Another critical mass in New York City I missed because of work. Somehow I wound up on the night shift of this Jody Foster movie I was working on in Prospect Park. I got a bit of a report from the lost viking. Sounds like another all out harassment campaign from the NYPD going out of there way to intimidate the riders and act like high school bullys, only the kind found in a well armed police state. Hard to believe these thugs have courtesy, professionalism and respect written on all of their police vehicles and expect the general populous to abide by this as a code of good behavior. What about them? This ride comes one week after two cyclists were killed by motor vehicles in the city making for a somber atmosphere and people asking the questions about how these incidents happened. Dr. Nacht was killed on the BIKE path on the Westside highway, an impressive civic achievement for pedestrians and cyclists, yet used as the benchmark of where we are supposed to ride. The NYTimes called it a privilege for us to have it, as if we are allotted a tiny little table scrap of all our public space…so we’d better like it and not cry when an NYPD tow trucks driver makes a left turn at 40 mph and kills someone. Then everyone starts trying to blame the victim…like posting safety tips to tell us we shouldn’t ride in bad weather and always wear a helmet. So let me see if I got this straight…Only ride on the bike path, wear a helmet, not in bad weather and yield to unsafe drivers…Right. I think with those requirements I would ride my bike maybe once a year. All of this found me asking…was the driver on his cell phone, was he drunk…shouldn’t he yield to pedestrians?? My questions will never be answered because the NYPD doesn’t bother to investigate any of these cyclist deaths…like the filmmaker killed on Houston Street. What are the codes for these metal plates in the road? Was it faulty? Isn’t this the kind of thing ambulance chasers like Jacoby and Meyers get off on and bombard us with cheap ads on daytime television? Hello…LAWSUIT! Then it brings us to Critical Mass, where all the “Bad bike riders go.” Not those “Good” bike riders who know better and never ride without a helmet or red blinking light in the back. “Why they are just asking for a 2 year campaign of harassment.” After all we should just be accepting our dangerous fate and pay $50 a week to fill up our cars and wonder why our weather patterns are so erratic and asthma effects so many people in this city.
I heard the ride was about 300 people. There were some mysterious vehicles looming around Union Square Park. One Time’s up volunteer armed with a video camera went over to investigate a creepy looking mini van on the East Side of the park. As he got closer some dudes jumped out and grabbed him and took his camera. Why would guys in casual wear and jeans be so upset for being documented? They claimed they weren’t cops…then more people began to gather around demanding the justification for the hold up…Then they said they were cops. WHAT??!?? in this day an age with no money is going to the police to investigate domestic spying and our president not spying on his own citizenry and THIS WHOLE DAMN country not becoming a POLICE STATE!!!! How can this be!!??? The crowd of people were able to get the volunteer released and not sent to Guantanamo and have his camera returned…Maybe the small group of Japanese tourists wondering what kind of movie stars the (COPS) were was the final straw that made them cower back into their soccer mom Mobile…The crowd all had video cameras…which seemed to stop…the “coparatzzi” I heard one well known blogger and photographer was playing a weird dance of COPueria trying to take pictures of the harassment…he should have some good photos on his blog. I also heard one of the cops responded to someone asking his badge number as…”My badge number is 999 never you mind.” Oh my God, I know they lowered the standard of education for people to become comes…but I didn’t realize it was to the third grade.
Because of these Honshu rule violations and other police harassment, the ride didn’t leave till 8:00pm and headed down the usual Broadway…obeying traffic laws, wearing helmets, STOPPING at RED LIGHTS…like that matters…and having proper warning devises and whatever elseâ€™s the police say we don’t have. Yes another critical Mass, another opportunity to give the 40,000 strong underpaid police force something to do on Friday night, cause, there couldn’t be anything else going on.
Then the scooter brigade came out and began ticketing people. One woman got a ticket for not having a warning devise although she had four horns on her bike. Then the cops cut off the LEGAL ride at 8th and Broadway and demanded everyone pull over so they could check for warning devises. Everyone scattered, except for the sacrificial lambs who couldn’t get away and the ride broke up into smaller groups. Then it was the typical game of cat and mouse. A couple of girls were detained by police and not given any reason. They began a dialogue with the cops and it turned out one of them was the investigating officer in Derek Lake’s death…the kid who died on Houston and LaGuardia riding over faulty illegal metal grates. He said that Derek ran a red light and therefore case closed. He also was laughing about the death. Nice. That must be the professionalism the police force is trained in or is it the respect?
Then the ride meet up in Styvesant Town and had a reconvene. The cops were called in and chased everybody out around 9:31pm. The lost Viking rode with the pack and turned off to go home to his apartment in the East Village…he was chased by four scooters all the way up to his front gate. He ducked in, just in time and ran upstairs…the cops were saying…”Ohh you got a way…nah nah nah”
I heard a group of thirty riders persisted on and did a bike lift in Time’s Square…RIGHT ON!
This was supposed to be a pirate themed ride but there is way too much to worry about when the police are spying on us from vans and jumping out at you to worry about a theme…but Thanks to all who tried….
see you next month…AAAARRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGH!