Friday, October 30, 2009

Lance Sightings! Remembering the Annecy Time Trial


BBB saw Lance's Twitter updates this morning thanks to Jim Dyer who posted them on ebikes.

Lance was tweeting that he was stuck in traffic coming into New York last night.

So when Tassana Landy called me for a ride, I told her we would run into Lance.

It takes a sixth sense to do that and I guess we got it: coming up to the intersection at Alpine, who should turn right in front of us but the Johnny's jersey with the star, and Mr. Armstrong in it.

He was riding with an unidentified Toga Team wearing rider "Bike Snob," who kept Lance all to himself most of the ride to Piermont.

Photo: thanks to Bill Rigler who took this shot.

I wasn't complaining, I got the best draft in the world all the way there. I told him and and he said, "what are you trying to say my ass is fat?"

"No your ass is perfect," I said. "It's smaller than mine!"

Well these days, that's no big feat, but to ride behind the best draft in the world is really something. There is nothing but cut muscles, and the profile is unmistakable. He was nice enough to ride at a medium pace, otherwise we would have been spit out long before the ride was over.

Pic of Armstrong that Bill took this summer at the individual time trial in Annecy. With permission. 

Unfortunately Lance did not stick around in Piermont, and there was no way I could keep with him on the hills. Tassana, who climbs like a chamois stuck with him and even got introduced before turning around and picking me up down the hill (so nice!)

Armstrong's Toga escort took him up the secret Lamont Doherty way, which I would have done, and I think that's great!

Two other riders, Bill Rigler and Charlie Collins, came into Bunberry's about 10 minutes after the turnaround, and they too had ridden with Lance about seven miles from the George Washington Bridge along River Road to Alpine.


They came into Piermont with huge smiles on their faces (pictured left) and told BBB they had stayed with Lance on River Road until they reached the last hill towards the police station: "I think Bill killed it for us when he asked Lance if we could take a photo with us," said Charlie laughing.  Armstrong racheted up the MPH to 12 or 14 on the hill (where doing 9 mph is considered fast), dropping them both.

Rigler who is a self-professed Lance fanatic has been to the Tour de France twice and saw Armstrong race in the time trial in Annecy. He spoke to Armstrong about his performance that day:  Armstrong said it was one of the toughest race days of his life.


BBB also interviewed Armstrong after that race as he came out of doping control. Appearing uncharacteristically gaunt and tired and responding to my question, "Lance, what happened to you today?" he said, "I guess I just ran out of gas."  That same day though was a victory as he announced he would be forming a partnership with Radio Shack, liberating him from the disappointing experience he was having with the Astana Team and Contador in the Tour.  He also, needless to say, moved into second place with his performance.

Pic: Lance after individual time trial, Annecy, 2009. BBB copyright.

Rigler started riding four years ago, and this year met his 10,000 mile mark. "Look at this picture I took of him at the time trial," he said showing Armstrong in his yellow and blue racing uniform (see above.)

All around us a number of cyclists were buzzing about the Lance sighting--and not many had seen him. He came and went like a stealth vehicle. Too bad, he would have made a lot of cyclists who came later to Bunberry's verrrry happy if he would have stayed for a coffee and a bun.

Today Armstrong is to be auctioning off a few of his bikes at Sotheby's, and tomorrow will be doing a 9 am run in Central Park, but he will not be staying for the NYC Marathon: he will be heading back to Texas tomorrow night to spend Halloween with his kids.

Lance later wrote on his Twitter page that the Bike Snob needs to do more training! And still, the Facebook pages are buzzing. One dear friend called me a "bum". Yes, I would have to agree, said BBB, smiling.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

And Now for the Social Season: Nan Lightstone Fundraiser

As the weather dips, many of us are still riding our bicycles. But this is also a time when partying takes on greater importance.

Ilona Gale and Matt Bigler of Bicycle Habitat

For one, you don't have to get up at 6 am every morning to do a training ride, because well, sometimes it's just pouring rain.

Like it was, all cats and dogs of it when BBB took herself over to the Nan Lightstone fundraiser on West 25th street last Saturday night. At the behest of Ilona Gale of Bicycle Habitat, Hotvelociti donated two bike jerseys worth $98 each for a night of bidding.


