Friday, March 31, 2006

Media Advisory for Tonights ride

Time's Up would like your help tonight:


7:00 pm, tonight, March 31st
Participants meet at Union Square Park

9:00 pm, tonight, March 31st
TIME’S UP! Space
49 East Houston St (between Mott & Mulberry) in lower Manhattan

TIME'S UP! offers its space, following tonight’s Critical Mass, for the collection of video footage and photographs from the ride to be made available to the press. It will also act as a convergence space for Critical Mass participants to reconvene. Participants will be available for comments on the outcome of the ride this evening.
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.

Ever ridden an Alley Cat race?

There are two fun races this Saturday, April Fool's Day, for the novice and the season pro.

Steve Klein hosts this one every year in NYC and it is a great time, no experience required and it's only a dollar.

For those in Philly, reload bags is having a scavenger hunt style are some details...again this one is on Sat.

6th Annual R.E.Load April Fool's Extravaganza
Oh man, it's that time of year again!! April Fool's Day actually falls on a Saturday this year! So we're getting geared up for the ^th Annual R.E.Load April Fool's Extravaganza. If you've done this race in the past, you know what it's about: Silliness and fun in Philly, As always, for a paltry $5 entry fee you'll get a spoke card, limited edition tee shirt, and entry into the race and after party. We run this race so that's absolutely accessible to anybody with a bike, whether you're a student, comuter, or season courier veteran. It's really more of an overall "fun ride" than a race - unless you decide to be really serious about it and try to win a new hubset or $400 custom bag....We do this event scavenger hunt-style, with tons of optional checkpoints, dumb tasks such as freestyle rhyming about your bike, break dancing, or playing cee low for points, and of course the obligatory "you got fooled!" fake checkpoints. We usually get about 150 participants for this thing, So if you're looking to find one of the biggest events on the east coast, this is it. It's all gonna go down on Saturday April 1st, 2pm. Register in the back alley of R.E.Load. Sponsored by R.E.Load, Level, Kryptonite, Swobo, Outlaw Print co., Depot Japan, Fabric Horse, Gerikmade, Randl, Ellie's hat co., Bike Therapy, 4916 Clothing, Cadence Clothing, and more. Large beer sponsor to be announced shortly.

***R.E.Load store is 608 North 2nd Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19123***

Ok TONIGHT IS CRITICAL all know what to do...go to Union Square at 7:00pm, ride your bike in a's not illegal, it never was. And it's more fun then driving your SUV into a sinkhole.

The Apprentice uses non-union crews to shoot this highly sucessful tv show because Donald Trump is poor and needs to save money. Chevy is currently having an online contest, to promote the Apprentice and the 2007 Chevy Tahoe, where instead of using their marketing directors to sell SUV's, they want YOU, joe public to use your creativity to make adds, because Chevy is poor and needs to save money. So you go to the website, they provide the video clips and music, you provide the words. I don't think these adds are what they had in mind.

video clip 1
video Clip 2
video Clip 3

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Hey, Did you know their spying on us?

Big shock huh?

By they, I mean the FBI and the NSA, and the NYPD and the CIA. Somehow after 911 the government decided your either with us or you ride a bike and are against us. By us I mean the oil agenda.

Here is a article from the Christian Science Monitor

USA > Society & Culture
from the March 23, 2006 edition

PROTEST: Cyclists, including some from the group Time's UP!, take to New York's streets each month to raise awareness about oil consumption.

Title of article: FBI, police spying is rising, groups allege
The ACLU has filed Freedom of Information requests for more than 150 groups and individuals.
By Alexandra Marks | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

NEW YORK – Inside the Time's UP! office on Houston Street in Manhattan, pictures of people taking part in an environmental protest line an old refrigerator. In one, a man with short hair and a chiseled physique is talking on his cellphone. In another, a large man wields a video camera.
The people at Time's UP!, an environmental activist group, suspect these men are not protesters at all, but rather plainclothes police officers. "We say these people are spying, and they're definitely being assisted by the police if they're not police themselves," says Bill DiPaola, director of Time's UP!
Is that concern paranoia? Or is it skepticism in this post-9/11 era of increased surveillance?

Political activists from New York to Colorado to California report that they believe police and FBI surveillance of their activities has increased markedly since the terror attacks 4-1/2 years ago since Congress approved the USA Patriot Act loosening some of the strictures on law enforcement. They include environmental groups like Time's UP!, peace activists in Pittsburgh, and even a police union protesting for higher wages in New York City.

To try to find out if law officers are spying on them, the American Civil Liberties Union has filed Freedom of Information requests for more than 150 groups and individuals in more than 20 states who believe their first amendment rights are being violated.

Time's UP! is one of the groups that says the alleged surveillance is aimed at intimidating them. They acknowledge public events can be watched by anyone but they're concerned police have crossed the line into inappropriate spying to discourage people's from publicly criticizing government policies.

Local police and the FBI insist that none of their activities is aimed at chilling political speech. All investigations are conducted under strict guidelines put in place after abuses were documented during the Civil Rights and antiwar movements of the 1960s and 1970s. Before any investigation of a political group proceeds, law officers require reasonable suspicion or information that an individual or a group is involved in criminal or terrorist-related activities.

"Our only interest is in preventing, disrupting, and defeating terrorist-related operations or criminal activity - and that's through appropriate investigations that are conducted in accordance with attorney general guidelines," says Bill Carter, an FBI spokesman.

Throughout American history, and particularly during times of conflict, the balance between civil rights and national security has shifted toward the latter and later come under scrutiny. From World War II through the cold war to the sociopolitical upheaval of the 1960s, repeated civil rights violations occurred in the name of national security - from people being imprisoned and denied jobs for their political statements to the infiltration of political groups.

"We're nowhere near there now. Throughout the 20th century, we ... built better protections against intrusions on constitutional rights," says Alasdair Roberts, professor at the Maxwell School in Syracuse University in New York and author of "Blacked Out: Government Secrecy in the Information Age. "Nevertheless we can't take these gains for granted, and we have to take these issues of surveillance seriously."

The FBI says peace and environmental activists are confusing legitimate investigation of potential terrorist or criminal activity with free-speech violations. Peace activists say law enforcement is misusing the fear of terrorism to impede legitimate speech.

One recent case involves the Thomas Merton Center for Peace and Justice in Pittsburgh. It says FBI documents it obtained prove that they were being watched in an investigation of antiwar activities. A heavily redacted memo states that the center holds "daily leaflet distribution activities" and is "a left-wing organization advocating, among many political causes, pacifism."

"The memo may say it's an international terrorism matter at the top, but when you read the text and the subject it's clearly an investigation of antiwar activity," says Jim Kleissler, of the Merton Center. "They clearly tried to link terrorism to public dissent."

Mr. Carter says that the investigation was not of the organization, but of an individual. Once it was determined that individual was not involved with the Merton Center it ended, he says.

