Thursday, December 16, 2010


I've finally finished my long awaited Bike-umentary. This also served as a portion of my thesis project for my recently completed M.S. in Urban Environmental Systems Management at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. It's nice to be done and have at least something somewhat interesting to show for it...

Part 1: Bike-umentary - Part 1
Part 2: Bike-umentary - Part 2
Part 3: Bike-umentary - Part 3

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wood you ride this?

Maybe if I could afford it...this finely crafted FSC certified specimen was on display at Greenbuild 2010 and sells for well over $6000. Even though it only weighs 16 pounds, with the way I abuse bicycles, it aint worth it...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dismount Shishmount

I admit. I'm guilty of it. Not dismounting on certain pedestrian paths. To be fair, I very, very rarely ride on the sidewalk (when I do, I half dismount and coast on one leg and absolutely keep my distance). But for these short connections between bike paths and roads, it's easier to just quickly pedal by. Unless of course, you encounter one of these people...

Locked up?

If you are going to lock up your bike, do it right. A wheel is a terrible thing to lose.

I mean you gotta account for locking both wheels, whether you use a second cable lock, pinheads...handcuffs?...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


After all I've observed between Hasidim and Cyclists, I was VERY surprised yet extremely excited to observe what seemed to be the bridging of en enormous gap. From what I've heard, after the mitzvah, Hasidic Jews are not to ride bikes. This obviously isn't the case here. You go girl!

Oh yeah but you need a helmet, don't forget.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Parking at Work

When I posted regarding the Bikes in Buildings law on May 20th, I was still in the process of pushing for bike parking at 200 Park Ave, where I work.

Now, over 4 months later, we finally have it. Not surprisingly, DOB took their good ol' time signing off their inspection of the room, which had to be repeated when they found a newly constructed ramp, courtesy of the building owner Tishman Speyer, who was actually attempting to be helpful.  Apparently that ramp wasn't on the building plans, and therefor, either the drawings would have to be refiled (a very timely process, because that also involves the DOB), or the ramp removed. It was cheaper to remove the ramp. Then after another month of radio silence, I called the DOT (who had been giving me updates all along), and discovered that the room was indeed approved and ready and that instructions were supposed to have been posted in my building lobby, which of course they weren't. After I gave Tishman Speyer a reminder, they sent over their instructions.  I guess I was delusional thinking I would ever have access to a 24/7 bike storage room (other than my apartment).

Then they asked for a head count from us for parking room passes. I recruited 20 from our office (close to 10%). 2 weeks later we got the passes.

I promise you I am not a terrorist, even though I have a curious resemblance to one. Aren't those bikes in the background cute? Actually, the bikes in the background of my card were twice the amount that was in the bike room today.

Ok, fine, it was raining. But that never stopped me...


And a day later..we're getting there...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Slowly Appearing

Baby steps. After weeks of being stenciled, there is finally some permanent road paint defining the new bike lane on 1st Ave above 72nd. Notice the oversized car parking lane. I'm thinking they should put a buffer on the left side of the bike lane as well, to establish a safe path helping against getting doored as well.

Only question now is, how to prevent people from double parking right there?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cars in the Park...Ehhhh

Ok, here is more proof that Central Park shouldn't have 2 lanes open for cars during those open hours. With all the other non-car traffic, they only fit 1 lane anyway.

Even if serving no other positive purpose whatsoever, those poop dropping, tourist trap, horse-drawn carriages may be worth their existence for the sole reason of displacing cars. Keep the cars out of the park!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Beginning of the New

1st and 2nd Avenue are finally stepping into line with what ought to be standard for every avenue. Here is a preview of what 1st Ave will look like north of 72nd.

Personally, I'd rather hug the curb and float the parking, like what was just completed on 1st Avenue between Houston and 34th St (click here for video of my ride). There are several schemes for the 5+ miles stretch of 1st and 2nd that include both bike and new BRT lanes, as can be seen in the DOT plans.

