And the bike wins again!

Feliks 2.jpg

This year's winner Feliks Kizhner.

It was no contest really. For the 6th year in a row the bike beat the car and the bus in the National Bike Month Commuter Contest. The race from Starbucks on Pearl Street to Eastern Mountain Sports in Stuyvesant Plaza ran a little bit slower than last year, but the wind and rain could account for some of that. Here's how it all shook out:

1. First Bike - 16:25 (18.27 mph)

2. Car - 35:00 (8.57 mph)

3. Bus - 42:00 (7.14 mph)

This years winner was Feliks Kizhner, a senior at UAlbany. The history major graduates in December and says he's looking forward to "getting a job where I can commute to work by bike and get a tax write off." Feliks doesn't own a car -- he bikes his way around Albany or takes the bus.

Did he do anything special to prepare for today's race? "Well, this morning I got up at 5:30 to study for final exams." Yeah.

Here are a few of the other participants:

"Pink bike guy" Andrew Franciosa was the 5th biker to come in. No, he wasn't racing on the big pink bike.

Andrew.jpg

J. Wozniak made the trip in less than 17 minutes, coming in 4th. But cut him some slack--he was dragging the trailer full of prizes behind him.

j wozniak.jpg

The Winners:
Justin (2nd place), Feliks (1st place) & Dakota (3rd place)

The winners.jpg

Comments

wasn't wet in the picture -- soaking by the time i got home!
thanks for the article

Bicycling Commuters are a hearty and intrepid lot! I just want to add that we had 4 women compete this year!
Thanks to all of you who competed!!!
Great photos!

I appreciate the efforts of the bike race organizers to raise awereness of cycle commuting as a viable alternative to the automobile and bus transit, but I worry the event sends an confusing message to the drivers who see cyclists as nuisances, instead of traffic.

Because the bus is required to stop for passengers, we can safely assume the race is really between cars and bikes. This race is not played on a level field. Cyclists in the race take a no holds barred approach en route by running red lights. If drivers behaved with this type of reckless abandon our roads would be certainly be deadlier places.

I'm not knocking the event (I was rooting for my co-worker, Andrew, who is a great guy) I simply hope race organizers make sure that media includes the nessesary caveat that cyclists ARE traffic and should be obeying the same rules of the road that drivers must.

@daleyplanit: "Cyclists in the race take a no holds barred approach en route by running red lights.". Just curious: is this something you saw on that race? Or an assumption on all races, and/or all cyclists?

Dag, the guy who took 3rd looks just like John Wilkes Booth!!!

...and I would hazard a guess that at least the top bikers probably ran the lights (coming from my own experience as a biker) and/or rode up the breakdown lane of Western. Don't know if that's in or out of bounds law-wise, but it'll get you there quicker. This could be akin in bike racing world to bunny hopping a taped corner?

I must echo 'planit, because I DID witness reckless riding during the race. As a rider myself I can only say that I hope no one gets hurt and treat it as a "teachable moment"....

@-dan: wow. Maybe the winners will speak up. The New York Bicycling Coalition front page uses the word "safety" *only* 7 times I guess...

Where the heck are the props for the ladies that raced?! I was one of them and I'd like to say that bicycles are not just for dudes! Also, I'd like to clarify that cyclist SHOULD follow the rules of the road ... to the extent that it is safe. Also, whenever there is a sub-group of folks doing something, the rules that they should follow are also looked at more stringently. Aren't most drivers, "racing to work" or "racing home" most days? Do most drivers drive the speed limit? I support safe cycling AND safe driving. We CAN exist together; especially if we have proper education as well as infrastructure!

"dude, im sorry to tell you, but that is just a typical day driving in albany. my mom refuses to drive down here - i am always put behind the wheel when she comes to town. i learned all of my best driving techniques coasting down central ave., weaving in and out of traffic at 45 mph, avoiding such obstacles as craters, women with baby strollers, double parked cars & buses, and groups of children sprinting across the street, all while racing to make it through the next green (OK, yellow) light. i can say that since living here, my reflexes have definitely improved. it's not rude or disrespectful, those are some well-honed driving skillzzz. :)

... said Kim D. on May 12, 2009 at 9:40 PM"


What can I say?...

