Thursday, October 25, 2007

An article on bike safety.

Normally I wouldn't post an article like this to dissuade someone from biking based on statistics or to undermine the simple FACT that biking is more popular these days of hyper inflation, global warming and wars for that black stuff that made Ol Jed a millionaire. Is Biking Dangerous? It just stinks of that "blame the victim" bullcrap that folks like to utter like parrots when ever they hear about an accident or worse a fatality. The kind of nonsense of people who think bikes are only for exercise. Biking to work is no more dangerous than being a Puerto Rican in NYC with "Road Rage" undercovers who can't distinguish a pair of fingers from a wallet. But there are few good tidbits in here that the author points out.

I will post the whole article so it will be archived forever unlike the NYTimes which will eventually make you pay for it.

Thanks to Astoria bike for posting this.


October 18, 2007, 11:15 am
Will Bicycling to Work Get You Killed?
By Ryan Hagen
Bicycle commuting is on the rise, as evidenced by the following articles in , the Boston Herald (Dead link) , and USA Today. But if the idea of hitting the road on two wheels — with little to protect you from cars and trucks but good manners — strikes you as pretty risky, you aren’t so far from the mark.

Per kilometer, cyclists are 12 times more likely than car drivers to suffer a fatal accident, according to Rutgers University urban planner John Pucher and Lewis Dijkstra of the European Commission (the same study found traveling by foot to be 23 times more dangerous than driving, per kilometer). To put this finding in perspective, there were 785 bicycling fatalities on American roadways in 2005, compared to 4,881 pedestrian and 43,443 automotive fatalities that same year.

On the other hand, a Danish study (which was done 7 years ago) found that people who do not bike to work suffer a 39 percent higher mortality rate than those who do. So, assuming you can avoid a fatal accident on the road, biking to work may actually help you live longer.

The risks associated with cycling decrease dramatically when more cyclists are on the road, and especially when those cyclists obey traffic laws. This second point is hammered home in this bizarre but brilliant 1963 bike safety film, “One Got Fat” (the eagle — or is it monkey? — eyed among you will have recognized a clip from this film in the Freakonomics video “Does Sport Cause Crime“).

awesome old video:

One thing “One Got Fat” doesn’t mention is helmet use — helmets weren’t widely used until the 1970s, and controversy remains over how effective they are in reducing bike fatalities. (Full disclosure: I bike to work whenever possible, and wear a helmet, an adherent to what a few cyclists I know like to call the Cult of the Styrofoam Talisman.)

So, Freakonomics readers, just how effective are bike helmets?
wow, are we in first we've only advanced so far as to think about weather to wear a helmet or not.

Something more relevant of a debate...

Christian Science Monitor
article on trying to bring the bicycle back to a city so polluted from new economic growth and car culture hysteria.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

5 borogeneral awards and goldsprints party

A major endeavor was put on this summer, a 5 borough race series. This Friday they will have the awards and race some goldsprints...

GoldpsprintsNYC at 10p
5BoroGenerals Awards 1130pm
Skids and Tricks Shootout - tbd

S6 St and Berry. Williamsburg. Brooklyn.

Come after the cops shut times up party down....

Halloween...what to do?

Ok, if you thought last weekend was fun...Now its Halloween time.

In NYC here is bikeblog's list of suggestions for bike events Friday and Saturday...

Friday, October 26th...NYC.
First off go to Union Square North around 7:00pm for the annual Halloween Critical Mass. Dress up and ride with friends. (remember this is police state NYC still hellbent on harassing cyclists) best bet is to trickle out of Union Square and join up with friends to ride a bit later than'll figure it out. nuff said.

Then its:

Veloween, the Time's Up halloween party at 49 East Houston St. featuring Rude Mechanical Orchestra and guest DJ's. This is a fundraiser for our favorite environmental activist pay what you can. There will also be a costume contest so get creative.


LA Bruja, traditional Halloween Alleycat.

Registration 2:00pm Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn...more details to come...we hope. here

There is my favorite drunken mayhem:

Bike Kill

Brought to you by the fine young folks of the Black Label Bike Club.

