Critical Mass fight in Seattle

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Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Hans » Sun Jul 27, 2008 12:19 am UTC

Seattle has a fairly large Critical Mass demonstration every month. This month's ride, which occurred yesterday, was marred by an altercation which resulted in several injuries. According to the Seattle PI (one of Seattle's two major daily newspapers), the driver was surrounded by cyclists who hit his car, felt threatened, and drove off hitting several cyclists in the process. He was then chased, surrounded again, and assaulted after getting out of his car.

According to a witness statement in the Stranger (an alternative weekly), the driver exchanged a few words with cyclists about being late for dinner reservations before trying to drive through the pack of cyclists (presumably not feeling overly threatened). His car was damaged and he was assaulted only after hitting cyclists with his car.

I am routinely astonished by the passion that people feel, on both sides, about bicycles on the roads. It is as if people see bike riders or drivers as embodying everything that is wrong with the world--and then act accordingly. I sincerely hope this is carefully investigated and the appropriate parties are punished (be they cyclists for assault or property damage, or the driver for assault with a deadly weapon).

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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Jahoclave » Sun Jul 27, 2008 1:04 am UTC

Technically speaking, the riders who stopped in his way probably were breaking the law by stopping in the street if I'm reading these accounts right. If you're on the road you're supposed to follow the rules of the road. And reading some of the descriptions of what this Critical Mass group is doing they're not just riding around in the streets they're purposely out to bring traffic to a halt. Like this one about blocking an ambulance. Um, if you're on the streets you're supposed to pull over. It's kind of the traffic law.

Now if they were just riding around as a group to raise awareness they bikes are allowed on the roads and obeying the traffic laws that'd be one thing, but they don't seem to be doing just that.

My dad is an avid cyclist and has seen more of his fair share of dickish shit from both sides. For one thing, if you're on a bike, you're not doing anywhere near the speed limit. Be nice and get off to the side of the road so cars can pass you. It's part of the reason people in cars get so pissed off with bike riders. Doesn't excuse them being dicks to anybody on a bike. But it's just this mass of unobservant assholes on bikes who can't seem to realize that you're on a couple pound bike doing 15 mph on a street that's 30 and blocking cars from passing you.

Also, I think a little bit more common sense could be used in terms of cyclists. You're in a city with major intersections and busy streets. You're on a bike. Is it really a good idea for you to be trying to ride in traffic rather than on the side of the road? I for one, when I come to a major intersection where I live pull up to the sidewalk and wait for the crosswalks if I'm trying to make a left or go straight. One it's safer and two I'm not really expecting somebody in a car to really be able to react to a bike doing 15 while they're doing double that or more. My old car went faster on idle than some people do on a bike.

It's one thing to try and promote awareness of people on bikes ( a good thing that needs to be done), it's another thing to go around being a bunch of dicks blocking traffic.


As for this incident, both sides are pretty much guilty. And I agree with a lot of the sentiment that the police need to do something about this protest. Seems to me that they're constantly trying to instigate just this sort of thing and are putting lives at risk by breaking traffic laws. Also, as for eyewitness accounts, they're the weakest form of evidence there is.

I say we line up the assholes on both sides and give them a good smacking.

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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Dream » Sun Jul 27, 2008 5:25 am UTC

Jahoclave wrote:And reading some of the descriptions of what this Critical Mass group is doing they're not just riding around in the streets they're purposely out to bring traffic to a halt.

Where I'm from, Critical Mass are a fairly above board protest/awareness group, whose regular demos are regulated and policed. They are very much trying to bring traffic to a halt, but are doing so in the manner of any other protest or demonstration that is sanctioned and policed. Obviously I have no idea whether this is true of the Seattle group, but as a movement, they're on the level.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Lycur » Sun Jul 27, 2008 6:00 pm UTC

Dream wrote:
Jahoclave wrote:And reading some of the descriptions of what this Critical Mass group is doing they're not just riding around in the streets they're purposely out to bring traffic to a halt.

Where I'm from, Critical Mass are a fairly above board protest/awareness group, whose regular demos are regulated and policed. They are very much trying to bring traffic to a halt, but are doing so in the manner of any other protest or demonstration that is sanctioned and policed. Obviously I have no idea whether this is true of the Seattle group, but as a movement, they're on the level.


I'd just like to echo this. CM is the kind of thing that will attract a few jackasses (leftist extremists are every bit as loathesome as the far right ones) but for the most part it's very peaceful - I always see these guys getting *alot* more abuse than they give out.

Actually, frankly, there have been more than a few instances where I wouldn't terribly mind seeing some of the jackass hecklers in cars getting their comeupins - but that's really neither here nor there.

