Its not always like this. Photo: Annaliese Griffin
So, how many icy lagoons did you step in, on your way into work this morning? It might seem like a strange day to talk cycling in New York City, what with the record-setting snow mounds still looming on every corner, but really, at its core, the blizzard we just experienced is a story about transportation and our frequent lack of control over how and when we get from place to place. Right now is not a great time to ride a bike, what with the rivers of slush everywhere, but for most of the year cycling gives you more control over your commute, and the way you navigate the city, than any other form of transportation, save walking in your own neighborhood.
Even before the snow, transportation woes were very much in the news, considering the possibility that the L train may close for up to 18 months for repairs (this article has an in-depth analysis of what that would mean for affected neighborhoods), and the announcement that the MTA will renovate 30 stations, eight in Brooklyn, over the next few years, which will shut those stations down during repairs. There are more bike lanes than ever in New York City, so it’s a great time to start thinking about how to get yourself off that crowded train and onto a bike.
Cycling in the city can feel intimidating though, so we spoke to Rich Conroy, director of education at Bike New York, about how to ease into riding a bike safely. (more…)
Sat November 23, 2013
Hundreds of local cyclists will take to the streets this Saturday for, Cranksgiving, an annual bike race and scavenger hunt organized to buy food from local grocery stores to donate to City Harvest. Photo: Cranksgiving
We all have annual traditions around this time of year–watching football and turkey-based food comas are among mine–but for the past 15 years, local cyclists have been celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday by participating in a bike race-cum-scavenger-hunt better known as Cranksgiving. Riders are given a route and race around town trying to collect various food items from local grocery stores, which are then donated. The food collected at this year’s race, happening on Nov. 23, is being donated to the Bowery Mission through City Harvest and its emergency food program. All types of bikes–fixed gears, tall bikes and tandems included–are encouraged and the race itself is free, though you’ll need $20 or so to purchase food. Head to Manhattan for registration starting at 12:30pm at Solar One, and make sure to be back in Brooklyn for an after party at Red Lantern bike shop in Fort Greene by 8pm. –JG
Sun September 1, 2013
Custom, made-to-order bikes like this beauty from Coast Cycles in Bushwick will be on display this weekend at Bike Cult Show in Greenpoint. Photo: Brooklyn Bike Jumble
It’s fair to say that Brooklyn’s enthusiasm for bicycles could be considered cultish–there’s a level of devotion to two-wheelers in these parts that might seem unhealthy by normal standards, but it’s not our fault that most of the rest of the world just doesn’t appreciate pedaling the way we do. Bike Cult, a hand-built bike show taking place at the Warsaw in Greenpoint this weekend, is giving us all a chance to own our obsession and geek with like-minded folk. Bespoke bikes will be on display from builders and exhibitors from around the Northeast on Friday and Saturday, but the real kicker is a boroughwide open house on Sunday, Sept. 1 that will include workshops and opportunities to chat one-on-one with Brooklyn builders at their own shops. Coast Cycles, Horse Cycles, Rosko Cycles, Benjamin Cycles, Squarebuilt Cycles and Ceremony Bikes are all participating. A full list of open house locations will be released at the show itself, so plan on heading to Greenpoint at some point before Sunday. Admission is $10/day or $15 for Friday and Saturday.
Bike stations, like these on Dekalb Avenue outside Fort Greene Park, started being installed earlier this month ahead of the NYC Bike Share program expected to be up and running in May. Photo: Daniel Broadhurst
Though the gray skies and chilly temperatures today belie the season, spring has arrived; summer is not far behind; and cyclists of all stripes are back out on the road in force. Here are a few of the bicycle-centric news tidbits we’ve been hearing about lately. Happy riding and don’t forget to wear your helmet. Rides and events Mark your calendar for May 11 when the Brooklyn Bike Jumble returns to the Old Stone House in Washington Park in Park Slope. Dozens of vendors selling new and used bikes, parts and accessories will be there with the new handlebars or banana seat of your dreams. On the same day, the Brooklyn Public Library is holding Bike the Branches, a self-guided ride visiting the library neighborhood branches around the borough. You can visit one or all 60 if you’re feeling ambitious, and the ride is a fundraiser for the library, with a finish line celebration at Grand Army Plaza from 5pm to 7pm.
On May 17, Transportation Alternatives is hosting Bike to Work Day. Riders around the city can stop and grab breakfast and coffee from Brooklyn Roasting Company at fueling stations (Brooklyn stops include stations near the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges), and then join the after-work party at Brooklyn Bridge Park with music, food and beer. Prepare to (bike) share Docking stations for the long awaited NYC Bike Share program started popping up like tulips in various neighborhoods earlier this month. They are the first sign of forward motion from the program in months and a harbinger of what’s to come in May when the bike share program is supposed to officially start–unless you work in the Brooklyn Navy Yard where people have been reportedly testing out the bikes since late last year. Membership sign up started April 15, and while you’ll still have to wait a little longer to actually access any of the thousands of bright, shiny blue bikes soon to be available for rental, the time at least appears to be nigh, though no official word on when just yet. “The bikes aren’t coming in until all of the stations are installed in both Brooklyn and Manhattan, so no set launch date yet,” says Dani Simons, director of marketing for NYC Bike Share. “We’re still on track for sometime in May.” (more…)
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