1:00pm Sanford and Willoughby...BROOKLYN.

For inspiration: (Bike Kill 06)

The alleycat will end at BikeKill and there will be an after party, nearby.

There is also a DANGER party at 195 Morgan AVE.

and for those in other cities in the US...there are alleycats galore..

New Haven, CT

Washington DC

Pittsburgh, PA

Charlotte, North Carolina
Detriot Rock City
San Francisco: Trickster Treat
Proceeds to benefit Glide Memorial
October 31, 7PM, Bow & Arrow at Embarcadero and Folsom.
Costumes, games, candy, prizes, and more.
$10 entry with glow tee shirt, $5 without shirt.
Providence RI
Bike cave for more info

Tallahassee Florida
Berlin always throws a huge bash:

Wednesday in Boston:

Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Halloween Bike Ride
Meeting at Green Street T Station in JP
8:00pm meet up
8:30pm ride off
Costumes and costumed bikes ghoulishly encouraged!
Helmets and Lights too!
This is a Free Event, DIY Organized and community based.
more info will be posted here as it developes. check back. and spread the word.

we're planning stops along the way. If you have suggestions or questions, please send them to hwr @ but close the gaps and put "halloween bike ride" in the subject line.

more info and pictures here

Let me know about more...

MTA steals bikes again...

Watch out if you keep your bike at the L stop in Williamsburg cause your bike may be the MTA.

check out this report from Streetsblog,

Check out the comments and Digg the article to spread the word

Report back on Craig Murphey's memorial ride.

Our fellow cyclists die everyday...sometimes we don't know who they are and sometimes they leave behind a lasting memory and touch many peoples lives.
Craig Murphey was one of those people and he was honored with a mermorial bike ride on Sunday, October 21st after being trageicly killed by a truck in Williamsburg Brooklyn, last week.
Craig, shown in the from Lovebryan

This information comes from Streetsblog:

No charges were filed in the death of 26-year-old Craig Murphey, who according to police and media reports was hit by a turning gas truck just after 4 a.m. yesterday while riding southbound in the northbound lane of Union Avenue at Ten Eyck Street.

But Elizabeth Weinberg, a friend of Murphey's, tells Streetsblog that doesn't make sense:

We know for a fact that he was coming from Lorimer (at Broadway) at that time (dropping off our friend) and heading to his place on South 3rd in Brooklyn, so he had to have been going NORTH on Union Ave, not south like the police report said. There is no way Craig would be riding against traffic and he had no reason to head back down in the opposite direction from home. He rode to work everyday in Harlem from Brooklyn; he knew what he was doing.

Murphey did social work with the West Harlem Action Network Against Poverty and was reportedly a member of Right Rides, a group that provides late-night rides and walks home to GLBT populations vulnerable to assault. Friends have dedicated a Flickr photo pool to Murphey, and are directing donations made in his name to WHANAP.

Here are some ways people are honoring and remembering Craig:
his myspace page
Lovebryan a friends site of pictures.
flickr photo pool

Pictures from the memorial from Elizabeth Weinberg:

There was also a memorial on Monday:

Monday, October 22, 2007

Suckapants images from ZOMBIECON

The living dead rampaged through the streets on Saturday...otherwise known as ZOMBIECON

check out some great pictures from Tod Seelie of Suckapants.

more pictures at suckapants flickr page

Great Zombie and Los Marcos Bike Polo weekend

Ok its not even Halloween weekend and...I'm beat. This weekend was a great time and thanks to all who put on great events here in NYC.

First off was a jam packed Bike Polo invitational hosted by Los Marcos. 4 or so fomer Luche Libre stars from LosMarcostan flew into town, were detained at the airport and were able to judge their own polo competition even though one of their founding members was doored by an irate driver, punching a hole in his chest with the tip of the car door.

photo by john prolly

But the show went on. Two days of bike polo here in NYC at what is now being called the polo grounds of Broome and Chrystie street. For those who don't know there is a massive movement of people getting on bikes and hitting a ball into a goal with homemade mallets of ski poles and pvc pipe.

Just take a look at the myspace pages alone of polo sites:

Boston Bike Polo
New Haven
the DIRTY South
Los Angeles

And there is a lot more.

