NYC Bikers

Life is meant to be lived on the back of a bike. At least the fun parts. This blog is an effort on my part to convert the world into bikers, starting with my friends living here in Fresh Meadows! Even if I have to do it single handedly, I will civilize the bikers of New York!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bicycling with Laundry and Good Bye 2011

This will be the last post of 2011 so good-bye 2011 and off to bigger and better things (although this year was pretty rad with Good Times winning their 4th Championship in 6 years)! This year my new media agency, 720 TECK, will be launching several exciting projects for us and for clients. One project that is near and dear to me is The Grand Agora. I have worked on many client's ecommerce sites before, but I have never OWNED my own. Like I said, this is going to be an exciting year.

Sam the Eagle is having a New Year's Eve party tonight so I needed to pick up my clean clothes from the laundromat (just to get them dirty at the party - I hope). It is December 31st and it is about 50 degrees so I thought it best to take my bike. I asked my housemmate, Queen D, to take some nice shots as I biked away. She kindly obliged and here are some of the results.

I need to drop off some dirty laundry and pick up some clean laundry so I have something to wear tonight at Sam the Eagle's New Year's party. I brought in about 30 pounds of laundry on the back of my bike

If the weather is nice it is always better to get the exercise then to drive. Remember where that gasoline you are putting in your car comes from. It comes from Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Venezuela (among a few other places). None of these places are particularly friendly to us, yet we flood them with American dollars to wage war against our interests!

Save some dollars, burn some calories, and do something good for America - ride your bike!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Going to the Fall Classic in Style

I am on my way to play some softball. I could have taken my car, but instead I decided to warm up before the game by taking a bicycle. The fall is fast approaching and we need to take advantage of every warm day left this year.

Photography credits go to @Fishthenet!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Bicycling to Dyker Heights, Brooklyn from Fresh Meadows, Queens.

On a breezy and sunny summer morning I set off to prove to myself that transportation on bicycle is a valid alternative to driving or public transport here in NYC. As you may or may not know I live in Fresh Meadows near St. John's University. I had business to attend to in Dyker Heights Brooklyn (which is near the Verazano Bridge).

If I drove and there was no traffic I could arrive there in 29 minutes. Anyone that has driven on the Brooklyn-Queens-Expressway or the Long Island Expressway can attest there is nothing express about them, ESPECIALLY during morning and evening peak commuter times. Time in traffic is one hour and 30 minutes. Hmm - doesn't seem very efficient, does it? The cost for 40 miles of driving, at 20 miles a gallon equals about $6 total gas cost to travel there, not counting wear and tear on my vehicle as well as the possibility for tickets (which is very high in this city).

Can the public transportation do better? Doubtfull but let's see what Lord Google says. The fastest way to my destination using buses and trains is one hour and 24 minutes but in involves the LIRR which brings the cost to about $10 each way, $20 total. For $5 I can take one hour and forty-one minutes but I have to take one bus and 3 trains. Fun stuff, NOT.

Finally on my trusty bike, according to Lord Google, it takes one hour and tweny-six minutes, costs me nothing, I get free exercise, and I get to do a little exploring of Brooklyn.Of course these times are assuming a brisk 10mph average. I hover more around 7mph on my English roadster (which is all I would trust to not get a flat) so my time to arrive is increased. Since I was going to a meeting and I didn't want to look totally disheveled I went even slower and arrived in about 2 hours but still, I spent no money and I hopefully lost a little weight. If traveling to Brooklyn is better by bike, then travel to the corner market has to be better by bike!

Bicycle riding in Brooklyn seems very different then bicycle riding near my house in Queens. Over here it seems like everyone is a Lycra monster counting their cadence. In Brooklyn a lot of people have roadsters and most people seem to be riding their bikes because they need to get somewhere, not because they are practicing for the Lance Armstrong team. In Brooklyn there are lots of beautiful girls riding beautiful bikes having a beautiful time.

