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rule Archived Articles:
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Sea Otter 2008
Day Two
Genghis Kahn Video
Intro Day One
Choose Life Video

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Tara Llanes:
Determined to Recover
Finding your Green Self


New Feature:
Map your Rides!


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Cross Nationals
45 Minutes
Win or Lose
Gale Force Cross
Elements of Cross


Photos
Videos


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Got Pink?
Speaking With:
Magnus Bäckstedt
Wounded Warrior Project:
Phoenix to Vegas
Grow Your Own Bike?
Young Mechanics
Speaking with:
Shonny Vanlandingham
Stories From the Road:
The Spinning Stars


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Interbike
Faces on the Mountain
Cross Vegas
The Showroom Floor
A Cycling Shambhala
BMC FourStroke 03
Rock & Roll Lives at Defeet
Demo Days
WTB MX Prowler Review
Interbike 2007 Intro


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Videos


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Junior Development
Voices:
Benny and Christian Zenga

Green Choices
On the Soldier Ride
The Jury is Still out...



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Pedros
Faces of Pedros
Lea Davison Teaches
Kids to MTB

Women's Skills by
Alison Dunlap

Coming alive
Going Green



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Voices: Reginald Harkema
Bike The World: New York
Team Trips For Kids
The Ironclad Triathlon
The Ride of Silence
Ladies Night at R-A-B
Bike the World
Bike Polo
Get Your Friends to Ride!



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Sea Otter
Grand Theft Velo
In the Heart and Mind
of the Beast

It's All About the Wheels
A sense of Paradox
Sea Otter: Super D
What is Sea Otter?



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Which Holiday Treat
Are You?

Raisin a Comeback
Marilyn Price:
Making Trips for Kids




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2006 CX Nationals Sidelines
2006 CX Nationals Day 2
2006 CX Nationals Day I
2006 CX Nationals Intro



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Warmth Recaptured
The Road Ahead
On The Well Worn Path
Fireflies in the
Garden of Gray

A Ride With the Cannibal
Hoop Talk



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Interbike '06
Grande Finale
Innocence Lost
Outdoor Demo
and Hangover Ride

Interbike 2006 Intro



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24 Hours of Willamette
Twilight at the Velodrome



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Pedros Fest '06
The Faces of Pedros
Not-so Still of the Night
The Bold and The Vulgar
Trailing Off
Stickers, Glue, Ribbons,
Markers

Good Times in the Sky
Downhiller Hunting at Jiminy
Pedros Fest Intro 2006



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Heart Rate Monitor
Mt. Hamilton
Critical Mass
The Mountain of the Devil
Fighting for the Finish
Hey Watch Your Feet!
Special Film Pull-out
Bicycle Film Festival
Tour du Parc
The Five Boro Bike Tour
VOICES: Peter Sutherland
VOICES: Brendt Barbur
VOICES: Jacob Septimus
Stillwell Interpretive Trail
Resurrecting the Vanderbilt
Motor Parkway

Kicking it up a Notch
Bicycle Film Festival Intro
The Fat Tire Classic
The Road to Zamora
Edison, NJ Show
Carlisle, PA Show
Bike Show Intro
SLIME Torture Test
Step Away from the Lube
Energy Crisis
CX Camp for Juniors
Gear Guide: 2006
Inside the CX Nationals
Road to Nowhere
Take it Hard, Take it Easy
Liberty Mutual Cyclocross
Nationals Day Three

Liberty Mutual Cyclocross
Nationals Day Two

Liberty Mutual Cyclocross
Nationals Day One

Liberty Mutual Cyclocross
Nationals Intro

Holiday GIFT GUIDE
The Unbearable Art
of Wrenching

Tasting the Brew
A Crewman's journey
275 Miles for Youth
Letters from the Road
Patterson Pass Insurgence
The Power of Critical Mass



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Travel:



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Interbike '05/ Las Vegas
IB '05: Red Rocks Canyon
IB '05: Indoor Expo
IB '05: Lake Mead
IB '05: Outdoor Demo II
IB '05: Outdoor Demo I
IB '05: Intro



