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CM will ruin it all.

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CM will ruin it all.

Old 11-14-04, 05:15 PM
  #26  
vincenzosi
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Let me explain something to you Mars...

I don't need Critical Mass folks fighting for my rights. I write letters to my politicians. I ride the streets of my neighborhood on a regular basis with traffic. I joined Transportation Alternatives, an organization whose work on the issues facing cyclists in this city is unmatched by anyone including the armchair revolutionaries that do CM.

You aren't fighting for my rights, and if you are move on. Let me decide how I'll defend my right to the road. You go play in traffic if it makes you happy.
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Old 11-14-04, 05:41 PM
  #27  
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Vincenzosi,
I appreciate the explanation. I also appreciate the work that all advocacy groups like yours do. Advocacy is a critical (excuse the pun, couldn't resist) part of every democracy. But so is activism. You, or anyone else, would be pressed to name a significant civil/social rights advance that did not have a strong activist presence. In each of these cases, I know that the activists pissed people off. CM pisses off dirivers? So do I, everytime I ride down the streets, legally and obeying very law and rule. Face it, you do too. Hve you never been yelled at, honked at, while doing nothing wrong?

Maybe you should get pepper sprayed too!

But this is missing the main point I tried to make with my first post. The description in a previous thread illustrated a Brooklyn cm illustrated an absurdly heavy handed and facist treatment of people who were doing nothing wrong. I assume you read it. Didn't that concern you?

Sheesh, my typing sucks.

Last edited by Mars; 11-14-04 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 11-14-04, 05:49 PM
  #28  
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You know Mars, with all due respect (and I really do mean that in a non-patronizing way), I've gotten both ends of the spectrum in this thread and it just cracks me up. I've heard from one end that Critical Mass isn't trying to accomplish anything, and then on the other end that they're fighting for my rights.

Overzealous police officers are wrong. Period. No defense of it.

However, to say that circling intersections, riding on sidewalks, and taunting police officers is okay in the name of activism isn't right either.

Activism has a goal. You're being activist to further a goal of some kind. Yet, from what I see, CM is doing nothing to further bicycling, nothing to defend "my rights," as an earlier poster wrote, nothing to further an agenda that warrants respect of cyclists, and nothing that endears people to the cause of taking care of two wheelers on the road. In fact, considering how riled up people get over CM in this city, I'd be willing to bet that if anything, the Massers are doing nothing but painting bulleyes on the back of every cycling jersey in this city.

Look, we all have our approaches, I'm just in serious disagreement that CM really accomplishes anything in the end. All it is is a bunch of folks playing in the streets.
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Old 11-14-04, 05:50 PM
  #29  
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My question, what more rights do you want as a bicyclist? I can't think of a single law in the state that I live in that would really benefit or help bicyclist with the exception that drunk/suspended drivers who hit and kill bicyclist/walkers should get 2nd degree murder and a minimum of 20years in prison.

Cheers and Happy miles,
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Old 11-14-04, 05:51 PM
  #30  
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PS: Can we stop using inflammatory language like "nazi cops" and "fascist tactics"

Unless you lived under Mussolini or Hitler and have first hand experience with such tactics.
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Old 11-14-04, 06:16 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Mars
So what is the deal here? Citizens must make sure that their behavior meets the approval of authorities in order to be accorded the basic right of being treated fairly? The thing that is ticking me off about this discussion is the widespread acceptance of uneven, biased, and discriminative teatment by the police against our own brothers and sisters. Then, to make matters much worse, blame is assigned to the victims of these measures!
No, it's not about acting like sheep. It's about being a responsible adult... not acting like a child who throws a tantrum whenever he doesn't get exactly what he wants.

As I said earlier, our city is making tremendous progress by providing cyclist lanes on new roads and by exploring ways in which cycling can improve the economy and image of the city. Amazingly, all of this transpired without the "help" of CM.

When community leaders become convinced that cycling will benefit the community in some meaningful way... be it political, economic or social... they will respond by promoting various considerations for cycling.

I have always found community leaders and police officials to be quite approachable... IF they are approached in a respectful manner. Instead of villifying them, why don't you call them for an appointment and sit down for a frank discussion of the issues.

I have taken the time to get to know our leaders and officers on a personal level. As a result, I am often able to get little things changed. For example, when two junk cars were blocking access to a cycling path a couple of weeks ago, I called a police sergeant and he had them removed. When the cycling lanes were full of broken glass, I called someone and got them cleaned. When a drunk in a white Cadillac almost hit me last month, I called the patrol officer in that area and she grabbed the driver within minutes. All of this is a result of the fact that I have taken time to build relationships with these people... instead of calling them pigs or nazis.

Unfortunately, unless you are independently wealthy and wield absolute power on your own private island, you will have to learn to get along with both civil authorities and private citizens in order to get what you want in this world. It's not about "selling out." Instead, it's about learning to get along in a world filled with many different kinds of people... each with his or her own set of values and perspectives.

If you don't learn the art of compromise... soon... you will condemn yourself to a life of anger and frustration. And you still won't get what you want.

Last edited by suntreader; 11-14-04 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 11-14-04, 06:20 PM
  #32  
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I hate it when someone speaks my mind better than I do. Good job Suntreader.
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Old 11-14-04, 06:29 PM
  #33  
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In Texas on thing that CM has done for cycling is to cause a law to be enacted restricting cyclists to no more than two abreast on public roads.

Thanks, CM.
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Old 11-14-04, 08:56 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by vincenzosi
Let me explain something to you Mars...

I don't need Critical Mass folks fighting for my rights. I write letters to my politicians. I ride the streets of my neighborhood on a regular basis with traffic. I joined Transportation Alternatives, an organization whose work on the issues facing cyclists in this city is unmatched by anyone including the armchair revolutionaries that do CM.

You aren't fighting for my rights, and if you are move on. Let me decide how I'll defend my right to the road. You go play in traffic if it makes you happy.
I promise, next time I ride CM I will make it clear that I am in no way fighting for your rights or speaking for you.

Just a hint, though...you may disagree with CM riders but you should save the "armchair" designation for those who don't actually do anything. As CM riders by definition do something (that is, ride CM) they're not "armchair revolutionaries."

And if you hate CM so strongly, why are you encouraging us to play in traffic? That's what we do at CM!
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Old 11-14-04, 08:57 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by supcom
In Texas on thing that CM has done for cycling is to cause a law to be enacted restricting cyclists to no more than two abreast on public roads.

Thanks, CM.
I'll have to take your word for that but I do know that in NYC, the "two abreast" law was in place before CM. It seems to have been in place in a lot of other cities before CM, too.
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Old 11-14-04, 09:08 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by supcom
In Texas on thing that CM has done for cycling is to cause a law to be enacted restricting cyclists to no more than two abreast on public roads.

Thanks, CM.
That is a law all over the country and it's not caused by CM.

Who are you guys blaming when you say "thanks CM?" CM is not a group, it's not an organization. CM is a day that people around the world ride together on. If the people riding in CM decide to voice their political agendas or decide to run redlights then go after those people, not CM. CM has gone on in NYC for a fing decade now okay, and have not had issues before this. These people are protesting because for some reason protesting is cool nowadays, but it will fade and CM will continue to go.

If you care about cycling as you apparently say you do maybe you should try sticking up for CM. Do you need a permit to ride a bike? Not yet but if CM is derided you may. Yes some people have run redlights and disobeyed traffic laws. But since when do you get handcuffed and sent to jail for traffic infractions? Can the NYPD arrest drivers who drive in a procession?

Being an unofficial ride Critical Mass has become many things to many people but Critical Mass is foremost a celebration, not a protest. If you believe we should have the right to ride our bikes then you have to believe in CM.
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Old 11-14-04, 09:21 PM
  #37  
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In Texas, the prohibition on riding more than two abreast became effective 1 Sept 2001. I believe this law was a direct response to CM activities.
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Old 11-14-04, 09:24 PM
  #38  
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If you believe we should have the right to ride our bikes then you have to believe in CM.
This is why the CM zealots crack me up. Just a hint: Bikes have been around much longer than CM, and will be here long after loops in intersections, Che shirts, and running over Bush effigies becomes less trendy.


Being an unofficial ride Critical Mass has become many things to many people but Critical Mass is foremost a celebration, not a protest. If you believe we should have the right to ride our bikes then you have to believe in CM.
I believe we should have that right, and riling up people in 2000 pound cars and then asking them to share the street is not the answer.

I promise, next time I ride CM I will make it clear that I am in no way fighting for your rights or speaking for you.
I love how you guys can't seem to make up your mind weather CM is a protest or a celebration or both or neither. I'll keep my right to cycle in a more productive fashion. While you guys do your loops in traffic, I'll call my representative. While you run over effigies, I'll write the DOT. And while you're "sharing the road" by jamming traffic just to prove there's a lot of you, I'll be donating to organizations that actually do make a difference in making cycling safe for people.

