David Rankin and Mark Taylor have been sticking it to the Man in the name of cyclists since the days the cops declared war on critical mass back in the mid 90′s. Active cyclists both as commuters and socially were sick and tired of seeing their biker friends get harassed by the NYPD which lead them to form their own law firm Rankin and Taylor, specifically to fight for the civil rights of cyclists. They handle everything from personal injury cases to one of their current projects, bringing a class action lawsuit to the city for handing out false summons during the largely bogus, “operation safecycle,” of 2011.
The firm has recently been joined by Steve Vaccaro, who has been highly active on the legal front against much of the nonsense of the Prospect Park West bike lane.
J. David Goodman has just published an article about this powerhouse law firm in this Sunday’s New York Times, park of his on going Spokes Column.
A New Breed of Lawyers Focuses on Bicyclistsâ€™ Rights
Photo Caption: ON THE JOB Steve Vaccaro, a lawyer at Rankin & Taylor, biking from his office on Broadway to Midtown to meet with a community organization that has taken a stand against cyclists. Photo by: Christian Hansen for The New York Times
Article By J. DAVID GOODMAN
Published: August 19, 2011
“AT the law firm Rankin & Taylor, everybodyâ€™s a cyclist. One recent day, the lawyers there parsed bike-law issues, like â€œdooring zonesâ€ and when is it legally acceptable to ride outside a designated lane, while downstairs, each of their bikes were expertly locked to a scaffold along Broadway in TriBeCa.
The small firm is preparing to bring a class-action suit against New York City on behalf of cyclists over summons handed out for what it contends are phantom violations â€” bike behavior that it says is not illegal in the city. It is another sign that New Yorkâ€™s bike fights are moving from the streets to the courtroom.
When it comes to bike law, it seems, the wheels of justice no longer grind slowly. Since a ticketing blitz early this year, cyclists in New York have faced stepped-up police enforcement of red-light and other, less-obvious rules, like having adequate lights or not riding with earphones in both ears.
SUGOI is a Japanese term for Incredible, which pretty much describes the level of active apparel they’ve been creating for decades. Founded in 1987, the company has been making high quality performance wear for biking, running, swimming and working out. They also make custom team apparel for pro sport athletes. In their words: “At SUGOI, we dedicate ourselves to SUGOIâ€™s â€œpersonal bestâ€ work ethic to create incredible sports apparel. We know you strive for personal bests, and so do we, producing incredible products every time. For example, here is their Versa cycling jacket which has detachable sleeves, held together with magnets. sweet.
Now why am I telling you this? SUGOI and I are teaming up to giveaway one of their 2011 Evolution Jerseys. Men’s or Woman’s depending on who wins.
Here are some specs on the Jersey:
â€¢Contrast raglan sleeve
â€¢Smart Seams to increase movement and reduce abrasion
â€¢Zone Construction: mesh inserts for added ventilation
â€¢Full separating zip
â€¢3 elastic back pockets slanted at the sides for easy entry
â€¢Engineered collar detailed with shaped back neck
â€¢Hem features signature grip elastic at the back with a flat front finish
The whole contest will take place through twitter, starting tomorrow. 8/22/11.
Here’s how it works.
Monday (8/22/11)-Wednesday (8/24/11) and Friday (8/26/11) I will tweet a question with the hastag #SUGOIgiveaway. Don’t worry, the answer to these questions will be a one word answer, with all you need to know written somewhere in this blog posting. The contest will only take place on twitter.
The first person to tweet all three words, wins the jersey. You must be a follower of both @bikeblognyc and @SUGOI_apparel before Friday. Yes, this means you will also need to have a twitter account.
For example, sometime on Monday (tomorrow) I’m going to tweet something like this: #SUGOIgiveaway, Question: Last name of Brooklyn Borough President who hates bikes?
Your answer would be Markowitz, which you record in a safe place until Friday. Then Wednesday I do the same thing. When Friday rolls around I ask another question and the first person to reply to that last tweet…wins.