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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby blargl » Sun Jul 27, 2008 7:04 pm UTC

My dad is an avid cyclist and has seen more of his fair share of dickish shit from both sides. For one thing, if you're on a bike, you're not doing anywhere near the speed limit. Be nice and get off to the side of the road so cars can pass you. It's part of the reason people in cars get so pissed off with bike riders. Doesn't excuse them being dicks to anybody on a bike. But it's just this mass of unobservant assholes on bikes who can't seem to realize that you're on a couple pound bike doing 15 mph on a street that's 30 and blocking cars from passing you.


This kind of thing really frustrates me. As a daily Seattle bike commuter I do try to stick to bike lanes where possible, but there are simply times where I have to share traffic with cars. Those times you'd better believe I'm going to ride straight down the middle of the lane, you don't know how vulnerable you truly are on a bike until you have someone in a car (not looking) either turn right in front of you or open their parked car door right in front of you (happened to me just the other day again, this is one reason some bikers don't use bike lanes). Every regular biker knows the safest thing is to make yourself as visible as possible. Though I haven't ridden with Critical Mass before, I gathered that was their goal: to raise awareness.

So yes, I do agree that cyclists should be courteous to drivers .. but if I can get on my soapbox for a second, I also think that car drivers need to curb their road rage and learn that getting from point A to point B as fast as possible is not the most important thing in the world. When biking on the street, I do try to go as fast as possible to accomodate the herds of cars (15 MPH may not sound like much, but it'll get you through Seattle in no time at all), and always pull to the side when a bus is behind me. I have lived in the city for many years and my bicycle, which I use for transportation everywhere as I don't own a car, does not produce noise or air pollution for any of my neighbors. If people want to talk about courtesy, I recommend that they immediately find a way to leave their single occupancy vehicles, find a bus (of which there are plenty of routes in Seattle), or even better .. ride a bicycle :)

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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby almightyze » Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:14 am UTC

Damn, the cycling issue is getting bad. In DC, a leading blogger was critically injured when hit by a car while cycling a couple months ago, started a huge debate in the city. Further, I believe pundit Robert Novak's recent hit-and-run a week or two ago was a cyclist collision (though I could be wrong). In Boston, my friends talk about the troubles they have cycling. The problem is complicated by the whole increase in cyclists due to gas price increases. America is not used to cyclists sharing the road with motorists. :\
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Adalwolf » Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:44 am UTC

Cyclists piss me off. There are some bike lanes on roads around here...there need to be more, though. Also, when there is a damn sidewalk right next to the fucking road, why the fuck don't you damn cyclists use that? I hardly ever see people on the sidewalk...and if someone is walking...they can get on the grass, or you can get on the grass with your bike! Simply put cyclists are agonizingly slow, annoying, and downright dangerous to themselves and drivers...though mainly to themselves.

Edit:

Also, there should be more public transportation so there will be less cars and less cyclists on the road.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Princess Marzipan » Tue Jul 29, 2008 2:11 pm UTC

Adalwolf wrote:Cyclists piss me off. There are some bike lanes on roads around here...there need to be more, though. Also, when there is a damn sidewalk right next to the fucking road, why the fuck don't you damn cyclists use that? I hardly ever see people on the sidewalk...and if someone is walking...they can get on the grass, or you can get on the grass with your bike! Simply put cyclists are agonizingly slow, annoying, and downright dangerous to themselves and drivers...though mainly to themselves.


Observe, the reason cyclists can't fucking stand most drivers.

"Just ride on the sidewalk" is not an acceptable alternative, good sir, because sidewalks are not wide enough for foot traffic AND a bike. Also, in many places, such as here in the Boston area, riding a bike on the sidewalk is actually...y'know...ILLEGAL.

Sidewalks are for pedestrians.

Roadways are for cars, AND for bikes.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Random832 » Tue Jul 29, 2008 2:33 pm UTC

Dream wrote:
Jahoclave wrote:And reading some of the descriptions of what this Critical Mass group is doing they're not just riding around in the streets they're purposely out to bring traffic to a halt.

Where I'm from, Critical Mass are a fairly above board protest/awareness group, whose regular demos are regulated and policed. They are very much trying to bring traffic to a halt, but are doing so in the manner of any other protest or demonstration that is sanctioned and policed. Obviously I have no idea whether this is true of the Seattle group, but as a movement, they're on the level.


If their purpose is to make the point that bikes are legitimate road traffic, they defeat their own point by acting more like an obstruction than like traffic.

