NYC IndyMedia reports that New York City Criminal Court Judge Gerald Harris decided that the City’s parade permit law is “hopelessly overbroad” and “‘constitutes a burden on free expression that is more than the First Amendment can bear.’” According to the Verdict, “a person promenading, or two persons racing, . . . a funeral procession, two or three cars displaying political posters traveling one behind the other, caravan style, or a small group of friends biking together” might be required to obtain permits under the law as written.
With our asses pointed directly at the man, still we ride.
Twenty-one cyclists were killed in traffic accidents in New York City in 2005, up from 15 in 2004, and 13 in 2003. That made 2005 the most deadly year for bicyclists since 1999, when a record 35 died.
On Sunday we rode to memorialize the 21 cyclists killed by motor vehicles on New York City streets. For more information, see The Village Voice's "Ghost Riders" article, the announcement at Time's Up or the Visual Resistance photos.
Following my cycling accident last week, I thought it might be a good idea to carry the TransAlt checklist for cyclists who get doored in New York City. You always need to carry some form of ID with you just in case. This might be a suitable thing to carry for those who travel light and don't want to splurge on one of those Road ID bracelets.
I made a card that can be printed on 3x5 index cards, laminated, folded and slipped into your jersey pocket. The card contains a section at the top where you write in your emergency information and the checklist that reminds you of the steps you should take at the scene of an accident. Use the blank back to write down the driver's information at the accident scene. I suppose it would also be a good idea to have a blank form on that side so you can fill out the information you need. Someone on a club mailing list pointed out that 2 additional things are missing from TA's list that you might want to keep in mind:
* if you need to go to the hospital, the police MUST take your bike for safekeeping.
* If a hit-and-run, menacing, or assault occured, ask the police to file a criminal complaint against the motorist.
The NYPD will often not do either of the above unless you remind them that it is part of their job, so you'll have to remind them yourself.
I got doored this weekend and didn't do a thorough enough check of my bike at the scene of the accident. I came home to find that my carbon fork had been cracked clear across one side and around the curve of the front. So I'm off the bike until I get the new Ritchey fork I ordered from Performance.
If you're ever in an accident, after you check your body out, be sure to look over every inch of your bike for damage. According to an article on Transportation Alernative's site, if you've been in an accident with a car where the car was at fault (e.g. car hits you), the driver's insurance company would be responsible for medical bills and damages to your bike. Get the license and insurance information of the driver. If they don't stop (i.e. hit and run) or fail to provide their insurance information, get their license plate information, car make and model and as many witnesses' names and phone numbers as possible. Then get a police report. If you're injured get immediate medical attention and get a doctor's report.
Sigh. So I can't ride for a while again. I've been waiting for an IRO Mark V for a while now and hopefully that will come soon.
With the current NYC administration's history of arresting critical massers, all the recent reports of the NYPD "cracking down" and giving bicyclists tickets, and now seizing bikes for being locked to city street signs and poles, I took it upon myself to ask the mayor what's up with this.
Anyway here's what I wrote. What kind of boilerplate response do you think I'll get?
I have a question regarding the attitude taken towards bicyclists in the past several years. Recently the NYPD has shown an increased effort in giving bicyclists tickets for minor offenses including: failure to have reflectors or bells installed on a bike and not riding in the bike lane. Our community has also noted that the NYPD is seizing bikes that are locked to street poles or signs. It is already difficult commuting in this city, but to have the police issue tickets rather than doing productive things including removing taxis from our bike lanes makes it even harder. What are you doing to correct this? As far as I can tell from the all of the bicyle advocacy sites, bicyclists are well within their rights to drive on the road including riding in car lanes when no bike lanes are present. There doesn't appear to be any law that states that reflectors and bells be installed to legally operate a bicycle. The bike community is large in New York City and our voters want to know what you will do to protect our rights. President Bush has taken an interest in bicycle advocacy, why isn't the administration of the greatest city in the world doing the same?
This mayor and the NYPD administration really have it out for bicyclists for some reason. Is it some quality of life agenda for gas guzzlers? Bikes take up little room and have as much right to use the road as cars.
Rode the Tour de Bronx yesterday for the first time. The ride is put on by Transportation Alernatives and the Bronx Borough President. Because it's sponsored by a bunch of corporates, the ride is free.
