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3rd annual,Tour del Taco, October 9th

Do you love things that look like this?
(photo by: 52 projects.)

The Tour del Taco is a roving group bike ride that hits up the best Taco’s in town.

Here is a write up in Gothamist:

Saddle up for the 2011 Tour del Taco, a bike ride through the finest taco establishments this town has to offer. Organized by three taco-loving friends, the Brooklyn by Bike tour on October 9 will hit five spots in Brooklyn and Queens: Los Hermanos in Bushwick, La Esquina in Williamsburg, El Gobo in Corona, Roosevelt Ave taco trucks in Queens, and one TBD Sunset Park stop. Who will reign supreme?

We spoke to Brooklyn by Bike co-founder Anita Singh, who tells us she’s most excited to his El Gobo, which friends have described as the [perennial taco favorite] “Tortilleria Nixtamal killer.” This is the third year Singh has lead the Tour del Taco, which she describes as a fun and casual ride (but still, ride safe! No liability here.) Cyclists will meet at Grand Army Plaza at 11am, then travel south in Brooklyn, north up through Queens, and ends back in Brooklyn with an afterparty at DeKalb Market. The ride is limited to 75 people and is totally free, though you will have to buy your own tacos. Singh recommends about $5 per stop. RSVP to reserve your space here, and prepare for a taco adventure of epic proportions!

Heelz on Wheelz at the Guggenhiem Lab on Commuting

Thursday, September 29th 6pm-8pm will be a panel discussion on commuting at the Guggenheim Lab. The lab is a traveling discussion series focusing on contemporary urban issues. (find out more here.)

Description of upcoming series, “Your Brain on Commuting.” (Info page on event.)

Whether you travel by foot, train, bus, or car, the way you move has a stunning impact on the way you think and behave. Join our panel as they share fascinating insights into the psychology of commuting. Learn new ways to maximize happiness on your way to work. With Traffic author Tom Vanderbilt, transit psychologist Carlosfelipe Pardo, and Alejandro de Castro Mazarro from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation.

BMW Lab is located: From August 3 to October 16, 2011, the BMW Guggenheim Lab is located at:

First Park | Houston at 2nd Ave

The bicycling dance troop, Heelzonwheelz want to be there too, to visualize another way we get around…ahem (cycling)

From the ladies:

This THURSDAY the bike dance ladies of HEELZ ON WHEELZ are getting SERIOUS!

WE’RE TAKING OVER THE BLOCK for four minutes (1st street between 1st and 2nd aves)

at the GUGGENHEIM LABS , following a panel discussion Your Brain on Commuting (6-8pm)

WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!

come to the lecture (6pm), come after the lecture (7:45PM) – HELP US BLOCK THE STREET!

let us know if you can make it – we may want you to pick up some cones on the way.
forward to bike friendly folks!

a little sneak peak video of the heelz in action:

new one from Monkey Lectric

I was super psyched to be contacted by the fine folks at Monkey Lectric. They hooked me up about 5 years ago with their led light and it was such an attention grabber. Now they’ve got a new and improved model, the mini monkey light, inspired with some 8-bit illumination.

Here is a little about the new product:
FULL COLOR – 8-BIT GRAPHICS – RUGGED 100% WATERPROOF – $50 EACH

The Mini Monkey Light is a rugged, practical, high performance bike light that keeps you visible in all weather conditions. The Mini Monkey straps to your spokes and displays brilliant 8-bit graphics on your spinning bike wheel. The bright and colorful display is visible from all angles, and it makes riding in the evening even more fun than the daytime.

We believe that more people will consider biking for transportation if they are more confident and have more fun when they ride at night. We also believe that a practical and affordable product is critical to reaching a mass audience.

Today we have completed and tested samples of the Mini Monkey Light. The product is ready for full production. We need your help so we can invest in the equipment and parts needed to mass produce. If we reach our funding goal we hope to ship the product within 3 months.

Their Kickstarter fund raiser page.

Race across the sky-benefit for NYCMTB and IMBA

Race across the sky, is a documentary about the 2010 marathon mountain bike race known as the Leadville 100.
Here is a trailer, featuring some famous guy named Lance.

There is an upcoming screening and benefit for the NYC Mountain Bike (NYCMTB) and International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA), two great organizations that help build and maintain trails in the NYC area. Hosted by super awesome bike shop in Manhattan and now Brooklyn, Bicycle Habitat.