All of the goods from several generous companies were arranged around the room awaiting written bids, and donated champagne from Perrier Jouet along with other donated delicious foodstuffs and a mountain of mouth watering chocolate (see ONE plate of many right), kept the New York crowd buzzing around the tables. A DJ spun dance tunes for women in high heels and minis despite the furious downpour outside and men in chic downtown garb--skinny pants and neatly polished hair.

Nan Lightstone was an 18-year-old top performing Rutgers student who traveled to Israel as a volunteer, contracted Meningococcemia and died suddenly. A close cousin to bacterial Meningitis, Meningococcemia is an acute and potentially life-threatening infection of the bloodstream that leads to inflammation of the blood vessels. It is highly contagious because it can be spread through cough droplets and often the people who have it are not aware that they are sick. It is recommended that college age children who live in close proximity to one another (dorms) get vaccinated, said a write up on Google (as if they were the experts, just talk to your healthcare professional!).



A few of Lightstone's friends, including Lori Kagan, Shivani Nazareth, Jennifer Mittelman, Josh Cohen, and Rashi Rohatgin started the Nan Lightstone Foundation, and invited Nan's sister Lightstone's sister Rachyl Lightstone Kaplan to work with them. So many friends, and friends of friends showed up for this $85 a person shindig, including Cohen's parents who traveled all the way from the west coast for the event.

Rachyl Lightstone Kaplan and Lori Kagen 

The foundation's purpose is to fund the search for cures of all infectious diseases, help provide early screening devices, and insure rapid treatment to "keep Nan’s memory alive and hopefully spare others from the pain and loss that we all feel from her premature death," says a statement on her website.

It is not clear how far afield the group will go from the classic Meningeal bacterial strains for their purposes, since the universe of infectious diseases is endless and constantly mutating, such as the SARS scare last year, and the H1N1 virus which came to the U.S. earlier this year and has since re-emerged this fall season more threatening and potent than ever.

A T&Co employee smells the Aqua de Parma

Since the dawn of time (classic Darwinists and the religious right will disagree on when this started), bacterial and viral diseases have threatened the human (and animal) population, and thanks to their fancy gene-mutating footwork, they will continue to chase us, make us sick, and unfortunately kill us. Recall the great diseases captured in fiction by Albert Camus, La Peste (the Plague) where few escape its nasty grasp, and the reason is that society has turned it's back on nature. Sound familiar?

Currently a vaccine exists for meningococcal meningitis, but as with other bacteria, different strains develop and may not be covered by it. There are 30 other diseases for which there currently do not exists any vaccinations, and they are being targeted by the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the World Bank to develop some form of protection.

Lightstone died in 1995: this past weekend she would have been 32 years old, and mingling with all her friends.

HV goods waiting to be bid on

Among the glittering items that people could bid on were a huge basket of Aqua di Parma goodies, children's goodies from MTV, an Elsa Peretti necklace from Tiffany and Co., one night with a DJ (playing music), a pearl necklace by Ralph PJ Diamonds, dinners out at several New York eateries, many fantastic chocolates from four different companies including a $10 per bar Madagascar chocolate called Madecasse that is sure to improve your sex life, yoga classes, a snazzy yellow bag by Big Buddha (created by 25-year-old sensation Jeremy Bassan), and four tickets to see the Daily Show with Jon Stewart live.

Jennifer Fishbein who won the bid on Jon Stewart's tickets said she also won last year--she paid $240 in the end, for a bid that started at $75 and made it's way up feverishly through the night.  "There is no price tag on it," she said. (Below, Fishbein holding her four tickets and winning bid.)

Brian Friedman kept coming back to check the bids on two tickets on Jet Blue to anywhere in the US--those also went for a steal at the end of the night--about $1,000 but worth about $4,000.

Several Tiffany and Co. employees hovered near the chocolates, though not eating a speck of it: one put in her bid for a basket of her favorite skincare line which was worth about $250--she got it for $75.

Personally I love this system for bidding because as  the time for the final bid comes near, those who really want the item will make their final bigger pitch--and thus increase the cash amount to the fundraiser.

Matt Bigler, son of Charlie McCorkell of Bicycle Habitat represented the store with their donation of a massive--non-pickable bike chain, a $100 value, it went for about $50 at the end of the night.

