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Dangerous route in Fort Greene for cyclists. 6 attacks reported

Choosing to commute on bicycle is a hard enough decision, dodging things like bad driving behavior and now we have to worry about bricks being thrown at us? Here is a recent article in the Brooklyn paper about a recent attack of a cyclist near the projects of Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Time’s Up volunteer and computer programmer, Stephen Arthur had a brick thrown at him from the pedestrian bridge near the Walt Witman and Ingersoll houses on Myrtle Ave., causing serious injury. Seems if the police are so concerned about “safety” with their crackdown on cyclists…maybe they should post up an officer in a cushman cart at this well known hot spot for violence.

Cyclist Death Trap-Thugs terrorize cyclists on path between housing projects
By: Natalie O’Neill
Published: December 13th, 2011

Brick-tossing teens have turned a major cycling route through a public housing project in Fort Greene into death trap, injuring or terrorizing at least six cyclists, one seriously, in a spate of attacks this year.

The attacks are launched from the maroon-colored pedestrian bridge that links the Walt Whitman and Ingersoll houses between Myrtle Avenue and Tillary Street.

In the most violent crime, the attackers pelted a computer programmer from Park Slope in the face with a brick, cracking his helmet and ripping a gash in his cheek on Aug. 12.

“It’s shocking unwarranted violence,” said the victim, Stephen Arthur, whose injuries were first reported by Gothamist, a blog. “This is a dangerous spot, something needs to be done.”

Read more: here.

Help create a new stretch of the Queens Greenway.

A concerned group of citizens want to transform a 3.5 mile abandon stretch of forgotten land into a mixed use commuter path being creative called the Queens High-line. Here is a little more about it from the Rockaway Beach Branch Greenway Committee:

A 3.5 mile stretch of the old Rockaway Beach Branch railroad right-of-way currently lies abandoned in Central and Southern Queens. Over the past 60 years, since rail service ended, it has become a dumping ground for garbage, abandoned cars and other debris, and is one of the largest tracts of unused land in an area populated by hundreds of thousands.

An incredible opportunity exists to transform this abandoned, unsightly and in many places hazardous space into a beautiful 3.5 mile public park extending south from Rego Park to Ozone Park. A multi-use path would provide a recreational and commuter corridor through Rego Park, Forest Hills, Woodhaven, Richmond Hill and Ozone Park.

Their trying to get a petition signed with 1,000 signatures to take the next steps with the city council.

Please read more about this project here.

and sign. Queens could definitely use revamped Greenway space and a cyclists would greatly benefit from the completion of this proposed project.

Fast Folks-Santa can Ride-Austin, Texas

Austin, Tx- Fast Folks,

Video Friday, 12/9/11

Here is my latest roundup of bicycle videos:

Nabiis a track bike collective straight outta Taipei City, present a ride from Taipei to Tainan. (seen on Urban Velo)

nabiis_TAIPEI_TO_TAINAN from nabiis on Vimeo.

also on Urban Velo:

A trailer for Deep Custom, an 8 minute short documentary by Art Director Tony Franklin (of Publicconvoy.com) and Photographer T.C. Worley, featuring the passionate bike builder Erik Noren, owner of Peacock Groove Custom Cycles.

DEEP CUSTOM, the teaser from RoyalAntler on Vimeo.

So what are you going to do in a 24 hour bike race? Why not shoot a short film. That’s what Kara Mulrooney did during the Riverwest 24 hour race and she used 100 riders from the Milwaukee cycling community. The Le Tour de Tami.

Zugspitze, it’s not a chic new seltzer from Bavaria, it’s Germany’s highest mountain 2962m above sea level. Here is technical rider Max Schumann, tackling the decent,

Zugspitze-X from Big Col on Vimeo.

And now for some cool products and concepts:

When the economy sucks, time to make your own job. Lauren Junker of Totally Tubular Design is making cool and vibrant bags out of used bicycle tubes. Here is a short film by Keith Wells in a series called, “Labor of Love.” Seen on allhailtheblackmarket.com

LABOR OF LOVE • Totally Tubular Design from Keith Wells on Vimeo.

How about these new mini fender from ass-savers.com (rumor has it they’re giving away the design fro a DIY template.)

Ass Saving Techniques from Ass Savers

Check out this amazing concept bike from Parlee cycles, and Toyota Prius. Shifting with brainwaves…duh.

Oh My Gawd, I couldn’t help including this one…What appears to be a great, large and full funtional diaper bag for the on-the-go cyclist parent. Timbuk2’s stork messenger diaper bag…where have you been all my life?!?!
(seen on bikerumor.com)

You’ve heard of cyclocross, the steeplechase niche sport, part mountain biking, part road, part lunacy. Every year Pennsylvania’s own Bilenky bikes holds one in a junkyard. Coming up December 18th (seen on JohnProlly)

Bilenky Junkyard Cross from In The Crosshairs on Vimeo.