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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Princess Marzipan » Tue Jul 29, 2008 3:15 pm UTC

Random832 wrote:If their purpose is to make the point that bikes are legitimate road traffic, they defeat their own point by acting more like an obstruction than like traffic.


There are people that are total dicks about it, yes.

But x (distance/speed) worth of bikes riding by is the same thing to someone waiting to pull out as x (distance/speed) of cars riding by.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby CogDissident » Tue Jul 29, 2008 3:22 pm UTC

I find the biggest cyclists have is that they tend to get hit by clueless people who are talking on the phone.

Any city that implements "some" bike lanes, but not bike lanes on all streets, deserves to be shot. Philadelphia (my home city) has a lot of bike lanes, but nowhere even close to enough. Though it is legal to go on sidewalks (though sidewalks are crowded, and biking there causes plenty of problems.

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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jul 29, 2008 3:35 pm UTC

Bah, you people who think that motorists have priority on the road sicken me. Critical Mass is a nationally sanctioned protest, police officers are almost always involved to keep the peace, and group 'leaders' schedule and file a route before hand. This guy was running late for a dinner reservation? big fucking deal!

Motorists are the true danger on the road, and cyclists rights to share those roads are almost constantly threatened. If I was allowed to punch in the face every motorist who cut me off, almost doored me, almost road me down, or generally didn't 'share' the lane with me, I'd have some bloody fucking knuckles!

This happened in Seattle? What, you live in a major, BIKE FRIENDLY city, and don't know about Critical Mass? Don't bike yourself? Shit head.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Random832 » Tue Jul 29, 2008 4:52 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Bah, you people who think that motorists have priority on the road sicken me.


My philosophy: whoever has the bloody green light has priority; car or not.

Izawwlgood wrote:Critical Mass is a nationally sanctioned protest, police officers are almost always involved to keep the peace, and group 'leaders' schedule and file a route before hand.


Lies, all of it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_Mass

However, Critical Mass participants have insisted that these events should be viewed as "celebrations" and spontaneous gatherings, and not as protests or organized demonstrations.[4][5] This stance allows Critical Mass to argue a legal position that its events can occur without advance notification of local police.[6][7]

...

Because Critical Mass takes place without an official route or sanction, participants practice a tactic known as "corking" in order to maintain the cohesion of the group. This tactic consists of a few riders blocking traffic from side roads so that the mass can freely proceed through red lights without interruption.

...

[July 1997 SF] The local newspapers had published a route, although many riders were hesitant about—or flatly against—cooperation with it.


Nougatrocity wrote:
Random832 wrote:If their purpose is to make the point that bikes are legitimate road traffic, they defeat their own point by acting more like an obstruction than like traffic.


There are people that are total dicks about it, yes.

But x (distance/speed) worth of bikes riding by is the same thing to someone waiting to pull out as x (distance/speed) of cars riding by.


The difference is, the cars stop entering the intersection when their light turns red (or shortly thereafter, at least) rather than having members of their group appointed to act as amateur traffic cops to stop you from going in when it's green for you.

There aren't just "people that are total dicks" - it's organized, premeditated total dickery.

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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Adalwolf » Tue Jul 29, 2008 5:56 pm UTC

Nougatrocity wrote:
Adalwolf wrote:Cyclists piss me off. There are some bike lanes on roads around here...there need to be more, though. Also, when there is a damn sidewalk right next to the fucking road, why the fuck don't you damn cyclists use that? I hardly ever see people on the sidewalk...and if someone is walking...they can get on the grass, or you can get on the grass with your bike! Simply put cyclists are agonizingly slow, annoying, and downright dangerous to themselves and drivers...though mainly to themselves.


Observe, the reason cyclists can't fucking stand most drivers.

"Just ride on the sidewalk" is not an acceptable alternative, good sir, because sidewalks are not wide enough for foot traffic AND a bike. Also, in many places, such as here in the Boston area, riding a bike on the sidewalk is actually...y'know...ILLEGAL.

Sidewalks are for pedestrians.

Roadways are for cars, AND for bikes.


Well that should fucking change now shouldn't it? I remember when I was a kid I road my damn bike on the sidewalk most of the time...I never got yelled at.

Lobby to get bike lanes put in, or wider sidewalks, and more public transportation. Just get off the damn road. ESPECIALLY two lane roads where drivers behind you can't fucking pass.

edit: And cars and trucks have priority on the road. People who ride bikes on the road are foolish or assholes.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Hans » Tue Jul 29, 2008 5:57 pm UTC

I'm reasonably sure the Seattle critical mass riders had no planned route nor parade permit. Seattle Police have taken a hands-off approach, since mass arrests for traffic law violations would probably cause more problems than solve. King County Sheriff deputies (who were on duty with Metro Bus Service as transit police) tried to arrest CM riders a few years ago, which prompted the Seattle Police to vocally object (admittedly, because of the jurisdiction issue more than approaches to policing).

