Saturday, May 31, 2008

NYC: Michael Green Reclaims His Whip

Photo by:
NYC is one of those funny places that often feels (to me anyways) like you are living in a giant snow globe, where people are constantly looking in and judging your every move. It's always funny to me when i walk (or bike) down the street and see the double decker bus with hundreds of tourists looking at us like we are animals in a zoo, or again living in a snow globe for everyone to judge for themselves. it's often said that New Yorkers are rude, impatient, and pretty selfish. It's true, no matter where you live there is always going to be some sort of riff raff, or dishonesty that will, in some form, disrupt your daily walk (or in this case ride). Having said that, the flip side of the coin is for all that is bad, there is always a little piece of good that always seems to work out in your favor.
This past month the biking community was informed of Michael Green's stolen bike (which i posted in hopes of retrieving), the orange KHS frame with the green aerospoke rim. The article was ripped by several blog spots for the willingness of Michael falling for the old, "hey man let me try out your bike" trick. The perp ran off with the bike and the rest is history.....until now. This past week the bike was retrieved by a band of bikers who spotted the bike in the city, and took it upon themselves to round up enough people to corral the perp into giving it back. The story is amazing and you can read more about it here.
i was recently talking to a good friend of mine back in Dallas about his friend who is a full fledged "hobo". We got to talking about the hobo lifestyle and decided if it were politically correct to call them "hobo's" so we checked it out on wikepedia. We found out more about this lifestyle, and learned that there is a code they leave around town when visiting places. This is a code they live by to help each other out in case of rabid animals, work, and police. The same goes for the biking community which i am learning. There is definite power in numbers, and i think that Michaels story definitely delivers the details better.
Hats off to the group who banned together to get it back, and save Michaels Whip.

(for more on this article, and to learn about the hobo culture just click on the links)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

4th Annual: Tour de Brooklyn!!!

Photos by: David Y. & Shannon M.
This past Sunday was the 4th annual Tour de Brooklyn. The ride was moved up a week earlier than usual to celebrate the 125 birthday of the Brooklyn Bridge. The ride started in Dumbo and made its way around the many beautiful neighborhoods of our very own BK. There were over 2000 riders attending this year, and i tried my best to keep track of the race through photos:

This is me, all registered and waiting for the ride to begin

These are the other riders that had signed in awaiting for the start of the ride

There were many pauses in the ride, this was the first. you can see the many riders behind me.
the riders riding through Evergreen Cemetary
this was the rest stop in Bushwick where we got PBJ's, fruit, and water (for free!)
Our stop in Greenpoint
entering Williamsburg
heading to the Brooklyn Navy Yards (which was awesome!)
The End! (...and i will be riding this again in 2009)

(for more on the ride, including a video just click on the title of this post)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tour de Brooklyn....

So as most of you know, this is Memorial day weekend, and what better way to spend it than with a great bike ride. So if you live in Brooklyn and want to take part, i will be there with my vintage cruiser (Griffin).....i will be posting more about my ride with pictures this weekend....see you there!
(for more on the event, just click on the title of this post)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Coney Island Bound...

Photos by: David Y. & Megan H.
So when i created this blog my focus was to capture some of the great rides you can take here in NYC. Now that spring is here, one of my favorite rides is the trek out to Coney Island. There has been a lot of talk about the construction, and changing of Coney, so to me it is nice to get out there when time and weather permits and capture as many photos as possible. The setting alone is a photographers playground, esp. if you are in the design field like myself. There are endless amounts of surprises everywhere you turn, from the fair grounds, to the rows of vintage signage, and of course the people that come out of the woodwork.
I find it is much easier to start my trek at 15th and Prospect park (if you are coming from the city you can take the "F" train to this stop. From here you can ride a 1/4 of the park to "Ocean Pkwy" which will be a straight shot to Coney, and the Boardwalk. I have documented this trip in the photos below:

In photo 1, you can see how there is a protected bike lane, which runs the full ride straight to Coney, the second photo is of the homes that line the bike lane. Photo 3 was of some men playing Backgammon, which was awesome, in fact they were still there playing 3 hours later when we rode back by.......pretty serious business i would guess.

Photo 1 is the ending of the bike lane and the entrance to Coney, just beyond the bridge you can ride up a ramp onto the entrance of the boardwalk. Photo 2 is of us arriving and waiting in line at Nathan's, every New Yorker knows you can't visit Coney without having a Nathans Famous hot dog, and of course photo 3 is me enjoying it.

Photo 1 here shows the amusement park from the end of the pier. The pier houses several of the fisherman that come out to fish for crabs, and whatever else lies underneath those murky waters. Photo 2 is of our bikes, and of course Megan H. Photo 3 is of the carousel horses, which is one of the many rides shown below:

Photo 1 is of the world famous "Cyclone" which i normally ride each time i visit Coney, but sadly i was not able to ride this time....maybe next time. Photo 2 & 3 is of the "Wonder Wheel" which at one time was the worlds largest Ferris wheel!

All together the trip took us 4 hours, that included us riding out there, and back and having time for lunch and rides. The trip is the perfect way to spend an afternoon out in the sun while enjoying one of New York's historic sites. The park construction is still up in the air, so it's ever evolving landscape is worth visiting......enjoy!
(for more info. on Coney Island, just click on the title of this post)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Future Side Effects

Photo by: Megan H.
So i was reading the NY TIMES today and noticed an article on one of the largest makers of bikes. Apparently the manufacturer is seeing an increase in sales and business due to the hike of petroleum, and the height of environmental awareness. The backside to this problem is the hike in secondary goods (i.e. Metal, Tires etc.). This raises a good question, "what is the future of cycling?", i have an idea that we are going to be seeing a lot more hikes in bike repair shops, the height in pricing on tires, parts, and just basic up keep. and here i thought Monopoly was just a game.......
(for more on the article, just click on the NY TIMES link)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

NYC: "Soul-Cycle: Mind Body Cardio"

If you are a "New Yorker" you usually fall under two categories: New York Native, and Transplant. if you are like me you are a Transplant, and you have a hard time finding the simple things around the city, doctors, dentists, orthodontists, dermatologists, plastic surgeons, trainers, body waxer, hair stylist and instructors. This is a gruesome process to find someone you really connect with, and trust with your body. Now don't get it twisted, it's not because you can't trust people, it's more of a comfort level and understanding. Recently i was invited to a Spin Party on the upper west side at Soul Cycle with a good friend of mine Glynis and all her friends. Having never "spun" (if that is correct terminology) i didn't really know what to expect, esp. because i am so bad at aerobics and coordination, but knew that i loved to bike. Now, most spinners will tell you that it is very different than biking as a sport, but my mind was set, i was going to be fine having gone long distances on my own bike.
When i walked up there were several others dressed for the occasion, and several people leaving the the front doors drenched in sweat (which made me nervous). i entered the class having bought the right outfit (full RLX) and looked the part with bag in tow. i finally got my shoes that lock into the bikes and set the bike seat to the right height, and got a brief rundown of how the bike operates. The instructor (Stacy) came in full of energy, and with just the right jokes, and i felt the right comfort level immediately. She pumped up the energy immediately with the right beats on the heavy tip, and immediately we started to cycle with an UP position (that is where you are standing while you spin), and got our heart rates up quickly. Throughout the class Stacy had us standing while spinning and doing push ups on the bike bars, and even using weights to get our arms worked out as well. The class went on for about 45 minutes (which is considered pretty easy compared to other classes) and by the time it was over my RLX was drenched in sweat, but my body was over joyed with energy, and the endorphins were kickin!
Because i had such a good experience i stayed after to speak to Stacy, and felt an instant connection to her spirit. Turns out that Stacy is a biker as well, and loves to train other bikers for endurance. She informed me of her interest in the Century to Montauk, and about biking and training. Stacy is a transplant as well from LA and still coaches in Cali. from time to time. All in all if you are looking for a good workout on a bike, and want to push your body to the limit, i HIGHLY recommend attending one of Stacy's classes at Soul-Cycle, you will not be disappointed.

