New Bike Day for the YMCA

Some look for flowers blooming ymcabikes2or birds chirping as signs that spring is near, but we know that the real indiction that spring is on its way when you start to see new bikes appear.

The Chinatown YMCA, with the help of Exploring Paths, picked up 28 new Trek bikes this week to start building their after-school program fleet.

We’re excited to help them build such a great resource for local middle and high schoolers and can’t wait to see where the program goes!

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Jim’s favorite bike: Trek Émonda

Even though it might not seem like it thanks to this week’s awful weather, spring and summer are (eventually) coming, and that means one thing:

SHORTS!

I mean…ROAD BIKE WEATHER!

And with road bike weather comes the inevitable lusting after a new bike. Trek’s new Émonda is pretty much the bike on all of our minds this summer, and it should probably be yours too.

It’s super light — the top-end SLR frame is just 690 grams (about 1.5 pounds), and even the more affordable SL weighs in at barely over 1kg (around 2.2 pounds). This makes an amazing starting point for a really awesome bike build, which brings me to the next great thing about it…

 

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So.

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Many.

emondaslr10Options!

You can choose from 11 different options for stock bikes with Émonda, with a huge range of prices and componentry across all three frame levels. No skimping there, either — if you get Shimano 105, it’s full 105. Brakes and cranks, too.

Why is all of this so awesome, though? “It’s so light. How can it possibly be safe?” is probably the question on your mind. The coolest thing about this bike, in my opinion, is that you don’t have to compromise on stiffness or durability to get that light weight. Émonda is an all-out race bike.

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Like this, but fewer wheels and motors.

I’m just saying, you should probably consider taking a ride on one of these things. I know I’m going to as soon as it gets warm enough that our hot water pipes stop freezing.

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Not pictured: me with a hairdryer.

Fingers crossed that it’ll be warm enough for shorts (and road bikes) soon.

I love shorts. (Also, bikes.)

PS – Emondas are $150 off through the end of the month. And all ’15 Trek bikes over $2500 are $300 off!

 

 

 

 

 

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Commuter Profile: Cynthia Basinet

commuter cynthia 5Biking to me is very pleasurable. Unlike many other forms of transportation, you enjoy the journey, not the destination.

I have never arrived somewhere on a bike and not been in a great mood.

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I grew up in California, and I learned to ride when I was around six years old. I really wanted a 10-speed, and my cousins had this old rusty bike at their house. They gave it to me, and I stripped it to the frame, re-painted it silvery blue, fixed the wheels, and slapped a Schwinn sticker on it, so the bike would look more complete.

The kids in the neighborhood all rode bikes together on Saturday mornings. We would all pack backpacks with some water and just a few things and just go ride up in the hills, listening to music along the way. I can still remember the mist on my face.

To me, that was freedom.

Before I got a car, I always had a bike and could go anywhere. There are so many things you can see, hear, and smell. The car restricts your view of the world in some ways.

I actually rode a bike to work until the day I had my son. I worked and lived in Los Altos at the time and rode the bike to work every day while I was pregnant.

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The best time of year for biking in New York is Summer Streets. There is something about going down Park Avenue with no cars, and looking up at all these buildings.

There is a certain pace to biking… It can depend on who you are riding with, kind of like dancing.

There is definitely a zen to riding a bike.

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I ride passively. I mean the average car weighs what – two tons? I just don’t want to gamble, I prefer to be passive. In fact, that’s the whole zen of the bike. Especially here in New York where everybody wants to be the top dog. When someone pulls out in front of you, its not personal, so don’t take it that way. You just watch out for your safety, be courteous and it all works out, man.

You get there when you get there, I think that’s the key.

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Cynthia Basinet was born in Los Angeles, California. The sultry singer and actress, best known for her hit “Santa Baby,” has appeared in film, TV, and hundreds of commercials. Long considered a social change activist, she has visited refugees in North Africa, addressed the UN nearly a dozen times, and was nominated for a shared Nobel Peace Prize. You can find Cynthia cruising on her bike daily in SoHo.

Interview and photos by Eric LaCour.

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Fight Mid-Winter Burnout with Winter Essentials

When the temperature hovers below freezing for weeks on end, it can be tough to stay warm on two wheels. With the right gear, though, the weather can seem less daunting and biking can remain feasible – and fun! If the subway is draining your lifeforce, and you’re ready to get back on your bike to ride out the rest of the winter, make sure to have a few key pieces to stay warm and comfortable.

