Tuesday, December 23, 2008



There is little enough parking available for cyclists in NYC, so I was mystified by this convoluted system of barriers protecting/saving/blocking this bike rack on Third Avenue and 49th Street in Manhattan.

I mean, can you park here? Not park here? Valet park here?

Who are they saving this for, David Byrne? He's got his own bike racks.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Cold Sucks


I didn't feel like biking this morning. It was too cold and I was too cranky.

As a reward, this is the mob scene I faced on the subway platform.

A commute like this just makes me appreciate the fact that I have options... even if I'm too lazy to take advantage of them.

Friday, December 5, 2008

As seen in ... Midtown East


The press.

Waiting for Antonio Pierce of the NY Giants to make his appearance at the 17th Precinct in the Plaxico Buress debacle.

Traffic is a misery today.

With the Christmas season comes the dreaded 'Gridlock Alert'.

I find this fascinating. Like the other 11 months of the year the traffic is ok?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008



Wow. Two great tastes that taste great together - biking and pole-dancing.

I can't post pictures here because then my blog would have to have an adult content warning, but talk about utilizing pedal-power.

"PoleRider is the first and only bicycle rickshaw powered mobile dance pole; a new invention that merges pole dancing and bicycles.

Our mission is to raise awareness of the immense potential of pedal power and the imagination and to unite two great things that are even better together: bicycles and pole dancers! If you are driving, remember to look out for bicycles. One of them might be PoleRider!"

For more info go to Poleriders

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

As seen in ... Brooklyn Heights


I have no idea what these guys are doing, but this seems like a really inefficient way to move a car.

Friday, November 14, 2008

And The Winner Is ...

The Hoop by Ian Mahaffy and Maarten De Greeve, designers based in Copenhagen.
It's rather ironic that I finally managed to post about this yesterday - and today they announce the winner, especially since I just discovered that they were supposed to pick a winner three weeks ago.
Oh well, I guess that blows my rep as the place to get timely news....

The reaction to the announcement has been surprisingly cantankerous. Some of the comments have been downright rude.

“Evoke an abstracted bicycle tire”: what a lame brained
rational. What ever hapened to some small modicum
of functionality.

— a.may

My favorite?

"Well, if they’re pretty enough, maybe the bike thieves will start stealing the racks instead of the bikes."

— KWillets

They say they are going to install at least 5,000 of these over the next few years. I'm going to go the glass-half-full route and just be grateful for small favors. After all, they could have decided to spend that money for more parking meters.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Nice Rack


The Department of Transportation along with the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, Google and Transportation Alternatives are sponsoring a NYC bike rack design competition.

The finalists are on view at Astor place if you'd like to give them a test park.


"From bus stop shelters to parking meters to street lights, the streets of New York City are a diverse landscape of urban forms. One increasingly ubiquitous element is the CityRack, with thousands on sidewalks in the five boroughs. These simple racks have served us well for the past 10 years. But as we look to make even greater strides in increasing the number of cyclists we need something more. We need something that is functional while simultaneously capturing the attention and imagination of New Yorkers. To supplement our CityRacks, we also seek to promote off-street parking inside buildings to make it even easier for New Yorkers to take up the two-wheel commute."

Janette Sadik-Khan, Commissioner, New York City Department of Transportation


I know no one wants to be a guinea pig, but as the official site says,
"If the racks are broken or missing this indicates the designs as submitted might not be tough enough for NYC. Vandals are lame, but it’s better to know the pitfalls before we start to mass produce new racks."

So lock it up - and vote for your favorite at nycityracks

Tuesday, November 4, 2008



...or shut up.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

As seen in ... Greenpoint


There's nothing like biking down closed streets.

If you missed it, today was the 'Get to the 'Point' 5K run through Greenpoint.

I don't run, but I love all the streets closed to traffic.

