Bikelash round up

Dateline 3/24/11.
Our old pal the Prospect Park West Bike lane is still blowing up the news like the crazed tweets of Martin Sheen’s son, well maybe not that popular. (Charlie Sheen does have 3,141,447 followers on twitter.)

WNYC’s Brian Lehrer couldn’t resist the opportunity since the cover spread in NY Magazine. Yesterday he hosted a 20 minute segment called: “Bike Lane Brouhaha,” featuring lawyer Jim Walden who’s taken on the Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes case to sue the DOT for “not doing their job.”

Seems kind of ridiculous that a 1,000 dollar a hour lawyer would work pro bono to sue a city agency for accountability especially since the DOT has been working on this bike lane in complete transparency since 2007. Luckily, Michael called in the show who works for Councilman Brad Lander to set the record straight about how the local community board asked for this bike lane and 70% of local residents approved and felt safer.

Part 2 is on today’s show with Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson calling in to praise the bike lane. He recently wrote an article in the Huffington Post saying, bike lanes serve a simple purpose in NYC, “to help provide all New Yorkers with more diverse transportation choices.” He also pointed out a recent Quinnipiac poll which illustrates how “City residents give bike lanes the nod by 15 points, 54-39.” Read more here.

I dunno, maybe I have it all wrong about supporting this bike lane. Perhaps we should base safety improvements and a less auto centric direction of the city on the convinces of a few people who happen to live on one of the widest streets in Brooklyn.

Meanwhile, things have elevated to a major case of the ridiculous in Central Park. What started as a massive NYPD ticket blitz against cyclists for not stopping at red lights has now turned to speeding. That’s right the cops are giving cyclists tickets for breaking the speed limit designed for automobiles. Of course their setting up their sting operation on the downhill part of the park around 110th st.

I recieved this email from a bikeblog reader:

“Unfortunately, I have some frustrating news regarding to the cycling situation in Central Park.

As you know, many cyclists spoke out against the crackdown on cyclists in Central Park at the community board meeting. They expressed reasonable opinions and criticism to the police and asked for the ticketing – which Boro President Stringer called “harassment” – to stop.

The police have responded by ramping things up: this morning, as early as 6:00AM, the police set up a RADAR speed trap on the West Side of Central Park. It was placed at the bottom of a hill, with two black unmarked police cars and approximately six police officers in the roadway, blocking off more than a full lane.

At about 6:10AM, I passed the officers. It was dark, the officers were dressed in their dark uniforms and their black cars had no lights on. Their cars were difficult to see.
To express that their position was unsafe, I said to the officers “cars in the middle of the road? really?”
One of the officers responded “you got a problem with that?”

When police set up speed traps for cars – they do not park their police cars blocking half the roadway.
Clearly, their goal is not safety – tickets are the goal.

In addition, I saw a few cyclists get pulled over for running red lights *directly in front of the officers.* It’s clear that these people had no idea that they were supposed to stop at the lights – otherwise, why break the law in front of a police officer.

Our petition currently has 1,586 online signatures + more handwritten.
The NYCC petition currently has 586 online signatures + more handwritten.”

Here is more about this from Gothamist. and here is video from one rider in which the NYPD tries to explain why cyclists shouldn’t go more than 15 m.p.h.

Read more here.

Meanwhile two city council members Brooklyn’s Brad Lander and Manhattan’s Ydanis Rodriguez have introduced a flashing yellow bill to change the stop lights in Central Park to cater to cyclists.

More on this in

Here is a story that just about made me faint. The NYPD had to apologize for giving speeding tickets to cyclists in Central Park.

NY Times:

Police Apologize in Person for Cyclist’s Ticket in Park
Published: March 22, 2011

David Regen was sitting down to dinner Tuesday night when two police officers appeared at his home under circumstances that will instantly evoke envy from any New Yorker who has ever been issued a ticket.

The officers had come over to apologize for a ticket issued to him earlier that day.

“They said, ‘We’re here because we’re withdrawing your ticket because we feel you were treated unfairly,’ ” Mr. Regen recalled about an hour later in a telephone interview.

The ticket was for speeding through Central Park on a bicycle some 13 hours earlier. Mr. Regen, who lives on West End Avenue at 103rd Street, was one of 10 cyclists caught Tuesday morning on a police speed gun, a rarity during the early-morning hours in Central Park, when cars are not allowed on most of the roads.

Read the article here.

Meanwhile, City Councilwoman Gale Brewer has a better idea for dealing with Central Park, she is introducing a bill that will completely eliminate motor vehicles from both Central Park and Prosepect Park.