Monday, July 12, 2010

New Protected Lanes

The following is a an exciting clip from today's NYCycles DOT newsletter regarding progress to NYC's every expanding bike network. Things like this make me all giddy and whatnot...

This year DOT will install over over 7.5 miles of new protected lanes...........DOT is adding new protected bike lanes to several locations around the City this year, and extending the 8th Avenue bike lane. In the past few years, the lanes have improved safety and reduced sidewalk cycling. Since the lanes were installed on 9th Avenue in Manhattan, injuries to all street users have dropped 56% and sidewalk cycling is down 84%. On Grand Street, also in Manhattan, injuries are down 31% and sidewalk cycling is down 84%.

In Brooklyn, a bi-directional, parking protected lane on Prospect Park West ( creates a direct and safer route for cyclists from south of Prospect Park (who have long used the same route, while either going against traffic or on the sidewalk). The project was conceived at the community’s request to calm traffic and was designed with their concerns in mind. Warning signs encourage people exiting the park to look for cyclists in both directions and cyclists have flashing yellow signals reminding them to yield to pedestrians at crossings. The bones of the lane have already been installed; the work should be complete by the end of July, weather permitting.

Later this summer, DOT will install a new parking protected bike lane on Columbus Avenue ( on Manhattan’s Upper West side from West 96th to West 77th Streets. There are currently no southbound bicycle facilities on the Upper West Side (unless you detour west to the Hudson River Greenway). The width of Columbus Avenue presented an opportunity for DOT to install the lane without removing a travel lane and simultaneously make safety improvements to calm traffic and decrease pedestrian crossing distances at intersections. Work has already begun on the First and Second Avenue Bus Rapid Transit project, which includes a parking protected bike path between East 14th Street and Houston Street. By the fall, new lanes will be installed on First Avenue in Manhattan from Houston to 34th Street, and on 2nd Avenue from 34th to 23rd Streets and 14th Street to Houston. DOT will also upgrade the 1st Avenue lane from 72nd to 125th Street, installing a painted buffer between motorists and cyclists. DOT hopes to extend these facilities in future years.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Future Reveals History...

In preparation for the repaving of 1st Avenue to incorporate new bike and BRT lanes, a glimpse of history is seen within the preserved layers of hardscape.  Funny to think, bicycles existed even back in these times, when surfaces were less forgiving.  Funny also how it took 100 years to create the simple lane infrastructure we finally have today...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Upcoming Event! - Manhattan/Brooklyn Bike Tour

Come join us this Saturday, July 17th, for a leisurely and educational bike tour around some of Manhattan and Brooklyn's most significant history and infrastructure. The journey will begin in the West Village near Bleeker Park at 10am. Some of the many items we will cover include:

8th and 9th Ave bike lanes
Hudson River greenway
Broadway bike and pedestrian planning
The Manhattan Bridge
Downtown Brooklyn
Pratt Institute campus planning
The infamous Bedford Avenue Boondoggle
Kent Ave 2-way lane

We will end up at Pedro's Bar in DUMBO, and hang out for a while there. The ride is absolutely free and will take approximately 3 hours. You may come and go as you please.

E-mail me with questions...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Census Cycler

It's good to see certain government agencies using smart modes of transportation.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

National Trends

New Data Show Bicycling and Walking Up by 25 Percent
Report Looks at Efforts to Increase Bicycling and Walking in the U.S.

Click here to see the press release

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Gimme a Brake

Do you know what happens when you don't clean your bike often and you have a substantial amount of gritty dirt on the rim of your wheel? I do. It's this.

This used to have a rubber brake pad attached it it.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Truck Farm

I was riding down 2nd Ave this morning when I saw a familiar sight. It was the famous Truck Farm in action, the peculiar yet spectacular little mobile CSA, spreading leafy goodness all over town...