It's a pretty nice time. I've actually been off the bike for about 3 weeks because of the rain and some illness so this was my warm up for the fall season I suppose. The day was pretty good, but the temps in the low 50's felt much colder because the sun hid behind the clouds most of the time and the really strong winds made it pretty uncomfortably cold, especially at the rest areas. For some reason, they make you wait at the first rest area. I would have been happy to grab a bite and run. Instead I froze my toes off. I have to learn to dress better for these things. Need those shoe covers and gotta wear a wind layer next time.
The 45 mile ride is very nice. The Bronx tour has some mixed scenery with some pretty neighborhoods. And there are some hills to keep it from getting boring. Parts of the ride get confusing with all the pretzel looping around the Maritime College. But past that area the ride is pretty cool. The hills here are better than anywhere in 5 borough area.
Saw quite a few fixies. More than at the NYC Century. I recongnized that blonde girl that models the jerseys for the NYBMF. I'm thinking of riding a few of these NYC rides on a fixed gear next year. Fun short ride and you can't beat free. Will definitely be back next year.
It was actually 110 miles and total time was around 10.5 hours. The computer only counts the time when the wheels roll. Started at 7 am and finished around 5:30 pm. Total crank revolutions (pedals) was 31,200. But who's counting?
I started riding a road bike in July after riding a mountain bike for the last 15 years. Yesterday, I finished my first century! I intended to ride 75, but I felt so good I just kept going. This is my cyclocomputer when I arrived. I was just happy to finish.
The trains were running very strangely today, so I got to the start area an hour later than I expected to. But once I was going, it was fun. Cruising through Manhattan with packs of bikes waiting at the lights was cool. It was like a critical mass ride every few blocks when the groups clustered together.
The ride itself was pretty nice. I think the whole idea of TransAlt's tour is to show you all the bike paths and greenways NYC has to offer. Very pleasant rides in some parts. Seeing the Velodrome was cool. I'd like to come back to there one day and watch the races. I was surprised at how pretty Queens was, especially that little hillside neighborhood overlooking some body of water, Not sure what the neighborhood was, but I asked someone who told me we were at the Northern tip of Queens. I'm guessing it was Douglaston, Shore Road & the Long Island Sound?. I don't know. Nice hilly riding though, and my legs were cooperating.
I got a flat in a deserted part of the Bronx. I nearly bonked at 94 miles until I reloaded with water and food at the last rest stop. Then I followed some people who got a little lost at the end and took us a few miles out of the way.
Today I'm pretty sore, especially in my neck area. Oddly enough my legs feel pretty good. I'm hoping to get a fixed gear bike soon. Maybe I'll ride that next year. I noticed a few people riding fixies.
I started cycling a few months ago and have been riding 5 or 6 days a week. I'm trying to prepare to ride 1/2 of the NYC Century in September and the full Pumpkin Patch Century in October. (Events details here.)
Being the info geek that I am, I also got really excited when I started learning about tracking training using GPS devices. Last week I got a Garmin Forerunner 301. You wear this GPS device as a somewhat large watch or mount it to your bike handlebars and start it up when you begin your workout. The Forerunner then starts recording your location and gives you some feedback including elapsed time, speed, distance traveled and heart rate (using the included chest monitor). You can also use other features including basic navigation that tracks where you are and provides a breadcrumb trail with turn instructions to get you back to where you started. Navigation features seem pretty basic, however, because they don't integrate with maps. Navigating might be better with a device such as the Garmin GPS V.
Using the Foreruner for training is incredibly easy. After you return from your run, ride, skate or whatever, you simply plug the small end of the USB cable into the Forerunner and the large end into your Windows PC and synchronize with the software package you use. I've been trying the Garmin Training Center that comes free with the Forerunner as well as Topofusion (one time $40 registration fee to remove the Demo watermark), SportTracks (free) and the web-based tool MotionBased (free version allows unlimited GPS data uploads, but added features for only latest 10 activities).
I've been pretty happy so far using the free options of SportTracks and MotionBased. If I end up liking MotionBased a lot and want to be able to see all my past rides (e.g. compare performance on a course over a few months), I may consider paying for this one because the entire experience (data visualization and reporting) with MotionBased is far superior to any of the other offerings I've tried so far. To view an example, look at a recent ride on the Prospect Park Loop.
Very cool stuff, these GPS devices. Kind of felt like buying a toy to me at first, but this is actually much more practical than using a cycle computer and writing down my data in a log. Only thing missing though, that the cycle computer offers is the cadence reading.