cfsmtb in low earth orbit

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Things are getting reactionary

cue: image of BAD cyclist - or so they inform us

Wheeling and Stealing: Criminals use bikes to prowl with speed, stealth, police say
It's the middle of the night. The crunch of gravel is barely audible as the bicyclist cruises down the dark alley without a headlight. He arrives at an address he chose during the day -- perhaps it's where you left aluminum windows leaning against a garage wall, or where you parked your car with the expensive stereo, or where he saw you throw a working VCR in the trash. Acting quickly, he grabs what he wants and glides on. Local police say some criminals use the cover of darkness and the silence of a bicycle to raid trash bins or commit burglaries, vehicle prowls and drug deals. And with the ability to travel where patrol cars can't, bicyclists can be a challenge for officers to catch. But not everyone on a bike at night is a bad guy, police officers say. The suspicious behavior, not the bike, is how police distinguish the potential thief from the honest citizen.

Search for vandals continues
Raleigh police continue to look for the protesters who shattered windows, painted graffiti and attempted to burn down the North Carolina Republican Party headquarters on Hillsborough Street late Friday night. Police arrested three people detained by neighbors who caught them changing out of black clothes between two garages in a neighborhood behind Republican offices.

Freaks of nature (bikes on campus)
Just yesterday I found myself guilty of nearly taking the arms off of some poor pedestrian while riding to class on my bike. I just want to take this opportunity to apologize to that person and to apologize on behalf of all bikers everywhere who have ever been discourteous to both cars and walking people alike.

Ticket to ride
For some time now, a group called Critical Mass has been staging herd-like bicycle rides through the streets of Manhattan; the riders contend they want to 'make people take notice of cyclists as road users' and to raise questions about air and noise pollution. That's their right, of course - as self-righteous as it may be. That's what the First Amendment is about - as long as it's done peacefully and lawfully. At first, they did precisely that: Car traffic was not disrupted and regulations -like stopping at red lights, which is required of bicycles - were obeyed. All that has changed in recent months. Ever since just before the Republican Convention, the once-orderly Critical Mass ride has deteriorated into mass disruptions of traffic. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has charged that the rides have been 'hijacked by groups of cyclists intent on disruption and on violating the law.'

Police find new target: bicyclists
New York City police have again used mass arrests to break up a ride of bicyclists. On Oct. 29, they arrested 33 people taking part in the monthly Critical Mass bike ride, which promotes environmentally friendly forms of transportation. More than 1,000 bicyclists were on the ride, many dressed in Halloween costumes. They had started out at Union Square and headed north on Park Avenue. Police turned out in force. The city had gone to court trying to stop the ride, but just the day before the mass arrests, a federal judge ruled that the Critical Mass event did not need a permit and that the city could not seize bicycles unless riders were charged with a crime or violated the law. This didn't stop the police.