Vintage bicycles and “tweed” attire. All welcome. Start at All Good Bakers and ride on, ending up at a pub.
Category Archives: Rides
Thirty-two people attended the dedication of Paul Merges’ ghost bike. His cousin Mike and Laurie, Mikes’s wife started the ceremony by lighting a candle and speaking on behalf of the Merges family. Several others made comments about the need for safety on the roads or in sympathy for the family. Two members of Albany’s Common Council attended and one of them spoke. Twelve bicycle riders then rode silently from the ghost bike on Washington Ave. and Manning Blvd to Washington Park.
Art and (Bicycle) Access – 1st Friday Gallery Spin and Bicycle Boulevard Mapping – A number of new 1st Friday Gallery Spin riders plus some regulars departed the Soldiers and Sailor Monument in Washington Park for the traditional first stop at the Upstate Artists Guild. The show there, “Fashion and Art,” was a real treat with live models/mannequins showing off some of the wearable entries. There was a nice array of fashion-themed 2-D art in the main, back, and side galleries, all augmented by a DJ.
We next zipped out Delaware Ave. (love those shared lane makings and signs!) to disrupt the diners at Mingle by examining an impressive mix of paintings and photographs (including one bicycle-themed piece). On the way, we waved to baby Indiana and her parents, Laura and Perry, longtime cycling advocates.
We were then off to the Opalka Gallery for a must-see show featuring John Van Alstine, “Arrested Motion/Perilous. Do not miss this one (ends 10/14/12). Our last gallery visit was the Massery at College of St. Rose for the closing night of the Art and Design Faculty Show. As one of our riders expressed interest in displaying his art in Albany, we checked out the Madison Theater windows where the theater and the Beautify Upper Madison Avenue Project sponsors installations by local artists. There we saw Matt Ramsey’s commissioned piece for the Upper Madison Street Fair, “When We Destroy the World Around Us, We Destroy Ourselves” and an installation by Kimberly Marks of College of St. Rose student entries to the Street Fair poster contest. (As a side note, the Upper Madison Street Fair – 2012 will feature an Exotic Bicycle Exhibit .
As an add-on to this 1st Friday Gallery Spin, we were committed to reconnoitering Berkshire Blvd. and connecting city streets.
Berkshire Blvd. is designated officially in the Albany Bicycle Master Plan (page 39) as a “neighborhood bikeway. Our interest was to explore the possibility of its being the main spine of a bicycle boulevard connecting the western extremes of the city to downtown. As a bicycle boulevard, this would be a low-volume street optimized for bicycle travel by traffic calming and diversion, signage and pavement markings, and intersection treatments.
Bicycle boulevards are shared roadways that are comfortable and attractive to cyclists with a range of abilities and ages. Ideally, they are inconvenient as through routes for automobiles. Bicycle boulevards serve major origins, destinations, and travel corridors and should be as direct and intuitive as possible. As a residential roadway, Berkshire Blvd. already has low motor vehicle volume and could serve well as a bicycle boulevard. As with many bicycle-focused improvements, there would be spillover benefits to the Berkshire Blvd. community – less speeding, more quiet, enhanced walk-ability.
If it were so designated, some low-cost treatments could include the following:
- Prioritizing bicycle movement with stop signs that favor the bicycle route
- Reducing motor vehicle speeds by traffic calming
- Reducing motor vehicle volumes by traffic diversion
- Providing crossing improvements at intersections with major streets (refuge islands, signalization, or curb extensions)
- Helping cyclists find and use the facility with pavement markings and signs with both directional and destination information, which are likely to be destinations
After circling one of Albany’s gens, Buckingham Pond, we headed out Berkshire, crossed Russell Rd., wound through Albany’s 15th Ward, rode trough parts of Bethlehem, and ended up in Guilderland looking across Western Ave. to the glare of Crossgates Mall. The route we rode – which avoids the high volume/high speed Western Ave. completely – presents political challenges (impact on motor vehicle traffic) and jurisdictional issues (it encompasses streets Albany, Guilderland, Bethlehem, a town park, and some private property).
Our Riders were Sebastian, Jim, John, Filipe, Keith, Paul, and Lorenz.
More to follow . . .
This past Friday, May 25, 2012, Cynthia, Sharon, Jim, Bruce, David, and Gus joined up for a “no hills” urban bicycle ride on a beautiful late spring evening. We rode about 6 miles at a relaxed pace with a route that included Lark, Central, Washington, Western, S. Lake, New Scotland, Academy, Heldeberg, Sycamore, New Scotland (again), Maple Wood, Fair View, Partridge, Clinton Robin, Central, and Henry Johnson ending up back at the Monument in Washington Park. With the coming 3-day weekend, the 5:30 motor vehicle traffic was only moderate and the Park was not the usual “rush hour” bedlam. A good time was had by all.
Albany’s 6th Annual Ride of Silence was on Wednesday, May 16 starting at 6:00 PM and 6:30.
Cyclists gathered at Albany’s Corning Preserve/Boat Launch and at West Capital Park/NYS Education Building for a silent tribute to riders killed or injured while cycling on local roads. The 20 riders were accompanied by a bicycle police officer from the University at Albany.
The slow-paced procession left the Corning Preserve/Boat Launch at 6:00 p.m. and then visited Jose Perez’s bicycle on Broadway at Quay St. The 12-mile round-trip route then met up with riders near the NYS Education Building and visited two more fatality sites. We finished up with two flat tires and a refreshing downpour as we cruised in town on Central Ave.
The Ride of Silence, which is held during National Bike Month, reminds us all – cyclists and motorists – to be considerate on the road for the safety of all. The ride also shows respect for those who have been killed or injured while cycling.
The first Ride of Silence was organized in 2003 to honor a Texas cyclist killed by a bus. Events are now held across the nation and in other countries, including Australia, Canada, and Scotland. For a list of locations and more on the history of the event, go to http://www.rideofsilence.org.
Across the nation, more than 600 cyclists are killed on the road every year. Local fatalities for whom there are ghost bikes include the following:
- Nicholas Richichi, 53 – Oct. 19, 2007, Fuller Rd., Guilderland
- Diva De Loayza, 40 – June 6, 2007, Western Ave., Albany
- Alan Robert Fairbanks, 72 – Oct. 29, 2006 (later died), Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail and Route 5S, Rotterdam
- Jose Perez, 60 – Aug. 3, 2006, Quay St., Albany
- Joel Melnikoff, 49 – July 3, 2006, Rt. 32, Bethlehem
- David Ryan, 32 – June 29, 2004, Riverview Rd., Rexford
- Robert Zayhowski, 43 – July 16, 2000, Rt. 66, Sand Lake
Ride of Silence 2013 will be on May 15, 2013.