A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from January 24, 2013
Bike Ninja

A “bike ninja” is a cyclist who wears dark clothing (like a ninja) and who doesn’t use reflectors or have lights on a bike. A bike ninja is difficult to see at night and often poses a danger to other cyclists.

The term “bike ninja” has been cited in print since at least December 2006.

Bike Forums
12-02-06, 11:24 AM
I was driving to pick up groceries and supplies and while driving I’m not sure what triggered my thinking on this but I started wondering who’s at fault if you hit a cyclist that is wearing all dark clothing, no front/back lights, and no reflectors? Basically I’m talking about ‘bike ninjas’ to anyone new to the forum and just reading this.

Bike Forums
02-07-08, 01:28 AM
What a coincidence...I almost ran into two bike ninjas today commuting in the dark & rain in Seattle.

Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land
sandcountyfrank | March 21, 2008 at 10:56 am
Mom, ‘bike ninja’ is a term us cyclists use to describe riders you do not wear visible clothing, use reflectors, or have lights/blinkies on their bikes. These people are essentially invisible, especially at night. It’s a death wish…

Bike Forums
05-01-08, 07:22 AM
Listen I love that I see more people on bikes during my commute but…

Please, please, if you’re going to ride at night (or in this case early morning) please get some lights. I saw a fellow going on and off the sidewalk and into the street, dressed all in black with not one light on his bike. I fear he will have a very short life expectancy if he continues that way.

I’ve taken to riding up to them and yelling"BIKE NINJA!!!"” at the top of my lungs, of course most just look bemused but I’m sure somewhere it is helping us win this deadly war against the darkside…

Urban Dictionary
bike ninja
Someone who is riding their bicycle in dark/low visibility conditions, without a headlight or taillight. So-called because they are invisible, like a ninja.
by aprilstarchild May 23, 2008

the chainlink
Reply by Ali on June 7, 2009 at 2:21pm
Also if I see any “bike ninjas” aka bikers wearing all black, riding at night with no light I do call them out…

Dictionary of Bike Commuter Slang
Bike Ninja: This is the guy who sneaks up on you at night because he has not one iota of reflective gear and his bike is void of lights and reflectors. These people frequently appear out of nowhere and scare the bejesus out of me.

Grid Chicago
Cool New York City transportation stuff I’d love to see in Chicago
One-way protected bike lane leading downtown to pedestrianized Times Square. While NYC has some terrific bicycle facilities, it also has its fair share of bike salmon and bike ninjas.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityTransportation • Thursday, January 24, 2013 • Permalink