Friday, August 05, 2011

Plan your route: Ride the City

I've had a link to this site for a while. But still, very few people know about the wonderful "Ride the City" bicycle route planner. There has been and will remain a link to this site in the right column of this blog. It's wonderful

Le me mention a few other things: 1) Google maps also gives bike directions. These directions are not bad.

2) Bike routes offered by Ride the City are consistently better than Google. How is that possible, you might ask? I do not know how; I do not know why; but Ride the City is better than google, at least for bike directions. Also, Ride the City gives you the wonderful choice between "direct," "safer," and "safe." The latter tries to keep you on bike lanes. Direct is the shortest possible distance. "Safer" tries to mini-max the two. Usually I go for some combo of Direct and Safer.

3) You'll be surprised at the new short cuts and routes you never thought of taking (the same thing happens with google-map subway directions, by the way).

Just last night, for instance, I learned of a new route from the Honeywell Ave Bridge at Northern Blvd to Greenpoint Ave and Brooklyn. It's a route I've taken dozens of times. And yet I had never thought of going right on Skillman Ave to 30th Street, to Star, to Van Damn, to the bridge. Not only was it shorter that my usual way, and it avoids a hill, and is nicer as it goes under rather than over the freeway.

Thank you, Ride the City!

They also offer bike routes for at least 30 other cities. I assume they're just a good. But I can only vouch for NYC.

Bike Commuting 101

At the Queens Library on Broadway. Aug 8, 6:30PM. Saturday at 11AM at the library at 21-45 31st Street. Here's the PDF flyer.

Here's my 101: Buy a bike with fenders and without quick release. Get a good lock or two. Bike. Everything else you can pick up as you go along.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Keeping Bike Lanes Free From Cars

As reported in the Guardian.

I particularly like the sneaker-and-sun-glass wearing white-jacket-on-black-t-shirt gold-chain fashion sense of the rich-asshole guy who got his car crushed (yes, I know it was all staged). He looks awfully like the guys I see hanging around cafes here in Astoria.

Monday, August 01, 2011

A great idea

Pop-up cafes in parking spots.

"But where will we store our cars for free, at the expense of all taxpayers?"