I was talking with Pieter Blockker from Vancouver and he mentioned the infectious nature of bike polo...
"you don't choose bike chooses you"

It was hard to dispute meeting people who had traveled all over the country just to play bike polo in NYC for a bunch of dudes wearing Mexican wrestling masks and American Apparel underwear.

Saturday, the 20th, people took the court around Noon and began playing pickup games, giving the individual teams a chance to square off and see weather fixed gears were better than freewheels for stick handling.

Then there was a 2 on 2 showdown and the points began. Los Marcos had a very loose system of keeping score, or maybe it was just too complicated for me to understand but cheating was incouraged and througout the weekend participants scored points by bribing the judges, stealing their bikes and doing what ever they could to gain their approval.

some pictures:


Around 7:30pm the polocat began, a nightime alleycat race for the polo teams through lower Manhattan, polo mallets were required at all times and several of the checkpoints involved hitting balls, including the bull stature in Wall Street.


Some went on to a massive party in BedSty but I head over to the St. Mark's Chuch for a Freewheels event: the Zombie ride.

All the zombies gathered at the St. Marks Church and rode through the streets, critical mass style. We had no police bothering us, thankfully...and had a nice tour of Lower Manhattan with the occasional stop to tell ghost stories and point out historical sites in NYC which had hauntings.

my friend Dan, tandem partner...did great make-up for himself and me...



Then we rode to Washington Square park and then over the Manhattan bridge to a park in Fort Greene to make smores by a bon fire.


The Los Marcos bike polo championships were well underway when I arrived around 2:00pm. Being extremely hung over from the nights partying may have been a handicap but the polo went on.

Bike Parade in Manchester UK-oct 26th

Almost forgot...oh yeah the planet.

Today is a global day of action to stop global warming. So as you put on your shorts for another humid day in October think about this...

It’s Time for a National Intervention

October 22, Washington, D.C.

and across the country

The Iraq war and the threat of climate change are the twin global threats that millions of Americans said they wanted immediate action on after the U.S. mid-term election. But as Iraq continues to devolve into violence and chaos, and as we hit another year of record warm temperatures, our legislators are failing to respond to the will of the people. We want a safe and healthy planet for years and years to come. Please join us in a series of actions in 2007 to fight climate change, not wars for oil!

Turn your voice into action!



We need to take immediate action…
…To end the war in Iraq and all future oil wars
…To halt the impending climate crisis
…To end the US addiction to oil and other fossil fuels
…To rebuild New Orleans and all impacted communities
…To end racism and corporate greed
…To promote green jobs in a clean energy economy




Friday, October 19, 2007

This weekend...Bike Polo in NYC

I'll let the flyers speak for themselves. Its gonna be fun, lots of people are coming from other cities...its polo...on bikes.

Schedule coming soon.

What was going on in Brooklyn?

Brooklyn drivers have really lost their minds. Maybe they think all bets are off when it comes to operating their vehicles in this lawless borough.

Now I don't want to make comparisons in anyway here. What happened are isolated instances and, well lets just say I got off light.

Yesterday, Wednesday...October 17th, for the first time in my 17 years of NYC...wait a second...17 and 17, thats creepy. I was hit by a mini van in the heart of the Hasidic part of Williamsburg Brooklyn. Surprise surprise for a group of people so well known for their driving skills...NOT. This part of Brooklyn is home to 57,000 Satmar Hasidic Jews and just about all of them seem to own mini vans. Now they may have their own version of Judisim, their own laws and customs which may seem alien to the influx of hipsters moving in right next store...but this does not absolve them from driving with the same rules of the road we all must adhere to.

