Saturday, July 29, 2006

Once again

I had to work late and missed another NYC critical mass. I really have no idea how it went down in this politically charged climate of "parade rule" definition. I heard the cops were up to there old tricks and ticketing like wild.

Without being there and having a report I decided to just do a round up on Flickr

Here is critical mass in a whole bunch of other cities...starting with our own.

New York City: (thong for the cops)
Seth Holladay

NYC scooter mass

also in NYC
patient zero pix
If your going to get a might as well be in your tighty whiteys

Boston Critical Mass (Big Wheel Bike)
Jen Stewart

Chicago Critical Mass-Four person bike
Pete Sorsa's pictures

Gettin soaked

also from Chicago Tall Bike
Josi Hannon Madera

Happy bikers-not afraid of getting tickets.

And in the UK...
Marcus Boal pictures



nice bike-London Critical Mass

and to our neighbors up North




and Sam Bot in Winnipeg wrote this little update about their ride:


"Critical mass in Winnipeg is pretty huge actually. There has been a lot of press due to the size of our city and the amount of police brutality that stemmed from it. Some of the worst of it can be found here:

Since then though, the city and the police have been very coopertive with the whole Critical Mass movement that has been going on. The photo(s) that I have of seen of Portage & Main street are actually of the busiest intersection of the city. It's very liberating walking through the busiest intestion of the city carrying your bike trying to make people aware that bycyles are a part of the traffic as well. I have to put up with people at my work giving me a hard time about biking. I don't understand their views at all. Is it the exercise or the good for the environment part that they don't like? Maybe it's the fact that they have to wait an extra 10 minutes in their cars while we show them how significant bicyclists are on the road. Maybe they have no problem that people are getting killed in Iraq so that they can drive their cars? Maybe they don't think enough about the world that they live in, but I try and make them aware even though they have deaf ears.

Anyways, it's good that the movement is getting stronger across North America, and don't let up...the more that they put you down, the more it will be publicized and more people will join...after the police brutality in Winnipeg happened it was all over the news. The following month we had 300 bikers on the street last month showing everyone that bikers are a part of the population as well. Personally, I believe in self-sustainability, but that's just my view.

Anyways, thanks for letting me know that the movement is going strong in NYC and take care,


Friday, July 28, 2006

Press release and photo

Picture of a woman injured on May critical mass in NYC. Eye witnesses say she was purposely doored by NYPD in the bike lane which resulted in hospitalization with a broken colar bone.



NYPD threatens public safety with its aggressive and reckless behavior

Friday, July 28, 2006 at 7:00PM
Participants meet at Union Square Park North

Friday, July 28, 2006 at 9:30 PM
TIME'S UP! Space, 49 East Houston Street (between Mott & Mulberry)
(high resolution pictures and video footage will be available following the ride)

New York, NY (July 27, 2006) -- – Time's Up!, the non-profit, all-volunteer, environmental group that is being sued by New York City for advertising the Critical Mass bike ride, denounced the new parade permit regulations proposed by the NYPD. The rule change, which requires permission from the NYPD whenever 20 or more law-abiding cyclists ride together, is a retaliatory response by the NYPD to the decision of two judges in two separate cases. The judges refused to halt the ride, stating that Critical Mass is not a parade and does not require a permit.

Despite paying lip service to public safety as a reason for the rule change, the NYPD continues to create unsafe conditions for Critical Mass cyclists. Police officers have been documented cutting off, "dooring," and pushing down law-abiding cyclists, merely to give tickets for moving violations. On the May Critical Mass ride, a cyclist was rushed to the hospital with a broken collarbone after she was doored by a police officer while riding in the bike lane.

Cyclists encourage the NYPD to discontinue its show of force and harassment through these overbroad and unenforceable new rules and hope instead to see a new atmosphere of cooperation on the part of the NYPD.


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.

Villager Article on new rules

Jefferson Siegel writes article on new rules in the Villager

Cyclists say new rules ride roughshod on liberties

By Jefferson Siegel

In a move that caught political activists and cycling groups by surprise, the Police Department last week announced a proposed "clarification" of rules governing a host of events, from public gatherings to political protests to the monthly Critical Mass bike rides.

The proposal, which the public can comment on at an Aug. 23 hearing at Police Headquarters, immediately drew criticism from the legal, political and activist communities.

The proposal would require a permit for groups of 35 or more that gather for walks or demonstrations. In addition, groups of 20 or more cyclists riding together would also be required to get a permit. Any group of two or more that gathers for a protest or march that could disrupt traffic would need a parade permit.

Civil libertarians and politicians were quick to criticize the proposal.

"You need a permit because we have to give you permission to break the law," said civil rights attorney Norman Siegel at a press conference, mocking the mentality of the new permit initiative. Siegel was joined by City Councilmember Alan Gerson and other activists last Thursday at the E. Houston St. headquarters of Time's Up, the 20-year-old East Village environmental advocacy group.

"Very simply, this is a big deal," Siegel warned. The proposal, he said, would hinder First Amendment expressive activity. "These proposals radically change the rules for protest. The result will be less dissent, less protesting, less criticism."

"Small groups of New Yorkers, as small as two people," Siegel noted, "riding their bikes together, would now be required to get a permit." This, Siegel noted, means a family out for a bike ride would be considered lawbreakers and subject to arrest.

Siegel and others believe the proposal is a direct outgrowth of recent rulings in state and federal courts favorable to the monthly Critical Mass bike rides. Those rulings rejected the city's argument that the Critical Mass rides need a permit. Siegel also questioned the Police Department's authority to promulgate such rules. Referring to State Supreme Court Justice Michael Stallman's February ruling, which denied the city's claim that the rides need a permit, Siegel pointed to the word "statutes" in the ruling.

"What the judge was suggesting," Siegel contended, "was that the city of New York change the law. The word 'statue' means the law. It doesn't mean a rule or a regulation."

Councilmember Gerson was no less incensed.

"The right to protest is what characterizes our country as a free society. The right to freely protest goes to the very core of our individual and collective liberty," he said. Gerson agreed that any permit proposal should only result from legislative action and public hearings at the City Council, not at 1 Police Plaza.

"It is wrong...for any agency of the executive branch to attempt to change regulations regarding protests," he said.

Gerson said he would insist the Council fulfill its prerogative to review the proposal.

"Permit requirements for assembly and gatherings should be the exception and not the rule. Let us remember that part of the right to protest is the right to spontaneously protest," he declared.

Several speakers cautioned that gatherings as disparate as class trips, funeral processions and even picnics would be subject to regulation under the proposal.

Noting that permits incur fees, Bill DiPaola, founder of Time's Up, offered another argument against the proposal.

"We don't believe you should have to pay to use public space. Public space should be for the people; the poorest people or the richest people," he said.

DiPaola is one of four defendants being sued by the city for gathering a group of more than 20 for Critical Mass rides without a permit. In 2004, U.S. District Court Judge William Pauley denied the city's request for an injunction against the rides. Last February, Justice Stallman also ruled against the city. An appeal is pending.

DiPaola and cycling advocate Charles Komanoff both said the number of people riding bikes in the city has been increasing, which means safety in numbers. Komanoff considers the city's latest proposal "lethal."

"By discouraging and even criminalizing cycling, the proposed N.Y.P.D. policy will kill cyclists as surely as speeding S.U.V.'s and tow trucks kill cyclists," he said. Komanoff displayed a chart showing that more cyclists on city streets resulted in a lower number being hit by cars.

June, in particular, was a deadly month for cyclists. Three were killed in accidents, including a physician hit by a city tow truck while riding along the Hudson River bike path and a Brooklyn filmmaker who was killed on E. Houston St. after slipping on a street construction plate and falling under a moving truck.

Many at the press conference called for a protest bike ride to the Aug. 23 hearing at 6 p.m. and encouraged a large turnout of speakers.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Cops on the bridges.

Law enforcement is being stepped up towards cyclists as we approach critical mass tomorrow. Today I observed a bike cop at the Manhattan base of the Williamsburg Bridge around 5:00pm. I've been riding this bridge for 10 years, back when there were decaying metal grates barely holding the bike path together. You couldn't dream of getting a cop to be stationed anywhere around to help with a mugger. I haven't seen cops around since the last couple years and never when people are knocked off their bikes and robbed. Now, suddenly there are cops around, and what are they doing? Stopping cyclists and telling them their speed is being monitored or checking for bike lights or better yet, lying to them that they need a helmet.