This is from " A photo of Tulip Fest's trashy leftovers prompted a big discussion".

This race is not played on a level field. Cyclists in the race take a no holds barred approach en route by running red lights. If drivers behaved with this type of reckless abandon our roads would be certainly be deadlier places.

I'm not knocking the event, I simply hope race organizers make sure that media includes the nessesary caveat that cyclists ARE traffic and should be obeying the same rules of the road that drivers must.

... said daleyplanit

Cars kill people.

If I (the bike) f@#k up riding in the streets, Its my LIFE. If you (the car) f@#ks up ITS STILL MY LIFE!

CARS KILL FROM TIP TO TAIL.
RUN THING OVER,
MAKE ALL WHO RIDE IN THEM FAT AND WEAK,
CHEMICAL HAZARDS TO EVERYTHING LIVING FROM THE TAILPIPE.

I find it fascinating that bicycles have won this contest year after year. It does say something about the benefits of cycling. A few of the comments did however point out that it is not, apparently a level playing field. I think it is fair for cyclists to take short cuts not available to cars where legal (using a bike path for instance), but blatant violation of traffic rules should be cause for disqualification (true also for cars, I suppose). I watched a cyclist yesterday in Troy driving down the middle of the opposite lane to pass cars at a red light then zip through the red light and swerve to avoid cross traffic at the intersection. If those are the sorts of tactics used to win...then how realistic is the test?

As for Dakota's comment...I find this logic (it's MY LIFE, so why should YOU care) totally flawed. If I happen to hit and kill a cyclist who is riding in the WRONG lane, I am telling you that it IS MY LIFE too! I will have to live with the horror of having killed or maimed some fool for the rest of my life!

As for Dakota's comment...I find this logic (it's MY LIFE, so why should YOU care) totally flawed. If I happen to hit and kill a cyclist who is riding in the WRONG lane, I am telling you that it IS MY LIFE too! I will have to live with the horror of having killed or maimed some fool for the rest of my life!
... said Bob F.

You quoted me incorrectly and therefore seemly have missed the point I was trying to make, let me clarify. I did not put out there, as you wrote it the "so why should YOU care", portion of that statement. (BTW thank you for caring)

My statement was "Cars kill people. If I (the bike) f@#k up riding in the streets, Its my LIFE. If you (the car) f@#ks up ITS STILL MY LIFE!"
My point is that cars constantly and consistently disobey speed limits, race thru yellow lights and run red lights and when they do it's very likely they will kill/maime everything in their path while most likely living thru it themselves. An irresponsibile driver (of a vehicle) is not really putting their own life in danger they are making a pedestrian trying to cross the road, a cyclyist and all other vehicles succeptible to maiming and or death. An irresponsible cyclyist is putting their own life in danger. A responsibel cyclist is also putting their life in danger.This was the point I was trying to convey.
The roads were not made for cars, Roads are much older then cars, Streets are for all people, Just because cars are the biggiest bully on them does not mean they are right to push others off of the streets.

Sidewalks are for WALKING, sideWALK, 15 mph on the sidewalk is not safe for anybody, and its ILLEGAL.

Thank you for reading :)

Okay, I think we all see where this is headed.

When it comes down to it, the point is that if bikes and cars are going to coexist in our cities, boths sides are going to need to be mutually respectful and come to a compromise. It's unfair to lay the blame on either "side" because I think we've all seen bad examples from both.

Personally, my recommendation is that all methods of transportation be changed to magical sparklerocket unipegacorns, which run on the happy dreams of children and emit rainbows and the smell of freshly baked cinnamon buns. I believe the Obama administration is working on implementing this solution by 2011.

"methods of transportation be changed to magical sparklerocket unipegacorns, which run on the happy dreams of children and emit rainbows and the smell of freshly baked cinnamon buns"

And they will look just like bicycles!

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