For a real kick, try riding the NYC Marathon route before the runners go. It's totally under the radar, but super fun.
No, you don't get to ride across the Verrazano Bridge, but the rest of the route gets closed off pretty early in the morning of the race.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Night The Lights Didn't Go Out On Broadway


Paul Newman who?

The last time the lights went out on Broadway was just after 9/11 and like many people, I was stuck in another borough, so I've never seen the marquees go dark.

I was back working at 'no wheels allowed' (not even no wheels please), and I was already in craptastic midtown so I figured I'd head over to 44th St. to watch Broadway's tribute to fallen star Paul Newman.

I picked out a good spot. I know it was good because 2 minutes later a Fox News crew almost boxed me out of it, and I got ready to be moved by the sight of the lights going out.


So we stood there - me and the Fox News crew, 8 o'clock came, The Schubert went black, the Marquis flicked the switch for about 5 seconds, they both came back on, the Fox folks and I turned and looked at each other and shook our heads. The Saint James and The Majestic just didn't even bother at all.

So much for honoring Paul Newman.


They asked me if I wanted to be interviewed, but I decided that saying that the tribute was shitty on national tv was probably inappropriate.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Shame on You Brooklyn Marriott


I know I'm always harping on this, but come on!

According to the Marriott web site, the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge boasts "1,100 indoor parking spots" - so why don't you use them instead of allowing the bike lane that is the most direct access to the Brooklyn Bridge for cyclists to be abused?

In a neighborhood already overrun by 'special' parking permits for the local, state and federal courts, do we really need 'protected' livery cab parking?

On the other hand ...


With bike lanes like this, who wants to ride in them anyway?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

As seen in ... The West Village


How cool is this?

The mom who rides this contraption with her two kids told me you can't get the jump seat that sits on the top tube anymore because of the danger that the kid will get a foot stuck in the front spokes, but the older one - who rides in back, still has both feet, so he seems to have done just fine.
I don't know what that extension is called that's attached to the back, that's what got me interested to begin with, but the little footrests on the downtube are my favorite part.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Oy Vey!

Armstrong to Race for Astana in 2009
Published: September 24, 2008

"Lance Armstrong, the cancer-survivor who retired after winning a seventh consecutive Tour de France in 2005, will resume his racing career in Australia in January, and will end his season after riding down the Champs- Élysées during the Tour de France in July.

Addressing the opening session of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York on Wednesday, Armstrong said he would convene the first global summit of the Livestrong campaign to raise cancer awareness in Paris after the Tour.

“I cannot guarantee an eighth Tour victory,” Armstrong said as he addressed a room filled with more than 60 heads of state and hundreds of others. "But I can guarantee that the Livestrong message will touch all aspects of our society , all continents of our society and certainly touch all the different aspects of cancer.”


Since his retirement, Armstrong has traveled the world to promote his cancer foundation, which he formed after surviving testicular cancer in the late 1990s. He also has been a staple on the social circuit, attending film premieres and dating actresses and singers."

Armstrong to race for Astana

Have we learned nothing from:

Michael Jordan
Muhammad Ali
Roger Clemens

I'm sure the list goes on ...

I know he says he's doing this to raise awareness for his foundation, but as a cycling fan, I REALLY don't want to see him huffing and puffing his way through the Alps.
Maybe he's really that good and he can compete on an international level at his age. If so, what does that say about the state of cycling today?

"When you retire too late, you damage your reputation. Michael Schumacher quit when he is still world class. You can only wish that all athletes made such decisions." — IAAF vice president Helmut Digel.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

As seen in ... Lower Manhattan

Waiting for AIG to sink or swim, the press camps out.


Monday, September 8, 2008

The 2008 NYC Century

Well that was interesting.

"Interesting" in the same way your do it yourself Flock of Seagulls hairdo was interesting, or interesting the way Aunt Dottie gets after her third cocktail.

I was half dreading 4am went I went to sleep the night before. Hurricane Hanna was in full effect on the eastern seaboard, and as much as I enjoy cycling, cycling a hundred miles in a raging storm is not my idea of something you do voluntarily.

