Back from NYC

I just came back from spending a week in New York City. Though I didn’t get to actually ride a bike during my time there like Miss Sarah (damn you, work responsibilities!) I did enjoy observing the bicycles and boring my non-cycling companions with comments on the NYC cycling scene.

Such as the dominance of front-attached wire baskets.

wire baskets were the order of the day

There were also scads of folders, not many helmets, and crazy peeps who did things like run red lights. Many crappy MTBs in midtown, but vintage 10-speeds and even a few Dutch bikes dominated Villages East & West. Also saw a some cruisers, like the one belonging to this trilby-ed gentleman in Washington Square Park.

wash sq cyclist

Manhattan riders can’t be daunted in the face of four-lane traffic.

cyclists ready to go

Then there were idyllic scenes like this one. Seriously, two dogs, a chalkboard menu, and a bike?

I got a chance to dip into the Museum of Arts and Design for Bespoke, the handmade bicycle exhibit. ¬†Mike, your bikes looked great! I did snap a picture of the A.N.T. memorabilia before realizing that, oops, photos weren’t permitted in the exhibition.

I also took the opportunity to fall in love with the beautifully lugged bicycles of Peter Weigle. (He has a few pictures of the exhibit here.) I just love the geometry and style of classic French randonneurs, and his components and colors are perfection. I think I need to trick out Le Peug in this style.

Tried to meet up with the folks at Bowery Lane Bicycles, but after trekking all the way out to Alphabet City and chatting with their neighbors, turned out we’d mistaken the dates and they were out of town. At least I got to see a guy with two parrots in a cage strapped to his chest. Totally worth it.

Though I’ve been to NYC before, this is the first time I’ve spent more than a few hours outside the Javits Center. It’s expensive, noisy and crowded but I think it might be love.

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29 thoughts on “Back from NYC

  1. Tyler says:

    Ha. The fact that you posed with water tanks shows you totally get our city.

    The crappy MTBs bring us our food so don’t dis.

    Love your beautiful blog.

    • Trisha says:

      Ha. I did wonder if that was their functionality! Good to know for sure.

      • dukiebiddle says:

        I just want to point out that some of those crappy old MTBs are of equal, and occasionally superior quality to the others. Unless, of course, if they have suspension. Suspension MTBs are crap. :)

        • dukiebiddle says:

          On second thought, the more people who are tricked into believing all those old MTBs are crap the better. That’s sort of the whole idea. Now if you’ll excuse me I have some beef & broccoli to deliver. ;)

    • bongobike says:

      Yep. I was there last October and the crappy MTBs were all over the place. They all have the largest Wald baskets with the fronts cut down the side corners so they can hinge them down and carry more stuff. As for the famous NYC fixie-riding messengers, they were nowhere to be found.

      • Tyler says:

        The internet did the fixie riding messenger in.

        But if you need your fix of fixies there are plenty of tatooed, trilby wearing hipsters in Williamsburg and Greenpoint Brooklyn riding them in their appointed rounds.

        • Dottie says:

          Interesting. In Chicago, there are lots of fixie riding messengers downtown. Then there are all the riders who take their inspiration from the messenger culture in Wicker Park (Chicago’s version of Williamsburg, maybe).

  2. Neighbourtease says:

    I agree with Tyler about the water tanks. :)

    So happy you had fun here and got well away from the Javitz center.

  3. adam says:

    It’s also cheap, quiet and sparse. NY is a multifarious megapolis. I wish I still lived there. Did you check out any cycle chic in Brooklyn?

    • Trisha says:

      You’re right, I was actually pleasantly surprised by the affordable options, if you took the time to look! I did spend a little time in Brooklyn and liked it a lot, but didn’t have time to observe the cycle scene (too busy eating delicious barbeque that a friend had made — apartments with decks are a possibility there!).

  4. K6-III says:

    Feel free to get in touch next time you’re in town and I’ll make sure you can borrow a bike to see the city properly.

  5. anna says:

    Lovely pictures. Know the feeling: being in a town and observing a lot of cycling, but not being able to cycle oneself. Hope you’ll find more time when you visit again.

  6. Vee says:

    I’m getting jealous of all of you guys having a such a grand time in NYC. I need to get down in the warmer weather soon. Although most of my peeps have left.

  7. Zweiradler says:

    Great photos … the water towers reminded me of one CSI:NY episode :)


  8. Dottie's Gram Bev says:

    Love the photos, especially the one of the two dogs :)

  9. Scott says:

    I heard NYC has really been stepping up their bicycle infrastructure in recent years. Did you see any separated bike lanes? I think the better NYC gets, the more pressure Chicago will feel to keep up. Which is exactly the kind of pressure I like!

  10. Dave says:

    When we were in Tokyo a couple summers ago, we got to see a guy in Ginza sitting in a lawn chair in the street with a ferret in a dress and straw hat. Those moments are priceless :)


    I’d love to be able to visit NYC one day… add that to a list of about a hundred other places :) Maybe I need to look into nomadic lifestyle… or win the lottery :)

    • Dottie says:

      Ha! Reading your comment, I thought you must have meant the man was in the dress and hat – nope, it is the ferret! Priceless, indeed.

  11. Melissa S. says:

    When I was in NYC I felt I was boring my friends with my bike comments too……but I said them anyway!

  12. Margaret says:

    I took my bike to NYC a few years ago while visiting family. I was shocked at the flagrant disregard for traffic rules– and I don’t mean by bike messengers or whatnot, just regular folks completely ignoring things like red lights, stop signs, etc. It was nutty.

    Even so, I’m going up to ride the NYC Century Tour with my sister– should be fun!

    • neighbourtease says:

      I think this stems, at least in part, from our jaywalking culture. And probably also from bike messenger behavior that has been really influential in the general attitude of cyclist here, unfortunately. Until people lose their egos (not likely in NYC) about this stuff it’s gonna be hard to change this. Is a drag.

      I stop for lights unless it’s truly obvious that nobody is around and I think of Clueless: “I totally paused!”

  13. Dottie says:

    Beautiful pictures – very vibrant! The one of all the bikes in front of traffic is super cool. I can’t wait until our NYC trip :)

    • Tyler says:

      I think that bikes-in-front is kind of a spontaneous traffic calming exercise picked up from the messengers. It’s kind of cool when several riders show up at an intersection and do this without a word spoken.

      At a red light you’ll bike up to the front of the line and then get in front of the first car.

      If you don’t cabdrivers will often try to brush you into the parked cars when the light changes. I’ve been cursed at in every language but you gotta hold your ground.

      The city has included a pause between lights allowing pedestrians to start crossing before turning drivers can rush the intersection. In Trish’s picture the walk sign is lit but the cars are still stopped (not out of politeness).

      Bikers use this pause to get going before the cars do.

      Apologies if I’m commenting too much but you you posted on my two favorite subjects in the whole wide world – bikes and nyc. ;)

      • Dottie says:

        We do the same in Chicago – stopping in front of the line of cars at red lights. Usually not all across the width of the intersection, though. Chicago also started the 5-second head start for pedestrians. On all new or renovated intersections, pedestrians must get a head start in the timing and a count down on the walk sign.

        Apologies for the Second City compensation :)

        • Tyler says:

          Yeah = I kind of sounded all NYC center-of-the-world about it but I’m so happy about all the bike friendly things that are happening that I go boast about it.

  14. Miss Sarah says:

    Glad you had fun in NYC! If we’re ever there together, you and me, pretty lady. Maybe you can take me north of 135 street:) Never seem to get up there.

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