Items tagged with 'cycling'
We stopped by Washington Park on Sunday for the second Albany Tweed Ride. It's pretty much what it sounds like -- people dressed in civilized attire, pedaling their way around town. This year the ride started at All Good Bakers on Delaware Ave, headed over to the Hudson River Coffee House on Quail, then into Washington Park for a stop, and then on to the Olde English for lunch.
It was a beautiful day, and there were lots of smiles. Here's a handful of pics from ride's stop in Washington Park...
Righto, ladies and gentlemen! The Albany Tweed Ride is returning April 28 for a most civilized ride through Albany.
Tweed ride? Cyclists don their best tweed and wool skirts, caps, argyle socks, and other stylish riding togs and pedaled through the town. Here are a smattering of photos from last year.
The refined cycling starts at All Good Bakers on Delaware Ave at 9:30 am on the 28th. Along the way, the group will stop for coffee, tea, and socializing. Then it will be off for a bit more cycling before lunch at the Olde English.
Over at the blog for the Schenectady County Historical Society's Grems-Doolittle Library blog there's a very interesting post about cycling in Schenectady around the beginning of the 20th century.
Bicycle garages at GE! A bike toll road along Route 5 between Albany and Schenectady! Early 1900s hipsters! It's kind of amazing how robust the cycling culture was then.
The post includes the above photo, from the Larry Hart Collection. From its description:
Two women stop during a bicycle ride around the Schenectady area, ca. 1900. Women's participation in the bicycle craze during the 1890s led to the decline of corsets, inspired "common-sense" dress, and allowed greater mobility for women. Women also joined men as members of cycling clubs formed during this period. Many suffragists and women's rights advocates saw the bicycle as a mechanism for women's freedom; in 1896, Susan B. Anthony told New York World reporter Nellie Bly, "I think [the bicycle] has done more to emancipate woman than any one thing in the world. I rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel. It gives her a feeling of self reliance and independence the moment she takes her seat; and away she goes, the picture of untrammelled womanhood."
As we've said before, the library's blog is totally worth a look. Lots of good stuff there.
This topic has come up a few times, so... you might be interested to hear that Plaine and Son in Schenectady and Broadway Bicycle in Albany are now offering bike rentals. From a recent email newsletter:
Plaine and Son and Broadway Bicycle Co. has teamed up with Specialized to bring bicycle rental to the Capital Region. You can choose from a selection of Specialized Road and Fitness bikes.
Road bikes - $20 for up to 4 hours, $40 for the whole day, $30 for each additional day, or $150 for a whole week.
Fitness bikes - $20 for up to 4 hours, $30 day, $20 for each additional day
Capital CarShare, the group planning a non-for-profit car sharing org for the Capital Region, has put together a very detailed plan for the service. It includes explanations of how the service would work, neighborhoods where it would set, and projected finances.
The report is at the link above. It's also embedded after the jump.
The proposed service would include three membership levels (with discounts for yearly memberships):
+ Basic - $0/month, $9/hour, $0.25/mile
+ Silver - $10/month, $7/hour, $0.25/mile
+ Gold - $30/month, $5/hour, $0.25/mile
The plan also ranks areas in the order of expected roll out of the service over three years:
1. Downtown Albany, Center Square, and University Heights
2. Albany's Park South and Pine Hills neighborhoods
3. Arbor Hill, South End, and Delaware Avenue neighborhoods
There are a lot more details in the reports and it's worth taking a look if you're interested.
Earlier on AOA: Lauren Alpert talked about the car sharing plan on Soapbox back in June.
[via TSTC / thanks, Matthew]
The city of Albany, Capital District Transportation Committee, bike-planning-famous consultancy Alta Planning and Design are (emphasis added) "conducting a study on what bike route signage is needed in the City of Albany and how bike sharing might be implemented here." There's a public meeting about the study next Monday (September 24) at The Linda at 6 pm. The blurbage says they'll also be looking for public input at the meeting. (Poster embedded after the jump.)