Way to go Gale!

Read more from NY1.

Roller Racing event in Brooklyn-March 29th

Andrew Greene (love the last name-mine’s without a E) sent me this email announcing an indoor rollers event from Speedwell Racing.


Events include:

1. Grudgematch

2. Flying COED 3000

3. Sprint Bracket

Tuesday, March 29th, 7pm.
@ Building on Bond, 112 Bond Street (between Pacific St. & Atlantic Ave.) Brooklyn, NY 11211

Here is a article form a previous Speedwell Racing event in New Jersey.

Fastest bike in the bar wins – Roller Racing debuts in Maplewood this week.
By: Denise Copeland/Betty Bike (@bettybike)
Published: Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Speedwell Racing of Maplewood, who most recently brought us Bike Polo Sundays, has announced that they have now organized local Roller Racing events for us to take part in.

Debuting tomorrow, Wednesday, February 16th, the races will be held at St. James’ Gate Publick House beginning at 8:00 pm. A second racing session will be held the following week, on Wednesday, February 23rd.

Read more here.

Recycle that ride with Bicycle Habitat & RAB

Press Release:

Local bike store invites New Yorkers to trade in their old bikes

NYC-based bike store Bicycle Habitat is inviting New Yorkers to participate in a bicycle trade-in event on March 26, to benefit the non-profit organization Recycle-A-Bicycle.

New and used bikes and bike parts will be donated to Recycle-A-Bicycle, in exchange for a discount of $50 off any new bicycle at Bicycle Habitat, plus a coupon for 20% off any other accessory purchase.

The trade-in will occur on Saturday, March 26 from 11am to 4pm, at Bicycle Habitat’s 250 Lafayette Street location in Soho.

“Hundreds of metal materials are discarded each year, or lay unused in our apartments,” says RAB executive director Pasqualina Azzarello. “We have a use for them – and this trade-in event provides a great opportunity for people to upgrade their bikes, and help a good cause at the same time.”

“We love Recycle-a-Bicycle and what they do for the city. Many of our mechanics came up from their program,” adds Bicycle Habitat founder and owner Charlie McCorkell. “This seemed like a great way to help provide them with more tools, and to encourage cycling awareness among more New Yorkers. With the strain of financial and environmental resources in NYC, we believe through events like these that what’s good for the city is good for everyone.”

For more information about the bike trade-in, visit or call (212) 431-3315.


Recycle-A-Bicycle is a non-profit organization that works with NYC youth to refurbish bikes and empower learning and environmental stewardship. Founded in 1999, RAB has salvaged thousands of bikes and used the proceeds from sales at its East Village and DUMBO locations to continue investing in youth and youth cycling education.


Founded in 1978, Bicycle Habitat has a reputation for its commitment to the community and to supporting cycling in New York City. Representing brands such as Trek, Specialized, SRAM, Shimano, Pashley and Brompton, the store carries a wide variety of bikes styles and gear. Bicycle Habitat is also an active sponsor of Summer Streets and other cycling events in the city.

For more information about the bike trade-in, contact Lara at (212) 431-3315.

NY Mag platform for Bike Lane debate

I don’t have a lot of time for this posting because I’m buried in tax prep. But enough about me…Most of you noticed this huge bike lane article in NY Mag. It’s hard not to notice because it made the cover.

The author, Matthew Shaer, takes an in depth look at the debate which might as well be titled: “is New York City ready for bike lanes?” as if this is the only monitor of whether people can actually ride a bicycle in New York City.

Most of this news seems to be spreading like wild fire and there is really no help from the Bloomberg administration and the DOT who has been relatively silent on this whole issue, kind of like them saying: “Here, you guys work this out.” Maybe it’s more of reflection that we NYC cyclists don’t necessarily need bike lanes or rather big extensions of the sidewalk in order to ride our bikes. Rather, we should just be encouraged to get on on bikes and become traffic…you know…”ALL LANES ARE BIKE LANES.”

But still it’s hard to ignore the heated discussions and the platforms for everyone to vent their hatred of cyclists which really is about: “food delivery people riding on the sidewalk and this not being regulated.” oh yeah, “and the NYPD’s hatred of cyclists dating back to the days of critical mass and the Republican National Convention.” But let’s just forget history for a moment.

Let’s all pretend the popularity of cycling just magically began because King Bloomy hired Janette Sadik-Kahn in the DOT and then painted some of the asphalt green. Of course this pissed off the car loving neighbors, especially when it interfered with their ability to park and speed.