The number of Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF), cooperative teams of local, state, and federal officers, jumped from fewer than 30 prior to the 2001 terrorist attack to more than 80 today. The Merton Center says it was investigated under a JTTF jurisdiction. Professor Roberts says these JTTFs have the greatest potential for constitutional violations because much of their activity is classified offering little opportunity for public accountability.

"It's difficult to appraise whether the activities are reasonable or not unless there's a certain amount of transparency," he says. "Sometimes you can't reveal law enforcement activity, but it's generally possible to get a general broad outline of what it is."

In New York, the activists at Time's Up! say the police are using surveillance to intimidate them. Their members are part of a monthly pro-environment bike ride around the city, where sometimes hundreds of people show up. The police want the group to get a parade permit. Time's UP! argues that it's a spontaneous gathering that takes place in 400 cities around the world. The courts have so far sided with the protesters. The police say they're simply trying to maintain order and that plainclothes police are vital to that goal.

Antiwar and anticorporate protesters have also filed suit against the NYPD, charging that plainclothes police behavior during the Republican National Convention in 2004 and at the World Economic Forum in 2002 was aggressive, intimidating, and designed to agitate the crowd. NYPD spokesman Paul Browne disagrees, saying the officers were there to maintain order.

"We don't want the chaos of an arrest spilling into the rest of the march," says Deputy Commissioner Browne, explaining that plainclothes officers mingle with the crowd. The goal is to allow them to identify and separate anarchists and others who may want the protest to turn violent from the lawful protesters.

The NYPD is also fending off a lawsuit from its own police officer's union. The Patrol Benevolent Association (PBA) says the NYPD sent Internal Affairs Bureau (IAB) investigators to take pictures of protesting officers during contract negotiations with the city.

"The concern is that they're trying to intimidate our members, the implication being that you could be disciplined for asserting your first amendment rights," says Michael Murray, a lawyer with the PBA.

The NYPD denies that and says the IAB officers were there to maintain order.

"If you're a cop and you're confronted with your union leader saying, 'Hey, step aside, we're the police,' that could put a cop in a difficult position," says Browne. "The IAB are there to ensure there's no misconduct by the police, they're the police that police the police."
Wow, that is soo weird. I mean when the terrorist attacked us it's because they hate our Freedom, right? I guess the FBI hates our freedom too huh?

Monday, March 27, 2006

Check out video on Bike TV

Bike TV made a video of the Rally at City Hall, calling for a Car free Summer in Central Park.

rally video

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Lots of April fool races

Here is one in CT.

Having a blast in Ireland

Dublin is going to be home to the 2007 Cycle Messesnger worlds. They celebrated with a St. Patricks day Massacre alley cat party on the weekend of St. Patrick's day, imagine that. Team action force, from Trackstar went over to represent. Their website also has race results. Looks like everyone had a ball.

Two sources for pictures:
pics 1

pics 2
Today I attempted my firsrt podcast and recored a hour and a half interview with Ferdinando of Milan, Italy. Really amazing talk about fixing up a 20 year old velodrome, crital mass Italy style and messenger style racing in Milan. Of course most of the interview didn't record cause I am trying to figure out Ichat and how to record it. So I will soon post about this interview and hope to have all the kinks worked out for the next one. So stay tuned for upcoming Bike Blog podcasts.

Nice right.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

More about Village Voice Article

I would just like to make something clear about the Village Voice and the article on Mutant Bike Gangs by Karen Tucker. The layout and pictures presented in the story are the choosing of the editorial staff of the Voice and do not reflect the articles overview of mutant bike gangs and Brooklyn Industries displaying tall bikes. In fact, she pointed out that not all of these bikers are anarchists. I was just struck by the Anarchy symbol on the cover just cause the A word is thrown around like the T (Terrorism) is used in legitimizing violent police behavior to infringe on our civil rights and spoiling our parties and bike rides. The article was well written and did a great job of explaining mutant bike gangs and how they wrestle with their culture being comodified instead of just people participating in it.

Bike Blog in village voice

When a Karen Iris Tucker, a reporter for the village voice contacted me about the Brooklyn Industries vandalism, I had no idea this was a cover story. For some reason I thought this was going to be a tiny blurb and that there was such a short deadline that it may never happen at all. Surprise. Seems like the whole broken windows theory of journalism. If it bleeds it leads, right? When Starbucks windows got broken at the WTO in Seattle, all the media attention focused on Anarchism and property destruction, not on the fact that hundreds of thousands of people organized against free trade. In fact that has become the mantra for the establishment's harsh tactics towards all demonstrations since November 1999 and of course September 11th. The theory goes something like: Because 20 or so anarchists from Eugene Oregon, targeted a few corporations lavishing in the rewards of a globalized economy, therefore we must take your civil rights away, shoot at you with "non-lethal" weapons and pre-emptively lock up every suspicious character at every Trade demonstration since. Same theory with the critical mass, that the police still use today in court. The ride was fine, until it was taken over by those ANARCHISTS. This justifies their violent attacks on bike riders. So now we look at the front page of the village voice and there is a anarchy symbol made out of bike parts and a huge photo in the middle of a masked rider with a paper bag over his head. I'm sure the cops now have more fuel for their fire in demonizing our bike rides as they connect the dots in some sadistic way to justify ramming us with their mopeds, but it would be nice to connect our own dots towards a more positive light. Such as how tall bikes and mutant bike gangs get people excited about riding their bikes and about making things out of discarded materials and about making our own culture instead of having it spoon feed to us by clothing companies. Its important to note that both DKNY and Bergdorf Goodman have had bikes displayed in their windows in the last couple of weeks. This may not mean that bike culture is for sale but it does mean it is popular and not to mention fashionable. I mean we all know bikes make an excellent assesory with your $500 Dolce and Gabana handbag. I still think it was a harsh lesson for Brooklyn Industries to learn that mutant bikes are a cherished cultural icon unlike the Bad Brains logo which can easily be transformed into selling the word Brooklyn, displayed on one of their many t-shirts. It was a bad choice of window display mainly because Recycle-a-bicycle doesn't get kids to make those kind of bikes. So there's an article in the NY Times and one in the village voice, can we move on now? Maybe we could focus on some more minute issues like why the fuck are we in our third year in Iraq? I am grateful for the plugs for my blog in both the Times and the voice. I do need to make one correction from the voice article. I did not make my tall bike for C.H.U.N.K. Chunk members helped me make a tallbike for me and I am even more grateful for their help cause that was a life long dream. Thanks to the Smeltor for doing the welding. Hey, when are those CHUNK group rides in NYC? let me know, I want to wear a paper bag over my head and bring my DKNY bad brains t-shirt.

village voice article
Mutant Bike Gangs of New York
Tall-bike clubs live free, ride high, and don't want your stinking logo
by Karen Iris Tucker
March 21st, 2006
The Black Label Bicycle Club is virulently anti-consumerist; its riders recycle everything from bike parts to vegetables. They pick through dumpsters for communal vegan meals. And they don’t (usually) talk to the press.
photo: Ray Lewis/
They were meant to be edgy advertising, those tall bikes towering in Brooklyn Industries windows, but somebody—or somebodies—took their presence personally. The bikes, each essentially a pair of ordinary cycles stacked into a single ride six feet high, had been in the clothing stores for less than a week when a saboteur etched a protest in acid.
"Bike Culture Not for Sale," read the runny white lettering found February 23 on the glass at the four Brooklyn Industries outlets in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

The Park Slope store's assistant manager, McKenzie Rollins, first spotted trouble when she came into work the morning before and found someone had messed with the gate locks overnight. "They looked like someone had inserted something—maybe a screwdriver—to screw them up," she says, folding a retro '80s T-shirt with a cut-out neck. "We had to buy new locks."