We recently happened upon this "bike shelter" tucked into a parking garage near Albany Medical Center. The storage area is protected from the elements and has a locked door with swipe-card access.
We know there are a few office buildings around the area that have bike rooms, but we'd never seen a bike parking garage this big before. It seems like a nice amenity for people who work there.
A few more pics post jump if you're curious.
Update: From Albany Med's Facebook page:
We're happy to provide this service for our employees and do the same for families and visitors. Simply ask any of our security personnel about our visitor bike rack and they will be more than happy to assist you secure your bike for the duration of your visit.
By the way: Apparently the new thing in bike parking is the "bike corral" -- cities such as San Francisco and Pittsburgh are turning car parking spaces into specifically-designated bike parking with racks. [Good]
AOA is taking a little R & R this week. While we're enjoying a little summer, we've rounded up a few experts to share their tips for making summer fun simpler. Enjoy!
In most people's minds, summer is the time for biking.
But maybe you haven't ridden for years, and you find all the new bicycle styles and technology more than a bit daunting. Don't let that keep you from getting back on a bike and enjoying the absolutely amazing riding that the Capital District offers.
Here are some tips on how to buy a new bike.
The bizarre drama over whether a kid should be able to ride his bike to Maple Ave Middle School in Saratoga is rehashed in a recent issue of Bicycling magazine. The long article by David Darlington -- "Why Johnny Can't Ride" -- details the many turns in the story, but also argues it's part of a broader context involving health, urban planning, and helicopter parenting:
Schoolwise, this might be referred to as the Maple Avenue Mind-Set: passive acceptance of a status quo that promotes not only pollution and disease but also the lesson that children (who grow up to be citizens--and parents) are helpless. Amid this grand civic failure, the chief cause for encouragement comes from individuals who refuse to give in: the Marinos, Olsons, Skenazys, and Robinsons who prioritize fresh air and exploration and exercise, the powers-that-be be damned.
In a twist we wouldn't have guessed, the Shen school district and its superintendent -- Oliver Robinson -- are held up as an example of a more bike-friendly district.
photo: Nathaniel Welch / Bicycling
The weather was unfortunate, but oddly appropriate.
After a week of summer-like temperatures, Albany put on its cold, wet, gray English countryside look just in time for Sunday's Tweed Ride.
A couple of dozen cyclists donned their best tweed and wool knickers, skirts, caps, argyle socks, and other stylish riding togs and pedaled from the Ultraviolet Cafe on Delaware Ave, through Washington Park and down the hill to The Olde English Pub in Albany's first Tweed Ride, organized by Ethan Georgi.
After the jump, some of our photos from the morning, and a few from Dave Mercier, who followed the cyclists through the park and down to the pub.
So, what is a tweed ride? Basically, people dress up and ride bikes -- the more classic and vintage the better -- in a most civilized manner. The ride is organized by Ethan Georgi. As he writes: "Don't own any tweed? Don't know what 'plus four suits' are? No worries. Just leave the spandex and chartreuse at home, and dress nicely."
Earlier on AOA: Local holiday wish list: Ethan Georgi
The annual Tour of the Battenkill cycling event is coming up April 13-15 in Washington County. Three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond will be there for the weekend -- he'll be at Battenkill Books in Cambridge on Friday signing a book about cycling jerseys. He'll also be in riding a non-competitive "bike marathon" that's open to recreational riders on Sunday (you have to register online).
This year's pro/am race starts Saturday morning in Cambridge at 8:30 am -- the last racers are expected to finish around 6:30 pm.
