Our thoughts go out to all those devastated by recent events in Japan.
New York City, Track Bike shop, Chari & Co, have created a fundraiser for relief efforts.
(seen on Trackosaurusrex.com)
From the shop: “As you can probably imagine, the past few days have been hectic for us here at Chari & Co. We spent the weekend scrambling to get in touch with our friends, family members, customers, and business partners over in Japan. But, while each confirmation of a loved oneâ€™s well-being launched us into celebration, there are still a few people we havenâ€™t heard from yet. And, of course, even those who are healthy still have plenty to worry about: rolling blackouts, a lack of transportation, fears of a nuclear meltdown, destroyed property.
Japan is no stranger to hardship. And we know that the Japanese people have the fighting spirit and iron will to get through this disaster. But that doesnâ€™t mean they donâ€™t need our help. So, in the next few days, Chari & Co. will release a special t-shirt to raise money to benefit the victims of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Weâ€™re just a small bike shop half a world away from northeastern Japan–but weâ€™re hoping that we can find a way to make even a tiny differenceâ€¦”
“The Red Hook Crit is fast approaching (March 26th) and while the race roster is already full, it’s the spectators that really make the event. Since Red Hook is a little off the beaten path (ie, the subway doesn’t go there) we are organizing a group ride from Eastern Mountain Sports in SoHo. Join us at 8pm, mingle with your fellow race watchers, and then we’ll hop on our bikes at 9:15pm sharp. This is a casual ride, and it’s only about 5 miles, so dress in your nice clothes and cheer the racers on in style.
Here is the latest on the growing pains of trying to make a car culture obsessed privileged class city a little more bike friendly.
First up, Brooklyn’s own lightning rod of controversy, the Prospect Park West bike lane. (Insert a thunder clap and a frightened horse squel like when mentioning Frau Blucher)
One of the biggest complaints of pedestrians around PPW’s new bike lane is the lack of viability from oncoming cyclists and the audacity for them to have to look both ways, now that there’s a two way lane.
Brooklyn Spoke’s Doug Gordon, investigated these claims and posted two videos from a pedestrians point of view using the crosswalk and trying to get across the bike lane.
As any rational person can observe, there is plenty of viability and time to see approaching bicycles making me think anyone making these accusations are not using the crosswalks and feel entitled to just pop out from any parked car. And the claim of having to look both ways when crossing a street? Isn’t this something you are taught at a very young age?
The safety risk of oncoming cyclists reminds me of this scene in Austin Powers with a steam roller…OH NO-BICYCLES ARE COMING!
Still the anger continues against bike lanes from people so out-of-touch it predates Middle Earth. Gandalf had some pretty harsh words.
*Warning, this video contains some pretty severe language. Those more offended by words then bike lanes should skip this video.
This frothing anger has lead to a group of local residents suing the city in the hopes of getting these evil fascist bike lanes removed.
Today, Streetsblog.org, has an article written by Gary Toth, a transportation engineer and the director of transportation initiatives at Project for Public Spaces. Gary looked over the lawsuit and basically claimed:“It is clear that this is a well-orchestrated smear campaign by the project opponents. By inserting false conclusions about professional transportation practice into a lawsuit, they create the illusion of professional validity, and set up the tabloids to post the conclusions as fact.”
Meanwhile, we’ve heard about a lot of ticketing of cyclists from the 78th precinct around 5th Ave. in Park Slope Brooklyn. This is part of an ongoing ticket blitz by the NYPD. Perhaps they should be more concerned about cars doing 70 m.p.h., especially when they crash into…police cars.
Meanwhile in other ridiculousness…Over 300 people came out to a public meeting held by the division of the Central Park police department on Tuesday, to express their outrage to another ticket blitz in NYC’s most well known park.
Despite the enormous turn out, the NYPD gave no indication they were going to back off from giving people tickets for failing to stop at red lights in Central Park.
As previously mentioned, the 6th annual Memorial Ride and Walk took place yesterday at locations throughout NYC where cyclists and pedestrians were killed last year. Here are some more photos from the memorial, including a couple of shots sent by a woman who was friends with Bob Bowen, the Hofstra professor and jazz bassist who was run over by a flatbed truck at Second Avenue and 59th Street. Brina Bishop tells us:
We met up at Bob Bowen’s site on 58th and 2nd ave. He was killed on his way to me late on the night of August 26th. There was a woman there today who had survived a terrible bike accident, but who goes to the memorial sites in support of road safety. There was also a radiologist tech who had been working the night Bob was brought in. I was so deeply touched by this ritual.
I included the text of the poem posted below the sign. Bob had written it a year earlier in honor of his uncle Paul’s death. To me, it seems like he was reaching ahead in time to those who mourn him now.
(We’ve included the poem below.) Cyclist and photographer Dmitry Gudkov also participated; he writes, “I joined the north Brooklyn ride, which stopped at street memorials for Diego Rodriguez, Timothy (TJ) Campbell, and Jake McDonough. That third stop was especially sobering, as Jakeâ€™s family and friends were in attendance. He was 19 when he was struck by a driver trying to pass a slower car on a city street… It was a solemn procession, as it had to beâ€”but it was heartening to see cyclists of many ages and styles come out for the eventâ€”the kind that we all hope will not have to be repeated.”
More coverage and photos from Dmitry here.
Streetsfilms.org posted this video:
From filmmaker Elizabeth Press: “Yesterday was the 6th Annual Memorial Ride and Walk in NYC.
According to the New York City Department of Transportation, 151 pedestrians and 18 bicyclists were killed on the streets of New York City in 2010.
Participants called for stronger measures to reduce traffic fatalities.
The ride culminated by installing a “Ghost Bike” in front of Brooklyn Borough Hall for the unnamed pedestrians and cyclists killed in 2010.”
Here is a quick report from Adam Copeland, a Monster Track racer.
There was no cop harassment. Gathered at Grime Bikes. When registering we were given list of all Checkpionts but not told which checkpionts were on which of the 3 manifests (see pic). Then group ride to Skatepark under Manhattan Bridge. This was the Start/Finsh line. You complete a lap/manifest then return to the park to get the next manifest. 100 ppl registered. 68 firsted first manifest. 50 finished second. 25 were allowed to do the third. Heather won women’s (duh, winnning) is got 12th overall.
Yesterday I held down one of the first check points along with Ben Gould, Jonathan Beck and Blue, for Monster Track 2011. It was a great time to see old friends like Kurt Boone, the Asphalt Warrior, who is now busy working on a tv show about urban cycling.