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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 06-22-06, 11:38 AM   #1
jyossarian
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Metlife Building Sucks for Bike Commuters *RANT*

We're moving offices this summer from the building I'm in now that has hitching posts for bikes to the Metlife (aka PanAm) Building right behind Grand Central Terminal. I went there today to scope the place out and there's absolutely no bike racks or hitching posts to lock up to. I even checked out the entrance near the messenger center and there was nothing to lock up to. I asked one of the security guards about it and he told me they took the bike racks away when the transit strike ended in December. The only places to lock up to are street signs where it's illegal to lock up a bike. It's enforced the same way jaywalking's enforced, but still, during the increasingly frequent crackdowns the NYPD likes to pull on cyclists, my bike could legally be removed. I'll hit up the building manager about getting a bike rack installed and call the city to request that one be installed, but I'm not hopeful.

On the plus side, if you want to call it that, there's plenty of places to eat in and around GCT and if I took the train to work, I wouldn't have to go outside once I got to GCT.

On the minus side, my commute will be even shorter than it is now and there's no bike racks.

Hopefully I'll still have a job when we move to the new office.
/END RANT
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Old 06-22-06, 03:33 PM   #2
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Get a folder!
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Old 06-22-06, 03:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oboeguy
Get a folder!
A Swift folder just shot to the top of my list. Too bad the new steel designs won't be out for a few months.
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Old 06-22-06, 03:56 PM   #4
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Get a folder!
Get a fixed folder!
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Old 06-22-06, 03:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyossarian
We're moving offices this summer from the building I'm in now that has hitching posts for bikes to the Metlife (aka PanAm) Building right behind Grand Central Terminal. I went there today to scope the place out and there's absolutely no bike racks or hitching posts to lock up to. I even checked out the entrance near the messenger center and there was nothing to lock up to. I asked one of the security guards about it and he told me they took the bike racks away when the transit strike ended in December. The only places to lock up to are street signs where it's illegal to lock up a bike. It's enforced the same way jaywalking's enforced, but still, during the increasingly frequent crackdowns the NYPD likes to pull on cyclists, my bike could legally be removed. I'll hit up the building manager about getting a bike rack installed and call the city to request that one be installed, but I'm not hopeful.

On the plus side, if you want to call it that, there's plenty of places to eat in and around GCT and if I took the train to work, I wouldn't have to go outside once I got to GCT.

On the minus side, my commute will be even shorter than it is now and there's no bike racks.

Hopefully I'll still have a job when we move to the new office.
/END RANT
will yr employer let you store your bike in the building? i'm lucky, my bosses let me use an auxiliary hvac closet for bike storage, but some guys on another floor were able to persuade their bosses to let them have a bike rack in the freight elevator corridor. There may be options inside the building.
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Old 06-22-06, 06:07 PM   #6
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The Swift fold is not so hot for commuting (the handlebars being the problem), though the ride is awesome (I tested one recently). FYI, I recommend the guy who runs bfold (www.bfold.com) -- he let me test ride the first Swift he had at the shop out of the box!
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Old 06-22-06, 08:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Get a fixed folder!
Finally! Something we can both agree upon. Swifts come with track ends and Peter Reich, the Swift's designer, makes fixed/free wheels for Swifts. It's something I'm definitely considering. There's some examples of fixed/SS Swifts in the Swift Folder thread. The bike would be lighter and have fewer cables to get tangled up in. Glad to see you're coming around ILTB.

Laika: It's not my company's call on whether I can take the bike inside with me, it's the building management's. I'll talk to them about it when we move b/c I have to make sure they don't flip out if I bring a folder inside with me. I have to pass through a security checkpoint that looks like a turnstile, then up an escalator just to get to the elevators. And it's a pretty busy building.