The next morning, McKenzie found the graffiti. "They knew it wouldn't come off," she says. "This was malicious. They could have left a note. They could have gotten in touch with us about their concerns." But who could be so enraged by using a bike to pitch hipster duds? Another saleswoman suggested something curious, that it was local members of something called "tall-bike culture."

Mutant bikers, went the prevalent speculation, had just been heard. New York's leading tall-bike gangs, Black Label Bicycle Club and C.H.U.N.K. 666, are dedicated to fashioning "mutant" bikes from discarded scraps and spare parts—for love, not money.

Among their ranks are students, professors, artists, political anarchists, and assorted white-collar types. Formed in Minneapolis, Black Label is virulently anti-consumerist; its riders recycle everything from bike parts to vegetables. They pick through dumpsters for communal vegan meals. New members join through a lengthy courting process. The less clandestine C.H.U.N.K. 666, formed in Portland, Oregon, welcomes into its fold all who express a genuine interest in building and riding mutant bikes. C.H.U.N.K. also hosts bike-building workshops for kids.

Neither club is easy to reach. Black Label's one-page website features a dated flyer for an event called "Bike Kill" and a general e-mail address.

The website of an art collective yields the e-mail address of a Black Label rider. A friend of someone in the club passes along the e-mail address and cell phone number of another. Four days pass and no one writes back or calls.

Bike culture talks back.
photo: Brooklyn Industries

A Web search turns up the direct e-mail address for "the Smelter," from C.H.U.N.K. 666's New York chapter. Finally, the Smelter—also known as Kansas—calls from a friend's funeral in Chicago. After mentioning that the club has talked it over, he gives the cell phone number of fellow C.H.U.N.K.ster Marko Bon, who goes by the name of Darko.

Who tagged the Brooklyn Industries windows? "I straight-up don't know," says Darko, sitting in a Spring Street bar. "C.H.U.N.K. is not particularly aggressive in that sort of sense." Between sips from his beer mug and with a perpetual grin, he deconstructed the depiction of all mutant-bike club members as anarchist, anti- establishment renegades.

"I'm definitely part of consumerist economy," says Darko, 30, a chisel-fea tured creative director for the Ralph Lauren website who lives in Manhattan. "I don't think that earning a living is counterintuitive to making a bike."

Darko says the primary objective of C.H.U.N.K., which currently has 20 members, is to take to the streets with people who love building bikes, and to show others they can live in an urban environment as cyclists. C.H.U.N.K's New York chapter typically rides together once every two weeks, in packs of about eight. Darko says kids sitting on the stoops in Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant hoot and holler as they pass. "There's a real energy from people when they see us ride by," he says.

Businesses hoping to cash in on the cachet of mutant bikes could never grasp the kinship of the clubs, Darko insists. "The essence of any bike group is based on the fact that when you're riding these bikes, because they are made haphazardly, they break down. So we're always stopping and helping each other fix the bikes. That's where the camaraderie comes in." The name "C.H.U.N.K." isn't an acronym but instead a reference to the pieces of tubing, machinery chains, aluminum siding, and other scraps riders weld together. The New York chapter has a work space called the Shack, near the clattering J tracks in Bushwick, where some members also live. "When you're riding a bike and somebody says, 'These bikes are great, can I buy one?' The answer has always been, 'No, but you can make one,'" Darko explained. "And if they're interested, they can come to the Shack and we can build one together."

Darko first learned of the tall-bikes flap at Brooklyn Industries stores from a private listserv dedicated to mutant-bike clubs. He said, "My feeling was, why are there tall bikes in the windows? It is so unnatural to build these bikes for any type of profit." He immediately called Brooklyn Industries' Williamsburg office to inquire about the displays.

He spoke with a woman there who put him on hold several times. "I did get the sense from them that there was this, 'Oh my God, what just happened?'" said Darko. "They didn't know what they were getting into."
C.H.U.N.K. 666: You can’t buy a tall bike, but you can build one.
photo: Marko Bon
The New York Police Department declined to comment on the case, but Brooklyn Industries' marketing assistant Allison Grenewetzki explained that employees had noted "growing chatter" about the graffiti online.

Suckapants, a blog run by photographer Tod Seelie of Bushwick, focused on the ethic of tall bikes. "Yeah, I am pretty damn suspicious of this one, especially if the bikes aren't functional," Seelie wrote after the Brooklyn Industries hit. "Then they are just decorations trying to align a commercial establishment with a piece of radical, and currently attractive, subculture."

Seelie, 27, is an avid cyclist who over the years has befriended members of tall-bike clubs through Critical Mass rides and while studying photography at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. For the last three years, he has photographed the Brooklyn chapter of Black Label.

"To use tall bikes in a window display seemed shallow," Seelie tells the Voice. "Tall-bike gangs have a very heavy base of anti-consumerism. They live in warehouses, and all their clothing could fit into a tall duffel bag. A lot of them are dumpster-diving people. The idea is to avoid consumer waste."
Seelie says he initially suspected someone from the bike gangs of vandalizing the windows, but the groups turned out to be as surprised by it as he was.

Michael Green, a film technician, filmmaker, and keeper of the BikeBlog (, also weighed in. Green, 35, who lives in Williamsburg, is a self-described fan of tall bikes who taught himself to build them in 2000 for Critical Mass rides. He says he once built a tall bike for C.H.U.N.K. "I'm not affiliated with any group but I am friends with a lot of people in those groups," Green says of his association with mutant-bike clubs.

When Green theorized on his blog that Black Label may have made the tall bikes used in the Brooklyn Industries displays, James "Stache" Mulry, a member of the New York chapter, quickly fired back.

"Black Label would never commodify bike culture," wrote Stache on BikeBlog. "In every event we have held or participated in, Black Label has encouraged the reuse of discarded goods. We have never sold a custom bicycle, nor will we ever."
IT'S ME...(bikeblog as a bikebug) Thanks Flea Billy
Soon enough, the guy who had made the tall bikes got sick of being a whipping boy for the blogs. Wayne Heller, who works on design, signs, and window displays for the company, now says point-blank, "The bikes were never intended to be sold." Heller explains that the displays were part of a charity initiative the company has forged with Recycle-a-Bicycle, which teaches kids how to make and fix bikes. According to Brooklyn Industries' website, the company gives $2 from each messenger bag it sells to the Brooklyn-based nonprofit.