So enjoy NY Magazine and their love affair with two stone age minded cranks. One is ­Louise Hainline, dean at Brooklyn College, founder of the quite Orwellian sounding group: Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes or NBBL, kind of like the war department entitled, ministry of love. it’s great to know that someone can sit in their ivory tower, on the Prospect Park West and so easy effect the discussions about safety and bicycle infrastructure with the stroke of their pen…oh yeah and it helps to have powerful politicians on board who happen to live on Prospect Park West like Senator Chuck Schumer and his wife, former do-nothing DOT commish Iris Weinshall. Wow, I really hope they are not inconvenienced from getting their groceries form the illegally parking fresh direct trucks.

The article:

Not Quite Copenhagen
Is New York too New York for bike lanes?

(photo caption: “The biker careers against traffic; the driver veers into the forbidden lane; the jaywalker marches, oblivious. But only the sucker yields.)

Photo-illustration by Peter Rad
Article by: Matthew Shaer

n a blustery day this winter, ­Louise Hainline, a dean at Brooklyn College, stood on the roof deck of her Park Slope building, ­ankle-deep in fresh snow, squinting intently into the sun. Below, a lone cyclist coasted southwest along the iced edge of Prospect Park. Hainline shook her head. “And they say this bike lane gets a lot of traffic,” she scoffed.

Hainline, who is in her early sixties, has chin-length blonde hair, rounded features, and cheeks like burnished McIntosh apples. She and her husband, CUNY physics professor Micha Tomkiewicz, purchased their penthouse unit on Prospect Park West in 1997, “when real estate here was a little cheaper,” she says. There have been a lot of other changes to the landscape of Park Slope since they moved in. But in fourteen years, Louise Hainline has never seen anything as “monstrous”—nothing as “truly offensive”—as the Prospect Park West bike lane.

Read the whole thing here.

Here is a nice follow up by bicycle blogger: Brooklyn Spoke.

Unicyclists gets two tickets for one wheel.

Unicyclists are people too and shouldn’t be harassed by the ignorant NYPD who can’t tell a helmet law from night stick. Here is some more ridiculousness from our city that should be encouraging non-polluting forms of transportation.

City prepares to fight unicyclist Kyle Peterson’s suit for right to ride on sidewalks
BY John Marzulli
Friday, March 18th 2011

The city is trying to put the brakes on a Brooklyn unicyclist’s lawsuit, saying he deserved two tickets no matter how many wheels he had on the sidewalk.

Circus performer Kyle Peterson filed a $3 million federal suit against the city after he got a 2007 summons for violating the city administrative code – which prohibits riding a “two-or-three-wheeled device” on sidewalks

Read more: here.

Triple Rush, Messenger Reality Show comes to Cable

And you thought it couldn’t be done.

Travel Channel has a new show coming out in April featuring three NYC bike messenger companies:

Breakaway, and Mess Kollective.


From the site:
Triple Rush gives you an insider’s look at the chaotic workings of 3 different NYC courier companies as they battle for survival in this intensely competitive industry. We’ll witness the bike messengers’ hair-raising dashes through busy Manhattan streets — speeding between cars, racing through red lights and doing battle with taxicabs — all to earn a few dollars and support their lives in the fast lane. We’ll also meet the dispatchers, who balance the needs of messengers who want non-stop, lucrative runs, customers who want excellent service and owners who want kick-ass couriers who don’t make mistakes.

Big shout outs to stars of the show: Heather Muller (Mess Kollective), Rob Kotch (founder of Breakaway), Janessa (why’d you leave us) “Wild Bill” Dappio, Greg Ugalde (let’s see some art work) Mr. X (Aias, you can’t hide.)

Find out all the other stars: here.

Another great portait of bike riding hipster.

Check out the latest portrait of another bike riding hipster:

Another great cyclist portrait from Dmitry Gudkov.

Help Japan

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

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 one’s well-being launched us into celebration, there are still a few people we haven’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 doesn’t mean they don’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. We’re just a small bike shop half a world away from northeastern Japan–but we’re hoping that we can find a way to make even a tiny difference…”

You can donate here.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

Alleycat race in Montreal:

More info at

and in Santa Barbara California,

Wheel House Bikes:

Group ride to Red Hook Crit

In case you wanted to check out a great cycling event in Red Hook now there will be a group ride.

More from one of the event’s sponsors, Gage & Desoto.

“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.

I promise we won’t get lost.”

Group Ride to the Red Hook Crit :: departs Eastern Mountain Sports 530 Broadway (at Spring St) 9:15pm”