Critical Mass Bike protest turns violent

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 27, 2008 7:06 PM GMT

    A group of cyclists protesting their right to the road ended up assaulting a driver after an argument.

    http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2008/07/27/hahn.car.bike.showdown.king
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 27, 2008 11:26 PM GMT
    That has happened at least twice a week, all summer, mostly in Portland. Mostly set off by yahoos doing stupid things on bikes, but really there's no excuse for either party.

    In chat the other day, one guy was explaining how traffic rules don't apply to cyclists because the purpose of traffic regulations is to punish SUV drivers for being bad people. icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 27, 2008 11:40 PM GMT
    mindgarden saidThat has happened at least twice a week, all summer, mostly in Portland. Mostly set off by yahoos doing stupid things on bikes, but really there's no excuse for either party.

    In chat the other day, one guy was explaining how traffic rules don't apply to cyclists because the purpose of traffic regulations is to punish SUV drivers for being bad people. icon_rolleyes.gif


    I'll bet I know the guy you're talking about. LOL

    I think it's nuts. Drivers are awful to cyclists, but I also don't get the cyclists that take up the road and leave no room to get around them. One example: A small two lane (one per direction) rural road where I was living two years ago. What happened every saturday? A cyclist traffic jam and cars are moving at less than five miles per hour. There needs to be bike lanes on every road! This isn't a cyclist OR car driver problem, it's an infrastructure problem. Blame your local politicians.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 28, 2008 12:19 AM GMT
    On my route to work there are dedicated bike tracks that run parallel to the road and yet some cyclists insist on riding on the road instead. I'd have thought it'd be safer for all involved to use the bike tracks. It makes me wonder if it is really an infrastructure issue or an exercise of rights. icon_lol.gif

    Conveniently I ride a motorbike which means the pushies rarely get in my way.

    The other day I was walking up the highway and a cyclist rode past me, and suddenly he was on the ground in the middle of the road. His handlebars had broken off. If a car had been near him, he'd have been dead and the driver's life destroyed. I think it's in everyone's best interest to keep them separated.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 28, 2008 3:58 AM GMT
    My town has just added bicycle lanes all over the place. It is quite amazing. Since I seldom go out of the house, they all just seemed to spring up on me.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14354

    Jul 29, 2008 12:38 AM GMT
    Some of these critical mass rides have become very problematic because the participants believe that part of their right to protest for equal access to roadways means breaking every traffic law in the book. We have had some problems up here in Buffalo a few years ago with one of the critical mass rides. There was a confrontation with police and motorists and there were several arrests due to the disturbance. Bicyclists need to accept the fact that all traffic laws include them as well as motorists.
  • metlboy

    Posts: 105

    Jul 30, 2008 2:07 AM GMT
    I find Critical Mass to be a bit weird. My bike is my primary vehicle, and several of my friends are in the same boat. None of the people I know who actually get around on bike here in Omaha do the Critical Mass ride, yet whenever I talk to CM'ers they seem really militant and angry. I'm forced to wonder where the rage comes from since I never see them on the streets.

    I guess I just want drivers to respect my right-of-way when I actually do have it, not to take it dangerously when I don't.
  • Latenight30

    Posts: 1525

    Jul 30, 2008 3:32 PM GMT
    I am new to cycling. I really enjoy it. I'm also in a large city. I'm not 100% comfortable on the roads especially during rush hour. I'd rather get a nasty look by being on a side walk than smashed. We do have alot of PATH and bike lanes. Both bikers and drivers are un-aware of the rules for both. Remeber you can be right and be dead right! I think someone of city offical needs to come and make a statment, respect the rights of all users of the road. Drivers and Cyclist all pay taxes.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 31, 2008 2:02 AM GMT
    This is a video making the rounds in New York http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwXKCOOJI_8

    I don't like Critical Mass, but the roads are for bikes too. The officer above is being defended for his assault because the cyclist was weaving in traffic. I bike in New York. The only way to survive is to weave in traffic. There is a continual war that the police wage on cyclists here. If the cops enforced the "No Honking" or jaywalking laws as much as they try to enforce the rules for bicyclists, the city would have a zillion dollars in new revenue.

    Look, everyone breaks the law. Pedestrians cross against the light and jay walk. Cars speed and run red lights. Bikes ride against the flow of traffic and run stop signs. Why don't we all try obeying the law and also try enforcing the law for all rather than targeting one specific group.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 31, 2008 2:59 AM GMT
    I've decided that trying to harmoniously allow cyclists and drivers on the road is a big clusterfuck. There's really no good place for bikes. Columbus actually has some nice functional bike paths that can relatively easily get you where you're going. The problem is, they're often overcrowded with runners and suburban housewives pushing strollers while sipping starbucks and talking on their cell phones. So we go to the road. Where drivers just get pissy and act like complete and total ignorant dicks (because yes, it's a totally intelligent idea to honk at people on bikes). So drivers hate that we're on the road, and suburban housewives hate that we're on the bike paths (where there's a "speed limit" of 15 mph.... I would kill myself if I had to ride that slowly). So where are cyclists supposed to ride?

    I think people just need to respect each other more on the road. While I think it's crucial that cyclists be assertive on the road, we don't need to be dicks. On the other hand, drivers need to slow down, give us room, and also, not act like dicks.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 31, 2008 5:04 AM GMT
    I'm one of the guys that believes bikes should stay off the road. To me, it's the equivalent of saying someone should be able to sprint in the middle of a lane of traffic. Just because you're moving fast(er than a person walking,) doesn't mean it's a good idea to throw yourself in the mix with vehicles that weight over a ton on average. The average bicycle speed is about 20mpg give or take. The city speed limit here is 35mph, which means people drive 40MPH.. DOUBLE that of a bicyclist.
    Now on a neighborhood street, I don't see why people should make a big deal out of it. If the speed limit is low, then the driver should be attentive enough to make accommodations for all sorts of traffic. But on highways, or any street where traffic is heavy, or the speed limit is higher.. it's just.. plain.. stupid.

    I ride my bike to work pretty regular, so I know from experience that it's not that difficult to ride on a sidewalk. Besides.. drivers are idiots. I barely trust them to NOT hit my HUGE ASS CAR. I sure as hell wouldn't willingly put myself in their path while on a bike.
  • metlboy

    Posts: 105

    Aug 01, 2008 2:49 AM GMT
    KentuckyTuss said I'm one of the guys that believes bikes should stay off the road....
    The average bicycle speed is about 20mpg give or take. The city speed limit here is 35mph, which means people drive 40MPH.. DOUBLE that of a bicyclist.
    ...
    I ride my bike to work pretty regular, so I know from experience that it's not that difficult to ride on a sidewalk.


    But average walking speed is about 4mph, so a cyclist on the sidewalk is going 5 times as fast as a pedestrian. If we're going to sort traffic by speed, we're going to need a lot more lanes.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 01, 2008 6:32 PM GMT
    metlboy saidBut average walking speed is about 4mph, so a cyclist on the sidewalk is going 5 times as fast as a pedestrian. If we're going to sort traffic by speed, we're going to need a lot more lanes.


    It's physics, guy. Think about it. A cyclist having a collision with a pedestrian is what? Around 250lbs hitting 175lbs? Even traveling at five times the speed it ends in a scraped knee, maybe a few bruises, and on rare occasion a broken bone. At the core of it, because of the speeds they are traveling, a bike rider has WAY more reaction time to avoid a pedestrian. And visa versa.

    A car/truck/SUV having a collision with a cyclist is.. 2000lbs or more, hitting 250lbs? Usually results in broken bones, or serious injury, very possibly death. (hopefully wearing a helmet and traveling at low speeds that won't happen)

    It's just common sense that it's safer for the cyclist to ride on the sidewalks. I'm not making this argument because I'm an asshole driver that doesn't feel like sharing the road. I ride my bike A LOT (to save gas mostly) and even with the 'dangers' like people pulling out of driveways, or getting hooked at intersections, I know that in reality if I just pay attention to my surroundings that I can SAFELY, and EASILY avoid a large majority of dangers.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 02, 2008 6:20 AM GMT
    And I believe that if you choose to ride a bicycle it's because you wanna avoid the slow walking sidewalks, so cyclists need to stay off the sidewalks ESPECIALLY in a city like SF!!!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 03, 2008 1:54 PM GMT
    KentuckyTuss said
    metlboy saidBut average walking speed is about 4mph, so a cyclist on the sidewalk is going 5 times as fast as a pedestrian. If we're going to sort traffic by speed, we're going to need a lot more lanes.


