Protesting Bicycle Style

In trying to keep up with the protests that’s been going on through out the nation for this immigration thing. I figured I’d post something that could make a difference in our part of the world (bikes)…Critical Mass. This one was actually done in New York’s Park Ave.

I’m curious to know how effective these are? I mean, does it change people’s attitudes towards cyclist or are drivers more irritated with them after such an event?


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0 thoughts on “Protesting Bicycle Style”

  1. Nick says:

    Boy, is that a can of worms. If you want to know about Critical Mass in New York, I recommend the documentary Still We Ride, which chronicles the NYPD crackdown on Critical Mass starting in the summer of 2004. In almost every other major city in this country, the cops allow this to happen; the cops even stop traffic for the procession in San Francisco. Here in New York, a brigade of scooter-cops (they can’t even have the decency to send in the bike cops!) cuts off bikers, rams them from behind, gives tickets to as many bikers as possible. My brother-in-law got one this past Friday for not riding in the bike lane, and this isn’t just a ticket, this is a summons. He has to miss a day of work and go into court for not riding in the bike lane.

    And this is even an improvement from last year, during which it became routine to have several riders pulled off their bikes and arrested every month, bikes confiscated, cops taking buzzsaws to bike chains without notifying the rider, and so on. The city tried to outlaw the rides, but Justice Michael Stallman shot it down, saying that Critical Mass was legal. So now we get ticketed instead of arrested.

    As much as I love biking in New York, we really are treated like criminals when we try to organize. It’s discouraging. I never used to hate cops until I moved to New York and started biking. I think the NYPD should be ashamed of this. Most of these cops had to be around for 9/11, and now they spend the last Friday of every month pushing around bicyclists? How can you be proud of that?

    Anyway, I told you it was a can of worms.

  2. RL Policar says:

    A can of worms is good once in a while. So do you think these Critical Mass events are even worth having?

  3. Nick says:

    Absolutely. I don’t care how drivers feel about it – it builds solidarity in the bicycle community. In our case, it’s unfortunate that it brings solidarity against the police, but they don’t give us a choice. Don’t think of it as a protest or statement – it’s just an unofficial group ride. Every other day, we’re pushed off the road by cars. This is one day a month where the bikes push the cars off the road.

    It’s also worth noting that these events are not organized by anyone. It’s just a bunch of people who show up. So, whether anyone decides to “have” them or not, they will continue to happen.

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