There is side of me that always feels being an avid cyclist is being the underdog. Maybe it was because I was the awkward short kid who always got picked last for team sports. That made me lose interest in the game, but when I soloed out on a long bike ride, I felt [...]
I was taking a bit of a hibernation here in 2014, dodging the “Artic Vortex(s)” and bad road conditions. This had nothing to do with my recent crash. On Monday (1/20/14) I went out for drinks to congratulate my pal Jonathan Beck who you may remember from his bad bike crash in 2010. He has long since been rebuilt with bionics and has replicated a new cycling maniac of the future–a baby girl. Congratulations to him and wife Britt Reichborn-Kjennerud on daughter, 8.5lb Bucklin Solvei Beck, entering planet Earth, 1/4/14. They’ve got Norwegian roots which explains the names and they’ll be using the middle one (Solvei). Speaking of Bucklin…A front basket that I personally improperly installed on one of my bikes dug into my front wheel on the ride home from drinking with Beck. This caused me to do a endo over the front handlebars in a NY minute and land right on my big nose. Luckily the helmet I insist on wearing helped my injuries to be mostly contained to my face. A very nice Park Slope resident, witnessed my face plant and was very helpful in convincing me not to walk to the nearest hospital (Methodist) but rather to take the ambulance he had phoned in. This was a much better decision then trying to walk 10 blocks with a scarf trying to stop the bleeding. The doctors in the ER were helpful, but it did take 6 hours to get a CAT-scan, Motrin and two stitches…but expect NYC ER’s to be overloaded because of all the hospital closings.
So I haven’t updated the blog in a while in my face healing time, it seems like I should put something up on here, seeing as 2014 is my 10th year of writing this thing.
The bike community here in NYC is eagerly waiting to see what will happen with the new progressive Mayor Bill DeBlasio and his recently appointed administration, primarily the police commissioner William Bratton and new Department of Transportation commish, Polly Trottenberg.
We’re definitely off to a rough start with 18 pedestrian and cyclist fatalities since Mayor DeBlasio was sworn in at the start of 2014.
Here is a brief timeline of some of what’s been going on.
The End of 2013:
Once again, Time’s Up did New Year’s Eve right with a mobile dance party bike ride and after party in Central Park at the Belvedere Castle. If you ever get a chance to experience this event, it’s a great way to ring in the New Year. You get to ride past all the stuck people in Time’s Square waiting for Ryan Seacrest to drop the ball. I mean, it’s freezing, but your movin. Here is a quick video:
——- (photo by Brad Aaron)
Our bike friendly former D.O.T. commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan is out and jumping on board with outgoing Mayor of the rich side of the two cities, Michael Bloomberg’s team. He’s launching a consulting firm called Bloomberg Associates which will tell other cities how to have the largest wealth desperately and not to drink too much soda. Hopelly Janette will get them to ride more bicycles and cars not to see them as road obstacles.
More about the future of Bloomberg Associates from the NY Times.
Mayor DeBlasio is sworn in and transportation commissioner, Polly Trottenberg meets with parents who were on hand to keep the mayor on task about his promise of working towards Vision Zero. They are also victims of recent traffic violence and lost loved ones to reckless drivers. Vision Zero, is a goal adopted by NYC and brought forward by the new mayor to work towards having zero traffic fatalities of pedestrians and cyclists. Although that number may be impossible to obtain, the idea is to treat every traffic violent death as equally significant and even one death is too many. It is also a goal of a city, to work towards making efforts to make these fatalities avoidable through infrastructure, awareness and cracking down on motor vehicle violations. This seems especially important when for the last three years, around this time, the NYPD has chosen to crack down on bad cycling behavior and making no efforts to curb speeding cars and other moving violations that end up killing people, unlike bikes not stopping for lights in Central Park.
The Commissioner wasn’t aware of this particular demonstration on inauguration day, but the site of it caught her attention and she made time to find out what the people holding the vision zero signs had to say:
Incoming Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, right, speaks with Amy Cohen, whose 12-year-old son was killed by a driver on Prospect Park West. Photo: Stephen Miller
Mayor DeBlasio introduces the new police commissioner William Bratton at a press conference. Bratton a former NYC police commissioner in NYC (1994-96) has been in Los Angeles, vehemently cracking down on jaw walkers of those few citizens that actually aren’t driving in a car.
Beware the Ides of March and the videos of Friday.
Title: Lucas Brunelle-Renegades of the Road
Seen on: Urbancyclistworldwide
An excerpt from the master of the helmet camera, racer Lucas Brunelle-his documentary “line of sight.” Just in time for Monster Track 14, which Lucas has video taped like no other. Here is the NYC cut.
Title: How the Race was Won-Nice-Paris 2013
Seen on: Urbancyclistworldwide You could argue it was the lesser of the two March one-week stage races this year, but that’s fine. A decent sprint or two, a ton of lead changes, nice tactical riding on occasion and more than a few of the typical stage race antics. Richie Porte confirming the Maglia Rosa of 2010 was no fluke, and Andrew Talansky showing he has the energy, and at least some of the guile, to be competitive at the top tier of the sport. Good times.
Title: Fixed Gear Obstacle Racing in Latvia – Red Bull Tru Fix 2012
Title: Breakin L.A. | U.S. trailer
Seen on: Urbancyclistworldwide A group of bicycle aficionados from Hamburg St. Pauli made their way to break-in the city of Los Angeles. During 12 days the group scattered the city in all cardinal directions. They cruised through the barrios of East LA, blazed to the beaches of Venice and ascended the Hollywood Hills. They worked as volunteers at the Midnight Mission on skid row to bring attention to the 15,000 homeless people, who are the result of gentrification in LA.
They discovered a velodrome in the valley and self-tested their consciousness at the LA Gun Club. During the trip they met with a great variety of local riders. Although the bike scene in the capital of cars is relatively small, their skills are top notch. In the end the group attempted to reconquer the ecological desert of Los Angeles in order to survive evolutionary pressures, such as distances and traffic.
Title: Monster Track 12-2011
Seen on: Urbancyclistworldwide CAVEMAN rockin the gopro, representin LOS PIRANHAS holding it down for flushing, jackson heights, corona, all of QUEENS, NYC. Watch him skitch, dodge death and ride with the best cyclists in nyc
Do you know fashion designer ( www.nonavarnado.com ) and blogger ( thebirdwheel.com ) Nona Varnado? You should, oh wait she’s leaving us. Nona has accepted a job in Los Angeles with the super rad bike shop Orange20.
Don’t worry, Nona has great stuff planned no matter what coast she ends up on.
Earlier this week I had a rare night out. First stop, I meet up with Rydel, organizer and blogger with Miami Bike Scene for drinks in Bushwick at the Trophy bar. He got a special deal through Jet Blue, which they DON’T seem to advertise much, where they allow bikes to fly for free [...]
For such a car obsessed place, the California mega city of Los Angeles has a thriving and active bike culture. Dozens of group rides can be found for all interest levels from Santa Monica to downtown. There is also a strong political force where the city council passed a law requiring motorists to give [...]