Thursday, April 19, 2007

Bike Rocker Attila Horvath

Bikescape goes to the the San Francisco prologue of the Amgen Tour of California race. Levi Leipheimer won the time trials that day and then went on to win the six-stage race, but we weren't there to see that. Attila Horvath of Bike Rock fame was in town where he set up shop next to the Bike Coalition's valet bike parking and regaled the throngs and Bikescape listeners with his bike centric songs.

Buy his CD!!

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In other news, we win one in Golden Gate Park where a part of JFK Drive will be closed to cars on Saturdays after a thirty five year struggle.

Things got ugly after Critical Mass last month. To hear the whole story of what really happened, check out David's interview with me on The Fredcast. If you were dissappointed that the race was only used as a backdrop for this podcast you need to check out The Fredcast where David covers that facet of bike culture better than anyone.

Friday, April 06, 2007

pedicabs at the crossroads in NY

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An old form of public transport, the pedicab has made inroads in some US cities but in Midtown Manhattan over the last ten years the industry has exploded in popularity. The unimpeded views, immunity to gridlock and the sheer fun of riding a human powered vehicle have made pedicabs a true alternative to taxis, busses and the subway for locals and tourists alike.

But with popularity comes growing pains as the business reaches a crossroad. Lack of regulation has encouraged unscrupulous, uninsured drivers to enter the field and has caused complaints leading the City Council to pass broad regulations that would cap the number of pedicabs in New York at 350 and outlaw electric assist motors. There are now upwards of five hundred trikes out on the streets so many hard working entrepreneurs would lose their livelyhoods.

And for obvious reasons, the taxi industry has lent its weight to the fight while the other side responds.

As we go to air Mayor Bloomberg has vetoed the bill and we await an override or new legislation from the City Council. Write to your council member today!

Bikescape catches up with Bicytaxi mechanic Kate Freitag in her Fifth Avenue garage to talk about the state of New York's Pedicab Industry.