A loyal bike blog reader ran into a scooter cop on the Manhattan bridge and stopped to chat with him. He said he was from the 84th precinct in Brooklyn and that there was going to be a detail of cops on all the bridges from now on. After talking with him for a while, in a cordial manner, it was discovered that this new assignment was basically for cyclists. The police officer also mentioned that cops from the 84th were being brought in for critical expect a large build up.

here is the DOT link to the laws on helmets and requirements for equipment for bike riding.

Thanks to David, for the link.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Harassment reaches new level of low

So now the cops are stopping people on the Brooklyn Bridge...This is starting to become a tad facsist.

This report comes from Jacob:

"Well it is starting to happen. I have been riding across the Brooklyn Bridge several times a week for a long time and this is the first time I have been stopped by a Police Officer to have a "Bike Inspection". Police officers were stationed at both ends of the Brooklyn Bridge this morning (I was riding over at 9:10am) and stopping cyclist to check for Helmets, Front light, tail light and bell. Although I, nor any of the other cyclists I was stopped with, received a ticket we all received verbal warnings.
Although I normally wear a helmet today I left the house without one. To the best of my knowledge NYC does not, by law, require a helmet unless you are under 14. The police officer told me I was wrong and that everyone requires a helmet.

Is there any truth to this? One of the cyclist I was stopped with worked on the City council and she said that the police officer was incorrect. Any ideas?"

The truth is...The law is anyone under the age of 14 must have a helmet. Please inform the NYPD they are wrong and ask them why they are harassing bikes. Tell them you know this is a coordinated attack and it needs to stop right now.

I really feel this is a war now. Please write into Bike Blog and share your observations of police harassment towards bicyclists. Also feel free to share past experiences. The heat is difinitely being turned up.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Transportation Alternatives releases good information page

Get informed. While bombs drop on civilians in both Israel and Lebanon and bombs continue to explode in Iraq, the NYPD think it is a priority to strip away our right of free assemble and then have the nerve to tell us that isn't what they are trying to do.

Transportation Alternatives has released good information including the Police rules submitted to the public record...They are just mad that the press found out about their sneaky moves.

Transportation Alternative E-bulletin

Trackstar presents race to Coney Island...August 5th

Monday, July 24, 2006

Whats been going on...Recap of the critical massness.

So the police announced they no longer want to mess around with this legal bike riding nonsense so they came up with some laws on their own and are going to allow the people to listen to the rules defined at a public hearing on August 23rd. at Police Headquarters and make sure to video tape and barcode all those in attendance to root out who the "trouble makers are." No need for city council involvement, too messy. When the NYPD gets annoyed with silly things like the constitution and a federal and state judge's ruling...its time to make up your own rules. Here is what they have announced.

1. Require parade permits for bicyclists traveling in groups of 20 or more.
2. Any cyclists or walkers who take to the streets in groups of 2 or more and disobey traffic laws need a permit.
3. Require a permit for 35 or more people who restrict themselves to the sidewalk. (just in case you try and get out of the street and hang out on the sidewalk. So if you can't be in the street and you can't be on the sidewalk?)
4. anyone who even thinks about parading in the street needs a permit....ok I made number 4 up...but it will probably be next if the secret police get their way. B is for Bicycles.

Have you ever tried to get a permit for something political in this town? Its like asking president Bush to complete a long difficult sentence...impossible.

Basically this stems from the NYPD being told by a judge that Critical Mass does not need a permit and so the police had to back off and not arrest people on this bike ride that happens the last Friday of every month. Instead they have been increasing the domestic spying, writing all kinds of weird tickets on the ride and dooring people, harassing cyclists not only on critical mass but everyday, telling people their speed is being monitored on the Williamsburg bridge, ticketing cyclists in the public parks and on and on. If you still think these are isolated incidents...THINK AGAIN.

The NYtimes came out with an article on Wednesday alerting people of what was going on.

The next day Time's Up held an emergency press conference in their space and had civil rights lawyer Norman Siegel explain how unconstitional all of this is. Some press where there like NY1 and Clyde Haberman of the NY Times who wrote thsi article:

Published: July 21, 2006

ONE of New York’s greater glories is its talent for finding molehills and turning them into mountains. It led this week to a proposed set of police regulations with civil liberties implications.

In case you were distracted by little things like the Middle East crisis and the stem-cell debate, the Police Department announced new rules controlling marches and parades, be they on foot or on wheels. The rules won’t become
final until after a public hearing scheduled for Aug. 23 (when many New Yorkers are certain to be away). But it sounds as if minds at police headquarters are made up.

Here’s the new drill:

Bicyclists traveling in groups of 20 or more must first get a parade permit from the police. The same goes for
groups of 35 or more people walking together on sidewalks. For that matter, a group of merely two people
— that’ s right, two people — will be defined as a parade if they walk or cycle “in a manner that does not
comply with all applicable traffic laws, rules and regulations.”

Be honest. Have you never, while strolling or biking with a companion, crossed the street against a red light?
It would seem that the two of you will now, technically speaking, qualify as a parade. And since you probably
will not have first asked the police for a parade permit, it appears that you will — again technically — be breaking
two laws.

What happened here is that a molehill became a mountain.

A group bicycle ride known as Critical Mass is held in Manhattan on the last Friday of every month. This event,
encouraged by an environmental group called Time’s Up, went on for years with no one paying much attention.
Then the Republicans came to town in 2004. The bike ride on the eve of their convention was huge. Things got unruly, and 264 people were arrested.

After that, the atmosphere between the police and Time’s Up became poisonous, with each side accusing the other of bad faith. The police harass them and provoke clashes, the riders say. The riders block traffic and look for trouble, the police say. Each side probably has a point.

Five months ago, a State Supreme Court justice, Michael D. Stallman, rejected the Police Department’s attempts to rein in Critical Mass with rules that he called ill-defined. Almost plaintively, Justice Stallman urged both sides to exercise “patience, mutual respect and restraint,” and in effect return that mountain to a molehill.

Now we have the new regulations — tailored, the police say, to the judge’s complaint about vagueness. They do not, however, bring the molehill back.

Civil libertarians call the revisions a frontal assault on free speech. “Overkill,” the civil liberties lawyer Norman Siegel said yesterday. Protesters, Mr. Siegel said, “will now need government permission to exercise their First Amendment rights.” Similar objections came from the New York Civil Liberties Union.

Questions are unavoidable.

What if 35 people, outraged by events in the Middle East, decide suddenly to march on the sidewalk to the United Nations? This is hardly an unimaginable event. The new regulations, strictly read, say they must first get a parade permit.

“Let us remember that part of the right to protest is the right to spontaneously protest,” said City Councilman Alan Jay Gerson of Manhattan. Besides, Mr. Gerson said, it should be up to the Council, not the police, to change rules governing free speech. Indeed, the City Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn, said in a statement yesterday that “these proposals
raise significant questions that we are examining carefully.”

PRACTICAL considerations also come to mind. Will 20 people on a routine bike tour have to get a parade permit? How about 35 kids walking as a group on a class trip? Or a funeral procession?

Paul J. Browne, a Police Department spokesman, dismissed all this as “grasping at unrealistic scenarios.” Still, some will wonder if the rules are to be uniformly enforced or applied mainly to groups deemed nettlesome, like Time’s Up. The question is part of a broader issue that New Yorkers have faced since 9/11: How do we balance the demands of security and order with our tradition of openness and free expression?

One whimsical answer was offered yesterday by Steve Stollman, a biking advocate who wore a button designed for anyone planning to walk or ride in a group. The button had an arrow pointing in opposite directions. “Please don’t arrest me,” it said. “I’m not with him.”-=--of the ny Times who wrote this article:
NY1 wrote this story after the press conference--

NY1 story

NYPD Pushes For New Rules On Protest, Parade Permits

The NYPD is pushing for new rules on permits for protests and parades in response to recent court rulings that found the current rules too vague. NY1's Molly Kroon filed the following report.

During the 2004 Republican National Convention, police arrested some 230 protestors demonstrating on the sidewalk on Fulton Street. Those arrests were thrown out by the DA's office, but new regulations proposed by the NYPD would require permits for all similar protests of 35 people or more. It's got free speech advocates seething.

"These proposed regulations are a transparent effort to severely limit political protest," said Donna Lieberman of the New York Civil Liberty Union.

The proposed restrictions wouldn't just apply to protesters, but to cyclists too. The NYPD wants to require a parade permit for bicyclists of 20 or more and for those who go riding with at least one other cyclist and disobey traffic laws.