PS. after the party, Glynis treated us to pizza at Pinch: Pizza by the inch it was great!
(for more on Soul-Cycle: just click on the title of this post)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

NYC: Up & Coming; "On the Design Tip"; Black is the New Green

NYC: Up & Coming!!!

i don't know if you read Bicycling magazine, but in the new June issue there is a great article on the Best Cities for Cycling. Of course Portland, Oregon and Seattle are the leaders for best city, but number three and "Most Improved" is our very own NYC. Among some of the call outs were the 200 miles of bike lanes (as mentioned in my previous post), and the PlaNYC movement lead by Bloomberg. According to the article NYC is planning on having 1 million more people coming to NYC by 2030!? this means more crowded streets, which means more traffic, and more time spent in cars......or on bikes! i am assuming this means there will be more bikes than a bike makeover can handle, so the city will be installing 37 bike shelters. How cool is that?! Now i think that deserves being #3
Photo by: David Y.
(for more on the article, just click on the bicycling link)

On the Design Tip:
When i was thinking about creating this blog i racked my brain trying to nail down a focus for myself. i knew i wanted to write about particular interests that came naturally to me. the first thing that came to mind was Fashion, then i figured the world is so saturated with fashion, that i decided to focus on Design. But then it occurred to me that my two true loves were design, and bikes. Since i am pretty new to the biking community here in NYC i thought that would be a great way to get to know some folks, and immerse myself in biking politics, and being green. Once i started the blog i would see if i could somehow bring in the design element. On March 30, 2008 i attended the lecture given at the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Scott Schuman, "The Sartorialist" (and two other fashion bloggers). i met up with two good friends of mine (who also bike with me), and had the privilege of meeting a new friend, Chelsea who was a friend of a friend, and also a former Dallas neighbor. Chelsea let me know about her blog site, "Design-59". So in the spirit of sharing knowledge and paving the way to a design element, i give you "Design-59". This site is about the celebration of design, designers, and great space. i am so pleased to have Design-59 as my first site featured in "On the Design Tip", and i hope you will enjoy it as much as i have.

Black is the New Green
So today i was informed of Google's new search engine:! This site was created as a more Green Google, using a black background saving energy with the same searching as its regular site. You can also check out green companies on Blackle as well.....Enjoy!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Brooklyn Oasis: "Bicycle Station Inc."; NYC: Bike Lane etiquette; NYC: Bike Routes

Photo by: David Y.

So As most of you know, i am currently cruising a 50's vintage beach cruiser ( "Griffin" ), and sometimes those things need minor repair to keep them chuggin'. i was headed to Prospect park today, to take advantage of this wonderful sunny Sunday afternoon, when i noticed "Griffin" having some problems steering. i finally made it to the park and met my good friend Shannon who advised me to go to her bike shop on Vanderbilt. We rode over to the bike shop (Bicycle Station Inc.) where i was told that the main bar holding the handle bars needed a shimmy to keep it in place, and that would take a few minutes. The bike shop owner came over and fixed it on the spot! and only charged me 10.00 dollars which i thought was so awesome!!!, and i got myself a little Spike Lee style hat! i have to take a moment and give him a shout out, so here is my shout out to Bicycle Station Inc.!

NYC Bike Lane Etiquette...

If you are like most bike riders, you like to take advantage of the many bike la
nes this city has to offer. However if you are like me, you encounter several car's either merging into your lane, or just simply parked there. The NY TIMES ran an article today titled, Bike Lanes, Intended for Safety. In the article the times speaks about bikers taking action against vehicles in the bike lanes, creating stencils for motorists, and love for bikes. the article is worth reading.......

Photo by: Megan H.

NYC: Bike Routes

Recently TIME OUT NEW YORK ran an article on the best bike routes in the city, and Brooklyn. The story ran 4 of the best bike routes through the city. The routes include: The Perfect Waterfront Ride, The Perfect Bike-Friendly Ride, The Perfect Queens Ride, and The Perfect Brooklyn Ride all of which included maps. These rides are perfect for the upcoming 70 degree weather.....
( for the complete article, just click the TIME OUT NEW YORK link )

Friday, May 2, 2008

April Review: A New Blog, Brooklyn Views, and Stolen Wheels?!

April is always a good month for me, it's the month of my birthday (April 23), the month that Spring buds, and the bikers come out of the woodwork. This past April was a definite good one, i of course had my Birthday as usual, and i started my blog with the title "God Bless This Bike". This has been a good month for me, as i have been planning this blog since the beginning of the year relying on the "Blessing of the Bikes" event as the intro. to my ever evolving blog journal. Thank you to Michael Green of "Bike Blog" for answering so many questions about the blog universe, and letting me post his story below. i look forward to bringing you the best in stories of NYC biking, and being a fashion designer in the great city of NY, i will be adding a "FASHION" portion to this blog (details to come) with commentary from fellow designers in the city. There is so much to look forward to, and i hope you (the reader) stick around to watch it bloom with me.

