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Thursday, April 30, 2009
  Bamboo bicycle building class
By Yokota Fritz 
The Bamboo Bike Studio offers a two day bike building course in Brooklyn, where they claim you can "Walk in Saturday, Ride Out Sunday."

One weekend is all it takes to fabricate a frame from bamboo, assemble the components, and roll away with a custom-fitted ride, tuned to each student’s body and cycling style. The cost of the class directly supports the Bamboo Bike Studio’s efforts and partnership with the Columbia Earth Institute-based Bamboo Bike Project and Millennium Cities Initiative to seed the first bamboo bike factory in Ghana, where reliable and cheap bicycle transportation can dramatically improve access to jobs, commerce, education, basic food and water resources, and health care.



To kickoff the workshop and website launch, the Bamboo Bike Studio is partnering with Brooklyn-based design center 3rd Ward for the Green Bikes Birthday Block Party, Sunday May third. The festivities will converge on Stagg Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY for bike competitions, bands and music videos, badminton, drinks, BBQ, live screen-printing and more. The Bamboo Bike Studio team will be riding 10 deep to event, where they will host a live bike building demonstration, have bikes on hand for viewing, and offer a sign-up sheet for classes.

For fun, for learning, for building a better ride and a better world; the Bamboo Bike Studio offers customized rides made from a local-harvested, fast-growing natural resource, and a bottom line that supports responsible light industry growth and progressive, self-propelled transportation in developing countries.

The Bamboo Bike Studio goes live on Sunday, May 3 at the 3rd Ward Block Party in Brooklyn, New York.

Learn More.

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Friday, November 14, 2008
  New York City bike rack contest: Hoop wins
By Yokota Fritz 
Ian Mahaffy and Maarten De Greeve's "Hoop" was selected as the new standard bike rack to be installed by the city of New York.



This cast metal circular design is evocative of "an abstracted bicycle tire" according to the City transportation department judges who selected the winning entry.Eco Jym likes it because it reminds him of "Ron Cobb's ecology symbol." Read more.

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Thursday, July 31, 2008
  David Byrne's bike racks
By Yokota Fritz 
Ride along with former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne as he bikes across Brooklyn to show off his whimsical bike rack designs.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008
  Criminal complaint against Christopher Long
By Yokota Fritz 
Update 7/7/2009: Christopher Long sues NYPD.

You've seen the video of New York Police officer Patrick Pogan tackling bike rider Chris Long during the Critical Mass bicycle ride through Times Square last week. If you haven't seen the video, it clearly shows Pogan targeting a cyclist then tackling him to the ground with a violent body check. The video shows Long riding and steering away from Pogan when Pogan runs directly at the cyclist and knocks him hard to the ground.

The Smoking Gun posted Pogan's sworn statement in which he says he arrested Long because Long "steered the ... bicycle in the direction of [Pogan] and drove the bicycle directly into [Pogan]'s body, causing [Pogan] to fall to the ground and causing [Pogan] to suffer lacerations on [his] forearms." The Manhattan attorney's office filed charges of "attempted assault in the 3rd Degree" against Chris Long as a result of Pogan's statement. Chris Long spent 26 hours in jail after his arrest.

All I can say of Pogan is "Liar Liar Pants on Fire."

Pogan played high school football and was chosen as an offensive lineman for the 2003 Long Island all stars team.

More:

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Monday, July 14, 2008
  Private Joker to bike through Brooklyn
By Yokota Fritz 
Meet Matthew Modine (Private Joker in "Full Metal Jacket") as he rides his bike on Tuesday, July 15 through Brooklyn and the Lower East Side. He'll stop at a number of local bike shops to spread awareness about his September 20th event - Bicycle for a Day.

Matthew Modine as Private Joker in Full Metal Jacket


Bicycle For A Day (BFAD) takes place September 20, 2008 and is:

• a fun, open and proactive invitation designed to inspire individuals, communities, governments and corporations to take a step towards solving the current environmental issues.

• a global initiative bringing together people who choose to ride a bicycle rather than use gas-powered motor vehicles, immediately reducing their carbon footprint.

• supports organizations that restore and protect our environment and make biking safer and more accessible for everyone.

Modine will start the ride on Tuesday at 4:30 PM and stop at these locations:
  • DUMBO, 35 Pearl Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201.
  • Bay Ridge Bicycle World, 8916 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY, 11209.
  • B's Bikes, 262 Driggs Ave, Brooklyn, NY, 11222.
  • Nelson's Bicycle Shop, 251 Bushwick Ave, Brooklyn, NY, 11206.
  • Continuum Cycles, 199 Ave B, New York, NY, 10009.
  • Frank's Bike Shop, 553 Grand St, New York, NY, 10002
  • Track Star, 231 Eldridge St, New York, NY, 10002
  • NYC Velo, 64 2nd Ave, New York, NY, 10003
Matt Modine's ride concludes with an Art Show to support BFAD at Phebe's Tavern, 361 Bowery, New York, NY 10003.

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Friday, May 30, 2008
  The annual car vs bike vs transit challenge
By Yokota Fritz 
Transportation Alternatives in New York City held its 7th annual Commuter Challenge yesterday. Streetfilms had cameras on each of the car driver, cyclist and public transit user and Elizabeth Press stayed up all night to create the video of the challenge in less than 24 hours!



More here.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008
  Orange bikes take Manhattan
By Yokota Fritz 
Do you remember the DKNY orange bikes of fashion week? A short film by Kalim Armstrong documents the backlash to DKNY's ad campaign. "Orange Bikes Take Manhattan" screens this Friday at the Bicycle Film Festival in NYC. Here's the trailer.



Orange Bikes Take Manhattan - Bicycle Film Festival 2008
Friday May 30th 7pm
ANTHOLOGY FILM ARCHIVES
32 2nd Ave. at 2nd St.

Orange bikes documents the reaction to a guerrilla marketing campaign during fashion week. Orange monochromatic bicycles appeared chained as part of DKNY's "Explore your city" campaign. The bikes were reminiscent of the Ghost Bike memorial project, white painted bikes that serve as markers where cyclists have died in traffic accidents. This film explores the backlash to the marketing campaign.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008
  If supermodels can't save the world, I don't know who can
By Yokota Fritz 
Watch first...


...now read the commentary. These people are way too uptight. The video is obviously a spoof -- who believes DKNY actually made this video? Who believes that brunette is actually a real supermodel?

And why all the hate toward DKNY? Do you really want them to end up in a marketing textbook as an example that you shouldn't use bikes in your marketing because of backlash from fanatic true believers?

DKNY are not preaching to the choir -- they're speaking to their audience, the people who are interested in fashion and style. They should be applauded for their efforts in reaching out to a new audience in their attempt to portray bicycling as a cool, fashionable way to get around. Three years ago, only the 40 year old virgin rode his bike to work. This year, we'll see Brad Pitt on a bike.

More at Streetsblog. Props to Carlton.

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Monday, February 04, 2008
  DKNY orange bicycles
By Yokota Fritz 
man and woman on bicycle - DKNY fashion models For Fashion Week in New York City, DKNY says to "Explore Your City" on bike. DKNY informs fashionistas of the benefits of cycling by noting New York's high population and flat terrain make it an ideal city for cycling; informing people that May is Bike Month in New York; DKNY stores in NYC are distributing free bike maps.

DKNY also will give away what they describe as a "custom folding bike," which turns out to be a Huffy painted in a DKNY color scheme. (Since when did Huffy have folders?)

According to Conde Naste Portfolio, DKNY has also chained about 75 orange bikes around New York City, noting that it's a publicity stunt that's seems to have gone awfully well for DKNY. Why else would DKNY be mentioned by Bike Snob, Streetsblog, Bike Blog, Bike Hugger, Gwadzilla and now even Cyclelicious?

woman on a bicycle - DKNY fashion model
Not all the attention has been positive, with some people thinking it's too much like the ghost bike memorials.

Photo: "DKNY Pro Bike Campaign" from Amanda Ford in Brooklyn.

I guess I should point out that none of the female bike commuters I encounter ever look like the fashion models pictured here. They mostly look something like me -- you know: a little bit dorky, wrinkly clothes, wripped and oily pant hems, smelly bike gloves, yellow jacket, helmet hair, a little sweaty -- they just usually have longer hair than me. I sometimes run into sanguine cuties like Emily though, too.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008
  NYC: Huge bike boxes
By Yokota Fritz 
See what new bike facilities are available in New York City, as reported by Streetsblog:


Bike boxes are a reserved space just for cyclists at intersections. They are marked ahead of the car stop line and behind the crosswalk to improve cyclist visibility. Bike boxes allow cyclists to filter forward and get in front of motorists so they can position themselves correctly for a turn. They're used at intersections with heavy traffic volume (cars and bikes) and frequent turning conflicts.