PS if you really like the chocolate idea and you live in San Francisco, check out the Chocolate Show on November 14th! Madecasse will be there with samples of their sexy Madagascar chocolates.

And no, BBB did not receive any incentive, advertising dollars, cash or product for this or any part of this blog!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Felled Cyclist Purcell Reported Better--and at Home


Jessica Purcell, the cyclist who had a dramatic crash on Route 9W this past August is apparently out of the hospital and "okay," said Alpine Police today.

Purcell fell on August 1 this year while descending the first hill towards State Line between New Jersey and New York state.

Her crash was dramatic and scary for onlookers, including the driver who described seeing Purcell lying on the ground bleeding profusely and convulsing seconds after she crashed behind his car at the intersection of Route 9W and Exit 4N on the Palisades Interstate Parkway. She was then air-vacked out to the trauma unit at the Westchester Medical Facility and was declared in critical condition for her head injuries.

Photo: Jessica Purcell before her accident Aug. 1, 2009 

Many cyclists in the New York and New Jersey area have been following Purcell's recovery, and up until now there was no word of her condition.

But according to Captain Jerry Beckman of the Alpine Police Dept. whose officers were on the scene after her crash, and who has assisted in the accident investigation by the Bergen County Prosecutor's office, Purcell is "doing well."

Repeat phone calls to Purcell's family have been unanswered.


Photo: Crash scene Aug. 1, 2009. Pictured driver Stephen Siegel waited 3 hours for police to complete investigation at the scene.

Capt. Beckman confirmed that the cause of the highly unusual crash has still not been determined, though he said an interview with Purcell's husband Steve Zebrack is imminent. Zebrack was with Purcell that day, and also crashed and broke his collarbone.

Images of the distraught Zebrack, his arm in a makeshift sling, watching his wife being carried away by helicopter to the Westchester  Medical Facility trauma center that day were seared in the memories of many cyclists who passed by after her crash.  Since then many cyclists have poured out their hearts for Purcell, who they saw as a victim of a sport that can sometimes be very dangerous merely because of the proximity to motor vehicles.

The 29-year-old Purcell has been an elite triathlon competitor, so in discussing her crash, many cyclists say she could not have been inexpert. Any conflict with the motorist, Stephen Spiegel, who had stopped at the light has been ruled out by police up to now.


BBB brought to light a long previous history of crashes at this intersection dating back more than 20 years, and most of those incidents involving automobiles and trucks. Before a light was installed there, after many of the accidents, "no one walked away," said Capt. Beckman in a previous interview with BBB.

Since the 1980's, a light was installed at the intersection, and a left hand turn lane to the Palisades Parkway has been added for waiting vehicles. But no new space was added for cyclists coming down the hill on the right: in fact, whatever shoulder was there, was engineered out.

BBB reported these deficiencies to the New Jersey Department of Transportation after Purcell's crash, accompanied by photos of the narrow space left for cyclists.


That deficiency as well as three others were sent with detailed notes to the NJDOT, including the location near Alpine where Camille Savoy was killed by a 72-year-old Wha S. Kim from Englewood, NJ.; the approximate two mile stretch between Palisade and East Clinton Avenue on Route 9W where the shoulder was engineered out about 4 years ago; and the location where an "illegal" sign stating that "Cyclists must ride single file," was mounted. It is not clear when or with what state funds these deficiencies will be corrected said a spokesperson for the NJDOT.

Photo: Savoy's cut bike clothing on the ground on Nov. 6, 2008 the day he was struck. The shoulder in this northbound location is only partially paved, sending cyclists closer to the fog line.

Wha S. Kim was acquitted in late June of this year of careless driving in late June despite evidence by the prosecutor's office and accident investigation squad showing that Kim had driven more than a foot and a half over the fog line separating the road from the shoulder where Savoy was riding. Kim had an extensive careless driving record which was not entered into evidence at the trial, and a witness who was riding behind her did not contradict her original statement that she did not wander over the white line.

On October 11, we reported that a cyclist crashed north of State Line, near the intersection of Palisades Avenue and Route 9W.

The cyclist was 47 year old Karen Marx, of Leonia, NJ who was traveling north with her boyfriend. She was taken to Nyack Hospital and was in critical condition, according to the Orangetown Police.