"In times of us encouraging people to ride their bicycles together, the city is saying the exact opposite thing," said cycling advocate Bill DiPaola of Time's Up! Advocacy Group.

Some see the move as a direct attack on Critical Mass, the group bicycle ride held every month. Members of the group have accused the NYPD of seizing their bikes and obstructing their route. The two are currently locked in a court battle.

"They show the city isn't this a beautiful, positive celebration, not a demonstration, but a celebration of what our streets could look like, and it is going to affect group rides all over the city," said DiPaola.

But the NYPD says the new regulations are in response to a recent court decision that found the city's rules too vague, and they say that the department simply wanted to clarify them. In a statement, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said, "the police always had the authority to make arrests, and continue to have that authority."

Critics disagree.

"When there is a need to get a permit from the police, then the police invariably try to micro-manage the demonstration and that's not good for free speech," said Lieberman.

The NYCLU says it plans to call on the city council to step in if the NYPD moves forward with the new rules. New Yorkers will get an opportunity to comment on the regulations at a public forum being held at police headquarters later next month.

by- Molly Kroon

Then the fair and balanced NYPost came out with this article


TARGET: STREET PEDALERS: Proposed NYPD rules on what constitutes a "regulated" procession: two or more pedestrians, vehicles, bicycles or other "devices" that don't comply with traffic laws.

July 19, 2006 -- EXCLUSIVE
Rebuffed in court from blocking massive bicycle gatherings at Union Square Park, the Police Department is moving to amend its rules so cops can arrest cyclists in groups as small as two if they violate traffic laws, The Post has learned.

The proposed rules - which would crack down on Critical Mass, a bike group whose members swarm through city streets - would also give the NYPD the power to haul in 20 or more cyclists even if they obey traffic regulations but don't have a permit.

Also targeted would be groups of 35 or more pedestrians "proceeding together along a sidewalk" without pre-approval.

"Each of these types of activity has the likelihood to significantly disrupt vehicular and pedestrian traffic and adversely affect public health and safety, unless subject to regulatory control via the permitting process," the Police Department said in a statement.

Peter Vallone Jr., chairman of the City Council's Public Safety Committee, agreed, saying that strict enforcement of activities that might block emergency vehicles is prudent in the aftermath of 9/11.

"Anything that impedes emergency vehicles has to be regulated in this day and age, and that's exactly what the PD is doing here," said Vallone, a longtime champion of the NYPD.

During the Critical Mass rides, hundreds of cyclists pedal en masse through city streets, often disregarding traffic signals and blocking traffic.

Civil-rights lawyer Norman Siegel charged that the revised regulations are so sweeping, they would make it tough to stage any spontaneous demonstration or get-together.

"It radically changes expressive activity and the right to protest in the City of New York," he said.

Siegel was one of the lawyers who beat back repeated attempts by the NYPD to reign in hundreds of bicyclists who've been gathering the last Friday of the month at Union Square Park for Critical Mass rides.

The new rules were published in the City Record on Monday and a public hearing on them is scheduled for Aug. 23 at Police Headquarters.

In February, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Michael Stallman rejected efforts by the city to block the Critical Mass rides and to punish Time's Up, an environmental group, for publicizing them.

The judge noted that the city's regulations don't make clear what constitutes a "parade or procession," and suggested it would "be sensible" to specify how large a group has to be to fall into that category.

NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said the revised rules would allow paradegoers who obtain permits to engage in activities "that would otherwise be illegal, such as disregarding traffic signals . . . with the police making accommodations, such as the rerouting of pedestrian or vehicular traffic."

Disputing Siegel, Browne said cops "always had the authority to make arrests, and continue to have that authority."

The Critical Mass rides have taken place here for more than a decade. Until the summer of 2004 - when the Republican National Convention came to town - there was little interaction with cops.

But that August, police arrested 264 people during a group ride.

and this lovely op-ed came out of the NYPosts Ass: Article

New York Post


July 20, 2006 -- GREAT! The cops have finally gotten the go- ahead to bust the political pedal pushers who under the radar call themselves Critical Mass and arrogantly claim they own our roads.

But the cops aren't going far enough.

There is an unspoken civil war brewing in Manhattan between the kamikaze bike bullies and pedestrians who sadly bow to this cult that ignores every traffic rule in the book - and to our peril.

Vincent Sapone, managing director of the League of Mutual Taxi Owners, who got his taxi medallion in 1967, is on my side in the civil war. "I have a good friend of mine who was hit by one of these crazy nuts and he was off work for nine months. He still walks with a cane and really has never been the same since," Sapone was saying. "Sue for damages? Who would he sue? The guy disappeared."

How many times, right outside my office, has a taxi delivered me between 47th and 48th streets on Sixth Avenue about three feet from parked cars on the curbside?

And how many times has some mobile moron on a bike, as I opened the door after paying the fare, crashed into that door trying to illegally squeeze through?

It happens and the rider protests in profanity and yells, "Man, you could have killed me. "Pity I failed.

"You were lucky they didn't sue you or the taxi driver. It happens you know," said Sapone.

"This city is very fast to give summonses to yellow cabs because they know they'll get paid. These bicycle guys who never see a red light or a pedestrian crossing, they don't get summonses because the city knows they won't get paid.

"Now how about these pedicabs that are everywhere? "They're just as bad, take up big space, hold up traffic, ignore the
rules and what about that thing called the octopus? You get a bunch of partygoers, or tourists, many who have had a good time all pedaling this big thing taking up a lot of road. Where is the licensing, where
are their helmets? It's crazy."

Sapone points out that all yellow-cab owners are fingerprinted and drug-tested for their medallions: "Frankly, anyone over 16 flying around the city at least should be licensed so they can be accountable."

There is more than one bike in my garage. They're for biking down the boardwalk on a gorgeous fresh gift of a day. Merry machines for the rider, not damn maiming machines ridden by pedal punks.

Good to see the Fox owned media advocates killing people with their car doors...The cyclists run into the car doors??? Right like the police batons were broken by protestors running into them.

Oh and riding your bike to work is a civil war with the taxis...right? Taxi's never break the law, cutting over three lanes to pick up a fair. HA HA HA...Once again the post is a mouth piece to spread propaganda to convince people that bike riders are dangerous and the police should do everything they can to stop them. Right. Lets see what happens when a family of four is run into by a bicycle...a scratch, a cut, maybe a broken lets see when a family of four is run into by an SUV...DEAD!

As the NYPD tries their best to squeeze the fist on protests...meanwhile the city has been settling a few court cases from the RNC 2004, when all this madness got started...

This article from the NY SUN

Quiet Settlements Being Made With War Protesters

BY JOSEPH GOLDSTEIN - Staff Reporter of the Sun
July 20, 2006

The city has been quietly settling cases with several dozen people arrested during the 2004 Republican National Convention.

The plaintiffs, a mix of protesters and passers-by, are each being offered between $2,500 and $7,500, four lawyers who represent separate groups of plaintiffs said yesterday.

Several dozen people have accepted the offer, although the vast majority of the more than 400 represented in the lawsuits have turned down the offers, the lawyers said. Under the terms of the settlement, the city does not admit any wrongdoing.

A spokeswoman for the city's law department declined to answer any questions about a settlement, saying the matter involves pending litigation. A spokeswoman for the city comptroller's office, Laura Rivera, said a tally of plaintiffs who have accepted any settlement and the amount of money disbursed would not be available until today.

About 1,800 protesters and passersby were arrested during the Republican National Convention, according to news reports. Those arrested were brought to Pier 57, a former bus depot on the west side of Manhattan, where they were held in a makeshift detention center, in some cases for more than two days. Many were charged with disorderly conduct or for not having a permit for a rally. Charges were dropped or dismissed in the vast majority of the cases. Their lawyers allege that the arrests were unlawful and the conditions of the detainment were unsafe.

The settlement offer is the first indication that the city is willing to pay several million dollars to rid itself of these lawsuits. So far, the city has taken a strong line against the suits. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has commended his department's conduct during the convention, during which it balanced the tasks of defending against a potential terrorist attack and policing massive protests.

Because the plaintiffs are represented in dozens of different lawsuits, it is not immediately clear how many plaintiffs have chosen to accept the terms of the settlement.

One attorney, Norman Best, who represents more than 250 plaintiffs, said about 10% of his clients had accepted the city's offer. He said the city first contacted him with the terms of the settlement March 20.