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Pedros Fest '05
Night Moves
Roughin' It!
Words With Tinker Juarez
Pedros' Faces
Jiminy Peak Free Ride
Womens' Skills Clinic
Pedros: Day One
Pedros Intro



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Chicago
Bicyclist Haven?
What's Not to Bike?
Sites @ Night



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West Coast
Cali Travel Intro
Hitting the Wall
Lake Chabot
Tour de Truckee
Ride to Skyline



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Tarmac Tacos
The New York Bike Show
The Deluge Ride
New Jersey Bike Show
Stinging the Rio
Roaring Mouse Race Series
(Spring 2005)

The Agony and Ecstacy
of Icy Rain...

Visions in Saffron
Margo Conover Speaks Out
Repurposing
The Blizzard Ride
PBBC 2005 Season Opener
26 Degrees of Separation
The Abondoned Bike
Bite My Style:
Messenger Fashion




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Death Valley:
Two Cyclists Enter

Car-Free: Kara
Car-Free: Max
And the Winner is...
Halloween in Gotham
Battling El Diablo
Interbike: The Event
Interbike: Intro
Cape May,
A Cyclist's Dream

A d'Liteful Adventure
Catching up with
the Catskill Wheelmen

BTC Daily 2004
Crashpads:
Crash and Burn?

IBEX MTB Trail [Series]
Prelude to a Champion
Rudy Project: Part Deux
Take Time to Appreciate
Stretching for a Fit Body
A Soggy 5 Island Tour
Incident Report
The Pump Showdown
Manhattan Greenway
Burley D'Lite Pre-Review
Bike Rodeo
When Polar Bears Attack
Almighty Leap Ride
Essential Cycling Toolkit
Training up! [The Series]
Selle Italia/Cannondale Ride
Wanna do a charity ride?
PBBC 2003 Season Opener
Rudy Project Eval Ride
Fixing Flats On the Go!
The Ride Dine 9.13.03
Road Riding Safety
Winter Riding Safety
Cycles Le Femme Jerseys
Helmets and Safety
Bike The World: Touring the Metro NY area, we see the city through the eyes of a traveler

New York is a big city and as a foreigner I did not expect to find a lot of cycling activities. This was my general point of view being a Spanish bike rider. Since I was spending ten days in the city and its suburbs, my readers should understand that, as a visitor, I had no time worries and a very positive attitude from the beginning. This positive feeling never changed as the time passed, the experiences got nicer each day.

I arrived in New York at the end of May, so Bicycle Month was still going strong, but with the jet lag and the need for a few days to settle down, I was not upset that I could not get a bicycle until 4 days later. I made the decision not to bring my bicycle from Spain when I realized the complication that would add to my journey. So, the first "chapter" of this adventure is, "How to get a bicycle in New York for 10 days for less than $150."

Cycling may be fun but, it is also the best form of transportation

When I am talking about a bike, I mean something better than what you can easily find in Kmart for $100. Now there is nothing wrong with those bikes. They are ok for casual rides around the neighborhood, but care must be taken in choosing a bike if you are going to be riding further. You never know how long inexpensive bikes will last. The other consideration that I had, was that I did not want to buy a new bike, because in ten days I would be embarking on a trip to a new city and I did not want to leave behind more garbage than I brought with me. This meant that buying and disposing of a bike was out of the question. In this situation there are two options, rent a bike, or borrow a bike from someone, and I tried both.

Bike parking is a whole different concept in New York

I went to a couple of New York City based shops, one with a nice concept, called Recycle-A-Bicycle. There donated bikes, in all states of disrepair are rebuilt, repaired or refurbished in order to put them back on the street again. In the process, they teach young people how to repair bicycles by allowing them to get in and get hands on experience. This is intended to prepare them for a professional job. When I got there, they had run out of bikes which is a very terrific news for the environment but no so good for me. But out of concern for the environment, and admiration for the recycling work of Recycle-A-Bicycle, I decided that I would rent a bicycle.



Before I continued with my bike search, I ran across Transportation Alternatives, an advocacy group that helps walkers, riders and rollers with legal struggles and advocates for better roads for non-motorized transportation. In my opinion, their office is in the real heart of the city, so on the way there I took some pictures of people riding on the streets, bike messengers, pizza deliveries and so on.

I found out that you can go to the beach on your bike, even in NY, wonderful!

Transportation Alternatives: Once at Trans Alt, they give me a tremendous amount of information about riding in New York. The most useful was The Map. They publish a map of bike routes, bike paths, and shared street bike lanes for cars and bikes. The map also details how to cross city bridges with a bike, shop locations for repair and bike purchases, where to find useable telephones and tons of other useful information for cyclists. This map, produced in co-operation with the Department of Transportation of NYC, is really the tool that a cyclist needs to be safe and happy on New York streets. So if you are planning to visit NYC, get your map now, it is free. [Editor's Note: This map and others can be obtained by clicking here: Transportation Alternatives Maps]


In Brooklyn I got to join a huge crowd of cyclists for a tour of the area. What a great way to see one of the Five Boroughs.

Lawyers working in Transportation Alternatives are not the kind of lawyers you would usually find in Court, the office is full of bicycles, maps and helmets, I guess that when a cyclist needs an attorney, they should feel more comfortable talking with people that really know what makes a cyclist as well as the difference between a wheel and a derailer.

After this positive impression of such a nice service for cyclist, I took their advice and went to a rental shop they suggested. It was in Tribeca, so I walked down the 30 blocks and found The Hub Station, where George makes me laugh with his steady stream of sarcastic jokes. I chose a second hand road bike for $500 and he tells me that it will be stolen the first day on the street, so I went for something less trendy... I took a mountain bike, a bit old, but with road wheels, that would help me on the streets. Then I found out that they do not accept credit cards and I didn't have enough cash on me. My bike search would have to continue.

I took my Green Machine on the Long Island Rail Road, on off-peak trains. This gave me a way to explore NYC, Long Island and Queens.

Back in my guesthouse in Queens, I found a bike in a room that nobody was using. So, I asked the landlord about it and she told me that I could rent it. The bike was in good condition, except for the dirty chain and the fact that the brakes needed to be fixed. Nonetheless, it was still good enough for some day trips around the city. So, I give the girl $250 as a deposit and she said she'd give me back $150 if I returned the bike alive. So I made the deal. In any case, if you're coming to New York, try to rent a bike but check a couple of places before.

Take your reason and do it: At this point I had my bike, a lock and a map, but I was still missing a helmet. Why do I use a helmet? There are many reasons to use a helmet, but the most important is that it can safe my life. Others include: in case of accident my international insurance will cover everything, my triathlon federation will cover the cost of medical needs, you can be more visible to others and... I love my life. I really advise the use of a helmet, but in any case, do not forget it is mandatory for children under 14.

In case another reason is needed, I have one more great bargain to add. A helmet can be obtained for free at the NYC DOT. They have offices in each boro, where with an appointment, the DOT will give you instruction on where to get a helmet. I chose the one in Queens and got a grey Bell helmet, which may not be the fanciest you can ask for, but is more than ok for free!

It was interesting to see the differences between Critical Mass in NYC versus Spain

Critical Mass: Now that I was equipped with all the necessities to ride, I went to the Critical Mass in Union Square. In Spain we hold Critical Mass the first Friday of the month, so I went to two Critical Mass Rides this May! I must say it was a bit disappointing, as we had 400 riders in Valencia and I could not count more than a hundred here. I heard about the new restrictions imposed by the police, so I think I can understand why people might be staying away. Even in the face of the bad situation, it is still nice to see people riding together. There where road riders, urban riders, mountain bike riders, messengers and so on. In general the cycling community masses were represented.

Cycling up to Penn Station I realized how busy the city was that Friday. The looming bank holiday was pushing everyone into his or her car in an effort to get out of the city and I noticed that most of them had bikes on their racks! Just one bit of advice: Enjoy cycling in the city too!