I'm curious, however, the total delays any person incurs being stuck behind a bike are fairly minimal, less than say the line at the bank, and (at least in my experience) obey the law at about the same rate as drivers (more than 90 percent of whom "California stop" at signs). So why is there so much vitriol and anger by drivers over bicyclists? It is the internet, but I was surprised to find how many people suggested critical mass riders (or cyclists in general) should be shot or run down if they delay a driver even a moment. Wars, corruption, and scandal, and the enforcement of traffic laws is the paramount concern of the American public? Why is that?

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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby space_raptor » Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:05 pm UTC

I bike all the time and I think these people are dumbasses. Not sure why they think they have the right to interfere with people going about their business. Or the right not to obey traffic laws.

I try to avoid busy roads when I'm on my bike because I know sometimes it's tough to pass me if there's a lot of traffic, mostly for safety reasons. They don't want to clip me on the way by, and I appreciate that, so I try and get over and out of the way, and I try to keep up to traffic. It's a team effort out there. :)
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Random832 » Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:09 pm UTC

Hans wrote:It is the internet, but I was surprised to find how many people suggested critical mass riders (or cyclists in general) should be shot or run down if they delay a driver even a moment.


There's a fundamental hypocrisy in deliberately breaking traffic laws while making the point they are claiming to be making.

obey the law at about the same rate as drivers (more than 90 percent of whom "California stop" at signs).


There's a big difference between a "california stop" and deliberately blocking traffic so that your buddies can go through a red light.

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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Hans » Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:27 pm UTC

Random832 wrote:
Hans wrote:It is the internet, but I was surprised to find how many people suggested critical mass riders (or cyclists in general) should be shot or run down if they delay a driver even a moment.


There's a fundamental hypocrisy in deliberately breaking traffic laws while making the point they are claiming to be making.

obey the law at about the same rate as drivers (more than 90 percent of whom "California stop" at signs).


There's a big difference between a "california stop" and deliberately blocking traffic so that your buddies can go through a red light.


Maybe there are two issues here, critical mass parading without a permit (again, I don't see it as a grave threat to society), and the general animosity toward cyclists in general. As for the critical mass protest, I can certainly understand why someone would call it hypocritical (the critical mass people might call it civil disobedience); but why are people so angered? I feel like hypocrisy is pretty much par for the course dealing with people. Most protests (along with some funeral processions and other events) deliberately block traffic briefly without serious consequences or inspiring anger. Even if I saw someone deliberately run a red light outside of an event, blocking me in the process, I can't imagine getting worked up about it (in fact, I have seem people run red lights... so many I can't even recall the number of times).

My assumption has been that anger at critical mass has been a lightning rod for anger at cyclists in general. If it had been a protest to get more childrens books in the library, people would not be as worked up about blocking traffic or parading without a permit. Maybe I am mistaken. I can't say I understand the origin of the anger there, but that is the sense I get. Do other people have different views?
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Princess Marzipan » Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:53 pm UTC

Random832 wrote:There aren't just "people that are total dicks" - it's organized, premeditated total dickery.


In such cases? Shit yes. If I recall correctly, this guy in the article was just stuck in a driveway by traffic which was flowing smoothly.

I honestly think Critical Mass, as implemented, with such stop light shenanigans, is bullshit.

Adalwolf wrote:
Nougatrocity wrote:Roadways are for cars, AND for bikes.


Well that should fucking change now shouldn't it? I remember when I was a kid I road my damn bike on the sidewalk most of the time...I never got yelled at.

Well riding around in a neighborhood to the candy store or to friends' houses is one thing; it's another thing entirely when a bike is your mode of transportation to school, work, or whereever you need to get to. A good portion of roads I ride on do not actually HAVE sidewalks.

Adalwolf wrote:Lobby to get bike lanes put in, or wider sidewalks, and more public transportation. Just get off the damn road. ESPECIALLY two lane roads where drivers behind you can't fucking pass.

Bike lanes? It's rarely economically feasible to widen any stretch of road. And if the road is big enough to have a bike lane, most riders will ride in that imaginary lane anyway. The only time I ride in the road proper is when I need to make a left turn, and therefore make myself visible enough not to get hit in the process.

