seatpost 5.5.11: nyc cycling culture this week

Mike - Beloved Bike - velojoy street scene
photo: velojoy

velojoy street scene

Mike Spriggs, a partner in Gage + Desoto, a marketing firm that specializes in cycling-related businesses, rides a Beloved hand-built bicycle on Bond Street. Beloved bikes are designed by Cycle Works Oregon and built by Kris King Precision Components. The head badge reads “Let Us Chase the Sun.”


Launch Party -
From left: Nona Varnado, Alexia Brue of the website Well + Good, and Julie Hirschfeld. photo: velojoy

Launch Party for Bike Month NYC Ladies Program and

Ladies get ready to ride, to celebrate cycling culture, to party and, most of all, to collaborate! At a reception for New York City bicycling media hosted on Wednesday night by Julie Hirschfeld, owner of the bike shop Adeline Adeline, Brooklyn-based cycling apparel designer Nona Varnado announced a full schedule of programs geared toward women during Bike Month NYC, as well as the launch of a women’s cycling website. Varnado’s description of the Bike Month program:

“The  most fun you can have riding bikes, talking about them, fixing them, watching movies and shows about them and generally falling in love with bicycles and New York City all over again.”

The Bike Month women’s agenda includes a wide variety of activities geared toward bringing together many different cycling interests. It kicks off with a combination bike maintenance clinic and manicure (nobody leaves with greasy hands!) this Monday, May 9, and during the month will present an introduction to bicycle racing, a ladies-only road ride to Piermont, New York, a movie night, a bike test-riding party, and much more. Check here for the complete list.

Varnado says the new website will focus on innovation in women’s cycling.  Articles contributed by sources including apparel manufacturers, bike builders, local bicycle shops, bloggers and cycling advocates will be presented in a collaborative, magazine-style format.

Bike Box - Festival of Ideas NYC

Bike Month NYC – Weekend Highlights

View all the cycling activities for this weekend at

Urban Recon with Bike Box –  No. 1 on my weekend agenda is checking out a project called Bike Box, presented as part of the New Museum’s Festival of Ideas on Saturday, May 7 from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. The creators, Sabine Graffat and  Bill Brown, conceived this work as a means of interpreting the urban environment by hearing stories and sounds that reveal the layers beneath the constantly changing and evolving urban landscape

Here’s how it works: Check out a Bike Box technologically-enhanced bike at the Streetfest, download the Bike Box App to your iPhone, and as you travel through the neighborhood, you have the opportunity to both record site-specific audio through your phone and to listen to a geo-tagged  library of sounds provided by local land-use experts, historians, poets, artists and other interpreters of the urban landscape. Learn more here.

The Big Picture Bike Tour at the High Line – Next up: Bicycling on the High Line is verboten, but this ride along the original route at street level on Saturday, May 7 from 2 – 4 p.m. will explore the history of the area’s development. Led by architectural historian Matt Postal, it’s an easy ride appropriate for all ages. Tickets here.

“If You Build It, They Will Come…”

There was plenty of good news about New York City’s advances in infrastructure and ridership as Bike Month NYC kicked off. The New York City Department of Transportation’s 3rd Annual Sustainable Streets Index, which helps guide transportation policy according to goals set out in Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC 2030, finds:

  • Bicycle commuting increased 262 percent over the past 10 years
  • Cyclists constitute one-third of commuters along major bike routes to Brooklyn and Manhattan
  • More than 500,000 adult New Yorkers ride at least several times a month
Bicycle Commuting Stats - NYC DOT
Source: 2010 Sustainable Streets Index, NYC DOT
  • In addition, the League of American Bicyclists, the 300,000-member national cycling advocacy and education group, bestowed silver-level designation on New York City when it announced its latest round of Bicycle Friendly Communities. The BFC program, to which cities apply, recognizes and provides technical assistance to communities that support and promote cycling. NYC first received honorable mention in 2004 and by 2007 had received bronze-level recognition. It seems that New York, Boston and Washington, D.C. will be duking it out to become the first gold-level city on the East Coast. Learn more about the program and view the entire list here.
  • Finally, New York City’s choice of the Nissan NV200 for its Taxi of Tomorrow, has several bike-friendly features: Exterior alert lights to inform other drivers of taxi doors opening, plus sliders to help eliminate “dooring.”
East Village Bike Photo
photo: Jamie Alper

Still Life: Embellished Beater Bike in the East Village

This bike was for sale in front of a vintage clothing store in the East Village. Note the flat tires, pompom decorations and tin box from England on the rear rack. Thanks to velojoy reader Jamie Alper for snapping this on a recent ride in that neighborhood.

Top photo: velojoy

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