Several lawyers interviewed say the city did not disclose the formula it used to decide how much money it offered each plaintiff. But in the majority of cases, the city offered $2,501 to those incarcerated for less than 24 hours, $5,001 to those locked up for as many as 48 hours, and $7,501 for those held longer, Mr. Best said.

The terms of the offer provide that the city would pay additional legal fees, ranging between $2,000 and $4,000 for each plaintiff, Mr. Best said. Another attorney involved in the litigation, Martin Stolar, said the dollar figure would be determined after each lawyer submitted a fee application, based on his usual hourly rates.

Some lawyers have called the settlement offer a low-ball figure. But Jonathan Moore, who represents more than 20 plaintiffs, said the monetary sums were "not unreasonable offers from the city."

Mr. Best said that many of his clients refused to take the settlement because they are eager to go to trial. The lawsuits are currently before Judge Kenneth Karas of U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

"Most of the people feel quite strongly about having their day in court and holding the city responsible," Mr. Best said, adding that those most inclined to take the settlement reside in states other than New York.

Some attorneys say the city's overall response to the lawsuits has been frustrating. "The city has decided it will engage in a war of attrition against civil rights plaintiffs and lawyers because ... they want to punish people for having brought the cases and they want to prevent the lawyers for them from recovering a reasonable fee," Mr. Moore said. He said he bases that assessment on the never-ending depositions city lawyers have taken from some of his clients.

At least two of those depositions have stretched to near the 12-hour mark, he said, and involved questions ranging from their political beliefs to whether they have ever been in therapy.Mr. Moore said the depositions were aimed at intimidating the plaintiffs from pressing on with their claims.

In 2005, the city agreed to pay more than $230,000 following a state judge's preliminary contempt finding against the city relating to its detention of many of the protesters for longer than the standard 24 hour

Police commisiner had this to say in the post...hmmm the police coRay kelly had this to say:



July 21, 2006 -- ONCE again, the usual critics are charging the NYPD with undermining free speech - and, once again, the facts say otherwise.

The charges center on the department's recent clarification of its rules on protests, marches and parades - clarifications suggested by Supreme Court Justice Michael D. Stallman.

The NYPD had sought a restraining order to prevent reckless mass bike-rides that jeopardize public safety. The judge told us that the department's rules were vague and recommended that we be more specific in defining what constituted a parade or a march. "For many reasons," wrote Justice Stallman, "it would be sensible . . . to develop and promulgate criteria for what constitutes a parade or procession, as a function of its size."

So we did. Where the rules didn't specify numbers, the amended version now stipulates that groups of 35 or more would require a permit for a march along a sidewalk. Groups of 20 or more using bicycles, or other vehicles, would require a permit. Smaller groups obeying traffic regulations would not.

None of the clarifications in any way impinge on free speech or the message behind a march, parade, or protest. They impose no new penalties or punishments, and are in complete conformity with the conceptual framework of existing law. In short, the NYPD is simply providing the clarity to its regulations that the courts indicated was lacking.

The "bicycle protests" that triggered all this had become a real public-safety problem. In years past, these consisted of cyclists who stopped for lights and otherwise observed traffic regulations, riding in groups in Manhattan to advocate alternatives to cars or for the sheer fun of it. In many instances, organizers would advise the police in advance of the routes they planned to take. But, beginning a few months before the 2004 Republican National Convention, the rides were hijacked by those apparently intent on commandeering the streets for themselves.

Participants took it upon themselves to block crosstown streets so they could run lights and have the avenues for bikes alone. They posed grave risks, not only to the sick and injured waiting for an ambulance to arrive, but to others. A news helicopter captured the image of one of the cyclist "corkers" punching a motorist who had sought to breach an ersatz blockade.

The Police Department's permit process effectively allows activities that would otherwise be illegal - such as disregarding traffic signals or blocking vehicular or pedestrian traffic - to go forward, with the police making accommodations such as rerouting traffic. The NYPD's standing offer to work with groups to accommodate these rides has been refused.

Every day, the department performs the great juggling act of accommodating street fairs, protests, parades and performances of one sort or another - while also safeguarding the participants and the public, and without letting the rest of the city grind to a halt.

That means that, when a demonstration fills blocks of the East Side of Manhattan, we make sure the radioactive isotopes or human organs that medical centers in the vicinity need still arrive on time. It also means we provide emergency lanes for ambulances or fire trucks that might otherwise be delayed in the added congestion that such events inevitably cause. (Similarly, the police accommodate sidewalk pickets while allowing everyone else to get to their apartment buildings, hotels, or places or work.)

This give-and-take proceeds daily without incident in the vast majority of cases. Last year, the NYPD assigned special police details to accommodate over a thousand of such events below 59th Street alone.

By responding to the courts' concerns about specificity, the department clarified the rules on parade permits without undermining, in any way, the public's right to voice dissent or any other opinion.

Ray Kelly is New York City Police commissioner

What Ray Kelly is misinformed about:

1) The only reason the NYPD wants more strict rulings on protest is they haven't been able to stop Critical Mass. They've been told by a federal and state judge that it is not illegal to ride your bike in a group. Breaking traffic laws is illegal and punishable by summons...but that is not good enough for the NYPD...they want to make arrests. They are also using Critical Mass as an excuse to be able to make arrests at all demonstrations in NYC.

2) If Critical Mass was so reckless and jeopardize public safety why were they allowed to go on for ten years with the police going on every ride and often allowing the bikes to block traffic?

3) The goal of Critical Mass is not to block traffic for the sake of tying up the city and preventing emergency vehicles from saving lives. Rather it is to stop traffic so the ride can stay together...which is almost always in MOTION. Drivers are inconvenienced for about 10 minutes at a time. Maybe for two whole lights to change.

4) A bicycle has never killed a kill bicyclists everyday on the street and the police respond with NO INVESTIGATION...rather they blame the victim.

5) A group of 500 bicycles can move out of the way much quicker then a traffic jam of cars thus allowing emergency vehicles to pass. This has been witnessed on several critical masses when the police use our tax resources to make ambulances drive through a crowd of bikers and then the truck pulls over at Starbucks. Why does a fire engine always appear right when critical mass starts? Because the police fake the emergency.

6) Permits are never issued on time to political functions. It is always a struggle and always meet with red tape often leading to the use of lawyers to fight the battle which generally exceeds the time of permit. Often the parks department or other civic agencies assist the police in blocking permits for political functions and come up with flimsy excuses like..."we don't want to damage the grass or we are planting flowers that day."

7) The ride wasn't taken over by any new forces hellbent on anarchy and destruction. Yes, the ridership may have pushed the envelope by going on motor ways like the FDR, but always with NYPD supervision who did nothing.

8) The ride only became targeted by the police during the RNC, when they had written instructions to shut down all marches, protests and bike rides. Meanwhile they have been settling many of these RNC cases with buy outs proving the falseness of the arrests in the first place and costing the city hundreds of dollars.

9) The NYPD wastes hundreds of thousands of dollars of tax payer money on law enforcement for a BIKE RIDE. Multiple helicopters which have been used to monitor people making out on rooftops, video surveillance and especially on man power and equipment that could better be serving the community fighting legitimate crime.

10) If Ray Kelly is so concerned about public safety, he wouldn't have such short sighted goals like stopping critical mass...the whole city would be working harder to encourage bike riding for less cars in the street, less oil consumption, cleaner air, healthier people and a cleaner environment.
"Let a thousand protests bloom"

Errol Louis, of the Daily News sat in for Brian Lehrer and had a talk about recent news events...on NPR. He spoke with Diane hall bureau chief for the NY Times and Bob Hardt, executive producer and political director at NY1.

Here is the link to listen to
the show

It was also discussed on WBAI news.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Tour de Lemond this Saturday.

Demoncats Racing in Washington DC is hosting an amazing 3 person team alleycat this Saturday to raise money for the Bicycle Messenger Emergency Fund

There are 19 team registered for the race promising to be intense, long and testing of physical strength.

There is a four courses: Overall, Hill Climb, Sprinter and a team time trial.

It's going to be one hell of a race, with lots of prizes for the team and winners of the individual stages (hillclimb, sprinter, etc)

Check the Promo video from playintraffic productions.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Here we go again...(please read whole is important)

In the never ending quest of the NYPD to try and deal with Critical Mass, their next move on the chess board is this...

Article in NYTIMES

Police Seek New Controls on Protesters and Bicyclists

Published: July 19, 2006 NYTimes Metro Section

The Police Department wants to require parade permits for bicyclists traveling in groups of 20 or more, and any bicyclists or walkers who take to the streets in groups of two or more and disobey traffic laws for things like parades, races or protests, according to a public notice filed with the city.

