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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Last Night’s Critical Mass Melee

posted by on July 26 at 11:14 AM

Last night brought a general query from Slog tipper John:

What’s this about Critical Mass riders beating the shit out of a driver and his car at 16th and Aloha?

This morning brings a report from KING 5:

A demonstration turned violent Friday night after a group of cyclists taking part in the Critical Mass demonstration got into an argument with a driver on Seattle’s Capitol Hill.

Critical Mass is a group of cyclists that takes to the streets the last Friday of every month to promote cyclists’ right to the road.

It’s wasn’t clear what sparked the confrontation at 15th and Aloha, but witnesses say they saw about a dozen cyclists surround a white Subaru, blocking in the driver.

Apparently, the driver felt intimidated and tried to back up to get away, but he backed into at least two cyclists.

He then tried to take off, but cyclists chased after him, bashed in his car window and assaulted the driver. The driver was taken to an area hospital.

This morning also brought two eyewitness reports sent to Last Days.

Eyewitness #1 was a bystander:

I was just looking up news information about an event that I witnessed tonight and found a frighteningly misinformed article on the event on the King 5 news website. Their “Bicycle demonstration turns violent” article paints a picture of cyclist brutality committed on a vehicle, injuring the driver and scaring the passenger, who they describe as a pregnant woman. While there is no denying that the cyclists circled the car and trashed it, this was all an attempt to stop the car and driver from possibly hurting anyone else, as the scene they describe in their newscast takes place about 200 ft from the scene where the motorist accelerated from 0 to 40 THROUGH a standing line of cyclists at Aloha and 14th, luckily only injuring two of them as his car was pointed at a group of six.

I was standing about 20 feet from the scene and saw the entire altercation. I honestly cannot believe what I saw. Originally, the vehicle was trying to inch (westward on Aloha) into an oncoming mass of cyclists on a narrow road, where he had to pull into the oncoming traffic lane in order to get around the cars parked in his lane. About 6 cyclists peeled off to park themselves in front of the vehicle, explaining that he needed to wait and they would all be out of his way in a minute. The driver, however, remained agitated and expressed that they were “in a rush” and “would be late”. When the cyclists asked what they were going to be late for, the driver responded, “We have reservations!”, which left the group largely speechless until one of the cyclists again explained that he would save a lot of time and trouble if he just waited another 30 seconds for the rest of the cyclists to pass. At that moment, the driver suddenly put his car in reverse and backed up—5 feet into the sidewalk (now the car is parallel to Aloha—thank goodness there were no pedestrians behind him!)—and stopped. This strange behavior panicked everyone and no one moved except to shout “Stop.” This is when his passenger started yelling for him to “Calm down and stop” as well. After staying put for about 10 seconds, the driver then said “fuck this” and accelerated into the line of standing cyclists. When he hit the first ones, he continued to accelerate, but steered into the larger mass of cyclists before turning the wheel and tearing off in the opposite direction (east on Aloha) with one of the hit cyclists still on the roof of his car.

The driver sped down Aloha with a mess of bicycles and cyclists in his wake, a cyclist on his roof, and everyone, including his pregnant passenger, yelling for him to “Just stop!” At the bottom of the hill, the driver stopped at a stop sign and the cyclists swarmed the car, slashing his tires and breaking the windows in order to make sure that he did not continue operating his vehicle through the city like a madman. His door was opened, the driver got out of the car in tears and walked, unmolested back up to where the cyclists were splayed out in the street apologizing to everyone. His passenger was relatively calm, also walked up the street unmolested, and explained that her friend had made a mistake and that she had been yelling for him to calm down and stop the car. While there was a little hysterical yelling by the freightened bicyclists, there was absolutely no physical confrontation.

The reason that I am writing you is that it seems alarmingly irresponsible that such a biased story would be printed and broadcast when King 5 admits that “It’s wasn’t clear what sparked the confrontation”. Not that this is surprising by any means, which is unfortunate. I guess I just want to make sure that the real story is put out there before this damning misinterpretation gains any steam.

Eyewitness #2 was a Critical Mass participant:

Near the end of a particularly hilly ride, on Aloha E near 14th, a driver got pissed that we were blocking both lanes of the road and, after yelling “Get the fuck outta my way, we’ve got reservations!” proceeded to gun it into a crowd of maybe 11 cyclists! He then backed up and—with a young man on his now broken windshield—drove through the cyclists, some of whom had fallen on the road, again. He tried at this point to flee the scene in his car. The uninjured riders absolutely mobbed the vehicle, breaking his back window with a U-lock and stopping the car about half a block later by slashing the front tires. The driver was then pulled from the vehicle by the angry group of riders (a few, maybe 5 or 6?) and assaulted (I KNOW he was hit at least once because I heard a rider admit to hitting him,) though later he kept insisting that he was not injured. He did end up covered in blood but, strangely, it wasn’t his. I know this because a few minutes later, after the confrontation, he sat by the car and asked a rider with a bloody hand, “Is this yours?” There was a passenger in the car and I’m pretty sure it was her birthday party they were headed to. The driver did apologize profusely once he was pulled from the car (maybe this is the reason he didn’t get beaten beyond recognition?) and kept insisting that he hadn’t meant to hit the gas pedal, that he thought it was the brakes. I don’t believe that for a second, his actions looked absolutely intentional and he was angry when he did it, but he did seem genuinely shaken up and said he was sorry over and over. I think he was in shock. In the end, I believe only four cyclists were injured, there were about 20 witnesses to the crazy scene, and at least two bikes were totally wrecked. It took the police about five minutes to show up, by then people on all sides had calmed down a little and the officers handled the situation beautifully. Ambulances arrived less than two minutes after that.

Holy crap. Stay tuned.

UPDATE from Hot Tipper Ersa:

2 of the bikers got arrested for property damage, and they are booked to jail. THEY HAVE COURT TODAY STARTING AT 12.30 PM AT KING COUNTY COURT HOUSE, COURT ROOM #1. So we need people who saw what happened to contact us, because the driver is trying to pull off that he didn’t do anything.

Channel 5 tried to interview us, but we refused to talk with them, and it seems like media is showing the incident like “Violent bikers attacked a car…” Bikers who got hit by the maniac driver, and bikers who got arrested need support from the community. Please contact via e-mail, if you were witness or if you could show any kind of support, and share ideas…

Again, stay tuned.

RSS icon Comments


I was here 15 minutes after this happened...I talked to several people that were witnesses to it (not bikers) and they all said the same thing as these two said.

The common sentiment was that if the man hadn't meant to hit the people, why did he continue to drive almost an entire block?

Not okay.

Posted by ebon | July 26, 2008 12:29 PM

Thanks for posting this David. (I'm shocked that ECB wasn't all over this last night.)

Good to have some better perspective than KING-5 provided on the news last night.

That said, it seems to me that the Critical Mass riders bring some of this shit upon themselves and they should not be surprised when idiots are provoked to do stupid things with their cars. Does this kind of end result really serve to promote their cause?

Posted by HL | July 26, 2008 12:32 PM

What the heck does blocking both lanes of traffic prove? You expect to do that and not have someone go nuts sooner or later? Not saying you don't have the right to do it, but that doesn't make it smart. You also have the right to stand up at a Lee Greenwood concert and yell, "America Sucks!", but would you expect to not take a beating?

Posted by IMFletch | July 26, 2008 12:37 PM

that sounds like a terrible situation and it doesn't seem like either side of the confrontation really handled it very well

i'm a cyclist and big supporter of pretty much anything this city can do to improve the plight of the common biker in seattle, but from my own personal experience, i'm just not seeing critical mass as it's implemented in this city doing much good for the cause (at least anymore)

i remember back in april or may the critical mass ride was going through downtown, and i watched as a couple of amped up bikers shoved a pedestrian who was caught off-guard crossing the street in the crosswalk. the ride also blocked an ambulance that was trying to get across town (eventually, logic prevailed and some 'organizers' got people to get out of the way long enough to let the ambulance through). the crowd blocked buses (hey, here's a nice big middle finger to the solidarity of those who are living car free, right?) and was swarming vehicles that probably were quite unaware that it was the last friday of the month downtown.

honestly, i think critical mass is an excellent idea but i'm not sure what the hell is going on with the really ugly crowd mentality that's going on. it's turned into advocacy at its worst and most juvenile, which means (and is obvious from the msm coverage...) it is doing more damage than harm to the cause.

it's too bad about what happened up on 15th - critical mass lost a lot of credibility in my eyes. hopefully the organizers can do something to ratchet down the testosterone and transform the demonstration back into a strong but peaceful and respectful assertion that the roads belong to and can be respectfully shared by cars, bikes, buses and pedestrians.

Posted by kinkos | July 26, 2008 12:37 PM

so this is completely unrelated to the overturned trashed car on 12th and John at about 11:00 last night...anybody know that story?

Posted by CM | July 26, 2008 12:44 PM

or here we GO!

commentors in a tiz
three hundred follow-up posts to this to come

Posted by Non | July 26, 2008 12:49 PM

I'm a cyclist, and I hate SUV drivers, murderous drivers, murderous men...

There has to be room in a community for Critical Mass. It's like the difference between walking around Lake Union and kayaking on it. One Friday a month isn't too much to share the street. To be fair, we could let other forms of transportation organize their own critical mass, like... I dunno actually. Roller bladers pushing baby carriages with a dog on a leash and a tricycling toddler? To be scrupulously fair, maybe they too should get their own critical mass on bike paths once a month.

I remember King 5 etc. anchors' freaking out about the WTO demonstration too, back when it was just a wonderful street party, before the cops started rioting. Awfully Republican actors you hire in this town. Apart from my man Dean Staley of course.

Posted by Amelia | July 26, 2008 12:51 PM

oh, the stupid things white middle class people do on both sides of this incident.

Posted by scary tyler moore | July 26, 2008 12:53 PM

Critical Mass started in what, 1992 or so? In 16 years, has it actually accomplished anything? More bike lanes? Improved bike lanes? Bike-only streets? Bike-only days on major arterials? Anything?

Posted by rb | July 26, 2008 12:59 PM

Pointless speculation: Since this was a Friday night, and these results ensued, was it a bridge-and-tunnel SUV? Or is the driver a local resident (who could have walked or taken public transportation).

Posted by Amelia | July 26, 2008 1:04 PM

Guess he didn't make his reservation, which he would easily have done had he just moved to a different route.

Posted by kinaidos | July 26, 2008 1:04 PM

Critical Mass should rename itself: "Bozos on Bikes." Because that's what they are. Mandatory attire would include red squeeky noses and really big shoes.

Seriously, kids, get a life.

Posted by RTCP | July 26, 2008 1:08 PM

Since this was a Friday night, and these results ensued, was it a bridge-and-tunnel SUV? Or is the driver a local resident (who could have walked or taken public transportation).

What does that have to do with it? Are you suggesting the driver deserved to be beaten because he was driving a car when it wasn't necessary?

Posted by Pooklord | July 26, 2008 1:09 PM

I love how the first witness claims the guy was "unmolested" and the second admits the guy was pulled from his car and punched.

Posted by bob | July 26, 2008 1:16 PM

The bicyclists sound pretty fucking irritating. Minimal sympathy toward them, if any. Hope the driver gets off!

Posted by Nick | July 26, 2008 1:17 PM

Fuck Critical Mass, I've seen those motherfuckers disobey more road rules more times than I can remember. Mob mentality is the same if you're on foot or on a bike. Just because there's a bunch of you doesn't mean you can do whatever the fuck you want at everyone else's expense.

Posted by Assy | July 26, 2008 1:22 PM

RE: 9

I would say mass has probably achieved a lot over the last 16 years. Its pretty much the first event that new cyclist get involved in. And check out the streets there are lots more cyclist riding around these days, probably in no small part due to the riders who ride in critical mass asserting the rights of bicyclist to the streets.

Posted by Dave | July 26, 2008 1:23 PM

@16: second that. I watched them go down Broadway, blocking cross traffic for several minutes while they ignored the traffic laws they're claiming rights under. Bunch of asshats.

Posted by Russell | July 26, 2008 1:30 PM

Biker here in my town ride around in big groups and think it's OK for them to take up an entire lane on a two way street. No, they don't have that right and are breaking the law. I have no sympathy for the bikers.