Media reports say that Marx has since been moved to the New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan. The reports also alleged that Marx's "front derailleur" malfunctioned "or broke", but some bike experts were confused by the report. "How could a front derailleur cause a crash," asked Jim Skelly owner of the Nyack Bike Shop.

Marx is alive but it is unclear what her condition is.

Monday, October 12, 2009

"Cheating Death" Puts New Spin on Cycling Injuries


A new book by chief medical correspondent for CNN, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, says that people can and  have recovered from severe injuries where they were declared brain dead, and that could be a life saver for cyclists who have been critically injured in crashes.

The book, "Cheating Death: The Doctors and Medical Miracles that are Saving Lives Against All Odds," describes breakthroughs that can save even those closest to death.  For example, how long should you care for a loved one who is in a coma? Maybe longer than you think says Dr. Gupta who is also a neurosurgeon and was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine in 2009. 

Photo: Time Magazine

In one example, an MRI brain scan of a woman shows no activity at all, but when the doctors mention her favorite sport, tennis, her brain lights up suddenly, to their great surprise. By medical and legal terms, she was already dead.

In so many cases reviewed by Gupta, the patients were legally and medically dead, but eventually revived, showing that we know much, much less about brain and bodily activity than we thought.


In another case a woman who was so cold her body was below the level believed survivable, and all of her bodily functions--brain, heart--had shut down. The hospital did not use warming devices, nor did they use fluids but placed her in a room temperature room and allowed her to warm slowly. She eventually recovered.

In an interview with Dave Davies on Fresh Air on National Public Radio today, Gupta described many other cases where people suffered heart attacks and their brains stopped, but also recovered fully.

Given the number and severity of injuries cyclists can experience, this is good information for them to share with their families and enter into their living wills in case something should happen to them.

Not even a year ago, Camille Savoy was struck by a driver on Route 9W who veered off the main roadway, hitting him from behind. He had severe brain injuries that led his doctors to conclude that he could not be saved two weeks after the crash, though his body was quickly recovering. It is not clear if those doctors knew of Gupta's book or the cases he reviewed.
 
Gupta describes many instances in which patients are assumed to be dead or in a "persistent vegetative state," but do recover over time.

Click here to hear his interview on NPR, which should not be missed.

Note: BBB does not have a financial interest or advertising connection with this book, nor any connection to the author. 

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Female Cyclist Seriously Injured in Palisade, NY


A 46-year-old female cyclist traveling north on Rte. 9W today was seriously injured when she crashed just before the Oak Tree Road intersection in Palisade, NY.

She was taken to Nyack Hospital in Nyack, NY where she was listed in serious condition.

The cause of her crash has not yet been determined, and the Orangetown Police are asking that any witnesses who might have seen her fall to contact them.

Although Orangetown Police know the identity of the cyclist, they said the incident is still under investigation and her family has not been notified yet.

Officers from the Orangetown Police department, and the Alpine Police Department to the south responded to the accident which occurred around 3:47 pm, and closed off Rte. 9W to vehicular traffic from Oak Tree to State Line about a mile south until about 6:30 pm. The northbound exit off of the Palisade Interstate Parkway was also closed during that time.


 An accident investigation team was also sent to the scene, an indication that there is a possibility the seriousness of her accident could become fatal.

"We are the midst of conducting an investigation, but right now it is not fatal," said Sgt. Sean Russo of the Orangetown Police. Word spread quickly among cyclists in the evening, though early reports that the cyclist had died are false.

Though he could not discuss her injuries, Russo said she was carrying ID, and that several "good samaritans called to alert the police possibly moments after she crashed. "We have not necessarily determined that there was a car involved," said Russo, but he said they were looking for witnesses.

A medical exam will also help detectives determine if the rider was struck by a motorist who fled the scene.

The identification of the cyclist will be made once further progress has been made in determining the cause of the crash.

ANYONE WHO WITNESSES THIS EVENT SHOULD CALL ORANGETOWN POLICE DEPARTMENT, 845-359-3700 and ask for Sargeant Russo.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Mountain Bike Hearings at Minnewaska: and New Laws to Protect Peds, Cyclists


The authorities in charge of Lake Minnewaska, near New Paltz, NY will be holding hearings this month regarding use of the recreational park by mountain bike riders.

The State Park Preserve master plan hearings will be be held on Thursday, October 22, at 7 pm, Lecture Center, Room 100 at SUNY New Paltz,  according to a report by the New York Bicycling Coalition.

