John Leguizamo’s Green Limo

This is too fun not to post. John Leguizamo, who’s been biking in New York since before the actual Summer of Sam, takes a CNN crew on a ride through Midtown and shares some pointers on NYC cycling. (Sorry about the BASF commercial you’ll have to sit through before it gets started.) Leguizamo’s big pitch to potential cyclists comes about two-thirds of the way through. While I think he might be overemphasizing the danger and thrills, it’s hard to argue after you see the police nearly door him.

  • Anyone care to count the number of cycling laws he breaks in this video? Sigh.

  • LB

    That’s hilarious and awesome.

  • Liam

    Wish he would use the bike lanes but it might have had something to do with the camera-person. He’s better than other celebrity cyclists though.

  • Uhh… Chris,

    I’m an LCI and the only law I saw him break was riding on the sidewalk. Even then he rode at a reasonable speed and the sidewalk was completely empty. Not a major deal in my book.

  • Andy – he also rode outside a bike lane on a street with a bike lane, and for a brief shot, he rode against traffic (at about 1:40).

  • flp

    oh for crying out loud, chris, and you cannot be bothered to note that the first and only real law breaking incident is perpetrated by none other than ny’s so-called finest, the ny-effing-pd! it is against the law to open your vehicle door against on coming traffic. wow, i cannot believe no one said anything about this before.

  • Clarence Eckerson Jr

    Liam: Actually check out the – well, interesting to me – behind-the-scenes clips and blog where CNN shows you how they did this “dangerous” shoot, where they said their chances of being killed were “100%”. Read their blog entry!

    http://behindthescenes.blogs.cnn.com/2010/05/06/shooting-john-leguizamo/

    They used a pedi-cab driver and three camera people (plus I am sure at least a producer). So at least they went the environmental route. So I am not sure why they didn’t always use the bike lanes, I don’t think it was a specific decision of anyone, probably just went with the flow.

    It’s a fun piece, I thought it was charming. Of course we here at Streetfilms would have done this shoot with just one camera person who would be riding the bike as well….but I digress

    Really nice to see the article was linked to Recycle a Bicycle in the body of it!

  • kaja

    Yeah that cop dooring was priceless. Glad they opened with it.

  • I love it. Leguizamo is more charming in this than your usual cycling advocate, and so I love that he’s done this. Not that our NYC cycling advocates are on-camera slouches by any means, but Leguizamo here is charming to the general public, not just the already converted.

    I love that near the very beginning, he takes on, with “stupid voice” and all, the whole “but why would you ride a bike if you have money” moronitude. On CNN.

    I hope CNN broadasts this a bunch more times.

  • Yes, love this video. Out of the nerd, into the cool, alright. Terrific!

  • flp: Relax, I didn’t bother to note it because the blog post already did. And if you look closely, not only did the NYPD officer not bother to look before opening his door, but he did so while parked in a bus lane.

  • Well, I say he should have every right to ride outside of a bike lane if he chooses. Repealing mandatory sidepath / bikelane laws are one of the League of American Bicyclists biggest campaign items, BTW. Also, I just don’t see him riding against traffic at 1:40 or anywhere else. At least its not blatantly obvious and I a real big pain in the @ss about riding legally.

    Clarence knows I given him a hard time about some of the illegal riding that pops up in his videos but often he just captures life on the streets as it really happens and I respect him for that (It’s help me as a bike/ped professional see problems with some bike facility design treatments). Still, here I still see nothing to even really comment on.

    Like others said, its nice to see bicycling portrayed as cool and something that a hip, successful, Latino, MALE celebrity does to get around the city all while wearing fashionable street cloths.

  • Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    Yes, I gotta say Andy B is usually the most picky of anyone of Streetfilms! 🙂

  • Oh yeah. Those bike lanes he’s not riding in (2:34) are in the door zone. Good move on his part if you ask me.

  • Liam

    re : 2:34

    The 6th avenue bike lane isn’t great, but it’s better than riding on the right side with all the buses and taxi jostling.

    Please don’t ride on the right side/in the middle lanes when the bike lane is clear. It makes things more difficult for myself and others who are perfectly safe traveling just a little bit slower in the 6th avenue bike lane. Just ride near the outside line and keep your eyes open. It really has gotten less obstructed in the past 3 years.

  • Jeffrey W. Baker

    Did they run this on TV or only on the web?

  • Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    They put everything on tv at least once as far as I have seen. I’ll bet this airs numerous times over the weekend.

  • I don’t what the law is in NY or other East Coast states, but in California there’s nothing in the vehicle code that mandates a bicycle use a bike lane. In San Jose, I only ride in bike lanes that are not in the door zone and prefer to take the lane because I can go much faster.

    I think this video is cool because it shows that you don’t need to be a dork (sorry guys) to make cycling a lifestyle. Anything that appears dangerous or “illegal” (nothing I can see) just shows what we’re all up against as bicyclists and that we need to make the law and infrastructure adapt to our safety needs.

  • a Hells kitchen cyclist

    my partner was once doored by the police and knocked to the ground and thankfully not injured or hit by a car. they were nice enough to offer to take him to the hospital! i’m not sure if they were paying or not

  • Jym Dyer

    @Chris O’Leary – Thankfully, NYC provides some exceptions to New York State’s ridiculous “must ride in the bike lane” law. See esp. answer #10 here:

    http://times-up.org/index.php?page=legal-faq

    I don’t think you know the details of the snippets you’re criticizing. Do you know which street he was on at 1:40 and whether he was making a right turn after 2:33? In either case he could well be covered.

    As per testimony by Steve Faust in federal court about 5 years ago, most of the old-style bike lanes in NYC don’t conform to highway standards, so the legal exception was designed around that fact.

    ObDisclaimer: I am not a lawyer, but I’ve sure talked to some.

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