seatpost 4.14.11: nyc cycling culture this week

Share the Path

Today, I’m once again combining some favorite photos and finds from the past week of cycling in New York City into a single post, so be sure to scroll down.

Share Your Path

Here’s an idea that could evolve into an inspiring resource for cyclists: a crowd-sourced library of ride videos from all over the world on a single website. That’s what Albert Pereta, a design entrepreneur and MFA student who recently moved from Barcelona to Brooklyn, hopes to create by encouraging bicycle commuters to upload videos of their rides to (see photo above).

Pereta first recorded short videos of his morning commute from Greenpoint over the Williamsburg Bridge to Manhattan to share his new life in New York City with his friends back home. Some sent him videos of their rides in return, and that led to an idea.

“It established a beautiful connection between us,” Pereta says. “I want to offer everyone a place where they can feel, explore and share the same experience.”

Log on to see what it’s like to ride on College Street in Toronto, or around the Buddha Monthon in Bangkok, or across the Manhattan Bridge, then shoot and upload your own favorite rides.

♥ velojoy lists cycling events in and around New York City. Look up and to the left, and press “Events” to see what’s down the road!

Go Behind the Scenes with NYC Bike Messengers

triplerush_ss_gear_001_596x334 With reality TV’s unending appetite for the hair-raising, it was only a matter of time before cameras caught up with New York City bicycle messengers. Triple Rush is billed by the Travel Channel as “an insider’s look at the chaotic workings of 3 different NYC courier companies.” In case you’re not getting enough messenger culture in and around the bike lanes, tune in to the series premier tonight at 10 p.m. ET.

Velojoy Street Scene








Chloe - West Village
photo: velojoy

A current obsession with Tim Ferriss’s most-for-least philosophy in his bestsellers, The 4-Hour Body and The 4-Hour Workweek, led me to reflect on the efficiencies of riding a bicycle: no fuel, no fumes, no noise, no extra junk stuffed into a trunk — just the essentials on wheels. The elegance of that idea was on my mind when I photographed Chloe (above), in a trim leather jacket and jeans with her handbag tucked into a basket, as she was riding to lunch in the West Village.

Now You’ll Know Your ABCs

Tune Up Your Bicycle For Spring from Etsy on Vimeo.

Continuing on the theme of the checklist for spring ride-readiness that I posted last week, I really like this 6-minute video on the ABC’s — Air, Brakes and Chain — of bicycle maintenance. Susan Lindell at Recycle-A-Bicycle in Brooklyn breaks down all the tools and techniques you’ll need and demystifies taking good care of your city ride.

Eye on Fashion: Photographer and Cyclist Bill Cunningham

Bill Cunningham Documentary

I’m surely the last bike blogger in town to have seen the film Bill Cunningham New York. But that only heightened my appreciation — and my hearty recommendation to grab a bag of popcorn and treat yourself to this, as Cunningham would say “maaahvelous,” documentary. It chronicles the extraordinary life of the octogenarian New York Times photographer of street fashion and society nightlife who is often seen whizzing by bicycle in his signature blue work jack from one engagement to the next.

To watch Cunningham snap candids at the corner of 57th Street and Fifth Avenue or focus on the details of a beaded evening gown at a charity gala is to marvel at a singular delight in fashion that, ironically, excludes practically all worldly intrusions. Cunningham, who began his career as a milliner, has always been interested in clothing as it reflects our culture and times. And, as the film reveals, the world is richer for this hugely likeable and self-effacing artist’s devotion to his subject.

Cunningham’s use of a bicycle for transportation is entirely of a piece with his almost ascetic personal life. By his own count in the film he is on bike number 29, a Schwinn, the others having been stolen!

Compromise on Central Park Ticketing?

As a follow-up to my recent posts regarding the ticketing blitz in Central Park that’s put a damper on early-morning cycling workouts, a compromise measure reportedly is in effect. Under what’s being called a pilot program, the NYPD will not enforce red lights during the hours of 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., barring reckless or dangerous behavior, according the New York Cycle Club‘s message board. Cyclists must yield to pedestrians in or near the crosswalks. In addition, the lights on Park Drive were re-synchronized to 25 miles per hour last week, which may enable faster riders to finish a park loop with green lights only.

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