Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Bicycle Film Festival Winter Party

Lit bar on 2nd Ave, was packed with all kinds of bikers. Not the kind in leather chaps, no these bikers had their non motorized bicycles valet parked outside to celebrate the upcoming bicycle film festival.
Festival Director Brendt Barbur and anthem magazine hosted this pre-warm up party to celebrate 6 strong years of this unique festival. It premiered in NYC but has now spread to many countries all over the world and is expanding to a total of 10 cities for 2006. The festival will draw over 40,000 people. The event, is more than just films about bikes it is a weekend of bicycle related events and brings together all the diverse sub-cultures of the bicycle community. Inside the packed bar brooklyn brewery, always a strong supporter of the bike world donated free beer for an hour. Anthem magazines were distributed and the bar teemed with messengers, activists, bike film makers and bicycle fans galore. Bike riders were treated to valet parking by Luke Son, who hung out in the cold all night just to watch the bikes...Thanks dude. The Bike Film Festival is in NYC May 10-14th. The submission deadline for your bike films is February 17th. So get on it!
Bike hangin out

Bikers arrive

crowd in the bar. LIT Lounge 93 2nd Ave. @ East 5th St. Manhattan

Festival Director Brendt Barbur

Tomas, take great pictures of bikers and critical mass.

Chris, the lost Viking and Sam, from Team Spider Chris (on the right) is one of the producers of Still We Ride and one of the directors of Warriors the bike race, both premiered at the Bicycle Film Festival

messengers doin stuff in the back

Me and Andrew Lynn who went on the radio show with David Lee Roth and one of the directors of Still We Ride

Me and Jesse Epstein, one of the directors of Warriors and she also made the trailer for Bike Film Festival 2005, which is up on the website

My buddy Mark "jailbird" Read

DJ and Downhill bike racer Ted Shred mixing it up. There were some audio problems...I think Ted was too much power for them to handle, but his 25 second set..rocked.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Clarification on courier assault

A fellow blog reader pointed out some things about this story of a female courier assaulted. Here is a link to the site which includes an account from the messenger herself.

Courier attacked

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Quick clarifications

So a lot of rumors floating out there about the Friday Critical Mass. First off, the guy who helped the injured police officer...

Is not a cop! He is an EMT and volunteer bike mechanic for TIME'S UP. See, we care.

There is someone accused for felony assault. I do not know if this person is still in jail. Another arrestee, who was nabbed after critical mass was long over, was in jail till about 9:00pm yesterday. This was due to forgetting about a ticket for public urination....oooohhh, almost as big a crime as bike riding.

Sarah Ferguson-village voice reporter, has updated her report about the ride:

Critical Chaos: Two Cops Hurt, 17 Arrested at Mass Ride

By Sarah Ferguson | January 27, 2006

The monthly Critical Mass ride in Manhattan took a turn for the worse tonight when two scooter cops slammed into each other as they were trying to head off the flow of cyclists.
Less than 10 minutes after leaving Union Square, a pack of about 100 bikers was moving south on Third Avenue when a line of 14 scooter cops patrolling alongside abruptly veered left to cut off the ride.

One scooter cop slammed into another scooter, throwing the cop several feet from his scooter. He landed hard on the pavement, hitting his shoulder and head, as the scooter cop in back toppled over. A cyclist who identified himself an EMT stopped to assist the scooter cops, who were sprawled out on the street, before ambulances came to take them away on stretchers.

The two cops were treated for back and neck complaints at Bellevue Hospital, but a police spokesperson said the injuries were not believed to be serious.

"He was thrashing about in pain. His entire upper left torso was numb, which is a sign of deep impact," said Luke Son of the first cop who flew off his scooter. A Columbia student and licensed EMT, Son volunteers as a bike mechanic for Times Up, an environmental group which promotes the mass ride as a demonstration against "car-culture."

Cops on the scene were clearly pissed. "He landed straight on his head," said one scooter cop who asked not to be identified. "It's not fun and games any more."

Barbara Ross, of Time's Up, wrote this press release on the situation of the NYC January 27th Critical Mass...

ime's Up! calls on the police to end their attack on Critical Mass now that it is apparent that their tactics create a dangerous situation for the public and themselves.

NEW YORK, NY (JANUARY 28, 2006) -- EMT-licensed cyclist Luke Son was the first responder in an incident where two police scooters collided while chasing participants in last night's monthly Critical Mass bike ride, January 27, 2006. "The behavior of the undercover agitators has gotten progressively more dangerous and what happened tonight is a perfect example. People are getting hurt on the streets," said Time's Up! volunteer Barbara Ross. Son, a volunteer mechanic with Time's Up!, stated that as scooters were blocking the line of riders and driving into cyclists, he witnessed one police officer slam his scooter into another. Son dismounted, yelling "I'm an EMT," and attended to the fallen police officers, fully aware that other cyclists were being arrested next to him. "I just went into emergency mode, and I dropped my bike and made sure the scene was safe."

Despite the evident dangers of such behavior, police continued later that night to use hazardous tactics in their attempts to prevent cyclists from continuing to ride. Cyclist Aaron Grogan recalled that "as we rode through midtown, an unmarked police SUV forced its way through the mass at high speed, exhibiting reckless disregard for the safety of every rider in its path." Grogan asserted that these vehicles stopped suddenly and unpredictably in front of cyclists, often attempting to "door" the riders by opening their doors as bikers were riding alongside. "It is evident that even the most obvious of safety concerns take a back seat to their obsession with making arrests," Grogan stated.
Nine arrestees were held at the First Precinct and seven at the Ninth.
TIME'S UP! is a non-profit environmental group that has been using educational outreach and direct action for the last 15 years to promote a more sustainable, less toxic city.

Thanks to all that came out for the Time's Up/Bike TV screening at the space. AWESOME turnout.

Next stop is a party for the bicycle film festival at LIT bar. Monday, January 30th, 10pm-4am. 93 2nd Ave. @ East 5th St.
bicycle film festival

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Critical Mess

Police officer is loaded into ambulance after collision on tonights critical mass ride.
Photo by Fritz Askew.
OH NO, two cops got hurt on tonights ride trying to tackle cyclist engaged in the very illegal activity of riding their bikes.

mark my words the NYPD will be harping on this ride for the next five years. "Critical Mass, was fine, until those cops got hurt."

Just like all anyone can talk about happening at the WTO in Seattle was a few windows being broken.

Here is the latest from the village voice blog on last nights critical mass, January 27th.

Oh yeah, and David Lee Roth was no where to be found. I'm sure he'll be discussing the cops injuries on Monday's show.

link to article

Two Scooter Cops Hurt at Critical Mass
By Sarah Ferguson | January 27, 2006

The monthly Critical Mass Critical Mass ride in Manhattan took a turn for the worse tonight when two scooter cops slammed into each other as they were trying to head off the flow of cyclists.

Less than 10 minutes after leaving Union Square, a pack of about 100 bikers was moving south on Third Avenue when a line of 14 scooter cops patrolling alongside abruptly veered left to cut off the ride.

One scooter cop slammed into another scooter, injuring himself and throwing the second officer forward about four feet. The second officer was also hurt, having landing on his shoulder and head. A cyclist who identified himself an EMT stopped to assist the scooter cops, who were laid out on the street, before ambulances came to take them away on stretchers.
The two cops were treated for back and neck complaints at Bellevue Hospital, but a police spokesperson said the injuries were not believed to be serious.

Cops on the scene were clearly pissed. "He landed straight on his head," said one scooter cop who asked not to be identified. "It's not fun and games any more."

Four bikers were arrested at the scene and their bikes carted away in a police truck, along with three police scooters that were disabled in the collision.

"We made a move to head off the bicyclists and the group bolted through the line of scooters, causing the accident. That's the bottom line," the scooter cop explained of the collision. "The bikes were caught in the middle of it. Some got knocked over, and the rest are being chased down as we speak."

Eight more cyclists were arrested at 13th Street and Broadway, and there were reports of police dooring cyclists or arresting bikers as they attempted to leave the ride and go home.

Critical Mass riders said the police officers had behaved recklessly. Joe Pinto, a cab driver who was parked on the side of the road at the time of the incident, described the events this way:

"The cops abruptly turned to head off the bikes and one scooter tried to avoid the bikes and the back scooter hit the back tired of the front scooter and it just flipped him completely over his bike. He went down pretty hard. . . . The bikes were moving pretty aggressively when the cops moved to cut them off, and the cops weren't stopping either. It was just a cluster fuck.
"I've been caught in traffic jams and lost money because of these bike guys, and I feed my family from this, so I don't have a lot of of sympathy for them. My brother's a cop."

Friday, January 27, 2006

Check this shit out! Dude, your fighting a woman!

Courier in Toronto is attacked...see the pictures...

bike messenger attacked

The shit we cyclists have to put up with. I've heard of many of these incidents happing last year in NYC. I'm glad it was caught on camera.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Critical Mass talk on 92.3 K-rock

So Elizabeth Press and Andrew Lynn, two of the three directors of "Still We Ride" were on 92.3 Krock this morning talking with former front man of Van Halen, David Lee Roth. David now hosts the time slot where Howard Stern used to be before his mass exodus to pay-radio. Apparently David is a cyclists, who doesn't own a car in New York and has a interest in what this Critical Mass, thing is all about. Andrew and Elizabeth did an excellent job of explaining both about the ride and how it has been cracked down on in the last year and a half. David also stated he might be very interested in coming to the critical mass this Friday.

This ended up being about 45 minutes of talk which means David Lee Roth was interested in what was going on. He called it a BIG NEWS STORY.


We shall see if David comes to the ride tomorrow. Howard Stern never talked about critical mass!

HERE IS WHERE THE SHOW is archived...

David Lee Roth Show on Critical Mass

You download the ZIP file and it should be a 60mb mp3 minus the commercials.
It should also be at:

David Lee Roth Show

Megaupload is a free service where you can post MP3's

Now I think you have to click in the upper right corner to begin the download of this show.

let me know if people have trouble with either of these sources.

New Plan for North End of Union Square Park

The NYC Department of Parks & Recreation will be presenting a new and revised plan for the north end of Union Square Park at Community Board 5's Parks Committee meeting on Monday, January 30, at 6 p.m. at the Fashion Institute of Technology, "A" Building, 8th floor, 227 W. 27th St. near Eighth Avenue.
Please see below the information provided by the Parks Department that describes the Project, which includes the playground, plaza area, and pavilion restoration, and provides a rendering of the playground.