I took the video with my brand new GoPro Hero HD wide-angle digital helmet cam. Considering this was literally the first time using it, I'd have to say it worked out pretty well. Check out other sick videos by various extreme users...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bikes in Buildings

A recent press release depicted the initial success in the Bikes in Buildings law. The regulars (speaker Chris Quinn & DOT head JSK) held down the fort and were accompanied by the big man Larry Silverstein himself, who apparently is supportive of bicycling initiatives. The only question I have is, in that video, whose bike is that? Where is the bell and lights? C'mon people let's be safe here...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Best Bike Buy

I was surprised enough to see that Best Buy now sells bicycles...let alone electric ones...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Central Park Jungle

With great weekend weather comes a stupid amount of people in Central Park. Now of course I can't blame them for being there, as I would encourage everybody to enjoy the great outdoors.  And living in (or visiting) New York City creates the need to escape the debilitating concrete and asphalt frying pan to the great oasis of green in the middle.

Normally, even the densest of crowds tend to manage themselves.  Multiple overlapping frisbee games in the Sheep Meadow somehow work out. Throngs of people walking in all different directions do so without collision. Usually, on those busy days, thousands and thousands of people just seem to exist harmoniously.  Usually.

Within the last 2 hours from writing this entry, I experienced two striking exceptions to the rule. At 2pm I had a double-header softball game in the Great Lawn. While the games were exciting and well played (we won both), the frustration kept building as picnickers, drum circles, soccer dribblers and football throwers continuously ventured into my outfield. That's right, my outfield. Dallas Braden doesn't like it when A-Rod steps on his mound, and I don't like it when some oblivious chump meanders into my realm. And they just don't care, not in the least. No where else do I have kind words of guidance be so ignored and slowly escalate into a screaming tirade of threats. This happens with the following people groups: Spoonfed Manhattan highschoolers in desperate need of haircuts, foreign futbol "stars", parents pushing strollers, cold beverage venders, kids selling packs of M&Ms, eastern Europeaners wandering aimlessly, and the occasional Hasidic Jew.  Only about 10% of people who walk right onto the field actually react and in an appropriate manner when they realize their flaw. The rest just play it cool. They just keep walking. Slowly. Like they own the place. If ever there was a time in my future when I just snap, go berserk, go postal, just lose it completely, it will be in the outfield of field #3 at the Great Lawn. I really hope this doesn't happen, as I would like to think I have a promising future. But why to they tempt me? Why?

The second instance of a crowd gone wrong happened as I was heading home after the game. It was one of the rare times I was walking my bike since I was going south down the crowded north-bound East Drive. I was in no rush as I trying to just take in as much park air as I could. Then in the left corner of my eye up ahead I saw a convergence of people, a scream, arms flailing, and more screams. I jumped on my bike and rode down the hill approaching the scene. When I got close I saw an old man lying still on the ground, blood running from his head in a steady stream along the asphalt. A younger woman was frantically yelling "Dad, Dad, get up! Wake up!" My heart dropped. I looked up at a cyclist with scrapes on his elbows. He looked scared as hell.  Within seconds a nearby Park Ranger was present, attempting to stabilize the situation.  I stayed back, not wanting to crowd the scene but wanting to do everything I could to help. I figured the best I could do was at least position my bike as to divert oncoming pedestrian and bicycle traffic away from the scene.  All I heard were the cries of the daughter, the radio calls, and the interesting commentary of people around me:
"Those bikers just never look where they are going..."
"look at all that blood..."
"Hey what's this crowd of peop...OH MY GOD!"

Medics arrived within a minute or two and police officers began maintaining order. As I stood there, still semi-frozen, I heard a sharp yell directed at me, "Hey get lost!" I looked up to an angry cop trying to clear the scene. I hesitated in response, as I was still partially stunned. "Get the hell out of here, now!" he yelled as I saw he was looking right at me. "I saw what..." I started to explain as he interrupted me "Get out of here now!" Not in the mood for another confrontation, I started to walk away, thinking about what possesses people to be such assholes at times.  After about 10 steps I heard, "Hey, wait" as I looked back and saw a different officer jogging towards me. "You were a witness?" he asked, in a much more polite manner than his counterpart.
"Yeah, I guess, I mean I kind of saw it just as it happened."
"Did you happen to see if the light was green or red?"
"No sorry, I was a bit up the hill, I saw it from pretty far away, sorry I'm not really much help"
"It's OK. Mind if I get your name and number just in case?"
"No problem"
I wrote down my info on his pad and continued on my way, walking my bike until I reached Fifth Ave.

