The metalrace alleycat. Starts at McGorlick Park, in Greenpoint. Shotgun a Sparks to get a manifest…mmmm good.
There is also Skidface under the BQE
and Brooklyn Critical Mass.
Lots of bike events to choose from.
Jefferson Siegel reports on last month’s critical mass in the latest villager newspaper. Here is a more detailed report at what went on at this pivotal critical mass ride.
Brian Lehrer, you know the voice. He informs you with indepth opinions and local guests speaking about NY issues on wnyc everyday. He has a blog where you can see Brian and listen to more opinions about the issues effecting New Yorkers everyday. On his Blog Brian has internet video picks of the week where he combines a lot of websurfing into one program, on the blog.
Number 1 this week? Critical Mass…love the attention!
Chris Ryan completed 2 more videos in continuation of last month’s Critical Mass…
This is Chris Ryan’s video of critical mass, 3/30/07. It is Part one of his MNN television program…Team Spider Television, which will air on Wednesday. (I think)
Three Arrested in Critical Mass Bike Ride
By THE NEW YORK TIMES
Of the three people arrested, one was charged for disorderly conduct, one was charged with obstructing government administration and charges against a third person charge had yet to be determined last night, the police said.
Arrests from past monthly Critical Mass rides have numbered in the dozens.
The New York Police Department adopted the rules earlier this year that require parade permits for bicyclists and others who take to the streets in groups of 50 or more for processions, races and protests.
Meanwhile in LONDON…
At the start of last night’s ride Des Kay, who originally took the Met police to court, reported on the progress of their appeal. He said it is not looking good as the police are using a high powered lawyer. The police want the ride to be treated as a regular public protest with a fixed route and organisers. Of course, cyclists are not going to stand for this and Des asked for discussions on possible strategies in the event of the appeal succeeding. The result of the appeal could be soon or take several weeks more.
Police are still warning riders with sound systems not to play them within the SOCPA zone and are asking for their names and addresses but take no action when this request is refused. They also video the sound system people.
Ok, I am in Boston on a job and I just checked in with NYC to see how their critical mass ride went. Its’ been a dramatic week of tensions and tonight was the first NYC critical mass with new police rules in full effect. To review…The cops hate bikes and the dirty anarchists that ride them, even though critical mass is made up all kinds of people…most who shower on a regular basis. But what smelled tonight was a bogus tactic of the police to change the definition of what a parade is to help define a monthy event that has been happening around the planet since 1992. After 2 years of battling the cycling community, the NYPD thought they found their magic formula, but alas, they suck and came at it with the same ol tactics. Tonight the cycling community invited all of the major press to union square to hear about what is really going on with this stale attack of our rights of free assembly, and you know what…a lot of the press showed up, with their big expensive video cameras and they heard from city council member Rosie Menedez of Manhattan’s district two, Norman Siegel, famous civil rights attorney who reported on how the big bad city of NYC lost to 4 people named in an ridiculous lawsuit trying to claim that these 4 are single handedly responsible for a bike ride that has no leaders. The city dropped the lawsuit this week and the 5 borough bike club is suing the City for the parade definitions which also effect clean smelling spandex clad taxpaying biker riders who think the city is also full of shit. This club of cyclists also spoke at the rally in Union Square, before tonights ride and showed solidarity with those people with common sense. Power to the People. Also the pedicabs spoke and drew even more connections to the need for alternative transportation not to be harassed by our civil servants (NYPD) who are supposed to protect and serve, not arrest and ticket.
So about 100 riders left the rally at Union Square which had another 100 or so supporters who came to listen to the speakers and not ride.
Right at the start the cops began to single people out and write summons to people who did not have a bell or a light or some other law on the books that is enforced about as frequent as someone driving on a cell phone.
The press swarmed in since it was right at the North end of Union Square and Park Ave. South and all the press was there to video tape the ride and put it on the 11:00 news.
The cops backed off a bit and made one arrest, just to save face and make the cyclists look confrontational.
The ride headed up Park Ave South and was getting swarmed by scooter cops and a few 15 pass vans. Still the mode was to stop people for not having warning devises and lights and soon helmets now that the city council also approved a helmet law for employees of a company using workers on bikes.
This split up the ride and two groups formed…of about 50…or was it 49, the legal limit of cyclists to be riding together. The number 50 has been proved by Aramaic scholars to be the 2nd series of numbers besides the triple 6 to symbolize the apocalypse…thus casting all of NYC into eternal darkness for at least a week.
a group meet up at Colombus circle, including Rosie Menedez of distric who stayed in a pedi-cab the whole ride to witness the abuse.
Much more happened…but I don’t want to give a way the whole story.
The good news is…there was little domestic spying (cops video taping us, infiltrating, and general cointelpro), Major press showed up for the start of the ride, a city council member stayed with the whole ride in a pedicab, and despite all the drama…100 brave people came out to ride, be free and feel alive in a world run by insane morons.
Please come to Union Square North tonight around 6:45pm for a press conference of Critical Mass, even if you don’t want to ride…come and support.
Here is an article in AMNY
Critical Mass to be tested under new NYPD rules
March 29, 2007
The monthly gatherings routinely draw hundreds of riders, and Friday’s will be the first under the new rules.
“I’m afraid we are going to see a return to the police actions of 2004 and 2005,” said Marilyn Horan, who has been participating in Critical Mass rides for a decade. “Police could once again block off streets at both ends, corral and arrest cyclists.”
The NYPD instituted the controversial regulations last month without City Council oversight. They define any group of 50 or more cyclists, pedestrians or other vehicles as a “parade” that must apply for a permit.
Critical Mass participants say the rules are designed to crack down on their event. They also say the group has no central organization, and thus no responsible person to apply for the permit.