Fact Sheet from City of New York, Department of Parks & Recreation

January 2006
With your help, the final phase in the 20-year effort to revitalize Union Square Park will soon begin. In response to community suggestions, Parks & Recreation has designed a new plan for the north end of the park with a dramatically expanded playground, improved space for the Greenmarket and a restored pavilion. The main features of the plan include:
- Children's Play Area. Community feedback indicated that the most vital need is for an expanded and challenging play area. The new plan calls for a playground unlike any other in the city, a treasure for neighborhood children. The two existing small playgrounds will become one large and accessible play environment with a wide array of equipment a nd its own restroom. The total area for children's play in the north end will nearly triple, increasing from 5,100 sq. ft. to 14,687 sq. ft. A rendering of this innovative play space is enclosed.
- Public Restrooms. The lack of restrooms has been a problem for this very busy park. The renovation includes three new restrooms - one accessible from the plaza for Greenmarket patrons and the general public; one accessible only from the playground for children and their caregivers, with a babies' changing station, and another one in the pavilion for café patrons that will be open for the general public during the off-season.
- Greenmarket. The plan has been designed in collaboration with the Greenmarket, ensuring that this neighborhood institution will continue to flourish in the park. The plaza will be repaved, and new electrical and water hookups for the f arm vendors installed, enabling them to provide the freshest possible produce.
- Pavilion Restoration. The 80-year-old pavilion, which is seriously deteriorated, will be completely refurbished to include space for on-site Parks staff and for an unenclosed, seasonal café. The café will offer a reasonably priced takeout service to make it easier to have a quick lunch while sitting on the lawn or on a bench.
The plaza's traditional role as a site for public events and rallies will not change.
Parks & Recreation will present the new plan to Community Board 5's parks committee at a public meeting on Monday, January 30, at 6 p.m. at the Fashion Institute of Technology, "A" Building, 8th floor, 227 W. 27th St. near Eighth Avenue. If you would like to see the renovation of Union Square Park finally completed - and this park truly be the crowning jewel of the community - we encourage you to support this well-conceived plan by attending the Community Board 5 parks committee meeting or by writing to the board at 450 Seventh Ave., Room 2109, New York, NY 10123.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

He's Just a gigaloo and everywhere he goes...

David Lee Roth? Remember "Hot for Teacher" the video on MTV with big haired kids playing a young Van Halen? Remember learning David had a Bar Mitzvah? How bout when he got busted for buying weed in Washington Square Park. Oh, that Sammy Hagar Breakup was rough. But Fear not, the badboy who was swinging from a harness during Panama now has more to eat em up and smile about. He's sitting in the hotseat of Howard Stern who has gone off to Satelite Radio fame. AND DAVID LEE ROTH rides a bike and wants to talk about Critical Mass! YEAH DIVER DOWN! Smolka, yeah hear that? Van Halen is cool again and your not.

Andrew Lynn of "Still we ride" the movie, has a blog and posted this anouncement:

Hi everyone,

so... its true. the former Van Halen rocker rides a bike in New York City.

What's more crazy is that he has invited two of the directors of Still We
Ride on to his new morning show to talk about the crackdown on Critical
Mass and biking issues in the city. that is also true! i swear.

According to one of his producers who contacted us recently, 'Dave' doesnt
know much about Critical Mass, but wants to 'learn more' and 'educate his

Now, I have never heard the show, which apparently has replaced Howard
Stern in the mornings in 5 cities across the US, but I have read that it
is not that great of a show. So who knows about 'his audience'? Roth has
little to know radio personality experience and is supposedly difficult to
work with. Do a quick google search and pick from a handful of negative
reviews that pop up.

But that doesnt really matter. What has materialized very quickly is an
opportunity for bicycling issues in New York City to have a national
'mainstream' audience. Its pretty weird... and amazing. We are
nervous... and chuckling.

So... tune in and tell your friends!! from what we understand, we will be
guests on the show at about 8:15 AM on THIS THURSDAY, January 27, 2006.

hot for teacher,

Andrew L.
SWR co-director/producer

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Oh yeah, OOPS.

That Noah Budnick of TA and Jeffery Odefey from Waterkeeper talk was TONIGHT.

The person who sent me this posting screwed up and is very sorry. SO that Talk was Tuesday the 24th, not tomorrow...wednesday the 25th.

Warriors...come out and SEE A MOVIE!

So we were supposed to screen this documentary I helped to make, the Warriors...the bike race, at the Time's Up space as part of their regular Thursday screenings. Well things didn't work out. BUT THIS TIME WE MEAN IT!

Bike TV and TIme's Up present: MOVIE NIGHT
the theme is messengers.

Saturday, January 28th, 2006

Time's Up Bike Space/Messenger Space
49 East Houston (btwn Mott and Mulberry)

What is showing?

"Warriors, the Bike Race." No not the cult classic film from the 70's, not the video game, this is a 30 minute documentary about NYC's most insane alley cat race. 800 riders came to a park in the Bronx with their gangs and had to get to Coney Island by sun up. They had to compete in physical challenges, answer trivia questions and not get obliterated by other gangs. Director's Jesse Epstein, Michael Green and Christopher Ryan, were on hand to cover the mayhem...Can you dig it.

Bike TV presents "CMWC05 Wrap Up" a 30 minute presentation from everyone's favorite public access program, dedicated to the bicycle...Bike TV. Last year the, "Messenger Olympics" came to their rightful home...New York City for the 13th Messenger World Championships. This program is a look at much of what when on when the worlds Messengers came to New York and Jersey for 4 days of events, last summer.

"Bike Kill 2005" Did you miss last Halloween's Bike Kill? Dirty Jersey Choppers, makers of amazing mutant bikes made a 5 minute video about all the chaos. Tallbike jousting, dirty mattress riding, footdown and much more. Bike Kill is an annual event hosted by the Black Label Bike Club.

another Bike Kill Video...by Nick Golebiewski this one's in super 8mm and narrated by Matt Levy.

Plus a few other surprises.

This is a free event, beer will most likely be served for donations and all donations gratefully accepted for time's up.

Bike TV will probably be selling CMWC05 videos for cheap...till they run out.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Annoucement for talk on the environment.

Ever wondered what it's like to be an environmentalist? To actually give a damn about this urban setting and find solutions to make things more livable? Well come here Noah Budnick of Transportation Alternative and Jeffery Odefey from Waterkeeper talk about the situation and solutions.

Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law’s Public Interest Student Association’s Advocating for Social Justice Conference presents:
Public Law Advocacy Panel: Upstate Downstate: Environmental Justice in NY

Wednesday, January 25th, from 11:00 to 12:15
55th Fifth Avenue at 12th Street
Moot Court Room

Come listen to Noah Budnick of Transportation Alternatives and environmental advocate Jeffrey Odefey from Waterkeeper Alliance discuss the state of our environment in both New York City and throughout the state while highlighting the many outreach programs, both city and nonprofit, that exist to advocate for sensible and environmentally sound interactions with nature. The session will be moderated by a professor of Environmental Law from the Cardozo School of Law and is part of a larger week of events around social justice and the public advocacy. All are welcome and the event is free.

Transportation Alternatives
Your advocate for bicycling, walking and sensible transportation.
127 West 26th Street, Suite 1002, New York, NY 10001-4010
Phone (212) 629-8080, 5, 1
Fax (212) 629-8334
Email: projects@transalt.org . www.transalt.org

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Winter party for Bicycle Film Festival 2006

Everyone's favorite Bicycle Film Festival is having a party!

We know you love movies
we know you love bicycles

so you must love movies about bicycles...

What started as a small festival in New York City to pay homage to the greatest two-wheeled invention on the planet is now in mad cities...

San Francisco
Los Angeles

Not bad...So come to the party in Manhattan.

Bike Film Festival Winter Party
January 30 - 10pm to 4am - LIT - 93 2nd Ave @ 5th
Anthem Magazine and Brendt Barbur present the Bicycle Film Festival's Winter Party

Monday January 30th - 10pm-4am
LIT - 93 2nd Avenue at E. Fifth St.

complimentary beer from Brooklyn Brewery 10:30-11:30

DJ's Brian DeGraw (Gang Gang Dance)
James F!@#$%^ Friedman (Defend Music)
Ted Shred (BFF)

Ride over on your bike: Valet Bicycle Parking provided by Crumpler Bags.
Decor by Trackstar

For more info check out the BFF site:

here are some previews of films that will premiere at the Bicycle Film Festival NYC 2006


Fountianhead films presents a documentary about the black label bicycle club.


a movie from Michael Martin about fix gear riders in San Francisco.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Ok I lied...more stuff

This article came out in the Daily News as a response to the good press from the well-attended memorial ride which took place in all five boroughs and marked the death of 21 cyclists in 2005.

daily news article

Bicycle fatalities
rose 40% in '05
The city's streets got meaner last year for bicycle riders, who were killed at a rate of nearly two a month in deadly collisions.
Traffic accidents claimed the lives of 21 bicyclists - up from 15 in 2004 - a 40% rise, police statistics show. There were 16 fatalities in 2003.

"The increase in bicyclists killed last year is of great concern to us and we're working with the Police Department and advocacy groups to initiate a bicycle safety outreach campaign," Transportation Department spokeswoman Kay Sarlin said.

All too often, drivers don't watch out for bicyclists, Noah Budnick of Transportation Alternatives said. He called for a police crackdown on reckless driving.

But the police don't believe there is a grim upward trend taking place. The number of such fatalities tend to fluctuate year to year, Deputy Inspector Michael Coan said, pointing out that 35 cyclists were killed in 1999.

The increased popularity of cycling may be playing a role in the higher death toll. Transportation Alternatives estimates that 120,000 people cycle each day in the city, which the group believes is an all-time high.

The city Health and Transportation departments are studying biker fatalities, hoping to better understand contributing factors, such as speeding and failure to wear helmets, Sarlin said.

The city also will continue to increase safety by measures that include establishing bicycling routes with protective barriers, Sarlin said.

There were 312 traffic fatalities last year. That number encompasses drivers, passengers and pedestrians, in addition to bicyclists, and reflects a 5% increase over 2004.

But traffic fatalities had declined steadily for more than a decade and the 2005 tally was the second-lowest since 1910.

Originally published on January 13, 2006
Executive Director of Time's Up had this to say in response to this Daily News Article

This Daily News article is obviously propaganda from the city responding to all the positive press from the past week. This press story appears to be planted by the City and is laced with "blame the victim" language. There is also a mention of doing "studies," which is something Time's Up! considers a stall tactic, and that, depending on methodology, could result in more "blame the victim" conclusions.

As you know, we are trying to work with a coalition of bicycle groups who have submitted a bike safety action plan. The original August letter to NYC DOT recommends studies on biking and fatalities. When this was written, groups had different opinions on what the real issues were.

Lately, the coalition seems to be in a lot more agreement with us on cycling issues. The cycling community is strong and in a much better position now and should strongly suggest direct immediate action (not studies) especially on bicycle parking and the issue of needing a permit to ride your bicycle, as well as on enforcment of existing rules to protect cyclists

Naomi has recently joined the coalition for Time's Up! and has been doing a great job with her writing skills and our representation. The Time's Up! outreach committee and press team have been doing a spectacular job lately. We should consider reaching out to other groups and individuals and let them know how we feel about studies and stall tactics.

We will address this at our next coalition meeting, and I encourage people to write letters to the editor and/or City officials.

Artilce about memorial ride

January's been warm huh? Trying to catch up on past events and future goings on. Due to an "observation" of an avid bike blog reader I won't post all this stuff at once.

Here is an article from the ever present watchdog of bike related activities...Jefferson Siegel. The photo above is his too.

downtown express article

Downtown Express
Volume 18*issue 35*January 13-19, 2006

Ride to honor the 21 cyclists killed in 2005
Downtown Express photos by Jefferson Siegel
"Cycling advocates turn onto Governeur Lane and pedal towards Water street in a ride to memorialize cyclist killed in the
city last year.