Posted by Biker From Hell | July 26, 2008 1:42 PM

I used to ride in CM in San Francisco, in 1996. Thought it was fun at the time, until the cops decided to beat us for breaking the laws. Never did see the point of the mass civili disobedience. Making other road users angry doesn't seem to be the best way to promote harmony. Seems it's become a one night protest for a month of alleged motorist-on-biker mistreatment, and little else. The result is either nothing or negative.
Perhaps this will tone it down, like the melees in 1996 did in SF.

Posted by calvin | July 26, 2008 1:42 PM

Critical mASS: Because there's not enough friction already.

Posted by RonK, Seattle | July 26, 2008 1:44 PM

Critical Mass is the same everywhere. Mob mentality. I know cyclists in Chicago who hate Critical Mass because of the ensuing violence the mob cyclists commit. San Francisco is also like that to a certain degree, though I don't know any cyclists there.

Blocking both lanes of the road, then claiming to self-righteous "sharing of the road" is insanity and inanity (look at you Amelia). As a cyclist who has been on tours of states, you never block the road from all vehicular passage. Its just looking to provoke violence, and its illegal and dangerous.

Now, I'm not saying that the Subaru driver is right. But, I am saying that the cyclists are also generally rude and ugly. And, are self-righteous even without mob mentality. Oh, wait...this is Seattle. Self-righteous is redundant.

Posted by TheMisanthrope | July 26, 2008 1:45 PM

it's time for spd to shut down these little darlings' critical mass rides. they hassle legal drivers all over the place and now have turned into thugs. time for these little punks to be taught a lesson. time for spd to handle them the way the cops do in portland and treat these anarchos with a traffic ticket for every violation of the law.

Posted by Harry Callahan | July 26, 2008 1:49 PM

I used to bike commute fom Issaquah to South Seattle a couple of days a week. The most problems I ever had were with rule breaking bicyclists who ignored all stop signs/lights and cut others off with impunity. We're our own worst enemy.

Posted by Big Sven | July 26, 2008 1:55 PM

Gee, I wonder if these two sentiments:

- the mainstream media has gotten it all wrong!

- we refuse to talk to the mainstream media!

...are related.

Posted by Big Adventure Steve | July 26, 2008 1:57 PM

Fuck your "eyewitnesses". I saw these assholes cut off a city bus in traffic later on the same ride (the bus had right of way). They gave the driver the finger.

These guys aren't altar boys. I'm a rider, and as far as I'm concerned, it's open season on the Massholes.

Posted by A Non Imus | July 26, 2008 2:00 PM

Since I wasn't there I certainly can't argue that it's impossible for the driver to have behaved poorly (many do). And it's possible the reporting is biased. But the cyclists in critical mass always act like a gang/mob of bike messengers with no brakes, fixed-gear bikes and chips on their shoulder. It's like strolling into the middle of a drunken punk-rock Tour de France on a road that hasn't been closed off for the race.

When I encounter critical mass I'm usually sitting at a stoplight somewhere and suddenly swarmed around by bikes flying through the intersection against the light, pounding or bumping on my not-moving car, yelling at the top of their lungs, directing traffic (are these guys cops all of a sudden?). I never move my car (whether it's legal or not), because I fear a reaction like this guy got. The sense of entitlement critical mass has is no different than the driver mentality they rail against.

We already know that when confronted with a multi-thousand pound vehicle and possibly agitated/enraged driver, the riders don't move out the way for their own safety and call the cops? Instead they try and block the car (probably themselves on the wrong side of the road or otherwise violating traffic laws). At some point they also slash his tires, smash glass on his car, attack the guy inside, etc. Any chance the guy in the car was freaked out by the initial behavior and immediate reactions of the cyclists?

No matter how badly the driver was behaving (which I'd say is still up in the air at this point), the critical mass response was stupid, misguided and illegal.

Remember the guy that just died in the altercation over the traffic cones/circle? Even if he did spray the girls with water (which is doubtful), you don't go get your friend to come back minutes later and assault the guy.

So if Critical Mass wants to be allowed to continue, I'd say they need to tone it the fuck down or risk setting their "movement" pretty far back (not to mention getting arrested).

Posted by jcricket | July 26, 2008 2:01 PM

Whoa, check out the very different version of events in this recently posted story in the Times:

Posted by Justin | July 26, 2008 2:05 PM
promote cyclists’ right to the road
Somehow making a nuisance of yourselves to promote your cause seems to me to make about as much sense as invading Iraq to promote ones right to protect oneself from terrorists.

The auto drivers will greet us with (organically grown) flowers, as saviors of the environment!

Posted by Epimetheus | July 26, 2008 2:05 PM

I'm a biker and a proponent of people-powered transportation. I also feel that bicyclists are marginalized and often put in jeopardy by careless drivers. That said, Critical Mass behave like rowdy children. They seem to feel the solution to these problems is to dive into the fray and indulge in similar behavior. I've been in a car surrounded by one of these demonstrations and found the bicyclists to be confrontational and disrespectful. Their tactics escalate and perpetuate the very problems they protest. I would be ashamed to be associated with CM.

Posted by Frustrated Cyclist | July 26, 2008 2:11 PM

Reminds me of a similar incident a few years back.
While driving down 5th Ave I (accidentally) cut off a cyclist. My fault, no doubt.
Stopped at the light. Before I could say a word when he rode up, he kicked the mirror off my car, spat at me, pounded the car with his fists, and tried to yank open the (locked) car door. All the time he was red-faced, screaming and yelling.
I looked quickly and ran the light.
I have had no respect for cyclists ever since, although I try to give them room.

Posted by kruger | July 26, 2008 2:13 PM

The driver is my brother's close friend, and a Seattle resident. If he didn't get hit, then why the fuck does he have staples in the back of his head from last night? I have no fucking problem with cyclists, but if you want to be treated with courtesy on the road, show some fucking courtesy. And I'm pretty sure that hitting some 22-year-old gay kid upside the back of the head is not courtesy.

Posted by Jessica | July 26, 2008 2:16 PM

I agree with most of the points above.

I don't get why they're always in downtown Seattle vs the east side. Seattle has one of the highest ratio of cyclists in the state. We believe in alternate modes of transportation. Why not go protest in Bellevue?

Posted by Lawrence | July 26, 2008 2:19 PM

What the hell was CM doing that far up Capitol Hill anyway? Aren't all the evil bridge-and-tunnel SUVs downtown?

Posted by pablocjr | July 26, 2008 2:20 PM

What amazes me about these "eyewitness" reports, is how totally different they are. In report #1, nobody is injured, the riders are Mary-Poppins polite, and the driver is a ruthless, knuckle-dragging mouth-breather.

In report #2, there is blood, violence and the driver sounds scared and repentant.

There's about a thousand miles between these two accounts -- enough so to cause a serious journalist to discount their accuracy. Particularly this choice bit of obvious bullshit from "eyewitness" one:

At the bottom of the hill, the driver stopped at a stop sign and the cyclists swarmed the car, slashing his tires and breaking the windows in order to make sure that he did not continue operating his vehicle through the city like a madman.

Come on, David....are you totally stupid? I know that you guys are biased toward bikers, but can you at least summon up a tiny bit of skepticism? Eyewitness one is quite obviously editorializing, and his/her observations are immediately suspect.

Having been caught in the middle of these mob rides myself (both as a rider and a driver), I'm inclined to believe the Times and the PI reports: the driver was intimidated by these assholes' aggressive behavior; he panicked, and did something regrettable. While the driver probably isn't innocent, the bikers' reaction was undoubtedly excessive (and illegal).

Posted by A Non Imus | July 26, 2008 2:29 PM

CM have a legitimate beef: cyclists are put in danger by bigger, badder vehicles on the road. It's a shame they pollute their message by behaving badly themselves. I've had the misfortune to be in a car during a Seattle CM rally. They swarm. They break laws. They instigate. They goad.

CM does more harm than good. They're bad PR for cyclists.

Posted by Jimmy Jackhammer | July 26, 2008 2:33 PM
While there is no denying that the cyclists circled the car and trashed it, this was all an attempt to stop the car and driver from possibly hurting anyone else

How can anyone spout a crock of shit like this with a straight face? Whether cyclists are treated unjustly on the road or not, the fact is that CM, by its nature, attracts a constituency that is drunk on self-righteousness and just looking to pick a fight. Fuck 'em.

Posted by tsm | July 26, 2008 2:41 PM

So these assholes are armed as they attempt to provoke car drivers into a reaction. The SPD should shut these fuckers down once and for all.

Posted by @#$%&$#%^& | July 26, 2008 2:43 PM

I'm not a CM person but I can absolutely empathize with the desire to bully cars. As a biker I'm constantly bullied by cars and sick of the fucking cat calls by asshole motorist. Cities are for people not cars and if cars are inconvenienced one night a month tough shit.
#32, the guy was gay? So what? If the above reports are true sounds like he deserved a pop.

Posted by poster girl | July 26, 2008 2:44 PM

I cheer every time I hear about Massholes getting mangled as they violate traffic laws (and never buy a permit for their little demonstrations, either) - and of course, then whine and whine and whine and WHINE about how the world just doesn't fucking step aside for them.

Fuckers like this make me want to buy an SUV, just to piss them off.

Posted by Fuck you, arrogant cyclists. Meet my front bumper. | July 26, 2008 2:49 PM

People who slash tires are arrested and put in jail.

People who drive into bicyclists are free to go, not charged with any crime, even reckless driving?

Posted by wf | July 26, 2008 3:00 PM

Let's face it, half the CM people are on bikes because they can't afford a car on their barista/bike messenger/Kinkos pay, not because they're enlightened environmentalists.

Posted by reality | July 26, 2008 3:01 PM

Looks like justice prevailed.

Posted by yearsago | July 26, 2008 3:07 PM

Poster Girl - If cities are for people and not cars, why don't more cyclists show more respect for *pedestrians*?

Every day I see incidents where cyclists fly through red lights and stop signs and almost nail some poor sucker stupid enough to think she/he had the right to use the crosswalk.

From my experience the proportion of rude and dangerous cyclists exceeds that of motorists.

Posted by posterboy | July 26, 2008 3:13 PM

Don't you understand, @44, that cyclists are just too important to be bound by your mere "laws"? I mean, it's just so hard to start up again from a stop and all ...

Posted by tsm | July 26, 2008 3:20 PM

Critical Mass: Still testosterone-drunk men and boys. Still creating pointless confrontations. And still we tolerate this shit why?

Posted by elenchos | July 26, 2008 3:24 PM

Amelia, you really need to be bitch slapped. WaWa WaWa I hate suv's everyone should think like me. Get your head out of your ass moron.

Posted by jmh | July 26, 2008 3:25 PM

The driver was clearly suffering from road rage. Gunning his car into a crowd of bicyclists, no matter how in the wrong those bicyclists were, could have killed someone. I have no sympathy for him.

And to all of you complaining about being inconvenienced by Critical Mass: welcome to the reality for pedestrians and bicyclists as we're inconvenienced and frequently threatened by drivers.

Posted by keshmeshi | July 26, 2008 3:28 PM

# 44 good point. Those with higher lethality and speed should yield to those with less. That's how cities should work.
I'm all for bikes obeying laws. And lots of cyclists are assholes. But it is also true that sitting in the middle of traffic with your left hand out at a busy intersection is often more dangerous than darting across against the light when no cars are coming. The only thing that pisses drivers off more than bikes breaking the law is bikes following the law and slowing them down. Let's have an honest discussion. Isn't that true car crowd?

Posted by poster girl | July 26, 2008 3:38 PM

Car drivers are just evil. Can't we outlaw cars or at lease take away these people's right to vote?

Posted by girlgerms | July 26, 2008 3:45 PM

re: Amelia - "One Friday a month isn't too much to share the street."

I don't think there's any interpretation of the word "sharing" that could be used to describe CM.

Posted by Mary | July 26, 2008 3:46 PM

A Non Imus @35: "What amazes me about these "eyewitness" reports, is how totally different they are."

Eyewitness reports are ALWAYS like that, which is why eyewitness reports are mostly worthless. This isn't a criticism; it's just a fundamental part of human nature -- if you're not expecting an event, you will be unable to accurately recall it when asked. Eyewitness reports are by far the LEAST valuable, least reliable testimony in almost any situation.

Posted by Fnarf | July 26, 2008 3:47 PM

dude obviously feared for his safety. dude has every right in the world to try to escape the situation. dude didn't escape. if he had a gun, he could of used it.

Posted by chet. | July 26, 2008 4:04 PM

Does Critical Mass advertise what routes they will be taking so those who need to get somewhere in a hurry can avoid their traffic? It seems like Critical Mass is the only parade that doesn't require a permit.