Even I had to admit it was obviously going to be a perfect day when I checked the weather and walked my confused dog.

I got myself together, got myself to the subway, and boarded the bicycle express to the Upper West Side.


There's nothing quite like the combination of spandex-clad, sunblock covered cyclists packed on the same subway as night-shift workers and drunk yuppies who only wish they were doing the walk of shame.

I wish I could accurately quote some of the conversations that I overheard, but they all boiled down to the same general topic:

Drunk Dude #1 "Yo, what's with the bike?"
Cyclist "The NYC Century is today"
Drunk Dude #2 "Huh, What's that?"
Cyclist "You bike a hundred miles around NYC"
Drunk Dude #1 "A hundred miles? No Shit."
Drunk Dude #2 to Drunk Dude #1 "Sounds stupid"

Thankfully, I made it to the start without getting barfed on, got my cue sheet and was on my way.

I love the first part of the NYC Century. Starting in the dark. Bombing down Riverside Drive and then through Times Square. No traffic, just the whirr of a hundred bikes coasting down the hills. Then across the Brooklyn Bridge at dawn and into Prospect Park.

The things I remember are random; The guy in the orange 'You don't have to be the best, you just have to try the hardest' tee shirt that spotted as I was leaving the top of Central Park and then rode with for about 50 miles, the two unicyclists doing the whole hundred, the weird twists and turns the route took through Brooklyn - both across the Carroll Street Bridge (odd choice) and right past the subway station I was at two hours before, but most of all, I remember how I felt after mile 30.

Why mile 30?

Well at about mile 25 on the Shore Parkway Bike Path, right around Gerritsen Beach (at least I think that's Gerritsen Beach - you know, where it's all twisty-turny and there's sand all over the path and there's a little port-a-potty stop?)
Well, right there as I slowed to take a 'natural break', I got broadsided by another cyclist.
Now I've never been in an accident with another cyclist.
I've been doored by cars and I've hit things and fallen, mostly I slow speed topple over while trying to do dumb things, but I've never actually been in a high speed crash.
I wish I could describe what happened, but I can't. One minute I was on my bike and the next, I was all the way across the road on my back. I got hit so hard, I was thrown clear of my bike and didn't even get a scrape.
I checked myself, I checked my bike, I checked the guy (he said he was fine, although I think he knocked the wind out by slamming his stem into his own sternum) I got back on my bike and continued down the path.
Five miles later the adrenaline high wore off and I've never felt worse in my life.
Everything hurt, every mile was agony. I was thirsty no matter how much I drank, and hungry no matter how much I ate, I was tired no matter how slow I went, and I was depressed no matter how beautiful the day was.

I struggled on through to Queens. Gamely did my loop around the Velodrome.
And then at the absolute stinkiest part of the bike path along Flushing Bay - you know which part I'm talking about...

This happened.


I managed to get my tire fixed, rode 20 feet and - don't ask how, it's too embarrassing - broke the tip off the brand new tire nozzle.

A couple of Marshalls stopped to help me and give me a new tube, and I stumbled unhappily into Astoria Park.

Then the person who was supposed to be watching my dog called to tell me they were sick and couldn't get to my house and I just gave up.

I was out of shape, out of spare tires, and out of gas.

I crawled back to the park, picked up my tee shirt and cookie and headed home.

When I finally stripped out of my riding gear, I found a bruise the width of a tire perfectly imprinted on my right upper thigh.

I count myself lucky it wasn't worse. I hope that guy is ok. And I owe that Marshall a drink.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The 2008 NYC Century is in 10 hours?

I don't know about this...

This is Broadway. I'm supposed to be riding down this at 6 am tomorrow morning, but hurricane Hanna seems to have something to say about that.

I'll see what it's like at 4am.
I know the Century goes rain or shine...
But I don't.


Sunday, August 31, 2008

Why I Love Bicycling in NYC


Cool Ass companies that invite you to bike to work -

And give you a place to park.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Why I Hate Bicycling in NYC


At least they said please.

