Great things happening in LA

Its Bike Winter. In the spirit of Bike Summer, an event held each year, hosted by a new city, Los Angeles isn’t waiting for summer. Although normally, its summer there all the time…but now with man-made climate change…who knows.

Anyway…check out the events at:

Bike LA

I know, a little late notice.

Global Warming Conference…

So rest assure, we can finally expect some real change in our attitudes towards climate change, now that scientists admit that Global Warming is man made…DUH!!! Yeah, right, I’m sure that is a big priority on the Bush administrations agenda…NOT!

In May, Mayor’s from around the world, who really have absolutely nothing to do with Global Warming policy, will gather in NYC at the climate summit.

At least Mayor Bloomberg is bring positive dialogue to the city instead of a private party for Republicans. At the climate change conference, maybe he can mention how he has spent his term making a hostile environment for people to ride their bikes…a great way to decrease global warming.

But May is Bike month so ride on!

Any one go to Freezing…Midnight Ridazz?

August 20th, 2005, Time’s Up brought you this first Midnight Ridazz, a bike ride modeled after an on-going successful event in LA. Its a more loose, often costumed theme, critical mass type event that has gotten hugely popular on the West Coast, bringing out lots of people who may shy away from the what appears to be a more politically charged mass ride.

Last night the LA website advertised a NY ride…anyone go on this thing?

Perhaps there will be more when the weather is better. Perhaps it will be more fun then…criminal mass.

Press Conference on New Police (BS) on Parade Rules

Press Conference outside of One Police Plaza…Wednesday, January 31st. NOON

Indeed the police have published their latest version of their parade
rules, and they will go into effect on February 25th (Missing February
Critical Mass by a couple of days). The new rules forbid `parades’ of
50 or more cyclists or pedestrians without police permission,
regardless of whether or not they obey traffic laws. We are holding a
press conference at One Police Plaza on Wednesday at noon to oppose
these rules and call on the City Council to stop this expansion of
power by the NYPD. City Council Member Rosie Mendez will be speaking,
a rep from the NYCLU will be there, and hopefully we’ll have some
other city councilors and maybe a little Norman Seigel action. Also we
could use some bodies, so if you are free on Wednesday, please come through!

A change in the wind…

From the executive director of Time’s Up–

“New York City Transportation Commissioner Iris Weinshall resigned today. Over the last couple of days there has been a lot of movement from New York City concerning transportation issues. Some have been favorable, some not so favorable. We’ll see what comes next. One thing is for sure–this is not a coincidence, all of these things seem to be related, and all came about through your hard work. Congratulations. In addition to Smolka’s resignation and the introduction of the parade permitting laws, we have also heard from our lawyer that the city is dropping the lawsuit against Time’s Up, although we have not yet seen the official paperwork. We’ll keep everybody updated on the lawsuit as soon as we know more. In the mean time, we’ll see what the city does next and maybe we can have a discussion about future strategies concerning all of these changes. “
-Bill DePaola

NYC DOT Commissioner Iris Weinshall Resigns
Commissioner Iris Weinshall is leaving New York City’s Department of Transportation for a job as Vice Chancellor for Facilities Planning, Construction and Management at the City University of New York. The Department of Transportation press office says that Weinshall will stay on for another ten weeks. Her last day on the job will be Friday, April 13. Read more about this new development at streets blog

Stuper Bowl, Feb. 3rd. and a new bike blog

All those racing in Minneapolis…we salute you. Stupor bowl is a long standing race and some day, I will make it out there.

Found a new bike blog… how to avoid the bummer life
What could be more fun than riding bikes, drinking beer and guns???

Idiotarod 2007 video

Saturday was the Idiotarod. A race based on the iditarod, the Alaskan sled race, only this urban version is a team of five strapped to a shopping cart. Home Depot must be wondering where their shopping carts are, but look no further than the streets of Brooklyn and Queens, where some 400 participants raced. Its not a bike event, but it certainly has all the trimmings of a good one, lots of police presences, helicopters flying overhead, afterparties shut down before they started. Ah the fun of freedom in America. But despite the cluelessness of the NYPD we had a great time and check out this video from me and Chris Ryan of Team Spider , aka the lost viking from the Warriors video. Oh yah, and we shot the race from a tandem bike…nice…I like.

NYPD redifines its Parade Rules–Goodbye Critical Mass

So despite all we fought for, the objections by key city council members and our hard work to stand up for our basic rights of assembly by coming to their rigged public speak-out at One Police Plaza…the NYPD has gone ahead with redefining the parade rules. Too Bad Smolka will get to miss out on all the fun, but don’t worry, the Darth Vader of protesting will soon be replaced by an even meaner, more bald and much harsher on woman…Darth Mall.