You do things your way, I'll do them mine, and that's the last I'll say in this thread.
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Old 11-14-04, 10:31 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by vincenzosi
This is why the CM zealots crack me up. Just a hint: Bikes have been around much longer than CM, and will be here long after loops in intersections, Che shirts, and running over Bush effigies becomes less trendy.




I believe we should have that right, and riling up people in 2000 pound cars and then asking them to share the street is not the answer.



I love how you guys can't seem to make up your mind weather CM is a protest or a celebration or both or neither. I'll keep my right to cycle in a more productive fashion. While you guys do your loops in traffic, I'll call my representative. While you run over effigies, I'll write the DOT. And while you're "sharing the road" by jamming traffic just to prove there's a lot of you, I'll be donating to organizations that actually do make a difference in making cycling safe for people.


You do things your way, I'll do them mine, and that's the last I'll say in this thread.
You make a lot of assumptions sir.
Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem or No more things should be presumed to exist than are absolutely necessary, i.e., the fewer assumptions an explanation of a phenomenon depends on, the better the explanation.

Take a look at my avatar friend, that is a share the road license plate. But perhaps you don't know what an str plate is so let me fill you in. The annual funds from these plates funds are divided equally between Bike Florida, Inc. and Florida Bicycle Association, Inc. So far the funds have amounted to $408,615.00 since 1999 and those proceeds have gone into education and awareness programs for bicycle safety and motorist safety, with emphasis on sharing the roadway by all users; training, workshops, educational materials, and media events; and the promotion of safe bicycling. And yes I support these groups.
I am also a founding member of my counties own upstart cycling advocacy program. We are just starting but we already have bike workshops scheduled and have a free children's bike program blooming. We've also been in talks with bicycle and pedestrian program coordinator for the LC Health Dept. who's also a chair the bike and advisory committee. We also have a team riding in the Everyone Rides charity event whose proceeds go towards getting needy foster kids bikes. And it doesn't end there. So you see sir not only do I donate to the organizations that do make a difference I'm a member of such an organization. And I ride in Critical Mass and enjoy it. We ride single file and obey the law. We get smiles and we also get honks. We don't rile up drivers nor do we run over effigies. So don't make assumptions about me and don't make assumptions about what the rest of the countries CM's are about. And get off your high horse while you are at it.
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Old 11-14-04, 10:56 PM
  #40  
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Wow larue is full of contradictions. Just because your specific CM rides single file and obeys the law doesn't mean they ALL do.

What exactly does an str plate have to do with CM's, their purpose or how they are carried out? Same goes for your non-sensical blabbing about funds resulting from selling said plates and being a member of such and so organization.

Half your post has nothing to do with CM's. This includes your quotation at the beginning of the post and subsequent condescending, I-am-better-than-you, look-what-I-have-done attitude Don't forget to get off your high horse while you're at it.
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Old 11-14-04, 11:03 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by vincenzosi
.....
You do things your way, I'll do them mine, and that's the last I'll say in this thread.
I agree with the vast majority of your sentiments, Vince. Decades before critical mass 'discovered' they could be the equivalent of 2 wheeled SUVs, cyclists were out riding in town and country, courteously sharing the road, setting a good example by our behavior, environmental concerns, community involvement, respect for one another and the locals, etc. So I agree with you 99%.

the 1% comes from the fact that there is a time and place for everything. From what I read ( i would never live in a city..) bicycles sure have their damn fair share of abuse trying to ride in cities. To me the problem is the city--not the bicycle---but given that some folks like to live in cities, and that cities have a lower level of courtesy and threshold of anger, sometimes I think ya gotta get in someones face to get them out of YOUR face. So I disagree with CMs tactics in the vast majority of cases, but not all.

Like most earthy/crunchy groups, what has happened to CM is that a few bad apples have grabbed control of the organization. The rest, all hung up on not exercising authority, can't do anything about it.

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Old 11-14-04, 11:05 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by vincenzosi
I believe we should have that right, and riling up people in 2000 pound cars and then asking them to share the street is not the answer.
If you want to keep playing "mother may I" with cagers and politicians, feel free. I'll keep playing in traffic. You do it your way, I'll do it mine.

I love how you guys can't seem to make up your mind weather CM is a protest or a celebration or both or neither.
I know exactly why I ride CM... I was simply offering to make clear my absolute disinterest in your rights at the next one I ride. should I go ahead with this? I was going to make a tshirt or print up flyers, but if it doesn't matter to you I'll hold off on it.