I'll never know who'se fault it was. Bikers, myself included, have a tendency to always keep going, even if it means swerving around people. Especially right there. No biker trekking up hill wants to stop their momentum for a park road traffic light. On the other hand, pedestrians have no clue. They don't have a clue out on the real streets when there are actual cars, let alone in Central Park when most of them aren't even aware they are walking on a road. They have it in their mind that they are in a park and therefor safe from collisions. It's probably a mixture of both, but the outcome is tragic nonetheless. I hope that old man is OK, for his sake, the sake of his daughter, and for the sake of the biker.  He did start to move and moan before I left so hopefully he pulls through.

It's instances like this when we all have to reevaluate our cautions. No convenience is worth a bad accident, not for the biker or the pedestrian. Us bikers need to stop even when pedestrians are wrongfully occupying our path. And pedestrians need to...well pedestrians just need to look where they are going, whether they are crossing a busy avenue, walking on the sidewalk, walking in the park, or walking anywhere. Don't be oblivious. That should go without saying but I guess it needs to be said.

It's also instances like these when they enact knee jerk regulations like biking speed limits or something crazy like that. Be careful out there people, don't hurt yourselves and don't ruin it for the rest of us.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Wheelie Cool

Check out this dude goin down Lex.

He pretty much held it indefinitely.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Ambulance Jam

This is a perfect (and scary) example of why all Manhattan Avenues should have dedicated emergency vehicle lanes (that double as bicycle lanes).  Who cares if the rest of the traffic is jammed? Let traffic volume economics figure itself out, but don't prevent helpless people from getting the help they need.

Ambulance Stuck in Traffic

If I had a dollar for every time I sped past an Ambulance suck in traffic going down 2nd Ave...I could actually buy a better bike.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Seat Deficiency

C'mon, man, get a new seat. This hurts just looking at it.

I saw this outside of Blondie's on 79th St. I don't even have to mention the fact that it's not even attached to anything, it's just resting on top of the seat post (I accidentally knocked it off when parking my park on the same pole). Why would anybody put their offspring at such risk like this?

Central Park Lanes

With the vast road width in Central park, there isn't any reason why all the bike lanes can't be enhanced with a multidirectional bisection. For example, look at the 72nd St Transverse:

I try to only use the proper direction of these roads, but when shooting across the park at 72nd St from west to east, it would be nice if I had a clearly marked space as to not interfere with west bound traffic. This change should be an easy one, except for the fact that I'm sure it's multi-departmental with both  Parks Dept and DOT involved...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Parking Prick

It's taking all of my self-control to not flip out these days. It's great that more and more people are biking but some of these people just don't have a clue. Nobody wears helmets or has lights, people ride on the sidewalks, nobody has a clue what signals are. The worst is the amount of a**hole delivery bikers who ride the wrong way on the street. It's appalling. It's going to be these idiots who ruin it for the rest of us.

Today I was riding up Broadway, dodging these same clueless jerks and fuming over their ignorance. To make matters worse, I stop to park and then I stumble across this...

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! That just set me off. Look at it, one bike lock on the one outer post, another lock on the far opposite. Deliberately turning 4 parking spots into 2? This person should have their bike violently disassembled and destroyed. As if it wasn't already an ugly and stupid looking bike.

Just like the repainting of the Bedford Ave bike lane, I would not be surprised if more vigilante justice starts occurring to combat these travesties that are threatening our bicycling freedoms.