    It's physics, guy. Think about it. A cyclist having a collision with a pedestrian is what? Around 250lbs hitting 175lbs? Even traveling at five times the speed it ends in a scraped knee, maybe a few bruises, and on rare occasion a broken bone. At the core of it, because of the speeds they are traveling, a bike rider has WAY more reaction time to avoid a pedestrian. And visa versa.


    Your physics is screwed up. it's not just mass, but mass and velocity. Getting hit at 20+ miles per hour hurts a lot more than a few bruises. it can lead to serious injuries for both the cyclist and pedestrian.

    KentuckyTuss said
    A car/truck/SUV having a collision with a cyclist is.. 2000lbs or more, hitting 250lbs? Usually results in broken bones, or serious injury, very possibly death. (hopefully wearing a helmet and traveling at low speeds that won't happen)

    It's just common sense that it's safer for the cyclist to ride on the sidewalks. I'm not making this argument because I'm an asshole driver that doesn't feel like sharing the road. I ride my bike A LOT (to save gas mostly) and even with the 'dangers' like people pulling out of driveways, or getting hooked at intersections, I know that in reality if I just pay attention to my surroundings that I can SAFELY, and EASILY avoid a large majority of dangers.


    It is illegal to ride on sidewalks in most cities. Sidewalks are for pedestrians.

    Assuming you are in Kentucky, the laws of that state (similar to laws of most states) is:
    Kentucky law states that cyclists shall:

    "Be granted all the rights and be subject to all the duties" applicable to drivers of any vehicle. A bicycle is a vehicle, not a toy, and, as such, must obey the traffic rules and regulations pertaining to all highway users. Motorists should regard bicyclists as they would any other vehicle."

    Your argument that bicycles should be allowed on sidewalks is basically that cars should be allowed to plow down pedestrians on sidewalks. In fact, the laws in Kentucky are *not* to ride a bike on a sidewalk. It is to ride on the right side of the road in the same direction as traffic.

    I think advocating breaking the law is a bad idea for any serious cyclist.


  • metlboy

    Posts: 105

    Aug 03, 2008 8:20 PM GMT
    I ride in the street because things in the street are much more predictable (which isn't saying much). Pedestrians swerve, slow down, stop, and reverse a lot more than cars do. Not to mention, there aren't a whole lot of sudden curbs or places where the pavement ends in the street. I guess I'd rather deal with being in a bit more danger in the street than be on the sidewalk as the one causing the danger for others.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 03, 2008 8:25 PM GMT
    Denver has an exceptional network of bicycle trails, many of those routes being in dedicated bike lanes on streets. Some are shared with standard roadways.

    Courtesy and attention are required on both sides of the equation. Drivers need to be vigilant for cyclists ( I've been hit by a car, gone over the handlebars of my bike, and then run over by my own bike ... funny, but still sucks! ) .... and cyclists need to respect cars when they are on roadways ... either in dedicated lanes or shared lanes (i.e. in shared lanes, DON'T RIDE DOWN THE MIDDLE OF THE LANE, and SIGNAL TURNS!)

    courtesy on both sides is key - same goes for the runners who prefer asphalt to concrete, but that's for another thread...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 03, 2008 8:36 PM GMT
    As a biker, you have to be the good citizen, I think, since in any confrontation with a car or a bus, you're the one who's going to get killed. In Illinois, it's the law that bikes must be given the same consideration on roads as cars, but I wouldn't want my epitaph to read, "Hey, I Had the Right-of-Way!"
    Critical Mass seems to me the worst kind of protest. It just pisses people off, including people who are doing the "green" thing of riding the bus. In Chicago, at least, it's devolved into a party for hipsters. Even the protest aspect has been lost since the police now escort Critical Mass rides and stop traffic at intersections for them.
    When I see one of those rides, all I think of it it's a bunch of narcissists out exercising their egos.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14354

    Aug 04, 2008 11:14 PM GMT
    I agree that these critical mass rides are nothing more than serious trouble. They just lead to confrontations with both motorists and police. If cyclists would start following traffic laws, I think a lot of the safety problems would be solved. I think most motorists would respect cyclists rights to the road. There are too many cyclists out there that think that they have a legal right to run through red traffic lights, ignore stop signs, ride against traffic, cut in front of traffic and other dangerous little acts. I cannot stress it enough, but cyclists must follow traffic laws.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 05, 2008 12:33 AM GMT
    As I work in sustainable transport I find organisations like Critical Mass intolerable.

    they do more damage than good they will not help us to affect change and will not encourage motorists to be considerate.

    as for cyclists on the sidewalk, you need to relook at your outlook a pedestrian here was killed by a cyclist the other month and its not an isolatory case.