Wider sidewalks? Do you have any IDEA how much money it would cost to widen the sidewalks of an entire municipal area? Besides, where are they going to widen the sidewalk TO? Probably the road you're complaining about not having enough of!

Public transportation? I live in Boston, which has extremely useful public transportation. But it's still often faster to ride a bike somewhere, and you don't have to keep to a schedule. Also, you don't have to pay to ride your bike every day. And why the bloody hell can't YOU use public transportation?

Adalwolf wrote:edit: And cars and trucks have priority on the road. People who ride bikes on the road are foolish or assholes.

No, people who think the road "belongs" to cars, trucks, bikes, or any subset of vehicles are foolish or assholes, and usually both.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Adalwolf » Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:21 pm UTC

Nougatrocity wrote:
Random832 wrote:There aren't just "people that are total dicks" - it's organized, premeditated total dickery.


In such cases? Shit yes. If I recall correctly, this guy in the article was just stuck in a driveway by traffic which was flowing smoothly.

I honestly think Critical Mass, as implemented, with such stop light shenanigans, is bullshit.

Adalwolf wrote:
Nougatrocity wrote:Roadways are for cars, AND for bikes.


Well that should fucking change now shouldn't it? I remember when I was a kid I road my damn bike on the sidewalk most of the time...I never got yelled at.

Well riding around in a neighborhood to the candy store or to friends' houses is one thing; it's another thing entirely when a bike is your mode of transportation to school, work, or whereever you need to get to. A good portion of roads I ride on do not actually HAVE sidewalks.

Adalwolf wrote:Lobby to get bike lanes put in, or wider sidewalks, and more public transportation. Just get off the damn road. ESPECIALLY two lane roads where drivers behind you can't fucking pass.

Bike lanes? It's rarely economically feasible to widen any stretch of road. And if the road is big enough to have a bike lane, most riders will ride in that imaginary lane anyway. The only time I ride in the road proper is when I need to make a left turn, and therefore make myself visible enough not to get hit in the process.

Wider sidewalks? Do you have any IDEA how much money it would cost to widen the sidewalks of an entire municipal area? Besides, where are they going to widen the sidewalk TO? Probably the road you're complaining about not having enough of!

Public transportation? I live in Boston, which has extremely useful public transportation. But it's still often faster to ride a bike somewhere, and you don't have to keep to a schedule. Also, you don't have to pay to ride your bike every day. And why the bloody hell can't YOU use public transportation?

Adalwolf wrote:edit: And cars and trucks have priority on the road. People who ride bikes on the road are foolish or assholes.

No, people who think the road "belongs" to cars, trucks, bikes, or any subset of vehicles are foolish or assholes, and usually both.


Pfft, damn city dwelling bike riding hippy.

I don't use public transportation because there is only a limited crappy amount of it int he suburbs, and I like to be able to go where I want when I want.

Most of the time I don't mind bikes, and I get in the other lane to pass... I hate driving close because I don't want to accidently hurt the cyclist, but common courtesy goes both ways. Riding during rush hour? Probably stupid and suicidal move on a cyclists part. At night? Again, probably not the greatest idea. Cyclists should use some common sense and not ride their bikes during busy parts of the day. Though in the suburbs there aren't too many bike riders...and the few that do are few and far between.

Oh, and if roads aren't meant for cars, why can't bikes go on highways?
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Princess Marzipan » Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:24 pm UTC

I can't believe I'm actually posting this and meaning it, but...

Dude, shut the fuck up.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:28 pm UTC

Because there's a radical misconception that motorists are the only people using the road, and as such, we've built entire infrastructure around them and their stupid car obsession?

Look, for cross country driving, I wouldn't suggest everyone bike it. For general freight, I wouldn't suggest human power it. But you honestly mean to say that when you sit in traffic on your way to or from work, and notice that everyone around you is driving alone, in a fucking automobile, to get, what, 10 miles, that it's sensible?

Hell, I typically take public transit and I feel like I'm wasting time, crammed next to a bunch of sweaty commuters. For traversing a city, a bike is the way to do it. But for some reason, the rest of the America doesn't seem to think so. You ever see cities in India? China?

Critical Mass purportedly started because a guy observed phenomena in China, where bikers were forced to reach a certain number before braving the crazy streets.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Decker » Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:33 pm UTC

Adalwolf wrote:Oh, and if roads aren't meant for cars, why can't bikes go on highways?


I'm assuming you mean JUST cars. Otherwise, your statement makes absolutely no sense.
I'm going to go out here on a limb and say because while a highway is a road, a road is not necessarily a highway.

...actually now that I think about it, your statement makes no sense anyway.

Anyway.

