Critical Mass fight in Seattle

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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Bakemaster » Tue Aug 05, 2008 2:54 am UTC

Nougatrocity wrote:I am less inclined to want to blame the motorist if the cyclists hit were directly in front of the car and preventing the driver from getting away from the undeniably intimidating atmosphere of a ton of cyclists surrounding your car.

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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Princess Marzipan » Tue Aug 05, 2008 4:41 am UTC

Bakemaster wrote:
Nougatrocity wrote:I am less inclined to want to blame the motorist if the cyclists hit were directly in front of the car and preventing the driver from getting away from the undeniably intimidating atmosphere of a ton of cyclists surrounding your car.

"Well, your Honor, I wasn't going to shoot him but he kept blocking my gun with his chest, soooooo..."


Without having a clear picture, it's very hard to say who is 'more' at fault. Definitely both sides fucked up. But the point of what you quoted was the part where cyclists are SURROUNDING the car. That can easily trigger fight or flight, and both of those are actually the same in this instance...

But most of this is pointless, really, since we're all posting things according to different models we've built in our heads.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Bakemaster » Tue Aug 05, 2008 4:50 am UTC

And the point of my response was that someone with a car is in such a significant position of power over anyone not in the car that they don't get to use that as an excuse. If you can't handle yourself well in a motor vehicle you shouldn't have a license to drive. I know this is an extreme situation, but there is never an excuse for accelerating from a complete stop into a human being. Period. (Zombies don't count as humans, so I think I'm good there.)
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Freakish » Tue Aug 05, 2008 4:55 am UTC

I'm saying 30 minutes would pass my breaking point. 30 seconds wouldn't be that bad. It's a bit worse then getting stuck at a passing train.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Jorsh! » Tue Aug 05, 2008 5:04 am UTC

Freakish wrote:I'm saying 30 minutes would pass my breaking point. 30 seconds wouldn't be that bad. It's a bit worse then getting stuck at a passing train.

Intentionally running into other drivers is, generally speaking, illegal. Running into pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and other smaller-than-automobile travellers is both illegal and almost guaranteed to cause them harm. If he was being attacked before he started hitting people, I can see him trying to get away from those exact people, even if harming them in the process. Self-defense. Fine.

Unfortunately, that's not where he stopped. I am aware that the exact scenario outlined in these articles is unclear, but as soon as the driver started running over people who had little to no knowledge of what was going on he lost my vote.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Princess Marzipan » Tue Aug 05, 2008 5:09 am UTC

Bakemaster wrote:And the point of my response was that someone with a car is in such a significant position of power over anyone not in the car that they don't get to use that as an excuse.


Any ONE, yeah. But there were quite many more than one.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Random832 » Tue Aug 05, 2008 1:25 pm UTC

Jorsh! wrote:
Freakish wrote:I'm saying 30 minutes would pass my breaking point. 30 seconds wouldn't be that bad. It's a bit worse then getting stuck at a passing train.

Intentionally running into other drivers is, generally speaking, illegal. Running into pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and other smaller-than-automobile travellers is both illegal and almost guaranteed to cause them harm. If he was being attacked before he started hitting people, I can see him trying to get away from those exact people, even if harming them in the process. Self-defense. Fine.


Well then maybe the cyclists shouldn't have formed an angry mob. "those exact people" quite reasonably extends to the entire mob. He was trying to get away from them. (and even if they hadn't attacked him yet, they certainly were trying to intimidate him.) The fact that some of them had brought knives (actual weapons - whereas, whatever you may think of cars, he did not bring it to the scene with the intent of using it as a weapon. And, yes, you're right that it doesn't say knives, but I've never seen a bike lock that you can slash someone's tires with.) tips the balance against them in my eyes (and, even for those who didn't - if you join an angry mob, you share a portion of the responsibility for the actions of everyone in that mob, because people are bolder in large numbers.)

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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:03 pm UTC

Freakish wrote:
PictureSarah wrote:Yeah, I would find it a little annoying. I would not be (and don't see myself *ever* being) annoyed enough to plough through a group of people with my car. Being annoyed does not justify attempted vehicular homicide.


