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Posts from the Bicycles Category

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Scott Ambinder Has Docked At All 1,674 Citi Bike Stations

Scott Ambinder's dedication to Citi Bike is impressive. For one, he has docked at least once at all 1,674 locations throughout NYC (and New Jersey's Hoboken & Jersey City!) He's a fountain of knowledge when it comes to where stations are and what the neighborhoods look like around them. And certainly an expert on how to use the app, score membership extensions and where to look to see when a new station activates in the network.

He was always an avid Citi Bike fanatic but in the Summer of 2020 - and already a top 1% user and with Covid raging throughout NYC - he looked at the new City Explorer Map launched by Citi Bike and started pondering whether he could eventually return his bike at each docking station. Soon after he began strategizing how to attack specific neighborhood grids to maximize the number of stations on daily jaunts. But he added another impressive wrinkle to his accomplishment: he never used mass transit to start or finish his journeys (except to cross the river to NJ to get across the Hudson.)

Scott is only one of three Citi Bike members to crest the 1,600+ mark.

Streetfilms followed him around for a few hours on two days to talk about his unique feat and enthusiasm for City Bike. (Editors Note: as you will discover in the film we met one weekend after Scott offered an incredibly kind gesture of help!)

Towards the end of the film, Scott answered Streetfilms fans questions submitted for him to answer.

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Kid Wheel Power: Barcelona Bici Bus is Magic!

Last month I had a chance encounter with Rosa Suriñach on the United Nations Bike Ride (link here: https://youtu.be/sEMlTQZqO0k) when we both realized we were winners of the 2022 World Bicycle Day recognition.

We got to talking while riding and I learned she was heavily involved in Barcelona's Bicibús Eixample (Bikebus) which I had seen so many cool Tweeted videos of in the past year. So at the end of the ride I was able to pull her aside and grab a really quick interview about the general idea. (some competition with noise and traffic, but still perfectly useable)

She and some contributors were able to get me some wonderful footage and stellar photos to tell the story. Combined with previous footage I shot in Barcelona in 2018 it makes for a really nice short showing the power of children and their families which are staging a mini-revolution in the streets of Barcelona and encouraging cities worldwide to follow them.

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Check out the newest 2022 Citi Bike E-bikes (Exclusive kickoff ride with Streetfilms)

When friends heard the release of the new Citi Bike e-bikes into the wild was imminent, many wanted to me give them a review ASAP. Little did I know I would get invited to the first public unveiling where we had a huge geek out over and getting to ride with Citi Bike staff and members of the NYCHA riders program. As you will see we had a great time!

The new bikes feature a different color scheme. But they go farther (now nearly 60 miles on a charge), they accelerate faster, they have new cool safety lighting schemes, the seat is so easily adjustable that your wrists will want to kiss the stem, it has an actual battery-life indicator right on the screen and plenty of other fun features!

So take a look at our sort of exclusive video of the Queens kickoff ride (Streetfilms was the only camera crew at the launch!) One thing I have to mention is that I have covered a lot of group rides. I arrived via my large and heavy Workcycle and the new Citi Bike e-bikes get you so quickly up to speed that I had a very hard time keeping up with the riders to get my footage. But as you'll see I got to use one at the end.

 

 

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UN NYC Bike Tour

Some of NYC's biggest cycling heavyweights showed up for a ride with the United Nations to help support the goal to advocate for cycling as a priority transportation mode and essential service for achieving the mobility goals of the New Urban Agenda ahead of the United Nations General Assembly meeting.

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Announcing the 2022 World Bicycle Day Award for Streetfilms!

Announcing very exciting news as Clarence Eckerson, Jr. the director & producer of over 1,000 videos for Streetfilms over the past 17 years, has been selected by the United Nations as a Lifetime Achievement recipient of the World Bicycle Day awards for 2022 on June 3rd.

Spanning a career of nearly 25 years, Mr. Eckerson has been making films by bike in New York City since the late 1990s and for the majority of that time covering the advocacy movement for biking nationally and worldwide while director for Streetfilms. Prior to working in his current role (which began in 2005) he's also done ample documentation and coverage during his volunteerism thru Transportation Alternatives and for the cable-access show bikeTV for six years.