I deal with bikers a lot on my daily commute, and none of them have ever been a problem for me. They usually stay to the side of the road and I can get by them without much trouble.

Also, yes, biking at any kind of speed on the sidewalk is horribly dangerous, especially if it's a busy sidewalk. Even then, this only applies where there IS a sidewalk. There is no sidewalk for at least half of my commute.

I've actually been thinking of investing in a bike myself. I spent $200 on gas last month, which is a little loony.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Adalwolf » Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:35 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Because there's a radical misconception that motorists are the only people using the road, and as such, we've built entire infrastructure around them and their stupid car obsession?

Look, for cross country driving, I wouldn't suggest everyone bike it. For general freight, I wouldn't suggest human power it. But you honestly mean to say that when you sit in traffic on your way to or from work, and notice that everyone around you is driving alone, in a fucking automobile, to get, what, 10 miles, that it's sensible?

Hell, I typically take public transit and I feel like I'm wasting time, crammed next to a bunch of sweaty commuters. For traversing a city, a bike is the way to do it. But for some reason, the rest of the America doesn't seem to think so. You ever see cities in India? China?

Critical Mass purportedly started because a guy observed phenomena in China, where bikers were forced to reach a certain number before braving the crazy streets.


I'm not talking about damn cities. I don't live in one, and never will. I'm talking about the suburbs, though I think I'd be even more afraid to ride a bike in a city than in the suburb (smaller lanes, more constricted area).

If you want to ride a bike on the road fine, just don't be surprised when you get heckled or injured.

And stupid car obsession? I use a car to get places. I don't want a stupid looking car, but really, as long as a car is reasonably fuel efficient, has room for more than 2 people, has a radio or something, and is reliable, I'll drive it. People use cars because they need them.

And guess what, Americans don't like bikes because we can afford cars! And now that China and India are gaining wealth they are buying up more and more cars. Look at their cities now. I would never drive in one, and I doubt many Americans would like to either.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Decker » Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:41 pm UTC

Adalwolf wrote:If you want to ride a bike on the road fine, just don't be surprised when you get heckled or injured.


That's like saying that someone crossing the street shouldn't be surprised when he gets flattened. That's heartless man.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:20 pm UTC

Adalwolf, I assume you don't commute to a job? I assume you're only means of getting around in your suburban community is via car (the mall or whatever being a 15 mile endeavor, as is usually the case in spread out burb-claves)?

Well guess what, I can get from the north side of Chicago to south of the city in 20 minutes without ever touching foot to pavement. Public transit here is fantastic, but it's slower then biking, and parking is a nightmare (let alone the 4.25ish gas!).

People aren't not biking because they can afford cars, people aren't biking because they are lazy fucks and don't realize how much simpler it is TO bike. I sometimes drive to and from work, and I'm shocked and appalled at how many people are sitting in they're cars, alone. Can you really justify a commute in a car when you're the only one being transported?

And that my friends, is what Critical Mass is partially about.

Also, I bike, very recklessly I feel, through the city, at all hours of the day, often drunk. I always wear a helmet, and have so far been in one accident of note. As long as you keep your wits mostly about you, and stay noticeable, you won't run into problems. The thing I'm scared of isn't traffic, it's bad drivers who aren't used to city driving. Like suburban drivers. They're the ones who pull out into traffic, who don't signal, who throw open doors.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Decker » Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:27 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Lots of stuff...


And way way on the OTHER end of the spectrum we have...
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Adalwolf » Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:28 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Adalwolf, I assume you don't commute to a job? I assume you're only means of getting around in your suburban community is via car (the mall or whatever being a 15 mile endeavor, as is usually the case in spread out burb-claves)?

Well guess what, I can get from the north side of Chicago to south of the city in 20 minutes without ever touching foot to pavement. Public transit here is fantastic, but it's slower then biking, and parking is a nightmare (let alone the 4.25ish gas!).

People aren't not biking because they can afford cars, people aren't biking because they are lazy fucks and don't realize how much simpler it is TO bike. I sometimes drive to and from work, and I'm shocked and appalled at how many people are sitting in they're cars, alone. Can you really justify a commute in a car when you're the only one being transported?

And that my friends, is what Critical Mass is partially about.

Also, I bike, very recklessly I feel, through the city, at all hours of the day, often drunk. I always wear a helmet, and have so far been in one accident of note. As long as you keep your wits mostly about you, and stay noticeable, you won't run into problems. The thing I'm scared of isn't traffic, it's bad drivers who aren't used to city driving. Like suburban drivers. They're the ones who pull out into traffic, who don't signal, who throw open doors.