Here are the details as seen on Urbancyclistworldwide.com

Race Across the Sky 2010 ($20 ticket)

Join pro cyclist Rebecca Rusch for this private screening of the documentary, Race Across the Sky 2010, to meet and greet other cyclists and help raise money for NYC MTB and IMBA.

The movie explores the trials and triumphs of the Colorado-based Leadville 100 races and the victories of the athelete in all of us, from the eyes of the participants and spectators.

Ticket price includes Q&A session with with Leadville 100 women’s champion and three-time 24-Hour World Champion Rebecca Rusch, plus post-screening reception with complimentary food and drink!

All ticket proceeds benefit IMBA and NYC MTB!

About the Movie: In 2009, “Race Across the Sky” captured the imagination of countless mountain bike enthusiasts – this year, “Race Across the Sky 2010″ delves into the resulting race entry boom, including record numbers of citizen riders, all with their own personal reasons for challenging themselves to this epic test of will, strength and endurance. Joined by the toughest elite field this high-altitude century race has ever seen, these riders are tested by one of the most brutal courses known to the sport. From the center of the little mining town of Leadville, Colorado, to the 12,570-foot top of Columbine Mine, get ready to be inspired all over again.

Organized by Rebecca Rusch – to benefit IMBA and NYC MTB

Reception sponsored by Rebecca Rusch, Bicycle Habitat, Red Bull and SRAM.

718 Cyclery builds wheels


718 Cyclery in the South Slope of Brooklyn (soon moving to a new location on Union) prides themselves on their handbuilt wheels. The shop has always had a great niche of what they call collaborative builds, where they work with their customers to find the right bike and then, work with them to build the bike of their dreams in a 1-2 hour session. The wheels however are much more complicated, and the staff at 718 feels it best to do the wheel building. Now they’re making it even easier with a handy order form available on line for their customers to fill out.

Here is a quote from their site:
We build wheels by hand….lots and lots of wheels. A handbuilt wheel offers superior durability and craftsmanship over the lifetime of the wheel.

Fill out as much as you can..submit to us and we will work up an estimate within 24 hours. As you can imagine, there are many thousands of components to select from. This list below represents our best selling and highest quality available components. If you don’t see something you’re looking for, add a note in the “Additional Notes” field at the bottom of the form.

We’ll ship anywhere,and will include shipping in your quote.

Just click the link below or on our new ad banner to the left.

www.718.com/handbuildwheelorderform

Bike sharing coming to NYC

The big news last week was New York City is going to be the next American city to begin a bike sharing program. 10,000 bikes will be placed on the street at 600 solar powered stations. This is another effort by the incredibly bike friendly D.O.T. to give more space to bicycles and increase ridership of the average city dwelling commuter.

Here is an article from the UK’s independent newspaper.

New York City bike share system gets a green light.
published: September 19th, 2011

New York City authorities confirmed last week that the Big Apple’s first bikeshare scheme will begin next summer. The New York City Bike Share scheme, operated by the NYC Department of Transport (DOT), is set to put America’s most popular destination on a par with rivals such as London and Paris.

Read more: here.

Another article by: Inhabitat.com, NYC Bike Share will have 600 stations-10000 bikes.

On September 14th, there was a formal announcement of the new program presented by D.O.T. Commissioner, Janette Sadik-Kahn with music, author and bicycle cleb, David Byrne.

Source: Transportation Nation.

(photos by Kate Hinds)


The company who won the bid for NYC’s bike sharing is Alta, who recently launched a program in Boston, known as the theHubway.

According to the Boston Globe, the success of the program in just a few months has already exceeded expectations.

In the informative NYC cycling blog, Brooklynspoke, a recent article, THE HEAT IS ON, illustrates through the use of a heat map, the areas where the public has expressed the most interest in bike sharing stations.

(source of D.O.T. heat map, here.)

Transportation Nation also highlights a few dates and locations where the bicycle sharing program can be tested out:

Saturday September 24, 12:00p.m.-4:00p.m. at Brooklyn Flea in Fort Greene, 176 Lafayette Avenue between Clermont and Vanderbilt Avenues.

Thursday September 29, 12:00p.m.-6:00p.m in Union Square.

Sunday October 2 12:00p.m-6:00p.m at the Atlantic Antic festival, at the corner of Atlantic and Nevins.

—–
Here is the website for the NYC bike sharing program, nycitybikeshare.com. Stay tuned.