    I suggest if the concern over road safety is an issue for you then you go get cycle training. It will teach you how to be safe in traffic and it will teach you how to be assertive on the road.

    Segregation of cyclists is not beneficial in fact the worst thing you can do is encourage people to wear day glow gear and half the armoured gear you see people wearing because of the fear aspect. It dehumanises you and makes you a machine on the road.

    Education is the key, Critical Mass will achieve nothing but let people like me do our job and the roads will be much safer due to the sheer volumes of cyclists we are bringing to the road which in turn increases both road safety and reduces bicycle theft
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 17, 2008 2:21 AM GMT
    cyclemuscleny said

    "Be granted all the rights and be subject to all the duties" applicable to drivers of any vehicle. A bicycle is a vehicle, not a toy, and, as such, must obey the traffic rules and regulations pertaining to all highway users. Motorists should regard bicyclists as they would any other vehicle."

    Your argument that bicycles should be allowed on sidewalks is basically that cars should be allowed to plow down pedestrians on sidewalks. In fact, the laws in Kentucky are *not* to ride a bike on a sidewalk. It is to ride on the right side of the road in the same direction as traffic.

    I think advocating breaking the law is a bad idea for any serious cyclist.




    Then the next time I see a cyclist use a crosswalk to bypass a red light, I'm calling the cops. And maybe the state should make you guys pay vehicle protection rates for BICYCLE insurance? No? Besides, the majority of bike riders are 15 year olds on a mongoose. Not triathlon contestants out for training. MY VIEW ON THIS SITUATION REFLECTS THAT. So untie the knot in your panties.

    I know what the law is. But guess what? In Tennessee it's illegal to shoot a whale from the window of a moving vehicle. Some laws.. are retarded. And I for one have a brain, and can figure out which ones I should, and should not, follow in regards to my safety.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 17, 2008 2:49 AM GMT
    Despite what one of my best friends thinks, cyclists do have the right to the road. I'm actually kinda surprised that he wasn't somehow involved in the incident, from a car driver's perspective. You know who you are!
    That said, i know the drivers in my area suck and there aren't many bike lanes, and small shoulders. So i'm actually very skeptical and nervous about riding on the roads out here.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 17, 2008 3:04 AM GMT
    Ach! I hate crappy drivers who deal with cyclists disrespectfully. I don't see anything wrong with punching them icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 21, 2008 12:58 AM GMT
    KentuckyTuss said
    Then the next time I see a cyclist use a crosswalk to bypass a red light, I'm calling the cops.


    The cyclist will be gone by the time the cops arrive.

    KentuckyTuss said
    And maybe the state should make you guys pay vehicle protection rates for BICYCLE insurance? No?


    bike on bike accidents are much rarer than car accidents and the amount of property damage and personal injury substantially less for bike-caused accidents. That probably doesn't justify the public policy change you advocate.

    KentuckyTuss said
    Besides, the majority of bike riders are 15 year olds on a mongoose. Not triathlon contestants out for training.


    Well, that's just not true. There are far more people older than 15 than 15 and younger, and some substantial proportion of them ride bicycles.

    KentuckyTuss said
    MY VIEW ON THIS SITUATION REFLECTS THAT. So untie the knot in your panties.


    Given your red herring arguments and absurd tone, I suspect it is you who have your panties in a knot.

    KentuckyTuss said
    I know what the law is. But guess what? In Tennessee it's illegal to shoot a whale from the window of a moving vehicle. Some laws.. are retarded. And I for one have a brain, and can figure out which ones I should, and should not, follow in regards to my safety.


    In Pennsylvania, it is illegal to sell pig meat that has a sexual aroma. If there is a whaling problem in Tennessee, then perhaps the law makes sense. But that is a strawman argument.

    If you don't like a law, fight to change it. If you break it, then be prepared to pay the consequences. Willfully ignoring it and advocating that others do the same is simply irresponsible.
  • metlboy

    Posts: 105

    Oct 03, 2008 4:29 AM GMT
    I love that these arguments always devolve into "Well, if cyclists would just follow the rules of the road... cyclists never stop at stop signs..." etc.

    Today I saw 3 cars run stop signs and 2 run red lights. It's not just bikes. It's everybody.