Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Bike Film Festival in Sweden

Our Film the Warriors is screening this Friday at a bicycle film festival in Goteberg.
Yeah, we're huge in Sweden bro.

Looks like a good time with Rollers Race and screening of bike movies.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tragedy in Chicago

Well the logic board on my laptop crapped out. Apple care was a worthwhile investment. So I've been unable to write for a while and we were away shooting an episode of our new television show: "Babylon by Bike." We had a great time in Boston. More info coming soon.

Meanwhile tragedy strikes in Chicago which is going to be the home of the North American Cycle Courier Championships.

A young cyclist was killed during a race series.

Matthew Manger-Lynch, (29)

was struck and killed by an SUV while he was racing in a local race series called: "The Tour of Chicago." Yes, this was an unofficial race and may be one of the first people killed in this type of event.
A flyer from 2006.

More details are in this article from the Chicago Tribune, written by: Karoun Demirjian

Here is an eye-witness account:

On the second stretch of the ride today, i was in the front pack, which was about 15-20 people. a fellow whom i'd only met that morning, a young guy named matt, passed me on the left, ... two blocks later, our pack was approaching a huge 5-way intersection (lincoln/irvingpark/damen), matt was in front. i was maybe 20-30 feet behind him, with a couple riders between us. matt proceeded into the intersection, probably assuming he could dodge traffic or (as had happened up until then that day), stop traffic dead, as they usually see a pack of unruly bikers and stop for us, not knowing what else to do. this time, in this intersection, that didn't happen. a GMC suburban SUV was coming from the right too fast - matt tried to swerve to miss it, but couldn't. i watched in horror as the suv plowed right over him and his bike, wheels rolling right over both. the vehicle pulled over at the side of the road; matt lay in the middle of the enormous intersection, bleeding, not moving. the other riders stopped traffic, and gathered on the sidewalk at the other side of the intersection. i called an ambulance. we didn't know if he was conscious or not - i tried, with the help of another rider (nico), to talk to him, shouting at him to stay awake, to stay with us, to hang on, to fight. there was so much blood. his helmet was fucked on the front and the back, indicating that the wheel had likely impacted his head. he convulsed a bit, never opening his eyes, never responding to our cries. i now realize he was certainly unconscious during this time. police arrived quickly (we had passed two of them a few blocks before), and shortly afterwards a firetruck and then an ambulance. they took over dealing with him, put him on a stretcher and into the ambulance. the police kept asking everyone around if we knew him. no one did. a few knew his name, and gave it to them. no one seemed to know him personally. we tried to find any info we could about his contacts, his phone, his family. others were somewhat successful later.
we gave our names, and after much official delay, a few rode on to the hospital, and most of us went back to one of the rider's houses (stan + rachels). we waited for info. when it finally came, we were told he was pronounced dead on the scene. his wife had been found and had made it to the hospital. i can only imagine how she feels. my deepest condolences go out to his wife and family.
the scene of the accident plays over and over in my head. i don't know exactly at what point he died. i'm leaving the house now again, and heading directly to a bike shop to purchase a helmet.

Matthew is remembered on this blog

Friday, February 15, 2008

Orange bikes angers and inspires.

Fashion week has moved on to London but the bike community in New York, is still chatting about the great orange props DKNY left us in their annoying attempt to promote themselves...I mean promote biking, I mean promote thinking about biking, I mean thinking about themselves looking good and maybe forgetting what they were supposed to think about...biking or something orange.

To be fair, DKNY wanted to put up white bikes and were quickly thwarted. Not because of the blatant rip-off of sacred ghostbike memorials dedicated to lives lost for biking, but more importantly to be respectful of the fashion rule before Memorial Day, and didn't want to piss anyone off. Besides the new rule for Spring 08 is Orange is the new white.

Here are two more articles which came out in local papers with some fine reporting on orange bike fever.