Sounding like a man on trial, Heller argues that his tall bikes are rideable, even if some lack brakes. "I do not believe they should be considered unfunctional because they lacked a part that could be attached after completion," he says. Heller, a cyclist himself, took the criticism of his workmanship personally. "When we worked on these bikes," he says, "it was not meant to be commodification. It was meant to be homage."

But to the riders, that supposed homage seemed more like yet another attempt to sponge off the bikes' potential for helping to build a cool brand.

In the last few years, tastemakers have begun calling on Black Label and C.H.U.N.K. Rumor has it that Rolling Stone and MTV have asked Black Label members to cooperate for feature stories, only to be declined. Darko says magazines such as GQ, Details, and The New York Observer have contacted C.H.U.N.K., and no wonder. The club's beer-soaked signature shindig, the Chunkathalon, has one event called Flaming Bikes of Deth. It involves draping chicken wire with rolls of kerosene-soaked newspaper, adding firecrackers, then hauling the exploding rig around on a cycle. On a quieter day recently, club riders saddled up and tried to eat a hot dog at every Gray's Papaya—a mission Darko says was foiled by widespread nausea at the 11th location. They're friendly to reporters, but usually say no. "C.H.U.N.K. has no interest in commercializing bike culture," Darko says.

Some members of the mutant-bike community were understandably mystified when the Brooklyn chapter of Black Label, which normally shuns the press, agreed to be appear in B.I.K.E., a documentary directed by Jacob Septimus and Anthony Howard, and produced by Fredric King of Fountainhead Films.

The film, as yet without a distributor, chronicles co-director Howard's desperate attempts to be invited to join the gang, even as he craters into drug and alcohol addiction. B.I.K.E., set to screen at New York's Bicycle Film Festival in May, is less a definitive portrait of Black Label and more a depiction of Howard's quest. The directors give us pageantry-filled shots of Black Label riders at night, decked out in dark cut-off jackets. One member, Mesciya Lake, stares down the camera while also reveling in its gaze. "Black Label is not for the media," she says. Other riders, their faces smeared with greasepaint, engage in tall-bike jousting, a game in which two players wielding well-padded lances try to topple each other from the bikes.

C.H.U.N.K. hosts jousting too. It's fun, Darko says, but not really the point. "For anybody involved in building bikes, the joust is just a very tiny part," he argues. "It's a loud, entertaining crowd-pleaser." He is not impressed by what he sees as the "aggressive posturing" by Black Label at joint events. "That kind of behavior is for little boys. That's the wrong battle to fight," he says, adding, "The real battle is urban planning to get more people on bikes, to take back the streets, to get more bicycle paths in this city."

Around a table at the Fountainhead offices in Chelsea, Septimus and King address the contradictions of Black Label as an elite club that alternately shuns would-be members and the media alike, then lures the indie crowd through the romantic images in B.I.K.E. Septimus admits to submitting to a long, painstaking vetting process to earn the club's trust. "The film reveals contradictions, but what Black Label is ultimately saying about consumerism is, 'Do it a little less, be conscious of it,' " he says.

Septimus agrees to call Conrad, head of the New York chapter, and ask him to give the Voice an interview. He disappears with his cell phone into the next room. Several minutes pass.

When he returns, Septimus says, "They're going to vote on whether to do the interview. Conrad may reach out."

Conrad never does.

Other mutant-bike clubs, however, dispense with any attempt at cloaking themselves in enigma. Skunk, 36, called from Massachusetts to talk about SCUL, or the Subversive Choppers Urban Legion, a gleefully nerdy sci-fi-based club whose members calls their bikes "ships."

"We have a kind of rolling dance party on our bikes," he says, "where we are cheering and high-fiving everyone on the streets of Boston and ringing our bells. We'll stop and dance, eat ice cream, and go skinny-dipping."

It is Megulon Five, a leading figure for the Portland chapter of C.H.U.N.K., who strips bare the essential motivation for joining a club. He's a computer programmer and since 1992, a bike maker. "Last night, a bunch of us rode down to the river and had a few beers." That, he says, "was a little bubble of mutant-bike utopia."

send letters to the editor

Monday, March 20, 2006

another NYC bike blog

For great tips on bike commuting, check out this blog:

blue bird bike

Pictures from 12 Monkey's Alley cat in Philly

It is one thing to make a tall bike. Riding it around is a skill all to itself not to mention just getting on the damn thing. But, to ride a tall bike in an alley cat race is truely impressive.
demon cats out of DC have some great photographs from the 12 monkey's alley cat in Philadelphia.

There will be a ton of races in Philly which will be hosting the North American Cycle Courier Championship September 1st-4th 2006.

Clarence Eckerson gives talk.

Clarence Eckerson of bike tv is giving a talk about community activism. Connecting local leaders with the neighborhood and exposing them to available resources.

Connecting Neighborhood Leaders with Resources
Mon, March 20, 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Learn about resources – including technological tools, planning and
advocacy assistance, videography, and media strategy – that the NYC
Streets Renaissance provides to neighborhood activists working to
improve their streets and traffic.

The Urban Center
457 Madison Avenue
New York, NY
Admission is free
RSVP to or call 212.935.2075

the Gotham Gazette suggests times up

Looking for a place for good local news coverage? Check out the Gotham Gazette online...they also link to Times Up on their Environmental Alternatives section:

gotham gazette suggests

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Bike Blog makes NY Times

The NY Times followed up with a story about the property destruction that happened at brooklyn industires. I feel a little weird about being quoted but more exposure for bike blog...yeah. I believe the article came out in the Saturday edition of the City Section.

Photo by Andrea Mohin/the New York Times
When Brooklyn Industires put bikes like this in its windows, bikers cried foul.

NY Times Article
Hip Store in the Hot Seat
by Kerrie Mitchell
Published: March 19, 2006

The weather is warming, and that means it's time to take the bikes out of storage. Except for Brooklyn Industries, that is, which might have been better off keeping its bikes tucked away. It was because of these bikes that Brooklyn Industries, the eclectic hipster clothing boutique, found itself the target of a coordinated graffiti attack early on Feb. 23, when someone etched in acid on the front windows of four of the company's stores, three in Brooklyn and one in SoHo. The scrawled messages — variations on "Bike Culture Not 4 Sale" — were apparently a response to displays in the store's windows that featured gargantuan custom bicycles known as tall bikes, made from discarded frames and other parts. The company intended that the display highlight its plan to donate money from sales of messenger bags to Recycle-a-Bicycle, a Brooklyn charity that runs bike workshops for children.

After the vandalism, Brooklyn Industries removed the displays and posted an almost apologetic message in the windows trying to explain the store's intent.

No one has admitted to the vandalism, which set off intense debate on bike blogs over what is often called the commodification of bicycle culture in general, and of the fiercely protective tall-bike world in particular.

Wayne Heller, a store designer for Brooklyn Industries who helped build the eight display bikes, says that all were made from old parts, most of which came from a bike store scrap yard and a lot on Myrtle Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

"A lot of people thought that they were purely decorative," Mr. Heller said, referring to some of the online chatter. "I spent so much time making sure these things were rideable and functional. We made it a do-it-yourself project, which is a lot of the ethic of bike culture in the first place."
Michael Green, who runs Bikeblog on blogspot, for New York bike enthusiasts, fielded online comments about the incident. He admits to having had mixed feelings when he first saw the display.