There was one point at Park Avenue where I finally gave up and took my bike out of the lanes. It was my first day with a bicycle in the city, and honestly, I could not fight any more against the taxi drivers and the pedestrians in a hurry. I walked the two remaining blocks with my bike to the station.

One of the great things about NYC is its flavor. Ride your Penny Farthing over the Brooklyn Bridge and people will smile but, it won't be the oddest thing they've ever seen.

Rust Hour and the Long Island Rail Road [Editor's Note: Obviously we are editing Aida's text and trying to maintain her voice and humor, but this one just rang too true to edit out, so we left it!] Taking the bike into the subway is easy and cheaper than expected. There is only a problem: Rust Hours and how to navigate those Rust Hours with a bike. To get into the subway is easy, just slide the metro card and go through the emergency door. I did not see anyone else with a bike on the subway, but no one told me that I was doing anything wrong, so I guess I was ok but unique... [Editor's Note: There are no real restrictions on taking a bike on the subway during Rush Hour - beyond common courtesy]

Rust Hour in Penn Station means that you have to wait with your bike until the trains are no longer Peak, lesson learned

Trying to avoid rush hours is like trying to avoid rain in UK. It seems that in NY is always peak hour on the trains. In general terms I understood that peak hours are from 7am to 10am going into the city and 4pm to 7pm out of the city. Even so there seem to be exceptions, so, just be careful in the hours before and after peak. As an example: I took the Long Island Rail Road to Babylon from Penn Station at 7:09 pm without realizing it was still peak. I just thought after 7 everything was off peak. Then train the conductor asked me to get off of the train in Jamaica, as this was a peak train. In Jamaica I had to wait until the 8:31 pm train, as all the trains before were peak. So the bottom line is: It depends upon the station and upon the train as to peak or off peak. [Editor's Note: This does depend upon where you are and the direction you are going, but Peak trains are identified as such on the published schedules. Generally however, a peak train is one arriving at Penn Station between 6:00am and 10:00am. The time it leaves any particular station is irrelevant. A train departing Penn Station between 4:00pm and 8:00pm is also a peak train. Bicycles are barred from peak trains. The exception to this is folding bikes]

The Messenger and the Kissena Velodrome: If you are passionate about bicycling, do not miss The Kissena Velodrome on Wednesday evenings. It is is an exhilarating experience. The landscape is beautiful, it is a lot of fun and very interesting. It doesn't matter if your passion is for competitive road races or just old fashion bikes. It is possible to find everything that is cycling there. The races start at 6:30 pm, but one hour before is possible to see racers warming up their legs and wheels. It is very interesting how they prepare for the race. They all use fix gear bikes, of course, but some of them use very elite bikes and other just use the old school ones. But, all of them have extremely strong legs, as it is really hard to move the weight of the body with a fixed, high gear ratio!

The Kissena Velodrome, fast, colorful and exciting... What a good time!

Some of the racers at the velodrome are messengers and this may explain how they do such a good job on the streets. NY messengers are usually talked about as an unskilled labor force, but this is probably a narrow point of view. Admittedly there is a varying skill level between say the cycling delivery guy bringing food and the professional bike messenger hauling securities and legal documents. For the professional messenger, being a very expert rider is essential and the training of the body very important. What particular bike they ride is not as important. But, most of the bike messengers use fixed gear bicycles, some of them use normal road bikes, some even mountain bikes. So the real deal is how strong is their body, and how skilled are they in their ability to use the bike and maneuver in traffic.

Professional cyclists don't always wear spandex. Some wear a messenger bag.

At the Kissena Velodrome it is possible to see many different categories of races, like one lap, men's and womens', 8 laps, mixed… all in different categories. These riders are serious but they enjoy their time and the races seem to have a friendly atmosphere.

Riding in with traffic can seem a little precarious until you get used to it. Once you are settled in, it's cake.

In general terms it is I would consider it easy to ride in New York if you are a the everyday cyclist and are not afraid of some honks. Fix the brakes properly and make certain the rest of the bike is in good repair. It is not recommended to ride with children on their own bikes if you are not in a park area. Central Park and the Green Way surrounding the City are great ways to have an overall picturesque view of the rivers and bridges. To avoid a bad experience, prepare way in advance and check the maps for the best routes. It is also better to be prepared for a flat tire or any other inconvenience.