Jefferson Seigel came out last Friday for the cat fight out front of the Fashion Week Mecca, sometimes known as Bryant Park. He filled this report in the paper he works for, the Villager.
Photo by Jefferson,

Cycling activist Anya, mimicking a fashion model, vogued on an orange bike.

Title--Cyclists: DKNY knocked off our ‘ghost bike’ idea

By Jefferson Siegel

Just before the start of Fashion Week, dozens of neon-orange-painted bicycles appeared around the city chained to lampposts. Stenciled on each was the Web site address for the fashion company DKNY.

read more... here at the Villager.

Then the Metro put out this article about how the promo gone wrong inspired film maker Kalim Armstrong to make a video about it for the Bicycle Film Festival.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Couriers in Seattle

Ah yes another article on Bike Couriers. This one is from my old hometown of Seattle.

Unfortunately, there's nothing really new here but I like to include all the articles I can, for the archives.

Thanks again to Joe Headry of for his constant diligence in finding articles about couriers.

Seattle street racers: Ride along with Seattle bike couriers

By Erika Cederlind

Daily - University of Washington , February 12, 2008

Driving in Seattle sucks. It’s pouring rain and traffic is terrible. Cars speed up to intersections only to slam on brakes, honk horns and wait bumper to bumper. Weather conditions, road construction and commuters only compound the problem.

On a bike, these problems disappear. Bike messengers can weave in and out of traffic, avoid construction and get from Pike to Pine in a matter of minutes, while driving through downtown Seattle can take upwards of an hour.

In a city like Seattle, bike couriers are a necessity. Legal documents, architectural drawings, business proposals and more must get from point A to B as soon as possible.

Washington Legal Messengers is one of several bike courier companies in Seattle. Like many other delivery services, its base is nondescript (like its riders) and unmarked by any sign or logo that would explain its presence.

At 5 p.m., couriers are finishing their workday. Wet and wind-burned from the January weather, the bikers recline in chairs and on desks, drinking beer and laughing at the events of the day.

The couriers bond over their common problems: frustrations with drivers, the weather, or an annoying customer. Their commonalities create a unique community. They all know each other and many of them are willing to help out another courier.

“There’s an unspoken bond between messengers,” said Matt “Face” Nascimento, a Washington Legal messenger Nascimento has worked as a courier for two years; by messenger standards, he’s still a rookie. He moved to Seattle from southern California, and like most, fell into the job by accident.

“I was just riding my bike around the city,” Nascimento said. “I’d just gotten out of school and wasn’t ready to go back. I went around, asked a couple of messengers and eventually landed a job at ABC Legal.”

ABC Legal is the biggest legal delivery company in the area.

Now Nascimento considers himself a “lifer” — a career messenger. Many lifers start as messengers in one city and move to other cities later in their career.

When courier Chad Strand moved to Seattle from Reno he experienced the positive impact of the community.

“The first week I met another courier, and she already knew everything about me,” he said.

Couriers are a mix; some do it while they’re in-between jobs — others are lifers. Many are college educated and have worked elsewhere. All of them love the outdoors, cycling and can’t imagine working in an office.

“I can’t tell you how many offices I walk into where they’re counting down the hours,” Strand said.

“They say they can’t picture doing my job,” he continued. “But I can’t imagine doing theirs.”

Many people can’t imagine dealing with the risks that many of the messengers face. Most couriers shrug any danger off.

“People think we’re stupid,” said Jonathan Tamesue, a Fleetfoot courier. “But we’re playing on a level that people don’t understand.”

Courier consensus: fear is for rookies. Safety is about confidence.

“The moment you doubt yourself, you fall. Any hesitation means you get hurt,” Nascimento said.

Just don’t try it at home. As Strand explained, “We are professionals.”

Although the occupation seems “macho,” Nascimento explains that quite a few women work as messengers, too.

“There are a lot of girls who do it who don’t get the respect they deserve. It’s not a total male-dominated sport,” he said.

