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Posts Tagged ‘NYC’

Central Park vs Forest Park

July 17th, 2011 [print] 2 comments

In my opinion, the best thing about Central Park in NYC is the wide-open bike path.  Technically, it’s part road, part multi-use path, but I’ve only ever used it as a bike path, and I suspect many others do as well.  The route itself circles the 843 acre park, and measures approximately 6mi in length.  Leave the path on foot, and it’s possible to get lost in the park, and spend an entire day exploring.

Not until recently, though, did I realize a similar bike path existed not too far from me, in St. Louis, at Forest Park.  Sure, I’ve been aware of the park for years, and even driven through it a few times, but I was never aware of the bike path.  On a recent trip to St. Louis, I finally took my bike along, and Forest Park was one of my destinations.  I entered the park on the north-east corner somewhere, cruised around for 15-20 minutes, and left fairly unimpressed.  At the time, I had no idea what I was missing.

Later, checking out Forest Park’s Wikipedia page, I learned that the park is over 50% larger than Central Park, at 1,293 acres.  I eventually discovered the bike path, too, and found it’s 7.5mi in length, a full 25% longer than the one at CP.  I was a little pissed at myself for having left so soon, without bothering to really look for the path, so I’ll have to make up for it next time I’m in town.

For anyone who might be looking for it, here’s a detailed map of the full bike path at Forest Park:

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And for anyone wondering just how much bigger Forest Park is compared to Central Park, I made this map using Google Earth, with CP laid over FP (both rotated east to west):

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FP is about 2mi long and 1mi wide, while CP is 1.6mi long, and .6mi wide.  At the end of the day, though, I’d still rather spend my time in CP.  The park is far livelier, with hotdog vendors, horse and buggy rides, and a few thousand people sharing the bike paths and sidewalks.  Forest Park seems a bid deserted, on the other hand.

3-Way Street

June 15th, 2011 [print] 1 comment

I just returned from a 9-day vacation in NYC, and while I was there, I saw–and was in the middle of (intentionally)–some pretty horrible traffic on my bike.  I’m a traffic junkie, though, so I consider it a fun, challenging part of the ride, but it’s still incredibly dangerous if you don’t stay alert.

The video below, titled 3-Way Street, was shot in Manhattan, and shows just how close pedestrians, cyclists and drivers come to creating accidents at a typical intersection.  Just keep in mind, this is only one intersection, in a city of millions, and this same scene repeats itself thousands of times a day, everyday.

Via Vimeo

Categories: Videos Tags: , ,

NYC bike share program to launch in 2012

February 26th, 2011 [print] No comments

Due to it’s layout, teensy apartments and ridiculous population, New York City seems to be one of the better places to set up a bike share program.  Alas, it has been green-lit, and should become available sometime in 2012.

Head over to Dowser.org for the full story:  http://dowser.org/new-york-citys-bike-share-program-to-launch-in-2012/

Personally, I think it’s a great idea, even with the obvious drawbacks (lost, stolen, and damaged bikes, plus occasional inaccessibility due to all the bikes near you already being used).  For one, apartments are sometimes so incredibly small, it’s difficult to find space to keep a bike, much less two, should you have a roommate or spouse.  Parking is close to impossible, resulting in most people opting not to own a car, meaning they have to walk, get a cab, or take the subway or bus.  The latter three mean you have to rely on–and be near–others, as well as continue to waste fuel.  Walking allows you to be alone, burning only calories.  The downside is, it’s slow.

Due to space constraints, many don’t have bicycles at home.  And because there are few safe places to keep a bike on the streets of the city, I can imagine many people opt for alternative transportation so their bikes aren’t stolen while they’re at work or shopping.  But, if you had instantly available bikes that you didn’t have to lug up stairs, maintain, or worry about throughout the day, it may get more people to ride to work, the store, or just for exercise.

I’m hoping the program is successful for NYC, and other large cities begin to open similar systems of their own.