TCB courier out of San Francisco wants you to get the community to know it’s riders. They’ve put together short video profiles, which is an excellent insight into the bike messenger life and the business. Here is one on former NYer Alex Farioletti-Ah so that’s where you’ve been.

and for the ladies here’s Brie:

And for the BMX crowd, represent.
Here is Ralphy Ramos

and a plug for New Era and Animal, from New York’s Nigel Sylvester:

A few seen Urbancyclistworldwide.com

Season Edit 2011 from DirtparkNeubeuern on Vimeo.

and a BMX trip in Perth, Australia, from the Set.

The Set – Perth Trip from The Set on Vimeo.

And for the FGFS (fixed gear freestylers) from Grime Bikes, Ed Wonka:

the Death of Barcelona from GRIME BIKES on Vimeo.

Bike and Roll offers a membership program

Until the city gets it’s bike sharing program off and running, you may want to consider this for an option for bike rental.

A message from Bike and Roll, NYC’s largest chain of bike rentals:

New York, NY

New York City is famous for cramming lots of stuff into small spaces, but sometimes you just don’t have room for a bike.

Bike and Roll NYC has the answer: our new Membership Program. For just $9.99/month you can take one of our Trek Hybrid Comfort Bikes for as many rides as you want as often as you like. Take it for an hour, take it for the whole day, it’s up to you.

These hybrid bikes are perfect for city riding. They allow the rider to sit upright comfortably, navigating bike lanes or bike paths easily. They’re light and easy to maneuver. As part of the largest bike fleet in the city, they are constantly rotating into our shops for check-ups and tune-ups. They come with a helmet, rear rack, water bottle cage, and bike bag — perfect for a day that includes a picnic or some time on a bench reading.

In the city, bike rooms, stairs, elevators, and small apartments shouldn’t keep anyone from enjoying the hundreds of miles of bike paths and bike lanes available. So become a Member and have a bike whenever you want one. New York is becoming a cyclist’s city, so having access to two wheels means enjoying Central Park, the Hudson River Greenway, Riverside Park, Prospect Park, East River Park, and the newest paths extending south from Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Members pay an annual Activation Fee of $29.99 and then are charged $9.99 each month.

Having trouble thinking of the perfect holiday gift? You’ve just found it. Just call 212-260-0400 and we’ll set up your gift recipient with a healthy, green gift that doesn’t have to be stored anywhere! Plus, you’ll be happy to know that a helmet goes out with every bike. We’ll send you a certificate to give the new Member.

The gift that feels really good to give and get!

Bike and Roll NYC’s new Membership Program. Gives you New York’s great, wide-open spaces without taking up any space!

Contact: Claire Gorayeb cgorayeb@bikenewyorkcity.com
Bike and Roll NYC 152 W. 36th St., Suite 801 New York, NY 10018–212-260-0400– www.BikeNewYorkCity.com

Get Ready for Built

Built is a lecture series originally created by super cool bike blog: BikeHugger.com, as a way of sharing innovative bike tech ideas.

Next Built is at WebVisions NYC

Built at WebVisions NYC will feature a series of talks by people who create. Specifics are:

Location: New York, New York :: during WebVisions
Date and Time: Thursday, January 20, 2012, at 2:00 PM
Description: Built is our flavor of a maker, hacker, DIY, Ignite-style event, with the bike as a backdrop.

If you’ve got a cool bike tech project or idea you’d like to give a 5 minute presentation, sign up here.

Also contact Nona Varnado (projecta(AT)nonavarnado.com, who is coordinating speakers here in NYC.

A Christmas miracle…stolen bike found in NYC

Remember the Brooklyn family who had their box bike stolen which was reported on this blog and others like Brooklynspoke.

Well, thanks to the vigilance of the NYC bike community and the Internet…they got it back.

Here is their story:
We were coming home from school and on our way to the doctor’s office (my daughter had pneumonia,) when we got a call from a guy named Mike. He said that he saw our post/flyer on a blog and was pretty sure that he saw the bike in Ditmas Park. After a few identifying questions, we were sure that it was our bike that he was viewing with some police officers. We of course had to see the doctor first (priorities, priorities….) so Mike stood guard for almost an hour until we could get there. (Thank you!)

We saw the doctor, and then all three of my children and I jumped in a cab to Ditmas Park. We met Mike, called the police, and waited for over an hour, on the street, in the cold. Mike waited for a long while but then had to go, understandably, and another older gentleman waited with us for 45 minutes or so, lecturing us about stars and planes and such.

