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Times Up, powering up Occupy Wall Street

I’m sure you’re familiar with the saying when they give you lemons make lemonade. This is definitely a good metaphor for recent actions of local bike activist group Time’s up and their support of Occupy Wall Street.

A while back the NYPD and FDNY confiscated the OWS generators and power source, Time’s Up came to the rescue with bicycle powered gennys. This led to the creation of a sustainability committee and later to providing bike sharing to the various committees in Liberty Plaza.

Here is more about what this life lifelong environmental bicycle education group has been up to:

OccupyWallStreet Sustainability Program Proposal

Time’s Up! volunteers have been working with occupywallstreet NYC since Day 1. Recently, we helped them start a sustainability committee. Below, are some of the sustainable projects we could use funding for:

1. Human-powered energy bicycles to help power phones, laptops, lights, etc.
2. Daily compost pick-ups from occupywallstreet to local community gardens
3. Supplying each committee with their own bicycle with combination locks to share
4. On-sight bicycle repair workshops

ALL WORK TO BE DONE BY VOLUNTEERS AND WHEN POSSIBLE, USING LOCAL MERCHANTS & RECYCLED MATERIALS

Status of all programs
1. Just recently, the city confiscated all the gas-powered generators which were providing electricity to all of OWS NYC. Time’s Up! has been working on pedal-powered energy sources and have now been getting a lot of press. Every committee wants one and we have been working around the clock to make them. Right now, volunteer mechanics are recycling bikes at Time’s Up! BK space and Brooklyn Machine Works are welding bike stands. Other parts, like generators, batteries, and wires are all being assembled at different locations. Along with donated parts we are receiving donations are from all over to finance this project.

Project Budget-$14,000 -OWS has already raised 5k and Time’s Up! has raised 9k. If we get more money, we will be transporting Energy Bikes to other cities.

2. Composting Trailers -OWS is feeding thousands of people a day and Time’s Up! has set up daily composting with special trailers which can break and go missing. We are trying to develop systems so we can leave trailers around with locks for public access. We would like to buy at least 3 more trailers and locks.

Project Budget-$2,800 -Money raised, $400. We are working on a video highlighting the composting project as we speak, so we can try to raise money online.

3. Committee Bicycles -Several committees expressed that they would love to have their own bike. We are building them, but it is going slowly. We would like to paint the names of each committee on them and adapt them for each committee’s use. For instance, the medical team would have bicycles that have racks on the back stocked with First Aid kits. Food Committee would finally be able to deliver on-sight food and liquids to marches and traveling events. We also hope to implement a water distribution system using bikes to deliver tap water from local community resources and getting OWS away from using plastic bottled water.

Project Budget-$4,200 -Money raised, $650. We are receiving donated parts to start this project.

4. On-sight Repair Classes -This is going well, but it’s starting to get cold, so we’re looking for a space in the area to continue these workshops. We hope to expand the project so that people can build their own bicycles and be self-sustaining. A lot of these people are from out of town and have very little money for transportation. We already have about 30 donated bicycles. We need parts, tools and a space to realize this project.

Project Budget (w/o space & operating outside)-$1,800 for 25 bikes. $3,000 for 50 bikes.
$4,000 a month to rent a space (possibly basement space) in the area and stock with tools equipment

Please let me know if you have specific questions on any of the projects. All donations to Time’s Up! are 100% tax deductible and come with progress reports.

All projects will be well documented and publicized to the press in hopes of spreading low-cost sustainable methods to other cities.

Please donate to Time’s Up! so we can make this a reality!
Find out more: here.

Here is some recent press:

Occupy Wall Street turns pedal power ~Rawstory.com

Time’s Up doesn’t need generators, they have people power~Animal New York

With Generators Gone, Wall Street Protesters Try Bicycle Power~Gothamist

Bike more, live longer.

Hey guess what? Bicycling is good for your health and a recent University of Wisconsin-Madison study, proves it.

Live longer: Go by bike?
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin at Madison have confirmed: Bicycling is good for your health. That’s not exactly new. The most interesting aspect of the study is that they were able to quantify the benefits.

The researchers found that 20% of car trips within that region were for distances of 5 miles or less. If even just half of these short trips were made by bike instead of car, the impact would still be a $3.8 billion in savings, and 400 fewer deaths each year.

Read more here.

Source: Bicycle Habitat’s blog.

Essay about riding in NYC’s bike infrastructure.

A lot of New Yorkers are still complaining about the bike lanes and the eco-friendly direction the city has taken, providing more space to non-polluting transportation.

A lot of these opinions are based on entitlement, permiated by a deep rooted car culture engrained in us from the first time we played with a toy car.

Sometimes these opinions can change when people hop on a bike and actually see first hand the infrastructure changes that have taken place in NYC.

This is the case for a recent reporter who wrote this essay in the New York Times:

Pleasures of Life in the Slow Lane
by: Michael Kimmelman
published: November 7, 2011

New Yorkers should love bicycling. We’re control freaks. We want to get from here to there in a New York minute and moan about the subways and the buses, about lunatic taxi drivers and the gridlock that slows us down.

The other day I jumped on my bicycle and rode downtown to meet Janette Sadik-Khan, transportation commissioner for New York City. She is the driving force behind the city’s new bike lanes.

Read the essay, here.

