Sunday, September 18, 2011


The river they called a lake.

Vibrant streets

Beautiful buildings

Crazy-eyed bird

Good thing it's still 2011

Best way to get around, obviously

Rays of heaven beaming down on a sea of beauty

Austin City Limits

Alison Krauss

Stevie Wonder

Arcade Fire

We'll be back

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bad Breaks

There were two very unusual wheel issues this summer. The first was a bent rim due to me lugging people around on my mountain rack. A 140 pound friend was the butt that broke the wheel's back.

The other strange break was Jess's wheel, which suddenly seized when she was riding. A close inspection reveals somethin's going on in that wheel. No idea how.

But through all of this, I discovered a better bike shop than I was previously frequenting - Pedal Pushers:

Monday, July 18, 2011

Know Your Biker!

A week ago, I was talking to a friend of mine who had just started a new job. She said to me, "You have GOT to meet my new boss, you would love him, he rides his bike everywhere!" "Oh yeah?" I replied, raising an eyebrow. "Yeah! He does these 100 mile rides every weekend, with the whole racing outfit and everything!" My grin then turned to a grimace. I thought to myself, do I really look like the type of guy with that much free time and a voluntary urge to wear spandex?

The truth is, there are many types of riders out there. Different riders have different motives, different techniques and different reasons to be loved or hated. Most riders fall into one of several categories. In New York City, here are the top 9 different types of riders.

1) The Regular Commuter: These are the most noble of riders. They have one goal: Get from point A to point B. Most of these riders take their ride seriously because it is their most common mode of transportation. Therefor most of them follow the etiquette of the road and don't really cause a nuisance. Men and women alike, some are wearing business attire with sneakers to change out of later, and others are just casual normal looking people, just trying to beat the subway. This is me, and hundreds of thousands of other city dwellers. Respect them, because they are worthy of respect.

2) The Hardcore Cyclist: Nobody can be criticized for some good wholesome cardio, but is the outfit really necessary? C'mon, you look ridiculous. I don't go for a run in short shorts, nor do I take batting practice in a full baseball uniform, nor do I shave my legs to go for a swim. Actually, I would never shave my legs but that's besides the point. I honestly wish I had the free time to spend my mornings and weekends riding, but sadly for me I have a job and a social life to maintain. Sorry.

3) The Hispanic Food Delivery Man: Here come the stereotypes! But if you can prove me wrong, I'll shut up. These riders are typically found with plastic bags both covering their seat and also carrying delivery food. They are usually riding an old beat up mountain bike on the wrong side of the road, frequently going the wrong way in a bike lane. Sometimes they are wearing helmets and safety vests with the name of the restaurant (which is now the law) and sometime they are wearing only kitchen attire. Their poor road manners make normal bikers cringe and scream insults, but they ignore it because their speedy arrival promotes higher tips for the hungry awaiting customers.

4) The Asian Food Delivery Man: We've all seen them. The 45-year-old asian man riding an electric bicycle with an awkward baseball cap and a cigarette. I still remember the first time I saw one of these battery powered "bicycles" silently whiz by me. Within the last several years these riders have increased exponentially. Some appear to be delivering food, others seem to be up to no good. Verrry Mysteeeerious. We'll never know.

5) The Messenger: These frequently dreadlocked daredevil defy the logic of bicycle physics. Putting in hundreds of miles a day, these riders perform unlike any other, both in stamina and agility. Squeezing through crevices between busses and wiggling through crowds of people crossing the street, these impressive riders snake their way down the street with graceful form, almost invisible. They intimidate some pedestrians, but if you need to get a role of architectural plans from East 53rd St to Church Street, they are your go-to-guy.

6) The Tourist: These riders are easy to recognize because they are dressed like Europeans, not wearing helmets while slowly and awkwardly swerving around on dumb looking cruiser bikes they rented at Columbus Circle. They frequently have no clue whatsoever where they are going, and they love to get in your way. It's like they do it on purpose.

7) The Pedicabbies: These are the foreigners who take advantage of other foreigners. Ride by them and just listen to the garbage they spew. "I rode by Alec Baldwin yesterday." or "That building is the one from Ghost Busters." Fredereick Law Olmstead would turn over in his grave if he knew his park was infested by such sleazy sleeveless scammers. The only thing that makes horse and carriages worse is the fact that they poop all over the place.

8) The Hipsters: Hipsters are the only reason fixed gear bikes even exists. Maybe it's because fixies are the vinyls of bicycles: inferior yet "authentic." Anyway, these epically rad riders are mostly found in Brooklyn, where style trumps performance. Vintage style bikes line the streets and even the guys have baskets in front. It's weird. But that's why it's cool.

9) The Crazy Non-Bikers: These are riders who get the double takes. You see them mostly in the parks or on the Hudson Greenway. They are riding the recumbent bicycles or even bikes that look like elliptical machines. It makes you wonder what stoned bike shop nut came up with these ideas, yet its impressive performance makes you intrigued and somewhat jealous. Then again, it seems like something you would try once then go back to a regular bicycle.

