Thursday, June 30, 2005

World Messenger Championships are here! You have been warned.

Ted Shred, originally uploaded by Green Biker.

Pictured here is Ted Shred, famous San Francisco DJ, skater and downhill freewheel bomber. Read an interview with Ted at:
Ted was also in town for the premier of a short documentary that played at the NY Bicycle film festival The name of the film was:
"Bomb Bay" The bicycle film festival is now held in New York, Los Angeles, London, San Francisco and in Tokyo (Nov. 4-5)

Meanwhile Messengers from all over the world are converging on NYC for the 13th annual World Messenger Championships held June 30th-July 4th.


The New York Bicycle Messenger Association has been organizing this event for more than a year and is using the Time's Up space at 49 East Houston as the Messenger worlds headquarters. Please give these hard working messengers room at the space. You are more then welcome to come by and attend forums but please leave BIKES OUTSIDE and be respectful of the neighborhood.

The schedule over the next few days is posted at but it is slightly hard to figure out.

The main races are on Sat. and Sunday in Jersey City, because the NYPD is punishing all bikes for the success of Critical Mass.

There will also be alley cat races, but you must be in the know! hint hint.

also see the fine folks at NYC's hottest track bike shop:

for more tales from the wild side and hints about world's goings on.

Last night messengers appeared on Team Spider's show, on MNN, here is an account of what went on by show host and band front man: Chris Ryan,

those watching TEAM SPIDER TV tonight and curious why the screen went
BLACK after 5 minutes,, we were SHUT DOWN in the middle of a live

why? because BIKE MESSENGERS were sitting on their bikes...

Even though the entire purpose of the show was to promote the MESSENGER
RACES this weekend, we practically had to beg to even be allowed to
bring bikes on to our set...
-"no sports equipment allowed in the building"
-" you'll track mud in"
-"then we'll have to let everyone bring bikes in"

oh no.

well, eventually we were BLESSED with the ability to have a couple
bikes on our set, (a set we spent 2 hours building and miking...
complete with a TEAM SPIDER live music corner.)

over 50 bike messengers showed up, and though it would have been
visually cool to have a million bikes in there, i think we came to some
compromise like 10. and let everyone else be audience members

we were so blessed.

anyhow, episode starts and the messengers proceed to sit on their
bikes, demonstrating their "track stand" ability to sit still and not
move, we hear " get off the bikes"

even though it is physically impossible to ride bikes in the MNN studio,
they had a caniption, said it again,,
people got off their bikes, but it was "too late"
we were shut down,

so about 50 messengers, from around the globe, who came up to promote
their upcoming 4th of July competitions, and waited out in the rain for
an hour to get in, were all sent home, as the American messengers
muttered "free speech" under their breath, and the Europeans scratched
their heads not sure what was happening.

So as usual we were painted as the -trouble makers team spider-, who
always have "creative ideas".

sorry. i thought the staff at MNN is there to support US and free
speech, not consistantly, non-stop harass us for inconviences to them
such as "loud bands", a "cooking episode", promoting the "BIKE

they bothered us about ?why? we only filled in an estimate of *6-12
guests* on the studio reservation sheet we filled out 2 months ago,
well before we even decided on a topic.

as i was battling to bring some bikes in, and stating "yes . i will
personally mop any mud that appears", i told them that in the future i
will update any forms with emails whenever i find more things out, but
the fact is i never know what exactly is gong to happen, we have bands
cancel 15 minutes before we air, and other times we (obviously) have
messengers spontaneously decide our show is 'the place to be'

it is really frustrating and sad. it is hard enough to put together an
episode with no money, unrelieable guests, unpredictable crew members,
but the staff makes sure to keep it hostile and stifling on top of it
all, which manages to keep all "creative" people / ideas
out. i believe nothing would make them happier then if nothing
happened there except 1967 level production value 2 person talk shows.

they just want to shut down ideas, rather than facilitate them. its
really sad when i am afraid to even mention what i am considering doing
each episode, because then THEY are programing our show, not us. i
dont want to go through a
"Naw, what else you got"
conversation every week.
which,( assuming they arent going to now get vengeful and try to take
us off the air or something,) is a conversation we are going to have to
have every time we walk in "their" building.

as Dave said,
( before he returned to the =company paid for!!= night out with his
girl / which he cut short to come in and crew the show...)

------team spider

--see us perform live this Monday ( july 4th) @ THE HOOK, ''shoved off
to the ghettos of red hook Brooklyn... team spider"

More Photos of last nights Memorial

Brandie2, originally uploaded by Green Biker.

This response comes form


We were at the memorial for Brandi Bailey at Houston and Avenue A. People adorned her Ghostbike with flowers. A group rode over from Andrew's memorial and joined us later -- maybe 20 people in total. It was raining a bit. Ocassionaly a passerby would ask about the memorial, a few stopped to read the notes. Some others made the sign of the cross as they passed.

I spoke to a cop when I first arrived. For some reason the cops thought this was important enough to send about 3 cars and 6 men. The cop introduced himself and seemed intelligent enough. He asked how many people were coming. I told him his guess was as good as mine. Then I looked him in the eye and told him nobody really wanted to be there.

I asked him about the recent round of automobile-releated deaths of cyclists and pedestrians. He talked about how the streets have always been dangerous and mentioned Queens Blvd. ("the Blvd. of Death"). I told him that what has most people upset is that the drivers are not held accountable at all. I told him I could get in a car and run over an old lady and then say "oh, I didn't see her" and drive off.

I went on to tell him that in Japan any driver involved in an accident resulting in a death, whether responsible or not, automatically loses his license. I am not even sure if this is true! But I like the sound of it. He didn't have much to say; I'm glad I could (calmly) give him a piece of my mind.

Eyewitness News stopped by and recorded some video. Maybe it'll show up at 11.

Thanks to Visual Resistance and the other folks who contributed to the memorial.
I recorded Channel 07 and watched 02 last night at 11:00pm. Neither channel felt the recent death of cyclists was a news worthy story. They did however feel it was important to run a story on the Coney Island Hot Dog eating contest and an auction for Marlon Brando's useless shit. They also ran about 5 minutes on the racist beating in Howard Beach last night. Now don't get me wrong. Violence is wrong, but those black youths admited they were in the neighborhood to steal cars. It's not like they were selling girl scout cookies. There is no reason for racist remarks or for the use of violence, but the news was spending a lot of time and a press conference with the mayor to try and flush out the racial profiling aspects of the story. Funny how racial profiling goes on everyday with the NYPD and is encouraged in New Jersey and there is never a peep about that. Meanwhile we are getting killed on our bikes and its not important enough to make the broadcast news.

Memorial 6/28/05

photos of last nights 4 location memorial. Photos taken by, ghost bikes prepared by Candles are lit at Houston and Elizabeth crowd makes speeches
062905a, originally uploaded by Green Biker.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Educate drivers made simple


*thank you to Matthew W

Critical Mass Legal Update

I got this article from, from their local news wire.

It is from Mark Taylor.

(he used my picture, so I guess its alright to use his story)


NEW YORK - In the first and last trial resulting from the 33 “parading without a permit” arrests the NYPD made on the night of the Halloween Critical Mass bicycle ride, the New York County Supreme Court found The Wall Street Journal’s Senior Art Director, Liz Shura, not guilty of disorderly conduct and parading without a permit yesterday afternoon. Ms. Shura is a member of The Wall Street Journal team that won a Pulitzer Prize for publishing the paper on 9/11 even though the Journal offices had been severely damaged in the terrorist attacks.

Critical Mass bicycle rides occur in over 400 cities across the world. They have occurred on the last Friday of every month in New York City for the past 12 years. Cyclists ride in groups to promote bicycle safety and make bicycle traffic more visible. The rides themselves are a means of saying, “We’re not blocking traffic, we are traffic.” The day before the Halloween ride, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly published an op-ed piece in the Daily News claiming that “extremists had high jacked the rides” prior to August’s Republican National Convention.

The Halloween Critical Mass ride came on the eve of federal Judge William H. Pauley III’s decision in Bray v. City of New York denying the City an emergency injunction that would have prevented the ride from happening. In response to Judge Pauley’s decision that Critical Mass rides were protected by the First Amendment, and that it was unclear whether the City’s parade permitting scheme could apply to them at all, the NYPD proposed a route for the Halloween ride by handing out flyers in Union Square Park prior to the ride’s inception, then diverted cyclists off the route and made mass arrests.

All of the 32 other parading without a permit cases arising from the October arrests were dismissed without going to trial, most upon arraignment, where people took adjournments in contemplation of dismissal. Ms. Shura pleaded not guilty at her arraignment and appeared in court more than five times over the course of eight months because she believed her arrest was false and unconstitutional.

Ms. Shura was represented by Lewis and Gideon Oliver, a father-and-son team of civil rights attorneys. “I am troubled that the District Attorney’s Office is moving forward with these prosecutions, but I remain hopeful that it will redouble its efforts to investigate other, similar cases that remain open, and do the right thing,” said Gideon. Scores of criminal trials arising from the January, February, and March Critical Mass arrests are expected to take place this month. All of those defendants have been offered (and refused) plea bargains because they believe their arrests were unconstitutional.