In the suburbs it would be next to impossible to bike to run errands. Going to the bank, the grocery store, etc. There simply isn't enough room on a bike, even with a basket, lol, to bring the food back home- and what if you've got milk? It would spoil before you got home, especially in the summer.

And no, I don't commute to work. I work in the suburbs. And yes you can justify a commute even if you are the only one- you've got the money to support the lifestyle, no one from your work lives near you, you have odd hours, etc. Lots of things.

If you live in a city and feel comfortable riding a bike, fine. It just wouldn't work for everything in the suburbs.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:42 pm UTC

Adalwolf wrote:In the suburbs it would be next to impossible to bike to run errands. Going to the bank, the grocery store, etc. There simply isn't enough room on a bike, even with a basket, lol, to bring the food back home- and what if you've got milk? It would spoil before you got home, especially in the summer.


I have one of these, and can fit a lot of stuff in it. Milk won't spoil in summer weather for a few hours if it's still sealed.

Adalwolf wrote:And no, I don't commute to work. I work in the suburbs. And yes you can justify a commute even if you are the only one- you've got the money to support the lifestyle, no one from your work lives near you, you have odd hours, etc. Lots of things.


Have you considered your Carbon Footprint? What about your general health and weight? I might be burning more calories daily then you do in a week.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Will » Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:42 pm UTC

So what you're saying basically is that because *you* don't live in a place where it's feasible to ride a bike, that nobody should ride bikes anywhere ever. And that by not taking gas-guzzling vehicles everywhere they go even if they live somewhere where it's feasible to ride a bike or take public transportation, they're morons?
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Rusty Piton » Wed Jul 30, 2008 7:50 pm UTC

Adalwolf wrote:In the suburbs it would be next to impossible to bike to run errands. Going to the bank, the grocery store, etc. There simply isn't enough room on a bike, even with a basket, lol, to bring the food back home- and what if you've got milk? It would spoil before you got home, especially in the summer.

And no, I don't commute to work. I work in the suburbs. And yes you can justify a commute even if you are the only one- you've got the money to support the lifestyle, no one from your work lives near you, you have odd hours, etc. Lots of things.

If you live in a city and feel comfortable riding a bike, fine. It just wouldn't work for everything in the suburbs.


Are you like fifteen years old?
I only ask because everything you've spouted in this thread has been incredibly arrogent, immature, and short-sighted.
Biking is a viable form or transport no matter where you live if you're just willing to put in a litle effort.
And as for not being able to carry stuff on a bike, I present to you the xtracycle
Here's mine loaded with everything you need to brew six gallons of tasty homebrew beer:
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Do us all a favor and keep your narrow-minded ass the fuck out of the city.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby space_raptor » Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:01 pm UTC

Dammit Rusty. Now I want one.

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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:20 pm UTC

Mr. Piton is not showing the add-on, bike powered, distillery that rests on the top of that xtracycle. makes a mean corn hooch that one does.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby william » Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:24 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Because there's a radical misconception that motorists are the only people using the road, and as such, we've built entire infrastructure around them and their stupid car obsession?

We did. Why else would we have signs that say "SPEED LIMIT: 45"? It's bad enough that I drive the speed limit and get tailgated. You're driving at most what, 15 mph?
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Hans » Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:29 pm UTC

Adalwolf wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:If you live in a city and feel comfortable riding a bike, fine. It just wouldn't work for everything in the suburbs.


The point was already made, but I'll just toss my two cents in. I have an average mountain bike, and bike to the store whenever I need to buy more than my arms could carry. I simple rack with panniers will do wonders.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:05 pm UTC

william wrote:We did. Why else would we have signs that say "SPEED LIMIT: 45"? It's bad enough that I drive the speed limit and get tailgated. You're driving at most what, 15 mph?


Compared to the 3-5 mph avg cars can do when in city traffic, to the, oh, I dunno, 14-15 mph avg I can do on my bike in city traffic?

Here, I've roughly an hour commute by public transit (one train and one bus). If I leave my apartment at 8am, I'll get to work between 850 and 910. If I drive a car, I can get there in about 30 minutes (no traffic in that direction). If I bike, I can get there in about 45 minute, and then shower at work for a ~55 minute overall commute. The return trip is the same for public transit and biking, but takes about an hour and a half by car due to traffic. Thus, my overall commute is roughly equivalent no matter how I do it.

We built this infrastructure because we think that going fast for a few minutes, then sitting in traffic for half an hour, is cooler and better then biking at a steady 15 mph. Because GODDAMMIT MY CAR IS BIGGER!! MANLIER!! SEEEEEXIER!! then your bike. Because we measure our success by the car we drive (or, I'm venturing, what kind of car we can put our kids in). Or, most of all, because everyone is fucking doing it.

