3 arrests, 47 tickets at NY Critical Mass

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by Frank Steele on Mar 31, 2007 at 5:37 AM

Critical Mass, NYC, 3-30

Newsday | Critical Mass ride interrupted

Three riders were arrested during Friday night’s Critical Mass ride in New York City. Two were charged with disorderly conduct and “obstructing governmental administration.” Newsday was unable to discover charges against the third rider at press time.

“What this is all about is the police department trying to get Critical Mass,” said Norman Siegel, the former head of the New York Civil Liberties Union who represents the Five Borough Bicycle Club, which sought to block the NYPD’s new rule in federal court this week.

About 50 riders were ticketed, some for traffic offenses.

Photo by dogseat.

Also:

flickr.com | Critical Mass-NYC 3/30/07 - a photoset by dogseat

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NYC police plan Critical Mass crackdown

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by Frank Steele on Mar 30, 2007 at 8:24 AM

Newsday | Mass bikers facing arrest

Critical Mass Times Square New York City police have declared any gathering greater than 50 people a parade, and are threatening to arrest riders at tonight’s Critical Mass if they participate without a permit.

Critical Mass is a monthly ride with no formal organization, where riders try to demonstrate that bicycles have a place on the roads by swarming one area of a city. The New York City ride, which starts at Union Square, has been targeted by police in the past, particularly during the Republican National Convention in 2004, and in January 2006, Judge Gerald Harris ruled that Critical Mass did not require a permit.

New York’s City Council wasn’t involved in creating the regulation, only the police department, and at least one council member will participate tonight, in support of the riders and to observe NYPD’s tactics. Councilwoman Rosie Mendez:

“To criminalize the behavior of individuals assembling in groups over 50 is arbitrary and unconstitutional,” she said.

The Five Boroughs Bicycling Club has filed suit against the NYPD, since the law would require them to obtain parade permits for many of the group’s rides. From a statement by 5BBC president Ed DeFreitas:

We could have stood by, ignored the new rules, and let the police arrest bicyclists at Critical Mass and hoped that they wouldn’t come for us. But the 5BBC board decided that we could not do that, not when the civil rights of all bicyclists in New York City and indeed group bicycling itself was under attack.

Photo: Two Buildings Made of Sky, by heidinyny.

More:

BikeBlog | Come to Critical Mass Early … for a press conference

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Photo of the Day: Solvang

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by Byron on Mar 30, 2007 at 8:07 AM

Rolling out of Solvang, back towards Santa Barbara, through a nice valley.

rolling_out_of_solvang.jpg

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Jennifer’s List

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by Byron on Mar 29, 2007 at 8:34 PM

A reader sent us Jennifer’s List, a growing database of bicycle trails that uses the Google Maps API and a rating system. One quirk, when the maps are close together, it takes lots of clicking to see the details.

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Living on your bike

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by Byron on Mar 29, 2007 at 8:25 PM

I saw several bike homes in downtown Santa Barbara and managed to photograph this one. Note the rust, the pillows, bedding, and goods in the back.

sba_recumbent_small.jpg

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Santa Barbara to Solvang

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by Byron on Mar 28, 2007 at 7:37 PM

We rode the Santa Barbara to Solvang loop today

  • 4:27 ride time
  • 86 miles
  • 20 mph average

On the roads of the Tour of California..

nielsens_solvang.jpg

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Safer Routes Soon

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by Byron on Mar 28, 2007 at 7:33 AM

In what’s proving to be a big week for cycling haters, the Seattle PI reports on the progress the city is making with the bicycling master plan and the comments fill up with the standard bad cyclists in traffic rants. As I said in my comments, a car isn’t an entitlement to the roads and it’s the cities lack of action that’s causing the motorist tension. Let’s hope the plan gets done soon.

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25 things to never get done

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by Byron on Mar 27, 2007 at 7:07 PM

I’ve found that by adding things to a list to not get done, a To-Don’t, that frees up more time to ride …

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NuVinci Retrofit Kits

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by Byron on Mar 27, 2007 at 8:09 AM

Tagging its product as the biggest drivetrain innovation in 50 years, NuVinci announced that Seattle Bike Supply will ship their continuously variable planetary (CVP) hub and CruiseController as a boxed and wheel kit.

Bike Hugger met with and rode a NuVinci bike while in Interbike and have been waiting for them to show up at a distributor. As cool as it is, and it is, will it only serve the “flat” markets where commuters, enthusiasts, and just people that want to ride don’t have to up any hills? In my first 4 Bettie shifts, I decided Bettie 2.0 (coming this fall) needed some sort of a different drivetrain: Nexus, NuVinci, or Rohloff.

We’re trying to get our hands on one of these kits for a detailed post and for our Bettie 2.0 tests.

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