seatpost 5.12.11: nyc cycling culture this week

Deborah Union Square Greenmarket - velojoy
photos: velojoy

velojoy street scene

On Wednesday, the Union Square Greenmarket‘s spring bounty included tender baby spinach, fragrant branches of lilac, tiny clutches of lilies of the valley, and asparagus bundles that stood at attention like soldiers of the new season. I caught up with Deborah (above), her baskets already filled with morning purchases of ramps, scallions and yams, at the Rick’s Picks artisinal pickle stand. Deborah rides to the market on her vintage Raleigh twice a week, year-around.
Spring Flowers Union Square Greenmarket - velojoy

Celebs Star in Don’t Be a Jerk Cycling Safety Ads

Anybody who spends any time in the bike lanes, or on sidewalks for that matter, has had run-ins with cyclists who behave like, well, jerks. A much-anticipated new public safety campaign by the NYC Department of Transportation enlists celebrities, including chef Mario Batali (you’ll know him by his signature orange Crocs), actor/comedian John Leguizamo, and model Paulina Porizkova, to call attention to unsafe cycling behaviors. The Don’t Be a Jerk series of videos, running on local TV stations, takes a humorous approach to encourage riders to obey the law by:

    • yielding to pedestrians
    • riding the right way on city streets
    • staying off sidewalks

I was wondering yesterday whether or not that’s New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan calling John Leguizamo a jerk in the video above. And in one of those weird New York City, small-world coincidences, I encountered Leguizamo riding with his son in Greenwich Village later in the day and chatted with him about the campaign. His comment re working with the commissioner: “She’s cool.”

Bike Month NYC Weekend Highlights

Montauk Light House - velojoy

View the complete list of cycling activities for this weekend at

Saturday, May 14 — Brooklyn Bike Jumble

Shop for bikes, components and accessories at this bi-annual flea market of all things cycling from 10 a.m. to  4 p.m. at The Old Stone House at Washington Park, Brooklyn. Information.

Sunday, May 15 — Meet Your (Bike) Match and Garden Party

Find your (bike) love. Test ride the new or used bike of your dreams, then escort it next door to a garden party and pose at the photo booth from 2 p.m. – 7 p.m. at Hudson Urban Bicycles, Manhattan. Information.

Sunday, May 15 — Ride to Montauk

There’s still time to sign up. Choose from route distances ranging from 65 to 145 miles along beautiful back roads on Long Island, all ending at the Montauk Lighthouse (photo above). Presented by the Five Boro Bike Club.  Registration.

Help Spread the Joy (and Pour Some Coffee) on Bike To Work Day

Friday, May 20 is National Bike To Work Day, to celebrate and encourage commuting by bike. Transportation Alternatives needs volunteers to man outposts at major cycling thoroughfares during the a.m. rush. The job description includes handing out snacks and iced coffee to commuters and assisting T.A. staff in signing up new members. Sign up.

Check Out a New Site for the Get Fancy Rides

Get Fancy celebrates Bike Month NYC with a Manhattan art gallery ride and a new website listing upcoming events. Mark your calendar for the next ride on Thursday, May 19 at 7 p.m. Bring along a prop for a photo portrait with your bike (find inspiration at the Stefan Stux Gallery site). Ride details.

NYC Cyling Maps

Pick Up Your 2011 NYC Cycling Map

The 2011 edition of the new NYC Cycling Map has landed at your local NYC bike shop, so pick one up. Waterfront Bike Shop stocked a wooden tool box with the maps, plus Bike Month NYC events calendars, and placed it in the most logical spot — near the air compressor. You can also download the map by clicking on our Toolbox link on the right side of this page.

Progress Seen in Reducing Central Park Ticketing

The blog Transportation Nation reports that there’s relief in sight for cyclists from the recent ticketing blitz for running red lights in Central Park. While enforcement will continue, the police will focus on cyclists who run red lights when pedestrians are in the crosswalk or waiting to cross. The blog notes that although the New York City Police Department did not formally endorse any plan, “a consensus” was reached at a meeting last month hosted by two city council members and the Central Park Conservancy. City Council Member Gale Brewer said:

“The overall concept is: if there’s a red light and there’s a pedestrian, the rules apply; you have to stop on a bicycle. If there’s a red light and no pedestrian, you can go on.”

That means exercising common-sense caution, but no more whistling into the wind at deserted intersections.

photos: velojoy

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