BTW, having once lived near 12th and Aloha, I can tell you there are a lot of SUV owners who own houses in that neighborhood.

Posted by elswinger | July 26, 2008 4:06 PM

Another thing: That many cyclists and no one has a cellphone cam?

Posted by elswinger | July 26, 2008 4:10 PM

Yeah I second the aggro-white-guy sense of entitlement run amok. The first time I ever saw a Critical Mass in action? 10 years ago or so on A BUS trying to get home from work but no, it took us about 2 hours to make what is normally a 30 minute ride... apparently riding the bus isn't good enough... and, being a PEDESTRIAN-- no car-- in this town, I can attest to almost being knocked down or cut off or almost hit by a cyclist (because they really enjoy riding all over the sidewalks) as many times as by cars... that's just it, with CM, they don't want to get along with others, they just want everyone the hell out of their way. I thought then what I think now... way to act like arrogant, self-righteous, self-absorbed Massholes (love the handle!) to really get the whole city to warm up to your cause.... a little humility, common courtesy, and OBEYING THE RULES OF THE ROAD AND THE SIDEWALK might further your cause a little more. But then again, you know what? I think it's more fun for these machos to keep on poking their little sticks into the hornets hive... it's just that a lot of us are tired of hearing them cry to mommy when they get stung.

Posted by #7 Rider | July 26, 2008 4:10 PM

Critical mass is an act of civil disobedience. It was once illegal for black people to sit at a white lunch counter. It was once acceptable for white people to say that if they break the law they are provoking a fight.

Bikers are members of the community. Protesters are members of the community. If you don't like this community, and prefer your streets to be unhindered by the regularly scheduled protests, L.A. probably suits you better than Capital Hill.

Some can be counted on to assume that any incumbrance to shoppers should be dealt with harshly. King 5 and Jean Godden were voices calling for more harsh measures during the early days of WTO. Fascists.

Posted by Rain Monkey | July 26, 2008 4:16 PM

If Critical Mass wants to actually influence the behavior of motorists, they should show respect and play some politics. Dress in suits, share the road and follow the laws. I bet they would get much more press and advance their cause. Want to block the road? - get a permit to protest. SPD - please shut down this monthly (drunk) mob on any charges you can! I personally know that many participants up their BAC just prior to the ride.

Posted by Scott_NJ | July 26, 2008 4:20 PM

It's all just a damn shame. What relly happened? Probably something between the accounts here and the story in the papers, I'd guess. The bikers were overly aggressive, the driver overreacted, then things got uglier. As usual, people use this as a reason to spew hate at one side or the other, but in the end folks need to remember that not everyone who belongs to either of these groups is an asshole and show respect unless non is given in return.

Posted by alejo699 | July 26, 2008 4:20 PM

I've been watching this story since it first broke. Nobody said anything about this guy driving into the swarm of cycles until this afternoon, once it became clear that the CM people were losing the war of words.

Posted by reformedliberal | July 26, 2008 4:20 PM

. . .illegal for black people to sit at a white lunch counter. It was once acceptable for white people to say that if they break the law they are provoking a fight.

Ah HA HA HA - Oh Man! OMG.
Please tell me you are for real . . .

Posted by Pook | July 26, 2008 4:24 PM

Say "YES" to War on Iraq

by Dan Savage
October 2002

"War may be bad for children and other living things, but there are times when peace is worse for children and other living things, and this is one of those times."

"In the meantime, invading and rebuilding Iraq will not only free the Iraqi people, it will also make the Saudis aware of the consequences they face if they continue to oppress their own people while exporting terrorism and terrorists. The War on Iraq will make it clear to our friends and enemies in the Middle East (and elsewhere) that we mean business: Free your people, reform your societies, liberalize, and democratize... or we're going to come over there, remove you from power, free your people, and reform your societies for ourselves."

Posted by Kill 'em all and let Goawd sort 'em out! | July 26, 2008 4:25 PM

Bikers are members of the community. Protesters are members of the community. If you don't like this community, and prefer your streets to be unhindered by the regularly scheduled protests, L.A. probably suits you better than Capital Hill.

These protesters are "members of the community", but they're still assholes.

And I'd have a hell of a lot more sympathy for them if it seemed like a majority of the bike riders in the city actually followed traffic laws. Staging a protest that takes up the entire street to "get respect" is hypocritical when these same people don't respect the safety of pedestrians.

Posted by demo kid | July 26, 2008 4:28 PM

I say that CM should continue but with police escort like other parades, funeral processions, etc. If the CM participants are really trying to make a statement about sharing the roads, this will still allow them to do it. If they are really just a bunch of hopped-up, former fratboy, turned 'hipsters', it will quickly be apparent as these types of riders won't participate in an organized ride that really does share the roads in an organized fashion that keeps everyone (bikers, drivers, peds) safe.

Posted by Psot | July 26, 2008 4:33 PM

Rain Monkey drivers of cars are also part of the community... perhaps you'd like to include them in your little paradigm.

comparing acts of civil disobedience against brutal acts of racism to a messy bike parade of angry whiners just shows your lack of perspective.

Posted by westcoastn | July 26, 2008 4:33 PM

Westcoatn is right of course. I recall one time in Arkansa when I was sucking some especially foul smelling, but tasty, black cock at a truck stop while my boyfriend of the time, whats his name, was using the ladies room, and I was thinking just how liberal I was being by not complaining about the smell. But then i realized the black cock really wasn't black it was just dirty, so what's a cock sucker to do? Stand up and perhaps hurt the dirty cock owner's feeling? Not me!

Posted by Dan Savage | July 26, 2008 4:40 PM

Some jackass just added this to the wikipedia article for Critical Mass, and there is already an edit war about it.

Posted by Rain Monkey | July 26, 2008 4:43 PM


And you will not be taken seriously by anyone if you actually attempt to claim otherwise.

Posted by tsm | July 26, 2008 4:47 PM

RE: Rain Monkey in comment 57:

Is Critical Mass an act of civil disobedience, each participant a pedalin' Rosa Parks? Riiiiight.

"Some can be counted on to assume that any incumbrance to shoppers should be dealt with harshly."

And some can be counted on to construct labored and incomprehensible sentences.

"It was once acceptable for white people to say that if they break the law they are provoking a fight."

As I watched CM ride past me yesterday--running red lights and obstructing traffic--I saw a lot of white people both breaking the law *and* provoking a fight!

Posted by RTCP | July 26, 2008 4:49 PM

And a Subaru station wagon is not an SUV.

Posted by elswinger | July 26, 2008 5:06 PM

Just to clarify, a Masshole is a resident of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (aka Massafuckingchusetts) in the same way that MassGeneral and MassArt are institutions in that commonwealth. Please stop tossing the word around without an understanding of its meaning. Thank you.

Posted by tiddlywinks | July 26, 2008 5:06 PM

Who cares about the details? Keep the spandex tight and all the nice ass in the air or pried apart by that nifty seat ... it really is an ass beauty contest ... on cycles or off.

I LOVE young manly cycle riders, the more the better. Wish they would have a big event at the Cuff and show all ....

Posted by Harold Hardon | July 26, 2008 5:18 PM

"Critical mass is an act of civil disobedience. It was once illegal for black people to sit at a white lunch counter. It was once acceptable for white people to say that if they break the law they are provoking a fight."

#57, if you're a troll, you succeeded in getting a rise out of people. (Myself included.) But if you're serious, you're an imbecile.

Critical Mass is a prime example of good intentions gone bad. It's time for those punks to grow up and behave -- they're only making life more difficult for other cyclists.

Posted by Man in the Street | July 26, 2008 5:29 PM

If you want to really make your voice heard in a manner that might make a difference, send an email to the Mayor and the Police Chief at:


Posted by HL | July 26, 2008 5:36 PM

If you want to really make your voice heard in a manner that might make a difference, send an email to the Mayor and the Police Chief at:


ok grandma. like an email to the mayor is going to change anything? get real. suv drivers are attacking bicyclists and the mainstream media is ignoring the problem while spreading lies. this unfortunate event will spearhead the kind of community movement that no mayor or police chief could ever bring about from their white corporate ivory towers.

Posted by decals | July 26, 2008 5:43 PM

The CM folks need to remember that right or wrong one day they are bound to provoke someone who is carrying a gun and there will be a tragedy. Any driver who gives other drivers or anyone else the finger ought to remember that also. Whatevever immediate gratification one may feel, it is not worth the risk.

Posted by ratcityreprobate | July 26, 2008 5:43 PM

Well, apparently the Mayor doesn't accept emails to the address I referenced in @74.

The only way for a citizen to send Nickels an email is to go to this website and fill out a form, which also apparently puts you on his self-promoting "Nickels Newsletter" (though you can opt out).

Posted by HL | July 26, 2008 5:50 PM

Sucker-punching someone in the back of the head is some cowardly-ass bullshit, period.

I've seen CM rides, and you can tell that a lot (though certainly not all) of the riders are just itching for trouble. Looks like they found it - legal trouble, at least.

Not great PR for the bicycle community, folks. Props to the previous posters who pointed out that not owning the road and not being able to sit at a lunch counter are different things by about 1,000,000 orders of magnitude.

Posted by Mr. X | July 26, 2008 5:50 PM

Oh, and my pacifist father's advice to me upon seeing Reginald Denny pulled from his truck and nearly beaten to death during the Rodney King riots in LA was that if that ever happened to me I should run them over.

So now imagine that your car is surrounded by a mob of angry young dudes who are pounding on it and breaking windows - who the hell wouldn't try to get out of Dodge under those circumstances?

Posted by Mr. X | July 26, 2008 5:53 PM

@75 Decals:

I was suggesting a more civil approach to try to get some attention focused on the problem (and like so many have commented here, get the Seattle Police to stop turning a blind eye to the Critical Mass terrorists).

But if you think that's futile, then all the drivers of big bad SUVs and pussy Subarus and other motorized vehicles should just try another link to solve the problem:

Would that make you feel better?

Posted by HL | July 26, 2008 5:58 PM

As a cyclist, I sometimes have to deal with aggressive or impatient drivers being dicks, so I certainly sympathize with CM riders. But I don't get how Critcal Mass is helping the situation at all. Critical Mass events frame the whole issue as a war between bikers and everyone else (pedestrians and bus riders included). I don't want drivers to see bikers as petulant children trying take over all street space. That makes it less safe for bikers. More bikers lawfully sharing the road is the best way to get drivers used to the fact that roads are for all of us.

Posted by Lanik | July 26, 2008 5:59 PM

Next up: Canine Mass.

Pit bull enthusiasts organize packs and assert their rights to dominate city playfields.

Posted by RonK, Seattle | July 26, 2008 6:01 PM

Tires were slashed and a driver was physically assaulted.


The people here making excuses -- lame ones at that -- are just making it worse.

As a bicyclist, I publically apologize for Critical Mass (which represents only a small fraction of real bicyclists). The members posting in this forum are a joke.

Dump Critical Mass -- we need another group representing us -- and let's keep the immature jerks out of it.

Posted by bobk3333 | July 26, 2008 6:03 PM


The CM ride doesn't know where it's going before it starts at Westlake Center. Whoever is riding in the lead gets to decide, and it's usually an ad-hoc vote ("Let's go up Pine, then down 14th and over to Volunteer Park!" "OK!").

We're talking about a few bad cyclists and a few bad drivers. Saying all cyclists are bad because you you saw a mean bike messenger once is not productive, and neither is saying that all drivers are bad because one cut you off yesterday. Put yourself in the shoes of the other, realize everyone is human and no one deserves violence, and get on to talking about how we can try to not be in such a hurry when driving that we think that 30 seconds is reason enough to start violence.

Posted by NaFun | July 26, 2008 6:14 PM

I used to see these CM people come through my old neighborhood on more that one occasion a couple years back.

In my opinion from what I have observed these 'Critical Mass' people are a bunch of thugs.

I watched through my apartment window in disbelief as they yelled profanities at the buses trying to go down the street and threatened the traffic that was not only behind them but oncoming. These CM people were obviously just looking to start a fight. I didn't see anyone provoking them but they (Critical Mass) sure wanted to start some sort of altercation. I guess perhaps it is the hippie/yuppie/trust fund baby version of wrestling or Fight Club?

Not saying that the Subaru guy is innocent but it is fucking simple...Both bikes and cars need to obey the same fucking rules and share the road. No one is innocent on either side of the bike/car issue. And the police need to start enforcing these rules rather than walking around Capitol Hill with a decibel meter.