By Jefferson Siegel

About 150 cyclists honored the 21 bikers killed in city traffic accidents in 2005 with a five-borough ride Sunday that ended in Lower Manhattan.

The ride, organized by Time’s Up!, an advocacy group, started in the outer boroughs with cyclists riding to locations where bike riders had been killed by motor vehicles. By late afternoon a group of 40 cyclists had gathered at the Manhattan side of the Williamsburg Bridge and headed Downtown.

Shortly afterwards, a large group of riders crossed the Brooklyn Bridge, heading into Manhattan. The two groups converged near City Hall and headed to their first Manhattan stop at Water St. and Governeur La.

It was here that, on September 16, Jen Shao, a 65-year-old Chinatown resident was killed by a private bus. On this late Sunday afternoon, the canyons of Downtown were silent and almost deserted as the mass of cyclists rode east on Wall St. and circled onto Governeur Lane, coming to a stop at the intersection with Water St.

On a light pole near the corner, a sign, hung by the Police Dept., was still taped to the pole. It said that someone had been killed on that corner and anyone with information was requested to call the Department’s “Tips” hotline, 800-577-TIPS. The group of riders gathered around Ryan Kuonen of Time’s Up!, who had led the ride in from Brooklyn.

She told the crowd that this was the corner where Shao had been killed by a private bus.

Kuonen then walked to a nearby tree and placed flowers and a miniature white ‘ghost bike’ with wings by its base. The ghost bike, created by the group Visual Resistance, is intended to remind passersby of a location where a bicyclist was killed by a motor vehicle.

The riders then did a bike lift, hoisting their rides over their heads in a moving, silent tribute to Shao. As rubber was lowered to pavement, one rider walked over to the memorial and placed a second clutch of flowers. The riders then pedaled north, proceeding along Houston St. and stopping at Avenue A to pause and lay flowers at the spot where Brandie Bailey, 21, was struck and killed by a garbage truck on May 8.

At the time the truck driver, who later claimed he didn’t know what had happened, continued driving north for over 20 blocks until finally being pulled over by police. Bailey lived in Brooklyn and used her bike to commute to work, as so many others do. She was a waitress at the Red Bamboo Vegetarian Soul Cafe in the West Village.

The ride continued on to Elizabeth and Houston Sts., where Andrew Ross Morgan, 25, was hit by a truck on June 22. As cyclists gathered on the narrow street, Kuonen stood by a full-size ghost bike. The crowd stood silently as Kuonen spoke of Morgan. She then placed flowers by the bike in his memory.

Morgan worked at the Blue Ribbon Bakery Market in the West Village. The bakery sponsored the semipro Blue Ribbon bike racing team, which Morgan, an avid cyclist, hoped to qualify for.

The ride’s final stop was a block away, near Lafayette St., where a sign and a miniature ghost bike with wings was affixed to a pole. A sign attached to the pole memorialized eight unnamed cyclists who were killed last year.

As they had at every stop along the ride, the 150 cyclists did a bike lift. Bill Di Paola, founder of Time’s Up!, said that, “While cyclists know of the hazards of riding on our unsafe streets, the community at large, unfortunately, only takes notice when one of us is killed,” said Noah Budnick, project director for Transportation Alternatives. “The demand for cycling and safe streets is outpacing the supply of safe streets.”

Downtown Express is published by
Community Media LLC
Downtown Express/487 Greenwich St. Suite 6A/New York, NY 10013
phone: 212 242.6182
email: news@downtownexpress.com

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Bicycle Memorial Video

IMG_4693.JPG, originally uploaded by Green Biker.

Andrew Lynn one of the directors of "Still we ride" has made a 9 minute downloadable movie of the recent, Bicycle Memorial Ride. Check it at:
bicycle memorial video

additional cameras by Elizabeth Press and Michael Green

Check out Full report from Frostbite

No Handed Skid, originally uploaded by wolverine_9_5.

Nice...no handed skid. goto: NYBMA for full report of DC's late night frostbite alley cat.


Monday, January 16, 2006

Bicycle Film Festival is searching for submissions

The Bicycle Film Festival is seeking submissions for its sixth annual Festival. The event will feature dozens of different films on a variety of bicycle styles - from BMX to urban bike culture, cycling to commuting. The 2005 Bike Film Fest was attended by 15,000 people with many sold out showings. This year's festival is larger then ever before and will include 10 cities throughout the world including last years cities New York, Los Angles, San Francisco, Tokyo, and London! It is bound to be a lot of fun again in 2006!

We encourage YOU to submit films with these guidelines to enter: All lengths. Short is great and easier to program. All genres: BMX, animation, narratives, docs, experimental, Hollywood, cycling, and so on. The festival is more than films, it also features music, parties, fun bicycle parade, and art exhibitions.

For info:

The deadline for submissions is February 17, 2006.

Brendt Barbur

Saturday, January 14, 2006

We came, we saw, we rode our bikes...

And weren’t treated like criminals.
Where you ask…Brooklyn Critical Mass!

Call it a throwback to the good ol’ days of this famous cycle gathering, but perhaps BCM is going to be the in thing for 2006. Imagine riding your bike in a group of people, celebrating this most ingenious form of transportation, and not feeling like the scooter cops are about to have you arrested for your actions.

Last night I actually completed a Brooklyn critical mass ride, which made a journey through several neighborhoods of these massive boroughs.

This ride had about 75 people on it, which was a combination of two meet-up spots, Williamsburg and Grand Army Plaza.

A moist fog was rolling overhead as about 25 people gathered in a park in the South Side of Brooklyn. This has become the alternate spot for Brooklyn Critical Mass, due to the police presence that escorts the ride, which gathers at Grand Army Plaza.

A few announcements were made about a recently killed cyclist in City Island and one person told of a friend who was killed in San Francisco. Emotions were still heavy from last weeks well-attended memorial ride and people reflected on the dangers and challenges ahead. Yellow flowers were handed in honor of those killed and we took off into the fog.

Soon after we got our bearings, we ran smack into the other crew from Grand Army Plaza at Dekalb in Fort Greene.

This part of the ride is always escorted by the NYPD. Generally 3-4 scooter cops and an unmarked police car in back, giving commands over a pa system.

People communicate with the officers about when decisions are made and YES, we do stop at most red lights. The police do their fair share to facilitate the ride and dealing with irate motorists.

Why then do the police need to have unmarked patrol cars following us? Why not use standard squad cars? We really have to get away from this, “Plain clothes.” Behavior. We have nothing to hide, neither should you. Small steps, but important ones.

We rode through the Fulton mall and waved at on-lookers who chanted along with: “More Bikes, Less Cars.” Then down Bedford Ave. towards Williamsburg again. The Hasidic Jews looked in amazement at this roving celebration of the bicycle as they walked home from temple.

Then the ride ended at Capone’s bar where they were gold sprints roller races for Ken’s birthday. (Ken runs the NYBMA website)

The Brooklyn critical mass is slow paced and mellow. Definitely refreshing from the war we have been having with the city in Manhattan. Let both rides be a lesson to each other and to the city that this IS a safe ride that just wants to show that bikes are traffic and can ride together in mass without needing a permit.

I hope the Brooklyn Critical Mass expands and becomes more festive.

Bring your kids, your energy and your creativity to Brooklyn Critical Mass, the second Friday of every month.

Gold Sprints at Capones, Mike D is running the show,(the guy with the dreads)

For 5 bucks you can race your opponent for a simulated 500meter sprint on stationary fixed gear bikes attached in the front and on rollers for the back wheel. I raced Brendt from the Bicycle Film Festival and thought I was gonna loose my free pizza and three Stella's I had just pounded. Not the best idea for someone out of shape.

The ladies, testing their skills.

This is Ken, he is a web designer and graphic artist who runs the NYBMA website. It was his birthday and he decided to celebrate with gold sprints at capone's bar on North 9th. This was a kick off event for 2 days of late-night racing in DC.
frost bite
This is a benifit for the Bicycle Messenger Emergency Relief Fund which raises money for working couriers hurt on the job.Bike Messenger Fund

Friday, January 13, 2006

What I'd do tonight for bikes...

First...I would go to Brooklyn Critical Mass...cause we don't need a permit to ride our bikes...nah nah nah nah nah!

Then I'd go to a great indoor messenger event:

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Today a new ruling...

This just in:

NY Newsday-

Judge sides with bikers.
The city may have to rethink using its permit rule as a reason to arrest Critical Mass cyclists after the statute was deemed 'unconstitutional'


January 11, 2006

A criminal court judge in Manhattan has held that the city's main weapon in its campaign against the Critical Mass bicycle ride is unconstitutional.

Deciding the case of eight cyclists arrested in January 2005, Judge Gerald Harris wrote in a 17-page ruling that the city's parading without a permit statute is "overly broad" and "unconstitutional on its face."

The Police Department has been relying on the statute to make arrests in an effort over the past 18 months to rein in Critical Mass, a loosely organized bicycle ride that starts at Union Square and meanders through midtown streets one Friday evening each month.

More than 2,100 people have been arrested under the parading charge in the period, the majority during the 2004 Republican National Convention.

Police officials claim the rides disrupt traffic and threaten public safety. The department has sought to force the cyclists to get permits.

But ride advocates argue that the cyclists are merely part of traffic.

They also claim the rides are spontaneous, thus no organization exists to apply for a permit. They say the purpose is to bring attention to alternative forms of transportation.

Gideon Oliver, a lawyer representing the cyclists, acknowledged that the Monday ruling is not binding on the city because it came in criminal court.

But Oliver said, "What sets it apart is the fact that it came after a substantial trial. What remains to be seen is what the city will make of it."

The arrests in question took place on Jan. 28, 2005, at Fifth Avenue and 13th Street. The cyclists were charged with parading without a permit, failure to disperse and disorderly conduct.

The cyclists opted to take the case to trial to protest the crackdown.

"My honest feeling about this is that it's [the decision] a victory for us," said Tyler Hartz, 27, a defendant who now lives in Jackson Hole, Wyo. "We won just by going to trial because we were all prepared to take a guilty verdict to make the point."

Hartz, a hotel bellhop who spent $500 on airfare to return for the trial, said he hopes the city will relax the Critical Mass crackdown.

Harris did find the cyclists guilty of disorderly conduct, and set sentencing for next month.

A trial of another 30 cyclists arrested last year will begin later this month.

A police spokesman did not reply to an e-mail message seeking comment.

This from Sarah Ferguson of the village voice:
Bikers Win One: Judge Nixes City Law on Parade Permits

By Sarah Ferguson | January 10, 2006

A judge late on Monday took a bite out of the city's efforts to rein in the monthly Critical Mass rides when he ruled that the New York City law barring people from "parading without a permit" is unconstitutional.

Police have been using the statute to make mass arrests during Critical Mass rides--and during the Republican Convention, they used it to round up all sorts of protestors. Yet on Monday, New York City Criminal Court Judge Gerald Harris ruled that the parade permit law is "hopelessly overbroad" and "constitutes a burden on free expression that is more than the First Amendment can bear."