You can't come to NYC and not have at least on Cosmopolitan, but you might not want to ride that day.

Inexperienced beginners should not attempt to bicycle in the city centers. They will undoubtedly be very discouraged. It is better to train first around smaller neighborhoods and to get involved with urban riding slowly, participating with all the nice tours around the city that are organized each year, like the Tour of Brooklyn, the NYC Century Bike Tour, Upper Manhattan Bike Tour and many others. So, get on your bike and bicycle around New York City.

For more information about the organizations mentioned in the article, visit:
Kissena Velodrome
www.kissena.info

Transportation Alternatives
www.transalt.org

Hub Station
212.965.9334

Times Up!
times-up.org

NYC DOT
www.nyc.gov/html/dot/home.html


Having conquered NY, our intrepid reporter feels ready to move on to the next city.

Bike The World: Touring the Metro NY area, we see the city through the eyes of a traveler

New York is a big city and as a foreigner I did not expect to find a lot of cycling activities. This was my general point of view being a Spanish bike rider. Since I was spending ten days in the city and its suburbs, my readers should understand that, as a visitor, I had no time worries and a very positive attitude from the beginning. This positive feeling never changed as the time passed, the experiences got nicer each day.

I arrived in New York at the end of May, so Bicycle Month was still going strong, but with the jet lag and the need for a few days to settle down, I was not upset that I could not get a bicycle until 4 days later. I made the decision not to bring my bicycle from Spain when I realized the complication that would add to my journey. So, the first "chapter" of this adventure is, "How to get a bicycle in New York for 10 days for less than $150."

Cycling may be fun but, it is also the best form of transportation

When I am talking about a bike, I mean something better than what you can easily find in Kmart for $100. Now there is nothing wrong with those bikes. They are ok for casual rides around the neighborhood, but care must be taken in choosing a bike if you are going to be riding further. You never know how long inexpensive bikes will last. The other consideration that I had, was that I did not want to buy a new bike, because in ten days I would be embarking on a trip to a new city and I did not want to leave behind more garbage than I brought with me. This meant that buying and disposing of a bike was out of the question. In this situation there are two options, rent a bike, or borrow a bike from someone, and I tried both.

Bike parking is a whole different concept in New York

I went to a couple of New York City based shops, one with a nice concept, called Recycle-A-Bicycle. There donated bikes, in all states of disrepair are rebuilt, repaired or refurbished in order to put them back on the street again. In the process, they teach young people how to repair bicycles by allowing them to get in and get hands on experience. This is intended to prepare them for a professional job. When I got there, they had run out of bikes which is a very terrific news for the environment but no so good for me. But out of concern for the environment, and admiration for the recycling work of Recycle-A-Bicycle, I decided that I would rent a bicycle.



Before I continued with my bike search, I ran across Transportation Alternatives, an advocacy group that helps walkers, riders and rollers with legal struggles and advocates for better roads for non-motorized transportation. In my opinion, their office is in the real heart of the city, so on the way there I took some pictures of people riding on the streets, bike messengers, pizza deliveries and so on.

I found out that you can go to the beach on your bike, even in NY, wonderful!

Transportation Alternatives: Once at Trans Alt, they give me a tremendous amount of information about riding in New York. The most useful was The Map. They publish a map of bike routes, bike paths, and shared street bike lanes for cars and bikes. The map also details how to cross city bridges with a bike, shop locations for repair and bike purchases, where to find useable telephones and tons of other useful information for cyclists. This map, produced in co-operation with the Department of Transportation of NYC, is really the tool that a cyclist needs to be safe and happy on New York streets. So if you are planning to visit NYC, get your map now, it is free. [Editor's Note: This map and others can be obtained by clicking here: Transportation Alternatives Maps]


In Brooklyn I got to join a huge crowd of cyclists for a tour of the area. What a great way to see one of the Five Boroughs.