Ms. Shura’s trial lasted just 30 minutes. The District Attorney’s Office presented testimony from a single witness, her alleged arresting officer, who had sworn in writing that he had personally observed Ms. Shura “riding her bicycle in unison with 100 other cyclists” and blocking cars behind her. Ms. Shura was ordered to join a group of female arrestees to make a quota while walking her bicycle in an attempt to leave the ride, and then charged and prosecuted based on the “personal observations” of a police officer she saw for the first time after she was handcuffed. At the trial, the arresting officer admitted that he was assigned to block the intersection of 11th Street and 7th Avenues along with a team of 19 other NYPD officers on scooters; that he saw a group of cyclists come down the street toward the blockade; and that he was later directed to process the arrests of 3 females.

In the past 6 weeks, 4 cyclists have been run over and killed by motor vehicles. The NYPD has ruled all 4 deaths accidental and declined to issue summonses to any of the drivers involved. Yet over 525 people have been arrested for allegedly participating in the leaderless group bicycle rides since just before the RNC, when the City decided to crack down on the rides. Some other cities, like Moscow, have followed the NYPD’s lead and started arresting participants in their Critical Mass rides. Like many New York arrestees, since her arrest, Ms. Shura has been afraid to participate regularly in the monthly rides for fear of being arrested for the “extremist” behavior of riding her bicycle in a group. A number of arrestees have formed a not-for-profit group called FreeWheels to help provide support for people who have been arrested while riding their bicycles. See

The City is now seeking an emergency injunction in State court against Time’s Up!, the environmental advocacy group the City believes is “behind” the rides, and several of its volunteers. The injunction the City seeks would not only prevent the rides by making participation in them a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, but also subject anyone who gathers in a group of more than 20 people in a City park, or advertises such a gathering, to prosecution for a misdemeanor, unless the gathering has a permit. The first court appearance in connection with the City’s new lawsuit is scheduled for tomorrow morning. Time’s Up! is represented by civil rights attorneys Deborah Berkman, Steven Hyman, Gideon Oliver, and Norman Siegel.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

everyones shoots video...

everyones-shootin, originally uploaded by Green Biker.

This is a picture from the June 05 Critical Mass NYC.

Clarification on the Memorial tomorrow. I believe it will take place in 4 different locations. This is not a ride. Goto the location closest to you or closest to your heart. Bring flowers, candles, speeches, etc. Wave to the undercover cops who have no soul and come to a memorial of a killed person. They'll be the ones wearing Yankees jerseys and talking on the cell phone.

Here is a counter punch article sent to me from Benjamin Shepard, a life long activist here in NYC.
++This is a very long article that should be looked up on line. It covers activism over the last couple of years from RNC to Miami FTAA. Lots of info here. This is only one brief section+++

August 27, 2004: The attack on Critical Mass

A helicopter pulsed overhead as nervous activists meandered around St. Mark's Church in the minutes after over several hundred bikers were arrested during for participating in a community bike ride on August 27, the Friday night preceding the RNC. Earlier in the evening, some 5,000 bikers had formed a cavalcade through the summer night. The ride was the culmination of a near-decade of bike and public space activism (Shepard and Moore, 2002). After years of theme-based Critical Mass bike rides supporting community gardens, nonpolluting transportation, even a commemoration of lost firemen after 9/11, the summers of 2003 and 2004 brought thousands of new members into New York's public space/environmental activism. Throughout the spring and summer of 2004, activists across the country recognized that the last Friday of August dovetailed with the RNC protests. Critical Mass rides took place around the world on the last Friday of every month. Anticipating the RNC, riders careened across the FDR freeway during the July 30 ride--the last ride of "the fun old days" of Critical Mass. By the next month, everything would be different.

By August, organizing efforts were met with government surveillance and attempts at total control of the monthly Critical Mass rides. During the last week of the month, police began making routine visits to the TIME'S UP! space (headquarters of the local bike activist group), where they asked about the whereabouts of a number of organizers who were on their radar. Surveillance, such as visits to the homes and workplace of activists known to be effective organizers, was common during the days before the RNC.

Two days before the August ride, organizers were informed that they could not hold their planned after-party at the Frying Pan, a regular venue for political parties and fundraisers, including many previous dance parties after Critical Mass rides. Apparently, the police, the Coast Guard, and others had flooded the Frying Pan owners with phone calls. Under heat from the federal government, the owners canceled the party. The Critical Mass rides and after-parties are events at which the roving activist social world converges on a monthly basis. Without opportunities to get together, these communities face the threat of oblivion. Once again, a community event was being attacked under the auspices of "zero tolerance" policing. That night, organizers distributed a flyer reading:

Important Message to Our Community.

Our beloved Critical Mass Ride is under attack!

All threats, intimidation tactics and harassment, however, will not keep us from going forward with this amazing community ritual! We have worked hard to build this dynamic community and to advocate for the rights of those that use alternative modes of transportation! We have worked hard to reclaim our rights to public space in our city of New York!

The message implored ride supporters to come out in force. It emphasized community interrelatedness, play, and pleasure as responses to the impending panic, and specifically called on riders not to cave in to a culture of fear and intimidation:

Tell all your friends. Bring family, neighbors, lovers and strangers. Bring noisemakers, musical instruments, face-paint, flowers, and your energy and joy. Bring things to juggle and to share and also your conviction that we have a right to converge and ride throughout this glorious city. Bring video cameras.

We will not be intimidated!

We will not be threatened and harassed!

This is our city! This is our community!

Let's make this the biggest, loudest, most joyful Critical Mass ever!

That Friday night, 5,000 riders--both locals and itinerant activists in town for the RNC--responded to the call. It was the largest Critical Mass ride in New York City history. Those who participated encountered the brand of demonization of protest and community building that had become a typical feature of the Patriot Act era. Over 250 riders were arrested that night; another 150 bicyclists were arrested by the time the RNC had ended, totaling over 400 bike arrests during the RNC alone.

"Police hate to be upstaged," one observer involved in radical gardening and biking noted. Both community gardening and bicycling had become targets of government crackdowns because they both seemed to advocate a vision of urban life in which care and connection with neighbors was prioritized over policing, security culture, and entrance fees. Both community gardening and biking challenged notions of the city as profit-making growth machine.

In the case of Critical Mass, the police appeared to be responding to the prefigurative "Yes"--the community-building process and the spontaneous ritual of community that unfolded the last Friday of every month. Activists had created an image of urban life built on affective play: bike riding amongst friends and neighbors in a healthy sustainable city. These rides functioned as open-ended, leaderless democratic free-for-alls--compelling spaces open for more and more bikers to participate. The police seemed upset that a group of citizens was not interested in asking for permission or asking them to play a role in helping organize their leaderless community. For many, the ride had become a sort of living example of noncommidified possibility. Thus, Critical Mass represented a powerful "Yes" to life, community, and authentic fun in a world of "Nos." While the police formed a security detail for the malling of Manhattan and the suburbanization of NewYork, Critical Mass rides represented a form of community building that had nothing to do with citizenship as shopping endeavor.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Norman Siegel speaks

Norman-s, originally uploaded by Green Biker.

Hey all you web savy people out blog needs help. I'm trying to learn basic HTML so I can put multiple pictures up into this blog postings. Sucka pants has been very helpful and I understand the basics of brackets and tags...such as
There will be another memorial ride this Wednesday: (here is the text on it)

Simultaneous Memorial for Cyclist Deaths
Wed, June 29th at 7pm
4 Cyclists Killed by Trucks & SUV within the last two months
Four different locations

Andrew Morgan, 25, Houston & Elizabeth, Manhattan
Elizabeth Padilla, 28, 5th Avenue and Prospect Pl, Brooklyn
Brandie Bailey, 21, Houston & Avenue A, Manhattan
Jerome Allen, 59, Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island

Bring candles and flowers
Simultaneous Moment of Silence at 7:20pm

4 Cyclists have been killed by trucks & SUV in the past 2 months. This
Wednesday will be a week from when Andrew Morgan was killed on Elizabeth
and Houston. 7pm Wed night Time's Up! and the community will be having a
simultaneous memorial on the site of all four deaths that will establish
the link between their deaths and the need for safer streets for the
cyclists. We also will be bringing up the fact that no driver has been
charged in any of these cases and we want safer infrastructure now.

During the course of the last year the city has not just arrested cyclists
they also created a climate on the streets that is more conducive to a lack
of respect for cyclists. The city has also spent millions of dollars
trying to confuse our clear message of more safety and infrastructure for

TIME'S UP!! Get Outraged!! Stop the Killing, Demand Respect!!
The recent deaths of cyclists made the Sunday New York's the article

June 26, 2005
On Roads Where They Fell, Bicyclists Are Remembered

The day after Andrew Ross Morgan was killed when his bicycle and a furniture truck collided at a Manhattan intersection, a bouquet of lilies stood nearby in a metal coffee can; a scrap of paper on a lamppost bore his name and the abbreviation R.I.P. Soon, those memorials were joined by another.

