Bike Club: Clashes on Friday’s Critical Mass

Here’s a new video just uploaded of a pedestrian shoving cyclists around on the Friday ride I took part in. Also, in case you missed it, below is the movie of the cop barging a cyclist off his bike in Times Square. What must the tourists think?

I was told by several cyclists that cops on the Brooklyn Critical Mass ride are far more accommodating and usually give an escort. The next ride is on August 8th. 7:00 PM Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Park and Brooklyn side of the Williamsburg Bridge.

7 Responses to "Bike Club: Clashes on Friday’s Critical Mass"
  1. Janet says:

    The video of the cop pushing the rider over is scary, but as to your video, I do have to ask:

    Did the pedestrian have the right of way? Were cyclists proceeding without regard for traffic lights? Because I’ve been known, as a pedestrian, to hit a vehicle (isn’t it your point that you’re also vehicles?) when it barrels through an intersection without regard for a red traffic light or stop sign.

  2. BIB says:

    Hey Janet.

    The pedestrian did have the right of way and it was a pedestrian crossing. The bikers were waiting briefly to regroup. Was there the need for him to be so physical though?

    BTW, I hear what you are saying about vehicles running pedestrian crossings, but can you compare a stationary group of bikes with hundreds of pounds of car ploughing through red stop lights?

  3. Janet says:

    If they were stationary and "regrouping", as you say, then you’re right.

    One of my weirdest experiences as a cyclist was riding on one of the two-way avenues in Bay Ridge in midday. Not a lot of traffic, and I certainly had the right of way–no traffic light for blocks–but I see a car edging out of a sidestreet on my left despite the "STOP" sign, so I stop dead, foot on the ground, waiting to see what she’ll do. She edges out, a few inches at a time, until she is struck by an automobile traveling in the opposite direction. Her first words upon emerging from her vehicle is, "I didn’t see you, I was watching her", pointing to me, because my (stationary) bicycle was the hazard as far as she was concerned.

  4. It looks to me like the guy was either pushed (by the person on the far left, and maybe also by the tall dude next to him or her, in the very first second of the video) or maybe even tripped trying to cross through there, and then he reaches forward to break his fall and ends up accidently shoving the parked cyclist. It is clear that at the moment he "shoves" the cyclist he has lost his balance.

    He doesn’t seem like a belligerent dickhead person, and in fact seems pretty calm for a person who is being yelled at by 50 other people.

    What’s more, you write "shoving cyclists around" when in fact he only even touches one cyclist. What I see is a bunch of people harassing an old dude, and then whining about it later. And the people (on tape) speculating that he’s some kind of cop? Please.

    Save your whining for *real* incidents, like the cop video. Save your complaining for pedestrians who actually harass cyclists. And save your compassion and peace for everybody else.

  5. BIB says:

    Hey Chris,

    Thanks for the comment. I feel I should point out couple of things though which, as you were not there, you would not be aware of. The cyclists were stationary, and just waiting for some others. The chap *barged into them*. In doing so he did shove more than one cyclist, and kicked bikes, trying to make his point about crossing the road. It was only then that he got shouted at. This is not whining, I am just describing the situation.

  6. Janet says:

    The crosswalk isn’t the place to a group of cyclists, with bikes, to be waiting for others. Cyclists, who are pretty far down on the road use food chain, should know better.

    This past Saturday after the road race in Prospect Park was over I politely asked the group of cyclists with bikes chatting while they obstructed the pedestrian lane to clear the lane if they weren’t moving, and got yelled and cursed at. Not nice.

  7. BIB says:

    Hey Janet,

    I agree the crossing was not the best place to stop, but this event only happens once a month, and blocks caused on the route never last more than a few minutes. What is truly dangerous is cars blocking bike lanes so cyclists have to swerve into traffic, or car doors being opened on them, or cars turning left across their path — all of which have happened to me time and time again. As you say bikers are generally considered to be way down the transport food chain, which is precisely why there is the critical mass ride.

    Park use is another complex debate. I’ve seen bikes, people, baby buggies, skaters, walkers and runners all behaving in an obnoxious or even dangerous way.

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