The messengers know the city like the back of their hand. They know which intersection lights change slower and how many seconds you have before a car 20 feet away will hit you. Traffic patterns are instinct.

“I knew it (being a messenger) finally clicked when I saw holes instead of cars,” Strand said.

The risks aren’t important to the couriers. Despite the dangers of getting hit by a bus or wrecking on early morning ice, they love their job.

“You get into it,” Nascimento said. “Your endorphins are going and you get addicted.”

Independent courier Roy Wilkie describes his job as an adventure.

“It’s a daily road trip. … It’s a challenge, you have to keep so many things together.”

Balancing the route, dealing with paperwork, time, and external factors can all complicate a simple route. Getting a package to a company on time, Tamesue said, is ridiculously epic.

“You have to get from the [Denny] Regrade to south Seattle in six minutes, and you got it there with 30 seconds to spare… You can’t explain how good it feels,” he said.

With all the hills in Seattle, people often wonder what kind of bikes couriers favor. For many messengers, it’s all over the board.

“It’s what suits you,” Wilkie said. He explained that some people prefer mountain bikes for heavier packages, track bikes without brakes for going uphill or just a good solid road bike.

“Track bikes are hard, though, for going downhill,” he said. “You have to pedal with the speed of the wheel or you’ll crash. But right now single-speed, fixed gear bikes are really fashionable. As soon as they go out of style, I’ll work with one.”

Historically, bike messengers have been around since the invention of the bicycle. The United Parcel Service (UPS) was started by a couple of guys delivering on bikes in Pioneer Square. Seattle bike delivery companies began in the late 1970s as the city grew.

“Bike deliveries are the most logical,” said Gary Brose, owner and president of Fleetfoot Messenger Service. “Traffic is terrible and people want to get things done in an hour, 30 minutes or 15 minutes. What we’re selling here is time.”

Time is a valuable resource valuable enough that Seattle couriers can make a pretty good living.

“I don’t have to worry about having to eat Ramen because I’m worried about making rent,” Strand said.

Some companies pay hourly, but most pay on commission, plus extra for wait time, rushed deliveries and extra weight.

“You really make as much money as you put into it,” Tamesue said.

Couriers manage several jobs a day, riding miles up and down hills and all over Seattle. They ride from the U-District to Ballard, through the downtown core and farther south. Some ride to Bellevue and Issaquah if the need arises.

“It’s usually from 30 to upwards of 80 jobs on a busy day. I average about 40 miles,” Fleetfoot messenger Brant Waldron said.

Despite weather, traffic or construction, messengers do their job.

“It’s a total unsung hero thing,” Nascimento said. He laughed and then added, “I have a good quote for it from Thoreau: ‘The most wild is the most alive.’ And I think, yeah, we’re pretty wild and pretty alive.”

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Stupor Bowl XI

Last year's spoke card. Picture by this year's female winner Clove.

So there aren't too many alleycat races that have been going on consistently for eleven years but one of them is in Minneapolis called Stupor Bowl.

The race happened February 1st and 2nd. has the race results and some pictures.

The stupor bowl myspace page.

Here's a little forum on the Minneapolis bike scene.

Some photos by Joel.

Susan (Clove) licking the prize bag she won.

Hope to see some Minneapolis riders here for Monster Track.

Monday, February 11, 2008

New York Times sees Orange bikes and I see Red Flags.

Another video of the orange bikes explaining DKNY wants an Auto-free NY: "hey their message was unclear...we gave them a message."

