Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bicycles belong on the Streets

This post is a tribute to:
      • the graffiti
      • the bicycle and its rider
        • the street artist
Bicycles belong out there on the streets and so do graffiti (Italian plural of graffito).  Only those that are willing to really be part of the culture and life of a city such as the bicyclist and the graffiti artist deserve to be recognized.
The city belongs to them.  The rest are only borrowers...shy expectators.  If you want to really be a part and contribute to the life and fabric of a place, then step on its streets, walk its paths, bike its trails, watch its art, smell its aromas, buy locally.

How can you call yourself a Bostonian if you don't know what Boston smells like? You should know what the manhole covers look like in your city; after all, you are paying for them. Taste your place, be part of it, leave a mark, feel its beat; every place has one.  I'll leave you with this collection of street art:  Hopefully your town has some interesting graffiti art like these:

Source: Adidas ad -

Source: Alttransport

Source: Amy Martino (Bicycles)

Source (anonimous)



Source: Flickr user David Drexler (Bicycle Man)

Source: nicomachus (bicycle stencil)

Source: (Bikeshop in Denver)


By Caleb Loadbear sketch

Source: sergi10del77.blogspot Brasil

By Noah Hoose (Headless Horseman)

At: Joah's Raw Food (Bananawonder)

By Kosule Masuda

Source: Caroline Tucker -

Source: Street Art Utopia -  Stinkfish

Source: The Giant Blog



Source: treadlyandme.tumblr
Enjoy - -

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sustainable Streets by Janette Sadik-Khan

Transforming NYC Streets: A Conversation with Janette Sadik-Khan

Since taking over as New York City's Commissioner of the Department of Transportation in mid-2007, Janette Sadik-Khan has taken on the challenge of making NYC streets more bike & pedestrian friendly while emphasizing livable streets and re-orienting them to accommodate all modes. She and her staff have done it quickly with innovative concepts, thinking outside the box and drawing on successful street designs from around the world to come up with a NYC model that is already changing the way our city feels.

In our exclusive Streetfilms interview, she talks with The Open Planning Project's Executive Director, Mark Gorton, about some of the highlights her department has achieved in a very short period of time including a physically-separated bike lane on Ninth Avenue, multiple pedestrian plazas (including Madison Square and Broadway Boulevard), new efforts to boost efficiency and speeds on some bus routes, and the city's phenomenally successful, Ciclovia-style closure "Summer Streets".

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Of Bicycles and Drug Money

Source: Cycling Inquisition blog
Recently the topic of Pablo Escobar has become to resurface with the opening of a new Colombian Soap Opera by its name: Pablo Escobar - El Patrón del Mal. or Pablo Escobar, the Lord of Evil.
Source: Crunchtees
Fewer people nowadays don't know who Escobar was, but for us Colombians that had to grow up with the cartel wars and thus with the bombings, the extravagant silliness, the news, the uncertainty and the inflation that drug money fueled, that name and the names of many other drug lords are latent in memory.  Pablo was definitely an icon.  You can ask around the world what his name means for them and you will hear dozens, maybe hundreds of different adjectives associated to it. For me, the name meant power, determination, suicide.  The picture above shows how this type of money permeated even the most noble of inventions.
Source: Cycling Inquisition blog

Bicycling and the races were not unaffected by the cartels. Not by his anyway. Pablo liked speed. All of his family liked the races; car races, horse races, flying, bike races and since his brother was into bicycles, Escobar saw it quite natural to just give his brother Roberto (osito) a bicycle? oh no... an entire bicycle factory. Bicicletas Ossito were the sponsors of bike tours around Colombia.  Made in Manizales, in the jurisdiction of Caldas, Ossitto made all kinds of bicycles, but was most notorious for its road bikes, which participated in some of the most important tours while riders such as Gonzalo Marín wore Jerseys and pants that advertised Pablo Escobar as a political figure.
Autos & Pista Magazine 1979

Escobar also donated money to launch athletes to the Tour de France, which reminds me of the Medici family and the sponsorships of artists during the Renascence in Italy. Perhaps car races were the most favored by El Patrón, but this didn't preclude the two to intermingle.  Several of Colombia's best professional cyclists found themselves associated to and victimized by the drug cartels.  Here are some of their names: Roberto Escobar (Pablo's brother), Gonzalo Marín, Alfonzo Flores, Armando Aristizabal, Juan Carlos Castillo, Rafael Tolosa.

Thanks to: Cycling Inquisiton and Carla Toscano's interview with Pablo Escobar