You would hit the replay button on the bottom of the tweet with something like this: #SUGOIgiveaway Markowitz, blowhard, obese @bikeblognyc @SUGOI_apparel.
Please include both my handle and SUGOI’s
Last week I was invited to a sneak peak of the new line-up from Specialized. I was unable to attend but my good friend and blogger Nona Varnado from the Bird Wheel, went in my absence and posted this amazing report about what she saw coming out in both bikes and accessories.
“Hereâ€™s what Iâ€™m excited about: the Ladies Jett mountain bike (I know totally out of character â€“ but itâ€™s awesome!), the mid-level Menâ€™s Sirrus (I have lots of male friends who ask me about what bike is going to be the best for them) and some of the accessories â€“ such as the WireTap full finger riding gloves (for men & women) that let you use a touch screen without taking the glove off. I havenâ€™t tried it â€“ but it sure looks like early Winter/Spring riding just got 35% more comfortable right there. The ladies matching accessories look like theyâ€™re headed to a good place. For now itâ€™s really the cute mini pumps and triangle waterproof mini-bags that I think are quite something.”
Looks like Specialized is really keeping up with the upward trends of Urban cycling with sleek designs, just right for commuters. Speaking of-
She also did a preview of the urban cycling line Globe.
Also, we couldn’t help ourselves…right next door was the preview of the ASICS Onitsuka Tiger shoes, (Men’s Collection shown here) one of my personal favorites for riding toe clips…especially the green ones.
In the age of the SEC shredding evidence of corporate wrongdoing and big telecoms demanding pension cuts (Verizon) while recording record profits…here in NYC it’s win one for the little guy.
Yes, the big story this week is a Brooklyn judge denied the lawsuit of a small group of rich angry neighbors who were somehow so distraught over a .9 mile stretch of bike infrastructure.
Yes…THE BIKES WIN!
Here’s more from the New York Times:
Judge Rejects Groupsâ€™ Effort to Remove Bike Lane
By: Michael M. Grynbaum
August 16, 2011
â€œA judge on Tuesday dismissed an effort by Brooklyn residents to remove a hotly contested bicycle lane installed by the city on Prospect Park West, in one of the most closely watched controversies over a signature policy of the Bloomberg administration.
Two groups sought removal of the bike lane that was installed in 2010 along Prospect Park West in Brooklyn.
The decision represented a significant victory for the city and its transportation commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan, whose campaign to create streets more oriented to pedestrians and bicyclists has divided New Yorkers and prompted a fierce political debate.
There are two Coney Island/Fireworks rides on Friday.
One hosted by the 5 Borough Bike Club and the other Time’s Up.
First the 5bbc ride:
Friday, August 19, 2011
CONEY ISLAND FIREWORKS
6:45 PM sharp, Union Square North (17th St & Park Ave South), or 7:30 PM, Brooklyn side of the Williamsburg Bridge (South 5th Pl & South 5th St), or 8:00 PM, 11th St & Prospect Park West, Brooklyn. 15 miles, easy pace.
Coney Island Cyclone Ride Fri, Aug 19th, 7:00 pm, Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge (SW corner of Chambers and Centre St/Park Row) OR 7:25 in Brooklyn at the Carroll St Drawbridge (btw Nevins and Bond) OR 7:50 at the 69th St Pier in Brooklyn at the Shore Pkwy bike path entrance (take 68th St)
What the hell is Wonderdonk? An upcoming bike-in-movie event at the Onderdonk House, the oldest Dutch Colonial house in Brooklyn.
“Come join 2 (w)heels, Cinebeasts and the Onderdonk House for the second installment of the “Wonderdonk Bike-In Movie Series” on the border of Ridgewood and Bushwick. It is held at the Onderdonk House, which is the oldest Dutch Colonial house in NYC! Join us on the bucolic grounds for animated shorts by local filmmakers and the animated movie, The Point (1971). Bike or walk to the location as there is plenty of space for bikes inside! There is a $7 suggested donation but kids are free! B.Y.O.Picnic Blanket. BBQ and refreshments will be available from local busineses Cafe Ghia and Barcey’s Coffee. There will also be a ‘Bushwick Print Lab’ which will be creating live silkscreen prints for moviegoers!