The pro race -- with more than 150 pro cyclists, riding for 29 teams -- is Sunday. It starts at noon in Cambridge. The riders expected to pass through Cambridge again around 2 pm on the first lap of the 124 mile race, and finish around 4:30.
photo: A Mengel
Check it out: Rob Gierthy emailed us with a video he created of commute home via bike:
I have a small video camera attached to my bike that I record my commutes with. This past Monday was such a surprisingly nice day that I thought I would share it and uploaded the video to YouTube. It documents a slow ride up the sidewalk on Madison (I know I shouldn't be on the sidewalk, but the traffic is so congested there that it seemed safer), down and across Swan to Hudson, and then through Washington Park. It might not be that exciting but for me it is a celebration of the arrival of spring.
There's a surprising zen quality about watching the video. And the images (cinematography? biketography?) are beautiful in spots -- the wide angle lens makes the sky look huge.
A little more from Rob about his commute
I've been commuting by bicycle the two miles to my job at the Empire State Plaza for almost a year now. My initial plan was to keep going until it got too cold and then stop, but a combination of a mild winter and my stubbornness kept that from happening. Covered in wool from head to toe during those cold months I forgot how enjoyable biking actually is. Now that it is suddenly warm enough that I can bike in shorts and sandals it is a revelation. No longer is it a mental and physical struggle to fight the wind and cold. Instead it is fun and liberating. The warm breeze feels great and actually seeing people out reminds me that I don't live in a barren lifeless wasteland.
The Capital Region might not be the best place in the country for bicycle commuting, even though plenty of brave souls do bike to work via our car-dominated streets daily. But when it comes to biking recreationally through natural, scenic landscapes, our area is hard to beat.
When I was a teenager growing up in Latham, I'd regularly leave the house in the morning and head to the bike path along the Mohawk River, then ride to Rotterdam and then all the way to Rensselaer and return home in the evening. There's nothing like the feeling of taking off aimlessly on a bike for a couple of hours, or even for an entire day. If you have a properly functioning bicycle, proper clothing and plenty of time, adventures will practically make themselves.
Here are a handful of bike trails around the Capital Region...
Here's something to look ahead to: the 2011 Tour de Habitat.
The entry fee is $100 -- and the hope is that riders will get sponsors to help cover the fee (and then some). The fee includes a fully-supported route, t-shirt, and -- because Evans Ale is a sponsor -- a
pre- and post-race meal at the Pump Station, as well as two post-race pints of beer.
We saw today that Jen is interested in riding this year, so we decided to sponsor her. AOA is matching $50 of the money she's able to raise toward the entry fee -- so head on over and hit her a few bucks.
I wanted to know where I can rent bikes in the capital district region. I live in a small apartment with no balcony. Although I want to buy a bike, there is no space to keep it in my house.
Got a suggestion for Maya -- either for where to rent, or maybe how she might find space to store a bike? Please share!
Earlier on AOA: Where to buy a bike?
The Troy Bike Rescue will soon have a new home. From the info we got today:
Over the next two weeks, Troy Bike Rescue will be closing down their normal operations of twice-weekly bike maintenance clinics in preparation for a move to a new home. On May 21, they will be loading up a caravans of cargo bikes, trailers, and other vehicles to transport the bulk of their downtown shop to a new home in North Troy. The move to a larger and dedicated space will allow them to grow their mission, expand open shop hours, and create youth-specific programming in the North Troy neighborhood.
TBR is also having a fundraising party on May 28 to celebrate its 10th anniversary. The full release is after the jump.
Before TBR heads uptown, it has a concert coming up at the soon-to-be-former space at 51 3rd Street this coming Monday (May 16): one-man band Jason Webley playing "a suave style of gypsy/folk music" -- plus Ashley Pond, and The Nightmare River Band.
What's the Troy Bike Rescue? From its about page: "Troy Bike Rescue is a collective of cycling enthusiasts committed to removing bikes from the waste stream and getting them back on the streets."
UAlbany student Dan Patterson is an avid cyclist who's biked across South Africa, England, Scotland, France, Spain and much of the U.S.
His next trip: Central Asia. After graduation, he and another recent UAlbany grad -- Marta Grzegorek will spend six months biking from Istanbul to Shanghi, that's about 5,000 miles.