Just after 9 p.m. on Thursday, a group of people assembled at the same intersection, Elizabeth and East Houston Streets. They unfolded a cardboard stencil stained with orange and blue paint and placed it in the street. A man shook a can of silver spray-paint and pointed the nozzle at the cardboard. When he removed the cardboard moments later, an outline of a human body remained on the macadam.

"There needs to be more visibility for cyclists," said Matthew Roth, 28, of Chelsea, gazing at the image that he had just created. "This is an act of solidarity and tribute."

Over the years, roadside memorials in New York City have become a familiar sight. Their goal is to commemorate lives that came to a sudden end in a landscape of asphalt, brick and concrete where yesterday's events can be quickly forgotten. The most common display involves a milk crate or a cardboard box, tall candles in glass sleeves bought at local bodegas and a snapshot of the deceased.

But in the last week, memorials of a more noticeable and lasting nature have appeared in Manhattan and Brooklyn to designate the spots where bicyclists have died. They have been created in response to a recent spate of deaths on major thoroughfares and are intended to recognize the dangers cyclists face. According to police records, Mr. Morgan, 25, a food market manager from Brooklyn, was the 10th bicyclists to die this year in a collision with a car or truck; there were six by this time last year. In 2003, there were 16 fatalities, and in 2004, there were 15, the police said.

"There's a lack of education for drivers about sharing the road," said Mr. Roth, adding that many motorists endanger bicyclists by abruptly swerving their cars or by swinging doors open. And bicyclists sometimes bring danger upon themselves by riding in a risky fashion.

Mr. Roth, who is a member of a bicycling advocacy group called Time's Up!, said his organization had compiled a list of hundreds bicyclists and pedestrians killed in the last 10 years in collisions with motor vehicles. In the last week or so, he said, the group placed seven stenciled images at spots where fatal accidents had occurred. It is unlawful in New York City to place painted messages on public streets. But Mr. Roth said that a desire to call attention to the deaths made him and others decide to create the images.

The stenciled images are not the only new memorials for bicyclists. Last week, a collective of artists called Visual Resistance began using bicycles that have been spray-painted white, called "ghost bikes," to designate spots where bicyclists have died. The first was on Fifth Avenue near Warren Street in Park Slope, where a 28-year-old lawyer, Elizabeth Padilla, died after being struck by a truck on June 9, said Kevin Caplicki, 26, of Fort Greene. Mr. Caplicki is a member of the collective and said he happened by Fifth Avenue moments after Ms. Padilla died. The experience motivated him and others to introduce to New York this type of memorial, which has appeared on the streets of St. Louis and Pittsburgh.

"I feel an affinity with any cyclist who has fallen," Mr. Caplicki said. "I hope that people can make a connection when they see a riderless bicycle and think about a life that's gone."

At 11:30 p.m. Friday, Derek Bobus, 21, an architect's assistant from the Lower East Side, stopped to gaze at a Raleigh 10-speed painted white and chained to a signpost on East Houston Street near Avenue A. He read a small white sign fixed to the post above the bicycle; the sign bore the name Brandie Bailey, a 21-year-old who died nearby after being struck by a garbage truck on May 8.

Mr. Bobus said the memorial moved him to reflect on Ms. Bailey.

"She woke up that morning, and she had no idea she was going to die," he said. "It proves how life is really fragile."

Kareem Fahim and William K. Rashbaum contributed reporting for this article.

Declare Independence from oil

Declare Independence from oil, originally uploaded by Green Biker.

And go to critical mass.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

More Photos of the Memorial

More Photos of the Memorial, originally uploaded by Green Biker.

6/24/05 memorial for cyclist killed on Houston. More photos on

Critical Mass Chicago 6-05

Chinatown, originally uploaded by santheo.

DC cracks down.

This comes from a list serv in DC.

Apparently the DC police are going to find more ways to harass cyclists. I think Chief Ramsey who has always been an enemy to demonstrators, is just mad cause he had his car stolen.

Although I am very against blaming the victim, I do realize that pedestrians and cyclists are prone to acting in unsafe ways on the streets.

But will this enforcement be balanced? This is the age old question. Did the bike rider die because he was acting irresponsible or did it have something to do with the vehicle double parked in the bike lane? Does the number of pedestrians and cyclists killed per year need to predicate an investigation of motor vehicle traffic and the willingness of a metro area to accomadate more cyclists.

Either way, something is being done in DC. In New York City, well...just blame the victim. 2 people have been killed on bicycles on Houston St. this year. This is one half of 2004 total number of reported cyclists killed in a year in DC. When you talk to residents of Manhattan who live near Houston Street they paint a picture of a dangerous avenue, one which they have know about for more than 10 years. Nothing is done.


MPD, DDOT Step Up Enforcement of Pedestrian Safety Laws;
Motorists, pedestrian and bicyclists targeted during new enforcement effort

In a renewed effort to enhance pedestrian safety in the District of
Columbia, the Metropolitan Police Department and the District Department of
Transportation over the next few weeks will be stepping up enforcement of
traffic laws that pertain to pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.

"We want to send a strong message that failing to stop for pedestrians in
crosswalks will not be tolerated," said Chief of Police Charles H. Ramsey.
"Motorists need to understand that only a moment of inattention or
distraction can take a pedestrian's life," he said.

The MPD has received funding from DDOT to support overtime operations
designed to combat pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities and injuries. Each
year in the District, pedestrians account for an average of 14 fatalities
and nearly 800 injuries. Eight pedestrians have been killed so far this
year, and while no bicyclists have died on DC streets this year, four were
killed in 2004, an all-time high.

The program, which will focus on speeding and aggressive drivers, is
designed to alert motorists to the role they play in pedestrian safety. No
less important, police will also be on the lookout for risky and illegal
pedestrian behaviors, such as crossing against signals and disrupting the
flow of traffic. Bicyclists who run red lights, ride the wrong way on the
street, or ride on downtown sidewalks will also be targeted. Police will
focus on intersections with a history of pedestrian and bicycle crashes
throughout the city.

"Pedestrians need to remember a few of the rules they were taught in
sharing the road with cars means they must use crosswalks, obey signals,
take the time to cross safely," said Chief Ramsey.

This enforcement wave complements the regional Street Smart initiative, a
$350,000 advertising campaign to raise awareness of pedestrian and bicycle
safety. Street Smart ads are running in local newspapers, on radio, and on

The enforcement effort is the first since the District amended its
pedestrian safety law to require drivers to stop, not simply yield, to
pedestrians in crosswalks where there are no traffic signals. The MPD
pedestrian safety enforcement effort will be repeated in several waves
throughout the year.

News media representatives who are interested in covering an enforcement
operation should contact Capt. Patrick Burke at (202) 437-7984.
Bill Rice
Spokesperson, Dist. Department of Transportation

Another Pink Bike

IMG_1532, originally uploaded by Myszka.

23rd Annual Mermaid Parade

23rd Annual Mermaid Parade, originally uploaded by eggrollboy.

A different color body paint each year.

Mermaid Parade 05

pass-out, originally uploaded by Green Biker.

Everyone welcomes summer in their own unique way. I spent it with good friends and slightly warm tall boys of Pabst. Some say this may be the last mermaid parade, but they've been saying that about burning man for at least 6 years. I got my sun burn on, dropped my digital camera in the sand (it's toast) and got to fried to make it to the messenger sprints and skids or the Bike Brawl. I am sad. So post those pictures and let me know how these events went.

For a good description of the June 05 critical mass...visit the blog:

Happy start of Summer.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Memorial before the Mass

There was a memorial for the 25 year old Andrew Ross Morgan at 6:00pm at the scene of the crime, Elizabeth and Houston. Visual resistance had put up their now traditional white painted bicycle as part of their ghost bike project to draw attention to the people who have been killed on bicyles by motor vehicles.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Critical Mass hits 3 boroughs

Tonights ride was a big success. Took off from Union Square with about 500 strong. Mutant bike gangs, recumbants, old skool bikes, messengers, bladers, all came out strong for a great ride. There were arrests in Manhattan. Seems like the cops were pulling the 'baby elephant' tactic, where the lions pick off the slow pokes in the back. Not sure how many. They used a big tinted window suburban and mopeds. We got text messages about mass cop mobilization in Times Square, so after a few loops at Columbus Circle, the ride headed up Central Park West. We cut through the car path of central park and headed over to 2nd ave. This was a fun ride with lots of cheering and lots of happy onlookers waving to us. We headed down 2nd ave and then took the lower car path on the 59th Street bridge. Back to the good ol' days. The cops tried to mobilize in Queens and you could see sirens flyin in. One girl was thrown off her bike by a cop trying to get a token arrest. So glad they are willing to put people into serious injury just to make a point. The ride scattered through Queens as lone under cover impalas raced around trying to figure out what are next move was. We went across the Pulaski bridge and into Greenpoint. Most people stayed in Williamsburg at the free wheels party. Great ride. More details to follow.

Critical Mass NYC June 2005!!!!!!!!!

Bush saves PBS?

Bush-reads, originally uploaded by Green Biker.

Am New York has been my preferred free newspaper of choice of those forced upon you in the morning by eager delivery people, hoping you choose their product. The cover of AM New York caught my attention right away. What a joke. They've really blown it this time. Did George W. Bush save Sesame Street? NO. At First glance at this free paper, this is what most people are going to think. What I wrote is what the paper should say. Elmo should be slapping baby Bush in the mouth for almost taking Sesame street off the air.
If it weren't for him and his neo-conservative cronies that pull his little puppet strings, we wouldn't even have PBS or NPR. The masters of privatization are hell-bent on destroying all of our FREE public services and have had their eye on PBS since Nixon days. Then, it was Newt Gingrich leading the charge to strip this important service form the people. Now its time to try again. It isn't bad enough, our supposed elected representatives drop billions of dollars into the Neo-Cons war in Iraq. A war that is going nowhere. Billions and Billions of dollars to beef up our forces, even though military recruitership is not meeting their goals month after month. But not to worry, all of the private military contractors in Iraq or making out just fine, clocking in more duckets then our brave men and woman in the arm services will see in a lifetime. That's right our tax dollars going to build huge military bases in Iraq with Pizza Hut and McDonalds so we can safely guard our oil reserves. Some PRIVATE military contractors make 1,000 dollars a day to drive heads of state safely to-and-from the Airport. Yes it's the lovely world of a privatized war, to protect private capital gains. Where did I learn this? On PBS on Frontline called "Private Warriors" made by investigative journalist: Martin Smith.
You see the real problem here is not weather we have billions of dollars for Dick Cheney's private oil war vs. paying to keep Big Bird on the air. It's about the Neo Conservatives not being able to handle the truth. After all this is what journalism is supposed to be about. It's what right-wingers can't handle, and anyone they don't like...time to go.

If they don't like the UN questioning the war...drum up scandal on Koffi Annan and the Oil for Food Program.

If they don't like PBS questioning the war, drum up scandal on the Corporation for Public Broadcastings chairman of board of directors.

Then act like this is about PBS and NPR being too biased. TOO BIASED? Maybe they should follow the example of fair and balanced journalism like FOX news? And when you don't like what people have to say...just tell them to shut-up, right Bill O'Reilly? This is what private news agencies get to do. So Bush appointed, Brooklyn native Patricia Harrison as the president and chief executive to the CPB. No bias there. She was co-chair of the Republican National Committee from 1997-2001. Seems like an excellent choice to have a Republican watching over what is said on PBS. What experience does she have in public broadcasting?? None. Maybe Ernie and Bert could host a right wing conservative program that teach kids how to abstain from sex and how the bible teaches homosexuality is evil. This could balance things out from all those extreme leftist nature shows and that communist propaganda on Nova. Well praise the lord that the otherwise useless Democrats in the House could take their head out of the sand for 5 minutes to see the importance of having PBS and NPR.

Today there will be a memorial on the streets for the 25 year killed by a truck 2 days ago. 6:00pm at Houston and Elizabeth St. Before Critical Mass.

Here is an article from the News Day:


A terrified bicyclist, knocked to the ground by a
delivery truck, screamed out in desperation seconds
before being crushed to death yesterday on a Manhattan

"Stop! Stop!" screamed the cyclist, Andrew Morgan, 25,
of Brooklyn.

But the driver inched forward, making a right turn
from E. Houston St. onto Elizabeth St. about 10:25
a.m. The box truck, from Dockside Furniture Services
in Bayonne, N.J., hit the cyclist and pinned him under
the axle.

"After that scream, he was silent," said witness Peter
Martin, 54, of Manhattan.

The blue bicycle lay twisted in the street, and Morgan
was motionless. Onlookers used a forklift, possibly
from a nearby construction site, in a desperate
attempt to move the truck off Morgan. Paramedics
arrived minutes later and rushed him to St. Vincent's
Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Police issued the driver a summons for an expired
inspection sticker but didn't charge him in Morgan's

"It looked like an accident," a police source said.
"The truck driver didn't see him."

Morgan, who moved to the city about two years ago from
Austin, Tex., worked at the Blue Ribbon Bakery Market
in Greenwich Village. In his free time, he played the
guitar, dabbled in photography and loved to paint.

He wanted to travel the world and had quickly fallen
for the city.

"He loved it here," said Brian Schreck, 25, a close
friend. "He loved the people. He thought the more time
he spent here, New York became smaller."


So apparently these trucks can't see us or hear us when we make desperate pleas for our lives. Another day on the safe streets of NYC. Lets get more trucks out there shall we.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Another Cyclist Killed

Just as we were packing away our stencils, it seems like time for another memorial. Another cyclist is killed in Manhattan, apparently hit by a truck on Houston St. and Elizabeth, frieghtenly close to the Time's Up Space. The details are vague but 25-year-old Andrew Ross Morgan, was pronounced dead on arrival at a local hospital.

There is also a report of a livery cab that struck a 12-year-old boy in Harlem and a man killed on a bicycle in Long Island.

I'm not sure if this is just a regular occurrence or we are just hear about these deaths more.

Transportation Alternatives claims that one bike rider dies every three weeks in NYC streets.

There are 115,000 cyclists on the streets every day.

Enough is enough.

It's time the city launches an independent task force to analyze how to make NYC streets safer for bike riding. The city MUST create the necessary infrastructure to accommodate the number of NYC residents choosing to use alternative modes of transportation.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Mermaid-Parade 2005

That's Right! It's time once again for the annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade. This event is what I believe is the best day in New York City, which celebrates all the diversity and creative culture that this overcrowded land mass has to offer. Although this often abandon epicenter of trash culture and working class get-away haven may soon fall victim to the comodification machine, it is still alive and well with they way NYC should be. Yes, dirty, diverse, perhaps dangerous, seedy, offensive and gluttonous. It is a chance to see all the tribes get together regardless of race and prejudice. What better way to welcome summer than with sunshine, scantily clad flesh in nautical themed outfits (or lack there of) cheap beer and bad for you greasy food which you can hurl on the worlds most frightening roller coaster...the cyclone. This is the one day when the Puerto Ricans come together with the gentrifying hipsters from the East Village raising their rents. Where the cops tend to look the other way at your open displays of drunkenness because they are distracted by pasties and girls glitter laden chests. Where Brooklyn Muscle car meatheads and Hell's Angle's bikers hang next to art stars and geeks who thought they would be the only guy dressed as a pirate this year. Where burlesque harlots, and freekshow types get together with other art scenesters and trade in their too-cool-for-school pretentious for Nathan's hotdogs and toast a warm Budweiser. Coney Island's mermaid parade has to offer a glimpse into the rare celebration of the human spirit that is so uniquely American and yet so often replaced with a corporate culture of private space and a dictation of how one must pay and obey. The mermaid parade is funny, cheesy and a great way to welcome summer. A spontaneous setting for active participation instead of just watching. So, get your 5.00 pirate hat from the Halloween Adventure shop and come on down to Coney Island. This Saturday. June 25th

Also on Saturday are a couple of other cool BIKE events.

Trackstar NYC, Ink City and FortyNineSixteen presents the 7th annual Skids and Sprints messenger races, just in time for the 13th Annual Messenger World Championships.

There will be skids competitions for distance, trackstands and other events.

Meet after the parade at the cyclone for the location.

Also is Black Label and Chunk 666

Brooklyn Bike Brawl

A hundred wheels of death-The Brooklyn Bike Brawl
Saturday June 25th, 2005

On the weekend before the final world championship race, bicycle gangs from all across America will converge on neutral turf in the neighborhood of Red Hook Brooklyn. There, is front of the cranes and shipping yards, on one of the last true pieces of nyc waterfront, they will begin to trash their homeade frankenstein bikes in a free day of bike game blitz!

Free Beer provided by Brooklyn Brewery.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Clearwater Festival

festivalpic05, originally uploaded by Green Biker.

This Father's Day Weekend, The Clearwater Festival kicks off. The clearwater organization, founded by folk singer and environmentalist, Pete Seager is dedicated to cleaning up the Hudson River. More info at:
The Clearwater festival is a 2 day camping and music festival to celebrate the environment and the hard work of this non-profit to help make a cleaner more beautiful Hudson River. For years Time's up has promoted this festival and lead bike rides up to Croton River Park and at the festival, has tabled and volunteered with bicycle valet parking. The Clearwater Festival 2005 - The Great Hudson River Revival takes place at Croton Point Park, located on the east bank of the Hudson River off Route 9 in the Village of Croton-on Hudson, Westchester County, New York.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Memorial Ride for Fallen Cyclists

noah, originally uploaded by Green Biker.