That being said, I was riding my fixed gear down Roebling Street, North towards Broadway, to go to the bank. I see this Green mini van half way out into the intersection of South 9th. Roebling is a big two way street, and this intersection is huge. The van is making an illegal U-turn, only slowly, not whipping around. I decide to try and go to his front side...he must have seen fact we made eye contact. Then a flukey thing happened, maybe out of panic, but one of my cleats comes out of the clipless pedals and there is no way for me to stop...I'm gonna hit something. But this van has ample time to stop. He barley clips me in the front wheel and I go over the handle bars. This elderly man says, "are you ok" as he slowly drives off, leaving me in the intersection. My back wheel won't move and it turns out its just the chain caught. Now I'm ok, a few scrapes...I don't say anything and one person in the crowd of people who watched this spectacle shouts..."Damn, son, I would have choked him." I just pull out a pad of paper I carry on me in my RELOAD side pouch and proceed to write down the plates as this van is slowly driving away. Green Mini Van...DYS 3310 (New York Plates) Now what to do? I've been thinking about this situation, just about every time I strap on my helmet and wonder if today will be my last. I feel fine. I look down and see that my right front bullhorn handlebar has taken the brunt of the crash. Its bent in and twisted up, but the rest of my indestructible orange KHS seems to be fine...wheels true...crank tight. Then I call 911 and report a Hit and Run accident.
The crowd still can't get over how calm I am...maybe I'm in shock. Out of procedure the fire truck shows up, then the cops and then the paramedics. I fill out all the information, give the cops my id, get checked out by the paramedics and assure them I don't need to go to the hospital. I get a number to call for the accident report and complaint number. I can just see how this thing could pan out. The van is registered to some Puerto Rican in the Bronx, I have to go to a line up and identify 6 of the Hasidim and one guy they threw in there with glue on side curls. The old man only speaks Hebrew and has no recollection of the incident. I'm not looking for a lawsuit here, just trying to fallow through. At the bare minimum I could get a new set of handlebars and maybe keep this guy reading Talmud and not operating a vehicle...who knows. Besides the cops being really friendly and attentive, there was also a local super of a building nearby that said he would be a witness.

If anyone knows a place to get straight bars...I'm in need of a new pair.

Then yesterday...Real tragedy stikes.

This comes from WABC and posted on:

streets blog

2 cyclists were killed in Brooklyn.

"Two men, both bicyclists, were killed in separate accidents in Brooklyn Thursday morning.

In the first, police say a bicyclist was struck and killed by an oil truck at the intersection of Union Avenue and Ten Eyck Street in the East Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.

The bicyclist, a 26-year-old Massachusetts resident, was hit while cycling in the wrong direction just after 4:15 a.m.

He was allegedly trying to beat the oil truck, turning from southbound Union Avenue to Ten Eyck Street, when he was struck.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

No charges were filed.

Later, authorities say a 25-year-old bicyclist was struck by a white passenger van at the intersection of Utica Avenue and Fulton Street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn.

The bicyclist was pronounced dead at the scene, in front of a church.

The driver of the passenger van was not immediately charged. The accident was under investigation.

A woman who lives near Union and Ten Eyck describes the scene:

I came up to the intersection this morning at around 7 a.m., and it had crime scene tape around it. There was a large truck (like an oil truck perhaps) stopped, post turn, and when I turned to look I saw a bicycle completely flattened under the back left tire. The person had been removed from the scene, but from the somber expressions and the remains on the road it was clear that this individual didn't survive. I would like to honor my neighbor in some way. This is so sad. I ride a bike pretty frequently and run all the time in the neighborhood. The intersection is absolutely terrible, people just peel around and often come very close to hitting me or my dog. As a matter of fact, I was just telling my friend on Monday about almost being hit a few blocks up from this (when I had a walk sign). Actually, all the intersections along Union Avenue in WBurg are like that. It is really, really hard to cross the street. The intersection where this tragedy occurred is a "T" so you can really only cross when the walk light says stop, because no one ever, ever, ever pays attention to the walk signal when they have the green light. This is so sad and senseless. After I walked by the scene, I saw so many cars in a rush try to run over pedestrians at Grand and Union, a few blocks away. I saw a car honking at a cyclist and come aggressively close to him on Union just past Grand. It is so sad. Is there anythign we can do to make drivers more accountable for their recklessness? "

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Alleycat in Albany, NY


Albany, October 20th.

Do it!


Track Kaiju screens in two places.

The short fim I made, Track Kaiju, about 2 Japanese bike messengers traveling to NYC to race in Monster Track will be screening this week, so if your in the neighborhood...check it out.