In New York, these bike boxes are on a one way street. Bike lanes are also marked on both sides of the one way. Read more at Streetsblog.

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Friday, November 30, 2007
  Queens bicycle ghetto blasters
By Yokota Fritz 
These kids in Queens roll with 5000 watt amplifiers booming about 150 decibels of music on the streets of New York City. They make custom cabinets to house the systems, with more cabinets holding the car batteries to power the system. Most of the bikes have decorative lighting and some have DVD screens for viewing while riding, according to the Times article.

Read more at the New York Times. Thank you to the Longmonster.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007
  New York City Traffic Commissioner bikes to work
By Yokota Fritz 
Janette Sadik-Khan, the commissioner of the Department of Transportation, rides her bicycle to work. That the head of an agency long associated with car travel is an avid bicyclist symbolizes what might be a new way of thinking about how New York’s asphalt should be used.

Ms. Sadik-Khan said her time on two wheels has become an important part of her work.

“It’s invaluable to get on a bike and see firsthand the conditions that our projects are trying to address,” said Ms. Sadik-Khan, who became the city’s transportation commissioner in the spring. “We are really emphasizing connectivity in the bicycle lane network, because all cyclists, myself included, know that it’s maddening to be coming along a lane and have it simply end and leave you off on your own on a big avenue.”
Read more in the New York Times: To Ease a City’s Traffic, Shifting From 4 Wheels to 2.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007
  Route from Yonkers, NY to Canton, CT
By Yokota Fritz 
Tom asks: "I have a question about safe roads. I am planning a trip from Yonkers, NY to Canton, CT. There are many bike trails along the way, but I will have to use the roads in other areas. What is the best way to contact people who know the roads I am thinking of and if I am using the safest means possible?"

I've visited the areas along New York and Connecticute but I'm not all that familiar with the region. Besides these resources, does anyone have other suggestions for Tom?

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Thursday, July 12, 2007
  NYC bike share experiment
By Yokota Fritz 
Imagine walking to a sidewalk corner and finding a public bicycle. With a cellphone call or swipe of a card, you unlock it from its bike rack and ride it across town. Once at your destination, you steer to the closest bike rack and, with one more call or card swipe, return the bike to the public network. You pay less than $.50 for the trip, and the bike is once again available for the taking.
That's the vision of the New York Bike Share Project, an experiment in free bikes that ended yesterday. Twenty bicycles were available for free 30-minute rentals between Storefront for Art and Architecture and a roving, remote location.

New York City transportation officials are watching the program. “We are studying it with interest,” said Molly Gordy, a spokeswoman for the city’s Department of Transportation. “The big questions for us are how to combat theft and vandalism, which are two problems prevalent in New York.”

Fast Company has their take on this program:
While the benefits of such a program are self-evident, the feasibility (and likelihood) is less clear. New York abounds with bikers, but the cultural attitude towards them is not necessarily positive. Some of this is, of course, derived from riders who stubbornly refuse to follow traffic laws (sometimes out of defiance, sometimes just stupidity), but a large part of it must be attributed to the city's apparent desire to actively combat cyclists instead of working with them (as the new parade regulations and recent Critical Mass rides have illustrated).
Hat tip to Paul in Denver. See also:

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Thursday, March 29, 2007
  Eclectic Shul Aid Matzo Test
By Yokota Fritz 
Rabbi Aaron Winternitz bought an old school bus, planted it behind his home in Spring Valley, NY, and converted the back half to a wood-fired oven to bake matzo. At the front of the bus is a stationary bike he uses to grind wheat to make the matzo flour.

Regarding the school bus as an oven: “Think about it: they’re built very strong, and they’re made to be fireproof,” Rabbi Winternitz, a schoolteacher, rabbi and amateur inventor, said in explaining how he always thought an empty school bus would be great for matzo-making. “To me, it makes a perfect oven.”

Read more in the New York Times.

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