Thursday, cyclists gathered in Park Slope at the tragic site of a slain bike rider Elizabeth Padilla. The 28 year old lawyer was crushed under an ice cream delivery truck while trying to squeeze through 2 trucks on her daily commute home, June 10th, 2005. Many cycling advocacy groups joined forces to hold a memorial ride from the accident site to City Hall. The purpose of the ride was to hold a press conference and let elected representatives know the transportation issues of too many cars and a city policy that seems to refuse to create an infustructer for the exploding rise in bicycle riding here in NYC. Some of the groups involved were Time's Up, Transportation Alternatives, the New York Bicycle Messenger Association and Freewheels. On hand to speak to the press was Paul Steely White, executive director of TA, Fact finder Charlie Komanoff, Time's Up volunteer Mathew Roth and it was especially nice to see Transporation's own Noah Budnick, who was recently hit by a tow truck while riding his bike in Brooklyn. Paul White addressed the cycling crowd of about 75 gathering in Park Slope and let riders know that over 200 pedestrians are killed in New York City every year by automobiles. He also made the point against popular belief, that cycling in the city is not a dangerous activity and it was time to set the record straight. This point was made to let people know that when cyclists are killed by motor vehicles, one should no automatically blame the victim. The real problem is that city caters to the car and does nothing to make room for bicycles and other forms of non-polluting transportation. Followed by a group of police as an escort, the ride left Park Slope and headed across the bike path of the Brooklyn Bridge. The group stopped on the steps of city hall for a press conference and speakers told the various media outlets about recent deaths of cyclists due to cars and trucks.

Here is a letter from Elizabeth Padilla's friend writing to thank those at the last Brooklyn Critical Mass for holding a memorial for slain friend:

I am a friend of Elizabeth Padilla's--the young woman killed last week whileriding her bike. I wanted to send a thank you note personally to you but wasn't sure of a mailing address, so thought this might be the best way to
reach any of you who attended.

We traveled Friday evening to Virginia where her family is and where we held
a memorial for her on Monday, but heard about your amazing vigil on Friday
night. It was so touching that so many people would gather together for
someone they don't even know without even a connection from one of her friends. I am an avid biker and wish that I would have known to be able to
attend. I do however plan to attend the rally tomorrow I hope that
many of you will again be there. Liz was a vibrant, giving, adventurous, energetic, passionate and compassionate person that I feel incredibly lucky to have known and loved.
She would feel honored that others came forward on her behalf in such a way. She will be truly missed. At this point it's hard to imagine that there is any sense or reason to what happened. I suppose if in some way it can raise awareness and affect change, it will just be one of a many of ways that Liz has impacted the lives of others for the better in both her life and death. It just saddens my heart that it has to be through her death that she continues to do so. On behalf of her family and many friends, we thank you for keeping us all and, most importantly Liz, in your prayers.

Melissa Silvestri
Special Events Manager
Dress for Success Worldwide

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Memorial and Whack Graffiti made right

Tonight, a brave group of concerned New York City citizens took to the streets to bring attention to the number of people killed recently by automobiles. As night began to fall on Manhattan, a crew of about 15 cyclists set out to spray paint stencils for their fallen brothers and sisters who choose to ride bicycles in the car dominated streets of the concrete jungle and pay the price with their lives. Pedestrian's deaths due to motor vehicles are on the rise. In May there was a string of hit-and-run incidents where motorists had committed homicide and fled from the scene prompting Mayor Bloomberg to become outraged and demand for stricter laws against this aggression. Also in recent months bike riders have been killed and seriously injured. Transportation Alternatives, a pedestrian rights advocacy group, had one of its chief members Noah Budnick, seriously hit by a tow truck in Brooklyn. Then, in May, 21 year old, Brandie Bailey was killed in Manhattan on her way home form work in the East Village by a truck belonging to East Coast Trucking. Last week, a 28-year-old lawyer, Elizabeth Padilla, was killed in Park Slope, trying to squeeze between 2 trucks. In both cases, the drivers of the trucks had to be chased down, having no idea they had even killed someone. Many commuters in New York weather taking public transit or cycling, feel there is a double standard applied to cars and trucks. That somehow the same level is not taken into effect for car related deaths. Often the drivers of these people killing machines are not sentenced and no investigations are pursued with any degree of thoroughness, often ending in the conclusion of simply an accident. There are others who feel, "you'd have to be crazy to ride a bicycle in New York." and anyone doing it is taking their life into their own hands. This is the school of thought who believes there just isn't room on the road for bikes even though there are many bike lanes throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. Cyclists generally argue that often cars are double parked in the bike lanes, forcing them to ride more in the middle of the street. Regardless of this endless debate, cars are killing more people and little is being done to correct the situation. So tonight, armed with spray paint and stencils, the all volunteer, environmental group Time's Up along with other concerned riders engaged in a direct action as part of the memorial stenciling project. The group's aim was to paint a chalk outline of a person's body with letters spelling, "killed by automobiles" across the chest. Then in a different stencil the name of the cyclist killed by the motor vehicle is placed near by. All of these stencils are painted in the exact spots where the individual was killed. 5 stencils were laid out tonight. Then for an extra bonus, people went to town on a Hummer graffiti advertisement.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

world naked bike day

world naked bike day, originally uploaded by Green Biker.

June 11th was World Naked Bike Day.

For more info check out:

...and remember, it's not how big your bike is...

I dig the tall bike.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Check out Photos of Bicycle Fetish Day

Schwin, originally uploaded by Green Biker.

In a follow up posting: Here is a link to some photos from the Bicycle Fetish Day in Williamsburg Brooklyn.

Check out:

check special events for photos.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Bikes are mutating

Welding workshop, originally uploaded by Green Biker.

In a slightly cool basement below 49 East Houston Street (the Time's Up) space a group of eager cyclists were busy mutating bicycles. Soon there will be a new crop of tall bikes and choppers in town. Time's Up is now hosting welding workshops for those interested in mutating bikes, making tall bikes or just learning how to weld. Find out more on the time's up calender.
So far the next welding workshop is in July.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Bikes of Death

blacklabelparty, originally uploaded by Green Biker.

Upcoming Bike Battle royal featuring Black Label and Chunk 666.

More details coming soon.

This event will be in Redhook. June 25th. time?


Meanwhile another bike rider is killed in Brooklyn.
This article comes from the Daily News:
Woman bicyclist crushed by ice cream truck
New York Daily News | 10-Jun-2005

A 28-year-old Brooklyn woman was killed Thursday after she
tumbled off of her bike and beneath the wheels of an ice cream
truck in Park Slope, police said.

Elizabeth Padilla was riding north on Fifth Avenue at 8:53 a.m.
yesterday in between parked vehicles when the driver of a parked
tractor trailer opened his door to see if he was clear to pull

When Padilla swerved out of the way of the door she lost control
of the bike and spilled beneath the rear wheels, crushing her
head, police said.

Padilla had trouble pulling her feet out of the clips of her
bicycle pedals as she was tipping over, police said.

The driver of the ice cream truck, Jose Cruz, drove for about 15
feet after running over Padilla, but stopped when a passer-by
alerted him to what happened, police said.

"He didn't realize he had hit her," a police source said.

Neither Cruz nor Ioseb Peikrishvili, 38, the driver of the
tractor trailer, were charged or summonsed in the accident,
police said.
Here are some comments from fellow cyclists:


"I went to the story and I couldn't believe it but on the bottom of the article in big red letters the company logo, looking like an ad, for Richards and Son, whose drivers killed the cyclist, with a link to their website site. Outrageous, disgusting, really disturbing."


"It could have been unintentional. Some of the companies that funnel ads
into websites make them "contextual" -- they search the surrounding text
and try to find a matching ad. I don't see a P.C. Richard banner now."


"I am wondering if this is the same Elizabeth Padilla, who worked at
the Brooklyn Bar Association's Volunteer Lawyer Project...."


"yes, this is the same elizabeth.
my exgirlfriend saw her struck and killed. she's sick
over this. i've felt ill all day. i'm furious that the
PC Richards driver wasn't cited. "i didn't see her."
did he fucking look?
as if it needs saying again: the city does not care
about cyclists who are killed."

From NYC indymedia:


"I am both deeply saddened and angered by the news of another brave bicyclist being mown down in a hit-and-run killing. Thanks to the witnesses who chased down the driver, though there will probably be no charges unless s/he fails a sobriety test.

As those who choose to ride bikes in NYC know, this news could have been about any one of us. In a similar incident last month Brandie Bailey(21) was killed by a sanitation truck driver who failed to stop and was eventually chased down by police. To my best knowledge no charges were brought against the driver.

My anger is directed not only at reckless drivers, but also at the city government who send the wrong message to motorists that cycling in NYC is unlawful and cyclists do not have an equal right to be on the road. When the City spends millions of taxpayers' dollars to intimidate, threaten, assault, arrest and criminalize peaceful cyclists who wish to engage in a once a month, two hour "critical mass" ride then the message to drivers is; bicyclists do not belong on the streets of NYC and are fair game.

My condolences to the family and friends of the victim. I know that I speak for many NYC bicyclists when I say " we share your loss and pledge to continue to fight to make NYC a more bicycle friendly city."



