So we may be in for more of the snowpocolypse here in NYC. If the unpredictability of the NYPD harassing you–I mean fairly ticketing you in their “crackdown,” hasn’t completely scared you from riding, the bad snowy weather may keep you off your bike till May.
They posted this video with some tips on how to handle your bike on slippery road conditions:
If you think we got it bad, check out Adams Carroll who blogs about biking in winter in St. Petersburg Russia.
How To Ride A Bike: Notes on Winter Cycling from Russia (Photo by: Adams Carroll
Maybe you complain about the cold, but here in St. Petersburg where I live, it is colder. And still, everybody else in Russia lives some place even colder. To stay warm while cycling in winter, first never forget that in Syktyvkar, in Shchuchinsk, in Novosibirsk it is colder. Are you not lucky that it is only -15Âº C?
No matter where you are, wear lots of clothes. You donâ€™t need special clothes, just lots of them. Wear underwear, long underwear, extra socks, shirts, sweaters, coats, overcoats, hats, scarves, mittens, gloves and more. It helps if they are made of wool and if you have something windproof on the outside. When it is -25Âº C, your nose hairs freeze as soon as you step outside, but the rest of your body is nice and warm, sealed up like a cosmonaut. Once you start pedaling, your woolen cocoon begins to heat up, everybody you know is literally freezing to death in the street like during the blockade, and you will be sweating.
WNYC’s Brian Lehrer talked about the bicycle crackdown in NYC in his morning show.
He asked if people have been given tickets during the official crackdown…I left this comment:
“It’s one thing if the NYPD can differentiate between obnoxious cycling breaking the law and being unsafe to pedestrians such as riding on the sidewalk. Unfortunately what we are seeing is continued harassment from the police indiscriminately giving tickets to everyone they see. Running red lights? Come on…this is like cracking down on jaywalking. A friend of mine got a ticket for not riding in the bike line on 1st Ave. The law states that you must use bike lanes unless obstructed for any reason. We all know the bike lanes are always obstructed, half the time by police. The cops were using these same tactics during critical mass and then had to pay out a million dollar lawsuit. This is clearly a backlash to the NYPD being sore losers who hate biking and the direction the DOT is taking. On any given day you can find any number of people “at the transportation table” being naughty and breaking the law. This includes u-turns, running reds, jaywalking, double parking, driving while texting or using a cell phone without a hands free device. Come on, in the dead of winter when the ridership is at its lowest the NYPD is calling for a crackdown? Are we expected to believe that the police are so inundated with complaints form pedestrians on 311 they are actually doing something about it? Yeah right? Why not come crackdown on the people who’s dog poop I am stepping in or idling cars or double parking fresh direct trucks. Biking is up, the community boards are pushing for infrastructure for biking as we are seeing in Prospect Park. Face it NYPD. Yes cyclists need to obey laws, be respectful, stay off the sidewalks but a crackdown…come on, get real. The NYPD needs to get with the program. The age of alternative transportation is here and being punitive with 270.00 tickets for running a red is not the direction this broke city should be heading especially with an MTA who doesn’t disclose it’s books and raises fares.”
Head over to their page and leave your comments on this issue.
Jonathan(on twitter: @bkynbiker) and I, were riding home last night from a very productive Time’s Up events meeting. We stopped off at the La Plaza Cultural Garden where they were having a bonfire, a little rebirth for discarded Christmas trees.
On the way back we took the Manhattan Bridge and when we hit the downward ramp on the Brooklyn side it was a solid sheet of ice. I guessed we both assumed since it was above freezing that it would be only water. Both of us took spills, but it was more comical then damaging to our body parts.
I got home and tweeted about this to @nycbridgereport who has been doing an excellent job of reporting on road conditions throughout this years Snowtorious BIG.
Then I got this message from the twitter feed of the DOT: (@NYC_DOT)
And they followed up with this:
So maybe twitter is the new 311 and an effective way to get things taken care of…now if only NYPD Raymond Kelly had a twitter feed.
Of all the things going on in this country with high levels of unemployment, foreclosures and stagnation it seems like focusing on bad bicycle behavior is somehow a priority, especially in NYC. Seems rather odd from a city which for the last two years has been telling us to ride our bikes and use all this new infrastructure that has been designed such as 200 miles of new bike lanes and policies allowing bikes into buildings.
Are we expected to believe that the NYPD is listening to it’s citizenry and is fed up with a cyclists breaking the law and somehow in winter when there are the lowest level of ridership that this would constitute a citywide crackdown. Seems rather fishy to me.
Meanwhile this hasn’t stopped a few local politicians from wanting to take things to the next level, such as 24 year old Republican City Councilmen form Queens, Eric Ulrich, who is pushing for mandatory licensing for all cyclists over the age of 18.
This backward thinking has spread to Brooklyn, where one local community board member thinks it’s a good idea to license bikers.
From the Brooklyn Paper:
License â€˜em! Sloper wants to put plates on bikes
By Gary Buiso
The Brooklyn Paper Cyclists will be required to register their rides like their gas-guzzling counterparts under a controversial scheme trumpeted last week by a Park Slope activist.
Nica Lalli, a writer and member of Community Board 6, said her plan makes cyclists as accountable as motorists â€” and makes it a cinch for cops to ticket two-wheeled scofflaws.
Brooklyn Bridge Realty
â€œMaking it easier to give people tickets with bikes will be good revenue for the city,â€ said Lalli, who admitted she is not a â€œbike person,â€ but that she holds no prejudice against cyclists â€” including her husband.
and some young people in attendance all the way from Tuscon, AZ have a report back from their experience in this article from Tusconvelo.com.
Reactions from the Youth Bike Summit Two Tucson youth cyclists attended the countryâ€™s first Youth Bike Summit this weekend.
Below are Donovan Caputo and Ashley Batchelorâ€™s final reactions to the Youth Bike Summit.
They were accompanied by BICASâ€™ Kylie Walkzak and Ignacio Rivera de Rosales.
1. The part of the summit I liked best was
Ashley: I think the best part of the summit was meeting people who have organizations with goals similar to BICASâ€™. It is really comforting to know that there isnâ€™t just one group of people out there who loves bikes, and is working to get other people interested in bikes. However, I didnâ€™t feel like I learned as much as Iâ€™d hoped. I went to this summit thinking that I was going to learn about how to get youth active and into cycling, but I didnâ€™t hear a thing about that. I heard about sustainability problems, and how to make green maps. I heard about problems with excess of trash and NYCâ€™s infrastructure, but all were things I had known about or known as much as I cared to know about. I didnâ€™t hear one presentation about HOW to get youth to advocate for bikes. Most of all though, I didnâ€™t really see as much advocating TO youth about bikes, and this was something I had really hoped for.
Donovan: The part of the summit I liked best was the third day because we really got a chance to swap stories and ideas about how infrastructure could be improved. The roller races were also great.
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How the recent “NYPD crackdown” on cyclists has made people feel like crap and realizing:
“HOW NYC SUCKS in 2011″
Writer Alec Hall got a $270.00 ticket for riding his bike in the auto-free (for most of the day) Central Park. I mean of all the places to be riding your bicycle? That bicycle loop in the park…the nerve of some people.
He wrote a nice piece on how this crackdown sucks for all of us.
Why the NYPD Bicycle Crackdown Is a Sign of How New York Sucks in 2011
By: Alec Tuesday January 18, 2011 10:40 am Something is rotten in the state of New York. The putrescent miasma, leaching out slowly from the windows in towering pre-war apartments, from out of the sidewalk vents where one can hear from below the failing heartbeat of the subway system, slowly being bled to death. The stench is everywhereâ€¦ thick, suffocating, lethal. Some are immune, born with the resistance through inheritance, countless others traded away their soul for it. Everyone else just has to suffer.
Weâ€™ve all heard the talk: New York isnâ€™t what it used to be. What does that really mean though? The city largely looks the same, save for some new towers here and there (generally positive additions too, architecturally speaking). The streets are cleaner, crime is down to levels unimaginable in the 1980â€™s. Parks are well maintained and farmerâ€™s markets litter the public spaces on the weekends. So why all the nostalgia? Surely people canâ€™t actually miss the muggings at gun point in broad daylight, the landlord arson, the needles in Union Square and gradual erosion of communities as residents flee to the suburbs. Yet the talk remains the same: New York isnâ€™t as great as it used it be.
Want to take a stand against Councilmen Ulrich and his proposed legislation to register all cyclists over the age of 18?
Transportation Alternatives is making it easy to send a message.
Stand Up Against the Anti-Bicycling Proposal
Expiration Date: December 31, 2011
Action Type: e-fax
Stand Up Against the Anti-Bicycling Proposal! Send an e-fax to Councilmember Eric Ulrich to stop his proposal against bicyclists.
As reported by the NY Post, Councilmember Eric Ulrich wants to introduce a draconian anti-bicycling bill that would require all New Yorkers to register their bicycles. Councilmember Ulrich has made bicyclists a scapegoat. His proposal will stop people from riding bicycles and make bicycling less safe. We need your help to stop his plans.
Take action! Send Councilmember Ulrich a fax and stand up against mandatory bicycle registration and Councilmember Ulrich’s attack on bicycle riders.