critical mass cyclist assaulted by cop


When I watched it this morning my reaction was that the cyclist was closer than he should have been. Watching it again now the cop definitely speeds up a lunges towards him. I can’t decide whether he’s watching that guy specifically as he approaches or whether the cop is just keeping an eye out for oncoming traffic as he crosses.

A representative for TIMES UP! tells us that the cyclist in this video was arrested, held for 26 hours, and charged with attempted assault and resisting arrest.

Maybe the cop told him to stop and he didn’t; and i guess thats the way things get done in New York.

Perhaps they were cutting circles around the cop on the footpath taunting them… (seen in Melburn critical mass…)

I think BSNYC has a good point.

“People do need to see other people out there on bikes. They need to become accustomed to them so they learn to respect them, and they need to see how practical and effective they can be so they consider riding them themselves. Many cyclists illustrate this day after day, not only by riding their bikes to and from work during rush-hour but also by using them for recreation and even racing on them. A driver who sees you zip past as you ride your bike to work, and then sees you riding your bike to dinner later with a date, and then sees you going for a road ride that weekend doesn’t realize he’s seen only one rider—as far as he knows he’s seen a bunch of riders, and he sees them using their bikes successfully. Effectively, you’re a Critical Mass of one. Meanwhile, a mob of people on crappy bikes blocking traffic one day a month isn’t a “mass” at all. At best it’s a party. At worst it’s effectively just one big stupid person.”

I for one don’t go for all this critical massing, or massing in general

Yeah, the BSNYC post was quite good.

As for CM… I don’t know, the whole thing kinda annoys me. I don’t see how deliberatley pissing off drivers is going to make them more tolerable of people riding bikes on “their”* roads. I’ve been invited to a few, but I don’t think it’s my scene. In saying that, what the cop did was pretty fucked.

*By “their” I mean the majoirty of people that think roads are for cars, footpaths etc are for bikes.

I struggle to see how regularly pissing off the majority of the road users (irrespective of their opinions on cyclists, road ownership etc) can actually change cyclists lot.

Along the lines of what BSNYC said. The dramatic increase of commuter cyclists from “working families” on the roads every day that has forced the change of policy regarding increased bike lanes and awareness programs etc. As opposed to a bunch of bearded Gumbies, anarchists and recumbent riders clogging up the CBD on a friday night.

The last decade or so has proved protests don’t work. We protested invading Iraq, it happened. Protested the refugee policy it happened. Protested work choices it happened until the majority stopped it at the election. It even takes alot to get the Unions on the streets nowadays.

Improving the situation on the roads is as BSNYC said the one person riding everywhere every day. With the costs of petrol etc affecting the majority, cycling has become more popular with the majority - who the politicians listen to.

it’s what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object.

critical mass can eat a big fat one.

fuck them.

(this isnt just in relation to the video here, but every piece of critical mass media ive seen.)


There is no better way to alienate motorists and push them even further from the idea of cycling than a critical mass. that said, the one I went on was pretty fun riding unhindered through the city with a bunch of other peoples. can’t say i’d do it again though.

critical mass is to cycling what that car-free-day-in-the-CBD is to public transport. force people onto our already crowded and unreliable public transport system just to completely reinforce that driving is a much better option.

I’ve ridden a couple back in my uni days, and Critical Mass is about a lot of different things. For some its a protest against cars, for some it’s a celebration & promotion of sustainable transport. For me, its this, but most importantly, IT’S FUN.

We all know that as cyclists on the road we are the bottom of the food chain. Any mistake, by us or others, leaves us most at risk. Our crumple zones are helmets and collar bones. So just once a month, its is an opportunity to turn that round, reclaim the otherwise car dominated roads, and ride safely. I don’t really care if this pisses off motorists or not, because motorists piss me off all the time. As a cyclist, for me, that feels bloody good. And feeling good on my bike makes me ride more often.

Does it affect major social change? Probably not, but I don’t care. But it is a non-violent direct action that’s occurred every month for over 11 years, and that in itself is a success.

If your at all curious, I can recommend just giving it a go. The State Library at 5.30pm on the last Friday of any month. I can especially recommend the birthday ride in November, when Critical Mass in Melbourne turns 12. People ride in costumes, play instruments & music, ride stupid bikes, and there is always party at the end - and those urban feral hippies and lefty hairy legs sure know how to party.

Viva la non-violent direct action!. And viva la celebratory beer afterwards.

Beware - Self indulgent rant to follow

I know this is slightly off the topic but I thought I’d better respond to this as no-one else has picked it up. To say that protests don’t work because they didn’t immediately change policies totally misses the point of protesting. Can you imagine if we all took this attitude and just sat back while governments made bad decisions!? Protesting is all about making sure that governments know that there is a significant part of the community that does not support what they are doing, and while this may not result in a total policy backflip (ie not invading Iraq) the politician that is making the decisions will certainly have this in the back of their mind when designing policy. This may or may not result in a slightly better policy, but if we don’t do it then the pollies will simply assume that they have the full support of the public.

The other point of protesting i that is creates awareness and media coverage of events which may influence people to take a more active role in fighting bad decisions or simply encourage to learn more about the issues so that they can make an informed decision.

Protesting is a fundamental right, and you’d be crazy to think it is pointless.

Well said.

Of course protests are an unalienable right and definitely not pointless, thats why I joined and then resigned from the ALP. I’ve gone on many, probably the best was the first work choices march, where Bomber Beazly got on a truck and ranted like a real labor politician.

I probably got off topic… but I was just making the observation about the masses, well not the masses, well inner city latte swilling Chardonnay socialists (which in itself hasn’t done much for the cyclists image as elitist etc. with the great car driving unwashed) riding to work probably has done more to influence policy than all those hairy legged anarchists and urban hippies.

footnote- I have gone on critical mass before and used to be quite a prolific protester when I was one of those filthy lefty students.

critical mass isnt a protest, its a party on bikes in the middle of the road!
it doesnt promote safe cycling, working together with other road users or anything positive about cycling.
to the average citizen, there is no clear message portrayed by (generalisation coming up) these dirty hippies except ‘wow, these people are bikes are fucking idiots!’

if these critical mass wankers could organise their ‘protests’ to be completed in a safe manner, that doesnt completely block the flow of traffic then maybe average joe would see it and realise how effective bicycles are for inner city transport.

once again, fuck critical mass.

I think you are probably spot on here. The more bikes on the road daily the better!

I’m feeling pretty self-conscious about my hairy legs. Everyone seems to be bashing them this week.

I call mine my ‘winter coat’ :wink:

It seems to have forced the policy hand. Its not as if they’ve been caught with their pants down like they have with the massive increase in patronage.

A good example is the ‘Copenhagen’ lanes in Swanston St, irrespective of if they work or not, where they’re actually experimenting/investing in bicycle infrastructure. Aside from the Critical Mass, the masses riding have actually caused the market to respond. The increase in Commercial Buildings having bicyclists lock ups and changing facilities has predominantly been a market driven phenomena before it was legislated in the building code/planning controls.

The situation is the protest/activism has been located in the CBD inner city where as a whole the infrastructure and policy is generally quite good. On the other hand the activism should be directed at the outer suburbs where there isn’t the political impetus for investment in cycling infrastructure. Sure the developers build bike lanes etc. in their developments, but these stop at the gates of the estate. The government invests in freeways etc, which generally do have bike paths (eg eastlink craigieburn by pass) that follow a system designed to link cars and not the paths to logical destinations, train stations.

Sorry for the rant but its something I’m quite interested in as an urban design problem and not only bicycle activism.