I actually love bicycling in NYC. Just as long as I don't have to stop - anywhere, for any reason at all.

Don't go shopping, don't go to the bathroom, and god forbid, don't try to go to work.

They won't let you in.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Oh No They Didn't ...

Oh yes they did...


You know that stuff I was wondering about?
Well, it's a pedestrian zone for hanging out.

In the middle of Broadway.

I don't actually have a problem with this in theory, after all, it's a busy area and there aren't that many places to sit and rest in NYC if you are a tourist or a marathon shopper.

And anything that makes less traffic is a bonus.

Maybe it's just me, but sitting right next to the speeding cabs doesn't strike me as all that restful.

Luckily, the tourists no longer have to walk on the sidewalk now that they have a nice brand new bright green walkway. (Aren't those big bicycle icons cute!)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Midtown, What a Difference a Block Makes


Seventh Avenue - Argh!

But Wait... What's This?


The DOT was busy installing a bike lane and protected buffer zone on Broadway between 42nd and 35th streets today.

Why just seven blocks between Herald Square and Times Square - I don't know. I mean for cyclists, what's the use of a seven block lane connecting two of the busiest, most impossible to ride a bike to and still maintain your sanity, places in NYC?
Now I can get between them - I just can't get to or from them.
It sure looks pretty. But what's up with the sand?


That gritty crap they are gluing to the street is some kind of abrasive sandy stuff - and yes, they were using glue. I'm not sure what the point is. Is that supposed to be the pedestrian part of the path? Were people falling over when they walked down the street?

Still no place to park my bike and back to working in a building that won't allow me to bring one inside - even if I use the freight elevator.
It's the old conundrum... camouflage the bike and hide it among all the food delivery bikes chained to some local scaffold, or suck it up and take the subway.
Oh well.

Apropos of nothing.


Hundreds of people standing on line to meet wrestler John Cena.

"Autographs are available on a first come, first serve basis. Fans who make an Ultimate Nutrition purchase at GNC Herald Square location only will receive the opportunity to take a posed photo with WWE Superstar John Cena.

- All Ultimate Nutrition sales at GNC Herald Square are final. No returns or exchanges."

Friday, August 1, 2008

Bicycle Karma

The guy in this video is purposefully trying to door a kid on a bike.

I hereby bestow upon him the first official Bike Dummy Darwin Award for being a total dumb-ass...
May he never propagate.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

No Crossing the Cross Bay Bridge


Don't try to cross the Cross Bay Bridge on a bike.

The pedestrian and bike path is closed for repairs until at least October, which is a bummer - I like doing the loop around Jamaica Bay.


Luckily, there is a shuttle bus that will take you and your bike across the bridge.
Luckier even if you happen to run into one of the local cyclists who has the driver's number on speed dial to make sure you don't have to wait forever.
I have no idea what the wait time is normally - due to my exalted company it was only about 15 minutes.


Still, it's a bit weird to end up crammed on a passenger van half way through a ride.
By the time I get that far down, I'm usually a pretty ripe and the poor guy sitting next to me and the nice clean couple on a date certainly wished that I had chosen a different route.

In the end, you can get across - I'd just recommend sticking to the Marine Parkway Bridge for now.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


My trip down to the Rockaways was more exciting than it normally is.
I fell in a pothole, I forgot my map, and I met Dash.

Dash was laying on the ground panting from the heat when I came upon him and his owner about 500 yards from the Canarsie Pier.
The guy wasn't that far from the entrance (and the water fountain) but I figured, hey, I've got wheels and he's got a hundred pounds of dead weight, so I shared some of my bottle with Dash.


Instant Dog! Just Add Water...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Deja Vu All Over Again

I was riding on the Belt Parkway Bike Path down near Canarsie when I saw this...


I was vaguely mystified until about 10 feet later I ran over these...


Then I remembered.

Last year during the NYC Century, I saw exactly the same warning in exactly the same place and did exactly the same thing.
You'd think I might have figured it out by now - SLOW BUMPS means -

Friday, July 18, 2008

Tearin' Up The Town


I finally met the guys who rip up the street.
Usually I just end up turning onto streets that have been torn up to await a new surface, but today I ran right smack into the middle of it.
It turns out this process is called 'milling' and it's done by contracted workers who when asked know nothing about when the street will once again have a surface that doesn't slice up my tires.
They just do the ripping up.


Lucky for me, I've discovered the many and varied uses for two great inventions; the 'innanet' and 311.

Turns out, the DOT actually posts a schedule of the upcoming work - both 'milling' and fixing in the 'Weekly Resurfacing Schedule'.
I will probably never check this again, but it's nice to know you could figure out what streets were a mess before riding on them. (This requires far more advance thought than I've ever been willing to apply, but it's better than the "Whatever, fugghettaboutit" answer I got this morning.)


2 Paving Crews
11th Ave (New Utrecht to 61st St)
46th St (11th Ave to New Utrecht Ave)
Navy St (Hudson Ave to Nassau St)
York St (Jay St to Navy St)
2 Milling Crews
Senator St (Colonial Rd to 6th Ave)
E 7th St (Reeve Pl to Quentin Rd)
Contract Milling
State St (Columbia Pl to Flatbush Ave)


2 Paving Crews
11th Ave (New Utrecht to 61st St)
Navy St (Hudson Ave to Nassau St)
York St (Jay St to Navy St)
2 Milling Crews
72nd St (5th Ave to 12th Ave)
E 7th St (Reeve Pl to Quentin Rd)
Contract Milling
State St (Columbia Pl to Flatbush Ave)


2 Paving Crews
11th Ave (New Utrecht to 61st St)
Navy St (Hudson Ave to Nassau St)
York St (Jay St to Navy St)
Middagh St (BQE to Fulton St)
Willow St (BQE to Pierrepont St)
Monroe Pl (Clark St to Pierrepont)
2 Milling Crews
72nd St (5th Ave to 12th Ave)
E 7th Ave (Reeve Pl to Quentin Rd)
Contract Milling
State St (Columbia Pl to Flatbush Ave)

Schedules are subject to change due to inclement weather or emergencies. For updated information call (311) Monday to Friday, 7 am to 7 pm.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Tour de France 2008

I know I shouldn't be surprised.

I wasn't going to write anything more about the tour this year.
Poor Cadel Evans doesn't need yet another person bemoaning his lack of personality as a cyclist.

Riccardo Ricco was my shining star of this year's tour. His kind of riding is why I watch the tour to begin with - attacking, dynamic and spectacular.
There was a great live quote from Christian Vande Velde where he described one of the stages following Ricco and Saunier Duval as 'balls to the wall'. (You won't be seeing that in the 'expanded 8pm coverage' on Versus.)

Like his hero, Marco Pantani, he was full of big talk and big results.
And like his hero, now he's gone down in flames.

I'm sad.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Biking to Roosevelt Island

Less Hate, More Love Part III


In celebration of one full week since my commuter bike was stolen (and my inability to get over it and just replace it) I'm posting another of my favorite local rides - across the bridge to Roosevelt Island.

View from the Southern tip of Roosevelt Island

The very fact that Roosevelt Island exists is a little strange. A product of the Urban Development Corporation, it was supposed to be a suburban, car-free utopia in the center of NYC.
Over the years, I've known a number of people who've lived there, and they all did enjoy it to a certain extent.

The thing I enjoy most about it are the spectacular views and the fact that you can be completely and totally alone.
Past the ruin of the old smallpox hospital (BikeDummy, Sept. 2007) all the way at the tip of the island, is a spot to view the complete panorama of the East River - from the United Nations to LIC.
And it's almost always empty.

