whales, dolphin and porpoise, oh my

This morning I got this note from Patricia Sener, Executive Director of CIBBOWS.  She’s not biking, she’s swimming. But that counts.

I quote….

Did you know there are humpback whales very close to where you swim?  The NY Bight, our backyard ocean, has the largest density of marine mammals and sea turtles in the US–twenty-one species of whales, dolphin and porpoise that come into these waters, frolicking just over yonder.

On July 22nd, I will be swimming 17 miles across the Western NY Bight to bring attention to the Clean Ocean Zone Initiative, which seeks to create the first-ever federally protectedClean Ocean Zone, or COZ. This COZ would be the nation’s first-ever pollution-free ocean area where pollution sources such as raw sewage and oil/gas industries would be prohibited.

CIBBOWS is partnering with Clean Ocean Action, the creator of this initiative, in order to bring attention to the importance of keeping our local ocean clean and wild. Funds raised through CIBBOWS will go to two charities—Clean Ocean Action and Gotham Whale, a non-profit that tracks the local humpback whale population. 

This swim will start in Sandy Hook, NJ–the headquarters of COA–then into the wild blue open ocean, no land in sight–and finish around Atlantic Beach, LI, near the site of a proposed liquified natural gas storage facility that threatens to bring pollution to our waterways. 

I’m swimming where no person has swum before to raise awareness of the importance of keeping our backyard clean and swim-able for all.

Please join CIBBOWS and myself in supporting our local charities and consider making a donation for this event to help keep our backyard ocean wild, clean and swimmable.
Follow along on my adventures on Facebook this Wednesday for live updates. 

See you at the beach!
-Patricia SenerExecutive DirectorConey Island Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers

Eat, sleep, bike, swim,
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2015 Robert Matson

Working with the New York Veterans Affairs Hospital’s “Pedals of Honor”

For the past four years I’ve had the privilege of working with the New York Veterans Affairs hospitals, helping to put wounded vets on recumbent trikes.  For the past three years, in May, New York City Recumbent Supply has volunteered at the “Pedals of Honor” event, which the VA hosts in conjunction with Achilles International.  As an event volunteer, I help set up bikes and trikes, provide maintenance and repairs, fit participants onto trikes and bikes, and support the massive group ride around the park.  It’s a thrill to work with these guys and I look forward to it every year.  Neile Weissman, president of the New York Cycle Club, also helps.

I’m consistently impressed by the staff from the VA, who seem to truly love their work.  This year, I was additionally pleased to meet Dick Traum, the founder of the Achilles Track Club, now known as Achilles International.  I admire what Mr. Traum has done for disabled athletes.  CNN produced a video about Mr. Traum that you can watch here.

Have fun, stay healthy, and look for someone you can help,
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2015 Robert Matson

Advisory for Brooklyn Bridge Walkway – Good Friday, 4/3/15 10:45 a.m

Avoid the Brooklyn Bridge walkway on Good Friday (4/3/15) between 10:45 a.m and 12:30 p.m.

I’ve been caught in this procession once in the past and, as the gentleman says, it’s essentially impossible to get through.

Mr. Joe Wiener writes:
I am writing to ask you to notify your members about a large religious procession (between 1,000 and 2,000 people) that will be using the Brooklyn Bridge walkway this Friday morning (4/3/15) from about 10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. There will be several thousand people walking from Brooklyn to Manhattan, and it will be impossible to even walk a bike through. Please use the Manhattan Bridge as an alternate.

Cyclists heading from Brooklyn to Manhattan should be okay up to 10:45 a.m. if they arrive at the bridge and the procession has not arrived yet. Cyclists heading from Manhattan to Brooklyn, however, should not enter the bike path unless they are sure they can reach the Brooklyn side stairs by 10:45. Please notify your members and forward this notice to other cycling organizations and message boards you may know of.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

— Mr. Joe Wiener

Have fun and avoid processions,
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2013 Robert Matson

Happening this evening!

David Kroodsma wrote me this afternoon about his slideshow and talk.  It sounds worthwhile.  I realize this is kind of last minute, but here’s the info.