Posted by notonthehill | July 26, 2008 6:18 PM

@49 I just want cyclists to be consistent and in reasonable accordance with traffic laws. The few times I've almost hit a cyclists they were swerving around without signally or coming blasting down a street with no regard for stop signs or such. Road rules and signals exists so that we can have a reasonable idea of what other people are going to do. So long as cyclists are still doing that I don't think its a big deal if they run a light or other shit, so long as it is clear what they are doing.

Posted by Giffy | July 26, 2008 6:35 PM

When I first heard about critical mass, I really liked the idea, but they've soured me. It's not an act of protest. It's chance to get rowdy, and pretending that it's got a bigger purpose puts you in league with thugs. (I have friends who ride, friends whom I like, but the whole ethos of the thing has become thugish.)

The lunch counter, etc protests worked because they were CIVIL. It put the onus on the oppressor to be the bad bahaver if the oppression was going to happen, and forced people to see the injustice.

People drink (a lot) for critical mass. They pound on cars and are really verbally aggressive. To pretend it's a civil protest is absurd. It's a primitive assertion of power.

Posted by Terry | July 26, 2008 7:12 PM

@60 (reformedliberal)

yer an asshat. elisa hahn mentioned it in the report that aired last night on TV.

tiddlywinks, for those in the know, it's mass genitals, not mass general. but thanks for clarifying what a masshole for the west coasters.

Posted by mike | July 26, 2008 7:21 PM

@70, actually if it's later than a 2003, it is an SUV. Subaru had their entire vehicle line reclassified as light trucks to evade emissions and mileage restrictions.

From my perspective, it's too bad he didn't keep on going and kill or seriously injure a bunch of the CM wipeholes.

Posted by Fnarf | July 26, 2008 7:27 PM

it's sure is funny watching some of rain city's commies cry in this thread. pedal faster or get out of my way!

as for CM, i think the cops should enforce all traffic rules on them and also pull over and breathalize the whole lot of them. i've watched these rides go on before and many of these annoying hipsters and anarchos are drinking.

can't wait to see the august ride go down.

Posted by Harry Callahan | July 26, 2008 8:03 PM

I was stuck in this on Broadway in my car -- the cyclists definitely looked like a mob to me, and the "pre-emptively" decided to surround my stationary car and heckled me for being a driver for the several minutes while they broke every traffic law they could.

I don't know what happened with the above incident, but I was pretty freaked out by the cyclist mob mentality -- they didn't seem especially peaceful to me when they were shouting obscenities at me for not being on a bike.

Posted by these assholes were a mob, period. | July 26, 2008 8:54 PM

If you listen to fools, the Mob Rules!

(Sorry, but I just had to get the Black Sabbath reference in)

Posted by Dio! | July 26, 2008 9:27 PM

Blocking two lanes of public roadway is not speech. It's illegal and dangerous, whether done by 50 bikes or two cars.

Given that many people (on bikes or cars) are unable to act responsibly (especially if they're drunk, high, or generally pissed off at the world) I don't go out of my way to piss off anybody.

Critical Mass does so at their peril. They are very luck none of them were killed.

Posted by Mick Diddy | July 26, 2008 9:29 PM

Hey CM guys, how about a deal....I'll give you 6 inches of road if you promise to take less than 10 minutes to make my double latte?

Oh, and you can forget about a tip without any actual table service.

Posted by Suthii | July 26, 2008 9:32 PM

If you want to ride a bike in the city, then you better learn your place in the food chain . .

You CM idots better realize that you have now established a history of violently assaulting vehicle operators. The next time you surrounded and threaten a driver, that driver will be well within their rights to take out how ever many of you need to be mowed down to escape from what has now been proven to be a mob assault.

I encourage any driver who finds themself trapped in this situation to now use their vehicles to whatever degree is necessary to escape the dangerous situation created by these bike riding thugs, including the use of their vehicle as an instrument of deadly force.

Posted by Dead Bike Riders | July 26, 2008 9:36 PM

If you want to ride a bike in the city, then you better learn your place in the food chain . .

You CM idots better realize that you have now established a history of violently assaulting vehicle operators. The next time you surrounded and threaten a driver, that driver will be well within their rights to take out how ever many of you need to be mowed down to escape from what has now been proven to be a mob assault.

I encourage any driver who finds themself trapped in this situation to now use their vehicles to whatever degree is necessary to escape the dangerous situation created by these bike riding thugs, including the use of their vehicle as an instrument of deadly force.

Posted by Dead Bike Riders | July 26, 2008 9:37 PM

Several years ago, I had some sort of sympathy towards Critical Mass in Portland. Not anymore.

Someone upthread said that "the first experience many people have with cycling is CM". No. Most people ride with friends, possibly with people from work in a more relaxed, less event-like situation. That's how I did it.

$4/gallon gas is emboldening cyclists - witness the recent incidents in Portland where cyclists have attacked motorists and buses for insisting cyclists follow traffic laws. So is beer.

While I don't want to see takedowns and Tasers on Critical Mass cyclists, they should be ticketed if they run stop signs or lights, and any harassment of motorists and pedestrians should be cracked down on as well.

Posted by Aaron | July 26, 2008 9:57 PM

Critical Mass, I'm a car-less pedestrian commuter in Fremont. CM is just self-righteous civil disobedience, which means even if the driver was a jerk and dangerous, I don't want the police protecting you guys. Your self-righteousness is blinding you of a basic fact, you are breaking laws. While breaking laws, I don't care a rats ass about your fate (emphasis:) at all.

The thin veil of enablement for your activity comes from a community that will tolerate it, or come to your rescue when someone runs you down. Take note: I don't. There must be others like me.

SPD, please don't waste my tax dollars protecting CM, at all.

Pro-biker, pro-carless, and anti civil disobedience.

Posted by Lance Miller | July 26, 2008 9:58 PM

I bike 22 miles one way a day to work. What CM did was not forwarding the cause of bike awareness. But, everytime one of these threads start it's a "I'll kill that biker" "they don't obey traffic laws" well, neither do drivers. You pull into crosswalks, run red lights just as often as cyclist do (check the red light camera ticket numbers), and are much less aware of your surroundings than cyclist.

I heard it best on another thread, are you really that self absorbed that the 5 seconds it takes to get around a cyclist is going to be the end of your day?

Again, what CM did was wrong. Very wrong, but next time you pontificate about how you want to kill a cyclist, think about that statement. Would you teach your kids to be that way? Would you want your friends, coworkers, family to know you said that? I hope not, just like I hope the CM folks think twice about their next protest.

Posted by subrookie | July 26, 2008 10:03 PM


Exactly. I'm a cyclist, never rode in CM, don't believe in it, an I'm not feeling espeically happy that there are so many people on this thread are threatening to kill me just because I bike to work. I'm not a hippie, I don't work in a coffee shop, and I obey the law. I bike because I'd rather spend car payment money on eating out and booze. What do you wanna hate on me for?

Posted by alejo699 | July 26, 2008 10:23 PM

So, three or four people have this guy surrounded in his car, blocking him from merging into traffic. He's anxious about getting to where he has to go - and more bikers come up and surround him.

Do the words "I was in reasonable fear for my life" ring any bells there? If he'd shot someone out of fear from being surrounded, it would have been justifiable. I haven't decided whether I think the world would be a better place if he HAD shot one of them, but I'm leaning that direction.

I drive and cycle - I've encountered CM and have neither sympathy or respect for their tactics. Merely annoying people is not going to get us any closer to bike friendly infrasructure - it's going to set us back.

Posted by Chris Bingham | July 26, 2008 10:51 PM

"next time you pontificate about how you want to kill a cyclist"

NEVER! I just want to scare the sh*t out of a few of the helmetless, gearless bike idiots I see running lights so they can get to their barista 'jobs' faster. I always find a little pump on the gas at a red light, with brakes applied, gets their attention. Something about the lurching of the car that makes them apparently wet themselves.

Posted by Suthii | July 26, 2008 11:12 PM

Civil disobedience is only effective when protesting unjust laws. Exactly which laws are CM protesting?

Posted by Mongo | July 26, 2008 11:15 PM

the comments are fake , how can someone 20 feet away hear the conversation of a drive in a crowd of bikers?...
but the main problem is the city and police not forcing a controlled demonstration, there is no reason why the bikers should be preventing anyone from going anywhere.

Posted by billy bob | July 26, 2008 11:29 PM


Posted by Sam Hill | July 26, 2008 11:36 PM

#99, #100: I don't think the people advocating deadly force against bikers had law-abiding bicycle commuters in mind. The guy writing #95 and 96 specifically stated that he reccommended vehicular manslaughter against bicyclists when an angry mob of them is attacking you in your car. I personally think the driver in the story made a mistake if he tried to move his car while surrounded by cyclists who weren't threatening him in any way, but it sounds like he might have panicked and tried to escape when the cyclists started vandalizing his car, which is much more understandable. Perhaps he's originally from a jurisdiction where it's legal to use deadly force in defense of your person or property.

Posted by Calix | July 26, 2008 11:58 PM

I have never seen a cyclist obey the law. They claim the right to drive in traffic, but then ride side by side in one lane, blocking people trying to pass. Then they get to a red and jump off the bike. Suddenly they're not running a red, they're just a pedestrian jay-walking.

'When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.' 1 Corinthians 13:11

Translation - get a car assholes!

Posted by fozzy | July 27, 2008 12:01 AM

And how many times have you passed a bike pansy and then at the next red, he rides up on your right side and you have to pass that asshole again?

Posted by fozzy | July 27, 2008 12:04 AM

He should have shot them instead of running them over with the car. Fuck Critical Mass Bike Tards

Posted by chris | July 27, 2008 12:11 AM

After witnessing innocent drivers being harassed by the mob on Broadway Friday night, I decided to start my own club with the sole purpose of moving you pedaling pussies off the road with brute force. You must have a large SUV (no Subarus please) to join this club. I LOVE SUVs because of the power I feel when I'm behind the wheel.

I practiced a little bit today swerving and cutting off a few single bikers, but I can't wait for the August CM ride. I'll be there with my own critical mass just waiting to be 'intimidated'. I can't wait to protect myself.

Posted by SeattleUrbanVehicles | July 27, 2008 12:20 AM

It's really too bad the subie driver didn't shoot a couple of the assholes. If those guys had tried their 'cork' the intersection and jump on cars approach in a 'red' state like Texas instead on this pink ass left wing city, they'd likely be 'pushing up daisies' instead of just getting booked into jail.

Since SPD is completely wothless and doesn't enforce any laws in this town, maybe the fire department would like to get in on the action and use their fire hoses to blast those Criticall Mass riders back down the hill and put them where they belong - idown in the bottom of Elliot Bay with the whale shit.

You Critical Mass dumb asses give all cyclists a bad name. At least do the law abiding cyclists of Seattle a favor and wear cycling jerseys with red 'bulls eye'targets on the front and back so that the SUV vigilante crowd can identify you losers from the rest of us cyclists so they aim at the right people and don't take out any of the 95% of cyclists in this town who do not support Critcall Mass's tactics.

Posted by Joe | July 27, 2008 1:26 AM

How many times has a cyclist hit and killed a motor vehicle operator? A lot of ignorance on this thread. You oil addicts have between 27 and 30 days of every month to rule the roads. I don't agree with what happened, especially the cyclists reactions to the situation, but shut up and let us have our day. I see cars (especially taxis) blow stop signs, make turns without signaling, abruptly pull out of parking spaces, etc, on a daily basis. What does a barrel of oil cost? Around $123, I can't wait for oil to hit $200 a barrel and force most of you to buy some dudes rusty old schwinn on craigslist with crap brakes and friction shifters to get your fat, lazy asses around. While I'm at it, attacking cyclists for being too broke, working as barristas and such to afford a car is simply absurd. Some of these bikes you drive over cost more money than your mortgage. We are serious.

Posted by fourfingersdown | July 27, 2008 1:35 AM

I'd say that I can't believe what bicycle apologists the Stranger staff are (and what shoddy journalism they're perpetrating, with all of these obviously biased "eyewitness reports"), but I'm not really surprised at all.

Imagine if this incident DIDN'T involve a bunch of entitled hipsters on bikes (the Stranger's key demographic) and that, instead, it involved a right-wing Christian fundamentalist anti-choice group.

