Streetfilm: NYC Bike Move

Inspired by a previous Streetfilm from Portland, Oregon, filmmaker Nicholas Whitaker decided to answer the challenge and bring you, "Bike Move Too." When his girlfriend Jes Schultz was priced out of her Fort Greene
Brooklyn apartment, they decided to call a few friends with bikes and
move her out, futon and all, to a new apartment in Crown Heights.

And here’s a Streetfilm for the snow day, too.

  • Geoff

    Nice one, guys!

  • ddartley

    Here’s one reason motor-minded people might pre-judge it as unrealistic. Unlike what’s suggested in the film, the equipment isn’t the only thing you need. You also need friends. And of course if you spend half your life enclosed in a metal and glass box, you’re less likely to have those.

    (he says, as he sits, typing a comment on a blog!)

  • cal

    I moved with a garden cart back in August. Then again it was only half a block, but lots of furniture.

  • Eric

    Nice! The reaction of the guy unloading his stuff from the truck is priceless.

  • Back in the 1980s we borrowed a friend’s father’s truck to move, and it broke down before we even finished loading it. We ended up moving the two blocks on foot and even with the piano, carried upside down, unfortunately, on a rolling dolly. Not my preferred moving experience for a family of three with a dog and a cat.

    My father also told me of a move his family made in Boston back in the 1910s – they walked and he at age 3 or 4 carried the “chair” and his little sister carried its “potty” to the new house down the block. He remembered this experience into his 80s, even as he was forgetting everything else.

  • you guys rule
    welcome to crown heights

  • Brook

    I liked the video very much, but the movers should have worn helmets.

  • smugness

    “…And of course if you spend half your life enclosed in a metal and glass box, you’re less likely to have those.”

    I love bikes and ride every single day (commuting/errands/recreation). More power to anyone who puts the time in the saddle. What I hate is the smugness and self-righteousness of many wanna-be activists.

    You think arrogance and smugness will make people try a cycling lifestyle? WRONG. If anything, your actions alienate people on the bubble. We all know, once you try it, cycling is addictive, and your smug attitude is counter to making cycling a widely accepted transportation choice.

    Good Job, Smuggy.

  • smuggy mcsmugerson

    I gotta agree with comment #10 – you were begging for validation when stopping to tell the moving-van guy what you were doing.

    Now what if you need to move to another state?

  • nick

    ugh, get over yourselves already. some people have to work and dont get to spend 3 weeks on the couch ‘studying’ for finals and getting ready for the big move. some people, like most of the people who actually got priced out of those neighborhoods, are too tired to organize a big event like that because they work all week.

  • Davis

    The amazing thing is that if these people had chosen to move to the Upper East Side with an 18-wheel van, Nick would have no problem with it. That wouldn’t be elitist or weird to him at all.

  • Chris

    That’s great! I’m thinking maybe you should take all the money you saved on gas or renting a U-Haul and buy your friends some helmets. Looks like you posee is part of the too cool for safety crowd. Just a thought. And let me be clear, I love the thought and the intent of your video.

  • Clarence Eckerson

    Brook & Chris:

    The helmet debate is a contentious one.

    I ride with one about 98% of the time (I might remove it if I am riding the boardwalk in the Rockaways or a place like that) and personally I think people who don’t use one are crazy not to.

    But it is not against the law and there are plenty of arguments to not wear one. Look in most major European bike cities, the majority of people do not. It’s a personal choice of course.

    Thanks for the views!

  • Asshat

    Don’t be silly. A helmet wouldn’t allow you to wear a cone on your head.

  • Zac

    I think it’s great if you can do this, but unfortunately, not every move is one where this is a practical approach. Every time I’ve ever gone through some sort of a relocation it’s been at least a 60 mile trek. That isn’t exactly something I’d want to do on a bike…pulling a trailer…up and down hills…several times.

  • Gargamel Tralfaz


    Yeah, I think 60 miles would be a bit much, but I think the message of the video is clear: if you want to, are physically able, want to have fun and have enough friends, it can be done.

    Really that is all. I don’t think the authors are trying to impose their will on everyone just saying that if you haven’t considered it, look we did it, you might too under the right circumstances!

  • D. Snyder

    So now we see just how really practical a fixed gear bike can be. They’re not just for racing, training and great accessories to fake thrift store clothes, you can move a plant with one. White people.

  • Good grief, how about interpreting #3 as exuberance (‘hey, it’s easy to make friends if you’ve got a bike’) with a streak of sarcasm from smugness? Note the self-deprecating ending… he’s got so many friends he’s commenting on blogs.
    Now, I dunno. I’m not in NY so maybe you *do* see blatant snot-nosedness (and then, again, maybe it’s pervasive to your culture and pots are calling kettles black, too) but I didn’t see it in this.
    Lots of defensive reaction to a bunch of people doing something healthy and fun… and tellin’ them they’re doing it wrong. Kinda sad.

  • D. Snyder

    I do live in NY. I ride my bike everywhere. I hate cars and car culture. I think moving by bike is somewhat practicle (as demonstrated in the video). That doesn’t prevent riding a brakeless trackbike on the streets of NYC with a cone on one’s head and a plant on the back from being S-T-U-P-I-D. When one of these trendy dorks spins past you sneering ” Nice gears” just before narrowly missing mowing down an old lady who has the right of way, you’ll get it.