The Bicycle Diaries — Slideshow and Book Talk

Manhattan: Monday, March 30th, 7pm — NYC Velo Hell’s Kitchen:
http://www.nycvelo.com/slideshow-and-book-reading-david-kroodsma/ [1]

Brooklyn: Tuesday, March 31st, 7pm — Red Lantern Bicycles:

Former Stanford climate change researcher David Kroodsma has bicycled from
California to the southern tip of South America, from Turkey to Myanmar, and
across the U.S. twice. Along the way he has talked to hundreds of
people—both laypeople and experts—about climate change, gathering
personal stories about its impacts across three continents.

Join David for a slideshow of his best photos and videos. In addition to
stories of adventure—ranging from fending off a jaguar in Belize to hiding
from police in Tibet—David will share how people across the globe are
currently experiencing climate change, drawing on interviews with people in
28 different countries.

Copies of his recent book, The Bicycle Diaries, a Shelf Unbound Notable Book
of 2014, will be available for purchase.

Visit http://rideforclimate.com/ [3] for more information.

[1] http://www.nycvelo.com/slideshow-and-book-reading-david-kroodsma/
[2] http://www.redlanternbicycles.com/weekly-events/2015/3/31/a-slide-show-presentation-with-mark-kroodsma
[3] http://rideforclimate.com/

Check it out,
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2015 Robert Matson

Recumbent Cycle Convention: brief notes

The most important note first:

Creating safe roads for cyclists is as important as building and selling bikes.
The town of St. Charles and the surrounding area — where the show was held — has wonderful bike trails and paths and I was able to enjoy them with the Cruzbike team on the morning of the second day of the show.
But I didn’t see any bicycle advocacy organizations represented at the show.  It is vital that each of us, as cyclists and industry workers, are involved in advocacy.  We each play an important role in expanding opportunities to bicycle safely in the USA.  We can’t simply be bike lane users.  We must also be bike lane builders.
Here’s something you can do, starting today.  It’s fun and you’ll meet people who may become lifelong friends.  Dedicate just 4 hours per month — 48 hours in the year — volunteering for your local bicycle advocacy organization or otherwise engaged in bicycle advocacy.  That small amount of time will help save lives — not to mention the planet.  It will help save the life of somebody with a name, and a mom and dad.  That “somebody” might be you or someone close to you.  Toss this aside and you’re tossing aside someone’s life.

If you don’t have a local bicycle advocacy organization, then join Bikes Belong, a.k.a., PeopleForBikes and give them the equivalent of 48 hours/year of your income.  Want to do more?  Run for your local community board or city council.

Thank you to Charles Coyne, Coyne Publishing and the RCC Team for producing this show.
Visit them here http://www.rtrmag.com/
Charles Coyne and his crew do an amazing job of producing RCC.  It’s is incredible that they are able to do so much.  All the workers were friendly and professional.  The show was well-organized and well-attended.  He had nearly all the top manufacturers there.  Also, on the above note of advocacy, Charles and his group are a great example of people working hard to promote bicycling with no eye — as far as I can tell — to personal gain.  If anything, it seems to me he’s putting himself at significant financial risk to put on this show.  Thank you, Charles and team.
The new Silvio and Vendettas are very impressive on many fronts – performance, adjustability, weight, features, capacity to work with wide range of drivetrains.   Both bikes share many of the same qualities.   I rode both and put in about 20 mi. on the Vendetta during the Cruzbike morning ride.  Both models are better than ever and they’ve shaved 16 oz. off both frames, in part by making the new seat in full carbon fiber.  I initially wondered if I’d like the new front boom and drive-triangle, shared by the V and S, but it’s excellent: stiff, highly adjustable, light, clean appearance.  The new Vendetta’s paint is a metallic red.  The white Silvio looks good too.  All in all, the new designs are winners.There’s a very interesting spec effecting drivetrain options, but it’s not published so I don’t want to spill the beans in case something changes.  In short, it’s great news and it looks like there’ll be more versatility than in the past.