That group decides to stage an un-permitted march and rally through busy city streets during rush hour. They march through our neighborhoods with utter disregard for the people who live there and the people just trying to make their way through there. They block off entire streets for lengthy periods of time and ignore all of the rules of the road-- crossing when they feel like crossing, where they feel like crossing. And they are aggressive-- REALLY aggressive. Yelling at passers by, berating people, some even getting violent.

Some in the crowd are drunk. Some have knives on them, antagonizing people, as they pass, obviously looking for trouble.

A man is attempting to pull out of his driveway and into the street, the street he lives on and uses every day. He might have a "reservation" to get to, he might have an emergency, he might just want to go to the fucking grocery store-- that's pretty irrelevant. What matters is that HE isn't doing anything wrong, he's just trying to go about his day.

As he pulls out of his driveway, he is surrounded by the anti-choice protesters. Aggressively, they tell him that he's just going to have to wait, that it's THEIR turn now-- despite the fact that they have zero legal authority to tell him to wait or to be blocking the road. In fact, they are breaking the law by obstructing traffic (not to mention countless other infractions).

The man is infuriated-- he tells them to move the fuck out of the way, he needs to go. (Wouldn't you do the same if you found a bunch of asshole anti-choicers blocking your driveway?) As he impatiently waits, some of the marchers pound on his car. He gets frustrated and tries to back up, only to find that there are people surrounding the back of his car, too. He accidentally hits one of them, not hard, and he stops.

He's blocked in. Trapped. After he accidentally hit one of them, the mob becomes more violent-- screaming obscenities. Hitting his car. Trying to open the car doors.

His pregnant wife is in the front seat, panicked. Panic sweeps over the man as well. What are they going to do? The mob is getting angrier. His window gets bashed in. The glass goes flying everywhere. Another window goes. Someone pulls out a knife. The tires get slashed. People are screaming, everything is a blur. Someone reaches in the driver's side window and punches the man.

In a blind panic, in self-preservation fight-or-flight mode, the man knows he needs to get out of there, get out of there now-- they have knives, they are angry, they are violent. He needs to keep his wife safe, he needs to keep the baby safe, he needs to keep himself safe. They have punched him, they have broken the windows, they have flattened his tires. He needs to go. NOW.

So he goes. Not far. Half a block. Maybe one block. The crowd is enraged-- HOW DARE HE!!! They pull him from his car and beat him, severely enough that he requires staples to the back of his head.

He was trapped, cornered, and put into a situation that was going to end poorly no matter what. While running into a crowd of people with your car isn't exactly a sane thing to do, no one is claiming that the man was in his right mind when it happened. His windows had been bashed in. He had been hit. People had knives. He wasn't operating on sanity, he was operating on self-preservation and adrenaline.

The anti-choicers are, as any one can see, entirely to blame in this scenario. The Stranger would be outraged-- taking to the streets! Throw the book at them! Lock them up! The bastards had it coming!

But, wait, no. These weren't anti-choicers. They were bicyclists. So somehow, in the eyes of the Stranger, that makes them above the law.

Traffic laws are there for a reason-- for EVERYONE'S safety. There is no reason that Critical Mass can't get permits, can't set a route, can't get a police escort-- other than the fact that they don't WANT to. They believe that they're above the law-- red lights, two way streets, right-of-way: none of that applies to them and their almighty "CAUSE." (Which is what again?... Anarchy?... Douchebaggery?...)

I am pro-bike. I am pro-mass transit. But I am anti-assholes and pricks who think that they can do whatever the fuck they want, to hell with everyone else.

Obviously these asswipes weren't hurt too badly-- the bike has a bent fucking tire and somehow Superman claims that a car "LITERALLY DROVE OVER HIS LEG," yet he ended up without a single broken bone. (Someone call Ripley's 'cause that's a-fucking-mazing.)

When you break the law, and then face repercussions because of it (like getting run over when you're blocking the flow of traffic), that's no one's fault but your own. Don't want to get run over? Don't stand behind a car.

Marches, parades, rallies, funeral processions-- there are policies in place to ensure that groups can congregate SAFELY and without completely disturbing the public. What makes Critical Mass above following the law?

This isn't the first time it's happened-- they have a history of violent aggression. Check out some of the videos that the martyred CMers themselves have placed on YouTube. A highlight is the one where they nearly beat up an elderly couple-- classy. Real classy.

Fuck Critical Mass and their "cause." Fuck 'em all.

Posted by Samantha | July 27, 2008 2:15 AM

I bike around the city, but have a car that I drive as well. I also take the bus.

These comments are crazy - everyone should respect each other on the road. And the mob mentality displayed by the CM bicyclists is disgusting. Seriously, go get yourself a fucking life, and pull your head out of your self-righteous ass.

Let's all get angry at each other, and incite violence! Are you people trying to follow the "eye-for-an-eye" model or something?

Posted by Amazed at this Crap | July 27, 2008 2:24 AM

@110: You realize, by posting this, that you are guilty of planned assault if you do hit anyone, right?

@113 (Samantha) Still copy and pasting, eh?

Posted by Chris | July 27, 2008 3:51 AM

I like the idea of Rollerbladers and walkers taking over the bike trails. I wounder what the bikers would do?

Posted by freetime | July 27, 2008 5:31 AM

From the perspective of a Central Floridian, I have to say that Seattle must have some pretty passive, polite drivers. Down here, we define "defensive driving" as being extremely alert and overly considerate in order to avoid triggering some latent road-rager who will then proceed to play demolition-derby with your vehicle. I would hate to think of the carnage that would ensue if a Critical Mass demonstration were to be staged here.

If you decide to test that theory, may I suggest that you avoid doing so during either Bike Week or Biketoberfest? That's kind of a motorcycle version of your event times a thousand or so, sans any assumption of belligerance or aggressive provocation.

I don't own a motorcycle, but I careful to keep an eye on the bikes around me while driving, especially during these events. There are a few scoff-laws and daredevils among them, but generally they obey the laws and traffic regulations, so there isn't a great deal of resentment toward them. Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned from that.

Posted by Immolate | July 27, 2008 5:36 AM

I have been to most large cities in the U.S. including NYC and I have to say Seattle is the least friendly city I have been to. So I am not surprised the people of Seattle let this happen. Put the leaders in jail and it will go away.

Posted by shunha7878 | July 27, 2008 6:38 AM

the whole incident seems to have accomplished what critical mass was looking for. a fight. ive been stuck in this mess before and if you honk at them you get about a dozen of them around your car. it would be one thing if the protest was done in accordance with all of the rules of the road but its not. which is the main complaint by drivers that cyclists dont follow the rules. so really critical mass is hurting their cause. in my view any cyclish who participates in this is an idiot. the best way to make peace with cars is to follow the rules of the road and when you pull up to an intersection make freindly small talk with drivers. whenever i stop near a cyclist i always ask how they are doing, some engage in conversation others blow me off. its not unrealistic to just try to be nice to other people to solve this problem.

Posted by will | July 27, 2008 6:42 AM

If it had been me, there would have been massive cyclist casualties. Critical Mass is a thug group that thinks thet're exempt from the law because they're following a higher calling- kind of like the KKK.

If they're really in favor of just making sure no one gets hurt, let them turn in the thugs that slashed this guy's tires and opened up the gash on the back of his head.

That will never happen- and everyone knows why: Critical Mass is a thug outfit looking to provoke trouble.

Posted by trentk268 | July 27, 2008 6:59 AM

Hey 107, I'm Jesus. I ride a bike and I think you are a sinner. One of my angel friends up here in heaven, Bryce Lewis (he happened to be killed by truck while riding a bike last september) tipped me off to your post. It is in fact legal for cyclists to ride two abreast in a traffic lane. In response to your blatant ignorance, I've spoken with my father (god) and he has agreed to refuse your acceptance into his holy house (heaven). In fact he, (god) was very offended you quoted him, and then proceeded to follow that quote with such offensive and foul language. And for the record, if I were still alive today, I would not go out and get a car; Asshole.

Posted by jesus h cyclist | July 27, 2008 7:15 AM

...Stuff white people like.

Posted by monkeyfan | July 27, 2008 7:58 AM

Hey, bike wielding idiot thugs! When you move out of your parents basement you can learn how to make my latte!

Posted by Raitional | July 27, 2008 8:29 AM

Hey #112 - Bite my ass . . Here's hoping you get your front wheel caught in the trolly rails, go down, and get hit and crippled . .

#121 - Well I guess he won't be making that mistake again will he? . . lol . . Darwin rulez!!

I watched a bike messenger get run over by the rear dualies of a transit bus a few years back . . he popped like a stepped-on grape . . Ride with that visual you stinky hippies . .

Oh yeah - You're all invited to my rally that runs concurrently with the next critical ass-masters rally . . It's called "Sticks for Spokes in Seattle" . .

PS - Watch for my drivers door!! - THINK FAST!! - lol

Posted by Dead Bike Riders | July 27, 2008 8:32 AM

You could probably stand up at a Lee Greenwood concert and shout, "I believe bicyclists have a right to share the road with motorists!", and take a beating.

Tribalism is dumb and dangerous.

Bike day is every day. Get out there and obey the rules. Maybe Seattle needs a RideRight day. Or vigilante bicycle traffic cops on bicycles issuing suggestions. (To knife-carrying cyclists? Guess not.)

Do the bicycle cops of the SPD have SPD pedals on their bikes? Just wondering.

That some of these bicyclists were carrying knives isn't helping with the public perception. They may have good reason to carry knives, say, self defense, for reasons that people who travel inside locked cars don't worry about. The public's just going to see "bicycle hooligans with knives slashing tires."

Bicycle jihad is winning over hearts and minds about as well as Islamic jihad, eh?

Posted by CP | July 27, 2008 8:35 AM

Based on every interaction I've had with cars in the Puget Sound while riding my bike, I'd say the driver was 100% wrong and the bicyclists were totally innocent and protecting themselves from harm. I have been run into by cars 3 times in the last 3 years. And, I also find that into today's SUV oriented society, many people are hateful of bikes. I went from being a rational guy to being a Crazy Man who uses every opportunity to give the finger and cuss out drivers. Why? Because many Puget Sound residents are as dense as concrete, or else they are the obnoxious Bellevue types who thinks the world belongs to them.

For a person on a bike, a person in a car is like a person with a gun. You can't compare the two. To me, anyone who makes a threatening move or even a gesture with a car, towards a bicycle, is committing attempted murder. Any response to that, including thwacking the driver to the ground, is self-defense.

The longer this story goes, the more the truth comes out. It went from "biycle rage" to self-defense in 48 hours. In another two days I expect the driver to be charged with attempted murder and hopefully go to prison. The same thing happened with the Paroline case two weeks ago -- after first claiming he "hit the girls" suddenly the video shows it was them hitting the man!

Seattle reporters are ignorant and puerile and the Seattle Papers go to great lengths to protect and server The Powers That Be. Thank God for alternative blogs and the Internet to contrast the lies of the Seattle Big Press.

Posted by John Bailo | July 27, 2008 8:56 AM

Hey 126 . .

Here's hoping you have that 4th "vehicle interaction" with more "conclusive" results very soon . .

Posted by Dead Bike Riders | July 27, 2008 9:07 AM

#126: Dead Bike Riders


Now that the Stranger web logs have your IP address, I can track you down and sue you for threats. It should be easy, and I've already forwarded your response to the I3 (Internet Fraud and Terrorism) branch of the FBI.

Posted by John Bailo | July 27, 2008 9:14 AM

This is going to be real simple to prove.
Where is the video? No doubt Critical Mass brings along video cameras or cell phones to document how those ignorant knuckle-dragging car drivers use the road as their private playground.

Posted by HorsesAss_Troll | July 27, 2008 9:27 AM


Simple...that would be called WADOT traffic cams.

Posted by John Bailo | July 27, 2008 9:31 AM

Isn't it interesting how there are multiple drivers on this thread threatening to kill cyclists but not the other way around? I don't know exactly what happened at the CM melee (and neither do the rest of you), but just based on people's attitudes here I'd be tempted to believe the motorist really did try to run the cyclists down because he's an aggressive road rage asshole.

Posted by alejo699 | July 27, 2008 10:28 AM

Too bad he didn't kill a bunch of those far left wing fanatical nut job wastes of oxygen.

Posted by Capitalist Infidel | July 27, 2008 11:09 AM

The Critical Mass posters here are lying about what happened. The car was deliberately blocked by the cyclists (which is illegal), then surrounded by the cyclists (which is kidnapping), and when the car tried to get away, he bumped the people who had deliberatly surrounded him. The cyclists then assaulted the car, shattering the back and front windows, and used a knife to slash the tires.