  • Aaron

    Oh sheez, stop nitpicking these people on little things. No, they didn’t have helmets, so what. Protect your own head if you feel so inclined. Yes, they strode up to a guy moving in conventional fashion, so what. It made for good content and his reaction was great. He got an opportunity to see that it, while perhaps not with every move, can be done, and he was a good sport about it. And to anyone else who wants to dig up a petty little remark that discounts how cool it was for ten people and their bikes to move a friend and create a stronger human bond, get over yourself and laugh at how hilarious it is that someone thought to make a movie about it!

  • jac

    If it wasn’t for cars, we wouldn’t have to wear protection.
    Cars are like AIDS.
    Its contagious.

    If the world biked we wouldn’t need protection.
    To each their own really.

    I surely wish cyclists had more rights than those in vehicles.

    Too bad stoning wasn’t legal.
    Someone taking a lot of our precious oil and making mint off it all!
    (not returning much to all of us living off the land)

    shame really.

  • I just saw this video on the Paris municipal website that I found interesting in light of the eternal helmet debate:

    Some suggestions for safe riding.

  • Ayan

    I love tearing down a picturesque country road in a 300 bhp dual intake dual exhaust 3.0 L 24 valve Nissan 300 ZX.. I love carving into those swaying turns with the Tops down, wind in my hair.. Listening to nice cruise tunage with a pretty girl in the seat next to mine.. I’m also an avid cyclist.. I’ll put serious miles on my bike in one sitting. For the most part, I prefer to commute about the city (NYC) By bike.. Going between boroughs, as well as shooting up into westchester. Cars are cool, Bikes are cool.. Both can be practical and impractical, depending on the situation. Both can be fun and both can suck.. also depending on the situation.. Sometimes the two can even be made one (Stick a couple of bikes of bikes on the roof and hit up some trails in New Paltz or Lake Placid.. So suck it car haters. I love mine. 🙂

  • J. Mork

    Sure Ayan, you love your car when you’re stuck in a car commercial, but how do you feel about everyone else’s cars in real life when you’re stuck behind them in a traffic jam?

  • Kathy Stern

    Congestion pricing is an invasion of privacy. It would be great to have less congestion on the streets in Manhattan, however one aspect which I have not seen discussed is the fact that the program will install several thousand TV cameras which are designed as both face recognition cameras as well as license plate recognition capabilities. The result will be that every aspect of every New Yorkers life will be observable and trackable. All elements of privacy will be eliminated. Though the program is supposed to work from 6AM to 6PM, there is little doubt that the location of people and cars will be tracked 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.

    Before Congestion Pricing is passed, privacy issues MUST be discussed and strong protections must be put in place. Perhaps a special provision to the law should include a law stating that all files are to be destroyed and the data expunged after a set period of time, such as 24 hours.

    Let’s make a better City, but without the total loss of privacy.

  • Davis

    Kathy, honey, if you stepped outside today in Manhattan south of 60th Street, it is almost certain that you were photographed on every block you walked. Unlike the well-marked cameras and highly regulated software that’ll be used for congestion pricing, the random mix of cameras that captured your image today have no clear and set rules regarding the use of the data. And, of course, if you don’t want to be photographed by a congestion pricing camera, you can always ride the subway. (Though, guess what? You’ll be photographed there too!)

  • Ayan

    Um.. that’s why I said.. Sometimes cars suck.. Like in traffic jams.. Didn’t I say that? I didn’t mention traffic jams, but that’s one of the times when cars suck the most. But hey, I had to take my grandmother to the hospital today. And I stood in some traffic. Would you rather me have loaded her on one of those wagons and drag her down to NYU medical center from the Bronx? Or maybe hire a pedicab? Just like you battle traffic in cars, there are things you battle on your bike.. Like the elements. If it’s pouring outside, I’ll take a “box of glass and metal” over a bike any time.. My main shit is with the “I hate car culture” people.. What the hell is “car culture” anyway? And why hate it? Being hateful helps nobody.

  • Dave

    What is it with this whole privacy issue, like the nutjobs who won’t get EZ-Pass because they’re afraid of being tracked?

    Don’t do anything illegal and then you won’t have to worry about your movements being tracked! DUH! In fact cameras are more and more helpful in catching thieves and crooks and in London helped track the subway bombers. We need more cameras!

    By the way a person’s right to privacy does not apply when using streets that are built, paid for and maintained by public taxes. You can’t be photographed on your private property but step onto public property and you can be.

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    one aspect which I have not seen discussed is the fact that the program will install several thousand TV cameras which are designed as both face recognition cameras as well as license plate recognition capabilities

    If you had been reading Streetsblog, you would have seen this aspect discussed numerous times. Most recently (yesterday) you would have seen the Commissioner’s testimony that the current plan calls for only 25 cameras, down from 300:

    Don’t do anything illegal and then you won’t have to worry about your movements being tracked!

    Sorry, Dave, I can’t agree with that. Privacy is a serious concern these days – which is why it’s so frustrating to see it hijacked by people who were silent when cameras and tracking systems were installed in the subways.

  • wowwwwwwww it’s beutifull place.

  • sjjitxihc



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