In the current master plan,  which is signed by Jim Hall, executive director of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission-- the same person who heads the New Jersey section of the Palisades from Fort Lee to Alpine, NJ; and by Carol Ash, the commissioner of New York State parks, the role of bicycles is clearly addressed but it is not clear which trails they will continue to be allowed to ride on--and which trails will become off limits.

Persons may provide comments at the hearing or in writing no later than the end of the comment period – November 13, 2009. You can also email them with your comments to Minnewaska.Plan@oprhp.state.ny.u s., but my guess is that being there is better.
In the master plan they write:


In general, the existing trails system in the Lake Minnewaska and Lake Awosting areas meets the needs of the diversity of trail users while remaining compatible with the resources of the Preserve. Some modifications to the trails system are considered appropriate including designation of trails on recent acquisition properties and developing some re-routes and connector trails to improve visitor circulation and access to resources in the Preserve.

Awosting Reserve
• Develop multi-use (hiking, biking, equestrian) trail system utilizing woods/logging road for the
short term
• Develop single track, multi-use trail system for long term hiking, biking and equestrian use
• Expand parking area along Aumick Road including spaces for horse trailers
Mine Hollow Area
• Re-route the Long Path through this area to connect to new parking area along Berme Road
• Designate the Point Lookout Trail
• Further assess potential for trail expansion
• Maintain contact with Ulster County regarding development of the D&H Canal Trail
Re-routes
• Re-route the Scenic Trail to the southeast side of Mud Pond
• Re-route the Long Path through the Mine Hollow Area
Connector Trails
• Develop the Power House Trail providing a connection to the Power House and two waterfalls in
the Peter’s Kill area
• Work with NYS Department of Transportation to develop safe crossings of Route 44/55 to create
connections from the Peter’s Kill area to the Awosting Falls Carriage Road
• Develop the Stony Kill Falls Trail and the Falls Spur Trail to connect the new parking lot to the
top of the ridge and the Stony Kill Carriage Road and to connect to the bottom of the Falls
• Develop the Stony Kill Falls Trail and the Falls Spur Trail to connect the new parking lot to the

top of the ridge and the Stony Kill Carriage Road and to connect to the bottom of the Falls
• Develop the Fire Break Trail (west of the Stony Kill) to connect the Smiley Carriage Road to the Stony Kill Carriage Road and the Stony Kill Falls
• Develop Witch’s Cave Trail to provide alternate route between the Awosting parking lot and the Lake Minnewaska area
The Preserve will expand interpretive programming and maintain coordination with volunteer groups for the maintenance of the trails system.

It is not clear if this means that some trails will have increased bike use, while others will have decreased bike use. One thing is clear, you had better be there if you have any interest in preserving or improving mountain bike access at Lake Minnewaska. Copies of the Draft Plan/DEIS are available for review online.

Several people in the New Jersey community have approached Jim Hall's office to allow mountain biking along the top trail of the Palisades Parkway from Fort Lee, to Alpine and even after offering help from NORBA to maintain the trails, they have been turned down.

You can also share your thoughts with NYBC at nybc@nybc.net.


New Law Being Considered to Protect Mowed Down Pedestrians

Do you remember that awful day in Chinatown, January 22, 2009, when two little children who were so young they could barely recite the alphabet, Hayley Ng and Diego Martinez, were killed when a China Chalet worker left his 9,400-pound delivery van unattended and in reverse on a crowded Chinatown street?

Left Diego Martinez, and right, Hayley Ng. Below, Hayley's funeral.

The photos of the devastated parents and shell-shocked toddlers were everywhere. And many of us asked ourselves, how could it be that someone should be allowed to be so completely negligent about how they leave their car--in reverse and on--both against the law--but not even be faced with criminal penalties? Well it's true, the driver didn't even get a ticket.

Stories like these are commonplace in New York: remember the elderly guy who plowed into a group of pedestrians in midtown, killing a handful of them, who said he was "sorry" because he put his foot on the gas instead of the brake? He also suffered no criminal penalties.