Critical mass has a history of assaulting innocent motorists. Watch this video of them assaulting an elderly couple in Berkeley that were trying to attend to their handcapped daughter who needed their help across town. In this video, Critical Mass (lead by a 3 time loser named Jason Meggs) followed the exact same tactics:
Illegally blocking the road, surrounding the vehicle, and then attacking it like common street thugs.

Posted by Long Time Cyclist | July 27, 2008 11:15 AM

How 'bout some bumperstickers for SUV's:

Weapon of Critical Mass Destruction

Posted by James | July 27, 2008 11:17 AM

Also? All the disengenuous comments posted by the Critical Mass riders here "It's not okay!","The cyclists were 100% innocent","Oh my gosh, you've written threatening words here, oh no!" are transparently obvious to even the most casual observer.
Here's what Critical Mass is accomplishing by its use of violence and traffic law breaking:
1. Universal disdain for cyclists (like myself).
2. Presumptive police actions to enforce the cycling traffic laws that Critical Mass is breaking.
3. Creation of a solid excuse for city officials to ignore requests for better cycling facilities to serve cyclo-terrorists.

(sarcasm) Nice job CM, way to go. (/sarcasm)

I am a long time cyclist, and I absolutely do not support these idiots that call themselves "Critical Mass".

Posted by Long Time Cyclist | July 27, 2008 11:22 AM

I'm not excusing or advocating Critical Mass. I watched those idiots riding helmetless and heedless downtown and can believe they behaved like a drunken mob. I'm just saying that the hatred displayed toward ALL bikers in this thread is unwarranted.

Posted by alejo699 | July 27, 2008 11:46 AM

CM "eyewitness number 1" was the guy going around making sure everyone lied to the cops. His story differs wildly from people who weren't riders.

CM, you are alienating your fans as well as proving to third parties why you should be suppressed.

Criminal activity to illegally detain someone, then to practice mob justice after he freaked out.

CM you will wind up getting someone killed, I hope you are proud of your accomplishment.

Posted by certaindoom | July 27, 2008 11:53 AM

Personally I would stay out of that state forever and that would be my advice for any human being that's decent and hardworking. The crazies have taken over the asylum so look for people to kill people there and get away with it because, you know, they don't do, think or live like "we" do!

Posted by Grams | July 27, 2008 12:36 PM

I really don’t buy this “were angels and the driver is the devil” thing.

I have seen the types of people who now ride in critical mass. Many are young angry men with a chip on their shoulders obviously looking for a problem. They figure they can flaunt the laws of the road, and are very aggressive towards cars.

I believe the driver became panicked after being in a dangerous situation with a bunch of these type of ‘men’ (boys) blocking him and becoming increasingly aggressive.

At some point when a person feels for their safety they have the right to protect themselves. I think the driver showed a huge amount of restraint after being struck with a deadly weapon, and clearly surrounded by punks out for blood.

I for one would have kept slowly driving forward and whomever chose to stay in the way would either choose to move or be run over.

Critical Mass should be renamed Crazy Mob!

Posted by B.S. | July 27, 2008 1:15 PM

I bike to work 10 miles each way/day. I obey the rules of the road. Most cyclists I see, whether I'm driving or biking, pretty much ignore the rules of the road, like stopping at stop signs/lights, etc. Yet here you are, demanding all the rights, but unable to accept much of the responsibility of what it means to share the road. You reap what you sow.

I don't know what really happened on Friday. But I do know this - no matter what the driver of the Subaru did, it did not warrant the type of retaliation you inflicted that night. You confirmed the worst suspicions of your detractors, and now, you have needlessly alienated many of us who would otherwise support you - you've shown yourselves to be spoiled, single-cause, selfish narcissists who think you're just so cool and so hip and the world should cater to whatever your needs are at any particular moment in time. You're probably the same way when you're behinds the wheels of your cars.

Congratulations - you just set your cause back by light years, and confirmed what many already knew, that once a month what you're really out to do is pick a fight with someone. Nice work, morons.

Posted by boboraz | July 27, 2008 1:24 PM

If you want to hold a parade for bicyclists to promote a cause and have a legal, nonviolent demonstration, then go set a route and get a permit from the cops like everyone else does. Then you can go be all happy joy joy in the parade, and people will watch and wave and cheer. CM++.

If, instead, you want to block other traffic, create a hazard in the roadway, and brutalize other drivers, then you should expect to be arrested and jailed, and also brutalized by the media. CM--.

It's all about "you get what you give".

Look. I walk around downtown and I'm a lot more scared of getting hit by a bike than I am by a car. Those messenger boys are lunatics. They're your daily representation of bike-riderism.

Wonder why the SUV drivers are all upset? It's because of the daily crap they have to take from the bike riders who seem to have little to no regard for anyone except themselves, plus full of a tude to boot. Gee. :) Open your eyes, instead of getting all upset first before becoming confused with the facts. Obey traffic laws.

What you want to accomplish with CM is for people to come out with confetti and noisemakers, not baseball bats. Am I right? What are the massers gonna do about it? OBTW, have you seen the media reports from all across the country where the cops crack down, and then it's a lot smaller and much more organized? And, politically, MORE EFFECTIVE?

Wait, isn't CM's entire purpose in life *denying* the drivers of internal-combustion vehicles (ICV) the right to drive unfettered on roads that they *pay* for, and bicyclists don't?

CM is just a bunch of these nimrods all banding together as a STREET GANG. I hope you all get arrested and put in jail.

How about a bike tax? :) Then, you can represent. Then, you'll be licensed and insured just like the ICV drivers. The, you can be ticketed for disobeying the same traffic laws. Then, you can start offsetting the costs of law enforcement when you hold your illegal riots.

Or, you could just shape up and get what you give. It's your call. If there's a goal in your pointy little heads, make sure you stick to thinking about that rather than "sticking it to the ICV!!"

Posted by Mikey | July 27, 2008 1:44 PM

Ride a Bicycle ??? want some respect ???? then operate your "Vehicle" in a safe and responsible manor, Obey the rules of the road. ALL OF YOU are being "judged" by the actions of the few. (painted with the same brush) Want some respect ? then show some respect, blocking traffic is an offence that is punishable by law to say nothing of stomping on the rights of others, which by the way you have no "right" to do so...
showing contempt to the same persons you want rather actually
"demand" resepct from.... are you kidding me. Are "you" an offender ?? if yes then I can say w/o question that you are part of the problem and NOT part of the solution.

Someone if not many are going to be hurt if this action continues. Stay off of the sidewalks!! Their for pedestrians, and pedestrians are not so much fodder for assulting with your bike like your riding an obstical course. Ride "SAFELY" obey "all" of the traffic laws/rules of the road and if you do not know what those laws and rules are, contact the department of "MOTOR" vehicles and they will gladly porvide the information necessary to educate and prepare someone/everyone to share the road with "Motor Vhicles" (the primary purpose for those those roads btw) in place of the disrespectful and pittyfull attempt's to own it that EVERYONE witness's. Two wrongs do not make a right. CM is wrong for blocking the street "period" end of discussion! and now is "hiding out" somewhere on campus at U.W. I expect no less from cowards and trouble makers. Stay away from Ezell's you You could end up being chicken dinner! cluck cluck cluck...

Posted by Brad | July 27, 2008 2:04 PM

Dear Brad:
The DMV doesn't set the rules of the road. Within the city of Seattle, that would be, surprise, surprise, the City of Seattle, as codified in the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) which states that bikes are not only allowed to take up a lane when they are able to keep up with the flow of traffic, they are also allowed to ride on the sidewalk. Most citizens are unaware of one or both of these aspects of the city code. If you don't agree with the law, perhaps you should petition your city council person for an amendment to the city code.

Posted by Central Seattlite | July 27, 2008 2:12 PM

OK, here's the action plan. :)

- Go buy a 1978 (or older) diesel truck (1-ton or bigger) and a tig welder.
- Point the stack down and remove the muffler so the smoke blows in un-windshielded faces.
- Big air compressor to run the pneumatics.
- Large aimable pepper spray cannon. (and a copilot)
- Replace windows and doors with riot guards. No door handles. Visualize a "paddy wagon" from Ireland where back in the day they used to have large riots too. (where do you think they got the name Paddy? :)
- Fill it with biodiesel straight from the busiest McDonalds :) (grossest I could think of on short notice)
- Fit reciprocating pneumatic 'bike munucher' on it (I have a design in my head already, visualize bus-mounted bike rack turned sideways with large hinges)
- Oh, yeah, and a metal chipper on the back, with an army of wire-stealers in tow. :)

Then: Drive around spraying CM'ers with pepper, picking up their bikes, ripping them in two and pushing the human away gently. Walk like a pedestrian! (note to self: use caution when shoes are clipped to pedals)

BTW #139 B.S.: The "inch-forward-and-hope-they-move" strategy generally produces bent tires, which are cheaply replaceable. Check out that youtube video from X posts ago. Bad picture press (facts aside, remember!), and evidence for the out-of-context court case later. My strategy would produce scrap metal in little bitty pieces without the injuries one would expect to see from that level of mangling of titanium and aluminum. It's just too bad I couldn't use a big ol magnet instead of the pepper spray to separate human from bike... hmm...

Note that I am a self-proclaimed crackpot, and all contents of this message should be taken lightly.

Posted by Mikey | July 27, 2008 2:14 PM

144: I was just watching "Stripes" with Bill Murray yesterday. They had an "Urban Assault Vehicle" -- a retrofitted RV with machine guns and missile launchers. Perhaps that's what's called for?

Posted by John Bailo | July 27, 2008 2:38 PM

140: Well said.

Posted by ESP | July 27, 2008 2:59 PM

Critical mass people should take care that the violence they choose to create does not escalate.

Since Critical Mass now has a pattern of inflicting grave bodily harm on people in cars, they're making a case for justifiable homicide the next time they scare someone and they feel their family or themselves are in danger.

This is something to consider before participating in Critical Mass events in the future, I would think. I wouldn't want someone I care about being involved in these mob mentality events with the violence and danger they create.

Posted by Ian | July 27, 2008 3:28 PM

I have an idea: Let's round up and kill everyone who inconveniences us or disagrees with us. Can you imagine what a great world this would be? No more pesky cyclists, no more homeless people pestering us for money, no more stupid liberals trying save species we don't even want to eat ... wait, what's that? You think the toilet paper should go OVER, not UNDER? I'm sorry, but you know the rules ... sorry you won't be joining us in the shiny new world.

Posted by alejo699 | July 27, 2008 3:35 PM

Personally, I am a pedestrian for the largest ratio of my time in and around the city. I take the bus when going to work, or the store, and drive my truck at the most once a week, or when going camping. I see many dangerous situations, whilst traversing by foot, and I can honestly say that I feel more at risk of bodily harm from bicyclists, as opposed to motorists.

Throughout the 2 years that I've lived here in Seattle, there is only one time that I've been endangered by a stupid driver, as opposed to numerous times by bicyclists. Generally, drivers are considerate of pedestrians, and the one occurence that I referred to was some dumb bimbo in a Mercedes who was turning onto a one-way street downtown.

Most bicyclists, on the other hand, feel that they should have all the privileges of a car, while maintaining a complete disregard for the safety of like-minded individuals that are attempting to decrease their footprint and find alternate means of transportation instead of drive. They constantly cut me off if I'm trying to cross a street when light happens to be red, or even at marked crosswalks, and exceed the speed limit down small residential streets where children are often playing.

It is infuriating that cyclists continue to complain about unfair treatment by a small majority of drivers that respect their space, while the majority (as far as I've been witness to) of cyclists refuse to respect the traffic rules in place or common courtesy to their fellow human beings.

Posted by AC | July 27, 2008 3:39 PM

Personally, I am a pedestrian for the largest ratio of my time in and around the city. I take the bus when going to work, or the store, and drive my truck at the most once a week, or when going camping. I see many dangerous situations, whilst traversing by foot, and I can honestly say that I feel more at risk of bodily harm from bicyclists, as opposed to motorists.

Throughout the 2 years that I've lived here in Seattle, there is only one time that I've been endangered by a stupid driver, as opposed to numerous times by bicyclists. Generally, drivers are considerate of pedestrians, and the one occurence that I referred to was some dumb bimbo in a Mercedes who was turning onto a one-way street downtown.

