Welcome to BRBRbrooklyn! Whether you are pedaling to the shore, the store, your neighbor’s stoop, or back to your own coop, this blog is for you. Bay Ridge Bicycle Routes is an effort raise to awareness within our neighborhood and among civic groups about the activities of bicyclists in Bay Ridge and other nearby communities in southern Brooklyn.

Our neighborhood’s immediate access to the harbor, less congested street traffic, friendly atmosphere, expansive parks and flat terrain (except, of course, for the steep ridge in Bay Ridge!) makes our corner of New York City one of the most fantastic places to ride a bicycle. Whether for transportation, recreation, fun or fitness, cycling is great in Bay Ridge.

Monday, July 5, 2010

TdF and the Straight Line

Though this blog just started, the calendar forces an attention diversion to bicycling's main event, the Tour de France. Tennis players have Wimbledon (congratulations Ms Williams and Mr. Nadal) and soccer fans have the World Cup (quarterfinals and final this week, good luck to Uruguay, Netherlands, Germany, and Spain…. and if you are reading this blog and unsure who to root for, some strong hints are coming).

Today, the 2010 Tour de France is entering it’s 4th day and is just now crossing the border into France. It has been up north in an area that could safely be considered as the Holy Land of bicycling, the Netherlands and Belgium. Those people bicycle everywhere, all the time. Men, women, young, old (er, I mean, “senior”), heels and flats, rain or shine. The cities are criss-crossed with bicycle lanes and so is the countryside between towns.

So what does this have to do with BRBR? Well, 3 things:

a) Here’s an article recently written by John Eustice, Bicycling: How I Learned to Ride a Straight Line... from an Older Belgian Woman. An entertaining read with some valuable lessons for bicyclists of all kinds, especially those of us in NYC.

Rule # 1: Relax on the machine

Rule # 2: Control from the center

Rule #3 : Learn to ride in a straight line

Rule #4 : Look ahead and anticipate any trouble

Rule # 5: Stay cool and be a benevolent cyclist

Rule # 6: Behave on the bridges (this one is for NYC)

And, yes, I saw plenty of the ladies Mr. Eustice described when I visited a few years ago. Even riding in the rain, carrying umbrellas while pedaling straight along.

b) Soon, I’ll have up some images of bicyclists in the Netherlands. Just a cross section of riders of all kinds Though I'm going to be hard pressed to surpass this: http://www.ski-epic.com/amsterdam_bicycles/. The annotated photos are classic!

c) Last, the Netherlands series has inspired some shots from our own neighborhood, people riding bicycles, bike lane or not. I’ll get those posted soon, too.

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