I'm not advocating for changing the infrastructure, because that'd be a ludicrous waste of resources, but I am suggesting rethinking our traffic laws. A biker represents a threat to no one, and if people started driving with more awareness, they wouldn't be shocked to see a biker skirting a lane. Most importantly, if more people started biking, we'd see a decline in the general unhealthiness of Americans, better air quality, and more padded wallets (it costs me ~7 dollars to drive to work, compared to the 4 dollars to take public transit, or the ZEEEEEEEEERO dollars to bike.

Another way to look at this is during my drive, I listen to the radio. During the commute, I read and play PSP. During the bike, I burn ~600 calories.

I... frankly I'm at a loss. I can't think of a single reason to not do everything in a cities power to promote biking.

Also, when sitting in traffic and watching bikers weave around and PAST me, I am not angry with them for disobeying traffic laws (like sitting in place with a thumb up their ass), I am embarrassed for myself for not biking, and sitting in place and wasting gas. For everyone whose sat in traffic with a bikelane to either side, driven less then 10 miles, driven in an empty car (less then, say, 30 lbs of stuff, or no other people), or not gotten out of the way for a bicyclist, you too should be embarrassed.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby space_raptor » Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:41 pm UTC

william wrote:We did. Why else would we have signs that say "SPEED LIMIT: 45"? It's bad enough that I drive the speed limit and get tailgated. You're driving at most what, 15 mph?

On a road bike you can generally do better than that. Regardless I would definitely agree that biking on a road where the speed limit is 72 km/h is stupid, but it is also very rare.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Jorsh! » Thu Jul 31, 2008 4:27 am UTC

In Canada, any unmarked road outside of municipal limits carries an assumed limit of 80 km/h. In a country this size, towns and cities are so far apart in many areas that 80 km/h roads and highway cycling are the only option for getting from point A to point B. The good news, of course, is that most of our highways have nice, wide shoulders.

The greatest barrier to bicycle safety is a lack of education. This was never more apparent to me than when I moved from Prince George, B.C. to southern Alberta. Suddenly, instead of intentionally running me off the road, shouting "get back on the sidewalk!", or—and I'm not making this up—throwing Burger King wrappers and beer bottles at me, people just treated me like I belonged on the road (which, legally, I do). I haven't had so much as a near miss since I came here two years ago, and I bike 15 km or more every day. People here realize that cyclists have the right to the road (not to mention the legal obligation to use it instead of the sidewalk), and simply deal with it. As long as you follow both national and local rules, there is no reason at all to butt heads with motorists.

Unfortunately, there are places where drivers and cyclists refuse to live together. These are the places things like Critical Mass happen, and where there is activism there is confrontation. And that's too bad.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby darren » Thu Jul 31, 2008 4:55 am UTC

The driver's a fool. Rule #1 when you're in a car and you're being threatened is Don't get out of the fucking car. I would've ran over each and every one of you.

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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Adalwolf » Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:34 am UTC

Rusty Piton wrote:
Adalwolf wrote:In the suburbs it would be next to impossible to bike to run errands. Going to the bank, the grocery store, etc. There simply isn't enough room on a bike, even with a basket, lol, to bring the food back home- and what if you've got milk? It would spoil before you got home, especially in the summer.

And no, I don't commute to work. I work in the suburbs. And yes you can justify a commute even if you are the only one- you've got the money to support the lifestyle, no one from your work lives near you, you have odd hours, etc. Lots of things.

If you live in a city and feel comfortable riding a bike, fine. It just wouldn't work for everything in the suburbs.


Are you like fifteen years old?
I only ask because everything you've spouted in this thread has been incredibly arrogent, immature, and short-sighted.
Biking is a viable form or transport no matter where you live if you're just willing to put in a litle effort.
And as for not being able to carry stuff on a bike, I present to you the xtracycle
Here's mine loaded with everything you need to brew six gallons of tasty homebrew beer:
Image
Do us all a favor and keep your narrow-minded ass the fuck out of the city.
People like you will be the first to die in the coming apocalypse, made soft and weak from your sedentary, auto-centric lifestyle.


Lmfao...soft and weak my ass. It'll be you fucking city dwellers who die first. And why don't you stay in your shit hole cities and keep the fuck out of the suburbs and the country, kay?

And that bike looks fucking retarded. I think I'd rather just buy a horse and wagon than one of those stupid things.

I don't think those are going to cut the bill.

Again, I'll ride a horse before that piece of shit.
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