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!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Bicycle Riding the Way It Should Be, In Groups!

I always say that my number one priority for getting people to bike ride is a selfish one, namely my SAFETY! The more bike riders there are out there, the safer I am. Of course the nice by product of that is that everyone else, pedestrians, bikers, and motorized vehicle drivers are safer too. Amsterdam is a perfect example where car-bike accidents are rare and when they happen you can usually blame a dumb tourist. Here is some video of me social biking Amsterdam with some friends. See how orderly and happy the streets are?



Many studies show that bicycle riders on a street lower the amount of accidents. I could do my due diligence and add citations. Since I know my audience (love you mom!) is uber sophisticated or just believes everything I say, I'll let you Google it yourselves to fact check my facts, just assume I always tell the truth, or instead allow me to wow you with another video. Bread, circuses, pictures and video for my fans now!



It's fairly easy to get my friends to bike ride to the nearby parks or the store around the corner (it's not THAT easy - I succeed somewhere around 20% of the time that I ask and I am being generously positive in saying 20% of the time). Trying to get people to bike ride in populated areas like Manhattan or Boston is slightly harder. In my whole life it has probably been less then 10 times that anyone has gone bike riding with me in Manhattan or other highly populated area. They have always been wonderful experiences, but very rare in my adult life. I can't really describe it but there is a joy that comes from bicycle riding with others. It relaxes, it entertains, it's safer, it makes the hills almost disappear, and it's just so much fun!


Now, because of the NYC Bike Train, Social Cycling New York City, & the Bayside Social Cyclists, that will all change. No longer will I be forced to bike alone. On a regular basis I can get my biking with friends fix fulfilled. I recently rode with Social Cycling New York City and it was a great bunch of riders doing it for the love of biking. If you are too far to join the Meetup, then start one in your town and take the world over with bikes, 1 block at time. Bikes won in Amsterdam so I don't see why they can't win in New Amsterdam!
 



Thursday, June 7, 2012

Oh The Difference a Bike Ride Can Make

For years now I have been primarily riding my 3 speed English roadster. Although I love the upright and comfortable riding position, as well as it's carrying capacity for errands, I average about 6mph on that lovely beast. It weighs about 37lbs and has a classic ratio of 75-100-133 split on the 3 speeds.

 

Slow bike riding is great and much, much safer but sometimes you need to get somewhere fast or you have a large distance to travel or you have hilly territory to pedal. My Trek has a ratio split of 41 to 108, which combined with the light weight, provides incredible hill climbing ease (without the "granny" gear). Whatever the reason, a light road bike is sometimes the best option. Last Saturday was such a day. Sam the Eagle needed my car, and having just had my road bike fixed days earlier, I decided to deliver the car to him and bike ride back home.



On my way to the Eagle's nest, I saw a street fair where they were selling grilled corn! I dropped off the car and made my way back to 86th Street and 3rd Avenue. After eating grilled corn on the cob, chicken on a stick, meat on a stick, 3 cups of lemonade, and a mozzarepa - combo corn tortilla and mozzarella cheese - I biked home.



The Trek weighs about 18lbs and has clips for my feet so not only am I pushing on the pedals, but I am pulling on them too. This allows the full use of all leg muscles and also provides a more complete workout for your legs. I haven't gone this fast in a long, long time and I loved it!. I averaged almost 13mph the whole ride home and I peaked at about 26mph on the downhill portion of the 59th Street Bridge.

Using a nifty program on my Blackberry called MapMyFitness, I was able to record my ride and create this 3D movie. You'll be able to tell where I was going fast and where I wasn't. Add terrain to your map view and it will be obvious why. Enjoy!

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.
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