"This was a horrible accident and loss to the community. My girlfriend was there when it happened and is traumatized by what she saw. I cannot imagine how Elizabeth's family feels and my condolences are with them. She was not "hit" by the truck. She swerved and fell underneath the truck and back tires. The driver was not charged because he was unaware that she had fallen under his truck. He was chased down a block further, and he returned and stayed at the scene, distraught, fully cooperative with the police, as did the driver of the other truck, who had opened his door. I am angered that there are pat responses of "killer cars" and how she was "struck," that it was a "hit-and-run," etc. Don't jump to easy conclusions. The problem is that 5th Avenue is not friendly to bicyclists. There was no room for her to go when she rode between two trucks and found herself confronted with an opened door. This was a terrible accident, and there are no easy solutions. Find the true "reckless drivers" and direct your ire at them. The Critical Mass and harrassment issue is totally separate and I hope the bicyclists of the city prevail. But please don't assume every accident involving a vehicle and a bicyclist is so one-sided. You won't get very far making this city more bicycle-friendly if you aren't open to facts."

There are pictures of the memorial that took place at last night's brooklyn Critical Mass.

on NYC

Friday, June 10, 2005


Bike Chained to Pole, originally uploaded by Green Biker.

Today, Friday June 10th is the 2nd Friday of the month and that means Brooklyn Critical Mass. Remember, it's not how big your mass is...its what you do with it. For a leisure ride escorted by the NYPD at all times meet at Grand Army Plaza at 7pm, that big arch at the mouth of Prospect Park. The police have not backed off on this ride and watch it with an observant eye and plenty of scooter cops and vans of officers. For a less patroled in South Williamsburg at 6:45 at the park on the Brooklyn side of the Williamsburg Bridge. Right where the bike path ends. In the past these rides have linked up, but recently they have been their own animals.

There is a new coffee table book out there about Bicycles chained to poles in New York. Its a photography book called "Bicycles locked to Poles" by Jen Bekman She is having a show in Soho that ends tomorrow. 6 spring street (between Elizabeth & Bowery) She will be on hand to sign the book June 11th from 2pm-4pm

Time's up is has a bunch of free rides this weekend for bikes.

Friday June 10th is the Prospect Park Traffic Calming ride. There has been a 10 year fight to get cars out of prospect park and this ride continues to send the message to drives that city parks are no place for motor vehicle traffic. The cyclists roll side by side around the park's loop roads. This is a nonconfrontational ride to slow down car traffic during the hours the park is open to cars. The ride lasts about one hour or until the start of the park's auto-free hours.
Meet at 6:15pm at the entrance to the park at Grand Army Plaza. Yes the same date as the Brooklyn Critical Mass.

For more info on bike rides from time's up check the website:

and remember Bicycle Messenger World Championships are coming to NYC June 30th-July 4th

Get more info at the New York Messenger Association website:

Featured on there site is a recent NYTimes article about messengers racing at the veledrome in Queens.

Published: June 10, 2005

Need a package rushed across car-clogged Manhattan? Hand it to Alfred Bobe Jr., a 31-year-old bike messenger from Brooklyn.

He lays claim to the title of America's fastest messenger on a track bike, the type of high-speed vehicle preferred by some messengers who favor its single fixed gear and lack of brakes.

Bolger is the captain of Team Puma.
Mr. Bobe is a member of Team Puma, a cycling team consisting of city bike messengers that, since forming last July, has been dominating many of the messenger races held across New York and the country.

"We're taking urban street biking to the track to represent New York and show we have the fastest messengers," said Mr. Bobe, who finished first among all track bikers participating in last month's North American Cycle Courier Championships in Portland, Ore.

According to Mr. Bobe, working as a city messenger is the best training for track races, where bikers ride in tight packs.

"Messengers have better instincts and reflexes and a lot sharper peripheral vision," he said. "If you're not conscious and in the moment at all times, you can die on someone's car door. That's what separates us from regular racers. We have a different inner core and strength because our messenger work is our training.

"We ride wearing a 20-pound lock and a 40-pound bag," he added. "When you finally get to the track and take all that off, you feel explosive, like you have wings or you just took a shot of Red Bull or something."

After work on a recent Thursday, Mr. Bobe gathered with five other team members in front of Trackstar, an East First Street bicycle shop that sponsors its own messenger team. The messenger-racers unloaded their heavy chains and large messenger bags. They checked their route sheets from the day's deliveries and traded work stories.

The team was formed by Puma after it sponsored weekly races last year at the refurbished Kissena Park Velodrome, a 400-meter cycling track in Flushing, Queens, said Kevin Bolger, the team captain and a veteran racer. Puma officials selected nine cyclists for the team and provided them with expensive racing bikes, uniforms and other apparel.

Puma, the athletic footwear and apparel company, also provides its team members with emergency medical insurance for the track and the street, and picks up the tab for them to race around the country.

Puma's involvement reflects a recent rise in the popularity of track racing, which team members think will become as prevalent as skateboarding, in-line skating and snowboarding.

Along with Mr. Bobe and Mr. Bolger, other team members include Felipe Robayo, Eddie Ortega, Hugo Giron, a master of bike tricks, and Carlos Ramirez, 30, from Brooklyn, who organizes Monster Track, popular races held on bustling Manhattan streets that emphasize messenger skills and allow only track bikes. Then there is Todd Marszalek, 29, a Polish immigrant who is also a well-known graffiti artist, and Massamba Niang of Harlem, 22, a handsome Senegalese immigrant with a flashy smile. Charlotte Blythe, 17, is the only woman on the team.

Mr. Bolger, 33, has worked full time as a courier since 1992 and is known by his nickname, Squid. He lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, with his wife, Amy, a former bike messenger. He works for several courier services and delivers take-out food in Williamsburg for extra money.

"We want people to think more of us than just that guy who ran over their foot," he said. "We also want to improve work conditions, since most messengers are underpaid and get no medical insurance."

Mr. Bolger rarely wears a helmet despite having suffered five concussions as a messenger, he said. He has been hospitalized only once, after "dooring," a term for slamming into a quickly opened car door.

Most team members work their routes on their custom-made Cannondale team bikes. Each bike weighs 14 pounds and has the Puma emblem and colorful graffiti built into the red glossy finish.

Mr. Bolger has attached a hip flask to his bike. "In the winter, you put your Schnapps in there," he explained.

So how does one stop a fixed-gear bike barreling 30 miles per hour down crowded, bumpy streets of Midtown Manhattan with no brakes? By sharply locking up on the pedals and applying reverse pressure. Riding a fixed-gear bicycle takes much practice and is a badge of honor for many elite messengers, said Bucky Turco, publisher of Fixed magazine, which is devoted to fixed-gear bikes.

Team Puma members frequently invoke the name of Nelson Vails, a New York City messenger who won a silver medal in cycling at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

Last month, at Kissena Park in Queens, several Team Puma members raced against Marty Nothstein, America's most decorated track cyclist and a gold medalist in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. Puma members came in several seconds behind him. After the race, a winded Mr. Nothstein said he was impressed with the caliber of their riding.

"There's a certain ability you get by messengering that you can't get from the road or the track," he said.

Last Friday, Mr. Bolger knifed effortlessly through a herd of taxis and trucks, delivering packages and running errands in preparation for the Cycle Messenger World Championships in New York City that will take place over the Independence Day weekend. He was trying to solve a visa problem for the Warsaw Car Killers, a Polish messenger team.

Experienced messengers earn about $100 a day, Mr. Bobe said, but a really good one can almost double that by "being fast, knowing your way around the city and having a good dispatcher." Mr. Bobe has worked as a bike messenger for 12 years and supports his two children with his courier earnings, which he supplements with prize money and bonuses from Puma for top finishes.

Mr. Bobe hopes to qualify for the Olympics. "I'm one second off the qualifying time for the 200-meter sprints," he said

Thursday, June 09, 2005

DU HUMMER new for 05

Du hummer, originally uploaded by Green Biker.

"In this age of terror, who wants to be defensive behind the wheel? It's time for you to become an offensive driver-and General Motors, with the help of the US Armed Forces, will make you one. Introducing the brand new DU Hummer, now available for civilian purchase. Depleted uranuim is an incredibly dense nuclear waste product that our soldiers use as ammunition to incinerate Iraqi evildoests from miles away. It's not enough these days to just have a support the troops magnet on your hummer. Now you can be exposed to the same toxic radiation our young men and women fighting in Iraq are exposed to everyday. What better way to support the troops then to buy one of these and it gives us a place to put this nasty radiactive material. Expose yourself to cancerous levels of toxins and your neighbors too."

This fake ad was sent to me by email and I found it rather hilarious. Not that there is anything funny about Depleated Uranium and how the US army has lied to the American soldiers about its dangerous toxic levels.

The Tats crew of NYC at are really amazing arisol artists who have done highly skilled pieces on many of New York's walls. They are known for doing memorial murals and advertising for record labels like Tommy Boy and Coca-Cola.

Recently they put up an ad in Williamsburg for the new H3 hummer. Why are rap stars so into this shit? Personally, I love graffiti art but I think painting for major corporations with horrible records on the environment is seriously whack. Someday I hope the hip-hop generation realizes they are being targeted for the most unhealthy crap on the planet. Oh well, have another 40 and drink more Henesey.

Meanwhile the attack on civil liberties in NYC finally getting detailed coverage in the main stream press.

2 nights ago, ABC nightline had a length story about how the police have been doctoring video footage and why they are so insistant on documenting police activity at demonstrations. This comes after a New York Times investigation found that the police had edited footage of an arrest during the Republican National Convention with the intention of disproving the reality of the otherwise peacefull behavior of that person under arrest.

Bill of Time's Up recently sent out this message:

Turning up the Heat

In the last couple of months Time’s Up! and the community has been going on the offense which is a change from the winter months when we were on the defense. People are catching on and supporting the truth or peeps are at least questioning issues which they have not done in a while. Everybody seems to be working together, from the politicians, community boards, corporate media (??), artist community and huge support from videos and photographers. In the last 2 weeks Time’s Up! has contacted the NYC parks department, the DOT, Civilian Complaint Review Board and had a meeting with NYC District Attorney in which Gideon, myself, Matthew and Charlie Komanoff were present. Last night there was a huge story on Nightline focusing on unwarranted arrests and covered the police lying in a bicycle related arrest. It also talked about the success of our videotape evidence and documentation.

Today I have learned that the NY Times have asked for a full investigation of the arrest of one of their reporters. The police department has agreed and is turning the case over to Internal Affairs. We have excellent videotape of this arrest. There are many offensive strategies taking place and the truth is starting to come out. But as we know these are scary times and a lot of people are afraid to stand up to the government even if they know the truth. It is amazing that a small budgeted group like ours is at the front line in pushing the envelope. Everybody should be proud of themselves. Of course we are going to have to bump up security for the next couple of months and see how this situation pans out. We know the city does not have a good track record in backing down or admitting they were wrong.

Visit for a listing of great free bicycle events in June.

See you on the streets.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Mike's Denied and Bike Summer in LA

mikes bid, originally uploaded by Green Biker.

I think I just about fell out of my seat when reading the local papers yesterday. Finally, one human being in New York has at least an ounce of conscious functioning enough to act rational and think about more than just oneself. Bravo, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, for having the courage to stand up to a billionaire and his short sided goals of building America’s most expensive stadium so he could have his luxury sky box while the rest of us serfs front the bill. Your so freakin rich, why don’t you pay for it? I couldn’t possibly think of anything $300 million could go towards, like affordable housing, making sure our buildings don’t slide into the West side highway, oh I got it, what about that small insignificant event that happened on September 11th? How long has it been since we’ve seen any major construction? I love how every time there was some sort of buzz about the people’s reaction to the stadium the news media would cut to some construction worker with a “let’s build it” T-shirt on clamoring about the loss of jobs. Ahh, last time I checked there were was no shortage of construction in NYC. Much like September 11th issues, I’m sure these people were paid their time to go protest…like when Pataki would give a rally downtown about the need to rebuild after the largest terrorist attack in America. How do I know this? I asked the workers standing around with their American flags, chanting, “Let’s build it” I also love that Countdown clock on 14th street promoting the Olympic bid announcement date. Way to go guys. How much did that cost? Why not have a running tally of New York cities debt? Do you think 4 months before the mayoral race, at least one candidate would be standing up to Bloomberg and capitalizing on his corporate agenda? Oh yeah, I forgot, they’re Democrats…spineless. Since Bloomberg has all the money for television commercials, he gets to win another 4 years. Well at least that will give him time to think of more things to build in this city that we don’t need while the average price of an apartment in Manhattan exceeds 1.2 million.

Meanwhile on the other coast, It’s Bike Summer in Los Angeles. Here is the website:

Here is an artile from the LA Times:

Shifting gears for summer
Think of this cycling festival as a month long show of force on the roads.
By John Balzar
Times Staff Writer

June 2, 2005

At first mention, you could be pardoned for wondering: It's a joke right?

They're not really going to spend a month celebrating bicycling in Los Angeles? Not here, not where the verb "to go" is spelled c-a-r?

"That's why Bike Summer is important," insists organizer Matt Ruscigno. "Because it is in Los Angeles."

Sitting on a picnic table at a midtown park with his bicycle beside him, because Ruscigno does not own a car, he pulls out a ballpoint and draws a graph. "We are about here," he says. He points to the spot where the line marking zero just begins to creep upward. He draws an arrow pointing to the fatter part of the curve — up there where the bicyclists' dreams live.

"Ten years from now, we'll be building on this."

Ready or not, Bike Summer Los Angeles 2005 begins Friday.

"Velolution," some of the backers call it.

A month of play is a more down to earth description. A chance for the city's many diverse cultures of bicyclists to mingle — and perhaps to catch the eye of the rest of us. That's the stated goal.

Film screenings, workshops, fun rides, races, scavenger hunts, art shows, pub crawls, athletic contests, poetry readings, music, protests — Bike Summer is a freewheeling festival that beckons anyone with two wheels and a tire-pump in the garage to dream up a way to have fun and make friends during the month of June.

The idea of Bike Summer was conceived in 1998 in San Francisco, a city with a boisterous and enthusiastic cycling culture. The city's bicycle activists, as the story goes, were dispirited by long conflict with hostile municipal authorities. A former board member of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition circulated a list of ideas to rekindle spirits. No. 7 on the list, between "suing the city" and "re-educating traffic engineers," was a monthlong celebration to be called Bike Summer.

Held in 1999, the celebration became a surprise urban hit, attracting attention not just locally but among cyclists elsewhere. The following year, local activists claimed Bike Summer — and Bike Winter, too — for Chicago. In 2001, the celebration was organized by cyclists in Vancouver, followed by Portland, Ore., in 2002, New York in 2003 and Seattle last year.

All those cities are widely known for the high profile and activism of bicyclists. This year will be a departure, because Los Angeles has a different reputation.

"It is looked down upon," Ruscigno says. "That's why it's the most important place to have Bike Summer. It's the city most in need of it."

Last year cyclist Keri Tyler, who had lived in Portland, in a conversation with Ruscigno first raised the possibility of holding Bike Summer here. Ruscigno is a public health dietician at Los Angeles Trade Tech and an alternative transportation activist; Tyler is a transportation student at UCLA's master's program in urban planning. With a group of 18 others, the two claimed Bike Summer 2005 for Los Angeles, and the group has done much of the initial organizing.

Festivities are scheduled to begin Friday with a party on the Santa Monica Pier. So far an additional 140 events have been listed by various individuals and groups for the ensuing month, including a bike tour of historic Los Angeles bridges, rides of 100, 200 and 400 miles, a "Tour de Graf" of the city's graffiti, a "Women's Korean Spa Ride," a vintage bicycle tea party, a progressive dinner through Silver Lake and Echo Park, a vegan barbecue, a bike jersey sewing party and any number of workshops on velo-related matters. Virtually any cycling organization can add an event to the list on the Bike Summer website,

Organizers expect that some events will draw only small groups of die-hards, but others are built out of established events and are almost certain to draw hundreds.

"It goes so much against the grain that it's fun," says Todd Munson, of I.Martin Imports, a Los Angeles bike shop that is sponsoring maintenance seminars for the celebration. "Ours is such a car city — but it's also the best city to ride a bike. The weather is good, most of the terrain is flat — everything is here."

Among its assets, Los Angeles is a relatively new metropolis and thus its roads tend to be wider than in older, more compressed cities. That often provides bicyclists with a roomy shoulder on which to ride, or enables them to "take a lane" on multilane roads without completely bottlenecking traffic.

Among many aims of Bike Summer is to open the eyes of cyclists to their city. For instance, Joshua Moody, a computer scientist, invites cyclists to join him in exploring the personalities of varied routes from downtown to Marina del Rey — culminating in a race.

Other rides are planned to sample ice cream parlors, farmers markets, Griffith Park and Arroyo Seco.

At the same time, organizers hope that the celebration will narrow the gap between the various tribes of cyclists; among them, the spandex road groups, recreational bicycling clubs, endurance cyclists, commuters, mountain bike organizations and advocates for the bicycle-dependent underclass.

Unity would give cyclists a stronger voice in debates over municipal priorities.

"Hosting Bike Summer in Los Angeles is going to help show that L.A. is not just about cars and freeways. There is definitely a growing bike culture in here, but we're all so spread out," says Becca Louisell, a board member of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, a private membership group that champions cycling.

At the center of Bike Summer planning so far are the city's "urban cyclists," an enthusiastic culture that includes bicycle messengers, environmentalists, transportation activists, commuters and many other cyclists who don't wear team jerseys but still enjoy the freedom and camaraderie of being underdogs in a city as famous for its congestion as its horsepower.

One nucleus of this urban culture is the Bicycle Kitchen, which not so long ago was a small neighborhood do-it-yourself repair station and hangout in Koreatown. In recent months, the Kitchen has moved into a storefront east of Hollywood and grown into a full-fledged nonprofit that seeks to teach people to build-up and repair bicycles, and thus promote cycling in the city. The Kitchen has scheduled a series of workshops for Bike Summer, and its supporters are sponsoring other rides and events.

"This is an opportunity for the cyclists here to show the folks outside of the city, and the folks in the city, that life can happen by bike," says Ben Guzman, one of the founders of the Bicycle Kitchen. "The Kitchen recently had an article in Bike Magazine. Man, folks from all over were writing us saying, good job and all, but the biggest thing was that they had no idea there was bike culture here."