What: Wonderdonk Bike-In Movies Series, featuring The Point (1971)
When: August 27th, 2011, 8:30pm (gates open at 7:30pm)
Where: The Van der Ende-Onderdonk House, 1820 Flushing Avenue (corner of Onderdonk Ave)
Who: The 2(w)heels Collective and Cinebeasts
Back in November, 2010, Michelle Matson and her boyfriend James were seriously injured by a speeding car. After a rather useless investigation by the local police, with a “you should be thankful your alive,” attitude, the couple had to resort to there own information gathering including a flyer campaign, looking for witnesses.
In this weeks village voice reporter Camille Dodero retells the story and the lack of effort by the cops even though there was a lot of evidence to work with.
Hell on Wheels: Anatomy of a Greenpoint bike accident
By Camille Dodero Wednesday, Aug 17 2011
“On October 23, James Paz remembers something inhuman slamming into his bike, the terrifying sensation of his body hurtling through the air, and the instinct of trying to land with-out smashing his face on the Brooklyn asphalt. He remembers struggling to his feet and looking back for his girlfriend, Michelle Matson, who’d been pedaling behind him down Franklin Avenue on her beat-up cruiser. And he remembers that she wasn’t there.
Recently Levi’s jeans released a new line for the urban bike commuter including a water resistant pair of skinny jeans with it’s own built in u-lock holder, the 511 commuter. (source: highsnobiety.com)
(photo by: highsnobiety.com)
Last week Levi’s teamed up with Urban Outfitters to launch a city-wide tour to show off the line along with bike repair and musical guests.
My friends over at the Pedalpusher Club, who are t-shirt designers and printers (who made my bikeblog tshirts) have come up with a line of shirts for the tour.
They’ve created six unique designs for the tours biggest stops: Portland, NYC, Philly, LA, Austin, and SF as well as they’re “Ride More Drive Less” design available at every stop featured at participating Urban Outfitter shops. Nice to see this small company get some much deserves exposure with the big boys.
Chrome has been throwing some killer parties in their stores the third Thursday’s of the month.
This Thursday is the launch of Wrenched NYC.
Here is a press release:
“We are super stoked to tell you about the release of Chrome’s WRENCHED NYC — the second installment of our free bi-annual alternative guide to city living. As you may remember from WRENCHED SF, each issue focuses on one major city and provides readers with insight on places to eat, drink, shop, wander, party, and relax as suggested by a select group of each cityâ€™s creative and cultural contributors.
WRENCHED NYC taps into the brains of: Amy Gunther, Austin Horse, Dave Ortiz, Shadi, Gina Marie Scardino, Gino Ianncci, Joe Avedisian, John Igei, Jou-Yie Chou, Kyle Demmers, Michael Chernow, RB Umali, Ricky Powell, Rodney Smith, Squid, Steve Rodriguez, TAK, Troy Denning, Tyler Clemens, Abe Burmeister and Uli Rimkus.
WRENCHED Launch party, a night of mayhem: We’ll be celebrating the zine release in conjunction with our monthly concert series, Third Thursday. Press and public are invited to come celebrate the launch of WRENCHED NYC with Chrome and the WRENCHED mob.
When: Thursday, August 18th / 8pm EST (this Thursday!)
Where: Chrome NYC / located at 238 Mulberry Street in SoHo
Featuring: DJ set by Thatkidprolific, live music from Jeru the Damaja and one-night-only art instillations from WRENCHED-featured photographers: Ricky Powell, Shadi and Takuya â€œTAKâ€ Sakamoto. Complimentary beer and vodka drinks provided by Asahi and Berentzen.