I was also able to experience, for the first time, two great green-ways on Empire Blvd and on Ocean Parkway (which by the way happens to be the oldest bike path in the country or city, I don't remember). There are few feelings better then flying down a totally separate bike lane without worry that you are going to be flatten by an incoming NYC bus. On the 17th of July I am planning an excursion with some friends to further explore Brooklyn by bike and I welcome all of you to come along. I think this time I will hit Coney Island. Now that's awesome!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Tricycle Saga.

So for some time now I have been trying to convince the Diva's mother to bike to work. Fearful of bodily harm she confused that a two wheel bike was not for her. She insisted that it wasn't she was unable to ride a two wheeler - it was just that the possibility of falling prevented from possibly taking the busy avenue to her work.

I hate to admit it but she has a point. When riding around town on a two wheel bike there is always an increased danger of fall and falling equals pain and pain equals the dark side. That is when I came up with the brilliant idea that she should take a tricycle to work. Unfortunately, to my chagrin, the Diva's mom insisted she would do it but for fear of mockery. Imagine, she proceeded, me on a tricycle going down Bell Blvd or Northern Blvd! She insisted trikes where for kids.

Sorry but that that silly rabbit was right, trikes are not just for kids! Trikes are for everyone and they have the added bonus over bicycles of increased carrying capacity, increased stability, and increased visibility to cars around you. I mean what driver would miss a tricycle peddling down the boulavard!

So in order to convince the Diva's mom to trike to work I will begin chronicling all tricycles I see. First off we have this beauty. It belongs to an older Jewish gentleman in Brooklyn. who was slightly physically disabled. I saw this tricycle parked in front of a store and I started taking pictures. The owner approached me and told me all about his bike. This one is electric and pedal assisted and according to the owner, he often takes it for 35 mile trips.

This next one passed right by my house. I had to chase the owner down in order to get the picture. This 21 speed tricycle was being manned by a kind women in her 40's or 50's obviously demonstrating the viability of transport via trike.

I have seen many other tricycles but only recently have I begun their documentation. I know that with enough time I will be able to convince the Diva's mom that taking a tricycle to work is fun, good exrcesise, and a money saver when it comes to wear and tear on ones car and gas for one's hung of metal.


Monday, May 30, 2011

"Phase one in which Doris gets her oats."

If you read my previous posts you met the new member of the family - a Royal Scot born in February of 1967. That's even before the Beatles's Sergeant Pepper's came out. That poor little Royal had years of dust on it so I gave it a bath. I gave it a bath in WD40.

Step One is to wash the bike in oil. WD40 will do the trick.

You want to lather the back, the fenders (any place with rust) totally with oil so you can wipe it down later and you want to let that soak in, penetrate, bake in the sun.

As you can see in this picture below you will get oil on the rims and will LOSE ALL ABILITY TO STOP! To not ride this bike until you fully remove all the oil or you may get into an accident.

After you have covered the bike in oil let it sit in the sun for a few days. It is important that the oil soaks in as much as possible.

It looks better already! Now the bike has to bake for a few days. Check back in a few to see what the final result looks like! I can't wait for the Diva to see it.

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Royal Scot Joins the Family

The bicycle situation at home is starting to get a little crazy. Right now at the house, there are more bikes then there are people. The 6 bikes by last count where 1 fixie, 1 road bike, 2 mountain bikes, and 2 roadsters.  There are plans for building an outside bike shed on wheels to protect our babies from the rain but negotiations are still ensuing.

Of the 6 bikes at the house I have purchased or own 4 of them (my road bike, my mountain bike, my roadster, and the the Diva's purple mountain bike). The Diva continuously complained about pain in her wrists from her mountain bike. At first I thought she was being a diva but after I was forced to borrow her bike for commuting to work for a few days I realized she was right. Her purple Walmart Schwinn with the flowers on the seat might be fun for off-roading but because of the aggressive forward position, it was no fun for long distance cruising.