The department also wants to require a parade permit for groups of 35 or more protesters who restrict themselves to the sidewalk, officially clarifying a regulation that court rulings described as too vague, according to a police spokesman.

Taken together, the three new rules — which the department will discuss at a public hearing on Aug. 23, at 6 p.m. at police headquarters — would redefine the type of protest and the number of protesters allowed to demonstrate in New York City without first applying for approval from the Police Department.

Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said the new rules, if adopted, would “threaten to substantially restrict protests.”

Other critics of the department have questioned whether the police are authorized to make such changes without approval from the City Council, but Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman, said the police commissioner had the authority under the City Charter to amend regulations concerning public safety.

Mr. Browne said that after recent court rulings found the department’s parade regulations too vague, the department moved to clarify them with these amendments. As a practical matter, he said, the department always believed it had the authority to make arrests under the existing regulations and often did.

“A permit effectively allows activities that would otherwise be illegal, such as disregarding traffic signals or blocking pedestrian traffic, to go forward with the police making accommodations such as the rerouting of pedestrian or vehicular traffic,” Mr. Browne said. “Nothing in the amendments changes the penalties.”

In its notice, the department said the rules were necessary for public safety. “These amendments are intended to clarify the circumstances under which groups using city streets or sidewalks for purposes of assembly are required to obtain a permit,” the notice said.

“By clarifying the type of activity that constitutes a parade and is thus required to obtain a permit,” the notice said, “these rules are designed to protect the health and safety of participants in group events on the public streets and sidewalks and members of the public who find themselves in the vicinity of these events.”

Advocates for bicyclists and others said the two new rules for bicyclists appeared to stem from the department’s and the city’s continuing dispute with bicyclists over monthly Critical Mass rides around Manhattan. The rides are held on the last Friday evening of each month to advocate nonpolluting forms of transportation.

In the case of requiring two or more bicyclists or walkers to get a permit, the department is simply trying to prevent participants in public protests like Critical Mass from blocking traffic. Under the changed rules, the police would control traffic, as they do in customary parades. On Feb. 14, a judge suggested that the city consider changing its rules for what constitutes a parade or procession, a lawyer for the group, Norman Siegel, said yesterday. That case is still pending, Mr. Siegel said.

Mr. Siegel questioned whether the department had the authority to change the definitions of when a parade permit is needed.

“My instinctive reaction is he cannot do this, it has to go to the City Council,” Mr. Siegel said, referring to Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly.

Mr. Browne said the commissioner’s powers were clear. Notably, during the Republican National Convention in 2004, the police spontaneously allowed some protests to go ahead, on sidewalks or in the streets, even without march permits.

Mr. Siegel said that even if the police had the authority to change the rules, “it’s antithetical to the principles and values of the right to protest that New York is associated with. This is simply unacceptable.”

Some officials, including Councilman Peter F. Vallone Jr., said the police seemed to be within guidelines in amending the rules, which he said were considered part of internal rules the department can change, rather than administrative codes written by lawmakers.

In the court case, the city is claiming that bicyclists who ride together need a permit, while defendants say they encourage riders to ride together in small groups for safety, “until the city creates a safe bicycling infrastructure,” said Bill DiPaola, the director of Time’s Up, a nonprofit environmental group in the city.

In a previous case, Judge William H. Pauley III of Federal District Court in Manhattan ruled that bicyclists did not need a permit to ride in groups, said Mr. DiPaola, whose group provides legal support for Critical Mass participants.

I hate to flatter myself and think this is about just the bikers...but I think it is an accurate assessment in what has prompted this behavior and again it is really sad. Civilians are being killed in Lebanon in response to military actions taken by Hezbollah, thus further destabilizing an already unstable Middle East. Bush pulls a Veto of important scientific research that could save thousands of lives in order to protect human life and we are worried about how many people march in the streets in NYC??? Repeat after me...P-O-L-I-C-E S-T-A-T-E.

and about this part from the article...Mr. Browne said the commissioner’s powers were clear. Notably, during the Republican National Convention in 2004, the police spontaneously allowed some protests to go ahead, on sidewalks or in the streets, even without march permits.

ALLOWED PROTESTS TO GO AHEAD???? uhhh, nothing was allowed...every demonstration I went to during the RNC and I went to pretty much all of them was meet with serious resistance from the NYPD...have we all forgotten so soon...the detaining on the sidewalk, the arrests, 48 hours in a garbage dump toxic bus depot, breaking up gatherings with a moped goon squad that ran us over with mopeds, random searches...yes they really allowed us a lot. How nice of them.

Somehow the NYPD keeps forgetting this silly little thing we have called THE CONSTITUTION...that GUARANTEES our rights of FREE ASSEMBLY. WE SHALL HAVE TO REMIND THEM.

Can you imagine asking for APPROVAL from the police department to exercise your constitutional rights????? Excuse me officer 35 of my friends would like to go for a that ok with you? No? Oh I have to file for a permit? Ok I did that? Oh you took 2 weeks to respond to me and now its too late? Damn, oh well better luck next time? "F that!"

If you believe in Freedom as an American please come to this public hearing, Aug. 23, at 6 p.m. at police headquarters.

There will be a press conference on this new proposed ruling at the Time's Up Space today at 10:30am, 49 East Houston St.

I feel sick.

Once we have all been embedded with electronic monitoring devises none of this will mater. The police can just arrest through blue tooth when we even think about protesting. Can't wait.

this is number 5647478 signing off, awaiting reprogramming and permission from the NYPD.

Please leave comments on what you think of this...

Meanwhile I am getting lots of reports of police harassment towards this story:

Hi, I read your blog occasionally to keep up on bicycle events in NYC. I recall reading on the blog a few days ago about the cops cracking down in central park and the thing that caught my attention was they were going to use radar guns. Well tonight (7/17/06) on my way home from work I was crossing the Williamsburg Bridge and when I get off the bridge in Brooklyn an unmarked cop car was sitting there. Sure enough a block later he pulls me over. He goes through this whole long thing. The jist of it is he claims I was doing 33mph down the bridge which is rated 30mph. I highly doubt I was going over 20mph. I use to ride with a speedometer and I never broke 30mph. I ride a mountain bike with street tires which are pretty wide but light tread.... Anyways I didn't think he was going to ticket me for the claimed 3mph over. He randomly asks if I am aware of the laws regarding riding on the sidewalk which I wasn't doing and he never accused me of doing. He then went on to ask if I had a bell and lights even though it wasn't dark yet and lights weren't needed but I showed I had them anyways. They said they had some tool to test the blinking speed of the lights and they were going to test but then decided not to. They mentioned my treads were almost warn out. They also took my ID and recorded info off of it and asked me generic questions like how long had I been riding and how often do I ride. It seems to me they pull over bikers claiming they are speeding even though they have no plans for ticketing for it even if it were true (who is going to ticket for 3mph over?) Then what they want to write you tickets for is lack of bell and lights.

Just wanted to give you a heads up. What interests me is if a lot of people are getting caught in the same situation. Getting accused of doing speeds they could never dream of doing then having their bike inspected. It seems if this is happening to everyone then we could probably file complaints against the city for harrassment. I have never heard of people getting pulled over for speeding and even getting a ticket for it then having their car fully inspected inside and out....

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

New Orleans rebuilds...Bikes

Check out what is going on in New Orleans with the Plan B community bike project.

Job OPP.

Perhaps you've already heard the rumors, but after 12 years as Executive
Director of Recycle-A-Bicycle, Karen Overton has decided that it is time
to move on to new projects. Which means that Recycle-A-Bicycle is hiring
a new Executive Director. Please help us circulate the job description
far and wide.

Job Announcement: Executive Director, Recycle-a-Bicycle

Recycle-a-Bicycle (RAB) is an innovative youth training and
environmental education initiative that has taken root both in New York
City public schools and in respected after-school youth programs. The
organization is a model social business venture that combines
instruction in bicycle repair and small business management with
promotion of recycling and bicycling as a non-polluting means of urban
transportation. RAB operates successful bicycle shops specializing in
the sale of refurbished bicycles in the East Village and DUMBO,
Brooklyn, as well as a training/manufacturing center in Long Island

The executive director is responsible for:
* Setting the organization's strategic direction.
* Development activities to sustain operations and support growth.
* Financial management and oversight of senior staff (3 shop/project
managers and specialized positions like communications, book-keeper).
* Serving as the public face of the organization at community and
project events.
* Reporting to the organization's board of directors at quarterly
meetings and on an as-needed basis.