About an hour and 15 minutes later I called the police again to alert them that all four of us were still waiting, but had moved into the dry cleaning establishment just in front of the bike. We were cold. About 1/2 hour later the police arrived and after seeing my photographs and bill of sale said, “yeah, since you don’t have proof of purchase with any kind of number on it, I can’t really help you. The burden of proof is on you, and we can only use numbers. I also can’t tell you what to do when I leave here, though, and that doesn’t look like much of a lock.” I asked, point blank if it was illegal to steal your own stuff back to which he replied, “once the lock is cut, the burden of proof is on the other guy.” Nice.

The police departed, and Mike showed up again, shocked that we were still there, and offered, ultimately to no avail, to help us find some bolt cutters. So, I called my husband, already en route and asked him to bring some bolt cutters to clip, get this, a cheap master lock that the thief had used to secure our precious bike. My hubby arrived just as I had nestled our children safely inside our bike, and in less than a second, we were off, feeling the wind in our hair as we got as far away from Ditmas park as possible! We got our bike bike!

We feel incredibly indebted to the people of Brooklyn. The bloggers who posted and linked, and reposed our story and photos. The random people on the street who showed us their support and kindness. Mike who found it and called us! Darek, the homeless guy on 7th Ave. who was sure we’d get it back and spread the word to all of “his” people. And all the other people who have since shown us their support with excited shouts as we bike past, “you found it!” and “you got it back…that never happens!” We are so grateful. We’ve learned so much this holiday season about the love and strength of our community. My faith in people has been greatly renewed. THANK YOU. Thank you!

Most Sincerely,
Amy and the stolen box bike family.

Follow up on Prospect Park-Brooklynspoke

Neighborhood watch cycling blog, Brooklynspoke has a nice recap about police harassment in Prospect Park, following an announcement that cyclists had better start behaving.

20111207-155546.jpg

The 78th Precinct was in Prospect Park this weekend,(12/8-12/9) ticketing cyclists for such violations as red light running and speeding. There are no official counts available, but a few anecdotal reports from various park-goers who witnessed the crackdown firsthand paint an interesting picture.

The image above, courtesy of Michael Mandiberg, shows five NYPD officers stopping three cyclists. A FIPS reader also reported witnessing “9 bikers get tickets within 10 minutes for whizzing past the red light near the lake. The reader describes the scene: “I’ve never seen so many police and parks department crews in the park ever and they were stationed at every red light giving out tickets.”

Read more: here

Build your house for your bikes.

Do you have 22 bikes to store? You may want to think about building your home to cater to your Velo storage needs. Then again you’d probably need to live in a much more bicycle complementary city like Portland Oregon…and be rich.


A Bicyclists’ House Built For Two

By: Nancy Keats
Published: December 2nd, 2011

Avid bicyclists who race nationally and internationally, Tim and Sue Butler began their new-home search looking for a place with a garage to store their bikes.

They ended up spending over a million dollars building a dramatic three-story wood-and-glass contemporary with a roof deck far above neighboring roofs, giving them a 360-degree view of the city. A separate 600-square-foot “garage” houses their 22 bikes plus many other extras a bike enthusiast might want, from a hot-water washing station for muddy bikes to a sauna, fitness room and fix-it station.

NY Times on fustration of a family looking into their sons death

“More people are killed in traffic accidents than by guns in New York City; death by motor vehicle is rarely treated as a crime. Someone died in city traffic every 29 hours, on average, from 2005 to 2009, according to a study by the city’s health and transportation departments.”

These are some stunning facts which emerge from a recent New York Times article by Jym Dwyer that looks at one families frustrations with the NYPD, looking into their son’s death, Mathieu Lefevre, a Canadian artist killed by a truck while biking, back in October.
After a Son Is Killed, Facing a Police Runaround
photo by: Robert Stolarik for The New York Times. Photo caption: A so-called ghost bike stands in memory of Mathieu Lefevre, an artist from Canada who was killed on his bicycle in a crash in October.
By:Jim Dwyer
Published: December 6, 2011

The Lefevre’s mother, father and one of their surviving sons, took the first flight to New York, spent the night with a friend, and the next morning went directly to the city morgue on Winthrop Street in Brooklyn. The second of the Lefevre sons, Mathieu, 30, had been run over by a truck two days earlier, just after midnight on Oct. 19, while he was biking home to Williamsburg. The truck did not stop.

His parents looked at pictures, then the remains, under a sheet. “The detective at the morgue told us to go to the 90th Precinct to do two things,” said Erika Lefevre, Mathieu’s mother. “A detective there would be able to give us an accident report, and we would be able to get our son’s personal effects.”

Read more here.