I glad someone did it... Really... Because when you're sitting there in your car, what can you really do? Go around? Can't. Leave your car? Probably not a very good idea. Honk? They're not going to move. You're left with drive over them, or sit there.

I'd probably hit someone. Let atleast one person go home with regrets. I'm not usually a violent person, but cornered with no other options. I have no intentions of taking it like a bitch.


Actually... If I had one, a stink bomb might be a better option.


The 'bitch' move to do is to accellerate through traffic.

Yes, it's annoying to be delayed 30 minutes while a group of cyclists go through. Get. Over. It. Today, I sat on the tracks of the CTA for 20 minutes because of delays. Once, I ordered food and they messed up my order and I had to wait an extra half hour! Holy crap! I"M GOING TO THROW MY TABLE OUT THE WINDOW AND STAB MY WAITRESS!!!

Who the fuck is this guy that he thinks his dinner reservations are more important then the safety of other people? If his wife was having a baby in the car, then fine, I can understand if he rolled down his windows and said "HEY ASSHOLES MY WIFES HAVING A BABY, GET OUTTA THE WAY!" and i'd wager they would have.

you gripe about being delayed 30 minutes. Deal with it. Life in a city isn't about you you you.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Belial » Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:13 pm UTC

Yes, it's annoying to be delayed 30 minutes while a group of cyclists go through. Get. Over. It. Today, I sat on the tracks of the CTA for 20 minutes because of delays. Once, I ordered food and they messed up my order and I had to wait an extra half hour! Holy crap! I"M GOING TO THROW MY TABLE OUT THE WINDOW AND STAB MY WAITRESS!!!


There is kindof a difference between being delayed by incompetence or chance, and being delayed by a bunch of people willfully screwing with you.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:24 pm UTC

Critical Mass is no more screwing with YOU, then the county parade is, or the St. Paddies celebration, or any sports event traffic. The difference is people like watching dudes in red hats walking down the main street, or drunken leprechauns, or Yaaaay Cubbies, and for some reason, don't like seeing a bike parade. No one wants to fuck with YOU, people just want to enjoy the parade.

Maybe I'm just more easy going then the guy in the car, or then most people, but unless there was some emergency, i'd just chalk it up to existing in a city, existing with other people. I get delayed all the time. I live near a fairly major bar scene, and if I want to drive around on a thurs-sat evening, it can take me 20 minutes to go 5 blocks. I'm not going to go apeshit and drive through pedestrians for it, despite the fact that their drunken traffic is causing me delays.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Endless Mike » Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:35 pm UTC

Dear cyclists: I have no problem sharing the road with you on the rare occasion that I drive. That said, please, please, PLEASE follow the rules of the road. Do NOT ride against traffic. Stop lights and signs are not optional!
Izawwlgood wrote:Critical Mass is no more screwing with YOU, then the county parade is, or the St. Paddies celebration, or any sports event traffic. The difference is people like watching dudes in red hats walking down the main street, or drunken leprechauns, or Yaaaay Cubbies, and for some reason, don't like seeing a bike parade. No one wants to fuck with YOU, people just want to enjoy the parade.

Parades and sporting events are announced ahead of time and (at least here) alternate routes are suggested to avoid the conjestion. A non-protest that skirts legality is not the same at all.

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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Belial » Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:37 pm UTC

Critical Mass is no more screwing with YOU, then the county parade is, or the St. Paddies celebration, or any sports event traffic. The difference is people like watching dudes in red hats walking down the main street, or drunken leprechauns, or Yaaaay Cubbies, and for some reason, don't like seeing a bike parade. No one wants to fuck with YOU, people just want to enjoy the parade.


Again, Parades have pre-scheduled and pre-announced routes, permits from the city, and cops out redirecting traffic around them. Furthermore, they don't obstruct traffic as a goal, it's a side effect that they mitigate in any way they can.

Critical mass, as I understand it, does none of these things, and sets out to willfully obstruct traffic to draw attention to themselves.

Thus, willfully screwing with people.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:47 pm UTC

I've been to two critical mass events that were co-directed by cops, which indicates to me that it's not some sort of underground illegal activity.

It happens the last friday of every month. I don't know how much more obvious you can be with when you start your borderline illegal activity. Critical mass rides THROUGH places, so at worst, you've been stopped for 30 minutes.

I know people have night jobs, I know people just want to get home to their families, and I know people are tired. It's friday NIGHT, not monday morning. At worst, you've been delayed in getting to the bar, or getting to your SO's cooking.

If they were trying to fuck with you, they'd pick random times and locations. But critical masses always meet in the same place at the same time.

30 minutes! We aren't talking about violating your civil liberties or insulting your life choices. 30 minutes. If you genuinely believe your time is so valuable that you cannot be delayed 30 minutes on a friday afternoon, a friday afternoon you KNOW something like critical mass is going on, then sure, I apologize Mr. President. But for everyone else, I maintain, just get over it, take a deep breath, and maybe consider an alternative route next last friday of the month.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Belial » Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:57 pm UTC

Borderline illegal? No. Just actively screwing with people. You can do that within the bounds of the law, easily. The fact that you're not breaking laws doesn't make it any less dickish.

Your admonishment to relax is a good one. I tend to take this approach toward things that aren't anyone's fault, or that can't be controlled.

I do, however, become somewhat irritated when someone actively tries to inconvenience or delay me, which is what they're doing.

Yes, few of us are doing anything so important that we can't wait another thirty minutes. However, consider a different angle. How much time are you *already* wasting in traffic? And someone wants to make it worse just for attention? Who the fuck do they think they are, that they can make my commute, already shitty, even worse just to make some kind of obscure point?

This is, incidentally, why I also am driven to rage over those fucking billboard trucks. The trucks with advertisements all over them who drive around in circular routes during heavy traffic periods to advertise to drivers. It's like "gee thanks, fucker, I'm glad you decided that your product message was so important that you had to actively add to this traffic congestion just to deliver it to me. I'll be sure never to touch your product again."

This is not to say that it was terribly legal for the guy to drive over the bikers, but I also can't say I feel particularly sorry for them. They were being dicks.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby space_raptor » Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:59 pm UTC

People don't get to be assholes just because you don't think it's a big deal. They should, instead, not be assholes. I bike all the time and I understand that we are supposed to *share* the road, and I act accordingly. These guys aren't special, they don't own the road, and they should have some respect and common decency and acknowledge that their business is no more important than anybody else's business.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Aug 05, 2008 4:03 pm UTC

Belial wrote:This is, incidentally, why I also am driven to rage over those fucking billboard trucks.


Mmm, midnight hot buns...

I concur wholeheartedly. Great, now not only is your shitty product or stripclub being advertised, but your wasting gas in the process.

Belial wrote:However, consider a different angle. How much time are you *already* wasting in traffic? And someone wants to make it worse just for attention? Who the fuck do they think they are, that they can make my commute, already shitty, even worse just to make some kind of obscure point?


I recognize and acknowledge this point, and back down from my argumentation. Just as I expect the driver to take a deep breath and relax, the cyclists shouldn't be surprised at the negative attention they receive for their behavior (they shouldn't be run over, but that point seems to be agreed upon). You make a good point that the 'just relax' attitude has to go both ways for it to work, and Critical Mass is shoving that mentality down motorists throats. My stance obviously is '1 day out of the month we can concede for this', but admittedly, my opinion != everyones opinion.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Belial » Tue Aug 05, 2008 4:11 pm UTC

I concur wholeheartedly. Great, now not only is your shitty product or stripclub being advertised, but your wasting gas in the process.


I think we actually found the secret rationale of critical mass!

Clearly, they're people who enjoy biking, but *also* hate the environment. Concerned over all the greenhouse emissions and fossil fuels they were saving by responsibly using their bikes, they committed to adding to traffic congestion in order to offset any sort of benefit they might have been giving to the effort to reduce global warming!

It all makes sense now!

But no, in all seriousness, glad we came to some form of agreement.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Princess Marzipan » Tue Aug 05, 2008 4:20 pm UTC

Belial wrote:But no, in all seriousness, glad we came to some form of agreement.


...on the Internet? ...agreement?

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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Random832 » Tue Aug 05, 2008 4:28 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Critical Mass is no more screwing with YOU


So you don't think anyone goes to these things with the attitude that they're going to start confrontations with motorists?

I find it hard to believe that whoever brought knives suitable for slashing tires with, just happened to have it on them and wasn't planning to use it at all.

However... your point about sporting event traffic is somewhat fair (since you can't avoid the route then, your only option is to stay out of downtown that night) - the only problem with that practically is, the big game is a lot more publicized than these things. Maybe they should advertise more.

Izawwlgood wrote:I've been to two critical mass events that were co-directed by cops, which indicates to me that it's not some sort of underground illegal activity.

It happens the last friday of every month. I don't know how much more obvious you can be with when you start your borderline illegal activity. Critical mass rides THROUGH places, so at worst, you've been stopped for 30 minutes.

I know people have night jobs, I know people just want to get home to their families, and I know people are tired. It's friday NIGHT, not monday morning. At worst, you've been delayed in getting to the bar, or getting to your SO's cooking.

If they were trying to fuck with you, they'd pick random times and locations. But critical masses always meet in the same place at the same time.


I'm starting to suspect, based on your description vs what I've read about them, that there are several very different kinds of critical mass groups. Your experience in your city may not be duplicated everywhere.

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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Aug 05, 2008 4:58 pm UTC

Random832 wrote:So you don't think anyone goes to these things with the attitude that they're going to start confrontations with motorists?

I find it hard to believe that whoever brought knives suitable for slashing tires with, just happened to have it on them and wasn't planning to use it at all.


No, I don't believe Critical Mass is about causing confrontation. At least, it isn't in Chicago and NYC, it may be in Seattle.

And I also don't believe that they brought knives with the intent of slashing tires. Cyclists carry tools. Some tools are sharp. You could slash a tire with the knife in a leatherman.

But yes, evidently, my understanding of Chicago and NYC Critical Masses are far different from Seattle Critical Masses. I can't even imagine an LA CM, it'd probably erupt into gunfire.

Belial wrote:Clearly, they're people who enjoy biking, but *also* hate the environment. Concerned over all the greenhouse emissions and fossil fuels they were saving by responsibly using their bikes, they committed to adding to traffic congestion in order to offset any sort of benefit they might have been giving to the effort to reduce global warming!


But what abo- Oh my... Which would explain... Oh dear... Well, better bust out the sealskin tires and redwood frames!
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Bakemaster » Tue Aug 05, 2008 6:10 pm UTC

Nougatrocity wrote:
Bakemaster wrote:And the point of my response was that someone with a car is in such a significant position of power over anyone not in the car that they don't get to use that as an excuse.


Any ONE, yeah. But there were quite many more than one.

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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Jorsh! » Tue Aug 05, 2008 11:15 pm UTC

Random832 wrote:Well then maybe the cyclists shouldn't have formed an angry mob. "those exact people" quite reasonably extends to the entire mob. He was trying to get away from them. (and even if they hadn't attacked him yet, they certainly were trying to intimidate him.) The fact that some of them had brought knives (actual weapons - whereas, whatever you may think of cars, he did not bring it to the scene with the intent of using it as a weapon. And, yes, you're right that it doesn't say knives, but I've never seen a bike lock that you can slash someone's tires with.) tips the balance against them in my eyes (and, even for those who didn't - if you join an angry mob, you share a portion of the responsibility for the actions of everyone in that mob, because people are bolder in large numbers.)

I do not support Critical Mass rides, because rather than prove that they are ready and able to co-exist with other traffic, they just behave as badly as the subset of drivers they themselves rail against.

Even so, I still might not jump to the conclusion that because a select few participants were carrying knives that everyone involved was ready to board the slasher express. I think my right to not get hit by a car takes precedence over a man's right to defend himself against people who are only associated with me by choice of vehicle and venue.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:01 pm UTC

Check two posts down.
Last edited by Izawwlgood on Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:37 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Rusty Piton » Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:13 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Who the fuck is this guy that he thinks his dinner reservations are more important then the safety of other people? If his wife was having a baby in the car, then fine, I can understand if he rolled down his windows and said "HEY ASSHOLES MY WIFES HAVING A BABY, GET OUTTA THE WAY!" and i'd wager they would have.

Last month at critical mass, almost this very thing happened.
A guy was driving his grandmother to the hospital for some reason, and not only was he let through the group, he was escorted through by a few cyclists who let everyone else know what was going on and that we were making a special effort to let this car though with a quickness.
I feel that people in cars are used to feeling insulated from the rest of the world, to their routiene, and to getting their way and when two thousand people on bikes upset the driver's little status quo, they feel mighty uncomfortable and occasionally act irrationally.

Critical mass is not about fucking with people.
It is a demonstration of how much more efficently the roads could be used if everyone on them only took up the space they required instead of five to ten times that much by driving in a relitively enormous vehicle.

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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Rusty Piton » Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:36 pm UTC

For referance as to undue hostility toward cyclists, i give you this.

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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby mosc » Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:05 pm UTC

I support sharing the road with bicycles. I however, do not support sharing them on hilly, narrow, 2-lane, 40mph speed limit roads. Seriously, I have narrowly avoided killing bicyclists on this road near my house for months now. Cyclists need to realize that what's unsafe for them is also unsafe for the cars!

I also agree that these large groups who effectively shut down intersections in order to stay together are not obeying the rules of the road. They're not funeral parades.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Freakish » Wed Aug 06, 2008 10:50 pm UTC

Rusty Piton wrote:For referance as to undue hostility toward cyclists, i give you this.


It started because they were riding through red lights. That draws cops. the cop chose to arrest people breaking the law. While standing on the street street the cyclist chose to ride past the cop. The cop took them down, just like when they chase someone on foot. The police lost control of the situation and clearly made bad choices. I already know that cops are assholes.

Now what would have prevented this? Not breaking the law. The cyclist provoked the cops bottom line.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Aug 06, 2008 11:00 pm UTC

That explains the first few arrests. Since when is taking photo's illegal?
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby space_raptor » Wed Aug 06, 2008 11:11 pm UTC

I was in New York last weekend, and while it is not exactly the same as a Critical Mass ride, I assure you that EVERYBODY jaywalks, and they do it right in front of plenty of cops, and plenty of bicycles and bike taxis blow red lights, right in front of cops. It's controlled chaos. I think these cops were pissed because of the Critical Mass ride holding up traffic, especially in Times freaking Square, which has got to be one of the busiest intersections of it's size in North America, and they decided to make some examples of people. Very bad idea for them, as they're surrounded by people with cameras and they really can't enforce anything on that amount of people anyways.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Rusty Piton » Thu Aug 07, 2008 3:04 pm UTC

Seriously, blowing reds on a bike in front of cops ain't no thing. I've done it on a daily basis for years and have never once been stopped or hassled in any way.
The event in Times Square was not about people breaking breaking any laws at all, it was about one police sergent abusing his power over people who got on his nerves and the other officers falling in line because he was their superior.
He attacked the first cyclist with extreme excessive force and arrested a guy for taking video.
There is nothing illegal about taking video, the cops just didn't like it because it clearly exposes their abuse of power and unscrupulous behavior.
The plain fact is that the police are supposedly here to protect and serve us, the public, and their activities should be completely transparent, but clearly those cops don't feel the same way.
I think it's amazing that we live in an age were the saturation of personal cameras on the street is such that people like the sergent in that video may finally be held accountable for their abusive behavior.

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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Belial » Thu Aug 07, 2008 3:47 pm UTC

Rusty Piton wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:Who the fuck is this guy that he thinks his dinner reservations are more important then the safety of other people? If his wife was having a baby in the car, then fine, I can understand if he rolled down his windows and said "HEY ASSHOLES MY WIFES HAVING A BABY, GET OUTTA THE WAY!" and i'd wager they would have.

Last month at critical mass, almost this very thing happened.
A guy was driving his grandmother to the hospital for some reason, and not only was he let through the group, he was escorted through by a few cyclists who let everyone else know what was going on and that we were making a special effort to let this car though with a quickness.


All well and good when he's at the very edge of the critical mass clusterfuck.

But what about when he's fifteen cars back in the gridlock created by this little traffic obstruction?
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Rusty Piton » Thu Aug 07, 2008 3:58 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
Rusty Piton wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:Who the fuck is this guy that he thinks his dinner reservations are more important then the safety of other people? If his wife was having a baby in the car, then fine, I can understand if he rolled down his windows and said "HEY ASSHOLES MY WIFES HAVING A BABY, GET OUTTA THE WAY!" and i'd wager they would have.

Last month at critical mass, almost this very thing happened.
A guy was driving his grandmother to the hospital for some reason, and not only was he let through the group, he was escorted through by a few cyclists who let everyone else know what was going on and that we were making a special effort to let this car though with a quickness.


All well and good when he's at the very edge of the critical mass clusterfuck.

But what about when he's fifteen cars back in the gridlock created by this little traffic obstruction?


He was totally snarled in, stuck in a stationary line of cars. He yelled out the window to one of the stationary bikers blocking the cars that he was trying to get his grandma to the hospital and the effort to get the car through was mounted. He pulled out of the line of cars in the way that one would pull out of a parallel parking spot and drove to the head of the CM pack on the wrong side of the road. I rode alongside his car and helped clear the way.

Also, an ambulance came up behind the pack at one point with it's lights on and all two thousand riders stopped, and got the hell out of the way.
I feel that the majority of people who harbour animosity toward critical mass (on this board, at least) have never ridden in one and who's opinions would maybe change if they experianced first hand the thing that they feel is so negitive.
It's all well and good to read newspaper articals, but it is no replacement for personal experiance when it comes to forming opinions of such things.

It may be my latent anarchism coming through, but I fully enjoy the chaos that ensues at CM. I think it's important to shake people who spend their whole lives in persuit of comfort, safety and convieniance out of their insulated little bubble every now and again.
Last edited by Rusty Piton on Thu Aug 07, 2008 6:29 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Princess Marzipan » Thu Aug 07, 2008 4:01 pm UTC

Rusty Piton wrote:I think it's important to shake people who spend their whole lives in persuit of comfort, safety and convieniance out of their insulated little bubble every now and again.


Silly me, I thought it was about bicycle awareness, not moral vigilantism.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Rusty Piton » Thu Aug 07, 2008 4:09 pm UTC

Oh, Im not saying that that is what CM is about, but it is a fact of the event which amuses me on a personal level. That's all.
Critical mass is about bicycle awareness, about showing the driving masses how many more people on bikes can fit in the same space occupied by relitively few cars, but it is an inherently chaotic event and that's what makes it fun. When most things in our lives are planned to the minute and the most minute detail, CM is a wild ride through the streets with no set route or real destination and is a welcome escape from the monotony of everyday life in America. It only happens once a month and is a helluva lot of fun. You should come this month! In fact, I'll lend you one of my bikes if you don't have one of your own!

Also, please post your Megaman tattoo!
Last edited by Rusty Piton on Thu Aug 07, 2008 6:31 pm UTC, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby space_raptor » Thu Aug 07, 2008 4:31 pm UTC

I guess it just seems like large scale attention whoring. It's their right to do it, I suppose, but I don't have to approve. Also you'll understand if I'm not particularly impressed about the bikers dealing with an emergency situation that they were responsible for in the first place.

To be fair, though, where I live seems to be very biker friendly, to listen to some of these comments it sounds like a low-level conflict. Nobody throws stuff or yells at me, never had it happen even once.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Random832 » Thu Aug 07, 2008 6:00 pm UTC

space_raptor wrote:I guess it just seems like large scale attention whoring. It's their right to do it, I suppose, but I don't have to approve. Also you'll understand if I'm not particularly impressed about the bikers dealing with an emergency situation that they were responsible for in the first place.


I call BS on this - it's like saying that when I pull over to the right [as required by law] when a fire engine is coming up behind me, I'm dealing with an emergency situation that I'm responsible for by not pulling over. The "emergency situation that they were responsible for" is an illusion.

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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby space_raptor » Thu Aug 07, 2008 7:38 pm UTC

@Random832
No, it's not. First of all, these Critical Mass rides are not normal traffic, like you would be in your car. They admit to blocking side streets, to ignoring traffic lights, to using the oncoming lane. Their goal is blatantly to block traffic. They're using that to send a message. The article was about some guy who had dinner reservations, and the Critical Mass people apparently view that as trivial enough business not to get out of a fellow citizen's way, even if it means violating the law. What Mr. Piton is describing is a situation where they made sure that somebody who they judged to have non-trivial business - somebody's sick grandmother - could get through. I'm saying they get no points from me for rectifying a situation that they've created and which boils down to basic human decency anyways. I suppose you might not necessarily classify creating an abnormal delay for people getting someone to the hospital an "emergency situation", but hey. Call it what you want. They're putting their priorities over other people's. I call that selfish. Helping these people through the Mass when they deem it is warranted isn't magnanimous or special, it's just the least they should do.

However, I do acknowledge that these things are happening in different cities where the situation for bikers is different from mine, and if they think this kind of protest, over and beyond the normal boundaries of common protests, is necessary, well, ok. I'm not trying to condemn them. I'm just saying they should be careful not to alienate those that they're trying to send a message to.

I agree with you in saying that if they pull over because of a fire engine or ambulance it's not much different from regular traffic pulling over. However they should keep in mind that fire engines and ambulances are not the only ones that could be dealing with an emergency situation. They are creating chaos where people expect there to be order, and there's no guarantee that these things will always work out okay.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Belial » Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:14 pm UTC

However they should keep in mind that fire engines and ambulances are not the only ones that could be dealing with an emergency situation.


Or, honestly, just a time-sensitive one.

And most of all, they are *not* creating any extra good will toward bikers.

I know that if I, say, needed to turn something in at the office, or for a class, or I was late for a date, or whatever, and a crowd of bikers took it upon themselves to add an extra 30+ minute delay (because, let's be honest, just because it only takes them 30 minutes to go through doesn't mean that it only takes 30 minutes for traffic patterns to return to normal), and my plans went to shit because of it, it would be everything I could do not to sideswipe the next bicyclist I see.
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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Random832 » Thu Aug 07, 2008 9:27 pm UTC

space_raptor wrote:What Mr. Piton is describing is a situation where they made sure that somebody who they judged to have non-trivial business - somebody's sick grandmother - could get through. I'm saying they get no points from me for rectifying a situation that they've created and which boils down to basic human decency anyways.


Yes, it _is_ basic human decency - That's my point. There was no "situation that they've created" because they AVOIDED CREATING A SITUATION!

I suppose you might not necessarily classify creating an abnormal delay for people getting someone to the hospital an "emergency situation", but hey. Call it what you want.


But they _did not_ create an abnormal delay. Framing _not creating a problem_ in terms of _creating a problem and then solving it at the same time_ is ridiculous. The "emergency situation" (at least any contribution by the bikers to it) is an illusion - it never actually happened

They didn't "deal with an problem they caused", they "avoided causing a problem" - the two are very different.

(general traffic problems and the assholery some groups engage in at red lights etc is a different matter - but if you're unimpressed with the incident described, be unimpressed because what they did was just mere common courtesy and not worth any special praise, not because they "caused a problem and then solved it")

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Re: Critical Mass fight in Seattle

Postby Rusty Piton » Thu Aug 07, 2008 9:33 pm UTC

Frankly, I agree that CM falls flat on its face as a form of protest and most definitly alienates a lot of drivers.
I go every month because it's fun as hell and I spend 30 days a month as an endangered minority on the roads dodging cars and it's a nice feeling to take back the streets for a couple hours, one evening a month.
If that makes me a selfish person, I guess I'm fine with that.


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