Habitat staff members share their favorite essentials for winter riding:

Arnold: Specialized Element Windstopper Balaclava

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Protect your face and neck from cold winter winds! The windstopper outer layer offers wind protection, and the fleece liner keeps you warm and cozy.

Lydia: Showers Pass Crosspoint Softshell WP Glove

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These gloves are the best in these below freezing temperatures. They keep my hands super warm and dry while having good dexterity and fit.

Jackson: Ortlieb Velocity Backpack

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This pack fits comfortably on my back and distributes weight well. Even on the rainiest of days, my stuff stays dry.

Pam: Continental Touring Plus Tires

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With puncture protection, enhanced side tread for better grip, and a reflective stripe for added visibility, this tire is a great choice for all-weather city riding.

Jim: Bontrager Race 7″ Wool Socks

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Socks! Wool socks are awesome. These are a merino wool blend that’s comfortable and warm while still being thin enough to work well as a cycling sock. On the very coldest of days I might opt for something thicker, but these work for me down to about 15°.

What else do you ride with in the winter that you love?

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Commuter Profile: Steve Petrides

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Commuting is a free form of exercise for me. I feel really good when I get to work. I bike all year round, even when it is sleeting.

The only time I stop is when the sleet is hitting my eye balls. I’ve gotta watch out for those steel plates!!

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I think bikes should stay with the traffic. There are no car doors opening there, there are no unaware pedestrians trying to cross to get to their car… it’s safer for everybody.

Recently I was riding up 1st Ave, fairly fast, and I could see this woman ahead of me getting ready to cross the bike lane to get to her car. Sure enough, she steps off the bike lane without looking. When I got right up close to her, she turned and looked at me and immediately said, ‘I didn’t look!’ I was in the right place, and she has to cross the bike lane to get to her parked car. I don’t understand it…

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Biking for me started when I was a little. There was a candy store that was three miles away, and at that time it was an enormous distance. We would get together and ride our bikes there. I remember falling once and scratching my leg on the pedal. I still have that scar today. But the destination was candy.

I guess you can say I got into biking for candy.

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I always wear my helmet. I’m an accident waiting to happen! I’m always aggressive. I think its always better to be aggressive. I think its when you’re wavering and indecisive that drivers don’t know what they are gonna do.

When you look determined to do something you are a little more predictable.

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Steven Petrides was born in Framingham, Massachusetts in 1966. He has a BA in Art History and French Literature from Boston University, a BS in Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Masters of Architecture from Columbia University. He had sailed from Boston to Ireland on a 30-foot long sloop in a crew of seven, spending 26 days at sea. Steve designs buildings by day and draws naked men at night. He rides all over the city on his bike and at least once a week he rides to the Metropolitan Museum and back home to the Lower East Side. He enjoys studying the masters at the museum and practicing their techniques at home. Some of his favorites are Hockney, Picasso, Goya, Velasquez, and Guercino. He always apologizes and yields to his fellow bikers when he is riding the wrong way on a one way street. His chain is loose and his brake pads are worn.

Photography and Interview by Eric LaCour

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All I want for Christmas is… accessories to dress up my bike.

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From Karen’s wishlist:

I ride with style, but I still needs my gear to be functional. My must-have accessories this year are:


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  • a handlebar-mounted cup holder:

Portland Design Works’ Bar-ista is great for for chilly winter commutes (or summery iced coffee mornings).


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  • a cute bottle cage:

Portland Design Works’ Bird Cage: to stay hydrated… and put a bird on it!


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  • ergonomic leather grips:

Another favorite from Portland Design Works is their Whiskey/Bourbon leather grips.


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  • bike-themed t-shirts, because I wear my biker status with pride:

Endurance Conspiracy has unique designs for both men and women.


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  • electrolyte chews:

For long days in the saddle, it’s good to have some treats in your feedbag (trust me, try the margarita flavor).


  • rydesafereflective stickers:

RydeSafe’s line of reflective decals comes in a variety of shapes and colors, for kids and grown-up kids.


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All I want for Christmas is… a Brooks Backpack

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It seems like everyone on staff wants a Brooks backpack this year. They’re perfect both on and off the bike. We’re torn between the Pickwick (classy, but also sturdy and waterproof), the Dalston (smaller and lightweight, for just the essentials), and the Hackney (a little more versatile and bigger, with space for a laptop).

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