Saturday, May 28, 2005

Bike Month May Critical Mass 05 a success!

Had to miss it, but I heard through text messages and on-line reports that the NYPD basically followed my advice from the last blog posting. Hopefully the found those hit and run drivers. I know there was a last minute arrest scramble near Time's Square but I'm not sure how it went down.

Check out this on the spot blog posting:

http://www.onnyturf.com/tiki-read_article.php?articleId=31

and good update at:

www.nyc.indymedia.org

Once again thanks to Free wheels for being so dedicated to those arrested.

I believe the same 4 meeting spots were utilized for this critical mass but weren't as needed. I got the impressions that the rides linked up right away.

Sounds like the man laid off cause this ride was written up in the May bike month calender.

Wonder if Smolka will be back at it in June?

If any one has comments, reports and other things to say about this ride, let me know.

Enjoy Bike Fetish day in Brooklyn.

Otherwise

success, success, success!

8 Comments:

Anonymous eliot said...

the ride was great on friday, it felt like the old days before the rnc! i left from tompkins square with 50 people or so, we quickly grew to 100 or more, then met up with a much bigger group in the 30s. we had at least 500 by the time we hit times square.

there were maybe a half dozen arrests at times square -- at a green light. besides that there were two drivers who tried to mow down bikers.

overall the ride was great. starting out with a small group just does not have the same empowering feeling that the one huge single group has. i'd like to see next month's ride start off in one location. riding is our right and we should use it.

3:38 PM  
Blogger Nominal Me said...

I attended the rally, and was a little confused by it. Isn't it just a practical thing relating to getting a permit? I mean if a mass amount of bikers are going to ride in Manhattan, shouldn't someone get a permit? Just curious.

8:25 PM  
Blogger sucka pants said...

normal:
a few things on the permit issue.

1. if a group of bikes needs a permit to ride in the streets, then why not rush-hour traffic?

2. if it was feasible to get a regular permit to work with the city to allow this ride to happen AS IT HAS HAPPENED IN THE PAST, then i would say sure. but everyone seems to understand that that is not a realistic outcome (including the journalists and photo journalists i have been talking to).

3. how is it freedom of assembly when you have to ask permission? not to mention the paperwork and fees.

a lot of people from the press and other old-time politically-aware new yorkers i have talked to are a bit concerned. they feel that the nypd can not, and will not follow the model of san francisco and eventually back off. they will just keep pushing and pushing until something bad happens and/or someone gets seriously hurt. . . then they will use that excuse to firmly shut down the ride with the new support of popular opinion. as one guy put it, "Critical Mass is riding along, but it's on the edge of a razor blade." so yeah, i don't know. something to think about.

and on a more positive note: there are photos from last friday's critical mass and after party here:

http://www.everydayilive.com/criticalmassmay05

12:35 PM  
Anonymous flightrisk said...

Last week's Critical Mass was fun in the way that many have been in the past, but it certainly didn't feel like a pre-RNC ride. The reason this ride felt unlike a pre-RNC ride and why i don't think any will feel that way in NYC for a long time to come is that there were few if any families with children and also few younger riders (meaning around 12-14) who just saw the ride and joined in. With so many cops around, even the comparitively limited number from last week, those two groups of folks are unlikely to feel like the ride is worth the risk. Unfortunately i don't have a solution for how to make the ride feel safe for folks with children or for young folks who are not bike activists, but would be very interested on reading what others think about this situation.

8:21 PM  
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