Daily Bike Report: Get Your Summer Now

The weather’s been warm and sunny the past few days but who knows how long it’s going to last! If you like to bike in the sun, you should get out there today.

Right now it’s in the high 60s to low 70s but that is expected to reach a high of 83 degrees today, according to weather.gov. Tonight will be mostly clear with temperatures in the mid 60s.

There will be a few road closures today in Brooklyn due to the MTV Video Music Awards coming to town. Today’s closures include the following, according to DNA info New York.

• Sixth Avenue (Atlantic Avenue to Dean Street) will be closed all day, including pedestrians. Residents must show ID.
• Pacific Street (Sixth Avenue to Carlton Avenue) will be closed all day, including pedestrians. Residents must show ID.
• Dean Street (Flatbush Avenue to Carlton Avenue) will be closed all day, including pedestrians. Residents must show ID.
• Pacific Street (Fourth Avenue to Flatbush Avenue) will be closed at 2:00 pm through Monday Aug. 26 at 12 a.m.
• MTA Bus B45 (Dean Street) will be re-routed around street closure.
• MTA Bus B41 & B67 will bypass Barclays Flatbush Avenue stops and B45 will bypass Barclays Atlantic Avenue stops.
• Sidewalk closure of perimeter of Barclays Center (including partial closure of plaza, but subway exit into plaza will remain open) from 2:00 pm until Monday Aug. 26 at 12 a.m.• Traffic will remain open on Flatbush Avenue and Atlantic Avenue.
• Viewer pens may be set up on Pacific Street at Flatbush Avenue; Flatbush Avenue between 5th Avenue & Dean Street; and the plaza in front of Target.
• Barclays Center subway access will remain open.
• Variable Message Signs (VMS) will be installed on local arterial roads and significant intersections
• The Dean Street Park playground will be closed, however the basketball tournament will proceed with access from Bergen Street.

I’m just avoiding biking anywhere near Barclays Center today, but if you need to ride in the area, make sure to plan your route.


Daily Bike Report: The Blaming of the Cyclists

I haven’t written in a while (new job, dance), but I really need to get back into posting here. The general public has a lot of misconceptions about cyclists and if I can help even one person to think about cyclists in a more positive way then I’ve done my job.

This morning I read a post on Buzzfeed about a horrible accident on Tuesday that resulted in a tourist losing part of her leg.  The accident occurred when a cab driver lost control of his vehicle near Radio City Music Hall, jumped the curb, and hit a British tourist who was sitting down.

The accident also caused a cyclist, whom the cab driver has publicly partially blamed for the accident, to be thrown into the air.  The cab driver and cyclist did not sustain severe injuries in the accident.

Following the accident, the cab driver, Mohammed Faysal Himon, said to the New York Post, “[The cyclist] was in my way and I got upset, so I gave him notice that I wanted to pass through.  He started pounding on my car with his hands and was yelling things at me. I suddenly felt like I had to get out of there. It was becoming a bad situation. So I accelerated to get in front of him.”

Himon said that he “gave him notice” by honking his horn at the cyclist, Kenneth Olivo.

Himon said, “I personally feel that if that man on the bike didn’t bang on my car, maybe this would not have happened.  I didn’t yell at him.  I had my windows up and my A/C on. I could barely hear what he was saying.”

Himon, at the same time, has also admitted to the New York Post that he shouldn’t have been driving a cab and that he did have a moment of road rage.  He has received numerous traffic violations over the years and had an accident in 2010 that resulted in an injured passenger.

Olivo also has had his share of runs ins with the law.  He has 22 arrests on his police record including when he threatened to decapitate a man in April.

Himon also spoke out against the bike lanes found across the city.  “A lot of bikers disregard the bike lanes and drive wherever they want,” he said.  “The city wastes a lot of money by giving them all these bike lanes, and for what? Honestly, I have no problem with bikers. They should just stay in their lane and I’ll stay in mine.”

(I’d also like to point out, that unless a bike lane was recently added, there is no bike lane where the accident occurred.)

I think it’s safe to say that most New Yorkers do not know that it is not illegal to not ride in a bike lane.  Cyclists are considered in the same category as any moving vehicle and are thus entitled to ride anywhere a car can drive.

Just a few weeks ago I was riding in downtown Manhattan on Chrystie Street when I entered the lane because I had to make a left turn.  I signaled properly before I made the turn and was far enough over so that cars could pass.  Before I made the turn, a truck passed me the driver yelled, “F- you!” at me.  I then caught up and yelled, “Good morning!” back at him, but that was just responded with another “F- you.” I tried.

I wasn’t at this accident on Tuesday so I don’t know who is more the “blame” for what happened but I do know that the general New York population needs to start treating cyclists like any other motorist.  If a bike has the right of way, don’t cross the street.  If a bike is riding in a lane, don’t cut them off to make a turn.  If bikes are going to be classified under the law as any moving vehicle and be fined as such, then they should be given the respect as any other vehicle would be.

Cyclists also should not be riding on sidewalks, cutting people off themselves, or running red lights at intersections where people are crossing or cars are driving.  Many cyclists have to make improvements themselves.

As cliche as it sounds, we all need to learn to respect each other.  As much as I don’t like Citi Bikes, I think the program has also helped to increase the awareness of cyclists.  Despite any progress, however, there is still a lot of work to be done!

Neither the cab driver nor the cyclist have been charged with any crimes at this time. Himon, however, was issued a summons for “unauthorized operation of his vehicle.”

Daily Bike Report: Low Chance of Rain Tuesday-Thursday

It’s going to be partly cloudy and hot these next few days.

Today through Thursday will be partly cloudy with highs in the low to mid 90s, according to weather.gov.  There is a zero to 10 percent chance of rain so it should be generally nice and clear.

Nighttime will be experiencing temperatures in the 70s through Thursday night as well.

Daily Bike Report: Heat Brings Isolated Thunderstorms

High heat in New York is bound to bring the chance of isolated thunderstorms, and today is no exception.

There is a 20 percent chance of isolated thunderstorms mainly between 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., according to weather.gov.  In my experience, chances of rain brought about by high heat and humidity could range from light drizzles to downpours that last from a few minutes to a couple hours.  I always found it best to dress as if it’s not going to rain but just be aware, especially if you’re on your bike.  Sudden heavy downpours can lead to slippery streets and impatient motorists.

Temperatures could reach up to 95 degrees today with a heat index of 101.  In addition to being aware of rain, stay hydrated out there in the heat.

Daily Bike Report: The Heat Returns

We had a short break from the heat but it’s back today.

Temperatures could reach a high of 92 degrees on this party sunny Sunday, according to weather.gov.

There is a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms mainly after 2:00 p.m. and before 11:00 p.m.  This possible rain could be accompanied with winds up to nine miles per hour.


Daily Bike Report: Chance of Heavy Rain Tonight

There is a slight chance of heavy rain tonight.

There is a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms today mainly before 7:00 p.m., according to weather.gov.

Expect patchy fog after 11:00 p.m. but other than that it will remain mostly cloudy with temperatures in the low to mid 70s.

I was recently told about this useful weather website called forecast.io, which shows up to the minute results on rainfall.  After typing in your location, the website will tell you if it’s raining, for how long it’ll be raining, and if the rain is classified as light, medium, or heavy.  It’s really useful especially if you’re not in a rush and can wait until the rain will stop, unless that’s predicted to be hours away.