Critical Mass

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Walnut creek

Ride details[]

  • Day: Third Friday of every month.
  • Time: Meet 5:30pm.
  • Location: Walnut Creek Bart.

Update: this ride no longer happens on a regular basis.



The first Critical Mass: fun with intersections.

Police Repression and Municipal Civil Rights Liability[]

Police have been for the most part hands off on the ride, except for November 2007's ride in which one bicyclist was issued a ticket for running a red light. On two occasions, bike cops have joined the ride.

On the January 18, 2008 ride, there are reports cyclists had unopened cans of beer and pizza thrown at them by an angry motorist at one point during the ride. Later in the ride, Walnut Creek Police Officer Clemente, badge number P-450, got out of his car to stop the bicyclists, dragging one off a bicycle with an excessive and heavy handed use of force, quickly whipping out his citation book --he did not issue any citations-- telling one of the riders his bicycle had to have a bicycle license issued by the City of Walnut Creek to ride on the streets of 'our city'. When pressed that if the rider lived in nearby city, and had a bicycle license issued by that nearby city, would that suffice, his answer: "no, it has to be a Walnut Creek bicycle license."

Officer Clemente is not an attorney and does not understand applicable California Law, and has incorrect and inappropriate departmental training on bicycle issues. California Vehicle Code, Division 16.7, Section 39002 speaks to municipalities licensing bicycles in accordance with a uniform system, addressed by that code section. It allows cities to require their own residents to license their bicycles in accordance with the code section. It does not permit cities to require visitors and those cycling through the city for business or pleasure to register their bicycles in each city in which they ride.

VC 39002. (a) "A city or county, which adopts a bicycle licensing ordinance or resolution, may provide in the ordinance or resolution that no --resident-- shall operate any bicycle, as specified in the ordinance, on any street, road, highway, or other public property within the jurisdiction of the city or county, as the case may be, unless the bicycle is licensed in accordance with this division."

Furthermore, Officer Clemente's arrest and detention decisions highlight his lack of respect for constitutional issues, specifically the Privileges and Immunities Clause of Article 4 Section 2, Clause 1: "The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States." This is also known as the "Comity Clause" of the U.S. Constitution which through case law has generally held to protect U.S. Citizen's freedom of movement and travel by extending to them "the privileges and immunities of the several states" when they travel. In this case, one California city cannot place an unreasonable administrative burden on residents of other California cities by requiring them to procure a bicycle license in each city they pass through.

See Also[]

Other ride locations in the United States in California (articles only)

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