I would like nothing better then to put this whole Orange bike thing to rest, although its done wonders for the readership of this blog. I hope we get it by now...DKNY sprinkled spray-painted orange bicycles about the city, chained them to trees and poles with their logo on the down tube. They did it for fashion week to promote themselves and there was also some odd chance people might go to their website, click on the Spring 08 collection page, then clink the picture of the orange bike in the left column, then this would easily lead them to a page that stated the fashion company gave money to the DOT to promote cycling. Easy right? Most people never got that far and instead scratched their heads at the orange bike which looked abandoned but had enough street sense to know someone was promoting something like the guy in front of the Virgin megastore that just asked them if they liked Hip-hop or Comedy. The bicycle community knew the image of a spray painted bicycle and was instantly offended. The all-over orange paint was a blatant rip-off of the white ghostbike memorials which are placed around the city explaining that someone died on a bicycle by a motorist. A bunch of people started talking about this, blogging about this and some videos were made. I was supposed to go on NPR, but they dropped the story, before I had a chance to speak. Then the New York Times had to go and spoil it for me. They write this article in their blog City Room saying "Rounding up the Orange bikes." I guess this is summarizing the whole affair by asking a lot of questions. Eventually the author Jennifer 8. Lee does a good job of explaining that DKNY doesn't actually give money for bicycles, but rather for free bike maps thorough the D.O.T. who also states they had nothing to do with this promotion. Then they include this quote form someone in PORTLAND. NOT again. Its kind of like this:

NY TIMES REPORTER: Hmmm, there couldn't possible be anyone here in NYC who could speak to this issue? Nope, no one from a bike blog, or from the NYC bicycling community, let me see where can I go? I know...OH great Utopia of bicycle everything with your rainy organic tofu scramble and your interlocking network of bridges allowing everyone to commute by bicycle. Please enlighten us with your opinions on these orange monstrosities that plagued our city for a week.

Hellooooo???? No I'm not just jealous they didn't talk to me...but rather angry because they end up getting other sides of the story form people like this guy:

Who the hell is Carl Larson?
"As Mr. Larson explained in a lengthy e-mail message:

As far as I’m concerned, it’s less productive to consider DKNY’s orange bikes an insensitive, greenwashing, publicity stunt than to look at them positively. DKNY is riding New York’s new bike wave while contributing to it by putting brightly colored ones on the street, proudly linking their name to them and, at the end of the day, providing every scrapper, freakbike builder, and petty thief with some great materials. If New York’s bike gangs like Black Label and CHUNK666 are worth their salt, I fully expect to see some bright orange parts on their next creations.

Why do you have to bring Black Label and Chunk666 into this? Do you also expect them to ride around with "parts of Ghostbikes" in their mutant choppers and tallbikes?


Just going on the 29 responses to the City Room blog like this one:

"Had DKNY’s motivation been what they claim, wouldn’t they have attempted a viable bike share program with the resources which have instead been wasted? I find it difficult to believe that eco-consciousness was at the center of this scheme, considering the net environmental “benefit”. Why not a DKNY-sponsored installation of bike racks (a la Cemusa street furniture)? Or supporting a Velib-like startup here in NYC? Come on, corporations, if you’re going to claim to do some good for the city and/or the planet, you gotta actually do some good. Hope DOT gets that pledged check soon."

— Posted by Alicia

you can tell there are a lot of people here in NYC who could better speak to this then Carl's lengthy email which probably had better things to say.

Ok, enough already. I've got to go promote biking by biking in 11 degree weather...brrrrrrrrrrr.

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Saturday, February 09, 2008

Cyclists in LA formulate a Bill of Rights

Stephen Box sent me an email explaining that a coalition of cyclists in Los Angeles got together to formulate a Bill of Rights for bikers.

Feeling the pen could be mightier then the spoke, a newly formed group, the bike writers, got together and made a declaration which included the following demands.

