Stu Bykofsky is the Pavlov’s dog of Philadelphia journalism. He has been programmed to do the exact same thing every time he reads a newspaper column espousing vaguely pro-bicycle sentiments. Namely: Bashing bike lanes and decrying the WAR ON CARS. In today’s edition, Bykofsky reads a column by Philadelphia Weekly writer Randy LoBasso about biking in the cold, calls LoBasso a City Paper writer, composes an incomprehensible piece of bike-related doggerel, then rushes over to ride on a few of his favorite hobby-horses.
Shawn McKenna–a triathlete (and market researcher) and a friend, James Huth, are embarking on a 72-mile (give or take) expedition tomorrow to cycle the entire border of Philadelphia. (He came up with the idea while bored on jury duty.) They’ll start at the Yards Brewery, and they’ll end at the Yards Brewery. Here’s McKenna’s map–which they’ll try to follow as best they can.
A few weeks ago, Philly’s bike coalition drafted a petition asking Amtrak for better bike parking. (Due to rusty zombie bikes, minimal space, and ongoing construction, it’s near-impossible to get a spot.) To which Amtrak, along with the City, said…OK, fine. Bike racks are coming, baby! And apparently all it took was 184 signatures.
The Daily News reports today that Philly Police set up occasional “stings” to trap bicycle thieves. This is normally where we’d make a joke—”Now that the murder problem has been solved, they have time for this!”—but honestly: We’ve had two bikes stolen in the last five years, and anything that might suppress that particular crime rate is welcome at Scoop Headquarters.
Bike enthusiasts support the stings – but say cops could be even more successful if they followed the lead of agencies elsewhere that hide GPS trackers on bait bikes – and then follow the thief back to his or her lair.
Such a strategy could help nab serial stealers who operate or supply bike chop shops or other organized theft rings, said Alex Doty, executive director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.
The issue is especially important in Philly, Doty said, because bike thieves increasingly prey on riders at a time when the city has dedicated bicycle lanes on many city streets and otherwise encourages the public to pedal.
“We have almost twice as many bicycle commuters as any other large city in the United States,” Doty said. “There are crimes that certainly rank a lot higher than bike theft, but for bicyclists this is a big problem. It certainly deters people from bicycling.”
We do wonder how the advent of Philly Bike Share will affect all of this. On the one hand, we’re waiting for it to get started instead of buying a new bicycle to replace the old one that got stolen this summer. On the other hand: Will the non-profit program simply end up as a supply chain for thieves? We’re kind of worried.
Philly’s naked bike ride went down yesterday. Here’s a brief video to give you a sense of the whole thing (or things, as the case may be).
Want more? Be Well Philly has curated 14 of the best Instagram photos from the event.
Yup. It’s time for the annual Philly Naked Bike Ride, or, as we like to call it: “1,000 Bike Seats In Desperate Need of Lysol and Wet Naps.” It’s Sunday, and, well, there’s going to be a whooooole lotta flesh on display. Trust us: That much nudity actually takes the fun out of it. And in some cases, will kill your libido dead.
Anyway, the PNBR site has a helpful FAQ:
Q: When is the next ride?
A: August 25th 2013 .
Q: Do I have to ride NAKED?
A: NO. PNBR is a BARE AS YOU DARE event.
Q: What is Philly Naked Bike ride all about?
A: PNBR is about: Riding together to promote fuel conscious consumption, positive body image, and cycling advocacy. Ride with us and bring your own message, too!
How about: “Put your clothes back on, hippies!” Is that a good message?
You know the type. The rusted BMX bike that’s been chained to the rack outside your go-to bar for like, two years. Well, starting Monday, the city will begin tagging bikes that have quite clearly been left for dead. If they’re still locked up on July 11th, a crew of lock breakers will arrive, and the bikes will be donated to charity.
A personal note: One spring afternoon in college, I locked my bike up in downtown Providence, Rhode Island. By the time I returned to ride it–him–back to campus, I had lost my bike key. My last bike key. So I left him there and trudged back, by foot. Whenever I’d pass by in the following months, I’d pat him on the saddle and say, “I miss you, bud.” That bike stayed downtown for more than a year before someone broke the lock and claimed it. The point is: Some of us want to set our bikes free; we just haven’t been able to get our shit together and actually do it.