Categories: News Tags: , ,

Bicycling in NYC

October 9th, 2010 [print] No comments

After biking in NYC, pretty much everything else seems boring to me.  The city has an overall feel of bike friendliness, with the majority of drivers and pedestrians yielding the right-of-way to cyclists, even at times they shouldn’t have to.  Even with all the traffic and red lights every few blocks, the speeds you can hit on the flat roads, and the distance you can cover in very little time, make you almost feel like you’re flying.  Unfortunately, not everyone gets along with the bikers.

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Last year, NYC passed a "bikes in buildings" law, where companies work with building owners to provide indoor areas for works to safely store their bikes during the day.  Obviously, some people have a problem with this:
http://www.amny.com/…/bikes-in-buildings-law-takes-some-on-frustrating-ride

Near Times Square, a cyclist is able to get out of heavy vehicular traffic, and "safely" travel in designated bike lanes, typically painted in green.  I noticed plenty of buses, delivery vans, police cars, and people blocking these lanes more often than not.  Apparently, it’s not a problem I, alone, noticed:
http://www.ny1.com/…/city-bike-lanes-have-numerous-safety-violations

But, cycling in NYC isn’t all bad.  I toured the city with my brother-in-law who lives there and knows it well, as well as on my own a few times.  But, if you’re too timid to get lost, then figure out where you are over and over, you can hook up with Bike and Roll NYC, and go on a legitimate tour of the city.  They also offer bikes for rent, for those who don’t need a guided tour.  Just remember to bring your camera.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/….

Links via Cyclelicious

I’ve also gotten a lot more photos of my trip posted to Flickr recently, most of which were taken during bike rides.  You can check them out here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/one9us/sets/72157623830908410/

Categories: Links, News Tags: ,

Maxxis Re-Fuse Tire Review

August 30th, 2010 [print] No comments

I bought the Maxxis Re-Fuse after my p.o.s. Kenda Kalientes kept getting punctured on almost every ride by road debris.  Few things suck worse than having to repair (or replace) a tube mid-ride, so I was really hoping the Re-Fuses lived up to their name (as in, Re-Fuse to puncture).  That, they did.

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Read more…

Categories: Reviews Tags: , ,

Handlebar WTF

July 23rd, 2010 [print] No comments

There’s really not a whole lot to say about this, but the owner sure wins points for originality/lack of ergonomics.  Seen in NYC.

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Via Slice Harvester on TweetPhoto

Categories: Photos Tags: , ,

Lucas Brunelle – Line of Sight

July 23rd, 2010 [print] No comments

Man, I love me some Lucas Brunelle.  Although I’m not as masochistic as he is, his NYC videos are what made me want to ride that city as bad as I did.  In fact, I’m not exaggerating when I say the single best ride I’ve ever had was along the coast of Brooklyn, and up through Manhattan after dark last April, weaving in an out of traffic and sprinting down open streets.  Most of my day rides also came close to that much fun, even the one that ended on a bad note.  I don’t know if I would have had such a lust for riding through NYC had I not spent a couple years watching Lucas’ videos as they showed up online.

Anyway, he now has an upcoming DVD of some great rides throughout some of the world’s busiest cities, called Line of Sight.  Check out the trailer below to get an idea of what’s to come…

If you want to know when the DVD becomes available in October 2010, check his website:  http://www.digave.com/

Categories: Videos Tags: ,

What’s Old Is New Again

July 4th, 2010 [print] No comments

This April, I took a trip to Manhattan to visit my older sister and brother-in-law, and since I’ve never been to NYC before, I shipped my road bike there ahead of me (suck it, airlines).  I pretty much had the best time of my life on a bike, partly because it was all new to me, and partly because Manhattan is such a great place to ride fast.

Darren bikes, too, so he mapped out a few long rides for us, one from Manhattan’s Upper-West side down to Coney Island in the bottom of Brooklyn.  On another trip, we headed over the George Washington bridge to New Jersey, then went South to Liberty Park so I could get my first close-up look at the Statue of Liberty.  On what was to be our final ride before I packed my bike and headed home, we once again went south, this time crossing the Williamsburg Bridge into Queens… at rush hour.  That rush hour part is actually what became the issue.

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Photo Phriday

June 4th, 2010 [print] No comments

Random photos from Spring ’10

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Categories: Cycling, Photos Tags: