Archives

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.

Yardstash-storage for your bikes and gear.

Here is a cool storage product. Yardstash.com.

Probably not secure for your front stoop, but perhaps an excellent solution for a backyard garden or apartment patio.

Rat Race-new Alleycat 12/10/11

A new alleycat from JT and Stone Tone.

Rat Race

A Straight up messenger style race, no sponsors just Cash. Starts at the Red Hook Crit. office (72 Van Dyke-Red Hook, BK) and ends at the Ice House in Red Hook Brooklyn.(318 Van Brunt)

The Checkpoints are already posted and can be done in any order: 1. the cotton club, 2. studio 54, 3. 940 flushing, 4. weehawken street, 5. 17 essex, 6. sothebys 72nd and york, 7. the 5 points in queens, 8. grand army plaza, Brooklyn.

Holiday gift guide from Velojoy


I had this big plan to put together a holiday gift guide, but luckily, NYC cycling blog, velojoy.com beat me to it. She’s got some great ideas here from cool tech gadgets to fashion to keeping warm on the bike this winter season. She’s made it into an easy downloadable pdf (which includes hotlinks) which includes some companies that have been extremely generous to me such as Boombotix speakers and Pearl Izumi. This guide does cater to the ladies but has great ideas for all including a whole list of books for the urban cyclist, including mine (plug plug…Thanks Susi)

There is also highlighted products form blog creator Susi and her crew who put this whole thing together.

So if your not blowing off gift buying to have a hunger strike in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, or been influenced by the poetic anti-consumer message of our own Reverend Billy. (His documentary-“What would Jesus Buy?”)

Hey, maybe you just owe that crazy biking Aunt Gertrude and it’s time to repay your secret santa…
Head Here, (velojoy.com/gift-guide) and Check it out.

Boxbike found!

Looks like the family who had their box bike stolen may have got it back. Saw this on Brooklynspoke.com

Stolen Box Bike
UPDATE 12/2 8:26 PM: The bike has been found! See the comments below. Thanks to Mike Green at BikeBlogNYC for first alerting me to this story and to reader Mike for making the discovery on Cortelyou. More to come…

Look out bikers, NYPD eyes Prospect Park

Well it looks a if the NYPD are wrapping up their year of harassment (yeah I said it.) otherwise known as “operation safe cycle,” by setting their sites on Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. Safe cycle, would be an appropriate title, if the cops truly were into a safety campaign instead of what we’ve seen through the last 12 months, misuse of enforcing the laws and a ridiculous effort to penalize cyclists.

Now they are handed out this to riders in Brooklyn’s most cycled park:

20111202-164848.jpg

Wow, what an intricate graphic campaign they’ve designed to educate the ridership in the name of safety. Instead of taking an artistic approach like the D.O.T. and it’s Curbside Haiku signs, the NYPD simply ripped out a page from the vehicle code and are handing out in the park. Their goal is to maintain a 25mph speed limit and ticket bikers and skaters who violate it. This may be a crushing blow to the dentists and their $10,000.00 titanium filled peletons that often wreck havoc but for the rest of us I think it’s hard to achieve that speed.

Here is an article on this in the Brooklyn Paper.

I could go on about this but I think Brooklynspoke best summed it up in his last blog post, especially with this part:

I’m all for an enforcement of rules and safe riding in Prospect Park; lord knows the park would benefit immensely from an improved culture of respect among all users, especially training cyclists. But if the standard accident rate for initiating an NYPD response is at least two serious crashes in six months, why isn’t the NYPD passing a similar flier out to drivers all over the city every single day of the week?

Read more here.