But this time, cycling just didn't seem to be enough.
So Dan and Marta will be stopping in towns along the way in an attempt to help people solve social and environmental problems.
The photo above is from Neil Grabowsky's photoset of racers in last weekend's "Tour de Troy" events, coordinated by the city of Troy and the RPI Cycling Club. The Times Union called it "one of the largest collegiate bike races in the country."
You can see more photos by Neil, of Through the Lens Studios, after the jump.
Michael DenDekker, a state Assemblyman from Queens, has introduced legislation that would require registration and license plates for personal bicycles (he's also introduced a separate bill for commercial bicycles that would require insurance coverage).
Registration would cost $25 for the first year, and $5 each year after.
Gothamist talked with DenDekker about the bills yesterday. From the interview:
I had various constituents contact me concerning bicyclists in the Woodside/Jackson Heights area that don't obey the traffic rules, that are driving down streets the wrong way, driving on sidewalks and actually being very reckless. And their concern is that when they do this there is no way to report them because there is no way to identify the bicyclists, per se, so that has been the reason for it. It's just natural now that we're investing so many resources into making this the new mode of transportation, which I'm all for, we're just going to need to regulate and register the bicycles so we know who everybody is who is sharing the road with us.
(Don't miss his thoughts on cameras for bike lanes.)
Under the "justification" section of DenDekker's bill, the Assemblyman argues that bike usage on streets has risen steeply (citing stats from two decades ago), and "... it is essential that the state of New York be able to identify the bicycle riders. The issuance of license plates will ensure personal protection for cases such as bicycle theft or bicycle accidents, to name a few."
A few municipalities around the country have tried mandatory bike registration laws -- with what appears to be limited success. Long Beach, California recently dropped its longstanding law, in part because of criticism after a bunch of cyclists were ticketed last fall during a critical mass ride.
Snarked Jim Tedisco today on his blog:
In the annals of bad bills, here's a real winner: a new bill from Assemblyman Michael DenDekker requiring license plates for bicycles. Really?!!!? Are 10 year-olds now going to have to stand in line at the DMV to get a license plate for their bike? If you have training wheels on your bike do you have to have a learner's permit? What's next: targeting big wheels, tricycles and skate boards?
DenDekker's bills have been referred to committee. We're guessing they'll be parked there for some time, perhaps permanently.
Check out this awesomely absurd bike built by people at the Troy Bike Rescue:
Weld one bike on top of another? Sure, why not.
By the way: The TBR was the early entry winner in the ChangeMakers Strong Communities competition (and got $500). It's now up for a $10,000 prize.
The annual Tour de Habitat bike ride is coming up September 26. From the brochure:
The Tour de Habitat gives riders a choice of pedaling a 100, 50, 25 or family-friendly 10 mile route to benefit Capital District Habitat for Humanity. All rides start and finish at the Albany Pump Station, with a post-ride reception featuring food and beer.
The entry fee is $100, for which the org is hoping people will get sponsors. The fee includes "riding a fully supported route, pre- and post-ride meals at the Albany Pump Station, two pints of any Evans beer after the ride and a souvenir t-shirt."
Earlier on AOA: Scoring your very own urinal at Habitat ReStore
Tom Benware might have passed you in traffic. On his bike. Which was on the side of a bus.
Tom appears on a CDTA bus as a part of a new initiative launched in April encouraging Capital Region motorists and cyclists to share the road.
In real life, the Delmar resident is a transportation guru, public transit advocate and 1,000-mile-a-year cyclist. He worked at the state Department of Transportation for 14 years and now he's the senior legislative analyst for the New York State Senate Transportation Committee. Just last week he helped advance new legislation that would require New York roads be designed with all users in mind - not just drivers.
I took a moment to talk with Tom about biking in the Capital Region, his favorite places to ride and what it's like to see yourself on the side of a bus.