Bicyclist Bill Of Rights

WHEREAS, cyclists have the right to ride the streets of our communities and this right is formally articulated in the California Vehicle Code; and

WHEREAS, cyclists are considered to be the “indicator species” of a healthy community; and

WHEREAS, cyclists are both environmental and traffic congestion solutions; and

WHEREAS, cyclists are, first and foremost, people — with all of the rights and privileges that come from being members of this great society; and

NOW, THEREFORE, WE THE CYCLING COMMUNITY, do hereby claim the following rights:

1. Cyclists have the right to travel safely and free of fear.
2. Cyclists have the right to equal access to our public streets and to sufficient and significant road space.
3. Cyclists have the right to the full support of educated law enforcement.
4. Cyclists have the right to the full support of our judicial system and the right to expect that those who endanger, injure or kill cyclists be dealt with to the full extent of the law.
5. Cyclists have the right to routine accommodations in all roadway projects and improvements.
6. Cyclists have the right to urban and roadway planning, development and design that enable and support safe cycling.
7. Cyclists have the right to traffic signals, signage and maintenance standards that enable and support safe cycling.
8. Cyclists have the right to be actively engaged as a constituent group in the organization and administration of our communities.
9. Cyclists have the right to full access for themselves and their bicycles on all mass transit with no limitations.
10. Cyclists have the right to end-of-trip amenities that include safe and secure opportunities to park their bicycles.
11. Cyclists have the right to be secure in their persons and property, and be free from unreasonable search and seizure, as guaranteed by the 4th Amendment.
12. Cyclists have the right to peaceably assemble in the public space, as guaranteed by the 1st Amendment.

And further, we claim and assert these rights by taking to the streets and riding our bicycles, all in an expression of our inalienable right to ride!

#12, seemed to create the most discussion for cyclists to be able to peaceably assemble. Hmmm, I can't imagine where else some sort of document like this would also be useful?

The right to assembly came under fire (literally) last May when the LAPD decided it would be good idea to forcibly end a immigration rally in MacArthur Park, with riot cops, teargas and rubber bullets, which they just happened to have standing by in case things got ugly.

reminder video

(just to follow up) The police are still confused at the reaction despite beating people including a Fox tv crew. FOX guys? common their on your side. The police also claim the riot was provocted by 'missle-throwing agitators' and that the 13 seconds they gave the crowd to disperse, stated in ENGLISH, should have been ample time to get a mostly SPANISH speaking group to pack up all their stuff and leave a peaceful rally.

The nerve of some people with their silly constitutional rights and their assembling.

But fear not America...the LAPD has a solution to these kinds of pesky problems...they bought 4, 350,000 Polaris and 'phraselators', which are basically robots and computers to help them communicate in multiple languages...I can't make stuff like this up.

Ok, Ok, I went off on a big tangent to rag on the LAPD.

On February 6th, the cyclists of LA delivered their demands on a storm the Bastille, bike ride, to the City of Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee.

For a more thorough explanation of all this, besides me sitting in my bathrobe blogging at 5 in the morning. Visit these sites:"

BTW, my wife and I will be in LA March 14th-24th, so we hope to meet some of the Bike Community and check out all their hard work.


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Orange bike video

Speaking of hand built.

Jan Gunneweg wood art creations

Here are some great wood bikes rounded up by: Kwall Blog.

Besides blogging, Eric is also a graphic designer


Hand built bicycles show off in Portland, Oregon

The snarky purveyor of bike culture, bikesnob, has pointed out that February is the 2008 North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Portland.

Think all bikes are made in China, well most of them are, but from February 8th-10th these top welders and brazers show off their many talents in the "auto-show" of the bicycle world.

Other articles:

Christian Science Monitor article

for a more thorough report check out the amazing bike blog in portland:

Oh yeah, Prolly and CHombO, you guys rule.


Code Orange.

So are you sick of all this Orange bike stuff yet? Just wanted to share this bike I saw on 6th Ave. and 40th St.

Its like co-opting the messege and then co-opting the messege of the message. Oh when will it end.

I like the creative action instead of the more destructive cutting the bikes in half. Its still shameless self promotion, but I'll play along:

This is what the bike said:

Jason Lam Photography


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Orange bike hate crimes.

Nice color section DKNY. Here are some other images I think of when I see orange.