* Dedication to youth training & development
* Belief in the bicycle as a vehicle for youth training & environmental
* Experience managing a non-profit corporation
* Fundraising experience
* Bachelors degree

This is a unique opportunity for a professional interested in
integrating a social mission within a business environment.

Please send cover letter indicating salary range expectations and a
resume to:
Only those candidates invited to interview will be notified. Thank you
for your time and interest in becoming a part of Recycle-a-Bicycle, Inc.

Training rides for the NYC Century Bike Tour.

This posting came to me From Dani Simons
Communications and Development Director for Transportation Alterntives

Transportation Alternatives and Spokes and Strings are co-hosting free training rides to get folks in shape (and used to riding on the streets) in preparation for T.A.’s annual NYC Century Bike Tour. Rides are open to all, pre-registration is strongly recommended so we can make sure we have enough turnsheets and volunteer marshals on the rides. RSVP to Register for the NYC Century Bike Tour which will take place on Sunday September 10th, at, proceeds benefit the advocacy work of Transportation Alternatives.

NYC Century Bike Tour Training Rides
All rides will start and finish at Spokes and Strings bike shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Enjoy a morning ride along Riverside Drive up to the Cloisters, a trip to the Far Rockaways, or explore the Bronx greenways on the way to Orchard Beach. All rides will begin with a brief orientation about group riding, safety, and basic cycling etiquette. These rides will roll at a medium pace (12-15 mph) and are ideal for beginner to intermediate cyclists. Flat to rolling terrain. Please bring a spare tube and a pump, some pocket money, a Metrocard in case of emergency, snacks and plenty of water. We will provide turnsheets and an experienced ride leader.

Saturday, July 29th
50 mile ride to Orchard Beach

Saturday, August 12th
75 mile ride to the Far Rockaways and outer Queens

Saturday, August 26th
90 mile ride TBA

Video of Brooklyn Critical Mass

This video comes from Mike Pidel. It is of the July, Brooklyn Critical Mass...check it out at google video.

Video Link

Monday, July 17, 2006

Results of the Legend of Zelda Race

Here is a little recap of the Zelda Race from Boston.

Just under 80 people registered. I only did results up until top 3 female and out of town finished, then I stopped. Get faster if you want results next time!


1 J TOMLIN BOSTON 155 01:17
2 MARTIN BOSTON 60 01:20
3 CROTH BOSTON 69 01:20
4 JOSH BOSTON 134 01:24
5 SOUZA BOSTON 105 01:27
6 LUCAS BOSTON 21 01:29
7 PETER BOSTON 110 01:30
8 BECKER BOSTON 169 01:30
9 TYLER BOSTON 106 01:34
10 AUSTIN NYC 78 01:35
11 MIKER BOSTON 2 01:37
12 JEN BOSTON 154 01:39 FEMALE
13 ROZ BOSTON 114 01:41 FEMALE
14 ROB BOSTON 96 01:45
15 CHRIS BOSTON 100 01:46
16 BEN CHICAGO 102 01:46
17 SETH BOSTON 101 01:46
18 HOWELL BOSTON 98 01:48
19 BRIAN BOSTON 159 01:50
20 IAN BOSTON 4 01:50
21 BEN BOSTON 129 01:51
22 GREG BOSTON 94 01:51
23 COLIN BOSTON 136 01:52
24 ANDREW BOSTON 95 01:52
25 CARLO BOSTON 116 01:54
26 MICHAEL BOSTON 146 02:01
27 TIM BOSTON 131 02:04

Friday, July 14, 2006

2 Alleycat Races this weekend and article

One is in Boston, Saturday the 15th

The Legend of Zelda Race

The Legend of Zelda Replay race is tommorow. I'm hereby announcing the start of the race to be:

The Hatch Shell on the Charles River bikepath. From there ALL racers will go directly to Winthrop Sq. to receive their manifest. After that, you're on your own with your maps until you defeat Ganon atop Death Mountain and sprint to the finish line which is The Squealing Pig on Smith St, off Huntington Ave in Mission Hill/Roxbury/Northeastern territory.

See ya'll there, be safe, and any questions please get in touch!

More on the race based on this 80's video game series--Wikipedia definition of Zelda..."The Legend of Zelda series (often shortened to just Zelda, TLoZ, or LoZ), first published on February 21, 1986 by Nintendo, is a series of video games created by the celebrated game designer Shigeru Miyamoto. In Japan the series is known as ゼルダの伝説 (Zeruda no Densetsu), often shortened to just ゼル伝 (Zeru-Den). The games are primarily set in a fantasy world, in the Kingdom of Hyrule, although some have been set in different countries or other equally fantastic worlds. The gameplay consists of a mixture of action, adventure, role-playing, and puzzle-solving, occasionally with minor platform elements. The series is known for its beautiful and inspiring settings, creative gameplay, interesting characters, stirring original music, and high overall production values. It is widely considered one of the most influential video game franchises ever created. It also claimed the #1 spot on G4's 100 Greatest Games of All Time. As of September 2005, the Legend of Zelda series has sold 47 million units.[1]

----Here is information on the race--

i sure hope you have a good map.

one day, an evil army attacked the land of hyrule and stole the triforce of power. this army was led by ganon, the powerful prince of darkness who sought to plunge the world into fear and darkness under his rule. fearing his wicked rule princess zelda split up the triforce of wisdom into eight fragments and hid them throughout the realm to save the last remaining triforce from the clutches of the evil ganon. at the same time, she commanded her most trustworthy nursemaid, impa, to secretly escape into the land and go find someone with enough courage to destroy the evil ganon. upon hearing this, ganon grew angry and imprisoned the princess. impa has finally found someone she believes up to the task of freeing the princess.

it is your mission to free princess zelda! collect the 8 pieces of the triforce of wisdom and defeat gannon in his lair atop death mountain to free her from his grasp.

the 8 pieces of the triforce are hidden in 8 different labrynths around hyrule. the locations of all 8 of these labrynths are listed on the map you will get at the race start. after collecting all of these 8 pieces, reuniting the triforce, you will be strong enough to travel to death mountain to defeat the prince of darkness, ganon.

the location of death mountain will be revealed to you at one of the 8 labrynths.

you may visit the labrynths in any order you choose, but you must go to all of them in order to be strong enough to battle gannon atop death mountain.

if you are able to defeat gannon, you can then sprint to the finish line, which will be announced online at the same time as the race start.

good luck to you, and travel safely. the princess depends on your courage!

prizes from:

laek house
jacobs custom bicycles

first out of town prize is a custom track frame. is that enough incentive?

Special note--
This is to be a race, not a scavenger hunt or anything like that. First crazy ******* over the line wins stuff. There are no points, bonuses, whatever. You ride faster, pick the better route, you win!


Also the 2nd Race--
Kings of New England

Check the flyer
Article about Sydney Bike Messengers

Wheels turn as feet are beaten by fingers

Sydney Morning Herald, July 15, 2006

There was a time not so long ago when tattoos, cut-off shorts and
shoulder satchels appeared to rule Sydney's streets.

It was the late 1990s, the dotcom boom was in full swing and hundreds
of bicycle couriers roamed the central business district at will,
pausing for no man - or red light.

So hectored were pedestrians by wheel-borne urban cowboys that in 2002
the City of Sydney pressured bicycle courier companies to sign an
accord, in which they promised to refrain from intimidating or
endangering other road users.

Four years on, bicycle couriers have become the endangered species,
their numbers dwindling in the face of an ever-greater take-up of
high-speed internet, PDF files, digital photography and audio.

Simon McKenzie, from the Sydney Bicycle Messengers Association,
estimates that the legion of riders carving up the CBD has shrunk by
almost 75 per cent since 2000: "Back then you had more than 10 bicycle
courier companies employing close to 250 riders. Now you've got seven
businesses and about 70 riders, although the numbers fluctuate
throughout the year.

"When the Y2K scare came along, no one wanted to use their computers.
Since they got over that, our work has been in steady decline," Mr
McKenzie says.

Couriers make marginally less money an hour than they did six years
ago, he says, "but back then they could work much longer hours so the
difference is a lot bigger than you think".

In the mid-'80s, New York had more than 7000 bicycle couriers. During
the dotcom years there were 2500 and now there are barely more than
1000, says Joel Metz, who has a courier business in Portland, Oregon,
and helps run the International Federation of Bike Messenger

Although he believes talk about the death of the bicycle courier may be
premature, Mr Metz concedes that business is on the wane: "Whether
[the] dent is due primarily to the general downturn of the economy ...
or to changing methods of sending information ... I'm sure either point
could be argued."