@MindyKB asked via Twitter:
Know any good places for a beginner to buy a bike, preferably a relatively simple, cheap one?
We're betting you have good suggestions for Mindy. Please share!
Bonus Troy Bike Rescue item: TBR has Bike! Bike! Northeast, "a meeting of the minds on all things bicycle culture in the Northeast US," coming up this weekend.
photo: Troy Bike Rescue
At one point during this weekend's Tour of the Battenkill pro cycling race in Washington County, eventual winner Caleb Fairly told Velo News he was thinking: "I hope someone is taking pictures."
And, of course, they were! A whole of bunch of photos from the race are up on Flickr.
Fairly finished first (he won some chocolate milk), followed by (momentary Tour de France winner) Floyd Landis and Jay Robert Thomson (full results). Danny Goodwin (grifwin) has a photo of the winners on the podium (and from the start). Fairly and Landis dueled toward the end before Fairly pulled away solo.
The Battenkill course was 25 percent dirt road -- muddy conditions captured by Daniel Sharp (d_sharp) and Flickr user ffron. And from this picture by Meghan Eddy, it looks like there was plenty of spatter.
Even more photos: Ian Creitz (IanC83) has posted a huge photo set from the race -- almost 700 photos.
And here's a set from Amy and Aaron Mengel (that's their pic at the top). A trio of video clips they shot are embedded after the jump.
Check it out: a cycling site called MapMyRide has a bunch of cycling routes for the Capital Region.
The site also includes routes for runs. And there's an iPhone app.
Legislature back today, Tonko and Murphy split on health care vote, the weekend in stabbings, police chase half-naked suspect through Watervliet
The legislature is back this week for at least a few days. Today's schedule includes a joint session this afternoon in which David Paterson will speak about the state budget gap (whatever size it may be). A special session is schedule tomorrow to take up measures to address the gap -- and, maybe for the state Senate to vote on the same-sex marriage bill. [Fox23] [TU] [NYDN] [Daily Politics]
The two local House members split on the health care reform vote his past weekend. Paul Tonko voted "yes" -- in a statement he said the bill will provide coverage to 22,000 people in his district. Scott Murphy voted "no" -- in a statement, he said the bill didn't do enough to curb costs. Murphy was one of 39 Democrats to vote against the bill -- and one of three from New York. [TU] [Paul Tonko] [Scott Murphy] [NYT] [Daily Politics]
The Army has called the death of Colonie solider Amy Seyboth Tirador "a non-combat related incident" in Iraq. But her family says the staff sergeant was shot in the back of the head -- though beyond that, they say the military hasn't given them any more details. [Fort Lewis press release] [CBS6] [Fox23]
Week two of the Joe Bruno trial begins today. On a Friday Leonard Fassler, a longtime associate of Bruno, testified that the senator set up meetings with government officials, including then-Governor Pataki, for companies which were paying him consulting fees. Fassler said the consulting fees were paid to Bruno because he helped Fassler become a "better executive." [CBS6] [TU] [Troy Record]
The final bicycle master plan for the City of Albany is scheduled to be presented tonight. From the flyer for the event:
The City of Albany, in partnership with the Capital District Transportation Committee (CDTC) is finishing a Bicycle Master Plan to identify a network of bicycle routes to help make cycling a more viable way of getting around the City. On Tuesday, October 27th, 2009, the final meeting will present the final plan, concept goals and priorities, maps, and detail graphics to clearly and logically incorporate bicycling into the City and region's overall transportation network.
The presentation starts at 7 pm in the large auditorium at the main branch of the Albany Public Library on Washington Ave.
CDTC has some info about past public bike plan meetings posted online,
though it doesn't look like there's anything posted for tonight's presentation.
Update: here's the final draft report, via daleyplanit.