Lawyers working in Transportation Alternatives are not the kind of lawyers you would usually find in Court, the office is full of bicycles, maps and helmets, I guess that when a cyclist needs an attorney, they should feel more comfortable talking with people that really know what makes a cyclist as well as the difference between a wheel and a derailer.

After this positive impression of such a nice service for cyclist, I took their advice and went to a rental shop they suggested. It was in Tribeca, so I walked down the 30 blocks and found The Hub Station, where George makes me laugh with his steady stream of sarcastic jokes. I chose a second hand road bike for $500 and he tells me that it will be stolen the first day on the street, so I went for something less trendy... I took a mountain bike, a bit old, but with road wheels, that would help me on the streets. Then I found out that they do not accept credit cards and I didn't have enough cash on me. My bike search would have to continue.

I took my Green Machine on the Long Island Rail Road, on off-peak trains. This gave me a way to explore NYC, Long Island and Queens.

Back in my guesthouse in Queens, I found a bike in a room that nobody was using. So, I asked the landlord about it and she told me that I could rent it. The bike was in good condition, except for the dirty chain and the fact that the brakes needed to be fixed. Nonetheless, it was still good enough for some day trips around the city. So, I give the girl $250 as a deposit and she said she'd give me back $150 if I returned the bike alive. So I made the deal. In any case, if you're coming to New York, try to rent a bike but check a couple of places before.

Take your reason and do it: At this point I had my bike, a lock and a map, but I was still missing a helmet. Why do I use a helmet? There are many reasons to use a helmet, but the most important is that it can safe my life. Others include: in case of accident my international insurance will cover everything, my triathlon federation will cover the cost of medical needs, you can be more visible to others and... I love my life. I really advise the use of a helmet, but in any case, do not forget it is mandatory for children under 14.

In case another reason is needed, I have one more great bargain to add. A helmet can be obtained for free at the NYC DOT. They have offices in each boro, where with an appointment, the DOT will give you instruction on where to get a helmet. I chose the one in Queens and got a grey Bell helmet, which may not be the fanciest you can ask for, but is more than ok for free!

It was interesting to see the differences between Critical Mass in NYC versus Spain

Critical Mass: Now that I was equipped with all the necessities to ride, I went to the Critical Mass in Union Square. In Spain we hold Critical Mass the first Friday of the month, so I went to two Critical Mass Rides this May! I must say it was a bit disappointing, as we had 400 riders in Valencia and I could not count more than a hundred here. I heard about the new restrictions imposed by the police, so I think I can understand why people might be staying away. Even in the face of the bad situation, it is still nice to see people riding together. There where road riders, urban riders, mountain bike riders, messengers and so on. In general the cycling community masses were represented.

Cycling up to Penn Station I realized how busy the city was that Friday. The looming bank holiday was pushing everyone into his or her car in an effort to get out of the city and I noticed that most of them had bikes on their racks! Just one bit of advice: Enjoy cycling in the city too!

There was one point at Park Avenue where I finally gave up and took my bike out of the lanes. It was my first day with a bicycle in the city, and honestly, I could not fight any more against the taxi drivers and the pedestrians in a hurry. I walked the two remaining blocks with my bike to the station.

One of the great things about NYC is its flavor. Ride your Penny Farthing over the Brooklyn Bridge and people will smile but, it won't be the oddest thing they've ever seen.

Rust Hour and the Long Island Rail Road [Editor's Note: Obviously we are editing Aida's text and trying to maintain her voice and humor, but this one just rang too true to edit out, so we left it!] Taking the bike into the subway is easy and cheaper than expected. There is only a problem: Rust Hours and how to navigate those Rust Hours with a bike. To get into the subway is easy, just slide the metro card and go through the emergency door. I did not see anyone else with a bike on the subway, but no one told me that I was doing anything wrong, so I guess I was ok but unique... [Editor's Note: There are no real restrictions on taking a bike on the subway during Rush Hour - beyond common courtesy]

Rust Hour in Penn Station means that you have to wait with your bike until the trains are no longer Peak, lesson learned

Trying to avoid rush hours is like trying to avoid rain in UK. It seems that in NY is always peak hour on the trains. In general terms I understood that peak hours are from 7am to 10am going into the city and 4pm to 7pm out of the city. Even so there seem to be exceptions, so, just be careful in the hours before and after peak. As an example: I took the Long Island Rail Road to Babylon from Penn Station at 7:09 pm without realizing it was still peak. I just thought after 7 everything was off peak. Then train the conductor asked me to get off of the train in Jamaica, as this was a peak train. In Jamaica I had to wait until the 8:31 pm train, as all the trains before were peak. So the bottom line is: It depends upon the station and upon the train as to peak or off peak. [Editor's Note: This does depend upon where you are and the direction you are going, but Peak trains are identified as such on the published schedules. Generally however, a peak train is one arriving at Penn Station between 6:00am and 10:00am. The time it leaves any particular station is irrelevant. A train departing Penn Station between 4:00pm and 8:00pm is also a peak train. Bicycles are barred from peak trains. The exception to this is folding bikes]

The Messenger and the Kissena Velodrome: If you are passionate about bicycling, do not miss The Kissena Velodrome on Wednesday evenings. It is is an exhilarating experience. The landscape is beautiful, it is a lot of fun and very interesting. It doesn't matter if your passion is for competitive road races or just old fashion bikes. It is possible to find everything that is cycling there. The races start at 6:30 pm, but one hour before is possible to see racers warming up their legs and wheels. It is very interesting how they prepare for the race. They all use fix gear bikes, of course, but some of them use very elite bikes and other just use the old school ones. But, all of them have extremely strong legs, as it is really hard to move the weight of the body with a fixed, high gear ratio!

The Kissena Velodrome, fast, colorful and exciting... What a good time!

Some of the racers at the velodrome are messengers and this may explain how they do such a good job on the streets. NY messengers are usually talked about as an unskilled labor force, but this is probably a narrow point of view. Admittedly there is a varying skill level between say the cycling delivery guy bringing food and the professional bike messenger hauling securities and legal documents. For the professional messenger, being a very expert rider is essential and the training of the body very important. What particular bike they ride is not as important. But, most of the bike messengers use fixed gear bicycles, some of them use normal road bikes, some even mountain bikes. So the real deal is how strong is their body, and how skilled are they in their ability to use the bike and maneuver in traffic.

Professional cyclists don't always wear spandex. Some wear a messenger bag.

At the Kissena Velodrome it is possible to see many different categories of races, like one lap, men's and womens', 8 laps, mixed… all in different categories. These riders are serious but they enjoy their time and the races seem to have a friendly atmosphere.

Riding in with traffic can seem a little precarious until you get used to it. Once you are settled in, it's cake.

In general terms it is I would consider it easy to ride in New York if you are a the everyday cyclist and are not afraid of some honks. Fix the brakes properly and make certain the rest of the bike is in good repair. It is not recommended to ride with children on their own bikes if you are not in a park area. Central Park and the Green Way surrounding the City are great ways to have an overall picturesque view of the rivers and bridges. To avoid a bad experience, prepare way in advance and check the maps for the best routes. It is also better to be prepared for a flat tire or any other inconvenience.

You can't come to NYC and not have at least on Cosmopolitan, but you might not want to ride that day.

Inexperienced beginners should not attempt to bicycle in the city centers. They will undoubtedly be very discouraged. It is better to train first around smaller neighborhoods and to get involved with urban riding slowly, participating with all the nice tours around the city that are organized each year, like the Tour of Brooklyn, the NYC Century Bike Tour, Upper Manhattan Bike Tour and many others. So, get on your bike and bicycle around New York City.

For more information about the organizations mentioned in the article, visit:
Kissena Velodrome
www.kissena.info

Transportation Alternatives
www.transalt.org

Hub Station
212.965.9334

Times Up!
times-up.org

NYC DOT
www.nyc.gov/html/dot/home.html


Having conquered NY, our intrepid reporter feels ready to move on to the next city.

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