Friday, June 03, 2005

Article about May Critical Mass

Boogie Down after Mass, originally uploaded by Green Biker.

It looks like the villager newspaper has found it's news worthy niche. The battle to ride your bike in New York City.

Once again they submit a lengthy article on the subject of last month's critical mass.

If only other newspapers more widely circulated gave half as much attention to this civil rights issue as the villager.

Oh well, its a start.

Read on:

Title of article:

Mass goes to church, senses grace
period from police

By Lincoln Anderson

Closing in on the one-year mark in the city’s crackdown against Critical Mass, last Friday night’s monthly bicycle ride was one of the most lightly policed since the one before the Republican National Convention, when the arrests began.

At last month’s ride, the police presence around Union Sq. at the ride’s start was very high. Last Friday it was almost nil. A small knot of officers stood near the Washington statue casually chatting, as speakers, including Stanley Aronowitz, Norman Siegel, Councilmember Gale Brewer and Reverend Billy, trumpeted bikers’ rights. A few people in the crowd angrily objected, though, to an officer posted on the roof of Zeckendorf Towers who was surveilling the scene.

“Those streets are ours!” said Aronowitz, a CUNY professor who ran for governor as a Green three years ago. Aronowitz called for a total ban on cars in Manhattan, then modified this to a 6 a.m.- 6 p.m. ban allowing only bicycles, buses and taxis. “Mexico City, which is a Third World city, has restrictions on automobiles — and look at our city,” he said. It won’t be easy, he said: people will have to stand up to “the trucking companies, Wall St. and the tour buses” to get autos off the streets.

“I love bikes and I don’t love cars,” Brewer, who represents the Upper West Side, told the crowd. “I look forward to working with you to make sure there are fewer cars and more bicycles.”

“The struggle continues,” said civil rights attorney Siegel, noting more than 500 people have been arrested for bicycle riding since last August, mostly in Critical Mass. A candidate for public advocate, Siegel is representing the bicyclists in their ongoing court case with the city, in which the city contends they need permits both to ride in Critical Mass and gather in Union Sq. and that it’s illegal for members of the environmental group Time’s Up! to publicize the unpermitted event.

“If I have a right legally to ride my bike on the street, I don’t need any government permission to do that,” Siegel said. “And we can’t allow the government to say we need permission to gather [in a park].” And if the city’s proposed ban to keep Critical Mass from being publicized existed in Colonial times, he added, the Boston Tea Party never would have happened, because, “No one could publicize that they were going to throw the tea in the harbor…. History tells us, you lose your fundamental freedoms, gradually, quietly,” Siegel warned.

About 7:30 p.m., the group of bicyclists in Union Sq. rode off west on 14th St. They joined up with others who left from up to eight other points, creating a nucleus about 300 strong and heading up to Midtown.

At St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery, where an after-party was planned, valet bike parking was set up inside the church’s gates, so the sidewalks in front wouldn’t be crowded and so police would not saw bike locks to confiscate bikes as they have done at past Critical Mass rides. Red ribbon strung around a bust of “Petrus Stuyvesant,” who is buried in a vault below, stretched across the yard, marking the temporary parking lot, and numbered coat check-style tickets were given out.

“Part of the idea of us coming here is we’re under different protection here — it’s church property,” explained Bill DiPaolo, founder of Time’s Up!, as he taped up arrow signs directing cyclists to the parking.

Police hang back

At the April Critical Mass, police made 34 arrests, some right at Union Sq. as the ride was beginning. This time, police — at least at first — played it more low key. In an unusual step, apparently not wanting to tip their hand, they kept radio silence at the beginning of the ride.

“For the first time in months we saw less police presence or harassment,” DiPaolo said, speaking before the riders had arrived. “They just didn’t show up today. We know that there are police undercovers and agitators, scooters — but this is a half million dollar difference from what we saw last time.”

But eventually police did make some arrests as the riders passed through Times Sq. Later, right before the end of the ride, on Second Ave. near St. Mark’s, three more bikers were arrested, for a total of about 10.

As riders trickled in by Abe Lebewohl Park in front of St. Mark’s, Judy Ross, an organizer, shouted out “valet parking!” and waved them toward the church entrance. More than 150 bicycles were parked.

“A brilliant idea,” said a smiling Michael Rosen, a leader of the East Village Community Coalition, of the parking, as he munched a sandwich after finishing his second Critical Mass ride in a row.

The police arrived, too, briefly surrounding the historic, historically liberal church, with vans on 10th St. and a double row of scooters on Second Ave., while overhead a police helicopter beat the air.

Riders’ reports

Pulling in on her bike, Gabriel Silverman, 22, from the Lower East Side, attested the police had indeed been out there. One of the orange nets had suddenly popped up in front of them at 42nd St., she said, but they did a quick stop and got away. In addition to scooters, nets and helicopters, she said, there were also officers on horseback. Yet, she said of the police, “It seemed like they were being more tolerant.”

Kim Perfetto, another young cyclist, said the police presence was lighter.

“I asked one policeman who was riding a bike next to us — he was in uniform — ‘Are you arresting tonight?’ ” she said. “He said, ‘No, we’re taking a different approach.’”

The police soon left St. Mark’s, and the bikers continued socializing out in front. As music played from a boombox, a circle of young women danced under a streetlight, hardened bike chains — a de rigueur Critical Mass accessory — slung around their waists.

Holy roller

Inside St. Mark’s, Reverend Billy, the performance artist preacher and artist in residence, and his Stop Shopping Choir, gave a bicycle-themed show. They reenacted the 300 Critical Mass arrests during the R.N.C. ride; Billy canonized any arrested bikers who were willing; he baptized a baby named Liberty on a tricycle and prayed for her future safe cycling; and they held a memorial for Brandie Bailey, 21, who was killed by a garbage truck at Avenue A and Houston St. on May 8 while biking home to Williamsburg from her job waitressing at a W. Fourth St. vegetarian restaurant.

After the show, they went outside and Father Frank Morales of St. Mark’s read aloud a list of names of cyclists killed by motorists in the city.

“We could do this all night long, like Housing Works [which reads the names of people who have died of AIDS],” Reverend Billy said. “This is an epidemic.”

Morales suggested the community take matters into its own hands to calm traffic at dangerous intersections on the Lower East Side, where the area’s burgeoning nightlife scene means more people are potentially at risk of injury from speeding cars.

“This woman died on A and Houston, and I know that people are really doing a drag strip there,” Morales said. “I think we should take back the street and put ‘Drive Slow’ there and put up our own signs. Until we do something there, there’s going to be more accidents. Make it a 25-mile-per-hour strip, 14th St. and Houston St. Just slow it down, particularly [Avenue] A.”

Respect, and safety

One bicyclist, who gave his name as Will, 19, from Soho, said he witnessed a Critical Mass rider get knocked off his bike at Seventh St. last Friday night by an S.U.V., whose driver then tried to pull a hit-and-run. But a pack of two-dozen riders caught the S.U.V., a few blocks away, surrounded it and waited for police to arrive. Police didn’t make an arrest, though, he said, since the driver technically hadn’t fled — albeit only after being stopped by the bikers.

DiPaolo confirmed that a few bikers had told him of this incident.

Gideon Oliver, a National Lawyers Guild legal observer who monitored the ride, said he personally hadn’t heard about the incident, but that there had been a similar occurrence at the April Critical Mass.

A friend of Will’s, Tod Seelie said he knew Brandie Bailey — who rode a brakeless track, or fixed-gear, bike — from the restaurant.

“I saw her like two days before it happened,” he said. “She rode fixed. She was definitely part of the bike culture in New York City, and fixed-gear is a subculture.”

Both Will and Seelie felt the driver of the garbage truck should have been charged with involuntary manslaughter in Bailey’s death. In general, they say, when a bicyclist is injured or killed in a traffic accident, people assume the biker was at least partly responsible. Meanwhile, when a pedestrian is killed by a hit-and-run driver there’s a far more extensive investigation, they said.

“I’m here doing Critical Mass because I think it needs to be safer to ride,” said Seelie. “I’ve been hit five times. I’ve had a lot of close calls. That’s why I come out and risk arrest and getting my bike taken and spending my Friday night in The Tombs.”

Seelie, who lives in Bushwick and rides to his job as a graphic artist in the Village, said the city’s bike lanes offer inadequate safety.

“I wish my morning commute wasn’t white knuckle,” he said. “I wish I could just ride relaxed.”

Said Time’s Up!’s DiPaolo, “The number one concern of riders on the street is safety; and riding together creates safety bubbles and makes riders feel a lot more confident; and also will put pressure on the city to create more infrastructure for nonpolluting transportation.

“We want real bike lanes like they have in Europe,” said DiPaolo, “with no cars next to it. Real infrastructure — a raised lane for bikes. New York City deserves this.”

Yet, while the bikers feel last Friday’s ride went better and are hoping future rides will be more like it, the police say it’s status quo and that the enforcement will continue. Asked if last week’s Critical Mass represented any change in police tactics, Officer Doris Garcia, a police spokesperson, said, “No. The same thing we’ve been doing all along — nothing’s changed.”