Most bicyclists, on the other hand, feel that they should have all the privileges of a car, while maintaining a complete disregard for the safety of like-minded individuals that are attempting to decrease their footprint and find alternate means of transportation instead of drive. They constantly cut me off if I'm trying to cross a street when light happens to be red, or even at marked crosswalks, and exceed the speed limit down small residential streets where children are often playing.

It is infuriating that cyclists continue to complain about unfair treatment by a small majority of drivers that don't respect their space, while the majority (as far as I've been witness to) of cyclists refuse to respect the traffic rules in place or common courtesy to their fellow human beings.

Posted by AC | July 27, 2008 3:40 PM

Since it would seem that the CM folks love to video and spin things for youtube maybe its time for a CM watchdog group that follows them around taping. This would resolve a lot of guess work in events such as the one last Friday.

Posted by D | July 27, 2008 3:47 PM

128 . . HA HA HA . . Are you such a homo that you actually just said that? Is this your first time on the intarweb? . . Are your "tubes" plugged? . . Maybe you should report me to JP Patches too?

Maybe you should have a 3 year old show you how yourz itarnets works . .

The fact that you replied with that pathetically tired and utterly hopeless response just confirmed to me that I pwn you!1!!11 . .

You just made my day!!!

You are the licker of my butthole!!


Posted by Dead Bike Riders | July 27, 2008 3:59 PM

I would run your ass over too. get the fuck outta the way - roads are only meant for motorized vehicles and have been since the year 1912. Go ride your bi- or tri-cycle in Manila or other town if you must, but get the fuck off the street in Seattle if you see a car coming. There are sidewalks and bike paths for your use. Thanks.

Posted by yer mother | July 27, 2008 4:03 PM

Why is it that the lovely people of Critical Mass come prepared with blades to slash tires? Because they KNOW that their actions are going to provoke violence. Probably half the people in the crowed are looking forward to and expecting this. One of these days they will attack the wrong car and someone is going to start shooting.

Posted by Lou | July 27, 2008 8:23 PM

If I'm ever surroundered by bikers and they're attackng my car then there are going to be a couple of dead bikers. There's not a jury in Texas that would convict me. Thank God I live in a state where people can protect themselves if threatened.

Posted by Michael McCullough | July 27, 2008 8:37 PM

Critical mass may have a point about sharing the road with others but blocking traffic and aggravating those you want to peacefully co-exist with is foolish and self defeating.
More over it is clear good intentions of the bike protesters have been commandeered by those who just want to create a disturbance and immaturely act out in violent ways. Regardless of the motorists actions, breaking windows, slashing tires and striking a person in the head with bike locks is an inappropriate response. To be overly simple "two wrongs don't make a right". This confrontation on top of last year's run in with police downtown only hinders their cause more. Next time I see a cyclist I am more likely to be aggressively defense than overly courteous to their plight. Nice that critical mass's actions cause the opposite reaction they to most in the community.

Posted by what's your point | July 27, 2008 8:42 PM

As a person how investigates matters for a living Eyewitness #1 (the bystander)take seems a little polished,lacks objectivity and truthfulness. With everything going on how can one hear/remember everything. Second, how is this bystander able to be at the beginning and end of the altercation when according him/her they took place at different events. This person wants us to believe that with all the maddness going on-they somehow remained cool and calm with steno pad in hand to collect quotes-please

Posted by chad | July 27, 2008 9:09 PM

There has to be room in a community for Critical Mass. It's like the difference between walking around Lake Union and kayaking on it. One Friday a month isn't too much to share the street.

Fuck you. "Cork" my car and you'll be dead.

Posted by Corker | July 27, 2008 10:50 PM


Now that the Stranger web logs have your IP address, I can track you down and sue you for threats. It should be easy, and I've already forwarded your response to the I3 (Internet Fraud and Terrorism) branch of the FBI.

Hey John, it's not a "threat" to hope that someone finishes you off next time.

Posted by Corker | July 27, 2008 10:53 PM

It is obviously apparent that these Critical Mass asshats will only confront those that appear to be helpless and unable to defend themselves. This has been the case each time there is an incident of violence. And then to display a lethal weapon ( the knife ) is only adding to the intimidation factor they wish to instill to anyone they choose to harrass and attack. I would suggest a ride through the Central District where I'm sure those tactics would be accepted most graciously.

Posted by papillon | July 27, 2008 11:05 PM

Here's one for you so called oil free loony toons. How much oil is used in the production of one bicyle ? What about those tires ? Any oil used there ? And what is used to lubricate that chain ? Cat piss ? Any grease in those bearings ? Where did that originate ?

Posted by papillon | July 27, 2008 11:19 PM

#144: Visualize a "paddy wagon" from Ireland where back in the day they used to have large riots too. (where do you think they got the name Paddy?

Yo, Paddy Wagon is a word of American origin, der. Do you think Irish people are going to call themselves by a derogatory name?
You probably think they call deep fried potatoes French fries in Paris.

Posted by Brendan | July 28, 2008 2:21 AM

Let's get one thing straight, roads were built for four wheeled vehicle traffic. If you choose to ride a bicycle you assume the risk and have no expectation of others. I also ride a motorcycle and would like nothing more than to have 30ish yuppie soccer moms banned from owning or driving a full-size SUV. The reality is I assume the risk and must be responsible for my safety as no one else will be. Reality, what a bitch.

Posted by Larry | July 28, 2008 6:10 AM

Having been a pedestrian almost run down by these massholes here's the laws they constantly break, you have a right to protest, that right ends when it infringes on my rights to move about freely. Maybe the next time one of you assholes runs me down I should just shoot you.

A bicycle traveling at less than the speed of the traffic flow should ride as near as is safe to the right side of the right lane except when preparing to turn, passing another vehicle or on a one way street where it is legal to ride on the left side of the roadway. (RCW 46.61.770)

Bicyclists may ride on the right shoulder, but this is only required on limited access roadways, (such as freeways).

A bicyclist should ride in the middle of the right lane when the lane is too narrow to permit side by side sharing of the lane with motor vehicles and hazards prevent safe operation of the bicycle on the shoulder or at the right edge of the lane.

A bicyclist must pull off of a 2-lane roadway, like any other slow moving vehicle, when 5 or more vehicles are lined up behind it, if there is sufficient area for a safe turnout. (RCW 46.61.427)

Posted by Charlie | July 28, 2008 8:30 AM

Is there anyone with an actual professional law background who can shed light on what actions are justifiable in cases like these? (seems like lots of "latte-makers" are sending out their own free legal advice in here)

For me it's easy to see how the driver of the vehicle might have felt threatened by being surrounded and essentially detained. It's harder for me to see how the cyclists can claim to feel threatened by a vehicle when they're deliberately surrounding it, jumping into it's path, climbing onto the hood, etc. but I don't claim to know all the circumstances.

What actions are justified by a cyclist who has been struck by a car? What actions are justifiable for those who are witness to it? Do citizens have the right to detain the driver of a motor vehicle who is trying to get away?

To what extent does any person need to feel threatened in order to use deadly force?

It seems to me we need to hear from someone who can clarify justifiable and legal actions for all parties.

Until then, if I feel adequately threatened by some group trying to detain me or my family while in my car, I'm leaning toward smashing my way the fuck out of there with whatever horsepower and gunpowder it takes. I'll turn myself in later and let the attorneys go to work once my family is out of the way.

Posted by CorkThis | July 28, 2008 11:24 AM

I really like the part where they "slashed" the tires. So these guys just happen to be carrying knives? Why? That's pretty whacked.

Posted by UAN | July 28, 2008 12:36 PM

These douchebag Critical Massholes have a history of attacking women, the elderly, and now some little gay guy.... They are a mob who has noting at all to do with cycling. Here is a video of them attacking an elderly couple with handicapped plates in San a group they surrounded the van, started beating on it, rocking it and terrorizing the drivers. They climbed on the windshield, kicked it in, ripped off the wiper, AND FILMED IT. They got caught massively editing the film to make themselves look good, but the news guys figured out that they were being scammed. Here is the vid with the news commentary about how CM tried to hide the parts where they were attacking the couple's van:

These critical massholes have got to be stopped...they are getting worse and worse in the NWest..and I've been a cyclist for a long time, and can't stand what CM is doing to cycling..

Posted by 1digdug | July 28, 2008 1:20 PM

If this blog is any indication, it looks like support for CM'ers actions has seriously faded. Funny how those "good ideas" that are hatched on a Friday night with your drunken frat mob (terrorizing one of the the most open-minded, and tolerant neighborhoods in the US) always are seen in a different light by the public on Monday.

Posted by CorkThis | July 28, 2008 3:09 PM

We're having the same troubles in Portland lately. Some cyclists are very very proud of themselves, and want you to know about it.

Cycling is fine, and I wish all cities had the facilities to keep cyclists safe, but...

Most people (90% or something) still drive and have places to be (i.e. work, picking up the kids, etc.) The city is primarily designed for these drivers, and should continue to be so. When I was 24 I also had lots of time and few responsibilities, but now I have to get someplace. You cyclists mind if I use the road to do it?

CM is a joke. Children playing a role.

Posted by BB | July 28, 2008 3:19 PM

Here is a perfect example of what happens when a car tries to enter the middle of a group ride and you idiots still can't understand why they "cork" intersections to keep the group together. It may not be "legal" but it is SAFE.

Posted by SkidMark | July 28, 2008 5:32 PM

I was at critical mass, the person carrying the POCKET KNIFE works right before the mass, that is the reason why he was carrying it! THE CARS SHARE THE ROAD! you are all mistaken to what happened! the only person who said something of meaning on here is that YES we should video tape the critical mass, but then there would be tickets to those identified by law inforcement for running lights and so forth.

Posted by Lunamyst | July 28, 2008 6:06 PM

It's too bad the driver, who was in justifiable fear for his life did not mow more of them down. We need to be string up piano wire before the next CM to cut (pun) the thugs down to size.

The city should charge each person who participated in CM with attempted murder under the felony rule that all participants in a crime are as guilty as the person who actually committed the attempted murder.

CM must end everywhere!

Posted by Dale | July 28, 2008 6:25 PM

That's the stupidiest post I've read here. This idiot mama's boy had a pocket knife with him because he just got off of work ? What type of work does slasher boy do that requires him to carry a knife ? Does he slash tires for a living ?

Posted by papillon | July 28, 2008 6:25 PM

Also, its funny how the CM apologists don't even consider what the proper response is to someone how also pays taxes and shares ownership of the road.

Posted by Dale | July 28, 2008 6:34 PM

Critical Mass ? More like, Girlie Men On Bikes.

Posted by papillon | July 28, 2008 6:58 PM

This incident was the best thing that has happened in seattle in a very long time !!!

Maybe now these bicycle terrorists will come to understand that their tactics are only angering seattlites and not furthering their petty cause !!!!


Posted by annulus of zinn | July 28, 2008 7:01 PM

Yes - have you ever read Hunter Thompson's book about the Hell's Angels? They go up and down the freeway in loud intimidating packs, several abreast, without mufflers. Everyone knows they deal drugs. Motorcyclists hold big conventions each year in South Dakota and other places where they socialize and openly flout the law, speeding, drinking and driving, having female passengers without helmets, transporting meth. And look at the smug way they revel in their outlaw image.
Police need to stop tolerating this shit. Just pull over all the bikers and search them for drugs - zero tolerance!

Posted by Jane | July 28, 2008 7:55 PM

"Oh, wah, wah, wah! I drive a car and these bicyclists are so scary!! Angry deviants run amok!!! Omg!!! Somebody call homeland security! They have to be stopped!!" What is wrong with you people anyway? You call bike riders immature, rude, criminal, and worse and yet you threaten the lives of cyclists on a daily basis. We are not encased in steel. Getting in the way of drivers and their sense of entitlement apparently carries the death penalty in this country. Who knew?
Btw, I am an unrepentant and unapologetic longtime CM rider, though not in Seattle. Every time some driver gets road rage they use the same pathetic stories-

1.) "I have a reservation!" Therefore I am entitled to kill you with my car. Because its my god given inalienable right to eat dinner and I don't care who I run down to get there. The implication being if one (gasp!) deliberately blocks automobile traffic, they get what they deserve- death.

2.) "My pregnant wife needs to get to the hospital!" Amazing how many women go into labor on the first Friday of the month in this town. And of course its all over the news, the stories of babies being born amidst raving mobs of callous baby and pregnant woman hating cyclists bent on destruction- who will stop at nothing!!