The Cruzbike booth was popular and, often, nearly all the bikes were out on the test track.  I’ve already sold several Silvios so I anticipate the current run to sell out, maybe by end of winter.  Go and get yours now.

HP Velotechnik
Nothing but top marks for HP Velotechnik.  New Gekko fx 26 is perfect.  The new Scorpion “Plus,” perfect.  The new “adaptive” pedals and accessories are easy to use and well-made.  The new seats, fine.
I’m at a loss for words when writing about the brand and the models, because there’s nothing more to say.  They are the gold standard.  There are no surprises.  They simply continue to prove they are probably the most professional and reliable recumbent manufacturer in the market.
HP Velot. was one of the most popular booths at the show.  No surprise there either.Hase

They’re continuing their tradition of being one of the foremost manufacturers of adaptive cycles.  They are clearly entirely dedicated to producing the highest quality machines.  Again, I don’t know what to say: they’re great.  They too had one of the most popular booths at the show.
Patterson Transmission (from FSA)
Superb new internal gear system to replace front chain rings and rear wheel 3-speed hub gears.  Inexpensive, quiet, works well.  Only time will tell how durable it is over thousands of miles, but I liked what I saw and may well install one on one of my own bikes over the winter to use and abuse it.
http://pattersonbike.com/reviews/Bent Rider On-line

Also one of the most popular booths at the show.  Bryan Ball seemed to be in high spirits and told me they sold out of their merchandise by the afternoon of the first “public” day of the show.
Go build a bike lane,
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2014 Robert Matson

Customer blog: Brian Nice. Really cool stuff

I’ve just remotely met this fellow, Brian Nice, for whom a handful of us are trying to find a trike.  It seems he’s a good candidate for some of the cool adaptations that Hase Bikes is so good at.

Brian is an athlete with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and is keeping an incredibly interesting and inspiring blog about his experiences and, well, the world.  All that aside, to my eyes, he’s a talented artist and photographer.  Really cool stuff.  Go Brian.  Go.


And this project:

Have fun, stay healthy, go out and make a difference,
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2014 Robert Matson

This will be trouble: CitiBike bike racks prove they make great…city bike racks.

CitiBike enthusiasts find common ground with city bike enthusiasts: “CitiBikeRacks” are great places to lock up a bike.

New York City has been slow to install sufficient numbers of bike racks.  Now, in several fell swoops — and after over 400 community board meetings — the CitiBikeRacks have been installed all over South Manhattan and North Brooklyn.  However, ordinary city cyclists still need ordinary city bike racks.

Problem solved, hardly.
This evening at the Bike to Work party hosted by Transportation Alternatives we saw a future battle that will be played out here in NYC, between CitiCyclists and city cyclists.  Visitors to the party had claimed every pole-like object within 200 yards of the party.  Some, unable to find nearby bike parking, saw the CitiBikeRacks and must have thought “Hey, a bike rack” and locked up their bikes there.  As long as your chain was long enough, the CitiRacks worked perfectly.  (I tried, but my chain wasn’t long enough.)

Attention New York City Department of Transportation: start installing large numbers of ordinary bike racks for everyday cyclists.  Otherwise, the CitiBikeRacks will be full of ordinary bikes and CitiBikers will be unable to use them for their intended purpose: to return bikes.  I wonder if this doesn’t also herald a certain class consciousness among cyclists: CitiCyclists who don’t own bikes, or who are tourists, or who are occasional riders, and who will be readily identifiable by their cute blue bikes and harder-core city cyclists who own their own bikes and commute beyond the horizons of the CitiBike program.

The City needs public bike racks that provide secure bike parking, in large numbers, in all neighborhoods.

I applaud the bike share program, but we’ve jumped forward with it without also massively expanding bike parking and that may create problems.

Idea: install more city bike racks, sell ad space on those racks, and apply the revenue to improving bicycle infrastructure.

How YOU can increase bicycle parking in your neighborhood: help install a bike corral.

Bike corrals are rows of [New York] CityRacks installed in the curbside lane of the street instead of on the sidewalk. This design is a great solution for places where demand for bicycle parking outstrips the available sidewalk space. Anyone can request a bike corral but every bike corral needs a maintenance partner to keep the bike corral clear of snow and debris.

