Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bring Your Rubbers alleycat roundup

Holy Shit that 1st band was loud! The hood was scared!

The alleycat popped off very well indeed. The police only came twice and the fire department once...not too shabby. We had three super loud bands and a super unloud stereo for the afterparty as well as a keg and other libations. Many thanks to Krash, El Presidente de China, all the bands (Fruit Punch, Dirty South Revolution and Own Life), the peeps who held down the checkpoints and all the racers. And the sponsors! Manhattan Portage, for the 1st prize messenger bag, Play in Traffic Productions, for the Monster Track DVDs, 5-Boro Generals, for the t-shirts, and CCBA for the stainless steel, non-carcinogenic water bottles and Brendan for the whiskey.

TJ proudly wearing his medal of fastness. He shoulda paid attention and worn some rubbers as he found himself thigh deep in the flooded Connecticut River carrying his bike to the bonus checkpoint. That’s core dude!

manifests and maps

Here’s the list full of misspellings:
1 TJ (dreads)
2 Shanesaw
3 Valdez
4 Sean
5 Aaron
6 Jeremy
7 Tony C
8 Mourad
9 TJ (no dreads)
10 Steve
11 Rich's eyeglass case
12 Robin
11, 12 or 12,11. Who knows!?!?
Opton missed a checkpoint and got a flat, but won a 40 for the breakdown
Rick and AmyZ never left my checkpoint!
Two others?…Orion and Matt didn’t finish? Got swept away? Traded to the Mets?

the checkpoints:
pope park pond, keney park pond, elizabeth park pond, lincoln's horse EH riverfront, park river @ asylum and woodland, constitution plaza fountain, chillwill's backyard, and prove you went to wendy's on airport road. bonus spot: hock river ped bridge in EH

The band, the crowd, the keg, a MP lanyard...i dunno, its freakin dark!

there's prolly another dozen photos after the jump.
click on "read more" fool!

pay up!

robin and jeremy enjoying the park

lauren and that dude whose name i got wrong at the!?

15 minutes til "GO!"

Tony C, an army of one.

where's that sculpture of Lincoln's Horse!?!

that's right suckas, you gotta climb two sets of sketchy fire escape stairs to get yer shit signed.

jeremy and aaron navigating the Stairs of Death

this dude was flying down Cap Ave

steve trying not to eat metal steps

once they pulled out the buds...there was no leaving!

dirty south revolutionaries

steve, bianca, ozzy and more manhattan portage schwag

own life

tony makin' all the right moves

krash, chris, and that dude from the dirty dirty. he was mad cool.

i am not sure i improved much from the 40 i had the night before

ken demands the 'stache is back

bicycles, bicycles, bicycles, bicycles, bicycles, bicycles

el prez lookin' el serious

eva chulita and meeeyoo! i don't sleep anymore cuz of these chicas, but its all good. (be nice when you tell me how to spell yo name)

watching the van back out and in and out and in to get out was funny. i have a cargo van and feel thier pain in that parking lot.

wow! the pope park checkpoint and friends. eva, wizzzzzzy, laura, meeeyooo and leslie who also won the pullup competition!

rich is proud of his DFL prize, an acryllic block with a CT quarter that says, "you belong in connecticut."


el prez on his Xootr just seconds before bailing on going to the diner at 3am

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Critical Mass July 2008 and afterparty

I think there were somewhere around 35 people with a good mix of new faces and regulars as well as everyone in between. Two tandems! One bride with veil. And no flats this time! I really like riding in the parks, though the streets have been fine lately; very few cars beeping horns, no death threats etc. We have been much better about corking intersections by talking to the drivers while blocking side traffic. A smile and explanation works wonders and 99.99% of cars are mad cool with the bicycles riding by in our mass. Critical Mass isn’t a protest…it’s a celebration!

Please y’all, please stay stopped at red lights when we arrive as a group and have to stop! It’s a great chance to regroup the ride and keep the mass together for safety and traffic. Let everyone catch up and redensify the group; no stragglers trying to pass cars to get back to everyone. We all seem to understand keeping the group together when the light turns in the middle, but don’t take off on a red! We have to be responsible for each other and look out for each other as a group. Taking off from a red light during a slow section of traffic will only split the group when the traffic picks up in a few seconds. Please think about this and remember, just because a few take off, you can make a better decision and stay!

Check karma’s post from a few days ago for the play by play. I’m just soapboxing this one and posting lots of eye candy.

By the way, why is it that teenagers in the South End seem to yell much more foul shit at us than any other neighborhood? Why? What is the appropriate response to a porch of kids yelling, “White Power!!!” That happens like every single ride down that way.

Well, here's a few photos to get started. I think I tend to take photos of people I know cuz I am horrible with names and spelling; so gimme a hollerrrr if i butchered yer name or got it wrong or something like that.

There's a crapload more if ya click on READ MORE!

Carole, AmyZ and Lindsey chillin' in the park before the ride.

Franklin Avenue.

I love this photo! ChillWill (me!), my 40 and the always fashionable Mary Lynn! So classy.

Krash felt comfortable leaving his Bianci unlocked in the friendly crowd of bikers. Sucka! About 40 minutes later he had to turn his back and go inside to pee and we quickly moved into action and relocated his bike someplace much safer. It took him a bit to find it, even though it was the shortest tree on the block!

