@ July 29, 2008

No matter what position you take or how right it is, there are always a bunch of assholes who agree with you.

I've made no secret of my stance on the wonders of bike commuting.  It reduces fuel consumption, carbon emissions, cures cancer, saves money, defeated Communism, increases physical fitness, fights terrorists, saves kittens out of trees, and gives great back rubs.  If you want to fight high gas prices, then building bike lanes and constructing public facilities to accommodate bike commuters (i.e. public showers and lockers) should get at least as much public attention as drilling for oil in space and building cars that run on hydrogen/fairy dust.

Instead, the only kind of public attention it gets is horseshit like this.

Critical Mass is a group of bike commuting enthusiasts who take to the road once a month.  And when I say take to the road, I mean they take the whole goddamn thing over.

The idea is... fuck, I have no idea what the idea is.  To piss people off? To make people think bike commuters are a bunch of traffic-jam causing assholes? Well, mission accomplished, douchebags.  The car drivers are fighting back.

From today's Seattle Times: "A melee erupted Friday night in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood between a motorist and a group of Critical Mass cyclists. The driver and cyclists blame each other for escalating the incident into a violent clash that sent two men to local hospitals, two men to jail and a battered Subaru Impreza to an impound yard with $1,500 in damages. ...

Depending on who you talk to, Mark, a 23-year-old travel agent who lives on the Eastside, is either the aggressor or the victim at the center of Friday's altercation. ...

Mark, who asked that his last name not be published because he is afraid for his safety, said Monday he found himself and a friend in an unfamiliar part of Seattle about 7 p.m. Friday as they headed to pick up another friend to go out to dinner.

Mark said Monday that he saw the mass of bicyclists and thought he'd accidentally driven into the Seafair Torchlight Parade route, so he pulled into a parking spot along Aloha Street to allow them to pass. But he said when he tried to pull back into traffic, he was blocked by cyclists who positioned themselves around his vehicle.

He admits he was angry and frustrated at being delayed -- but panic and fear soon took over as the cyclists started rocking his car, saying they were going to tip it over. Mark said he revved his engine but didn't think his car was in gear. After it stalled, he restarted the engine in order to get away but says he didn't realize he hit two cyclists."

Fan-tastic! But if only there were some dramatic video... Oh, right, there's this video of an NYPD officer laying down the law on another CM cyclist:

Now that's what I call progress!

How about we reach a "critical mass" where bike commuters show drivers that we are capable of sharing the road without causing traffic or accidents or threatening to tip over someone's car.  Stunts like this do not get your cause taken seriously.  Grow up.


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