Friday, July 31, 2009

"How to Not Get Hit by Cars"

Being on a bicycle often makes you a slow moving target which is even more apparent and potentially deadly in New York City traffic.

Now that cycling in NYC has become more "popular", with bike lanes popping up more and more, I am seeing a disturbing number of careless, clueless and dangerous cyclists taking to the streets.

These dangerous cyclists ride illegally. These dangerous cyclists ride erratically and unpredictably. They ride on the sidewalk. They ride against traffic. They ride without brakes. They ride at night without any lights. They ride at night without any reflectors. They blow through red lights and stop signs. They plow into pedestrians in the crosswalk. They hug the parked car line -- high probability of getting doored. They race through the streets without a care in the world putting their lives and the lives of others around them in jeopardy.

In most cases, I think education is the answer. In others, some stiff fines and potential jail-time is due. But in the case of education, I have dug up a great website listing common collision scenarios and how to avoid getting hit. It's a great website that can aid even the most seasoned of cyclists among us.

Note that you can do everything exactly right and by the book yet still get hit but having this knowledge under your belt can seriously lower your odds of a run-in.

Bicycle Safety: How Not to Get Hit by Cars

Friday, July 24, 2009

Avenir Quick Basket - Part 1

The Bike Accessories Faerie visited me this morning and look at what she left under my pillow: A basket! An Avenir Quick (release) Basket, to be exact. How very sweet. I just leave some money under my pillow and a few days later, there's a box with bicycle goodies in it! Don't ask me how that Faerie keeps getting into my house...

The Avenir basket seems of good quality though I have to mention that the front mesh of the basket was slightly pushed in. The box was dented when it arrived which would probably explain the dent in the basket. I believe this was due to poor packaging and rough handling by what appears to be a clumsy or drunk Bicycle Accessories Faerie. I used my thumbs to push the indentations out and they have now since disappeared.

The basket is coated steel with a rubber-coated handle that comes with a little black sponge-like grip along with the mounting bracket, hardware, instructions and a tool to mount the basket.

The mounting bracket is a pretty beefy looking black plastic. It measures approximately 4" long. It's would put it out of the way of most cables on the handlebar which is a good thing.

The basket itself measures 10.5" wide x 8" deep x 8" high which is a respectable size for a basket. Not too small and not too big. One will be able to fit a backpack, bag, purse, bag of groceries, or a small dog, etc.

I will provide a fully detailed review in Part 2 but so far, it looks like a nice, good quality basket that will look great on my bike.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lower East Side U-Lock Beating

This incident took place at what appears to be the intersection of Allen and Delancy Streets on the Lower East Side in Manhattan. I've ridden it many, many times. It's a busy intersection with a lot of bike traffic due to the Williamsburg Bridge.

I can understand some of the fear and frustration a cyclist may feel when a belligerent pedestrian bears down on them but does that warrant a proper beating with what appears to be a Kryptonite New York STD u-lock?

*Personally, I think the "beating" was totally not chic. I mean, a Kryptonite NY STD u-lock?? He could have at least used a Kryptonite Evolution Mini! It's "the choice of bike messengers worldwide". It's smaller than the NY-series thus easier to conceal and brandish when middle-aged Asian men "attack". You also get a lot more control with your swings because of it's compact size. Now you can assault just about anyone on the street at a moment's notice and do it in style.



Note the absence of spandex. No yellow jersey. No reflective vest. No clipless pedals. You don't need to dress up like a spandex superhero to ride your bike.

This is blog about cycling in New York City. Commuting. Living. Riding. Being. Chic.

Let's bring sexy back to cycling!