Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Philadelphia Bicycle Weekend - 2012

Here in the hallowed halls of the Philadelphia Bicycle Journal we are pleased to announce that Saturday, November 17 and Sunday, November 18 will officially be the 2012 Philadelphia Bicycle Weekend. Why, because we said so. This weekend will have something for everyone.

For those of you who are looking for a social ride and with the opportunity to dress up there is the Philadelphia Tweed Ride on Saturday, November 17. A leisurely ride through Philadelphia with over 100 bicyclists all them dressed in clothing dating from the 1890's to the 1920's.  Not sure if you have the proper clothing, look through some of the pictures found here you may already have items in your closet that will work. If not a quick trip to a thrift shop or consignment store will have you properly outfitted.

For those of you who want to challenge yourself at a competitive level on Sunday, November 18 there is the Philly Cranksgiving Ride. Departing from Penn Treaty Park you will be navigating to a series of predetermined supermarkets. At each market you will purchase an item of food from a list supplied and then bring everything to a final destination, Tattooed Mom's on South St. The proceeds are donated to Philabundance and this year Tattooed Mom's will match all donations.

With the weather predicted to be in the 50's it should be perfect bicycling weather.

Monday, November 12, 2012

How to write a bicycle column like Stu Bykofsky

Many people who regularly read Stu Bykofsky's columns sometimes wonder how they could write such riveting articles about bicycles without the years of experience that Mr. Bykofsky has acquired. Fortunately if you follow this basic formula you to can write with the same level expertise.

Masquerade opinion as fact – Mr. Bykofsky is a columnist and a professional grumpy old man; his articles are commentary based on opinion, his opinion. Unlike a reporter who has to investigate, conduct interviews, and may even witness actual events. Anything Mr. Bykofsky writes is not subject to any type of verification and short of libel he is free to imply anything he wants as long as it his opinion. Such as all cyclists are lawbreakers because they run red lights do not come to full stops at stop signs, or ride on the sidewalk.

Manipulate the data – The one thing Mr. Bykofsky is unable to contend with is actual data and the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia's Annual Bicycle count is a key example. Stu's only claims to debunk the data is:

That the BCGP is partisan because they are a bicycle advocacy group, so I challenge Stu to provide his own verifiable count. I have no doubt that there are plenty of interns available at the newspaper.

Stu loves to talk about how bicycle lanes are only used by 2.1%, of Philadelphia’s population in reality that is 32,046 residents. Who are not using parking spaces, clogging the roads with cars or putting more pressure on SEPTA, which is underfunded and overstressed. For all you sports fans the list below should help put that 2.1%, 32,046 cyclists, into perspective.

Lincoln Financial Field (Eagles) – seats 67,954
Citizens Bank Park (Phillies) – seats 43,647

Be a bully – One of the key elements in the profile of a bully is to dehumanize your subject through name-calling. Mr. Bykofsky has this down to a science by referring to cyclists as gearheads, cyclopaths, and my personal favorite, pedalphiles. So if you can come up with a catchy yet demeaning play on words you have mastered yet another step in this process.

Find a patsy – Mr. Bykofsky is at his best when has a patsy. Someone he can use as a clown or a fool to make it appear as if he is better informed or gives him the illusion of street cred.

Get a gimmick – Writing columns on the evils of cyclists get old very fast, you can only repackage the same opinions a limited number of ways before your columns become predictable. So Stu came up with a gimmick, Stu goes for a bike ride in the summer. It lasts about 30 minutes and is along a protected path, which means he never comes close to a car let alone sees one.

Follow all of these steps and soon you will have a high paid career like Mr. Bykofsky. Without having to waste all that money on a journalism degree and spend years learning your craft.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Blink and you missed it

Recently on the Philadelphia Daily News website, part of, they had an article/press release on a recent survey of the numbers of bicycle commuters in Philadelphia. But in the blink of an eye it was gone. What made this survey unique was that it was not performed by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia; rather it was the Center City District. The Center City District and Central Philadelphia Development Corporation are business-led organizations that work together to enhance the competitiveness and attractiveness of Philadelphia's downtown.

With this survey counts were made from 8:00am to 9:00am during the first two weeks of October of bicyclists entering into Philadelphia northbound, rain or shine. The CCD found their was a 10.5% increase in cyclists from 2010; from an average number of cyclists of 790 per hour to 2012 to 873 per hour. You can see the survey for yourself here.

Over the last few years Philadelphia Daily News opinion writer and professional grumpy old man Stu Bykofsky has claimed that the BCGP's bicycle survey is biased due to the partisan nature of the organization. As well as nit picky issues like they don't count bicycles when it rains, which is like counting people working on their tan when it rains at the Jersey Shore.

The Philadelphia City Planning Commission has recommended the installation of an additional 117 miles of bicycle lanes. Since the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia can no longer be trusted when it comes to its relationship with Philadelphia City Council and bicycle infrastructure. It will be surveys like this one that make sure the interests of all cyclists are represented.