Harris's ruling stems from a case involving eight cyclists who were arrested at a Critical Mass ride on January 28, 2005. They were charged with parading without a permit, blocking traffic, and failing to disperse.

Judge Harris upheld the charge of blocking traffic but threw out the other two charges, ruling that an order to disperse was never given and that the city’s parade permit law was "constitutionally invalid" because it fails to adequately define what a parade is, or to say what minimum number of people would be required to get a permit.

"Improbable though it may be, under the City's permit scheme as written, a person promenading, or two persons racing are conceivably required to obtain a permit from the City of New York," Harris wrote in his 17-page decision. "Similarly, a funeral procession, two or three cars displaying political posters traveling one behind the other, caravan style, or a small group of friends biking together could run afoul of the law."

Harris also faulted the parade law for failing to define intent. "Any person who unknowingly participates in a permitless march may be arrested, fined or imprisoned. Bystanders, onlookers, stirred by the passion evoked by a political march, join at their peril," he argued.

Prosecutors are deciding whether they will appeal, and this lower court ruling does not preempt the city's ongoing efforts to use the parade statute to obtain permanent injuctions against Critical Mass in state and federal courts.

Nevertheless, bike advocates were ecstatic. "We're very excited," said Dave Rankin of Free Wheels, a volunteer group founded to provide legal support to bicyclists arrested during Critical Mass rides. "This is what we've been saying all along--that the parade permitting scheme gives the police far too much discretion to decide what is a parade, and that they're arresting people at their whim."

Defense Attorney Gideon Oliver called the ruling "well-reasoned" and said he hoped it would "challenge the City to reconsider its aggressive stance toward policing First Amendment activities in general, and Critical Mass bicycle rides in particular."

Since August 2004, the city has arrested more than 2000 people for violating the parade permit law. According to Bruce Bentley of the National Lawyers Guild, the vast majority of the 1,806 people arrested during the Republican National Convention were charged with parading without a permit.

And since the RNC, cops have arrested nearly 350 more bicyclists for "parading without permit" during Critical Mass rides. Harris's decision is not binding on the 50 or so other bike arrest cases still pending before the courts. A trial of 30 bikers is scheduled to begin later this month.

Yet Oliver said the judges in those cases would at least have to consider Harris's ruling. "It certainly does have relevance in the context of cases that are before the criminal court," Oliver said.

Not surprisingly, the city's law department dismissed the decision as "erroneous," noting that two judges had found the parade permit law valid in three previous Critical Mass cases.

"This is the first decision to dismiss a criminal case on this basis, and we believe that it is erroneous," said City Attorney Sheryl Neufeld in a press statement. "Several Criminal Court judges have previously determined that the City's requirement that parades and processions obtain a parade permit does not violate the First Amendment rights of bicyclists who participate in Critical Mass rides. . . . This is the first judge who ruled to the contrary."

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Sarah Ferguson of the village voice has an excellent article about Sunday's memorial ride on the Village Voice Blog including a slideshow of pictures:

By Sarah Ferguson | January 09, 2006

Their deaths seem so sadly ignoble. Crushed by a garbage carter. Plowed under by an ice cream delivery truck. Slammed from behind by a speeding SUV.

Twenty-one cyclists were killed in traffic accidents in New York City in 2005, up from 15 in 2004, and 13 in 2003. That made 2005 the most deadly year for bicyclists since 1999, when a record 35 died.
The rest of the article at:

power plays

This seems to be a nationwide problem:

This man was seriously injured by an SUV because he yelled at a driver for being reckless. Police are searching for the assailant in Bay Area.

The police, friends and family are seeking any information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for a traffic collision that occurred at 12:33am late on Friday night/early Saturday morning (December 17) at the corner of Florida St. and 20th St. in the Mission. Our dear friend and honorable contributor to the SF community, Spider Davila (aka J. Comford), was riding his bicycle and was violently struck by a motorist believed to be driving an SUV. The motorist fled the scene. Police have a description of the SUV, which is likely to have front-end damage. The driver, or passenger(s), have yet to be identified. Police, family and friends are looking for any witnesses to this violent hit-and-run accident, or if someone saw this vehicle in the neighborhood around this time, if they have any information about the suspect(s), or if they were a passenger in the vehicle, we are asking them to please come forward.

More info at:

Time's Up has this to say:


Thanks to everyone who came out for the Memorial Ride. (In NYC) Together, we made a powerful statement about how unsafe our streets are for cycling.

It shouldn't take the death of a pedestrian or cyclist to get City officials to pay attention to our issues. Without infrastructure, without improved public information about our rights to the road and unless laws protecting cyclists and pedestrians are enforced, New York will become a completely unlivable city.

Please remind City officials that the streets need to made safer for non-motorized vehicles. Write to Mayor Bloomberg, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, your City Councilmember, DOT Commissioner Iris Weinshall, and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. Tell them that without improved infrastructure, enforcement and public information, motorized vehicles will continue to pose a deadly threat to cyclists and pedestrians.

time's up new calender of events is available at the space or online.

And on a tradgic note:

This news comes from the NYPOST online addition:

January 10, 2006 -- A Bronx man riding a bicycle was hit by a car and killed yesterday on City Island, police said.
Ivan Morales, 61, was struck as he rode along Shore Road at about 3:30 p.m. He died shortly after at Jacobi Hospital.

Police did not issue a summons to the driver, whose name was not released.
Change comes slowly...still we ride...still we must educate.