I need a beer.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Google Bike Maps

We asked for a bike lane layer on Google Maps, and they gave it to us. If only my subcontractors were that obedient...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Dedicated Lane

With Manhattan's long and wide one-way avenues, why do we still have such congestion? The question should really be, who is actually worthy of being relieved of such congestion, and how can we alleviate just them. Let's face it, certain user of the road should be protected over others. Here are the main avenue user categories in my perspective (in no order):

Cabs (and other T&LC vehicles)
Personal Cars, Trucks & Motos
Delivery & Service Vehicles (public & private)
Emergency Vehicles
Commuter & Delivery Bicycles
Parking (and double parking!)
Construction & Maintenance Operations

How would you order them in terms of priority?

I have expressed my concerns over the lack of prioritization in the past. The following is an excerpt from a journal entry for a planning class at Pratt back in June, 2009:

"Let me elaborate on the dedicated lane, because this addresses what I believe to be the biggest problem due to congestion, and that is emergency vehicle efficiency. About two or three times a week, as I am biking to or from work right through standstill traffic (the greatest benefit for cyclists), I pass an emergency vehicle, sirens on, that cannot move because traffic is stopped and cars can’t physically pull out of the way. The effect congestion has on individual commuters, taxi cabs, busses, etc is IRRELEVANT when compared to the effect it has on emergency vehicle efficiency. If somebody has 30 minutes to get to a business meeting in Midtown West from the Upper East Side and they choose to take a cab, they will obviously be late, and that is their problem, not the public’s. They could be on time if they took the subway. Now if somebody is having a heart attack or an apartment building is on fire and the medics or firefighters cannot respond quickly, people might die. It is for this reason and this reason alone, that there should be a dedicated lane on EVERY AVENUE for emergency vehicles that can also be used for non motor vehicles (cyclists, roller bladders, skateboarders, etc) that can easily move out of the way. The lane should be between the sidewalk and the parking lane as to not causes problems when cars are trying to park. This solves the biggest problem due to congestion, that HAS YET TO BE ADEQUATELY ADDRESSED and also provides much needed resources for non-motor forms of transportation. It may not fix congestion as a whole, but it will fix the most important aspect of congestion."

The dedicated lane capable of handling an emergency vehicle has proved its worth on 9th Ave, and now the east side is embracing this idea. The MTA and DOT are trying to finalize a plan for a 1st and 2nd Ave continuos system (thanks to Caroline Samponaro of TA for passing this along):

Here's the plan

Here is one of the designs for a big portion of the UES (where they AREN'T building a subway simultaneously and for the next 10 years)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sidewalk Inlay

No bikes allowed on the sidewalk...except for here. This is a neat hardscape feature in front of Metro Bicycles on 14th between 1st and 2nd.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Brock fought the law and the..Brock won!

Bike ticket #2 has been successfully dismissed.  At a February 18th appearance at the MTA Transit Adjudication Bureau hearing in Brooklyn, my January 19th ticket for riding my bike on the Atlantic Ave 4/5 subway platform was ruled invalid because the officer had omitted the time of the offense on the ticket when originally written, then added it later, making my ticket not an exact copy of what was on file.

The hearing consisted of a 1-on-1 in a small room with an MTA judicial official who discovered the error upon reading the case background information into the tape recorder. She promptly stated the ticked was dismissed and then ended the recording without me saying a word. Afterwards, when asked if I had questions, I brought up the arguments I was planning to use, such as that the code of conduct section 1050.6a was the wrong offense, and also that the ticket said I was riding my bike on the train when it was actually the platform. The judge indicated those were also valid arguments, but the bottom line is you should probably fight any ticket you ever get because you never know.

Current Score
Brock: 2
Cops who like to give bike tickets to Brock: 0

Here are the MTA subway rules.

is some interesting insight on the TAB hearings.

Another interesting aspect of the experience was seeing a Rasta-like character in the waiting room who had coincidentally picked a relevant ticket number...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Who you callin' a parade?

Thanks to Mavro for passing this article along.

