More on Sharpton Mass

Another video from Al Sharpton on Critical Mass from Peter Shapiro:

Daily news article.

So I would love to get people’s opinion about this. Some of you have already sounded off.

1) was Al Sharpton’s participation in Critical Mass helpful or counter productive for drawing attention to the 4 year harassment campaign of the bike ride?

2) How can we build upon the what happened with the May Critical Mass and have a more unified ride in June?

Who is Rob Mackey?

A 41 year old journalist who is training for a one day event of the Tour De France.

“Play Magazine, which covers endurance sports and adventure travel, presents a blog by Robert Mackey, an amateur cyclist who will ride a mountain stage of the Tour de France in July.”

Check out his progress at the Time’s latest blog, The Climb

Tour De Queens-Sunday, June 8th

Finally Queens is getting representation in the world of borough bike tours…whew.

June 8th…the 1st annual tour De Queens. It will start at 34-24 23rd Plac–no wait 24-64 23 Street, no wait…23 Ave. No. Aw forget it…

check the website. Tour De Queens

NYC Bike Maps

Seth, is one of the people who congratulated me on getting my bike back. This has been a great way to meet fans of bikeblog and letting me know who’s out there.

He is also the proprietor of this helpful website for documenting greenways and bike paths in NYC:

Albany Alleycat. June 7th

Albany is at it again, bringing Halloween to the spring time.

June 7th, its Zombienade Alleycat.


For more on Albany goings on…check out this awesome site.


Callerjero NYC new video.

Check out Diablo’s video from this years Bicycle Film Festival.

Couriers+Beer=Fights, Alleycats and Mayhem

BIKE MESSENGER NYC from CarlosNYC on Vimeo.

Suckapants wrap up of the weekend.

Tod Seelie of Suckapants has some great photos of this past weekend.

Wednesday Nights “Bikes Rock” pre bicycle film festival party.
Daniel Leeb of cinecycle (one of this years film makers) did visuals.

Al Sharpton comes to Critical Mass

Well the rumors were true, controversial leader Al Sharpton came to speak to the crowd of bikers at Critical Mass and then got on a bike and rode.

No one was sure if this was actually going to happen but standing on the steps of Union Square South it was clear people had already divided into two schools of thought, which is no surprise when the Reverend Al Sharpton is involved.

Some people had affixed this sign to their bags which made it clear how they felt. The other side of it was those who struggle to build coalitions and have critical mass be a more diverse crowd, something that constantly plagues leftist movements. It seemed like an ideal situation, to have the Reverend come to Union Square and speak about the same issues of police harassment that affect the black community, which the critical mass ride has been experiencing for more than four years. (not to downplay that for the black community this means constant stops and frisks and in extreme cases, murder.)

But before Rev. Al could even get to the podium, a group of about 40 bikers gave the call to ride and took off West on 14th Street. Its bad enough that the cops divide us, but when we do it to ourselves, it only plays into their hands. Despite what an individual feel about the granstanding tactics of Al Sharpton, we owed it to him to speak and to try and keep the ridership of critical mass together…Thus creating a MASS. This is a truly reflective of the harassment campaign the NYPD has been so effective at, dividing the ridership and scaring people off from even attending critical mass.

Here is a bit of Al’s speech on the steps of Union Square South, from Gothamists own Jen Chung

The Reverend Al Sharpton Joins Critical Mass from jenchung on Vimeo.

Part of the problem was the PR war the ride is constantly fighting. This press release was sent out a few day before critical mass.

“The Rev. Al Sharpton has enlisted the help of hundreds of bicyclists to stage a traffic “slowdown” tomorrow — around the time many New Yorkers are heading home for the weekend — to protest the Sean Bell trial verdict.”

With news like this, there was no wonder there was confusion and those who want to protect the nature of critical mass, felt it was being hijacked. Thats what critical mass is all about, different agendas, different tactics…anyone can lead it, speak about it direct it and scream…”We are all Sean Bell” at the top of their lungs. The ride must learn to work with whatever and whoever is there.
Part of the division lies in the fact that critical mass has had to define itself in an environment of constant police scrutiny. They’ve been fighting a PR war for many years trying to convince people that the goal of critical mass is not to go out and block traffic but rather to keep the flow of the ride going and thus…become traffic. This has brought up the issues of weather the ride should stop at red lights or not…its an ongoing battle.

Meanwhile two groups of around 40 bikers were circling around the Union Square area while Al Sharpton was speaking to a larger crowd of about 150-200 bike riders. These groups were getting broken up by cops and many were pulled over and ticketed for vague traffic violations.

Chris Ryan was able to put together this video of Al and the ride.

I’m not sure how this will all affect the ride in the future. My hope is that people continue to come out and keep up the pressure. Maybe we can learn a lesson here that patients is a virtue, that people should stick together and ride together.

Bike Blog making changes.

I’ve made some changes to Bike Blog so I apologize for being under construction right now. I am in the midst of experimenting with some new functionality with bike blog. I’d like to make it more of a site people can go to regularly with such features as, classifieds and a possible daily road report to alert people of changes in NYC road conditions. Just some ideas I’ve been kicking around.

So in the meantime, I managed to change the template and loose a bunch of information I had already started. Perhaps its time to switch over to wordpress.

I am constantly looking for help with this blog and technical expertise on webdesign, css and html. I am still quite a novice at all of this, so if web savvy people want to give me a shout, please let me know your out there.

I would love to discuss some ideas I have about taking this blog to the next level.

Tomorrow, Bike Ride for peace.

Saturday, May 31st, 2008.
Pedal for Peace
a fundraiser for NYC united for peace and justice

Be a part of the cycle at peace with an afternoon bike ride!
Bring the whole family, Children under 18, ride free)

starts 11:00am, registration begins at 10:00

Start location is Central Park (enter at 110th and Adam Clayton Powell)

Family Friendly 15 mile route.

call (212) 868-5545 for more information.