oboeguy: I'm probably going to order a Swift directly from Peter. I tried a Swift at NYCE Bikes and the nose was a little twitchy, but other than that it was a nice riding bike with good geometry. I may stop by bfold just to try out some other folders cuz test driving bikes is always fun.
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Old 06-22-06, 11:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyossarian
Laika: It's not my company's call on whether I can take the bike inside with me, it's the building management's. I'll talk to them about it when we move b/c I have to make sure they don't flip out if I bring a folder inside with me. I have to pass through a security checkpoint that looks like a turnstile, then up an escalator just to get to the elevators. And it's a pretty busy building.
If your co. is cool with you storing your bike inside, I'd bet you can probably bring your bike up through a service entrance in the freight elevator. That's what I do & the security guys are super cool about it... chances are if you can get in for a week, they'll recognize you and wave you through no questions asked after a while. Good luck!
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Old 06-23-06, 05:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyossarian
Finally! Something we can both agree upon. Swifts come with track ends and Peter Reich, the Swift's designer, makes fixed/free wheels for Swifts. It's something I'm definitely considering. There's some examples of fixed/SS Swifts in the Swift Folder thread. The bike would be lighter and have fewer cables to get tangled up in. Glad to see you're coming around ILTB.
Hey, I'll suggest one better. Get a fixed folder that is also permamently fixed in the riding position (i.e. can't be folded.) How would that be for simplicity and reliability? Do away with all the complexity of the folding mechanisms! Squeezing a non folding folder into your working areas or on to public transportation would offer a challenge that Real Fixies should appreciate.
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Old 06-23-06, 07:43 AM   #10
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Write your local rep and tell them you support Introduction 38. Transalt has the details:
http://www.transalt.org/e-bulletin/2006/June/0601.html

http://webdocs.nyccouncil.info/textf...TOKEN=66421548

Here it is:
Int. No. 38



By Council Members Yassky, Brewer, James, Koppell, Sanders Jr., Weprin, Foster, Monserrate, Liu, Vallone Jr. and Palma



..Title

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to building access for bicycles.

..Body



Be it enacted by the Council as follows:



Section 1. Article ten of subchapter three of chapter one of title 26 of the administrative code of the city of New York is amended by adding a new section 26-264 to read as follows:

§26-264 Access for bicycles. a The owner, lessee, agent or other person who directly or indirectly is in control of any building shall make reasonable provisions to provide for access to such building by any tenant, subtenant or person in the employ of such tenant or subtenant when any such tenant, subtenant or person seeks to enter such building with a bicycle.

b. The owner, lessee, agent or other person who directly or indirectly is in control of any building shall make reasonable provisions to provide for access to locations where such bicycles shall be stored. Such reasonable provisions may include the designation of freight or service areas or spaces or freight or service elevators, where such elevators exist in a building, for use by such tenant, subtenant or person with a bicycle.

c. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivisions b of this section, no bicycle shall be stored in a manner that violates building or fire codes. Any such bicycle that is so stored in such a manner shall immediately be removed or made safe and secure.

§2. This local law shall take effect in thirty days from the date of its enactment.



RA

Int 155/2004
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Old 06-23-06, 08:23 AM   #11
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Laika: I'll talk with the office mgr. about getting permission to bring my bike into the building. Thanks for the advice!

Sukram: I've emailed the city councilman requesting a hearing on Int. 38. Thanks for the info!

ILTB: A folder that doesn't fold? That's a radical idea.
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Old 06-23-06, 11:19 AM   #12
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I contacted Vallone a while back, my rep, just to tell him I supported Int 38. He's one of the sponsors, but I figured it was good just to let him know I stood behind it. However... this is something that's been floating around since 2004. From what I can tell from their website, it hasn't gone very far... Kind of a shame. Just got to keep up the pressure.
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Old 06-23-06, 03:18 PM   #13
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Bike lockers available at GCT?
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Old 06-23-06, 03:27 PM   #14
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Bike lockers available at GCT?
nyc no habla bike lockers, for a lot of reasons, primary amongst which is that I think people would store their (non-bike) crap in them. There are people who live in apartments here that have reserved, off-street parking spaces that they keep beater, tagless cars in, just to store their stuff in. I wish we had mn style lockers like y'all.
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Old 06-23-06, 05:52 PM   #15
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Lockers at GCT? So some idiot can put bombs in them? The place has national guardsmen with machine guns and cops with machine guns hanging around. They probably think people actually will make bikes into pipe bombs and park them outside the place.
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