- Helmet and bike fit
- Clothing and accessory basics
- Nutrition and hydration
- Gears and cadence
- Tire pressure and repair
- Safety checks for a good working bike
- Hand signals and safe scanning
- Crash prevention
- Rules of the pathways and the road (overview)
- Riding skills
The class is at the YWCA in Schenectady from 11 am - 2 pm. Participants should be 14 and up -- and bring their own bike, helmet, water, and a snack.
The cost is $20 (you get a $5 discount if you sign up in advance). Email email@example.com or call 399-5104 to sign up or for more info.
photo: Tamara Flanders
We'd like to bike more in the Capital Region. Really, we would. But frankly, we're a bit, well, chicken. OK, maybe not exactly chicken. It's just that riding a bike in an area with few bike lanes and often-inconsiderate drivers seems a bit hazardous.
Which is why Tamara Flanders new class on how to "drive" a bike looked interesting to us. Flanders is a holistic health teacher who added a class for novice adult cyclists to her repertoire this spring.
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:
The New York Bicycling Coalition is holding its annual Commuter Contest this Thursday. From the org's press release:
This exciting competition pits bicyclists against motorists and transit riders during rush-hour traffic to determine the most efficient means of transportation. This friendly contest is designed to highlight the merits of a bicycle as a form of clean, low-cost, zero-carbon form of transportation. For the past 5 years, the bicyclist has been the winner--join us this year to see if we can make it 6 in a row!
(Results from last year's competition.)
The first 50 people to enter this year's competition will get a free safety light.
The dash starts at the Starbucks on North Pearl in downtown Albany at 5 pm and ends at the Stuyvesant Plaza Starbucks (that's 5.2 miles, according to Google).
Bonus bike fun: There's a showing of Veer, a documentary about Portland's thriving bike culture, at the Madison Theater Thursday night.
Bonus alternate transportation item: that commuter cruise between Albany and Troy is on Wednesday this week.
It's a canned food drive! It's a bike race! It's both!
This race takes place the weekend before Thanksgiving every year. There's no registration fee, but riders bring money with them, because the checkpoints are all grocery stores. At these grocery stores, they have to leave their bike outside, run in, and purchase a specified food item. Once they've collected all of the food items and have finished the race (we check the receipts to make sure they didn't cheat), all of the food gets donated to the Albany Homeless Action Committee.
Registration starts at 8:30 pm Saturday night (you'll need $20, a bag and a lock -- and, we're guessing, a light) at the memorial near State and Henry Johnson in Albany's Washington Park.
By the way: if you're curious about the backstory to Cranksgiving, it was started by bike messengers in New York City in 1999.
Check out the video Sebastien shot of this past weekend's bike polo action in Washington Park:
Yep. It's polo, on bikes, and it's heading across the river to Albany on Sunday.
We first saw The Big Pink Bike (our name for it) after Jess spotted it back in August. And since then, it seems like we've either been seeing it, or hearing about it, everywhere.
So who is this guy who rides The Big Pink Bike?
His name is Andrew Franciosa. He's a junior at UAlbany. And he was nice enough to answer a few questions we had -- most of all, why?
Check out this vintage tandem bike Jess spotted on the local Craigslist. The listing says it's from the 1890s -- it has a wooden chain guard and fender!
Sure, it might be getting a little chillier, but there's still plenty of bike-riding weather left. And if you don't have one of your own, the Troy Bike Rescue can help you out with that.
Alright, you know riding your bicycle is good for the earth and good for your physical fitness. Did you know it's also good for getting you discounts?
We first noticed this memorial to Diva de Loayza on Western Ave in Albany a few weeks ago. It marks the spot where de Loayza, the founder of Some Girls Boutique, was hit by a minivan while riding her bike last summer. She died a few days later from her injuries. The memorial seems to have been in place since May.
Bicycle memorials like this one are called Ghost Bikes. They first popped up in 2003 in St. Louis as a way to remember bicyclists who died while riding on the street. The idea has since spread all over the world -- and there are a handful here in the Capital Region.