Then again, maybe you are a mix of several categories. The point is, one type doesn't classify all riders. Some people hate all bikers because they associate all of them with the rule-breaking delivery guys or the wreckless traffic swervers. Some people think all riders are training for the Tour de France because of all the silly spandexed people out there. False associations just make it frustrating for the rest of us who are just trying to get from point A to point B. So the point is, know your biker, ok? Now get out of my way, I have somewhere to go.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My New Hero

Casey Neistat, you are my new hero.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Biking Madison

Madison, WI was the setting for CNU19, the annual conference of the Congress for the New Urbanism, a non profit sustainable urban planning organization. The bicycle culture there was appropriately refreshing, to say the least. There were bikes everywhere, all over. Maybe it was the 1500 visitors they had that week, who knows.

Their new bike share program proved effective. See the lockup station that was found in several key locations throughout the city.

It was free if used for just a half hour, and $10 if taken for more thann that up to a whole day. Besides the fact that it looked like a clunky cruiser with a heavy metal basket welded to the front, they seemed to be well received and frequently used. Again, maybe it was just the conference.

Most surprising to me in Madison was the lack of bike security (which is obviously a huge concern of me in my current city). Bikes were locked up all over (or not) with nothing but cable locks. I saw maybe 3 chains the entire 4 days I was there. I went to rent a bike for the week and they weren't even going to give me a lock until I asked for one. A person I was with asked what happens if the bikes get stolen, to which the shop attendant responded in a confused and slow manner, for which he had no real response. "It's never happened so I don't really know."

There were also these other red bikes that were rented, these for free with a deposit. Although these were old bikes spray painted red. The entire bike, over cables and gears and brakes and everything. Really.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


For the record, I'm sleeping, not vomiting.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Feeling Horny

This was a great idea while it lasted. It definitely makes a statement when a bike horn is louder than a car horn. Too bad there's no way to secure it so it doesn't get stolen...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ruining it for the rest of us...

It is starting to happen, what I predicted years ago: Wreckless bikers are ruining it for the rest of us.

Lawmakers have started to get serious about the idea of enforcing traffic laws and forcing bikers to have a "bike license" when they ride. Two examples from the last week are New Jersey Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker and Queens Council Member Eric Ulrich. The arguments in favor stem from the idea that cyclists use the same roads as motor vehicles (which of course are licensed). In addition to all the same reason why motor vehicles are licensed, there has been great concern over cyclists not being held to the same standard of safety as motor vehicles, which beyond licensing has stemmed to blatent violations of traffic laws.

This is proof of what I have been saying for a very long time, which I have outlined very clearly in my recent Bike-umentary. Below is a quick summary of 3 main traffic violations which are only an issue because selfish wreckless a-holes have to go and abuse what would normally be an unspoken priveldge of bikers...

1) Riding the opposite direction down a street: If a car driver decided to go down the opposite direction on a street, they would be pulled over immediately and not only given a fine and points, but probably jailed for public endangerment or something like that. The idea that cyclists think this is acceptable for them to do on a regular basis is purely asinine.  Ok, fine, if you are going 1 block and there is NOBODY on the road (and I mean nobody, no cars, no bikes, no peds, no nothing), then maybe, MAYBE it could be acceptable. But the fact that people have abused this has made it so our streets are more dangerous beacuse of certain bikers, and caused a backlash on the biking community as a whole. The main culpit is delivery men. Delivery men who are in such a hurry that they are willing to put everybody else in danger so they can save 1 minute on their delivery time which they think will give them an extra $5 a day in tips. Well what's that $5 worth when you cross my path and I elbow you into a friggin light pole you worthless piece of...I only hope I can stifle my emotions enough as to prevent myself from crossing that line which puts myself in danger of violent criminal charges. Thanks, a lot, assholes, way to ruin it for the rest of us.

2) Riding on the sidewalk: Unless you are a young child, there is no excuse for this. Ride in the road. Period. What's that? Oh, you are riding on the sidewalk because you don't want to ride the opposite direction on the road? Oh, how friggin noble of you. Walk your bike you impatient, wreckless a-hole. The sidewalks are reserved for pedestrians, the most vulnerable class of street users. Because you disregard this, you are responsible for the recent crackdown on cyclist. Thanks, a lot, assholes, way to ruin it for the rest of us.

3) Riding through red lights: I have been very verbal in the past about the appropriate way to do this. It's very simple: Treat a red light a a yield sign. If no cars are coming and no peds are crossing, then fine, go through. But that's not what is happening. Instead, riders (and messenger are most guilty) will time it so they can fly through between crowds and cars, narrowly missing vehicles and peds in an apparently playful act of bravery. Well, guess what. You'll hit people eventually, or get hit. Personally, I don't care if you get hurt, other than the fact that you have an effect on healthcare premiums. You also give bikers a bad name. Thanks, a lot, assholes, way to ruin it for the rest of us.