Click here for article

I hope Judge Kaplan realizes he just put himself in the category of people that blatently misunderstand the society of people who use the city streets. Forcing a group of 50 or more cyclists to file for a parade permit is ludicrous however you look at it. As long as nobody is obstructing traffic, this ruling is obscene. How about we direct our police force to real crimes like theft and assault. Even littering deserves more attention than this. Am I wrong?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Dog Parking?

It's risky enough that people leave their dogs tied up to poles while they run into the store. It's even riskier to tie it to my bike.

Do people really assume that I'm perfectly content untying the stupid thing and retying it back up? Who do they think I am? Why not just tie it to the pole? What is the thought process here? Is their any?

And what are those sorry excuses for legs. This dog belongs on

Monday, February 1, 2010

Caution Note

I had just heard another moving lecture by the wonderful Majora Carter at a Macaulay event at the CUNY grad center on 5th Ave between 34th and 35th (thanks to SAS for hookin it up). As I was walking out, I saw something bothersome on my bike. At first I thought I got a ticket of some sort, or at least an angry note. But when I got closer and pulled off the yellow slip of paper, I realized it was an informative letter of caution. I found it a bit peculiar, but entertaining at least. I like the part where they encourage people to ride ugly bikes...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

My Second Bike Ticket

I guess #2 was bound to happen. My second bike ticket was issue to me by a police officer who disagreed with my assessment that it was OK to ride my bike on a small portion of the Altantic Ave 4/5 subway platform. I honestly didn't ride more than 100 feet, but apparently that warrants a $100 fine. Well, we'll see on February 18th when I plead my case in a U.S. court of law using the amazingly effective, Peter Griffin-inspired, "C'mooon! C'mooooooooon!!"

To see the outcome of the ticket, click here.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Bedford Ave Discussion

On Monday night, a discussion was held at Pete's Candy Store in Greenpoint to address the ongoing debate of the Bedford Ave bike lane, or lack thereof. Moderated by James Hook, who hosts a biweekly discussion at the venue, the panel was comprised of local Jewish bike store owner and promoter Baruch Herzfeld, Hassidic Jew and city council candidate Isaac Abraham, Transportation Alternatives bike advocate Caroline Samponaro, local bike advocate Lyla Durden, and loudmouth bike messenger/ringleader Heather Loop.

The overall message was that everybody agrees the debate really isn't a cultural issue as it is often described, but rather a safety issue (according to Abraham) or a crooked power brokered move (according to Baruch) the later with which I agree most. The debate continued as to the biggest of the current and real dangers on the street and whether or not the lane should be reinstalled. Although the risks to both bikers and pedestrians were cited to be substantial, a single resolution couldn't be met by all. Abraham seemed to be arguing alone that removal of the lane was the right decision, because adding it in the first place was a mistake. All others agreed that the bike lane was not only a necessary component of a viable bicycle transportation network, but something that promotes a positive practice in so many facets. In facing strong opposition, Abraham stated at one point, "I'm supposed to go to the people and say it's your way or the hi way?" to which Hook cleverly responded "Their way IS the hi way..."

My logic is that if you truly want to discourage cyclists, the only option is to not allow them at all. Removing a bike lane but acknowledging that bikers are still on the road is hypocritical. Furthermore, allowing them should require a lane on any street they use. That leaves two options: bikes or no bikes; lane or no lane; no middle ground. The middle ground is obviously more dangerous than having a lane, as proved by statistics stated by Caroline. Since bikes should always be allowed then they should be protected with a lane, and this is the obvious better choice compared to prohibiting them altogether. Furthermore, a protected lane is even better than a marked one.

One day the right people will either wake up or be pressured to revert Bedford Ave to its obvious safer condition. In the meantime the danger will continue to loom.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Byrne @ CNU

CNU (Congress for the New Urbanism) is an organization that, among many other positive endeavors, is a strong advocate for bicycling as a form of transportation. So is famed musician David Byrne, who will be present at this year's congress in Atlanta on May 19th.