(And why does it have to be one, or the other, or the other? Why the obsessive need of some (and I include the Mayor and Commissioner Kelly in this number) to know exactly what, who, where and when CM "is?" There's a discomfort with unpredictability here... CM could easily go on virtually unhindered if someone would step up to say "I, Laika, am the president of CM. We have a membership of eleventy-twelve cyclists, dues are a buck three-eighty quadrennially, and our predetermined routes are determined by black box voting among members in good standing and will be provided, with detailed maps and timetables, two weeks prior to every ride." Of course, then it wouldn't be CM, it'd be the 5BBC or Kissena, which are fine for what they are and are full of cyclists far more accomplished and experienced and just plain better than I, but if I wanted to go on club rides or race, I'd go on club rides or race. Personally, I like CM, and I don't really care that the Mayor and Commissioner Kelly have a hard time wrapping their heads around the concept.)

I'll keep my right to cycle in a more productive fashion. While you guys do your loops in traffic, I'll call my representative. While you run over effigies, I'll write the DOT. And while you're "sharing the road" by jamming traffic just to prove there's a lot of you, I'll be donating to organizations that actually do make a difference in making cycling safe for people.
[First off, given that this conversation is still both cordial and mariginally more about cycling activism and than politics, I will bite my tongue as regard the efficacy of working within a system which leads to the sorts of things that make me go for long rides alone to work off my anger and frustration at the state of the world. I admire your faith in the system and wish I shared it, and I will leave it at that.]

This is some sort of logical fallacy which you're indulging in here. Do you think that riding CM precludes the types and sorts of behaviors and activism you practice? I'll offer you a hint; they don't. I'll offer you another: TA isn't the only game in town for cycling activism, just the most conservative one tactically. It's a safe and respectable choice, and I admire the work they do. So thanks for that, honestly. TA has accomplished a lot, and are a voice for a certain sort of completely valid cyclist activism.

You do things your way, I'll do them mine, and that's the last I'll say in this thread.
Right on. Keep rolling, and I'll do the same. That's all that matters, after all.
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Old 11-14-04, 11:05 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by operator
Wow larue is full of contradictions. Just because your specific CM rides single file and obeys the law doesn't mean they ALL do.

What exactly does an str plate have to do with CM's, their purpose or how they are carried out? Same goes for your non-sensical blabbing about funds resulting from selling said plates and being a member of such and so organization.

Half your post has nothing to do with CM's. This includes your quotation at the beginning of the post and subsequent condescending, I-am-better-than-you, look-what-I-have-done attitude Don't forget to get off your high horse while you're at it.
Why don't you try reading the post I replying to eh?
The man stated that none of us do any good and he spends his time giving to organizations that do good blah blah blah.
There are zero contradictions in my post, maybe you'd like to point out some? What exactly do you consider non-sensical?
If you want to post replies then perhaps you should read the thread you are replying to.
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Old 11-14-04, 11:13 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by operator
Wow larue is full of contradictions. Just because your specific CM rides single file and obeys the law doesn't mean they ALL do.

What exactly does an str plate have to do with CM's, their purpose or how they are carried out? Same goes for your non-sensical blabbing about funds resulting from selling said plates and being a member of such and so organization.

Half your post has nothing to do with CM's. This includes your quotation at the beginning of the post and subsequent condescending, I-am-better-than-you, look-what-I-have-done attitude Don't forget to get off your high horse while you're at it.
Having been involved in this conversation from very nearly the beginning, I can only assume you're flaming, as I find it hard to believe someone could make a post like yours without attempting to be deliberately unpleasant and provocative. If, however, you were serious in your comments, I'd like to suggest you a) read all the posts in the thread before you post, as to most of us, the share the road post addressed directly a point being made about a supposed incompatability between traditional activism and CM and b) confine your ad hominem attacks to real life, where those upon whom you visit your impolite and inaccurate abuse upon have a chance to slap you with a glove, bop you in the snoot or challenge you to tall-bike jousting, depending on the local custom.

Best,
Laika
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Old 11-14-04, 11:17 PM
  #45  
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Thanks Laika.

Something I don't understand here is why does this have to be an argument? When did people lose the ability to agree to disagree? I don't have to see eye to eye with you but that doesn't mean we have to be enemies.
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Old 11-14-04, 11:19 PM
  #46  
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It seems like everytime the Critical Mass debate shows up in a thread we hear the same old arguments pro & con over and over again. What gets me is that people don't realize that Critical Mass is just one example of an organization (or non-organization) lobbying for biker's rights. Other groups exist that take a different approach towards making their voices heard. Critical Mass gets a lot of press because of the spectacle of it all and its unique non-structured structure.