Because I love my Diva and because I must convince her to abandon her car in all but the most necessary situations, I combed the Craigslist ads for the perfect bike. After much searching I found a diamond in the rough - a 1967 Royal Scot.. We drove (yes drove) to meet the previous owner and to see if the bike was the right fit and if she liked it. Here are some pictures which were kindly furnished by the previous owner in his Craigslist ad -

Well, she didn't like it. In fact she hated the bike before she even got on it. I begged her to give it a chance and she did taking it for a bike ride around the neighborhood. I nervously waited for her return and proudly smiled when my Diva came around the corner. To my great sadness though she came saying NOT to buy the bike. She was convinced this was not the bike for her. The handle bars were too low, the fenders looked like they were about to fall off from rust, the brakes did not work, the front rims seemed bent, the crankshaft pedals were bent, the gears did not shift, someone dripped paint all over the finish, it creaked and heaved when it moved (like Billy's grandfather begging to be killed), the fenders rubbed against the cracked tires, and worst of all the bike felt "unsafe". At least that was the official word from the Diva - even the guy trying to sell me the bike told me not to buy it.

Of course I listened to no one and I bought the bike. I rode it home part of the way and I walked it home most of the way. I knew deep down inside there was an inner beauty only me and Boutros Boutros-Ghali could see. Perhaps my good friends at Belitte Bikes would confirm my suspicions. Perhaps they would tell me I was a fool and this bike was worthless. All I know is there are now 7 bikes at the house, we still don't have bike parking, and the Diva hates her new toy. All I need now is to go bike riding with the Diva and we get a flat in the middle of nowhere. That would surely destroy my dreams of happy and relaxed biking for hours and hours with the Diva cross country.

Of course this battle is not over. I will bring this little Scot back to life and I will make the Diva love it - I hope. Stay tuned for more details on operation Restore Royal...

Friday, April 29, 2011

Does Green Goo Really Work?

So it has been 10 days and my flat has turned into a small leak. Everyday I wake up to go to work and everyday I have to put a little air into my tire. I am sure there is something inside that is causing a recurrent flat. Regardless, no bike shop wants to touch a slimed up tube and I haven't had the time to try and figure out what is causing my tire issues. It seems to me that only thing that is keeping me in business is this slime.

Apparently this slime in the tubes reseals small holes and punctures. Although it is annoying having to pump air in my tires everyday, it is more annoying to have to change a flat. I know eventually the joy will end but so far so good.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Pashley's First Flat

So last night I got a little buzzed on Duvel and decided to bike ride to the supermarket and buy some BBQ items. I purchased way too much stuff to safely carry back, but carry back I did. Since I was a little drunk I decided bike riding at high speeds on the street was unwise so I broke the law again and rode on the sidewalk nice and slowly. I kept jumping curbs all while transporting a huge amount of groceries. I came home, unpacked my stuff and started to BBQ sometime around 10PM last night.

I woke up this morning, got ready for work, and finally went out to hop on my bike for a trip to work. I found that there was green goo all over the floor under my bike and my tire had several splotches of green goo. WTF?! Then I realized what happened - in my drunken haze the night before I must have gotten a flat and not realized it. Well, this bike has been ridden well over a thousand miles and probably close to 1500 without one flat. My road bike can barely do 100 without a flat.

Nightmares of tube patching, tire changing, and lots of sweating crossed my mind. But the green goo - that's supposed to patch a leak. I took out my bike pump, pumped up my tire and held my breath. So far the bike has held air all day long. Could it be this green goo actually works? I guess we will see tomorrow if the rear tire holds air.

Good night all.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

So What is a NYC Bicycle Rider? - Part 2

Amsterdam! It opened my eyes forever and no - not for the reasons you are thinking you deviant. Amsterdam is the land of bikes. There are bikes everywhere and cars - they actually stop to give you right of way! Oh, and the bikes are uber comfy with racks in the back and the front to carry stuff. I actually carried my luggage from the train station to the our rented townhouse on my bike. Brilliant!