NY bike jumble-9/24

This weekend: New York City’s premiere bike swap meet.
NY Bike Jumble.
Here is an article in the Brooklyn Paper.

Deals on Wheels! The Bike Jumble is coming this Saturday.
by: Alfred Ng
published: September 19, 2011

New York’s only exclusive bike flea market returns to the epicenter of cycling, that’s Park Slope, baby! Offering cheap two-wheelers, parts and accessories in an all-day celebration of all things cycling called the Bike Jumble.
This two-wheeling flea market has kept on growing since the first Jumble in 2009.
The success speaks to the need in New York to have affordable and logical transportation, said Jumble founder Harry Schwartzman.

Read more: here.

More info on the jumble, here.

20110921-101829.jpg

Cyclist Deaths in NYC

Another cyclist death, this time on Delancey Street in Manhattan. Reporter Jefferson Siegel reports in the Villager:

Latest biker death puts Delancey St. danger in spotlight

(photo by: Sam Costanza)
Photo caption: Emergency Service Unit officers responding to last Thursday’s fatal bike accident on Delancey St. looked at the gruesome scene behind a sheet. The cyclist’s quick-release front wheel had been removed and put on the truck.

By Jefferson Siegel

Last Thursday afternoon Jeffrey Axelrod, 52, of Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, was bicycling south on Chrystie St. and turned right onto Delancey St. when he fell under the rear wheels of a cement truck and was killed.

After making the turn, Axelrod found himself wedged between the truck traveling west on Delancey St. and a parked car. He reportedly wobbled momentarily before falling under the right rear wheels of the truck.

Another cyclist who witnessed the accident, Jose Martinez, said the chain on Axelrod’s bike appeared to have fallen off the sprockets. Reports said Axelrod, who was wearing a helmet, ran a red light before the collision. Police said because Axelrod ran the light and the driver was unaware of the collision, no criminality was involved and the driver would not be charged. The driver remained at the scene.

Police from Emergency Services Unit Truck 1 arrived on the scene shortly after the collision. They slid a pneumatic mat under the rear wheel of the cement tractor-trailer to raise it off the cyclist, whose red, white and gray helmet was visible under the truck wheel.

Read more: here.

There have been several deaths of cyclists in NYC in recent months.

Gothamist reported early in September:

Cyclist Struck In Williamsburg Is 10th To Die This Year

Witnesses to the cycling accident that killed Nicolas Djandji say that he was following his friend on a black racing bike when he was struck by the Toyota Highlander. “His friend was screaming,” a witness tells the Daily News, “He didn’t want to see his friend like that.” It’s still unclear whether Djandji was wearing a helmet or if he was riding in the bike lane on Rodney Street, and while no charges have been filed against the driver, the investigation is ongoing. According to Transportation Alternatives Djandji is the tenth cyclist this year to be killed in the city.

Djandji was an artist who was born in Alexandria, Egypt and studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Transportation Alternatives’ Director Paul Steely While says that the past decade has seen the number of cyclists double, and “injuries have decreased over that period, it’s definitely getting safer.” While local pols have demanded safety improvements for hazardous road conditions, such as the intersection of Essex and Delancey on the Lower East Side, they have been to improve safety for pedestrians, not cyclists.

Unsafe road conditions and inefficient designs have promoted the D.O.T. to redesign their infrastructure including the Williamsburg Bridge off ramp in Manhattan. Again Gothamist:

Here’s The New Williamsburg Bridge Bike / Pedestrian Entrance

Things are going to be very different for cyclists blazing down the Williamsburg Bridge onto Delancey in about five months, when the DOT finishes a dramatic new redesign at the entrance/exit to the bridge’s bike and pedestrian path. Three foot high concrete concrete barriers at the base of the bridge will force Manhattan-bound cyclists to come to a full stop, and there will be a curved fence steering northbound bikers toward Clinton Street. The project will significantly change the way some 4,000 New Yorkers a day use the city’s most bike-heavy bridge… And there are some differences of opinion about it!

“It’s not clear what problem the DOT is trying to solve with their fence,” Transportation Alternatives Joseph Ferris tells us. “In our opinion, the big problem on the Manhattan-side of the Williamsburg Bridge is the traffic on Delancey Street—it’s one of the most dangerous streets in New York City. This spring and summer at least one pedestrian and one cyclist have been killed on Delancey, and between 2008 and 2010, 134 walkers and bicyclists were struck.

“Assembly Speaker Silver, State Senator Squadron, Council Member Chin and Borough President Stringer have all asked for safety fixes. The Williamsburg Bridge is the most heavily-cycled bridge in North America, depositing thousands of cyclists a day onto Delancey Street, and whether you bike, walk, drive or take the train there, you know that crossing Delancey isn’t a love story, it’s a horror.”

Cyclist and environmental activist Bill Di Paola of Time’s Up! has also criticized the changes, which he guesses are one third of the way complete. In an interview with The Villager, he says, “D.O.T. forgets it’s an exit and an entrance. But it’s more important for exiters, since they’re coming off at high speed.” Once the changes are complete, Di Paola predicts, “You’ll see a lot of near injuries, people hitting into each other, especially the skateboarders — they can’t stop. It’s going to be chaos.”

Di Paola and Time’s Up! have come up with an alternative, which the DOT is not considering—a pity because it’s pretty appealing. (It would also, unfortunately, be expensive.) The Time’s Up alternative would create a new ramp that would start about 75 feet up the bridge on the Manhattan side and reach ground level at Delancey Street, where a bike path would run through a new parkway for several blocks. Here’s a rendering:

Source: gothamist.com

Occupying wall street with bike support.

Seems like the new tactic of global protest, exasperated by the perils of the planet becoming unlivable due to the climate and economic crisis, is to occupy physical space. We saw this demonstrated in the plazas out side of Greece’s parliament against newly established austerity measures.

Tahrir square in Cairo was a crucial space during the Arab Spring revolution in Egypt. Israel’s “Camp out” rent protests in Israel have been an decisive focal point for economic reform. Last month over 1,000 people were arrested outside of the White House in a two week encampment to draw attention to the Tar Sands pipeline being proposed, which would increase carbon pollution to alarming levels.

People across the planet have become increasingly frustrated, angry with living wages continuing to go down, while banks are increasingly bailed out and the richest 1% continue to make record profits. One of the main tactics to fighting this growing economic crisis it to gather in public places and refuse to leave until real sustainable change is implemented or current leadership is removed.

The latest development is a massive protest in New York’s financial district being called: #occupywallstreet.

The original call was spearheaded by the culture jamming magazine out of Tornoto called, adbusters, known for their satirical slant on corporate dominance and creative campaigns to decrease inflated consumer habits.

The loose idea was to call for major protests on Wall Street and to retain an occupying force of non-violent civil disobedience for an indefinite time period, in the spirit of Tunisia, Lybia, Israel, Yemin, and Syria.

The main focus has been a park formally known as Zuccotti Park, now renamed Liberty Park.

View Larger Map

I relieved a communique from Mellow Yellow, who has been volunteering bike support to the demonstration:

A number of NYC and Brooklyn Critical Mass cyclists, along with volunteers from Time’s Up and other #BikeNYC community members have been supporting the ongoing Occupation of Wall Street which began Saturday. There is currently an encampment at Broadway and Liberty Street, just a stone’s throw from the police-barricaded financial center. New York City cyclists have been providing support in a diversity of ways under the banner of “Bike Bloc”.

We have been patrolling and scouting to keep the newly re-named “Liberty Square” occupiers safe from the ever-present and increasingly violent NYPD, especially during vulnerable early morning hours. We have provided transportation for essential supplies, including bedding and tarps. Bike Bloc participants typically join the spirited marches and vigils that have approached Wall Street, by occupying the road space as we are legally required to do. Cyclists are mobile and able to get views of the action otherwise unavailable to the sidewalk-restricted marchers. Time’s Up has joined the media-making efforts to circumvent the attempted blackout of this event.

The situation as of this morning has become more desperate as the NYPD begins a concerted effort to evict us. Anyone with a bike or not who is available to go to the Broadway and Liberty should do so ASAP. If you are specifically interested in the bike-bloc, follow hashtags #occupywallstreet #bikebloc and @critmasspanic for updates or call 408-506-4948.

Thank you, I hope to see you in the streets! Our Streets!

Occupy Wall Street!
Mellow Yellow

Day 4 arrests.

You can also see a live stream broadcasting from downtown: Livestream.com search for, globalrevolution.

Thanks D. Patrick for making our giveaway-SUGOI

Big shout out to D. Patrick who got his Sugoi jersey from our giveaway, just in time for the New York Century.