Electronic file transfers will "change what the industry moves, but in
the end, we'll adapt and rebound - perhaps not to pre-email heights,
but enough".

There will always be deliveries that can be made only in person, says
Craig Otis, a courier for more than 17 years who is now with Sydney's
Toll Fast.

"Our biggest clients would be legal firms with original documents that
need to be signed for, or investment banks or travel agencies sending
tickets - wherever you have a document that can't be reproduced there's
a need for us," he says.

Business might not be booming, but solidarity among bicycle couriers is
as strong as ever. In October Sydney will host more than 500
competitors from dozens of countries at the Cycle Messenger World
Messenger Institute for Media Accuracy

Rally against Ratner

Did I mention Time's Up is leading a ride to the Ratner Rally on Sunday?

the BIKE RIDE meets at 12pm on Sunday, July 16th at the Fulton Ferry Landing Peir

***Ride to Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn's Rally***

NEW ENCLOSURES: DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN tours & tackles Brooklyn Bridge Park, Metrotech, Downtown Brooklyn Rezoning, BAM Cultural District, Atlantic Malls, Atlantic Yards

NEW ENCLOSURES: Ride to Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn's Rally
A bike ride tour to explore & expose the current redevelopment of Downtown Brooklyn.

The current narrative for downtown Brooklyn is relentlessly upbeat:
Brooklyn is booming in an unparalleled renaissance.

Is there another side of the story? This ride will explore some of these mega-projects and probe their less heralded impacts: privatized open space, demapped public streets, gentrification, business improvement districts, surveillance cameras, eminent domain, astroturf lobbying, private security forces, quality of life, the war on vendors.

Is Brooklyn becoming a privatized zone for high-income consumption?

The ride will conclude at 2pm in Grand Army Plaza, where Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn is holding a rally against the Atlantic Yards mega-project. Times-Up! is a member of the Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn Coalition.

more info on the Atlantic Rail Yards Project at:

Develop Don't Destroy
No Land Grab
Atlantic Yards Report
On NY Turf
Daily Gotham

In even bigger news...Reality TV show star Jia Santos

was hit by a bus while riding her bike. news story

'Project Runway' Contestant Seriously Injured'

By WENN| Friday, July 14, 2006

HOLLYWOOD - A contestant on the latest season of Project Runway was seriously injured by a New York City bus near the climax of the fashion reality show.

Hungarian model Jia Santos, real name Eliza Jakubek, was struck by a bus while cycling to the Heidi Klum-hosted program's studio.

The 18-year-old's agent, Avenue Models' Javier Hernandez, tells the New York Daily News, "She was dragged underneath the bus.

"She fractured her skull and her eye socket and was in critical condition for three days. Now she has been in intensive care for a month.

"Everyone from the show has been really supportive and offered their help to get her parents a visa to visit her in the hospital and work on a benefit for her."

After waking up in hospital, Hernandez's first words were, "Am I still on Project Runway?"

My first words would have been a little different.

In even Greater news...The European Cycle Messenger Championships were held in Helsinki Finland...July 6th-9th.

Here is a little blub from wikipedia

"Although the idea of modern bicycle messengers is thought to have originated in North America, it has now spread throughout the developed world. The attraction of this service is that it provides a cheap and fast method of sending messages around an inner-city area with heavy traffic. The bicycle messenger is most common outside America in northern and eastern Europe, with large and organised bodies of couriers in such cities as London, Berlin, Copenhagen, Zurich, Warsaw, Budapest and Dublin, among others. In London motorcycle couriers are as common as bicycle couriers for historical reasons and most couriers services provide both motorbike and bicycle couriers.
There is an annual European Cycle Messenger Championships, or "ECMC", which takes place in a different city on the continent every year. Strangely, the concept has never really caught on in southern Europe, which is the heartland of world competitive cycling. As a result, there are very few bicycle couriers in Portugal, France, Spain or Italy.

Josh Whitesnake from Mess NYC has a photo report.

on the mess site you can check out a report on the Chunk 666 chunkcatholon and get a link to the video of the flaming bikes of death


Ok, I'm late for work and I still got to put air in my tires from a horrible day of flats yesterday....ugh.

This will be brief...

Tonight is Brooklyn Critical Mass. You should all know the dates and places...just check the archive or go to the Time's Up website.

Then tonight is the Time's Up/Rude Mechanical Orchestra..fundraiser.

Sunday...go to the beach.

Also this Sunday is a Rally to stop Bruce Ratner from DESTROYING Brooklyn...Stadium deals are no brainers...The Rich win and take our property and give us unaffordable housing and bad traffic, while they get skyboxs to watch the Nets on our tax dollar. And we wonder why Johnny can't read.

go to develop don't destroy

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Check this out

Tallbike...backward circles...impressive.

Tallbike video

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

UP-Ruded Fundraiser and Dance Party

Picture of RMO at Revelocity Party...

Time's Up does a lot of free events for the people of NYC and occasionally they ask for money...This Friday, along with the Awesome Rude Mechanical Orchestra they are having a Fund Raiser/Party!

Date: Friday, July 14th, 2006
Time: 8:00 PM
Location: 49 East Houston St. NYC
Summary: Time's Up! and Rude Mechanical Orchestra Fundraiser Dance Party.
Details: Environmental action has never sounded so good! Two long time allies are teaming up for an evening of rocking out and raising money for the goodfight. NYCs punk rock radical marching band the Rude Mechanical Orchestra leads an evening of music that includes Monkeyshine 9, Heavy Creatures, Quick Release and Phil Not Bombs. Each band includes at least one member of the RMO, so you know itll be good. Also featuring DJ Suggested D's dance floor madness and the infamous blender bike.
Time's Up
Rude Mechanical Orchestra

Time's Up! Environmental Group, is a 20-year-old all volunteer run non-profit organization, located in New York City . Time's Up!'s campaigns increased bicycle ridership in NYC year after year. It is our goal that this steady increase in ridership will pressure the city to create an expanded, safer infrastructure for the cycling community.

Time's Up!'s achievements and campaigns include, helping to create a greenway that wraps around NYC, bringing pedicabs to NYC, helping to save community gardens, create more green space, and protecting and promoting cycling. Time's Up! also runs indoor educational events, including bike repair, welding workshops, movie nights, and youth presentations.

Even if you can't make the fundraiser party you can still support Time's Up!Check out our website

We need your support to continue!

The Rude Mechanical Orchestra is a New York City-based radical marching band that exists in order to serve the efforts of progressive and radical groups and causes.They play for events that support feminism and women's rights, the queer community, labor, the environment, social and economic justice, peace and community self-determination.

Sliding Scale $7-$10

Doug Gordon is upset

Doug Gordon is a concerned citizen who rides a bike, he noticed this going on tonight in Prospect Park...

"I went for my usual after-work bike ride tonight at about 7:15, waiting as I always do until Prospect Park is supposed to be closed to vehicular traffic. I was aware, however, that the New York Philharmonic would be giving a concert in the park tonight, so I was prepared for a slower ride, what with all the people such a concert would attract.

Sure enough, the park was more crowded than usual, as people strode to the concert site carrying beach chairs, blankets and picnic blankets. No surprise.

What was surprising, however, was the long line of cars waiting to get into the park and the even longer line of cars already parked along the west drive of Prospect Park's inner loop. At first I thought this was just handicapped parking, which would have been alright by anyone's standards. (Surely people with physical disabilities should be allowed to drive into the park on a night such as tonight.) But when I saw a number of cars without handicapped plates or decals, I was even more surprised.

I asked a nice Parks Department officer if the parking was open to everyone. It was, she said. While there was a special section for the handicapped (the lot near the Picnic House, I believe), ANYONE with a car was allowed to drive into and park inside Prospect Park tonight.

I witnessed near misses between cyclists and motorists trying to squeeze into a tiny opening at 3rd Street. I saw a young family, kids on a bike with training wheels, come within inches of being sideswiped by a car going about 10 miles per hour. A woman running with a baby jogger had to move out of the way to let a car go by her. I left the park after one lap. I can only imagine what a scene it will be tonight when thousands of people try to walk out of the park in near darkness while hundreds of drivers make a simultaneous exit. Even with guidance from police and park officials, it's not a good mix.

