The Lost Viking at Critical Mass-Tonight
400 people at Union Square,
8 scooter cops and 2 golf carts.
Wide variety of cyclists from BMX, lots of Grey Haired bicyclists, with smolka mobiles on their heads, a 7 year old is on the ride. So wide variety of age groups. Some people are wearing their "Smolka Polka" T-shirts that Team Spider made for the Revelocity party.
Check back later for updates
Ride leaves Union Square North and heads downtown (Broadway) Same as last month. 12 Scooter cops escort alongside the left side. A firetruck is trying to get through. How weird and ironic that there is an emergency situation needing a fire truck right when the critical mass leaves...what a whacky coincidence. I mean if there REALLY was a situation and I were a fire truck, would you pick a route with 400 cyclists on it?
"First Trap has sprung!"
15 Scooter cops came up the wrong way on Broadway (illegal motor vehicle move, endangering people) and trapped the ride, began ticketing people at 8th and Broadway.
People at 8th and Broadway got really bizarre tickets. Told by police that they are being stopped and ticketed for being in the middle of the street...hmmm, I thought you were supposed to ride your bike in the street. Anyway, ticket says...bikes were more than 2 abreast, which legally we have found to be a ridiculous charge. People being ticketed were told to stay in the middle of the street while being written the bogus offense. Tourist from Amsterdam got ticket on his first critical mass, now he has a court date and is leaving the country in a week...welcome to NYC.
More ticketing activity on 22nd and 6th, Ride is broken up and heading up 6th Ave.
Chris stayed at 8th and Broadway and just saw a bunch of scooter cops cross broadway heading over to 6th Ave. Activity. Scooter cops being tailed by 5 cops cars. Another good use of our finest officers and our precious tax resources. I'm sure this is the most important crime going on right now.
Beth O'Brien, bike enthusiast, is helping me edit this from a lighting truck in the middle of Long Island City, but the crew got Sushi tonight, so thats ok.
Sounds like there is a reconvene at Columbus Circle, the lost viking is living up to his name...he is somewhere in Alphabet city with a two straglers eating seaweed appetite suppressents...Lost Viking has a hunger for justice.
Passing 50 fleetweek sailors including one woman in bikini in front of Webster Hall, way to stay focused...Lost Viking. He is hoping ride makes its way downtown
Someone at Columbus Circle reported about 1/2 the ride is there (200 or so) This spot was listed on the spoke card, distrubted at Union Square...they are waiting for more people to show...
People have left Columbus Circle, about 150 or so. Some were afraid to leave because of being completely surrounded. Cops chased people into Central Park.
Meanwhile the lost viking followed a bunch of scooter cops headed to Time's Square to set an ambush. This is nothing unusual, the cops always think the riders are going to go to Time's Square, like its our Medina!
At Columbus Circle a woman with a bike was buying ice cream from a truck. She was slightly in the street, police arrested her.
A Group of about 60 people were riding single file in one lane down 5th Ave. An unmarked black SUV stopped the ride around 42nd and 5th, infront of the New York Public Library. The riders were held until scooter cops arrived and began a ticket frenzy. One woman got 3 tickets. One guy had recieved a ticket earlier for not having a head lamp. At the Library he was issued another ticket for no light...He pleaded with the cops and said, what am I supposed to do...go to a bike shop and get a lamp. He was rewarded with two more tickets. Some people were given tickets for being too far to the right, some people were given tickets for being two far left. Let's review...you can't be in the middle of the street, you can't be to the left and you can't be to the right....hmmmm. Oh I just figured it out. THESE TICKETS ARE COMPLETE AND UTTER BULLSHIT issued by a police force with little instruction about what is going on other than to just give out tickets regardless of logic. After all, people will still have to appear in court, losing a day of work to plead their case and be less likely to attend the next ride. I think the word for this is HARASSMENT!
Got a report that around 40th and Broadway a woman was doored by a cop car while in motion. She was in the bike lane. She face planted and broke her colar bone. There is credible evidence that entire incident was witnessed.
New reports caught on video...At Columbus Circle people were chanting: "Domestic spying" as 4 undercovers were violating the Hanshu agreement and video taping people not engaged in unlawful activity.
Also there is a report that cops went into a crowd of 70 people at Columbus Circle and targeted people. The stopped one woman who did not have id and arrested her.
Well, people are at 49 East Houston reviewing their video tape and recapping the bizarre night.
Special note to all...this was a loose experiment for me to report on critical mass from people on the ride. Some of the information was witnessed by people, some was video taped, some was rumors heard from other people at other locations.
Take it as a rough account of what went down. I will try and confirm what happened tonight. If people know different, please let me know.
Velo love forever!