Michael Green who runs bikeblog on blogspot, for New York bike enthusiats, fielded on online comments about the incident. He admits to having had mixed feelings when he first saw the display.
"I've made a tall bike," he said. "I wrestle with what can be commodified, and when it's something so close to home, it freaks you out." Still, he said of the vandalism, "I was really appalled, because it was a big black mark on the bike community."

All the windows have since been replaced at an estimated cost of $14,000. And Lexy Funk, the Brooklyn Industries president and co-owner, says the store has no intention of installing bikes in window displays any time soon.

"Displays are really not about profit," Ms. Funk said. "They're more about sparking a dialogue, which is really what we ended up doing. But it was the wrong type of dialogue."

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

March Massness!

Well now, its time to ride. The weather is getting nice...which is weird, and the courts are on our side. So, NYC critical Mass
Friday, March 31st. Union Square 7:00pm. Same as it every was! What do people think about the upcoming ride? Post your comments.

Monday, March 13, 2006

New Bicycle Blog Hub

cycle better is a new hub for bike is what it says on their home page...

Welcome To CycleBetter.Com

CycleBetter is a new community of bike-only blogs. We're trying to make the online cycling community better by providing access to good bike blogs in one place. Subscribe to one of our feeds and get a bunch of great cycling content from multiple blogs...

Friday, March 10, 2006

Messenger and Frame Builder wins for best track bike

How much do you love bikes? Enough to make them yourself? Jon Kendziera of Madison Wisconson just won best track bike at the 2nd annual Hand Made bicycle show March 3-5th in San Jose, Ca. Nice Job and a nice bike. Jon gets high praise for his frame building and messengering. Check him out.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Another video from Monster Track 2006

Check out the skids competition...

AM NY has article on Critical Mass.

Here is the cover of Today's AM NewYork

It isn't out yet, but soon it will be available for all for free on newstands. It is already online at the time of this posting (1:30am) AM NY is owned by Tribune CO, who also publishes the Long Island paper newsday. It is made up of associated press articles and employes local reporters on many pressing NYC topics like our favorite bike ride which has become so popular.
Here is the article

Critical Mass rides gearing up
By Justin Rocket Silverman
amNewYork Staff Writer

March 9, 2006

The city may be fighting a losing battle against the Critical Mass bike rides.

As warmer weather promises to bring even larger crowds to the rides, observers wonder whether the recent court setbacks will affect police enforcement.
Last month, a state judge refused to grant the city a preliminary injunction to ban people from joining the ride. In January, another judge ruled that riders could not be arrested for "parading without a permit," one of the most common charges.

"The hope is that given the various legal decisions and all the attention being paid to police over-enforcing the laws on bike rides, that there will a de-escalation this summer," said Matthew Roth, a volunteer with bicycle-advocacy group Times-Up! "We would like to see it go back to what it was pre-2004, when there was a much more amicable dynamic between police and bike riders."

The NYPD's top spokesman, Paul Browne said the department's position remains unchanged despite the legal setbacks.

"If participants obey the law they will not face arrest or summonses," he said via e-mail. "If they break the law, they do face arrest or summonses."

Critical Mass is billed as a spontaneous gathering of bicycles on the last Friday of every month in Union Square. From there, the bikers take over all lanes of traffic, blocking intersections along a route that has not been pre-determined. The ride was conducted peacefully for almost a decade, until a record number of riders turned out in the summer of 2004 -- when the GOP convention came to town -- and police began making mass arrests that continue to this day.

In late December, city lawyers settled for $140,500 with three cyclists who had their parked and locked bicycles removed by police during a Critical Mass ride two years ago.

"The city's lawyers were defiantly trying to make this about Critical Mass," said Rebecca Bray, one of five plaintiffs in that case. "Our argument was, no, we're just citizens and you just took our bikes without any proof that we had done anything wrong."
Amateur video shows uniformed officers walking up to Bray's bicycle, which was chained and locked to a parking meter. The officers used a circular saw to cut the chain, sending a shower of sparks over the sidewalk.

Bray's case hinged on the fact that she was not given any notice before or after her bicycle was taken.

"All these people admitted to riding in Critical Mass that night," said Deborah Berkman, one of Bray's lawyers.

"The government is not supposed to take your stuff without giving you an opportunity to be heard and make a defense."

The judge agreed with three of the plaintiffs that they had been denied their rights to due process because they weren't notified that police had taken their bikes, Berkman said.

The two other plaintiffs will not receive money because they were told by police at the scene that their bikes were being taken.

City lawyers maintained that the police did not violate any of the defendants' rights.

"While we don't believe that any of the plaintiffs' due process rights were violated," said Sheryl Neufeld, senior counsel with the city's Administrative Law Department, "we made a strategic decision, as parties to litigation often do, to settle this matter for minimal damages since the cost of further litigation would have been substantially greater."

During last month's ride, the first after the judge denied the preliminary injunction, only three arrests were made.

Most rides in the last year prompted dozens of arrests, and the city is still seeking an injunction against future rides.

Police say they would like to work with riders by deciding on a prearranged route that would not interfere with the movement of ambulances and other emergency vehicles.

"The Critical Mass riders are very resilient," Berkman said. "This is a hard group to keep down."

AM NY also posted the video by the glass bead collective who travel the world doing live video feeds, making investigative documentaries and capturing important events.
"">This videoshows the police cutting the bikes that lead to the settlement.

Time's Up has been working on the issue of bike theft by the NYPD for years now. The environmental group has been dedicated to documenting these offenses and it seems odd that if a court settlement happened in December, we are just hearing about it now in early March from a local newspaper.

also AM NY is running an opinion poll if you would like to comment on the situation...some of the responses are hilarious. Of course they frame it in a very two dimensional way...the people vs the cops, which side are you on. Please post your comments.
am ny bike rant

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Smolka picks on a femal legal observer but never drops his coffe.

Oh Bruce Smolka, you are such a tough guy. Bruising a 27 year old woman in Times Square. You realize the green hats these people are wearing identifies them as L-E-G-A-L observers, right? Are you that stupid or do you just don't give a fuck. My you are sloppy. Your demonizing the bike riders has failed. You can't possibly believe you are so above the law that you can smack people around on local television, the kind of news that people actually watch and make it look like the bikers are creating all the trouble. Do yourself a favor, go on vaction for about 6 months, let some hair grow in...then come back and find some real crime like drug dealers or prostitution rings.

For those who have no idea what I am talking about check the link to a news story about the Feb. Critical mass...

wcbs news story and video

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

NYC critical Mass gets noticed

Wow, our velorution is so popular and must directly effect the global economy that we made it into the Economist...

economist article

From the Cities Guide...New York-News this Month

Pedal Power
In a long-running battle between the city and a group of committed cyclists, Michael Stallman, a state supreme court judge, ruled in favour of the latter. Critical Mass, a protest collective, gathers on the last Friday of every month to cycle in Manhattan in support of cyclists’ rights, among other political issues. During the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York, police arrested over 260 participants in a Critical Mass gathering for parading without a permit and “disorderly conduct”. Traffic officials argue that the cyclists have little respect for traffic laws and road safety, and have regularly arrested participants. But Judge Stallman rejected the city's lawsuit to halt the gatherings, ruling that the group did not meet the city's definition of “a parade or procession” and so they do not need a permit. He argued that criminalising the ride could flood the courts with petulant cyclists, and urged the two sides to reconcile. The city plans to appeal the decision.

New video

Here is a quick video of Andy Zalan from DC, winning the backwards circle contest at King Kog's monster track event.

More Pictures from Monster Track 2006 on Flickr

Here are more photo galleries from

mr red's pictures
Sacco's photos
turd's photos

Monday, March 06, 2006

Monster Track Weekend was Dope!

Thanks to all who organized NYC best fixed gear only race and to King Kog for putting on an amazing event on Sunday. My pix are up at: pictures 1
Other pictures from Amy Bolger
Videos from animal: video 1video 2

Full race results

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Monster Track, The Race

Monster Track...the one and only fixed gear mayhem alley cat had it's main race through the streets of Manhattan and ended up in Willy B. Brookyln. There were about 200 riders who started the race at Marcus Garvey Park, Harlem (124th). The race details were not posted online accept for a few hints on bike forums, otherwise the participants had to have gone to Capone's bar the night before or connect with someone in the know, adding to the challenge of this seven year old race. People came from all over the world, Japan, Australia, Berlin, Philly, DC, just to name a few. This race sets the tone for the year and establishes the street cred of the fastest male and female in the urban street racing season. The start to the first checkpoint at 23rd and Broadway was a 100 block sprint with most riders sticking together and bombing 5th Ave all the way from 110th. Along the way there were a few spills including the man with the helmet cam, Lucus Brunelle crashing around the 60's, due to wind. Alfred Bobo Jr, co-captian of NYC's team puma, who won the event last year was first into the check point with close rivals directly behind. The main pack came in a few minutes latter mobbing the checkpoint people. After most of the riders came through the NYPD saw a bunch of bikes and assumed something bad was going on. Two officers got out of their squad car at the flatiron building, the most photographed site in the world and demanded to know what was going on. Finding no real illegalities they began to make shit up..."ah, your blocking traffic, ah, do you have a film permit? Ok, everyone has to leave." Trying not to laugh to hard at the pigs fumbling for excuses to stop something they knew nothing about we polietly disbursed as the riders raced on to the other Manhattan checkpoints. There were two stops in Brooklyn, one at the new King Kog, bike shop and the finish at the Rock star bar. One cat, slipped on a banana peel at king kog and was taken to the hospital. Everyone gathered at Rock star bar for gold sprints, beer, an art show and to hear the race results.

Race results...

1st Male Rider: Alfred Bobo Jr, Team Puma
2nd Male Rider Andy White, from Sydney Australia
3rd Male Rider Felipe Robayo from team Puma (who won monster track in 2004)

3rd Place Female: Dagger

1st Out of Town Female Meridith, DC
1st Out of Town Male: Fergus

Best Crash The Polish Hammer, (Got T-boned and hit a windshield, was wearing a helmet)

The race organizers said something about next year Monster track is going to be in Mexico city, we shall see.

Bike TV in SanFrancisco

Clarence Eckerson comes to you from San Francisco with the head of the SF bicycle coalition and the Tour de California.

biketv SF

Monster Track 7 group ride video

Ok, I'm excited. This is my first video published on the web using you tube.

I am also excited about the immediacy in which this was posted. This event happened last night at 7:50pm. We all took the Williamsburg Bridge, not the bike path, dammit!

I appologize, cause the quality is kind of crappy, but I am just starting to experiment with compression. That was only a 12mb clip. I shot it on a dvx100a with a wide angle, while riding a bike, dammit! Then imported it into imovie HD. Normally I use Final Cut, but this was easy and I was able to do it on a Ibook G4. I compressed it using the CD-rom settings and posted it. The whole process took like an hour. If other people have winning formulas for doing this please let me know, such as best compression rate and such. I recently bought a helmet cam, so I hope to be able to shoot events like Critical Mass, edit the footage right after and throw it up on the web. I mean, isn't that what it's all about!

Filmed by Bike asks for submission

A Film Festival in Portland Oregon is seeking submission of movies made about bikes, on bikes for bikers. Doesn't matter if you've never made a movie before, this is a grassroots festival open to all. filmed by bike

Films or videos should be no longer than 8 minutes.
The deadline for submissions is March 15th, 2006.

The festival will be held April 14th, 2006 at the Clinton Theater
April 14th, 2006
7:00 + 9:00 pm screenings (same program)
Clinton St. Theater
Beer for sale, All ages welcome for entry
$5-10 sliding scale entry fee
$10 gets you two tickets for the raffle of great prizes including bike swag and restaurant gift certificates.
Proceeds from Filmed by Bike will fund the Multnomah County Bike Fair, a one day carnival of bicycle mayhem and music.

Monster Track 7 on target...

waiting for the group ride...brrrrrrrr.
We gathered at Delancey and Essex in front of the pizza shop for the group ride. This was the kick-off event to a three day weekend of Alley cat madness otherwise known as monster track 7. Messengers and urban street racing enthusiasts rubbed hands to stay warm as the ride was set to leave lower Manhattan and head over to Brooklyn via the Williamsburg bridge. The bikes took the car path in a celebration ride to kick off NYC's most competitive alley cat race.

We all rode over to Capone's bar on North 9th Street, which has always been friendly to the messenger community. They have a nice space with 2 levels, a great sound system and of course free pizza with beer purchases. Upstairs, riders could pre-register, get a map, spoke card and t-shirt. There were over 75 people signed up last night which is a solid indication that this may very well be the most attended race to date. Last year was about 140 riders and many more people will register today, at the start of the race. Lots of people come from out of town and I talked with Marcus who was from Berlin.
Last night was a chance for people to look over the map, find all the checkpoints and prepare their strategy for completing the course. No details about the ride are on-line yet, so I won't be blabbing any hints either. Monster Track 7 begins this afternoon, if you have the balls. More photos from last night are available on my flickr, pictures of last night

Friday, March 03, 2006

New Messenger Forum and Screening, plus more news...

The International Federation of Bike Messenger Associations (IFBMA) launched a new forum for messengers to talk about the job, alley cat racing, world and national championship organizing or those assholes that open car doors without looking and put working messengers in the hospital.
Start chatting at: forum

On the first Friday of every month, Trish Dalton hosts a movie night at the Park Slope Food Co-op. The screenings are free and open to all people, not just co-op members.
food coop's website

Tonight, March 3rd, 2006 the theme of this 1 hour program is BIKES.