Perhaps these bikes are in a prison of their own...Abandoned, scared, blindfolded and waterboarded. Something Senator McCain is really into even though it was done to him.

Picture by: stonefaction on flickr.

Oh, yes, they have been tortured...This bike was on 40th between 7th and 8th Ave.
Picture by: Lars Klove

Some of you out there have responded that all this attention is just what DKNY wants. I say if they are going to put out this kind of vague message, its up to us to not only reclaim the bikes they've wasted, but reclaim their cheap shot advertising and highlight our message. The fact is that we don't need DKNY to tell us to ride a bike and we don't need them ripping off our visual images of the white painted ghost bikes. "Our deaths are not for sale," wrote in one concerned bikeblog reader as a possible banner slogan. Or maybe its our souls that are not for sale.

Here is how many of the bikes have ended up...

Izumi sent in some pictures of orange bikes he saw around town.

Washington Square North:

Sticker says...I bike, I vote.

Christopher and Varick

cut in half...oh the humanity.

Greenich and Perry St.

Greenwich and Little West12th

West 14th and 9th

Broome and Mulberry

Those bikes got off light...the must have confessed. But these bikes were not so lucky.
I snapped a few of these with my cell phone:
Chained to another bike at in front of the Secret Garden, East 4th and Ave C.
No seat.

Then I found two on 42nd, between 6th and 5th Ave. One had been cut in half.

Another was locked, seems to be untouched...crying for help. Each one of the locks has numbers on them...this one was prisoner #18
Some one wrote..."You Suck" on the seat. The DKNY logo was down to just'.com'

Then I saw another on 40th st. and 5th Ave. Sadly cut in half.

Is this how DKNY wanted to encourage people to ride bikes? I saw lots of peoples reactions as they walked by these mangled pieces of bicycle. I could only help but think that they had no idea what was going on. This is why I say messages should not be ignored. Its bad enough we are constantly bombarded with ads every waking minute we walk around NYC. Now people see more clutter, more abandoned bikes, more destruction. Sad. Hope your happy Donna Karan.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

There is talk of a Orange Fashion ride on Friday.

Hey lets show DKNY and the fashion world we don't need them to tell us to ride a bike. Let's have an orange theme ride on Friday to Bryant Park. We have at least one of these bikes that could lead the way. If others have bikes let me know. What do people think?

Monday, February 04, 2008

Getting more info about Orange bikes.

Ok, so a lot of you have weighed in on the orange bikes that DKNY thought would be such a cute way to promote cycling.

Here is a variety of the attitudes summarized by yours truly, from a lot of the various discussions I've read about.

1) Gladness. (the majority of the cycling community) That the bicycle community thoroughly responded to this issue and pointed out the following: A) If DKNY's intention was to promote cycling why didn' they tell anyone what they were up to? This lead to the NYPD even asking fellow bikers..."Hey, whats up with those Orange bikes?" B) This is just a cheap advertising gimmick that was way to closely similar to the "ghostbikes" project and that it was disrespectful. C) Corporations continue to miss the point of promoting cycling with cheap ad stunts, when they should just give away bicycles or give that same money to environmental organizations that ACTUALLY PROMOTE CYCLING, like TIMES UP, who are struggling to find a new space.

2) Indifference. (a lot of people online blogging and responding to blogs) Who cares. People blow this stuff way out of proportion and just feed into exactly what corporations want with these stunts. They spend millions of dollars researching the hip new viral world and if tons of people start talking...mission accomplished.

3) Defensive (a small minority of the bicycle community) That DKNY shouldn't be so critized after all they give money to the D.O.T. for things like free bike maps and helmets. Quit your bitching and accept these kind gifts form our beloved corporate masters.

What ever your school of thought, this blogger feels this is an important topic and exactly represents the misguided intentions of corporations that only seem to fall in the feel good green chic department and not on true sustainable goals.

I may be going on the radio this week to discuss this further.