"It was an accident," is a phrase ringing a sour note in my ears. And both of these incompetent jerks are probably still driving--because under NY State law they didn't commit a crime!
To counteract this obvious nonsense, NYBC and Transportation Alternatives have joined forces to push for legislation called the Hayley Ng and Diego Martinez law (A.7917/S.5292).
Introduced in the State Legislature this spring, the bill provides police and district attorneys with a viable charging option when drivers do not exercise due care, inlcuding speeding, swerving, crossing a double yellow line making a u-turn, or leaving a vehicle running and unattended. 

If passed as currently proposed, violators of the law will face possible jail time and/or financial penalties for injuring or killing a pedestrian or cyclist. "This law will ultimately provide another tool to help victims' families and friends obtain justice while creating safer streets, " wrote NYBC.

To learn more about this legislation visit T.A.'s Legislative Action Center .

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Partland answers Brookyn Bridge "Debate": Advocates Gather In NJ: Hotvelociti shows Hot Bike Dress at Interbike


Many of us know that the NY Times began trying to attract a younger, more hip cycling audience about a year ago by increasing its coverage of bicycling related news. It even started a bike blog, and expanded its acceptance of op eds from regular people whose major preoccupation is cycling.

The Brooklyn Bridge: the center of controversy and division?

One such ranter who has received a lot of play from the Times is Robert Sullivan whose latest Op Ed piece on Sept. 26, caused somewhat of an electronic stir among NYC cyclists. First let me state that although the Times has anointed Sullivan one of the de facto mouthpieces for cyclists, no one in the cycling community seems to know him or agree with him, which just renders the whole NY Times-cycling-OpEd-blog experiment lame to begin with. Then when he writes, he frequently gets much of it wrong. No offense, I would probably like the guy if I met him on the single fact that he rides a bike. But this is going too far.


In his latest piece he focuses on the supposed conflicts between pedestrians and cyclists on the Brooklyn Bridge, and advises that as a solution cyclists should be consigned to a part of the motorist roadway.

Good that will do away with cyclists forever, not just in our conciousness, but also dead, like in cars mowing us down on the roadway.

He also says that this conflict is all over the city, "Indeed, the Brooklyn Bridge is just one of several bike-pedestrian flash points in the city; skirmishes (and anti-bicyclist sentiment) have arisen on the Hudson River Greenway and on the Central Park and Prospect Park loops."

What? Just waking up to that "skirmish?" "It" has been going on for years: we reported it at length and had big meetings broadcast on the Bike Show in 1997 for the so-called "conflict" in Central Park between all the users, motorists, pedestrians, cyclists and runners, not to mention skaters, baby carriages, horse and buggies, horses, skateboarders, skiers, motorcyclists, pedicabs, and taxis (they deserve their own category.)


But better, let's see what the reaction was from people who know the bridge, use the bridge, and actually are thought-meisters in the cycling community, like JP Partland, author of the books Tour Fever,  Mountain Bike Madness , and The World of BMX , and a regular contributor to Asphalt Magazine and Mountain Bike Magazine. (See pic of JP doing what he does best, joke around and race.)

In an email posted on E-bikes, one of the more serious email exchanges for cyclists in the city, he wrote:

I take issue with so much in Sullivan’s opinion piece. To begin with, I take issue with the premise.  Is the Brooklyn Bridge “one of the great battlefields in the war between bicyclists and pedestrians”?  Is there a war?  I didn’t realize there was one.  I also didn’t realize that I was fighting pedestrians, as I am both a ped and cyclist; I am not at war with myself.  Nor do I know that the Brooklyn Bridge is some kind of battlefield.  What percentage of city cyclists regularly use the Brooklyn Bridge?  My guess is very few.
Further, Sullivan himself doesn’t see it as a war, as he only cites cyclists as being the issue.  Where are the bad peds attacking cyclists?  He doesn’t write about head-up-their-bum peds who ignore the line, the signage, and the herd to threaten cyclists out of ignorance, stupidity, and a conviction that they alone deserve space set aside for cyclists.
Even if I were to concede both points, my experience is that most of the issue is between tourists and locals.  Maybe they take their wandering through the bike lane as a risk that is uniquely New York and kind of fun, albeit in a perverse way.
And if I were to concede, I’d want Sullivan to admit that peds have a habit of appropriating all spaces not explicitly taken by cars, and that peds have, for years, benefited from cyclists.  Cyclists, by most accounts, helped make Central and Prospect Parks safe at night.  Cyclists have made the greenways possible.  We probably make the Brooklyn Bridge safe at night as well.
As has been written by others, I am concerned about the rise of bike paths in NYC.  In many respects, this shoving onto bike paths it has cost us some legitimacy.  Many of the paths are poorly designed and thus of debatable safety.  Many have been appropriated by peds.  In both cases, cyclists are expected to take the path and get away from the roadway, which we’re then told belongs to cars.  Sullivan wants us to continue with this marginal existence and further our almost ghettoization on them.
The guy is going to be a thorn in our sides for some time.  The Times’ publishing of his opinion pieces makes him their go-to “good cyclist.”  And he gets that title because he largely writes about cyclists as the enemy.  He writes, “They are full-fledged New Yorkers now, not maniacs who need to be banned.”  Since when weren’t we full-fledged New Yorkers?  In his last piece, he wrote of his father being a cyclist and himself being a cyclist.  His father wasn’t a full-fledged New Yorker?  He wasn’t a full-fledged New Yorker back in the day?  As long as I have lived in NYC, I have been a full-fledged New Yorker, as have all those I know who ride.  In fact, I think of city cyclists as Uber-New Yorkers, among the New Yorkiest of the eight million or so that live here.
Let the Times know he doesn’t speak for cyclists."
It appears from other emails posted on e-bikes, a private exchange created and managed by Daniel Lieberman, most seem to agree that Sullivan does not speak for cyclists in New York. So why does the Times persist in using him for their Op Eds? This isn't the first time, and he certainly is neither objective nor fully researched.

My guess is they continue to because he is so off the mark he sets off hundreds of letters to the Times, and if they aren't disagreeing with him, they aren't necessarily agreeing either, just tapping into an un-exorcised mountain of sentiment from a deeply ignored population group. On an Op Ed piece he wrote last March, there were 322 comments under the story.

Advocates to Ride in Montclair New Jersey this Saturday, October 3rd.


This weekend several local advocates will be leading a ride aimed at creating safer cycling in New Jersey.

The ride will take place in Montclair, NJ starting at 10 am. Montclair has often been called the Greenwich Village of New Jersey, but cycling to and from the town will sooner or later--more likely sooner--land you at the foot of a major highway with no where to turn.  That's why this ride should be so interesting:  even families with children are invited: "Families members are welcome on the ride, keeping in mind that we will be riding on some busy roads - so trailers and trail-a-bikes will be in order for younger kids," said the notice written by an advocate who for professional reasons could not be identified for this article.

The easy-paced ride will meet at Edgemont Park, 292 Valley Road, Montclair, NJ 07042 at 10 am, and will stop at a few points along the way "to learn how Montclair has been working to make cycling safer, and the challenges they've faced. This will set the stage for talking about the issues common to all NJ towns," said the advocate. The ride will be followed by a brunch at 11:45 am at Nauna's Bella Casa, 148 Valley Rd, Montclair, NJ 07042, where everyone will be able to discuss the future of bicycle and pedestrian advocacy. "If you are bringing friends or family make sure to include them in the RSVP so we have enough tables. Pay your own way," says the invitation.

For more information, contact Benepe at 917 723 9017.

And finally, some little sex injected into your cycling day (as if cyclists weren't like normal people!)

Hotvelociti, yes, BBB's alter ego, showed off their new cycling skinsuit dress at Interbike as part of their 2010 collection (see above), worn by the gorgeous Alicia Arencibia--and it made the pages of Pez Cycling's Daily Distractions.  Nothing like putting the "hot" back into "Hotvelociti.!"  Now just so you know the skirt part came in a little tight and in production will be a lot looser, so you can actually ride in it, eh hem.

Thanks Richard Pestes, Editor in Chief of Pez Cycling for the great photo AND the cycling kit you gave to BBB--it's really nice! (see Matt Conn, left, of the Pez cycling team, with his daughter, and wearing the new Pez Cycling kit.) Currently you can buy their 2009 kit here. We are not sure when the new "Mondrian" one will be available.


And, a note from the editor: My apologies to Transportation Alternatives in the late posting of the review of the New Amsterdam Bike Slam held a few weeks ago, which will be posted this weekend. It was an amazing use of New York and Amsterdam talent to create two visions for better cycling in downtown Manhattan. Coming up this weekend!