Archive for the 'bikes' Category

Blogging, Grad School, Making Things

Rhubarab Jam

Oh man! When best-blogger-ever (and classmate) Rembert Browne linked to my blog this morning I was awed and flattered! So nice to be included in a roundup of grad-school bloggers, most of whom have way better and cleverer blog names than I. Rembert writes “500 Days Asunder,” and Judy’s is “Taiwanderlust.” Amazing.

Anyhow, I thought I better make good on the promises of a blog that shows off stuff that I make when I’m not doing work. And thankfully Rem’s shout-out coincided with the opening of canning season! Yesterday I transformed 2 and a quarter pounds of rhubarb into 6 half-pints of rosemary-rhubarb jam.

Rhubarab Jam

Happily, one of the jars didn’t seal, so I just dug into it, eating it with fresh ricotta on a baguette that my friend Naomi brought over. And then the other Naomi and I got on our bikes and took a tour of the old brewery buildings of North Brooklyn.

brooklyn bike beer blitz
brooklyn bike beer blitz (notice the barrels embedded in the building)
brooklyn bike beer blitz
brooklyn bike beer blitz

bikes in the kitchen

bikes in the kitchen,originally uploaded by dorywithserifs.

Riding home through Williamsburg.

G’bye, Freddy’s

This is fun: at about 1:36 you can see my friend John and I cross the street (from bottom left corner to the bar), lock up my bike, and go inside. And then my bike gets to be front and centre for the rest of the little clip.

Freddy’s Bar - Last Days from tracy collins on Vimeo.

NYT article and slideshow about Freddy’s here.

bike lanes and good people

This is a good post from my friend Laurie about bike lanes. She rides in Toronto, but what she’s saying applies everywhere.

And what she’s saying is that drivers should be in favour of bike lanes. Especially the drivers that hate cyclists the most. Cyclists are not going to go away, but they will be less bothersome to drivers if there is a safe place for them to be on the road.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot (I drive in the city, as well as cycle), and the thing that slows cars down (which is what seems to make drivers the most angry) is unpredictability. It’s not cyclists specifically, it’s mostly double-parking! Double parked cars, delivery trucks, taxis…they force cars and cyclists to change lanes and zoom around them, which is what makes driving (and cycling) awful. And dangerous.

Every time I read blog comments on bike-related things I get all upset at the mean-spirited anti-cyclist sentiments. The anti-bikers actually need to support bicycle infrastructure to get what they want! And traffic needs to behave better so that things are safer, but also so driving is predictable and moves faster. Transportation Alternatives has been pushing the Biking Rules, shouldn’t AAA push good driving? It will make the streets better for everyone.

Only slightly related, here are some photos of the April 9th Critical Mass ride in Brooklyn. It was lovely: we went to eat ice cream and check out the new Brooklyn Bridge Park. About 20 cyclists at peak, about 20 cops (in a van, a few cars, and those half-car golf-cart things) following us for some unknown bureaucratic reason.

on bicycle safety

I had a super time at the Transportation Alternatives Biking Rules PSA festival the other night. It’s really nice to see people put in work and make neat videos and have a ton of awesome Brooklyn bike people in a room together. But then, when we were drinking beer and schmoozing at the reception, I got a little bit full of hate. The focus on bicycle safety as something cyclists need to preach to each other really bugs me! Again and again I hear that the thing that makes cycling safer is not more helmets and more lights, but more cyclists! Having people on bikes on the road makes drivers aware, makes cycling more “normal” and more accepted and more safe. I get that TA wants to have cyclists seem like a respectable bunch of eco-friendly, law-abiding citizens that are worth building bike lanes and creating policy for, but it makes me crazy that the focus isn’t on drivers!

At least, the message going to cyclists should be “don’t be an asshole.” I think it’s generally FINE to run red lights and go the wrong way on one-way-streets as long as you’re aware of what’s going on around you, and you don’t get in people’s way. A cyclist running a red light does way less harm that fucking cars parked in bike lanes, or not signaling, or opening their doors into oncoming bike traffic without looking. Fuck the laws about bells and helmets–I can take care of my personal safety. I want more policing of system-wide safety!

Thanks muchly to Ms Laurie for the think to this guardian article today about how “antisocial cycling” is annoying, but not a real threat unlike bad driving, which is.

All that said, the videos were pretty rad. My super planner pal Inbar’s “Cycloptopus” video is totally worth watching.

Also, I’m really digging the Fake MTA twitter updates. “From Nov. 19-Dec. 31, the 59th St./Columbus Circle station will be closed due to the construction of Mayor Bloomberg’s underground lair.”

girls on bikes!

bicycle riding in yr undies

The New York Post reports:

City officials said yesterday they won’t eliminate the Brooklyn neighborhood’s bike lanes despite concerns by the Hasidic community that they attract scantily clad hipster cyclists who go at dangerous speeds. Scott Gastel, a Department of Transportation spokesman, said the lanes “increase safety.”