Councilwoman Rosie Mendez (D-Manhattan) said she would ride along in a pedicab tonight, both as an observer and to protest the rules.
“To criminalize the behavior of individuals assembling in groups over 50 is arbitrary and unconstitutional,” she said.
NYPD chief spokesman Paul Browne defended the new regulations.
“Persons who break the law, whether individually or in groups, remain subject to summons or arrest. A parade permit gives groups the ability to engage in conduct that would otherwise be illegal, whether it’s groups on foot marching up Fifth Avenue on St Patrick’s Day or cyclists running lights togther,” he said.
In a related matter, The Five Borough Bicycle Club sued the NYPD in federal court this week to block the regulations. The bike club says the new rules could effectively shut down its city tours and other organized group rides.
“We’ve been doing these rides for decades and they are perfectly safe, but now we need a permit for them to be legal,” said Ed DeFreitas, president of the bike club. “Our insurance only protects us if we don’t break the law.”
DeFreitas said applying for a parade permit was complicated and time consuming, and that police officers themselves seemed unaware of the regulations. A federal judge heard arguments in the bicycle club’s suit Thursday, and was expected to grant or deny an injunction in the next week.
This brings up the very definition of Critical Mass which often gets overlooked. I have tried to sum it up in a brief dialog of fictictious characters…based on real people…sort of…Here is a brief scene from Act One of my new play…To Critical Mass or Not to Critical Mass.
Anarchist Cyclist Hellbent on Anarchistic Cycling: “Hey, why don’t we just apply for a permit and make the city have to block traffic for us the last Friday of every month?”
Law abidding “Good Cyclist” Hellbent on Good Cycling: “But who is we? Who is going to apply for a permit? Are you going to go to the Police department and say, Hey I am organizing a critical mass bike ride and I need a permit to go from point A to point B.
Anarchist Cyclist Hellbent on Anarchistic Cycling: “Gee whiz, I never thought of that…Critical mass has no leadership…its just a phenomenum that has spread across the planet in over 300 cities around the world.”
Law abidding “Good Cyclist” Hellbent on Good Cycling: “That’s right. You see this is just the city trying to divide us and stop something which the do not have control over…Besides, even if you do apply for a permit the NYPD just stalls and waits and before you know it your event date has already passed. On top of that they come up with all kinds of excuses like, we don’t like that route…how bout you go from Union Square North to Union Square South? Isn’t that enough of a bike ride for you? Its all a big joke. I miss Smolka, I wish he didn’t retire, I wanted to watch him beat up legal observers, photographers and bad cyclists like you, with out spilling an ounce of his coffee.”
End of Act One.
Ummm, I guess I’ve been asleep at the bicycle handlebars cause I just heard last night on the news that their is a new law in town requiring buisness who use bicycle delivery workers to give them helmets. Hmmmm? Here is the article in the NY Times…
By Ray Rivera
New York Times, March 29, 2007
Businesses that use bicycle delivery workers will have to give them
The new laws, which will affect thousands of businesses in the cityâ€™s
Under one law, businesses must provide helmets, at the business ownersâ€™
The bill also requires business owners to ensure that every bicycle
The second law requires business owners to prominently display signs in
â€œIn addition to enhancing the safety of pedestrians traversing the
The city does not keep separate statistics on injuries and deaths
In September, Reginald Chan, the owner of Jade Mountain, a Chinese
David J. Louie, the chairman of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, began
â€œIâ€™m glad it was signed today,â€ Mr. Louie said. â€œBut I wish it was
Mr. Gerson called the bicycle delivery workers â€œpart of the commercial
Louis Nunez, president of the Latino Restaurant Association, said his
â€œWe surveyed our members and they have all agreed itâ€™s a good billâ€ and
The mayor also signed into law yesterday a bill strengthening
This will include bicycle messengers as well…Ok, here is my opinion. I think there is a thing called common sense, if you chose not to wear a helmet it is YOUR choice. All too often laws like this are selectively enforced so the city can find new ways to make money. As much as I think it is a good idea to wear a helmet when you ride a bicycle in NYC, it doesn’t need to be a law. This is one step closer to a citywide law for all cyclists to wear helmets, which is just what this city is hungry for in its war on intimidating bicyclists. Now, if this law is enforced to business, maybe it is a good thing, but I believe the common situation will be low wage workers working for food companies who are already habitually riding the wrong way down a one way street on a sidewalk (putting pedestrians in constant peril) will be stopped by low wage officers who now only make $25,000 a year and are looking to fill quotas in order for advancement. These workers will be too scared to blame their companies and end up having more tickets and violations against them. A plastic shelled piece of styrofoam may help in a little car crash, but will do nothing for the most common injury to food delivery people…Theft! I hear of court cases where juveniles are bored and want to look cool in front of their friends so they are jumping food service delivery people and beating them up. If Bloomberg is SO concerned about cyclists well being, why doesn’t he demand companies using bicycle couriers pay health insurance? In the case of bicycle messengers, they are often not supported by their companies and considered independent contractors…this gets messenger companies out of paying expensive health insurance to one of the most dangerous jobs in NYC. The helmet is like a false sense of security…its like saying to an employer…”Here, you must give them this piece of plastic to your employees and now we don’t have to deal with the REAL issues like how we are going to do nothing to make more room for cyclists…why should we, we gave them all helmets…bye.” I have to say I don’t like it. I believe in making incentives for business to protect their employees, but laws? When was this decided? What was the civic input or is this just like parade laws which our city government enacts while we are asleep.
Bloomberg once again has put a band-aid on a gapping laceration to the lower abdomen. See you at Critical Mass tonight when our mayors idea of helping cyclists will be to spend millions of dollars to spy on on and attack usâ€¦donâ€™t forget your helmet.