Ride safe.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Memorial Ride unites cycling community in NYC

Photo taken by Fritz Askew.
Fred Askew Photography
This Sunday, Time's up held an amazing event to remember those who were killed on their bikes due to the negligence of motor vehicles in 2005. There were many rides that were lead around the city to cover the sites of the dead in all 5 boroughs. The rides meet up in Manhattan and ended with free food and cider at the Time's up space. The last stop was a special memorial for 8 of the 21 killed riders. This was especially sad and bitter due to the fact that the NYPD won't release details about the cyclist’s deaths. The event was a beautiful experience and a unique coming together of all aspects of the cycling community. It truly showed our strength, unity and was an incredible honor for those that have died needlessly just for riding a bike. The NYPD and the city should be ashamed. One for infiltrating our memorial rides with "plain clothes," officers and two, for responding to the death of cyclists by waging a ticketing blitz on bikers for such frivolous offenses as not riding in the bike lane. Thanks to the investigative reporting of the NY Times and others, the police backed off the memorial ride, except for one feeble attempt to split us into two groups...because we were such a large group. As the ride hit the sacred Manhattan, the police finally did what they should be doing all along, escorting the ride and telling erratic cab drivers to pull out of our way. Bravo. Special thanks to Ryan, for organizing this event and to Austin for his assistance with the memorial. Special thanks to all volunteers who made this event such a moving experience. Check out visual resistance and learn about their, "Ghost bike project." That inspired much of the ride yesterday. In Seattle, Washington they do a similar project ghost cycle which also records cyclist injuries as well.
Ellen Belcher sent this amazing account of those who were remembered yesterday, the dead cyclists of 2005.

Here are some of my photos:
I started out on the East NY Ride with about 12 people and we honored:
Miguel Molina, 48, died October 20th. Hit and run, Atlantic Ave near Logan Street.

Miguel's Ghost bike memorial

Then we headed to meet up with the South Brooklyn ride at the site of Elizabeth Padilla in Park Slope.

The ride grew much bigger as the rides meet up including the one from Staten Island.

Elizabeth, 28 died in Park Slope after someone opened their car door without looking and forced Elizabeth into a truck.

We gathered at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge, near city hall to wait for other rides. A lone squad car rolled up to try and take control of the situation. Ryan dealt with the cops. They wanted us to split up into two groups because our size was so big. This worked for one stop.
Then we went down to the spot of Jen Shao, 65, hit by a private bus in the Wall St. area.

This was the memorial for 21 year old Brandie Bailey who was killed on Houston Street by a truck that didn't even know he had hit anyone.

This story was in the Daily News along with a slide show:

Bicyclists remember riders killed on city streets


January 9, 2006

Two-wheeled processions wound their way through four boroughs Sunday, as scores of bicyclists staged memorial rides for the 21 riders killed on city streets in 2005.

All but one of the victims were killed by a car or truck.

"A lot of these accidents didn't have to happen," said Ryan Kuonen, 34, of the bicyclists-advocacy group TIME'S UP! "If drivers took just a few seconds to check their mirrors before making sudden movements, some of these cyclists would still be with us today."

Kuonen organized one of the Brooklyn rides Sunday, and led bikers past the site of several fatal accidents. The riders stopped at one Borough Park intersection for a brief memorial led by a rabbi for Chiam Goldberg, 24, a Hasidic man who was killed last January.

"We don't have many Hasidic bikers in TIME'S UP!," said Kuonen, "in fact we have none. But we found this rabbi who is into biking and he served as a link between our two communities."

Sunday's memorial rides also passed by a number of all-white-painted bicycles, which are parked to serve as memorials near accident scenes. While these "ghost bikes" are meant to be permanent installations, some landlords have removed them as eyesores.

More than 150,000 New Yorkers commute by bicycle every day. That number shot up to 600,000 during last month's transit strike. Those people included Firefighter Matthew Long, who was left in critical condition after a bus struck the bicycle he was using to get around.

"Those of us who are out here everyday know about the dangers," Kuonen said. "But we also know biking is the most efficient, cleanest way to get around this city."
This article from Metro NY:

City’s cyclists pay tribute to fallen riders
by amy zimmer / metro new york

JAN 8, 2006
NOLITA — A group of roughly 100 cyclists rode somberly to the corner of Houston and Elizabeth streets Sunday. They placed carnations and candles at the base of a white “ghost bike” to memorialize where Andrew Ross Morgan, 25, was hit and killed by a truck as he rode on June 22.

Memorial at Elizabeth and Houston Streets for Andrew Morgan one of the 21 bicyclist who died while riding their bikes in New York City in 2005. (Photo: Bill Lyons/Metro)
The wheeled procession visited sites in all five boroughs where 21 cyclists were killed in 2005, including 20 by motor vehicles, according to ride organizer Times Up!, a bike advocacy group. There were six cyclists killed by motor vehicles in 2004, according to statistics from the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygeine.
“The demand for bicycling is outpacing the supply, and there aren’t enough safe spaces,” said Noah Budnick, projects director for Transportation Alternatives, a group seeking to improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists.
He cited a plan backed by Community Board 4 to create a bike lane on Eighth Avenue from 14th to 57th streets, that would connect to existing lanes on Hudson Street and Central Park West as something the city could do to protect cyclists.
Many bikers, like Bill DiPaola, executive director of Times Up!, however, believe City Hall is anti-biking.
“The city is hard on cyclists and we think it’s creating a hostile environment for bicyclists,” DiPaola said, citing the NYPD’s crackdown on the monthly Critical Mass rides. That’s why “hit-and-runs are at record levels.”
Brian Galvin, 30, who rides on Staten Island and with his girlfriend in Brooklyn, said city cycling was “insane” because “there aren’t enough bike lanes” and cars are “rushing to get from one red light to the next.”
Galvin, who hasn’t participated in other group rides, came out Sunday because “I don’t want this to happen to me or my friends. Hopefully, if people see these spots, they will respect us more when we’re on the road.”