After all–These go to 11.

Getting into the theme of 11/11/11, the Ride to Eleven Alleycat in Pittsburgh.

More info here.

Cranksgiving 2011 coming to NYC


One of New York City’s premiere messenger style alley cat race is coming to NYC November 19th, with a different twist. It’s called Cranksgiving and every year the race participants, instead of just whipping through checkpoints, have to gather food items affiliated with a thanksgiving meal. Then all money and food is donated to charity.

Here is an article about it from 2009. An Outlaw Street Race for a Good Cause–New York Times.

A little info from the Cranksgiving website.

Cranksgiving is a charity bike ride that began in 1999, organized by New York City bike messengers. Food is collected at grocery store “checkpoints” and then donated to a soup kitchen at the end of the ride. All kinds of cyclists are welcome! There is no set course, and you can ride at your own pace. The event benefits 5 charities including City Harvest, The New York Bike Messenger Foundation, Nazareth Housing, Yorkville Common Pantry, and St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen.

Along with other great local companies, like Chrome Bags, Continuum Bike Shop and Affinity, I’m proud to be a sponsor of this great event.

Cranksgiving takes place in 19 other cities (for a complete listing, check the website) and one recently went down in St. Louis (Nov. 6th) with 700 riders.

An article from the Stltoday.com

Check out the Facebook page, where so far-106 people are attending.

Urban Velo #28 is out now!


Learn about bike sharing in Mexico and the World Hardcourt Bike Polo championships. Just a few things to discover in the fascinating world of bicycle culture, which comes to life in Urban Velo magazine.

Check it out online, Here.

Guardian rides the Marathon

Not all participants of the New York City Marathon get to experience the race by the heart-pounding action of running all five boroughs. Here’s one Guardian reporters experience as a bicycle escort for the wheelchair riders.


Getting to cycle the New York Marathon

by: Matt Seaton
published: November 7th, 2011

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Amanda McGrory of the US crosses the finish line to win in the women’s wheelchair division of the ING New York City Marathon, 6 November 2011. Photograph: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

I was supposed to be running in this year’s New York Marathon, but injury brought my training to a shuddering halt. To say I was disappointed to have to pull out (even if the many people in my position do get to defer their entry to next year) is typically-English understatement, so when the opportunity arose to ride the 26.2-mile runner’s course on my bike on race day, I jumped at it.
I still had a smidgeon of envy for the runners, as New York dawned in perfect conditions, chilly but brilliant, on Sunday morning. But I couldn’t be churlish about it for long: after all, how many people get to parade on their bike for the whole closed-road course, complete with cheering crowds?
The answer is about 70 people have that unusual privilege, although no one is cheering for us, the cyclists, because rightly, they’re yelling encouragement to the wheelchair racers, whom the cyclists accompany as outriders.

Read more: here.

718cyclery has moved!!

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718 cyclery has moved from it’s 7th Ave location in Park Slope to it’s new home in Gowanus at 254 3rd Avenue (at the corner of Union)

This Saturday, November 5th, there having a launch party. From their owner Joe Nocella:

Join the crew at 718 Cyclery for our 2nd launch party in as many years. We quickly outgrew our last space, and look forward to hosting the bike/Brooklyn community on Saturday, November 5th starting at 7pm. We are working on getting a Billy Squier cover band, or possibly Billy Squier. Food and drink will abound.

Cyclist killed, family demands investigation

So apparently if you hit and kill a cyclist with your truck, and then abandon it, you won’t be charged with anything. This seems to be the case of the recent tragic death of a 30 year old artist, Mathieu Lefevre who was killed by a flatbed truck in East Williamsburg.

Yesterday his family gathered for a press conference at 1 Police Plaza, demanding an investigation into Mathieu’s death and other cyclists killed.

From Gothamist.

20111027-135138.jpg(photo: From left to right, Mathieu Lefevre’s mother, his brother, father, and sister. By: Kristina Monllos/Gothamist)

The family of Mathieu Lefevre, the 30-year-old artist who was run over by a truck in East Williamsburg earlier this month joined Transportation Alternatives at a press conference today at 1 Police Plaza, calling on NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly to reinvestigate the case of Leferve, as well as other cyclist fatalities. On Monday we learned that no charges would be pressed against the flatbed truck driver who left the scene after killing Lefevre. He parked his truck just two blocks away and, according to the NYPD, “had no idea” that he’d hit someone. Lefevre’s mother Erika says there were markings on the truck from the accident, which is why investigators decided to track down the driver.
Lefevre’s family has been in New York since Thursday and has received little word from the NYPD. Earlier today Erika Lefevre told us that the detective she’s been told to contact has not yet bothered to return her calls. Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives, opened the press conference by listing many cases where drivers have clearly broken the law, killing pedestrians and cyclists who were obeying the law, and yet charges were not filed. He went on to explain how, in his opinion, this has become an epidemic:

Read more: here.

Philly Bike Expo-this weekend

This weekend is the Philly Bike Expo:

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Check it out: www.phillybikeexpo.com

*Show Hours*
Saturday 10AM-6PM (Industry hour 9AM-10AM)
Sunday 10AM-5PM
Purchase tickets online here!

Awesome video of Stephen Bilenky chatting about the exhibitors at the Philly Bike Expo: here.