Here is DKNY's response to an avid bikers letter to them:

DKNY is working with the Mayor's office to raise awareness of cycling as a healthy and environmentally sound means of transportation around NYC. During Fashion Week (which runs the first week of February), DKNY has placed dozens of bright orange bicycles around the city to get people thinking and talking about bicycles as a healthy and fashionable way to get
around the city. DKNY's marketing team developed the orange bicycle campaign to support the Mayor's office ongoing efforts, in a way that would draw attention to this important initiative. We also provided financial support to help the New York City Department of Transportation raise awareness of its initiative to build a far-reaching network of innovative
designed bicycle lanes and new bicycle parking facilities while stepping up education for cyclists and drivers.

We are very sorry if our well-intentioned "Explore Your City" program offended anyone.

oh, ok, why didn't you say so...its so clear now. Huh? I think I will chain up buckets of used vegtable oil all over the city to get people thinking about Bio-diesel.

Still trying to get more information, like for instance what is with that picture of the NYPD van hauling off the bikes.

Please let me know your orange bike experiences...



R.I.P. Bicycle Guru Sheldon Brown (1944-2008)

Before the skinny jeans, the mag wheels, the tricks videos and the track bike boutique, there was Sheldon Brown. He was this name that would always pop up in conversation when people were trying to figure out what gear ratio to ride their fixie or what that even meant. Sheldon was the parts manager and tech guru at Harris Cyclery in West Newton, Massachussets.

Jack Thurston, host of the popular bicycle show on resonance FM in London had a show featuring Sheldon in 2005. He talks about his wide collection of rare 3-speed bicycles. He is also in another Bike Show here.

Image from John Prolly

from Wikipedia:
"In August 2007 Sheldon was diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis. After losing his ability to balance an upright bicycle to the disease, he was able to continue pedaling by using a recumbent tricycle. Sheldon died on February 3, 2008 after a heart attack."

More info from other blogs:

The Daily Randonneur
Tin Donkey Travels

Sheldon, I never met you in person and I regret it. You have been a great influence on the many worlds of cycling, both old and new. You will be truly missed. Rest in Peace.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Ah, the NYPD doing what they do best...

Stealing bikes...

Sorry DKNY.

DKNY says ride a bike...just not our orange ones.

See the happy fashionable couple wearing their hot DKNY clothes? They look sharp in their spring 08 collecting being followed by the NYPD scooter brigade. This is part of DKNY's new advertising to boast about their commitment to alternative transportation and the money they've given to the city to promote a better environment for biking. Of course the NYPD harassment campaign to group rides is my own little addition to the photo, but represents how I feel about the "cities commitment" to making it a pain in the ass to ride your bike here. DKNY has locked up 75 orange painted bikes around NYC with their logo being the only identifying thing on the bikes themselves.

Read about it here at this Conde Naste publication blog. Its for fashion week and at least some of these bikes are locked to trees in Tompkins square park, which is illegal. How does this promote cycling? Seems to me another form of the corporate advertising think tank, stealing our street art and using for their own. To pat themselves on the back and try and catch some of the Green Chic "save the environment," fever. Hmmm, what other painted bicycles put up around the city?
Picture by Fred Askew

The ghost bikes represent how the city has ignored the plight of the cyclist by not doing enough to prevent this from happening, for instance not putting in bike lanes on Houston Street or following through with investigations on how these people died. And tell me again why I got a ticket for "not riding in the bike lane?" on a Friday before Critical Mass, when our beloved bike lane is filled with obstructions on a daily basis? Lets not forget a number of the people immortalized by bike lanes were killed by using bike lanes and bike paths.