Photo by: David Y.

Another View...

Photo by: David Y.

One of the great things about NYC is the skyline of downtown, it's one of the greatest sites to behold. i have a good friend that once told me, "No one man can stand on any building in NYC and claim they own this town". The image above was taken by yours truly from the Manhattan Bridge right at dusk. To ride into Brooklyn you have one of three options, either the Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, or the Williamsburg bridge (B.M.W. is
a quick way to remember them). The Brooklyn Bridge is a nice ride, but to behold the awesome view one should take the Manhattan Bridge. The ride is a bit desolate at night, and during the day as well, but to stop and take the view in is amazing, one that i recommend to any Biker. The Bridge has two pedestrian paths flanking either side of the bridge one side is for walking pedestrians, and the other is for bikes. On this particular night i was riding on the "walking" side, so i could get a good picture, as you see above. i have taken this path several times to get to lower Manhattan, but a word to the wise, the area around Bowery and Canal can be quite tricky so i recommend dismounting and walking your bike through the intersection. If you have the time and the leg power i advise checking this out!!!

?!Stolen Wheels!?

If you can believe it there are still people out there who steal. i never understood this concept, someone who thinks they are so above the law they can take things that just don't belong to them. It always amuses me here in the city when i am walking down the street in the masses of people there is always that one (or two) people that feel they own the runway, but i never get a sence that they think they own my things, much less take them. Recently a fellow biker here in NYC had his bike stolen, and in a last ditch effort to get it
back i am posting his story below:

I'm in shock. Someone just stole my track bike, and I let them do it. After biking in NYC for 18 years I just fell victim to a scam. It happened April 22nd, 5:00pm. I was on 1st ave between 13th and 14th, in front of the birdbath bakery, which gives you 25% off if you use a bike. I wanted to bring my bike in the store but instead took a minute to look for a place to lock it up. A Hispanic male about 5'8, stocky, short cropped hair, looking kind of pale like he was on the methadone program. He was stocky, a good 250 lbs. Wearing a white button down short sleeved shirt with a huge airbrushed image of scar-face. Jean shorts, white sneakers. He had some religious tattoos including a cross on his hand that looked home-made. He walked by me, then turned around and came back. He walked up to me and asked where he could get a bike like mine. Then he asked if he could feel how heavy it was. I knew he was going to want to try it out and I knew I would SAY NO! Then for some dumb ass reason, I gave in and let him ride it. I thought I would be asked for money but I never thought the actual scam was going to be stealing my bike. I sort of felt like just getting the bike part out of the way which is why I didn't pay too much attention to the details. Before this happened he gave me the keys to his car which he walked over to a car parked in the street and turned the lock. He also walked by this car before he stopped to talk to me, so I was really convinced this was his car. He handed me a key and said I could hold his key to the car while he tried out the bike. I shouldn't have even let him touch my bike...going with my initial gut feelings. This will be the hardest part to swallow. I share it with you knowing the embarsment I will have to live with for the rest of my life. I had a policy, never to let people ride my bike, never to stop on the Bridge if someone flagged me down. WHY WHY WHY did I let down my guard. This guy was really good at what he did.

Then the guy rode back and forth up and down the block between 14th and 13th. 3 times. On the third pass he headed North on 1st and then crossed 14th street on a green light, stopping traffic. He took off down 14th street towards AVE A. My heart sank. I couldn't believe this. Then I tried the key to the dice.

So I called the police. They came right away, they were nice and helpful. We took a ride. We went over to Continuum bike shop to see if he tried to make the quick sale. Jeff at the bike shop told me someone else had this happen to them too, recently, he said a lot of people have been reporting bike theft. I knew about this. I had no idea the same scam was being tried on other people. Apparently this happened to someone last year on Orchard Street, another person 2 months ago and a 19 year old woman, 2 days after it happened to me on East Broadway. There is no confirmation that this is the same person, but be careful out there.

If you see this bike please please please let me know.

It is a a orange khs bike all covered up with round green and white crumpler stickers. It has a gold Chris King headset. It has a green areospoke front wheel with a green tire. It has green Oury hand grips. I love this bike...really. I feel like a total schmuck.

Please help me get it back. Any information will help.