Amsterdam! Where bikes have their own lanes, their own traffic lights, and throughout the Netherlands and Belgium, bikes have their own interstate highway system. It's crazy but true - the bike highways have exists and kilo-millage signs that run parallel to the car highways but are separated by tons of steel and wire.

More bikes are stolen every year in Amsterdam then the city has people! The people I saw tended to be very fit because of the active lifestyle and it is not unusual to see a whole family out for a bike ride on a sunny afternoon. During the week in the mornings, rain or shine, you can see young girls on pink barbie doll bikes going to school.

The bike is King (or Queen fore even Beatrix bikes to work) in Holland and Belgium, as it should be. Pedestrians get out of the way for oncoming bikers because everyone knows how annoying it is to lose momentum on a bike. EVERYONE in Amsterdam that can physically ride a bicycle does. In fact, some statistics show that in Amsterdam it is more likely that a trip will be done by bike then by car. 30% of people ride their bike to work everyday with an additional 40% riding their bikes to work occasionally. That is more then half your population riding a bike to work which helps keep biking safe because the dude you door-slam could be your boss.

Amsterdam revealed the truth to me. Amsterdam showed me that I COULD ride my bike in the rain (even though my dad always said no) without getting a streak of mud across my back. Amsterdam made me believe that I could ride my bike safely with class, dignity, and proper posture. In Amsterdam I realized that life was more fun on the back of a bicycle - especially when it had fenders, lights that ran on pedal power, racks to carry stuff, a fully covered chain-case, a double kickstand, and the all important "get the hell out of my way" bell. I also learned in Amsterdam that 3 speeds is all I need.

Now that I found my Nirvana I wondered how I could bring back this little slice of heaven to the states. Was New York City ready for a Dutch cruiser bike? Only time, and possibly this blog, will tell.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

So What is a NYC Bicycle Rider? - Part 1

I am a New York City bicycle rider and I own 3 bikes. I own my old, trusty Trek 1000 that still gets comments `cause its so nice (not). I mean, it's a good quality bike and it's been well maintained so it runs great but it is past its prime. I've had that thing since the 80's and it is all I knew of bikes (except for my old BMX and assorted kid tricycles) until I borrowed a friend's mountain bike here and there.

Fast forward 20 years later and all I've ridden day in and day out is my road bike. It is very fast and very nimble which makes it a great racing bike. Unfortunately I never race (unless some other dude tries to pass me on one of my leisurely rides). Then it is a race I usually lose.

Still, I loved my bike and I loved riding it, except when it rained because my back got all wet and the brakes didn't work so well on a wet rim. Oh and I hated to ride it in rough pavement for fear of damaging a rim or popping a tire. Oh and I didn't like it off road for obvious reasons. I also felt unsafe bent don't near my brakes, but I felt unsafe sitting upright unable to quickly hit my brakes. And the road bike handlebars were not good for carrying groceries so going to the supermarket meant bringing a backpack. Last but surely not least, even though I loved and still love my Trek road bike, I never liked the fact I was going to get chain grease on my leg.

My girlfriend gave me a mountain bike about 5 years ago. That bike was very similar to my road bike (since I don't race) except it was slower and could go off road (duh). The handlebars were better for groceries but I still really needed a book bag. Another positive was that it got flats much less then my Trek.

I spent my days mostly on my Trek probably out of habit or because Dr. K would yell at me for riding my mountain bike. Only if I was bike riding with The Diva would I take my mountain bike. Even with all the negatives I loved and still love that Trek. Then something changed my life for ever...

Cow Bike!

Cow Bike!
Maes kept getting attacked by the cows whenever she biked through the fields. She decided camouflage would be the only way to survive.

My Favourite Blogs!