I wish we did this twice a month. Mid-month ice cream ride anyone? yeah baby!

click below for many more photos:

More Franklin Avenue

Ben, brakeless and ahead of the pack in Cedar Hill Cemetary

Critical Wedding!

Find the beer!

Bianca is very safe. She drinks with a helmet. After what happened to Krash's Bianci, i don't blame Bianca for playing it safe!

Cheers mates!

Robin and Steve discussing his warm 40!?!?

Rich is like, "No Fair! i don't smoke!"

We know how to dress in The Beat.

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Being a Badass Bike Cop Takes Hard Work

Last week, I saw Bridgeport bicycle cops training in the art of two-wheeled kung-fu and was actually fairly impressed. But we all know that riding the beat entails more than just dispensing beat-downs; it's also important to have massive shows of force. Luckily, the Bridgeport bike cop training regimen has that covered, as I witnessed yesterday afternoon:

Because I love freedom, justice, bikes, and Bridgeport, I feel I should offer a few tips to these new constables concerning the laws of the great state of Connecticut:

  • Connecticut General Statutes Section 14-286b(b): "Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles."
  • Connecticut General Statutes Section 14-286a(a): "Every person riding a bicycle, as defined by section 14-286, upon the traveled portion of a highway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of any vehicle . . ." So, like, stopping at the white line so as not to obstruct the crosswalk - that's something bikes have to do.
  • If you guys think you're exempt from the rules just 'cause you're cops, you're only half right: Connecticut General Statutes Section 286e(a) tells us that "Any police officer, firefighter or emergency service personnel operating a bicycle in response to an emergency call or while engaged in rescue operations or in the immediate pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law shall be exempt from the provisions of sections 14-286, 14-286a, 14-286b, 14-286c and 14-289 . . ." but, "The exemptions granted in subsection (a) of this section shall apply only when such bicycle is making use of an audible warning signal device, including, but not limited to a siren, whistle or bell."
So next time, my dear Bridgeport bike cops, ride double file, stop at the stop line, and only break the rules while tooting on a whistle. See you on the streets!
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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Critical Mass: Southbound


So while most of us will still be fuming from the post I put up earlier today we can still appreciate the fact that our own (albeit much smaller, yet growing) Critical Mass was celebrated this past Friday with little police fanfare.

The crew met up for the standard pre-ride libations and found the riverfront well flooded...
We sat and watched the river race by full of debris from upstream and waited for it to wash away Will's ride...
After a little while we headed over to the park and gathered our ranks.

Click "Read More" because there is much more after the break!!!

The weather was gorgeous and we looked to have the solid 30+ riders we have averaged the past couple months (tell your friends folks we'd love to see more!)
Joe agrees!

So does Ben!

After everyone was assembled we headed South out of Bushnell Park onto Elm St. and into Pulaski Circle. Its always fun to do things on your bike that people only usually do in cars so it was inevitable that the crew would have a good roundabout in the rotary...

And around...

And around...

Until we took a quick glimpse at the street signs. Lets see, New York, New Haven, Springfield, no thanks. The Bushnell, Hartford Hospital, and Trinity, yes please.

We headed down Hudson St. Turned onto Jefferson, and then cut across to Maple Ave.
When I first saw this shot I thought Medusa was chasing me but realized through the blurriness that it was only T.J. looking super mean on the tandem.

After rolling down Maple Ave. we turned onto Franklin and made our way through the South End...
Your standard over-the-shoulder-shot (yes mom I wore my helmet)...

And what this? A bike lane?

I do appreciate the attempt but the whole lack of connectivity of Hartford's bikeways is at times frustrating. We headed down Franklin Ave. until we neared the Hartford line where we turned onto Victoria Rd. This little residential street headed straight into Goodwin Park and was lined with people who waved and honked cheerfully as we passed.


After heading down Victoria we cruised through Goodwin Park (check another Hartford Park off the list)...

We promised blurry pics... I think im just moving so fast the camera can't pick it up.

After departing Goodwin Park we turned South on Maple Ave. and headed into Cedar Hill Cemetery.

Its a gorgeous cemetery equal in aesthetics to any of Hartford's parks.
Here is Ben soaking in the views of the pond.

Dead people. Not a bad final resting spot (if your views are in accordance with this belief).

We rode around Cedar Hill for a bit traversing up and down the rolling hills. The living parted from the dead and we cut through Trinity...

and popped out on Broad St...

One of my favorite parts of Critical Mass is getting a bunch of poeple into parts of the city that they might otherwise never get to go to. As such, I loved seeing this picture of the crew at the intersection of Park and Broad...

We headed back towards Bushnell park and caught a glimse of a group taking wedding photos, nice spot!

And finally cruised under our own Arc de triomphe.

Par usual post-ride drinks were held at a local watering hole which always appeals to the anti-auto, biking crowd...
While I cant support their beer choice, I like their argument.

We even caught a glimpse of two Hartford bike cops NOT riding on the sidewalk but rather in the middle of the road, perhaps carrying out their own mini-crit. I think they were jealous.

After a few beers Kenny's bike, which hadn't been locked, took off and climbed into a tree. we were kind enough to throw a u-lock on it so it would attempt any other shenanigans.

He explained that this happens a lot and that we shouldn't worry about it. We tossed back a couple more beers and faded on our individual ways into the night. See you all next month!

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