Since the concert site is so accessible by public transportation, why anyone would need to drive into Prospect Park tonight is beyond me. (The F is only two blocks away, the 2/3 about seven blocks away, a bus runs regularly down Prospect Park West, plus there are ample pay lots for cars in and around Park Slope.) That the Parks Department would allow able-bodied people to drive into the park is even more bewildering. We must make accommodations for those for whom walking is difficult or impossible, but does a nice night of classical music in the park also have to be an automotive free-for-all?

I know more concerts are scheduled for Prospect Park this summer and the Philharmonic has more shows in Central Park. I hope this practice can be publicized so it can be discouraged, if not abandoned altogether, in the future.

Thanks for getting the word out.

Thanks for the great blog.

Doug Gordon

Well Doug its a sad thing about our culture...people just don't feel comfortable without their cars...and if they run over a cyclist now and then...well too bad...the city won't investigate it anyway.

I couldn't agree with you more. Its bad enough the city allows cars in both Prospect Park and Central Park...Why?

thanks for the observation Doug...for now people can call 311 and complain...They don't let cars in for the Bandshell Concert Series...why do it for the Philharmonic...I guess Mozart fans can't walk.

Diretor of the Bicycle Program, Andrew Vesselenovitch has left the building

After a five year tenure with the Department of Transportation, the Director of the Bicycle Program, Andrew Vesselenovitch has left the building...
one of only two pictures of Andrew if you do an image search on google

He says that Commisioner Iris Weinshall and her top deputy for traffic operations, Michael Primeggia have burdened the city with unnecessary law suits and stymied the progress of the city's bicycle programs.

There is a more indepth story on Entitled-"Bridges Burning at DOT
Outgoing Bike Program Director Rips Agency Bosses"

The blog entry, like many on Streetsblog, is written by Aaron Naparstek. Aaron is a journalist, author and community organizer working on urban environmental issues in New York City. He works for the Open Planning Project where he runs a blog covering New York City’s Livable Streets Movement. He is the author of Honku: The Zen Antidote for Road Rage, a book of humorous haiku poetry inspired by the unique brand of motorist sociopathy observed from his apartment window in Brooklyn. Naparstek lives in Park Slope with his wife and son where he is a founder of the Park Slope Neighbors community group.

This blog entry also has the email Andrew sent to the DOT explaining many of the issues he was most fustrated about. does one get to be head of the Bicycle Department for the DOT? Sounds like they have an opening. Wouldn't it be fun to come up with all kinds of great plans for cycling and create infustructure only to have your bosses tell you to butt out and ignore problems like when people are getting seriously injured on the Williamsburg Bridge with poorly designed projects.

Still, these are important positions that we in the cycling community should try and fill...kind of like that thing about making change by running for local office.

there is also an article about this in the NY Dailynews

City bike boss rips brass and pedals off


The city's bicycle boss quit in a huff last week - lashing out at
Transportation Department brass for not making the streets safer for
cyclists, the Daily News has learned.

In an angry e-mail sent on his last day Friday, former Bicycle Program
Director Andrew Vesselinovitch blamed the DOT for installing dangerous bumps
on the Williamsburg Bridge bike path and for failing to build more bike

The bumps - actually 2-inch, raised expansion-joint covers - were removed in
December 2005 after The News chronicled $10 million in lawsuits brought by
severely injured cyclists.

"We could have saved the city settlements for lawsuits [and residents
injuries] resulting from the puzzling addition of unusually high expansion
joint covers on the Williamsburg Bridge," Vesselinovitch wrote in the
e-mail, which was posted yesterday to

"I brought this to [the Division of] Bridges' attention in 2003 and was told
by [DOT Deputy Commissioner] Michael Primeggia [to] butt out," he added in
the hastily typed message sent to Manhattan Borough Commissioner Margaret
Forgione and other colleagues

Attorney Adam White, who represents eight cyclists injured on the bumps,
called the e-mail a "smoking gun."

"It's shocking evidence that within the department they knew these were
inappropriate and extremely dangerous from the beginning and they did
nothing about it for years."

Vesselinovitch also took aim at DOT Commissioner Iris Weinshall.

In the past two years, only 15 miles of bike lanes were added, he wrote,
when the DOT "could have produced plans for 40-50 miles of workable bike
lanes each year.

"I waited for a long time for the direction from the commissioner's office
to change, or for the commissioner to be changed," wrote Vesselinovitch, who
is leaving to study architecture. "I hope that you won't have to wait much

In June, three cyclists were killed in the city. Last year, 24 died, making
it one of the most deadly years for cyclists in the past 10 years, advocates

A DOT spokeswoman declined to comment on Vesselinovitch's e-mail, but
pointed to the new Eighth Ave. bike lane and other projects, and noted that
bike fatalities are down 50% over the same period last year.

Saw this on NYBMA

Ticket Blitz in Central Park scheduled for Tuesday 7/11!!

I am hearing that NYPD and Central Park Enforcement Patrol (whoever that is) will be organizing a large-scale ticket blitz in Central Park tomorrow, Tuesday, July 11. I don't know exactly where they will be or what times, but they will be issuing tickets for SPEEDING (they will be using radar guns on cars AND BIKES) and other traffic violations, including BIKES THAT RUN RED LIGHTS!!

The speed limit is 25 mph, so I don't have to worry about that one. But is that the speed limit for the cars as well? If so, maybe we should get out our radar guns and check for selective enforcement.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

6 Students ride 4000 miles for Cancer

6 international college students thought it would be a great idea this summer to ride across the country on their bikes and raise money for Cancer. They are currently in Austin Neveda resting after grueling heat, angry locals and grasshopper attacks.

Check out what they are doing and possibly donate to their cause at Cross country for cancer

Part of their mission statement:

"This summer, our Cross Country for Cancer team will be cycling across the
North American continent, from San Francisco to Baltimore, to raise
donations and awareness for cancer research. We are a bunch of college
students from the United States and England with a big idea and lack of
any realistic sense of what is possible. This ride is going to be
challenge, but we are going to get it done and we want your support. As we
cycle across America in July and August, you can track our progress
through pictures and experiences. So join us, spread the word, contribute,
and together let’s make a difference in the fight against cancer!"

Friday, July 07, 2006

Bike Stuff

Picture of Lucas Brunelle riding his bike underwater...

So the Bike Film Festival is in Minneapolis and yesterday they showed the Warriors the bike ride...good to see that video keeps going. Congradulations to Brendt Barbur and all those making the festival happen.

It runs from July 6-8th and it looks like a fun party for all.
There is a race series starting in Prospect Park.

Here is some info:

Incase you haven’t heard, a new race series is getting started in Prospect Park… Prospect Park Summer Slam!

This is an 8-week, fixed gear only race series. The series will be run similar to Autumn Attack, only this time, the races are prescheduled and you are encouraged to come with a team on the nights of team races.

Here is all the info:
Where: Prospect Park: Grand Army Plaza
When: Monday Nights (registration starts at 9pm, racing begins promptly at 9:30)
How much: $3

Schedule of Events:
July 10- Team Race (come with a team of 2)
July 17- Indie Scratch Race (3 laps)
July 24- Team Time Trial (come with a team of 4)
July 31- Team Race (if your teammate sucked, you can come with a new one) (Double Points)
August 7- Scratch Race (4 laps)
August 14- Handicap Race (The ones with the most points start later)
August 21- Team Race
August 28- Scratch Race (1 lap sprint) (double points)

Each night, the winner gets two-thirds of the nights money. The other third will be put into the grand prize, which will be split between the top male and female racer. Also, Bike Works, Trackstar, Fortynine-Sixteen, Reload and Fyxomatosis (Andy White).

If you’re left with any questions contact or ask on this post.
Will of onNYturf sent this report of the June Critical Mass in NYC

There is a bizzaro land where cyclists ride free the last Friday of
every month. Where cycling is supported AND promoted by the Mayor. Where
there are no police helicopters or marauding scooters. Where the media
does not blame cyclists if they are hit by a car. It is a place where
bicyclists one day a month fill the streets and cars have to wait, and
amazingly, despite all the bicycling, nobody dies ties in a traffic jam,
emergency vehicles are not grounded, the city does not burn down, and
the capitalist system does not collapse.

Many readers are probably already aware that San Francisco is the home
of Critical Mass, born there in 1992, and that today Critical Mass
enjoys the full support of the San Francisco government including The
Mayor. This past Friday I had the luck to be in San Francisco for a best
friend's wedding and was able to join the June ride.

full report and photos at:

Tod Seelie has pictures of Bicycle Fetish day and Track bike tricks events hosted by KingKog