This is true of many other causes. Doing a cursory internet search I found 50 plus animal rights organizations in the USA and while PETA is certainely the most famous other organizations have had huge successes and exposure as well. Most people don't fit in neat little boxes of agree & disagree. I personally have attended many CM's in my hometown Chicago, and one in SFO. I'm also a member of the Chicago Bike Federation and the local rails to trails club in the suburbs. I've done organized centuries & tours and participated in messenger-style alleycat races. I don't believe that any of these groups can define my stance on bikes in chicago, nor do I believe that they work against each other.

If you disagree with Critical Mass then don't participate, heck start your own club & print up your own "I'm no Critical Mass-hole" stickers, but remember you have lots of choices for how your voice can be heard and to respect other's voices as well.

jeff
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Old 11-14-04, 11:45 PM
  #47  
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I' ve travelled extensively as a hitchiker, long haul trucker(not the bike!) and construction worker. I have noticed that cities with a strong CM presence are way more bicycle friendly. Those that feel they don't need activist groups to speak up for them I feel take for granted what is being done for them. Where i live, in the South, labor unions are a dirty word, and I've also noticed on my travels that those states that have higher union activity get paid and treated MUCH better, whether you're in the union or not.
Ther really are two main groups of adult cyclists in the U.S. You've got the guy who puts a 20 ounce bike on top of his car and drives 50 miles to the country to ride. Then you've got the commuter who gets everywhere by his 80's Schwinn or singlespeed, and this is really who CM appeals to.
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Old 11-15-04, 12:33 AM
  #48  
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bicycle with care, integrity, respect, and a smile works the best for me. i think and hope i have made friends with the drivers and pedestrians i come in contact with. my drivers mostly share the road with bicycles. the road has plenty of room for everybody. regards, henry
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Old 11-15-04, 01:20 AM
  #49  
nycm'er
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I read the entire thread, and I want to make two points. I was the other, other rider Friday in the rain in Bklyn. I was the one the brass pulled aside and said 'We are going to talk to you." At this point one of us was being cuffed with zipties, and all we had done was ride about 20 feet without our lights on. I was pretty sure at this point they were going to arrest us all. (all being three, mind you, has anyone forgotten that point yet?) Let me quickly set the stage, it was in the 40's raining steadily and blowing about 20-25 mph. I was no longer warm from my ride up the Slope on Flatbush, classic miserable situation. The second in command asked me twice what we were going to do, not to worry about the arrested rider he was being arrested, they were taking care of him. A man who I would come to find out was the Borough Commander asks me the same question, backing it up with "We'll give you the park" This guy is the Chief of police in Brooklyn, the beat cops so tough with me a moment before are in awe of this guy, I am too, Brooklyn is one of the largest cities in the US without its affiliation with NYC. And now he has offered us the use of Prospect Park, something I had taken for granted. So consider the fleet of cars, the army of cops, I felt pretty small and pretty intimidated. The "Good Cop" treatment by the top Brooklyn cop is making the words "Let the other guy out of the van and I will go home" nearly cross my lips without thinking. I want to pose this question to the "armchair" naysayers who will have you work the channels only to get these things done, who have such implicit faith in government, especially this Government's administration; What if this whole show of force was about something near to you? About your kids school? Your full and unmonitered access to the internet? What if police in your neighborhood came out in overwhelming force to try to dissuade you from posting you free thoughts on an internet thread forum? I think it is relevent and not over the top, especially in a country that apparently willing to give up some civil liberities to increase 'security'.
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Old 11-15-04, 01:33 AM
  #50  
karmical
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Originally Posted by supcom
In Texas on thing that CM has done for cycling is to cause a law to be enacted restricting cyclists to no more than two abreast on public roads.

Thanks, CM.
they ever get around to taking that law off the books which says its ok to shoot horse thieves in texas?

just curious...

i love the hell out of CM, and see more people that are riding talking with motorists, telling the police "thank you for putting up with us,......hell last CM i gave out passes to the nightclub i work out as a means to say hey its a drag being stuck...but wtf being upset about it isn't going to change a thing...

what i like most are the tourists' reactions to seeing that many bikes and riders together....i have had some very interesting conversations about freedom, and what it means to live in a country where you can express it in this kind of a way...
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