If you dig around on the DKNY website you will eventually find a page that talks about how they have donated money to the city for free bike maps and helmets. Their main goal is to promote cycling. I just don't see how locking bikes around town is going to get the message across. Most people are kind of pissed off with this kind of invasion of our mental space and all the abandon bikes left around giving active bicycle commuters and workers a bad name. But its ok when DKNY does it. Are their people arriving on bicycle? Are the super models commuting to the tent at Bryant park on bicycle? Does that portable tent use alternative fuel or green energy. NO NO and No. But some how if you walk around looking at a bike you can't even ride, this will encourage you to ride a bike. Brilliant job people. Seems like something more out of Zoolander. DKNY should be more concerned with where their overpriced clothes are made and the environmental impact of sweatshops. The last time I checked they were getting boycotted for having sweatshops with unsavory work conditions in some far off remote land called... New York City.


Saturday, February 02, 2008

last weekend was also the idiotardod.

The bees...from 2008 by Tod Seelie.

I just feel obligated to briefly mention the idiotarod, only because it was my first posting of bike blog back in January 2005.

The idiotadrod is this shopping cart race where teams of 5 dress up in costume and run through the streets of NYC. It happened on Saturday, January 26th, 2008.

My favorite cultural photographer: Tod Seelie summed it all up in some really nice photos.

One of my favorite teams...with there F14 fighter jet...the Danger Zone.

Idiotarod always turns into this big condiment war at the end because people carry all kinds of food-fight items for sabotage. Flour is also very popular.

So somebody went to the trouble of having a portable wrestling ring on the back of a flatbed truck, complete with its own refs and Ultimate Warrior.

Also, nice going with the Rambo cart, with lookout tower. Seems impracticable for a race...what am I saying...this is idiotarod.

for Tod's blog and idiotarod winners check out suckapants

and for idiotarod photos and reports:

Todd Seelie's here
Gothamist here
BritinBrooklyn here

Great video with Anney Fresh.

The start of the Race:

and from the hipster olymipcs people:

Last weekend.

Last weekend was January Critical Mass in NYC. There were a whopping total of 20 people on the ride braving the freezing cold and the 4 year grudge of the NYPD's war on a bike ride. Let's not forget this hatred of bicycle freedom has also extended to the police setting up sting operations a few blocks from Union Square, ticketing as many cyclists as they feel like, in the hopes of dissuading anyone from biking, let alone participating in a group ride. Sneaky and dirty. This is what you get when you elect billionaire mayors who hide behind police chiefs who put personal grudges ahead of responsible civic duties. That Friday I got home from work around 8:00pm and was enjoying a cold beer. Then it dawned on me, its critical mass and I'd better call and see if anyone is on the ride. Then I realized, why am I sitting here when I could be participating. I threw on more warm clothes and headed into the city. It was so nice to ride without being encumbered by a heavy bag which usually weights me down on my daily commutes to work. I felt the crisp air in my face as I speed across the Williamsburg bridge. The ride in reminded of the exhilarating concoction of excitement and fear I used to get going to critical mass back in the good ol days. Would I get arrested? Would they steal my bike or door me? I was really thinking about if I could even find the ride. One informant told me critical mass was down to 6 people, around the 20's and Park Ave. I finally caught them in Time's Square. Then we were 7. Oh, how low we've gotten. 7? Albany Critical Mass has more people. Well I still respect all those who came out anyway despite the harassment, intimidation and bs of the boys in blue. It still gives me a little satisfaction to have a few squad cars following around 7 people on bicycles...just in case we decide to start exercising something dangerous like: "free speech." Now granted, I wasn't even going to critical mass, I was all content to just drinking a beer and hearing from a friend how the ride was going while nice and warm in my apartment. I haven't been to critical mass in months. The last time I even got near the ride I got a summons for "not riding in the bike lane," back in November 07. I don't blame people for not going because its a real pain in the ass...exactly what the NYPD wants. I just hate giving them the compliance. Thats all. So if I get the chance, I'll be there again.


2008 is the 8th year of the bicycle film festival.

As always lots going on this year and will be another amazing time for bike culture worldwide.

February 19th is the deadline submission for this years 8th annual bicycle film festival.

Get your submissions forms here