The United Nations to the West

Long Island City to the East

To get to Roosevelt Island by Bicycle - either take the tram from 60th street in Manhattan, or bike across the bridge at Vernon Blvd and 36th Avenue in Queens.
The surface of the bridge is metal grating so I wouldn't ride across it unless you've got a mountain bike. It's also currently under construction, so on windy days the dust is really awful.
The path is very narrow and is used by pedestrians as well, so you may need to dismount and walk your bike.
Once across, just follow the roads. The island is a closed loop so it's not like you can get lost.


If you're in the area - drop by the Socrates Sculpture Park or the Isamu Noguchi Museum for a bit of culture.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Ice Cream and Dirt


Reasons to love cycling on a sunny summer day.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Welcome to NYC, Your New Tropical Destination

I thought I was doing the Macarena. I swear I didn't know it was a rain dance.


I only lasted two bikeless days before breaking out the trusty Centurion to bike to work.
Now, I would NEVER leave this bike on the street. Not that it's worth very much, but I would cry me a river if it got stolen, and as we all know, in NYC, if you leave it on the street, sooner or later it will get stolen.
Like I said, this is the first bike I've ever had long enough to have to do maintenance on.
The rest were all stripped, clipped or mauled.
The last time I rode my road bike, I got caught underneath the Triboro in an end of the world kind of deluge, so today when I opened the front door of the office and saw a bunch of people starting to huddle out of the rain, I figured I could wait a while before heading home.
I made some calls, I did some work, I looked out the window, and the rain had stopped.
I made it three blocks before it started raining again.
I went from dry to irretrievably soaked to blindly hydroplaning in less than a block.
You know how sometimes when you are riding past the cabs stuck in rush hour traffic and the sweat-stained huddled masses stumbling out of subway stops, you just feel smarter than everyone else?
Maybe I'm being punished for hubris.
Do you think if I did penance the bicycle gods would let up a little?
I know, I could buy that hot pink mountain bike someone is trying to sell on craigslist for $500.
Riding that in public must certainly be punishment enough.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Manhattan Bridge Bike Path

Less Hate, More Love Part II


Most Brooklyn cyclists will tell you that if you really want to get from borough to borough, the Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges are the way to go.

The Manhattan Bridge has been under renovation for so many years that I forgot there were two pathways until they re-opened the North side last year. It now boasts one of the few bicycle only bridge crossings in the city - ramps on either end, east/west bike lanes, and best of all, pedestrians have a path all to themselves on the other side.


On the Manhattan side, the bike path entrance is at Chrystie Street on the left hand (North) side when facing the bridge from Canal Street.
If you are heading south on Bowery or east on Canal, you are 'supposed' to follow the signs down Grand to Allen and back around to the other side of Canal which confusingly enough goes west back to the entrance of the ramp. Very few people bother. Add to this pedestrians filling what is supposed to be the path leading to the ramp and you get a general cluster*@*%.

This decorative arch is NOT the entrance. If you are facing this, go to your left.


The Brooklyn entrance to the path is a lovely new ramp at Jay and Sands Streets.
The approach to this is also crazy if you aren't used to riding in traffic - and hard to find if you don't know exactly where it is.


The stairs to the pedestrian path are on the Jay Street side and the ramp is on the Sands Street side.
Yes, you are actually supposed to be biking on the sidewalk.
They apparently didn't want cyclists coming off the ramp directly onto the BQE entrance ramp (I agree), so you need to be on the sidewalk under the overpass in order to get onto the bridge.


I find that some of the stupider bike paths in NYC are in this area, so I ignore them and just try to keep myself safe.
The intersection of Jay and Sands is right in the middle of the traffic pattern leading from the BQE to both the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, so you need to be alert, but if you are coming from Downtown Brooklyn the Adams Street approach (AKA Brooklyn Bridge Blvd) is completely empty of car traffic.


I love biking across this bridge.
It's both quick and painless to ride across, and lovely and awe inspiring to see.
The only down side to the bikes only path?
The view from the pedestrian side is pretty freaking amazing.