First up is Boston, MA for the Boston Bike Filmfestival

The festival is Oct. 18-20th.

Kick off Party...

Posted by: Boston Cyclistas
Track Kaiju, Thursday @ TOS Cafe

party, pick up a manifest, watch an awesome short film about messengers comepeting in a nyc alleycat...

Boston Bike Film Festival's Opening Party
this Thursday Night 8:00pm
The Otherside Cafe

grab a scavengerhunt manifest for $3

watch my favorite messengers act a fool in a short film about the most infamous nyc alleycat of them all- MONSTERTRACK!

Track Kaiju
Playintraffic Producitons short film starring Shino ("fixie king at the 14th annual messenger world championship in Sydney" -Mike Green) and Mike Dee (NYC messenger, Red Light Go)

see you there!

a little blurb about the Boston Ladies--"We are a group of women cyclists in the Boston area. Our goals are to build community amongst like-minded women who find themselves in a male-dominated sport and sub-culture, create a safe space for women who may have never raced or ridden seriously before to train with other women, incubate the experienced and the inexperienced alike so that we all feel more confident about riding and racing in mixed gender (ie, male dominated) settings, and have a shit load of fun riding bike"

Then we go across the POND to Jolly London for the: 7th Annual Bicycle Film Festival

All films are at the Rich Mic Cultural Foundation
35-47 Bethnal Green Road - London E1 6LA

Track Kaiju is Saturday, October 20th at 7:00pm

There is also the Joy Ride art show, a collection of amazing works of art by bikers about bikes.
(this art show has been touring with the festival)

MAVERIK SHOWROOM | 68-72 Red Church St E2

There will be nightly after parties at such hotspots as: Green and Red's, The Legion, Dust and the Dragon Bar. (see Bicycle Film Festival for a compete list of information)

and on Sunday the 21st: BIKE POLO

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Bikers look for BRAINS!!!

More by: TheorySam


Saturday is also ZOMBIECON.

Its this event where people dress up like zombies and march around NYC looking for BRAINS. Its modeled after Santacon and happens in a bunch of cities all over the US.

visit: ZOMBIECON to get on the email list to find out where ZOMBIECON will meet up.

Spend the day in a George Romero kind of mood and for inspiration check out this video from last year...

then hop on your bike and join the midnight ridazz--bike ride at 11:00pm (see post below)

Midnight Ridazz is bike ride for cyclists and skaters which meets in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles on the 2nd Saturday of every month. This event has been taking place since February of 2004 and has a ridership of numbers into the thousands. The idea here is critical mass only later in the evening, less confrontational and more about good times with a party, costumed atmosphere.

On October 12th, 2007...The midnight Ridazz hosted the...Heavy Metal 2 ride.

here is a video from the event...

NYC has attempted a few Midnight Ridazz style bike rides, but it hasn't caught on...YET!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Midnight Ridazz NYC...October 20th.

Ok, this is my favorite time of the year. HALLOWEEN. So much going on. This is the time of year I get no sleep, stay up all night making flyers and costumes. I'll just post em as I see em.

Saturday, OCTOBER 20

Put on your creepiest undead costume, grab your flask and meet us at the St. Mark's Church Cemetery, famously haunted by the 17th-century Dutch Governor, Peter Stuyvesant. We'll visit notoriously haunted spots around the East Village and beyond. This ride ends at a party!

DISCLAIMER: By participating, Cyclists hereby agree that FreeWheels, its agents and affiliates assume no liability for brains consumed through any acts or omissions of any party

11:00 pm- St Marks Church Graveyard (2nd Ave & E10th St)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Online Cycling News...

For a daily report on cycling news check out:
From their site:

"Hello and welcome to, a daily digest of cycling news from around the world. Think of CWN as a watering hole for cycling enthusiasts and people interesting in finding out more about cycling, training, trends and equipment. Articles and information about bikes and cycling are delivered fresh daily, so stop by regularly for your cycling news fix!"

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

October 13th, Trexlertown Swap meet.

Saturday is T-Town.