This website at the NYC Dept. of Transportation gives the skinny on bike corrals: how to apply, a link to a downloadable application, locations of completed bike corrals, and a list of bike corral community board presentations.

Nothing will improve unless YOU get involved.

Just CityRide,
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2013 Robert Matson

Customer generosity: fundraising for “Moveable Feast”

Anne G., on her famous telemagenta Street Machine Gte
at the 2012 event, covering 140 miles.
(bike is from New York City Recumbent Supply)
Photographer: unknown (as of now)

Anne Griepenburg, a friend and customer, is raising money for Moveable Feast, an organization dedicated to providing nutritious meals to folks with HIV and their families. Her team name? “Bike Curious.”
Click here for Anne’s fundraising page.

Anne’s fundraising goal is $3,000 and, as of the time of writing, she’s over half-way there.  Help her go over the top!

Your donation = meals delivered.  The generosity of people like you, reader, enables Moveable Feast to deliver nutritious meals to folks with HIV and their families. Last year, Anne, her amazing team of riders, and their wonderful supporters raised over $19,000!  This meant that over 14 people and their families were fed for an entire year thanks to the Bike Curious family!

But I (Robert) am getting ahead of myself. There’s a cycling event behind this. It’s called “Ride for the Feast” (RFTF).  It’s a two-day, 140-mile charity bike ride. Day 1 is a 100-mile ride from Ocean City, MD to Wye Mills, MD.  There’s an overnight stay at Chesapeake College.  Then, on Day 2, riders pedal from Sandy Point into Baltimore City and cross the finish line at Moveable Feast’s East Baltimore headquarters. The ride is 140 miles long because that is the exact distance a Moveable Feast driver must go to deliver to their farthest client.  100% of the money raised by participating riders and crew members goes directly towards putting food on the table for Moveable Feast’s clients.

The 11th annual “Ride for the Feast” takes place next weekend, May 11th-12th, 2013.  Interested in riding next year?  Watch the org’s website at: www.mfeast.org

Join the Bike Curious Team.

Team Bike Curious is riding together for their 4th year in the 2013 Ride for the Feast!  They are artist, health care professionals, educators and technologist from the Baltimore area who ride to raise money and awareness for Moveable Feast. They see it as their way to give back to the community through a grassroots organization that is providing healthy food and other services for people living with AIDS, breast cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

Team Fundraising Goal: $20,000.00
Total Raised: $12,191.00

Members Recruited
Recruitment Goal: 15
Members Recruited: 8

Have fun, stay healthy, and deliver some love and nutrition to those who have less than you,
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2013 Robert Matson

Just chatting about the weather.

Warmer weather is here. I like it. But I also like skiing and this marks the tailing of the remotely-local cross-country ski season…and the tailing of my slow season.

A manufacturer in Finland, Mirage Bikes (www.miragebikes.com/en), wrote me that their x-c ski season is coming to an end as well, but he (the writer) hopes to complete 1000 km (!) of skiing — apx. 620 miles — before then. I’m envious.

Nomad Red
Mirage Bikes’ Nomad.

I’m settling for one more weekend of skiing in the Adirondacks and then we’re in the backpack and pannier season. Today was the first day in ages to ride withOUT studded winter tires and WITH the sunshine, both. How nice.

Bike trips planned? There’s the 10-day 2014 Prince Edward Island bike trip I’m co-leading for the Appalachian Mountain Club, but that’s ages away. Sooner than that, if I can get away for a week, I may schedule an AMC trip in the Daks, VT, or Catskills. What’s with the idle chatter? I’m supposed to use the world’s most pervasive media outlet — FB — for marketing right? Or improving the world?

Okay, how’s this: HP Velotechnik’s new Scorpion fs 26 came in the other week. Unbelievably nice trike. Get your demos here.

HP Velotechnik’s Scorpion fs 26

Have fun, stay healthy, and go like “New York City Recumbent Supply” on Facebook,
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2013 Robert Matson