Friday, June 27, 2008

IKEA, the Waterfalls and Stolen Bikes

Summer months are always chock full of cycling stories. This week I'd like to highlight a couple.
As a journalist I just completed a video webcast story on the new IKEA in Red Hook, Brooklyn. It's the first IKEA in the five boroughs: prior to now, anyone seeking the inexpensive Swedish furniture and meatballs had to head out to Paramus, or Elizabeth, NJ.

I took the Water Taxi to Red Hook from Pier 11 in Manhattan, which is 2 blocks south of the South Street Seaport. Most subway trains will get you there, but if you are riding, just take Broadway all the way down to Lafayette St., until past City Hall, wind your way over via Fulton St. to the water. Use this handy NYC bike map to find your way!!! Amazing, New York government is getting better and better every day.

Water Taxi employees said bikes were allowed on the Water Taxi which for two more weeks is FREE! Some cyclists have reported being turned away with their bikes, so you should contact their main office prior to committing to the ride.

Daniel Lieberman, founder of E-Bikes, a private electronic exchange, takes bike riders to the nearby historic tram parked behind the Fairway--at least once a year. Right behind the caboose is the two-year-old Brooklyn Fairway. Did you know that Manhattanites are taking the trip from lower Manhattan to IKEA and Fairway? Lieberman will be taking his bike tour on July 13th as part of the 50-mile "Brooklyn Ultra Perimeter" ride, posted at the Five Borough Bike Club site day ride page (see directly below for link.) The ride meets at 8 am at City Hall--and you already know how to get there because you accessed the NYC Bike Map, above, right?

Also this weekend, the Five Borough Bike Club (5BBC) will be taking riders on a 20-mile tour to see the new waterfall installations along the East River by Olafur Eliasson. The ride starts at Columbus Circle at 57th St. and Broadway at 7 pm on Saturday, June 28, and will be led by none other than Josh Gosciak, Jim Zisfein, and Susan Levine (Gosciak and Zisfein are frequent contributors to the political musings about cycling in New York on E-bikes).

New York Cycle News also lists all the major ride listing sites and clubs in the area.

Now for some bad news. One reader wrote to me about a stolen bike this past weekend. It is probably not the only bike that has been stolen in the past week, but my guess is the declining economy combined with greater bicycle usage during the summer months will lead to many more happy fingers. One word of advice: if you have a nice bike, don't leave it outside. Recently, I rode to an appointment, and asked a local car garage to mind my bike. They were reluctant at first, because they did not have a bike policy, but I made a money motion with my fingers, and said "money." They put my bike in their locker room. For a $5 tip, it was worth the peace of mind.

Here is her notice and a photo of the bike:
"...I left it at work on Morton Street in the West Village and just am so sick about this. I had the NYC Kryptonite lock, but that couldn't stop whoever (may you rot in hell) from slipping the bike out.....Whoever knows it's whereabout's and leads me to it....there is a generous reward.... It happened on my birthday this past Thursday, June 19th. " Please email if you see the bike.
(It's a 2-year-old Bianchi).
Wrote Charlie McCorkell, owner of Bicycle Habitat at 244 Lafayette St., possibly one of the coolest bike shops in New York, (you can visit him on your way down to the IKEA ferry, say hi from me,) "The highest rates of return is when the bike is spotted outside the delivery place that bought it. I would check around at the various delivery places in the neighborhood in which the bike was stolen."

You can also check 8th Street and Cooper Square on the East Side where an informal stolen bike marketplace is set up. Sometimes the crook will be hawking your bike within 24 hours of it being stolen.

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