The Class of 2022 includes over two dozen recipients from all six inhabited continents and over 15 countries. Included in the eclectic list is the Nepal Cycle Society, Maud de Vries of The Netherlands, Ugandan urban planner Amanda Ngabirano and the London Ambulance Service's Cycle Response Unit!

Unfortunately, due to Covid protocols the United Nations is not holding their usual ceremony and presentation in-person. However, each honoree was shipped their award and told to take promotional photos to announce their achievements. But since Streetfilms' specialty is making movies, Leszek Sibilski from the United Nations granted his blessing for us to make this very short acceptance in one of the most people-friendly places in New York City: Queens' 34th Ave open street which demonstrates how much safer bicycling and public space is becoming in New York. Clarence would like to thank the United Nations, his family, all of his co-workers from over the years and the wonderfully diverse Class of 2022 for inspiring him to keep documenting the worldwide movement!

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Washington, DC: A Biking Streetfilms Adventure!

At the end of March, The League of American Bicyclists tried out a hybrid style Bike Summit 2022 due to the pandemic's still uncertain effect on daily life. I liked that some of it was on-line and a good deal of it I could do outdoors. So I sojourned to Washington, D.C. to attend and also see what has happened with infrastructure one of the better biking cities in the nation during Covid.

Truth is D.C. is doing a lot! I enjoyed quite a few solid, protected lanes that are new in the past two years and a bridge (Frederick Douglass) that while still not fully finished is already opened to the public for those on foot, bike and scooters with a 20-foot wide path (and on the other side another path will open later this year.) I believe that it could be a record for a multi-use path in terms of width since the two sides will equal 40-feet combined!!

D.C. has a lot of cool stuff going on. One thing I really like is that when they decide to build protected bike lanes they utilize many barriers and strategies and they work extremely well. You will see many styles sprinkled in amongst the footage as we got to talk to Citifi's Gabe Klein (who is a previous head of DC DOT), DC Cycling Concierge's Jeff Miller and Fionnuala Quinn the Director of the wonderful Discover Traffic Gardens who guide us on our fun journey to see a lot in just 48 hours.

One drawback was the weather. I had planned an even far more extensive film but with brutally cold temperatures (there was a windchill of low 20s for our Cherry Blossom ride on Monday morning) some precipitation and frequent 30+ mph wind gusts it made filming a real chore the entire a trip with frozen fingers. So a small apology for being able to hear the wind quite a bit at times. The usual temps in DC are 60 degrees at this time.

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Women’s Ride (The Bronx 2022)

About 200 folks turned out for yesterday's Women's Ride from The Bronx. Tune in to see the merriment, fun and statement the day made for some of the participants.

The ride was put on by The Bronx Committee and staff of Transportation Alternatives. There were Women's Rides in Queens in 2018 and 2019 as well.

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Fast Motion Fun: Bicycling Around Utrecht

Just having a little fun re-editing some old stuff. I usually never use fast motion or slow-mo in anything I do. But for some reason this just hit the spot. This is footage from my 2019 Utrecht trip where I made numerous Streetfilms. Enjoy!

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Washington DC Blossoms Bike Tour 2022

Come along with "DC's Cycling Concierge" Jeff Miller as he leads a ride to see Washington D.C.'s cherry blossoms in full bloom for this year's Bike Summit Conference 2022 from The League of American Bicyclists! It's a short tour but full of sites and flowering trees. This ride departed at 645am Monday morning on March 28. The temps were in the mid-20s and it was very cold. But it turned out with so few people up that early and the bitter cold provided an excellent ride without crowds so often gathering to see nature's bloomings.

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The Nijmegen Railway Bridge is also a Fantastically Cool Bridge to Bike

Here's a cool one. I have been revisiting some of my old footage as I await being able to travel some. I did a great film about Nijmegen you may have seen. But as with many things I shoot I had to leave a ton of great stuff on the cutting room floor.