Here is the info and line up of what is showing:

First Friday Film Night at the Park Slope Food Coop
Date: Friday, March 3rd, 2006
Time: 7pm
Location: 782 Union St. ( 718-622-0560 )
Cost: FREE
Documentaries About Bikes!

-Bike Kill 2005. by Nick Golebiewski.
Nick does amazing stuff with Super 8 and he captured last years Bike Kill, a mutant bicycle fiesta hosted by Brooklyn's own Black Label Bicycle Club. Home to great events like, "ride-over-a-pile-of-soiled-mattresses¬," 6 pack attack and the infamous, TallBike Joust. (5 minutes)

-Howard NoSells Extreme world of track 5, by Jesse Epstein, Michael Green and Lucus Brunelle
Al Gore never gave up, he took his election failures and started a cable television network designed to let people put whatever they want out there for the world to see, called Current TV. The Howard NoSell underground sports crew took this opportunity to cover NYC's premiere alley cat race know as Monster Track, which is for fixed gears only. Messengers from around the world dodge traffic on bikes with no hand brakes to see who is the fastest on two wheels. This piece aired on the network. (5 minutes)

-CMWC 05, Wrap-up Video. Bike TV’s cable access show on the 2005 Cycle Messenger World Championships, in Jersey City.
2 selections from a half hour show. (10 minutes)

-Death Race 2005, by Michael Green. yes it's another alley cat race based on a movie, this time it's David Caradine and Sly Stalone's cult classic Death Race. King Kog, a new track bike store in Brooklyn hosted this event which was a three borough race for cyclists who had to survive the pitfalls of traffic and not end up like the title suggest. (7 minutes)

-Warriors, the Bike Race, by Jesse Epstein, Michael Green and Christopher Ryan. You had a gang of 7-9 of your friends, you had to get to Coney Island by sunrise, you had to compete in physical challenges and answer trivia questions. This may be the greatest bike event in history, a alley cat style race based on the NYC cult classic the warriors. See how the over 800 riders made out battling other gangs and trying to survive...can you dig it? (30 minutes)

I was sent this link to a page for the daily heights news and discussions from the Prospect Heights region of Brooklyn.
the page
Jodi Miller explains how one might beat a traffic violation
February 16, 2006
Biking on the Sidewalk: Beating the Rap
Originally uploaded by Dope on the Slope.
We spoke with jodi miller who posted the following story on a Brooklyn bike list:

"I received a summons in December for riding my bicycle on the wide sidewalk of Flatbush Avenue for one block to get to a store so I wouldn't have to deal with the crazy traffic that runs onto Flatbush off of Grand Army Plaza. The summons was for violation of NYC Administrative Code 19-176(b) ..."

"In case you ever receive a similar summons, I looked up the Administrative Code provision and it says: A person who violates this subdivision may be issued a notice of violation and shall be liable of not more than one hundred dollars which may be recovered in a proceeding before the environmental control board."

"I went into Criminal Court ... and argued to the Judicial Hearing Officer that the court did not have jurisdiction over the case because the penalty could only be recovered in a proceeding before the ECB. The judge agreed and dismissed the case."

"If the NYPD is going to use public resources to issue these citations, they should at least follow the city's laws in doing so. However, I am not going to be the one to tell them that they are doing it wrong."
Jefferson Siegel reports on the last critical mass from the the villager Lower manhattan's vigilant newspaper on local affairs
link to article

Villager photo by Jefferson Siegel

Jefferson Siegel reports on the last critical mass from the Lower manhattan's vigilant newspaper on local affairs

Villager photo by Jefferson Siegel

At Broadway and Bleecker St. police stopped two cyclists and gave them tickets for running a red light. Village resident Arielle Assouline-Lichten (center, dressed in black with white bag) is show having her summons explained to her by a motor-scooter officer before being allowed to continue on the ride. On the left, is a friend who pedaled over but was not ticketed. For a first offense, the ticket carries a fine of $150 plus a $50 “surcharge” for a total fine of $200.

Police may be backpedaling from crackdown on cyclists

By Jefferson Siegel

Activists distributing fliers to police. Officers ticketing cyclists and allowing them to ride away. The monthly Critical Mass ride is evolving again and tensions between riders and police may even be easing a bit.

Two weeks after a state court denied the city an injunction seeking to halt the ride, several hundred cyclists gathered in Union Square under noticeably different circumstances than in the recent past. A heavy police presence was absent from the plaza, but a block away, six police vans sat waiting out of sight. A lone unmarked S.U.V. sat on the edge of the growing crowd of cyclists as a police helicopter circled overhead but did not sweep its spotlight on the plaza below.

In past months, police had distributed fliers warning riders of the possibility of arrests and bike confiscation. Last Friday, David Rankin and Mark Taylor of Freewheels, the bicycle defense fund, offered their own flier to police, summarizing the recent court ruling. Opening with a reference to the injuries suffered during last month’s Critical Mass ride by two motor-scooter police who collided, Freewheels said, “We regret these injuries occurred.”

“Riders who are caught have been charged with violations, not crimes,” the Freewheels flier continued. “We believe that you should be free to simply accompany the ride, join the fun and be able to ‘keep an eye on things’ without needing to resort to mass arrests,” the flier added, referring to years past when police would facilitate the ride.

Another positive sign was the presence of a child in an event that used to see families participate before fear of arrests led many to skip the monthly ride. A Lower East Side resident who gave her name as Lizann came with her 5-year-old daughter Siu Loong sitting securely on the back of her bike. “The weather seemed nice all week and she got really excited, so I said we could go this week,” Lizann said.

The ride started cautiously after 7:30 p.m. with first a few and finally hundreds of riders pedaling south on Broadway, followed by police vans, motor scooters and the helicopter.

The Mass got as far as Bleecker St. before the first stops of the night. Two cyclists were pulled over on Broadway and issued tickets for running a red light. One of them was Village resident Arielle Assouline-Lichten has participated in Critical Mass for several years. “I’ve never been stopped [before],” she said. After a motor-scooter officer explained why Assouline-Lichten was ticketed, police left and she was allowed to proceed. Asked if being fined would dissuade her from future rides, she firmly replied, “Definitely not.”

The ride continued south to Canal St. and turned west. At Hudson and Leroy Sts. a cyclist was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. There would be three cyclists arrested during the night. All were brought to the First Police Precinct in Tribeca, given desk-appearance tickets and promptly released. A total of 23 class ‘B’ summonses were issued throughout the night, the majority for riding through a red light. The violation carries a first-offender fine of $200, leading some riders to speculate that financial penalties, rather than arrests, may signal a change in tactics for future rides.

Paul Browne, the Police Department’s top spokesperson, denied any variation from past procedures.

“There was no underlying change of strategy for the recent Critical Mass ride. The police responded to what presented itself,” he said.

Luke Son rode again last Friday. Son, an emergency medical technician who came to the aid of the injured motor-scooter officers during January’s ride, said he never heard from the city after his efforts in aiding the fallen officers. “I would have stopped for anyone. It just happened to be two police officers,” Son said.

Unfortunately, police did reach out to him Friday night, but for a different reason.

“I was struck by a large bolt of irony,” Son said upon arriving at the Time’s Up! space on E. Houston St. for the ride’s after-party. He described a scene of 50 riders pedaling up Eighth Ave., followed by two police vans and three unmarked S.U.V.’s. Son said police drove through the middle of the group and formed a blockade at 30th St. “They grabbed me off the back of my bike,” he said, adding he was given a summons for failing to stop at a red light. Son denied running the light.

One of the more dramatic moments of the night occurred in Times Square. In a video of the incident that was screened for the press at Time’s Up! late Friday, legal observers Adrienne Wheeler and Ethan Wolf are shown riding north on Broadway. As the pair approach 43rd St., Assistant Chief of Police Bruce Smolka, the commanding officer of Manhattan South, is seen walking out of the police substation located at the triangle where Broadway and Seventh Ave. intersect. A coffee cup in one hand, Smolka starts crossing Broadway as the two observers ride by, their phosphorescent-green National Lawyers Guild legal observer hats clearly visible.

The tape catches the squeal of Wolf’s brakes as the pair stops on 43rd St. The camera pans down and a moment later, Smolka is seen holding onto the bicycle chain wrapped around Wheeler’s waist after she has fallen against Wolf who, in turn, fell against another police officer in plainclothes. In the video, no badges are visible and no identification is heard. The confusion of several voices saying “hey” and “ease up” are audible. As the camera centers on Smolka, he says to Wheeler, “Stand up, you were going the wrong way. Come over here, come over here.”

“I didn’t know who was behind me,” a visibly shaken Wheeler recalled, “but I just felt someone on me. I fell face down and I was still being held by my chain.” It wasn’t until she turned around that she recognized Smolka. “He never identified himself,” she added.

Wolf is troubled by the circumstances of the collar. “There was no prior indication that I was doing anything illegal, there was no prior indication that he was a police officer,” he said.

Wheeler and Wolf were given tickets for riding the wrong way on a one-way street and allowed to leave with their bikes.

Asked about the summons blitz and relative lack of arrests, Police spokesperson

Browne said, “When participants adhere to traffic regulations there’s neither arrests nor summonses.”
You gotta hand it to Smolka, he always picks on girls and he never droped his coffee cup. Hopefully this video will be up soon.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

New Link added...Zoobomb.

Brandy, that highly skilled mutant bike rider from Portland wanted to make sure I added zoobomb to my list of links to bike gangs. Check them out and also see Not sure what the difference is in websites.

Zoobomb are a gang in Portland Oregon, that state with lots of Anarchists, cyrstal meth addicts, the highest unemployment and the greatest US city to ride a bike (in my opinion)

this is what there homepage says:
ZooBomb is a weekly bike event that meets every Sunday around 8:30PM across from Rocco's Pizza (949 SW Oak) in Portland OR. Bring a bike if you have one, MAX fare, bike lights, and any saftey gear you want to wear. You are welcome to bring snacks and drinks but you must clean up everything you bring with you. Its a good time and you WILL have fun!

Ok, just to be more accurate with this blog...the State of Oregon does not have the highest umemployment rate...Thanks to Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi is number one at 9.9 percent. Oregon is actually 5.9 percent and makes them 9th on the State by State list according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (yes I looked it up) But Oregon is probably the best state to be umemployed in, as long as you have a bike.

It was much harder to find out who has the highest precentage of crystal meth addicts or anarchists. I did see a recent frontline episode which talked about meth and pointed to Portland as having a high precentage of arrests and convictions of meth addicts.

Anrachists? well, we're everywhere and on bikes!!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Pictures from Shock Trauma in Baltimore

Pictures from Baltimore's own alley cat race, "shock trauma" February 18th, 2006


Artwork by Greg Ugalde

In 2006, despite cold weather and slick streets, alley cat races have already happened in cities like, Baltimore, DC and Boston...but in my opinion...this is the Kickoff of the Urban Street race season as it has been for 6 years in a row, right here in NYC. Monster Track 7
March 3rd-5th Weekend 2006.
Monster Track website

Events Schedule:

Friday March 3rd-
Group Ride leaves from Manhattan at 7:45pm Pizza Shop at Delancy & Essex and goes to:
The Rock Star Bar--South 5th and Kent, Williamsburg Brooklyn
Front of the Rock Star Bar, CMWC 05, last summer.

Flyer for Friday.
rockstar bar info

I believe this flyer is wrong and the Gold Sprints are at Rock Star Bar. Capones is out. But you'll just have to come to the group ride to find out.

Saturday March 4th-Day of the Race
After Party back at the Rockstar bar with Art Show.

Sunday March 5th-After events presented by

Boston Alley Cat...Feb. 25th.

Boston hosted Schlitzandgiggles Alley cat race, naked trackstands, indoor footdown and gold sprints. What more could you want.

Pictures from flickr tag the word alleycat.
Riders gather in the snow.

More pictures at:
rushin revolution

NYC was there to represent and Squid has a story about the event...

February 25, 2006

It was cold windy and snowing. Not the fluffy cute snow but the wet and sloppy snow. More than ninety cycle couriers and city bikers from up and down the east coast braved the weather and registered for what turned out to be one hell of a great event.

Call me crazy but I love riding my bike in the snow! Few things sound better to me than getting to haul ass round Boston on a winter day.

The ride was organized by Jill and Lauren and they did a great job! It was a timed scavenger hunt with mandatory and bonus stops. You could gain extra points by buying Schlitz, hell yeah.

With more than forty bonus stops and so many riders, people worked together and traded answers. I don’t consider it cheating, we were helping each other and having a blast.

Jill is the #1 painter at Independent Fabrications and they donated their factory space for a checkpoint and the party.

My favorite checkpoints were doing a no hands shot of whiskey, getting your picture taken with a professional photographer, and drinking a bunch of Schlitz at the other side café.

Special shout out to Nate, Craig, Pete, and Howie. These Bostonians rode like demons and planned our route. At some points we were riding in packs of thirty people, and at other times I was with Nate and Chris from NY.

We rode hard and saw a lot of Boston. We also chilled and eventually collected every piece of information on the manifest. I even got all the possible bonus points by getting a receipt for fifteen shlitz and I carried four forties to the finish.

Mike Dee, Hodari and Chris Kim complimented the party with a flawless Goldsprint competition. There was naked track stand and the craziest footdown ever. It was buy back in for a dollar, raising money for the Bike Messenger Emergency Fund.

The prize for footdown was an IF track frame! That kept the competition level high. In the end it came down to a spectacular wipeout involving Howie and Sassy James. Boston held it down in their hometown and Ben Frank won the frame.

Howie won the overall race and Lola took it for the ladies. I took first out of town (!). I got loaded up with prizes including a killer floor pump and an awesome medal.

I love Boston and this race makes ten years of alleycats for me in Bean Town.

Props to Lauren and Jill for raising $1100 for the Bike Messenger Emergency Fund!

Ride Safe-

Race results posted at nybma