From the New York Civil Liberties Union website

NYPD Modifies Proposed Parade Permit Rules

January 26, 2007 — In response to objections raised by the New York Civil Liberties Union and other groups, the New York City Police Department has modified its proposal to expand the categories of bike and vehicle processions that would require parade permits.
In regulations originally proposed last summer, the Department sought to require police permits for sidewalk marches, any lawful street procession of 20 more bikes or vehicles, and any street procession of more than two people where any traffic law was violated. In final regulations published today the Department narrowed its proposal so that the only events requiring parade permits are roadway processions of 50 or more bikes or vehicles.

“These final rules mark a substantial improvement from the Department’s original proposal, but we believe that requiring permits for law-abiding bike rides of only 50 people is unreasonable and unnecessary,” NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman said. “Changes to our City’s permit laws should be made by the City Council, not the police department.”

Added NYCLU Associate Legal Director Christopher Dunn: “We welcome the Department’s change but remain concerned about how difficult it is for groups to obtain police permits. We will closely monitor implementation of these rules.”
So basically the police compromised by not targeting all demonstrations, only the one that goes on every month and that they never had a problem with untill the RNC. Let me be the first one to say, thank you to all those who worked so hard to stop this madness, who continued to ride despite all the violence and scare tactics they threw at us. All those that suffered broken limbs and broken bikes. I would also like to give a warm congradulations to the fascist NYPD. FUCK YOU, from the bottom of my heart and see you in Brooklyn…until they decide to start stomping on us there.

Book signing party for new Messenger photo book

Amy Bolger has been riding the streets and taking pictures for a long time. Now she has compiled her photographs of alleycats into a new book and there is a permier party, on February 16th, the day before Monster Track 8. (this is also a chance to pre-register for NYC’s fix gear only race)

Critcal Mass says goodbye to Smolka

Tonight is the NYC’s critical mass…all we’ve been through and…yes…still we ride! Here is an article from AM NY/Newsday about the Brooklyn Critical Mass.

Critical Mass gets ‘free ride’ in B’klyn

By Justin Rocket Silverman
amNew York Staff Writer

January 25, 2007, 6:34 PM EST
Cyclists who pedal into Union Square for Friday¹s Critical Mass ride will likely be met by a large force of police officers in squad cars and on motor scooters. And If the ride is like others over the last three years, some riders will be arrested and ticketed for taking part in a monthly event the city has deemed illegal and dangerous.

Yet just two weeks ago, a similar group of cyclists gathered outside Prospect Park for the Brooklyn Critical Mass ride. A similar force of police were also on hand. But that is where the similarities end.

“We’re not going to go with you guys tonight,” a police officer said as the ride got underway on Jan. 12. “Have a good time.”

And with that the bikers rode off in a pack, running red lights and blocking traffic in the way Critical Mass rides worldwide do. The way that has resulted in hundreds of arrests in the Manhattan rides.

“The police have a very different attitude in Brooklyn,” says Barbara Ross, a volunteer with Time’s Up, a bicycle advocacy group. “The police in Brooklyn tell us they are there to support us. They are always joking with us, and telling us to be careful if we do the Manhattan ride.”

Indeed, participants in this month’s Brooklyn Critical Mass said officers sometimes even ride alongside the cyclists, helping them block traffic and keeping the bikers safe. Tickets and arrests are virtually unheard of in the Brooklyn ride, even though the traffic laws are the same in both boroughs.

“Cyclists in Brooklyn work in cooperation with the police,” said NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne. “We have said many times that if the organizers in Manhattan cooperated with us, for example advised us of the route, we would accommodate the rides by safely closing intersections as they passed.”

Cyclists disagree with Browne’s assertion, pointing out that since there is never any pre-determined route for the Critical Mass rides, it would be impossible to advise police of the route.

Other cyclists offered another rational for the difference in law enforcement styles between the two rides.

“Manhattan is much more politicized,” said the rider, who asked his name be withheld. “There you have the whole legacy of the RNC protests. You also have more traffic. Basically, what it comes down to, is that no one gives a damn what happens in Brooklyn.”

Neither the NYPD nor Time¹s Up were able to provide exact figures on the number of those arrested or ticketed during Manhattan Critical Mass rides.

But both noted that the number of arrests has declined significantly in recent months.

Copyright 2007 Newsday Inc.
Well according to the police, as usual, this is complete and utter bullshit…in regards to the Manhattan’s CM. We all know that the only difference between Manhattan CM and Brooklyn is that the police force is run by Chief Smolka who has a hardon for protests and was trying to become a so-called expert on the subject so he could move up in the ranks. Basically he lumped all activities into the same category that anyone on a bike, caring a sign against BUSH or not following the model of shopping on a regular basis was some sort of Iraqi loving, police hatting, car hatting anarchist who should be locked up and have their constitutional rights ripped up in their face. In my opinion Critical Mass was a victim a few big wigs in the police force trying to show-off and their big opportunity was the RNC…thank you Mayor Bloomberg for rolling out the red carpet for a few thousand Republicans who don’t live here and locking up all the citizens of your fair city who DO LIVE HERE and pay NYC taxes. I hope it was worth it. Meanwhile a friendly bike ride that goes on in 300 cities around the world on a MONTHLY basis gets attacked and your puppet spokesman…Paul Browne, feeds us more crap about how, oh the Brooklyn Critical Mass follows the rules? Stick to a pre-determined route? There is no pre-determined route. Now they are trying to divide us by borough. Oh all the good bike riders are in Brooklyn. The only reason we started Brooklyn Critical Mass was because we got tired of being clothes-lined off our bikes by your rookie cops and arrested for legally riding our bikes in the streets. Its our BIKE RIDE and you never had a problem with it till Bruce Smolka wanted to look good for his next job…and wait…look at whats going on….

Assistant Chief Bruce Smolka is retiring…What??? Thats right…the guy who likes to beat up on woman, female photographers and legal observers is now going to do security for Revlon. Smolka was in charge of activities from 57th street on down, and by activities I mean protesting. Smolka has a record, for beating up on anyone he feels like. A woman who is already in handcuffs, a photo journalist and recently a legal observer. Why Revlon cosmetics? Because they have a lot of protests against their mistreatment of animals. Check out this video of Smolka’s behavior on I witness video’s blog

Here is a newsday article about Smolka:

Newsday Staff Writer

January 24, 2007

New York Police Department Assistant Chief Bruce Smolka, the Manhattan
commander revered by his officers but scorned by protesters, has filed for
his retirement, Newsday has learned.

Smolka made the announcement last week, surprising police commanders
gathered for a meeting at police headquarters, police sources said. The
32-year veteran will work his last day in less than a month, then go to work
for Ron Perelman, head of Revlon Corp., sources said.

Smolka’s retirement comes as his reputation would appear to be set in
stone: Rank-and-file police officers adore him – one told Newsday he’d take
a bullet for him – while civil libertarians and many of those who have taken
part in recent demonstrations say he is short-tempered and overly

“As a civil rights lawyer, I’m not sad to see Smolka retire,” said
Manhattan lawyer Jonathan Moore, who’s handling several civil claims against
the police department. “His style of policing demonstrations has been to use
more force than necessary against people being arrested, which to me sets
the wrong example for other police officers. “

An inquiry for an interview with Smolka was referred to the NYPD press
office, which declined comment and would not allow Smolka to be interviewed.
Revlon did not return a call for comment.

As commanding officer of Patrol Borough Manhattan South, Smolka has one of
the most important and high-profile assignments in the NYPD.

He has been front and center at all major Manhattan events, from the
demonstrations during the 2004 Republican National Convention to the monthly
Critical Mass rallies that pit bicyclists against police.

His hands on-style – it’s not unusual for him to jump into a tussle and
make an arrest – is unusual for someone of his rank, but it has won support
from police officers working the streets.

“He is a very smart man who treats his people with respect and knows how to
take control of a situation,” said one detective who has worked for Smolka
and asked that his name not be printed. “He knows what he’s doing. “

Smolka emerged as a key figure in the protests during the RNC. More than
1,800 people were arrested.

The New York Civil Liberties Union has filed two lawsuits challenging those
mass arrests, and Smolka is in the middle of giving a deposition regarding
police tactics, according to lawyers involved in the case.

Meanwhile, a separate lawsuit is nearing trial in Manhattan Federal Court,
as Cynthia Greenberg has accused Smolka of repeatedly kicking her in the
head and cursing at her while trying to arrest her during a 2003 Manhattan
rally in which demonstrators protested the U.S. government’s immigration

Moore represents Greenberg, as well as Adrienne Wheeler, 28, a graduate
student from Brooklyn who has filed a notice of claim and plans to file a
federal lawsuit. Moore says Greenberg was working as a legal observer at
last February’s Critical Mass rally when she was yanked off her bike by
Smolka and issued a summons, which was later dismissed, for driving the
wrong way down a one-way street.

Smolka allegedly stopped Wheeler’s progress by grabbing the bike chain
around her waist. A videotape shows part of the confrontation, with Smolka
grabbing the chain as she is getting up.

Copyright (c) 2007, Newsday, Inc.