The Nijmegen Railway Bridge had a bikeway attached to it in 2004 and it is one of the most thrilling and dreamy bridges I have ever ridden over. For one: Nijmegen is the beginning of the RijnWaalpad, a fast bike superhighway that stretches 16km all the way to Arnhem, its twin city. I also did a video on that one too!

In any event, in looking thru the archives I realized I had ample footage from all sorts of angles to give people the experience of a full-rounded perspective: from the pathway itself, from down by the waterfront looking up, from the tallest structure downtown the church (looking down) and filming from inside the train itself arriving & departing Nijmegen.

One thing I want to point out that is pretty cool about this Streetfilm: I had a production company who inquired about using some of my "drone" footage. But there is none - all of the footage was shot by my very steady hand balancing on a bike. I have been doing that style of filming for nearly 25 years. The kids these days don't realize old school. (Though I am getting pretty old to keep being able to pull it off.)

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Ode to The Netherlands: Streetfilms’ Favorite Dutch Bike Things

See....

-Amsterdam's bike ferries to North Amsterdam

-Utrecht's Vredenburg: The busiest Dutch bike path

-Groningen's Circulation Plan and how it led to a 60% bike mode share

-Rotterdam's Trams on Grass (need I say more?)

-Arnhem-Nijmegen Bike Highway - 18km of uninterrupted, car-free riding

& so much more!

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The NYC Cargo Bike Revolution: More Families take to the Streets!

If you've lived in New York City for a long time, you'll realize there are many more cargo bikes cruising the streets! It used to be rare you'd see one, but the last five years their presence has undoubtedly been on the rise and since Covid-19 hit in 2020 there has been a dramatic uptick for many reasons you will hear.

Back in May I decided while I was out covering other events I would find a way to fit in talking to the many families using cargo bikes in NYC and why. Sometimes it would be a tweet out just to meet me at an event I was already shooting but other times it was a completely random meet up. The comments here are really just the tip of the iceberg as several interviews didn't make the final cut. Propel Bikes, whose founder Chris Nolte we talked to, has done some cool features on Youtube but not much else out there from the NYC universe.

It's not often I do films over 10 minutes, but there is a lot of joy, information and family-fun packed into this Streetfilm and well worth the 13 minute view time. Also: for fairness I will divulge that we are a two-cargo bike family - I have owned a Workcyles FR8 since my son was born and my wife Fatima obtained a Tern bike in 2021. (She previously also had a Taga for a few years for my son's first bike riding experiences.) If you ask either of us we can extoll the many benefits for you and your kid(s) being al fresco commuting, exercising, meeting friends or shopping.

Much thanks to Jeff & Madeleine Novich (she is on Instagram at @Cargobikemomma) for gathering an initial pod meet up for an open street on 103rd Street in Manhattan. A few of these folks also appear in that Streetfilm which you can view here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixKR1U0sNT8

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Bike Boulevards Debut in NYC: Check out Queens’ 39th Avenue!

Earlier this year the NYC DOT announced it would pilot one bike boulevard in each of the five boroughs. Some were actually on the ambitious side and none more so than in Sunnyside, Queens where 39th Avenue (which was designated an open street during 2020 Covid) was converted to a bike boulevard on an integral connection for bike riders for 8 blocks. The innovative treatments (well for NYC) include a diagonal traffic diverter and frequent lane direction changes as well as swaps for wide protected bike lanes at times. Listen to what supporters had to say!

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Queens Blvd Victory Bike Ride: A Safer Street Over 10 Years in the Making

Over 100 hundred cyclists turned out to see the newly implemented Phase IV of the Queens Boulevard bike and walking paths on the street that once was known as The Boulevard of Death.

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Clarence in Streetfilms 2000-2021 (Montage)

So following my 1,000th Streetfilm I put together a quick montage sample of all the Streetfilms/bikeTV to prepare for some media. I will be joining John Simmerman for his 100th podcast interview and it just seemed the time to let people see what I have been doing over the years.

Just so you know this is only a sample montage. I am sure I have missed some of my best appearances, but this at least gives a look into my work - sometimes skinnier, sometimes younger - but fun to check out my metamorphosis and the places I have been!