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NYC Bike Move!

Inspired by a previous Streetfilm from Portland, Oregon, filmmaker Nicholas Whitaker decided to answer the challenge and bring you, Bike Move Too!

When his girlfriend Jes Schultz was priced out of her Fort Greene Brooklyn apartment, they decided to call a few friends with bikes and move her out, futon and all, to a new apartment in Crown Heights. This film illustrates how with a little ingenuity, determination, and friends, it can be done without creating a huge impact on your environment.

It also may be the first New York City bike move movie. (An hour scouring the web, calling friends, and searching YouTube tags turned up nothing in NYC.)

Jes Schultz: [00:00] Hi, my name’s Jes Louise Schultz. I’m moving from Carlton Avenue in Fort Greene all the way to Crown Heights, moving my stuff with this bike.

Speaker: [00:09] Why?

Jes Schultz: [00:10] Cos my boyfriend thought of it. No, I’m just kidding.

Nicholas Whitaker: [00:13] So I got this idea from a video that Clarence did actually in Portland, Oregon where the bicycling community out there kind of pulled together to move somebody out of their old apartment to the new apartment using nothing but bikes.

Jes Schultz: [00:25] And we figured why can’t we do it in Brooklyn? It’s easy to get around. We do have bike lanes that should be open at all times for us to easily move all these things. It shouldn’t be a problem at all. I usually ride my bicycle to work and home and all over Brooklyn really using the wonderful bike lanes that we have here. It saves space on our streets, this is half the size of a car. Yes, it’s going to take more trips but it keeps us healthier and our air healthier.


Jes Schultz: [00:54] Hey, there’s a guy with a bathtub on his bike.

Christopher: [00:56] My name’s Christopher and I’m a rickshaw driver. Ta da. I’m going to drive this rickshaw. It’s just a differentiate. A petty cab is for passenger… passengers for hire, and a rickshaw is a cycle power. We call them cycle rickshaws, but rickshaws is a man-powered cart. It’s very innovative and creative and edgy.

Nicholas Whitaker: [01:19] Just about anybody could do this. You know if you have… the equipment obviously is something that is a bit of a hurdle but, you know, I borrowed this so it didn’t cost me anything. You know, and if you have a bicycling community or a community of people, somebody’s bound to have a trailer like this somewhere, or a rickshaw, or even have people carrying stuff just on the racks on the back of their bikes. So, you know, having an excuse from saying, well, you know, how much is it to move all my stuff, it’s too heavy to carry on a bike, you know, that’s one excuse down right there. And, you know, you think, well, it’s probably going to be too hard to do because it’s too much work. I’ve been sitting on the couch for the last three weeks, you know, studying for finals and watching TV and procrastinating. It’s not something that just any random person couldn’t do. You have to have the determination to do so. I think if anything I like most about this is that, you know, we’re not spending any gas doing this, we’re getting some exercise, we’re out in the fresh air. You know it’s probably about 40 degrees out right now and, you know, I’m warm. You know in other countries that I’ve been to, you know, this isn’t so strange, this isn’t something that people would consider to be crazy. The reason people think something like this is crazy is just because they never see it happen. It’s not something that’s done regularly.

Speaker: [02:39] Are you just crazy?

Jes Schultz: [02:41] Yeah, we’re just a little bit crazy. No, this is how I get around the city any other day, so I’m moving my stuff with the bicycles.

Speaker: [02:49] What do you think of it?

Speaker: [02:50] It’s a great idea, you know. The future, you know.

Speaker: [02:54] I think you guys are genius.

Speaker: [02:56] Yay.

Speaker: [02:57] Brilliant.

Speaker: [02:59] Fuel efficient. Human power. I love it.

Speaker: [03:03] I’ve never seen anything like this before.

Speaker: [03:07] Are you moving today?

Speaker: [03:09] I sure am.

Speaker: [03:11] We’re doing a move by bike.

Speaker: [03:13] We’re helping a friend move into this place.

Speaker: [03:16] Do you think you could have done it by bike?

Speaker: [03:18] No. Definitely couldn’t do it by bike.

Speaker: [03:20] Too much stuff?

Speaker: [03:22] Way too much stuff. You can bike, but bike is for going down to the beach and stuff like… oh wow, you guys are doing it by bike. Oh, that’s pretty interesting. Well good luck with that.

Speaker: [03:31] Okay, you too.


Nicholas Whitaker: [03:39] Well I think we were pretty successful. We managed to get it all in two trips. We got a futon, a dresser, a bunch of odds and ends, pretty much an entire one bedroom apartment moved by bike. Had a rickshaw, a bike with a trailer on it, a few people with award winning smiles and a desire to help.

Jes Schultz: [04:01] In just about four hours, maybe three hours, not a lot of time at all. And only about, you know, two dozen cars honked at us as we were trying to get through the streets, but it was a nice ride. We can do it. We can all do this. Man power is the power of our universe. Yeah.

Speaker: [04:22] And woman power?

Jes Schultz: [04:25] And woman power, yes.


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  • http://northwestwanderer.blogspot.com Matt Picio

    Okay, that totally ROCKS! We've had a lot of bike moves in Portland since Clarence's video (which rocks), and it's fantastic to see other cities doing it, and ESPECIALLY in New York. The record here in Portland is 27 people showing up and moving me from the suburbs back into Portland - 12.1 miles. I am totally hoping that someone, somewhere will show me up and move more, farther, with more people.

    Go FOR it! You guys rock!

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  • http://www.paddedshorts.co.uk padded shorts

    Just to let you know bike moves does happen elsewhere. We in London, UK, did a move in December last year.

    follow link to read all about it : http://extrapaddedshorts.blogspot.com/2007/12/moving-by-bike.html


  • http://www.streetfilms.org Nicholas Whitaker

    Great move paddedshorts!

  • http://www.livablestreets.com/people/trorb/ Clarence Eckerson, Jr.

    When I was on-line I found all sorts of moves - Minneapolis, Colorado, many from Portland (including the one taped 4 years ago which is up on so many sites I have lost count) and some overseas. But none in NYC. So as I said, this might be the first on tape from NYC!

  • http://www.parisar.org Sujit Patwardhan

    Happens all the time in India, espscially in smaller towns, but that's because many are too poor to afford hiring trucks.

    But we in Pune (population 3.5 million, area 450 sq Kilometers) are trying to improve bicycle infrastructure citywide so even people with cars and two wheelers would CHOOSE to bike for many more journeys, instead of contributing to clogging of streets and polluting our lungs and ruining the cityscape with horrible elevated roads and hijacking open areas for parking.

    You guys are doing a great job with these films. Would like to add the link on our website which is now due for an upgrade.

    Keep it up...more MAN power (and WOMAN power too!!!)

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  • Calvin

    Great work :-)

    Exercise and reduced pollution...

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  • LL

    Way to go, you two! I envy your motivation...

  • Pingback: Moving From Fort Greene By Bike « General Greene()

  • miker

    Is that DN's own Elizabeth Press?

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  • Josef Bray-Ali

    We did a bike move in LA this past Sunday. Check it out!