It’s Bike to Work week, with the official Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 17. This means more cyclists on the streets of New York City, which we love. And hopefully, after NYC Bike Share officially launches later this month, we’ll have even more people getting around the city more efficiently.
After tweeting out some photos to promote the idea and perhaps encourage and inspire city guys to get on a bike, some followers posed a couple of important questions about getting and arriving to work on a bike with their style unscathed. Here is my video response…
As someone who promotes the virtues of the bicycle as the ultimate mode of city transportation, it is to my advantage to take my own suggestion and not just talk the talk but to also walk the walk. (Or is it ride the ride?)
Last week, I was on my way to a meeting in the West Village on my bike. Unbeknownst to me, New York Roll Models photographer Billy Powers happened to be at the corner of Bank and Bleecker Streets as I rode through the intersection. Armed with his Nikon like any good street photographer, Billy snapped this photo. This morning, he sent it to me.
These days – between security cameras, smartphone cameras, cameras of ubiquitous street style photographers and all the other ones – cameras are everywhere. I’ve often joked that, since cameras are everywhere, we might as well dress for it. As a guy who is the face of a “brand” of sorts, I always make the effort to step out “in character,” as it were. On this particular day, I’m relieved that I was prepared.
Based on Brooklyn Cruiser’s Driggs 3 model, this new ride comes fully featured with a three-speed internal hub, a front hand brake and a rear pedal brake, full front and back fenders, a rear carry rack, a comfortable leather saddle, swept-back handlebars with leather grips, cream-colored tires, and a kickstand. It also has one of my favorite unsung features on smarter city utility bikes: a chain guard, which means no need to wrap your trouser cuffs or stuff them into your socks.
The frame, you will notice, is what is called a “step-through.” To many, this looks like what we’d consider a girl’s bike. It isn’t. In fact, the step-through frame is better for men because we don’t have to stress the seams in the crotch of our nice trousers when we mount and dismount the bike. It’s also easier at stoplights. We don’t have to hoist our leg over the saddle. We just step through.
The bike is available in signature black or a very hot MoMA-exclusive red. The price tag is $580 (or $522 for MoMA members).
This episode comes with Fall, my favorite season in New York City. With this season on the city comes comfortable sidewalk dining, the ability to wear clothes I like and a new venture as Contributor-at-Large for the Brooklyn Cruiser blog (http://www.brooklyncruiser.com/blog). For my latest piece for Brooklyn Cruiser, I took a bike ride over the George Washington Bridge, one of the most spectacular viewpoints of my favorite city.
“Street Life” by The Crusaders feat. Randy Crawford – iTunes | Amazon
It’s no secret to anyone who knows or reads me that I love my bike. It’s my way around town. Upon acquiring a Brooklyn Cruiser last year, everything changed. I sat upright, relaxed my shoulders and took out the headphones, taking in the city around me as I pedaled around town.
One of the best parts of this new bicycling model (at least new for me) was that I no longer needed a separate uniform for taking a ride. In fact, I no longer needed to change clothes at all. A city bike, i.e. a non-racing, Dutch-style bike that allows the rider to sit upright, has a very “ride as you are” je ne sais quoi about it. I ride in suits, jeans, chinos, sneakers, brogues… whatever.
Just when I was about to start exploring aspects of bicycling with style in a new section of this blog, I was approached by Ryan, founder and head honcho over at Brooklyn Cruiser, who graciously invited me on board as “Contributor-at-Large” for the Brooklyn Cruiser blog. I was humbled, floored and honored.
And the timing is perfect.
With all the press about hundreds of miles of added bike lanes and increased ridership in New York City, it sounds like this old-school way of getting around is being embraced as the modern way to maneuver about the metropolis. And with the coming bike share program here in the city, the launch of which has been unfortunately pushed to March, bike lanes and ridership is bound to increase further. It’s an exciting time for urban bicycling, and a great time to be writing about it.
I’m absolutely thrilled about this new adventure as contributor-at-large, and I invite everyone to join me in the dialog at the Brooklyn Cruiser blog, where I plan to share ideas, stories, anecdotes, frustrations, joys, photos and more about the smartest way to get around.
Here is a link to my first post, which was published on August 21st, 2012: