Critical Mass

Chronicle and short summaries of Critical Mass incidents, events and news worldwide (incomplete) in 2007.

Bikeonhead: incidents


September 28, 2007 Critical Mass
San Francicso - 15th anniversary - 6.25 at the Plaza
Critical Mass turned 15 - San Francisco celbrated it's 15th anniversary of Critical Mass bicycle rides. Many 100 cyclists claimed the streets. See also [1].
September 22, 2007 Budapest Up to 30,000 cyclists attented the Critical Mass ride in Budapest on Car Free Day (September 22, 2007). See also [2].
September 2007 Chicago Chicago celebrates his 10th anniversary with four happy Fridays, including a "T-Shirt Printing Party !!!" and the "Chicago Critical Mass 10th Anniversary Ride". See [3]
Bikeonhead August 31, 2007 San Diego 2 CM bicyclists arrested at a ride with 100 to 400 people. See also [4].
August 31, 2007 New York "For the 3rd month in a row, NYC had a terrific hassle-free Critical Mass. [...]" See aloso [5].
Bikeonhead August 31, 2007 Chicago 7 riders arrested

During the ride police refused to allow the planned CM route. When some bicyclists didn´t leave the intersection fast enough, 7 were arrested. See also [6].

Bikeonhead August 31, 2007 Minneapolis, Minnesota 19 arrested in Minneapolis Critical Mass

Police wanted to arrest one bicyclist who should have driven to cars. Shortly after the conflict grew up also with other cyclists. The police should have sprayed pepper spray. See also [7] and [8].

Bikeonhead August 17, 2007 Vienna Police repressions against Critical Mass in Vienna / (de):Polizeirepression gegen Critical Mass in Wien

(de): "Nachdem die CriticalMass nunmehr seit 16 Monaten friedlich und lustvoll durch Wien radelt und ein gutes Einvernehmen mit der immer wieder begleitenden Polizei herrscht, kommt es bei der CM im August völlig unverständlich zu einer Zerstörung dieses Verhältnisses durch die Polizei durch eine “Aktion-Scharf” gemäss STVO. [...]" See also [9].

Bikeonhead July 27, 2007 Vilnius Police in Vilnius (Lithuania) stopped Critical Mass with 100-200 participiants. There should have been arrested 5-10 cyclists and reported an offence against them. See also [10].
Bikeonhead July 27, 2007 Berlin
CM Berlin - July 2007 - Confiscating Bicycle
Confiscating a bicycle

"Around 40 cyclists started at the Heinrichplatz, during the ride the count increased up to 60 participiants. There was an incident at the Heinrich-Heine-Street where the police confiscated a bicycle (later gave it back) and got personal data of at least on person." See also Berlin, July 07.

Bikeonhead July, 2007 Oakland, California Police Department officers grabbed and detained a peaceful Critical Mass rider on the Oakland, California ride, which stages at Frank Ogawa Plaza on the first Friday of each month. The rider was cited for violating a noise ordinance for having a bicycle sound system. Many Oakland riders were critical of the Oakland, California Police Department for exercising selective enforcement of the noise ordinance, in a city whose streets are frequently travelled by motorcyclists on Harley Davidson motorcycles with loud pipes and sound-systems of their own, and with numerous cars with loud sound-systems and exhaust whistles. In addition, Oakland Police Department motorcycles themselves were previously criticized by Oakland's District 3 City Councilmember Nancy Nadel for having loud, aftermarket "thunderpipes" installed on them. Text from Critical Mass (English Wikipedia article)#Oakland, California.
July 27, 2007 Malaysia First Critical Mass bike ride ever in Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur with 40 people. See also [11].
Bikeonhead July 27, 2007 Chicago While the Chicago ride was heading to the Spindle in Berwyn, IL, an allegedly drunk driver plowed into the mass while attempting to flee the scene of a previous accident. 10 year old Will Healy, who was riding with his mother and sister, was directly hit by the car. Healy flew up onto the hood of the car, but was not severely injured. Several other bicyclists were injured or had their bicycles damaged while attempting to move out of the way of the car. The driver, Robert Rogers, 34, of Maywood, IL was quickly apprehended by police who were riding with and monitoring the group. See also [12].
June 3, 2007 Berlin
Fahrradbahn IV
Not a Critical Mass but one of the biggest cycle events worldwide ever took place. The Great Star Ride takes place every year in June as an official organized event (introduced by the ADFC). In 2007 up to 250.000 cyclists took part in this ride. The photo shows a part of the mass on a motorway.
May 25-27, 2007 Rome
Critical Mass Rome - 26 May 2007
Interplanetary Critical Mass in Rome, a three-day bike event. See also [13] for nice posters.
Bikeonhead May 11, 2007 Berkeley, California According to a Bicycle Civil Liberties Union press release, a "motorist with his wife deliberately ran into the side of the monthly Berkeley Critical Mass bicycle demonstration" [14] and caused approximately $3,000 worth of damage to bicycles [15]. However, the driver and two third-party witnesses told police that the bikers threw their bicycles under the vehicle. Subsequently, Critical Mass participants pounded on the hood and windows of the car and the windshield of the vehicle was shattered. See also [16].
May 04 - 06, 2007 Frankfurt/Main Wheelzup Film Festival in Frankfurt presents Critical Mass and other cycling films. On the last day was also a Critical Mass ride with 200 cyclists. See also [17].
April 22, 2007 Budapest 50.000 participians at a Critical Mass in Budapest. See also [18].
Bikeonhead April, 2007 San Francisco San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, in April 2007, requested that Critical Mass riders "police themselves." "It does the bicycle-advocacy community no good to have people that are aggressive and dispirit the entire movement,” Newsom said. “I would encourage the bicycle coalition to say, ‘Look, we don’t put up with this, enough is enough.’” See also [19].
Bikeonhead April, 2007 Sacramento, California Since the resurrection of the ride in April 2007, Sacramento Critical Mass [20] has been the subject of police scrutiny.[21] The Sacramento Police Department dispatches several squad cars, motorcycles, and bicycle police to monitor the ride, despite the absence of any violent incident. The police follow the riders the whole time, and shout at them to stay all the way to the side of the road. Ironically, the police actually occupy a larger portion of on-street traffic than the riders and thus inhibit the flow of traffic far more than the riders do. In addition, the police use every justification to issue citations, which tends to keep the speed of the mass very slow. Citations in the past have included tickets for not having lights, for moving to far into the road way, failing to signal when turning left, etc. It is believed that the police's domineering presence and propensity for issuing as many tickets as possible, is an attempt to dissuade the riders from participating altogether.[22] Text from the English Wikipedia article under the GFDL, see Critical_Mass_(English_Wikipedia_article)#Sacramento.2C_California.

Bikeonhead March 30, 2007 San Francisco On the evening of March 30, 2007 in San Francisco, toward the end of Critical Mass, Susan Ferrando of Redwood City, California claimed to have found herself in the middle of a group of bicyclists and tried to drive through them resulting in hundreds of bicyclists surrounding her minivan while her 11 and 13 year old daughters watched from inside. Ferrando denies striking a cyclist but claims they banged on the sides of her car, "keyed" the paint, and threw a bicycle through the rear window of the vehicle, causing $5,300 in damage. See also [23].
2007 Film Some Assembly Required, a film about the Critical Mass in New York on March 30, 2007 and the police response was published.

See also


Critical Mass Chronicle