Need a new bike, wanna find a deal on rare parts...get on down to the premiere bicycle swap meet in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania

This information comes from velo news:

On Saturday, October 13 from 8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m., the Valley Preferred Cycling Center in Trexlertown, PA (formerly Lehigh Valley Velodrome) will host the largest cycling and fitness outdoor expo in the east. This specialty flea market, which is devoted to a variety of bicycling products, will close out the major event schedule for 2007 at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center. The best cycling-related sportswear and fitness equipment from the largest gathering of suppliers and merchants in the country will be showcased on the grounds of the nation’s premier cycling venue. From pro cycling apparel and equipment to children’s bikes, the Swap Meet features all things cycling, new and used and all prices are negotiable.

15 different commercial vendors traveling from across the country include, Beacon Bicycles, Nestors, Green Mountain Cyclery, Keswick, Donnelly Imports, Long’s Cycle Shop, Spa Sport, Base Camp Adventure Outfitters, Bike Surplus, Cycle Sport Inc., Champion Systems, Guy’s Bicycles, along with over 175 individual vendors! More than 2,500 people attended the Cycling Center’s 2006 Fall Swap Meet and this year, the track is expecting a similar turnout for the largest “Fall Bicycle Swap Meet” in the nation.

Don't miss this opportunity to take advantage of the best deals in cycling equipment! This event is open to the public and there is a $5 admission fee. Children 12 and under get in the gates for free. For further information please visit
I also found this schedule of other swap meets from the

its a little late for 2007, but maybe this will give you an idea other places to get good deals. *Please note, dates may be wrong, because...T-Town's date was off by a week. Its the 13th of October not the 7th.

Another big weekend for bikes...

October continues to rock here in the big city. Just coming off the MASH premiere and all that went with up:

Saturday, October 13th is the final race of the most elaborate series in alleycat history.
CK and his team have been working out all the details for an event which should be a fitting end to this intense season. (of course we still have the Halloween weekend and Cranksgiving...but that is another story)


For those participating and paying attention. B4B is the final race.
Race is starting at 1500 hrs (3pm). It was pushed back because peoples want to go to Trexler Town in Pennsalvania, one of the largest bicycle swap meets. (see posting)

The race is actually a series of mini-games and short races including a team time race, an individual hill climb, relay race, drag racing, a skid slalom race, tricks, stands and an alley-crit.

This will be a spectator friendly event with group rides to the start/finish lines of the various contests. The site 5 boro generals, will be posting a schedule so people can find out where all the action is.

Who will take it all: Dan, Crihs, Austin, Pete? Come find out.

Then on Sunday:
Squid from cyclehawk couriers wanted to have this posted for a great cause:

This is a group ride (not a race) for all riders to donate to a man who has done a lot for the cycling community.

-Chris Thornton wrote:
Last fall, Fernando Cuevas was diagnosed with kidney cancer, and he has been battling the disease ever since. Fernando has touched the lives of many young bike racers, including my own, and has made an impact in the cycling community through his involvement in the America's Cycling Team program as well as his time spent at Kissena velodrome.

This is a ride for anyone, racers and non-racers alike, to show support for Fern and his family. It will begin at the Central Park Boathouse at 8 AM on October 14. A race flyer will be available soon. 100% of monetary contributions not necessary for putting on the ride will go directly to Fernando.

Thank you so much for your support!

Donate and register here

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

You can pre-order MASH.

Pre order MASH video here and see more pix of the crew in NYC. From people who know how to take pictures...

Check out Kyle's blog from Dave's Quality Meats for more pictures by TAKUYA SAKAMOTO

Video footage from at the banks...

Video by Nubloom

and he says he has no video experience...

DC's AZ wins Markus Cook Award...congratulations

Andy Zalan, from 2006 perverts invitational in DC. photos by demoncats

from tour LeMond:

Congratulations to Washington DC's own Andy Zalan, race organizer, messenger, tricks master...nice work.
This comes from Joe Hendry of
"The International Federation of Bicycle Messenger Associations (IFBMA) is pleased to announce that Washington DC messenger Andy Zalan has been awarded the 2007 Markus Cook Award. The Cook Award is given annually to bike messengers who best represent the camaraderie and community spirit of the international messenger community. In the past year, Andy set up the Destination Dublin race series in Washington that enabled several DC messengers to travel to the Cycle Messenger World Championships in Dublin, Ireland. His annual bike messenger calendar is a tribute to those who work day in and day out.

However, beyond Andy’s accomplishments of the last year, lies a decade long history of community advocacy and bridge building among American and European messengers. Andy is one of the founders of the District of Columbia Bike Couriers Association, one of the first organizers of alleycat racing in Washington and he brought the world to his city as host of the 1998 Cycle Messenger World Championships.

Andy has been instrumental to the continued success of the CMWC and is a critical component of the international messenger community. In his nomination for the award, veteran Swiss messenger, Luk Keller accurately summed up the international messenger community’s appreciation of Andy Zalan:

"He never loses the spirit. He unites every aspect of what I like about messengers (he’s uncomplicated, he can race, he can party, he's good-looking, he's smart, friendly, badass...helpful) and by being the way he is he unites the messenger mob with the messenger snob."

With all this in mind, the IFBMA and previous Markus Cook Award winners are pleased to welcome Andy to the list of winners."

Monday, October 08, 2007

Yesterday was great for bikes...MASH Screening and more.

New York City's bike community provides. This Saturday was the New York premiere of the freestyle track bike riding sensation: MASH SF. This 1 hour video, three years in the making from film makers/photographers Gabe Morford and Michael Martin, is the first of its kind to present track bikes in the same visual documentation synonymous with bmx, skate and snowboard videos. The two filmmakers, hailing out of the bay area, achieved a fluid visual style, showing off their top riders and utilizing the varied topography of San Francisco proper. That’s right…long, steep, winding HILLS. 17 members make up the MASH crew of bikers, each with their own unique style. Some messengers, some former skateboarders and some new to the idea of riding a 4 block wheelie on a bicycle designed for a spandex Olympic athlete on a velodrome. Track bikes have been in the spotlight for years and its no surprise the level of ability both for riders and for the bikes themselves, but MASH SF brings it the big screen and there is no doubt this video has and will influence the scene.

Gabe Morford was in town to show the complete video for the first time in NYC. MASH SF, has taken many forms, first as a trailer distributed widely on the internet, then as a shorter version first being unveiled at last years bicycle film festival. Now the movie has premiered in its home town of SF, and beginning to travel which brought Gabe to NYC. Then its back to LA and then to Tokyo, where track bike culture has recently exploded.

I called Gabe on Saturday to try and set up an interview to get more of the story behind the film. I hadn’t heard from him and assumed he wad just busy with the hectic schedule of setting up the screening. Sunday he called back with an apology. Turns out he had just gotten out of jail. No more than an hour or so in New York, Gabe was fixing his bike for the abuse of airplane travel. He rode up on the sidewalk in Brooklyn and was stopped by undercover officers who saw a small clip in his front pants pocket. Turns out Gabe had a pocket knife which later turned out to be enough of a blade to somehow merit felony charges. I’d love to laugh this off and file under a humorous “Welcome to New York,” but come on…lucky he wasn’t an African immigrant or we might be filing this under a coroners report. Well, welcome to Police state New York.

After a night in the tombs, getting a lawyer to smooth a felony down to community service in SF, and a busted tooth (unrelated), Gabe was ready to begin the enjoying himself portion of this sour experience. First up was an alleycat race put on by Kyle of Skate/BMX/Track bike boutique: Dave’s Quality Meats and Brad of Trackstar, local hangout, bike shop, purveyor of slick parts to up your ride’s slick appearance and your body with cool clothes.

About 30 riders showed up to race at the bike polo grounds at Broome and Chrystie. The Sunday ritual pick up gang was going on in the sunken court while players nursed hangovers. The racers waited as grey clouds rolled overhead with a possible threat of rain. Racer lined up against the wall with their bike out of site in the ramp leading to the polo courts. Here, race organizers put their manifests in their spokes so no one had any advance notice of the checkpoints and it was on. Chris Ryan of team spider was shooting for me. He lives the Fuck brakes lifestyle named after his bands new album. Now when I say fuck brakes, I don’t mean a brakeless fixed gear, that you can stop with your feet. I mean…fuck brakes…no working brakes except to hear the Fred Flinstone scaping sound behind me of Chris’s Vans as he tries to make some attempt to slow down. Wait this is the guy carring the expensive video camera?

After the start of the race, we head over to the closest checkpoint at Trinity and Exchange Place which turned out to be on of the last points before the finish since all of the racers head to destinations uptown first. The off the cuff goal at this checkpoint was to pick one of the dead flowers in a box, give it to a complete stranger and say something romantic. Doug, hit the checkpoint first in about 40 minutes. We all had a great time watching sweaty racers trying to give a mangled flower to tourists. We got great footage of this.

Then we rode to the finish which was also the site of a Tricks competition hosted by Cadence Clothing. Doug, of local food delivery and polo king, won the race in record time. Congratulations.
Here are the race results:

1. doug (free)
2. crihs (track)
3. jersey dan (track)
4. raphael negron (track)
5. andrew (free)
6. yatika (track)

Thanks Crihs for posting this. (I sure as hell didn't know what was up)

The tricks event was down at the Banks, famous skate and bmx spot under the Brooklyn Bridge on the Manhattan side. The place was filled with skaters going off ramps and bmx riders getting serious air on a side of the bridge itself. The Banks got their name for their brick, steep sides which cover one whole length, under the bridge, about 2 blocks long. Its amazing this place exists and thankfully it has remained the same way for decades. Check out this old school video. Back in the day.

This was a fun day…spent watching the emergence of a new style of bike riding…doing tricks on track bikes. People began to see the possibilities. Mike Dee and Kym Perfetto were our host of short webisode we are making at play in traffic productions…coming soon to blog near you…hint hint. They spent time interviewing the film maker Gabe and Garret a MASH rider who came to NYC to hang out, one of the stars of the movie. One of Cadence riders tore it up on his Brooklyn Machine works bike, making it look like the ease of a BMX bike.

Then everyone got down for a great game of footdown and battled it out till about 6:00pm I think NYC’s Pablo won it.

Then a nice group shot of the event, which I didn’t seem to get in focus. I blame my camera…yeah that’s it.

So then it was time for the big event, the screening of MASH SF at the Saint Marks Church in the East Village. Thanks to Frank Morales, this has always been a safe haven for bike activists and was where we all sought refuge during the police attack of the Republican National Convention.
Time’s up was on hand, volunteering as valet bike parking, but many guests choose the obvious hanging their bike on the fence.

The screening was packed and there was a real excitement in the air. The song by the Bay area band: The Mall set off the screening, basically replaying the trailer which we have all been jamming to on youtube and the MASH website. Awesome.

The movie was a great achievement both for the ridership and for the shooting with the difficult covering of bikes going top speed in traffic.

People cheered at all the tricks and laughed at the some of the brief glimpses into the characters of the MASH crew.

We talked with EMI and Massan of the movie and the conclusion was clear…It doesn’t matter what you wear, if your rim color matches your frame…just do one thing: RIDE BIKES. ahh, if only it were that simple.

There was a lot of talk of NYC trying to push the limit and represent the grimy side that makes NYC so unique. It may not have been the intention of the film makers but I can bet 2 things were going on in people’s heads as the left the screening:

1) The Mall’s catchy punk song…

2) and what tricks can I do on my fixed gear…(I bet everyone rode just a little bit harder)

and probably thoughts of how to put in all into a video, NYC’s response.

Many people will have different responses to this video, which is what Gabe predicted would be the first thing people who do after the screening:

Here is an honest reflection of the movie, but more about the props to the old skool riders, the working SF messengers...Respect DUE:

Check out Messnyc's perspective on MASH SF from BILL DOZER

Trudy's Pictures

Some of mine, that were actually in focus:

Garett and Massan checkin da map-

Yatika hits Trinity checkpoint

Fuck spider

Popin tricks

Filmmaker Gabe Morford

group shot
riding to the screening
The crowd:

all my photos:
flickr set