cfsmtb in low earth orbit

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Critical Mass roundup & related news

Critical mass rides through the radical history of Melbourne
Critical mass rides through the radical history of Melbourne On Friday night Critical Mass rode around the streets of Melbourne uncovering some of the radical history of Melbourne. The ride was about 13km in length and took about two hours to complete.

Photos of Critical Mass History ride
"Hey, this was a great ride, with some interesting anecdotes on the history of Melbourne. Two people gave little speeches at each stop giving the significance of the building, monument or site. The only problem was that if you were at the back you probably couldn't hear most of the talk. Maybe next time a mobile megaphone can be organised?"

Police Sawed Through Locks and Seized Bikes, Riders Say
Although about 1,000 bicyclists on a mass ride moved peacefully through Manhattan on Friday night with just a small number of arrests, riders complained yesterday that the police had seized about 40 bicycles at one location after sawing through locks securing them to sign posts and light poles. Many of the bicycles had been locked on East 36th Street, near Fifth Avenue, by cyclists who said they became worried when the police arrested a few ride participants. But others may have belonged to people who had nothing to do with the ride, they said.

The monthly ride, called Critical Mass, has been held in New York for the last several years to promote nonpolluting transportation. This was the first since more than 200 riders were arrested last month. That ride was billed as a protest against the Republican National Convention and drew thousands of cyclists.

Cyclists roll out peaceful protest
About 800 bicyclists taking part in monthly Critical Mass ride head uptown along Park Ave. last night. Nine people were arrested, but the event was mostly peaceful.

Protestors on bicycles took to the streets of Manhattan last night, but it was a smooth ride compared with what happened before the Republican National Convention. The 800 cyclists who turned out yesterday wheeled around town for about an hour to promote environmentally friendly forms of transportation. There were eight arrests for disorderly conduct and obstructing traffic at 36th St. and Fifth Ave. and one more at Union Square, police said. Cops seized about 33 bikes abandoned on Seventh Ave.

Lots of bikes, but far less drama
Closely watched by police on the ground and in helicopters, about 700 bicyclists rode from Union Square through midtown and down Fifth Avenue Friday night in the first Critical Mass event since before the Republican National Convention.

By 9 p.m., police said they had arrested eight people on East 36th Street near Fifth Avenue and one person in Union Square. Those arrested were charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing traffic, police said. Forty bikes were confiscated, most of them left at West 36th Street and Seventh Avenue by riders who did not want to be arrested, police said.

Nine arrested during mass bicycle ride
A mass bicycle ride ended with nine arrests on Friday, a month after police arrested hundreds of cyclists who mobbed streets the weekend before the Republican National Convention. 'We think the ride went really well,' said Leah Rorvig, a volunteer for the environmental group Times Up!, which takes part in the monthly 'Critical Mass' rides. 'It was a really celebratory mood.'

NYPD Says No Arrests Made at Cycling Protest
Anticipated Problems Apparently Avoided. The riders were protesting for better riding conditions and fewer cars on the streets of New York City. Despite the turnout, the NYPD tells Eyewitness News that there have been no arrests made, and no major problems caused as a result of the monthly event. They are the same group that took to the streets during the Republican National Convention.


We Don't Want Him Either
No! Send him to The Hague! How 'bout Abu Ghraib? - chants a small contingent from the Tejas Bloc aka the Radical Tejas Bloc. They are standing against the Ford Theater on 42nd Street in New York City. It's about 5 p.m., the day before the Republican National Convention is to begin. Only blocks away, an anti-Bush march that set out in the morning, 400,000 strong, is still working its way downtown. It's the largest protest of a political convention in the history of the United States, and it moves slowly.

US - Advocates: Mike better for bikes
Mayor gets support from proponents of alternate means of transportation, though they hope to see more. Despite high-profile clashes between bicyclists and the city before last month's Republican National Convention, some advocates for alternative transportation say Mayor Michael Bloomberg's record on bike access is an improvement from previous administrations.

Bloomberg has backed the Manhattan Greenway, a network of off-street bicycle paths, that would eventually allow cyclists to ride around Manhattan. About 30 miles of the greenway's planned 38 miles have been completed. The city also has improved bike access to the Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges.

The loneliness of the long-distance bicyclist
Rider does find comradeship in San Francisco. OK, I'll admit it, I'm a bicycling fanatic: It is now my confirmed habit, twice a year, to cycle down from Redding to Sacramento and the Bay Area. I do not cycle down all the way from my home in Dunsmuir (Siskiyou County) because that would involve a suicidal trip over the Shasta Lake Bridge in the same lane as the big rigs, and I'm not that crazy.

I make a regular pilgrimage to a dingy old office building at Seventh and Market streets, nerve center of San Francisco's bicycling community. The building houses the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, as well as the various enterprises of Chris Carlsson, Critical Mass co-founder and one of the Deep Thinkers of the local bicycling movement.