Nice Weather Comes Ridiculous Bike Tickets
By: Joe Coscarelli
Published: 6/1/12

The sun’s out as summer approaches, and so are the city’s cyclists, which means the NYPD is not far behind with a flurry of tickets. The Village Voice reports that officers have been setting up around town to police riders, and they’re not just looking for major infractions. One woman describes being stopped by a cop in Williamsburg for an examination recently: “He explained that this was a checkpoint for enforcing bike safety, and that I was about to be issued a summons for failing to have a bell on my bike.” That’ll be $90.

Asked about the prevalence of these stops, the NYPD said, “We will not be giving the times and locations of our checkpoints.” Streetsblog reported a similar “ticket blitz” this week in Central Park, where cyclists have complained in the past about being excessively policed for things like not stopping at every red light and even speeding.

Entire article, here.

–>So how does everyone feel about this new NYPD crackdown with secret checkpoints? Please leave your comments below, I’d really like to get a discussion going.

Crackdown summer?

Just saw this in the village voice:

The Voice just got some info suggesting that the New York Police Department might boost bike ticketing efforts, including setting up more cycling safety checkpoints around the city — and the NYPD doesn’t plan on informing the public beforehand.
Here’s what’s up: a reader was recently riding away from the Bedford Avenue L-station and saw a squad car and two officers stationed near North 12th Street, near the corner of McCarren park, where she encountered a bike checkpoint — an encounter which prompted us to ask a few questions about the NYPD’s efforts.

Read the posting, here.

Typical. Another summer where biking popularity soars and a massive bike sharing program set to launch in a month. Meanwhile the NYPD increase their harassment campaign with secret sting operations in the name of safety, such as the egregious offense as not having a bell. Wonder how NYC drivers would feel about an increase of roadblocks checking every car for a working horn?

Alleycat Caribbean Team 6/2/12

Alley cat adventure with Caribbean Team.

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