3.) "You are blocking emergency vehicles!"
Because no cars have ever blocked emergency vehicles. That's why there are billboards and stickers reminding motorists to pull to the right for sirens and lights. I can put my bike on the curb/sidewalk/alley/driveway/grass in less than 10 seconds. Can you do this with your car?
And again- has any tragedy ever resulted from CM blocking an emergency vehicle?

4.) "I'm a taxpayer!" So am I. And I like to ride my bike with my friends on Friday nights. So keep your Hummers and your Suburbans and your fat ass in suburbia once a month or sit in traffic and breathe fumes and suck it up.

5.) "Think of the pedestrians!" If one is too impaired physically or mentally to not know better than to walk into hundreds of cyclists on the street (on one day a month) just because the light is green they should not be walking around unchaperoned. Plus since I've been riding I've stopped and offered to hold up traffic in order to let peds cross- some have taken me up on it, but some are too angry to even hear what I'm saying and launch themselves into the crowd. And in all the times I've seen this happen I have not once seen a pedestrian get hurt.

The thing is, maybe some of the road rage and venom could be put to better use than focusing on the behavior of cyclists and plotting revenge on us through running us over, shooting us guns, and (my personal fave) picking us off en masse- pun intended- in elaborate bike-fighting armored Hummvees. Ok, that's actually pretty funny.

A quick internet search turns up this statistic- on average in the U.S. upwards of 42,000 people are killed in automobile accidents. Somehow this fact not enrage, but once a month a crowd of cyclists going by over the course of a few minutes does.

Oh, and plus, riding in CM- is really, really fun.

Posted by langstrumpf | July 28, 2008 8:24 PM

My comments are this.

You have the right to "SHARE" the roadway with me if you are on a bicycle. The moment you touch my car, or threaten my wellbeing, I will leave the area to prevent myself from being harmed. You will receive a loud warning. If you still refuse to move and are trying to assault me, I will move my car in the direction to exit. If you are too stupid to get out of the way of a moving vehicle after being warned you deserve getting run over.

Sorry this is how it is. I am not from here, personally I think people on bicycles belong on sidewalks and not on the public roadways, MEANT FOR CARS. If you are mentally retarded and stay in the path of a moving vehicle after knowing it is moving in your direction, you deserve whatever happens to you.

Is this a usual thing in Seattle? To allow random idiots to take up roadways, and then only charge them with "criminal mischief" when they assault a driver who just wants to get to safety? Sick, very sick. Like I said, I could care less what rights you think you have, if you are in front of my car, and are touching my vehicle, or attempting to touch either myself or my passengers you will be hit if you choose not to move.

Posted by Getinmywayandpay | July 28, 2008 8:37 PM

You sound like a crybaby. Toughen up son. Get a life. You should sign on with the Marine Corp. Become a man. Not a girlie man.

Posted by papillon | July 28, 2008 8:59 PM

Not sure whom you are addressing, dear butterfly, but you are the one who is afraid of bicycles.

Posted by gurlyman | July 28, 2008 9:19 PM

You're right. I'm afraid of bicycles, knives and big bike locks. If I happen to encounter such a situation, I can only hope that I do not panic and floor the accelerator to escape bodily harm.

Posted by papillon | July 28, 2008 9:59 PM

What ever happened to the golden rule: Treat others like you would like to be treated. Doesn't matter if someone acts disrespectfully to you, you should still treat them how you would like to be treated. Yeah, maybe not reality, but then again, I suspect that most people do admire Gandhi, MLK, Jesus, and the Dalai Lama. I'm really angry about how quickly some people are advocating murder. We're not exactly talking about a home invasion. We're talking about roadways, autos, and bicycles.

Posted by The Golden Rule | July 29, 2008 12:05 AM

@178: I think you are starting to get the message (although by all the whining, it's clear you don't like it). Here's what I believe:

What you're calling a "sense of entitlement" is exactly right. You, me, people on bikes, in cars, pedestrians, and everyone else have fundamental rights guaranteed by that little constitution thing (look it up on the web) to move about freely in our country. Infringement on that right (especially in a deliberate and systematic way) carries with it the risk of a response that I don't think many in your group have fully considered to be real.

You may need to be reminded of the long history of people absolutely willing to die in defense of these basic freedoms. There isn't any part of the constitution I know that lists "good" reasons for needing to move freely in public without harrassment. Having a reservation or wanting to change parking spots is actually plenty fucking good enough.

Also, The rights we have to defend ourselves when we feel threatened have lots of backing by laws and by sympathy of our jury peer friends and judges in the courts.

If nothing else, I hope participants in your group get the clear message that if a group (or mob) shows a willingness to interfere with others' certain basic rights, that there are many, many of us who believe, and are willing and ready to act upon the belief that we can mow your stupid asses down to get away, and we're protected by the law to do so.

Your choice is whether to get that message now, or keep testing until you find one of us who would bet your life that we're right. I know what advice I'd give you.

Posted by CorkThis | July 29, 2008 12:29 AM

Ya know... people on critical mass aren't REALLY trying to change anything, right?

It's like when students do a walk-out in school and everybody else follows. Ya think 100% of them care that much about a war? That kid who got struck and killed by a truck not that long ago was not "murdered", either. It's just stuff that happens.

I get on my bike and occasionally a car will cut me off by accident. When I get in my car, bikes cut me off.. sometimes intentionally. Pedestrians can be annoying little @$%@s whether I'm on a bike OR in my car. There's just more of a community between cyclists than people in cars or.. he heh.. pedestrians.

I participate in Critical Mass every now and then to spectate, knowing it's a joke, and that nobody is doing ANYTHING for advocacy. If cars treated cyclists better, Critical Mass would still happen.

1 If you... ride a bike in critical mass and provoke drivers, one day one of them will run you over.
2 If you... walk/drive into a mass of 500 cyclists, you will eventually get hit(by a cyclist or fist)
3 If you... comment on how innocent either party is.. how right/wrong either side is.. you're an amateur psychologist. And nobody likes that. We already have too many of those in Seattle.
4 If you think people are truly good and will share anything.. let alone a roadway.. you've got to be high.

Posted by Racist | July 29, 2008 5:52 AM

there are so many comments, and through the many i've read, i can't help but notice that almost everyone involved with this problem has chosen to act like a juvenile asshole. i realize that typing something is not the same as hitting someone physically, but all of this "i'm gonna fuck some bikers up" talk is really incendiary. there is a chance that someone might actually catch the "fuck 'em" fever and, guess what -- at that point the "fuck bikers" crowd has incited the same thing the actual assholes did. i only go to the trouble to type this because i hate thinking that another innocent person could be abused by a congregation of dipshits. the bikers in question acted wrongly and certainly overreacted -- let's try to punish the crime and keep more from happening, not retaliate on innocent citizens. that's shitty.

Posted by nick | July 29, 2008 8:03 AM

#184 said "that there are many, many of us who believe, and are willing and ready to act upon the belief that we can mow your stupid asses down to get away, and we're protected by the law to do so."

Is that a threat?
There is a crime which is called vehicular manslaughter. (As far as I know there is not a crime called bicycle manslaughter.)
While interfering with someone's right to get to dinner may be a terrible crime but it is not punishable by death, and plus, like you say, the law states that one is entitled to a jury trial before one is found guilty in any case.
So even if there were a law which made it a capital crime to impede a citizens' right to make their dinner reservation, one would not be justified in taking matters into one's own hands.
You may like to believe that you are "protected by the law" - you are entitled to believe anything you want.
As for whining, I am not the one who can't sit still for 5 minutes without having a tantrum because mean people on bicycles are in my way. And every time my path as a pedestrian is "corked" by car traffic, I am not calling for the death of all car drivers by any means necessary.

Posted by langstrumpf | July 29, 2008 10:12 AM

@184, 187: Bro - I'm trying to help you understand that something bad could happen, and I'd rather see it not happen. (Last time for me on the wisdom of "corking")

I'm suggesting that your interpretation of what's allowed by law MAY cause you and others unnecessary harm by those who have their interpretation of what's allowed by law. You don't seem prepared for some of the most likely outcomes of this behavior.

Here is one potential outcome of "corking" cars (because it already happened): broken cars, broken bikes, injured motorists, injured bikers, arrested bikers and a FREE (uncharged) motorist. What would amaze me is anyone who would continue the behavior hoping for a "better" outcome, when it's quite possible it could be a lot worse. Isn't that pretty much the definition of insanity?

Even if you think "corking" is OK, and not hurting anyone, and people deserve it, etc., I suggest that it's not in your own interest to do it (just an opinion, not a threat) because of some of the potentially highly negative outcomes for yourself and others.

If you'd like to open this up to ideas for alternatives to "corking" that accomplish the results you're looking for, I'm sure many of us would contribute constructively to that cause if it could help avoid further problems.

Posted by CorkThis | July 29, 2008 12:15 PM

The driver of the car was fat and hungry and late for a dinner reservation. That's a dangerous combination. Violence was sure to ensue...

p.s. Another "point" of Critical Mass, other than civil disobedience, is that it's fucking fun!!

p.p.s. All members of S.A.F.E. (Seattleites Against Fun and Enjoyment) should take the stick shift out of their ass and go on a fucking bike ride once in a while. It's pretty fun. I promise.

p.p.p.s. This message board is a complete joke by now. You all know that, right??

Posted by iheartcriticalmass | July 29, 2008 8:44 PM

I get annoyed by everyone who comments online. If any of you even look at me funny and I feel threatened I'm gonna let loose with my AK. Cyclists, Drivers, Peds, you're all fair game. It's open season on humanity, and I don't need no stinking license!!!!

ps. yes, that's how ridiculous most of you sound.

Posted by Animals R Us | July 29, 2008 9:40 PM

Criminal Mass are just idealists that never grew up, even the ones who are long out of college and should have left meaningless protest behind. Bottom line is that they can certainly ride alone, or en masse, whenever they want; but when they deliberately act to impede the progress of other road users they are breaking laws, and should be held accountable. I have ridden bikes in traffic here and in other large cities; I accept that it is dangerous and can be frustrating when other vehicle users are not considerate, or even aware, of cyclists - BUT THAT IS LIFE, YOU DON’T ALWAYS GET YOUR WAY! Seems to me they want it both ways - don’t let motorized traffic inconvenience cyclists, but ignore the rules of the road when it suits.

Posted by Mahatma Coat | July 30, 2008 8:35 AM

Read 178 to get a good idea of the maturity level of the CM'ers. Or listen to the pathetic attorney who rides with CM who King5 has interviewed a couple times, the one who got a boo-boo, whose self-righteous indignation and failure to be able to see anything beyond his own agenda speaks volumes about what kind of people he and his cohorts are. Then realize that you cannot talk this kind of immaturity, or in some cases just plain idiocy, out of people.

Let's save our collective breath. Instead, take Ken Schramm's advice from his editorial - get the police to do their jobs. There are already laws on the books; the police, fearing who knows what, just look the other way. The minute CM breaks a law, which is what they do when they block the streets without a permit, just arrest them. Criminal records and fines will soon put an end to their adolescent thrill-seeking. After all, these are not people with a cause; they're just punk buffoons out to pick a fight.

And to the writer who suggested all public protest is worthless or fake - you are wrong. CM does not belong in the same category as people who protest for real social justice.

Posted by boboraz | July 30, 2008 9:08 AM

Since we're commenting about commenting now, a quick tally of the post so far. By the way, I suck at math.


Lots in favor of Lawful Cycling

Lots in favor of the Roads Were Made for Cars

Few in favor of the actions of CM last Friday.

Conclusion: Most commenters actually agree on, at least, one point, that the actions of a criminal few are distasteful, at best.

A few facts that have gone astray:

The safety bicycle (invented by the Wright brothers--the common shape of the bike we're familiar with today,) was actually invented at about the same time in history as the gas-powered motor vehicle. Both still exist today. The only road system designed strictly for cars is the Interstate grid. Most bikers leave that well enough alone.

Everyone pays taxes that fund the roadways.

There are laws that protect pedestrians, cyclsits, and drivers in Washington state and the City of Seattle.

Owning a keyboard does not automatically make one intelligent.

By the way, if you're reading this, and you're in Texas, can you ask Lance Armstrong what his thoughts on the issue might be?

Posted by Yes, please | July 30, 2008 5:41 PM

There are jerks on both sides of this, but can we just all agree to obey the traffic laws, share the road, be attentive drivers, practice basic courtesy, and just try to be civil?

That said, it might be wise for Critical Mass to cancel their next ride just to let passions rachet down a notch

Posted by A.D. | July 30, 2008 6:42 PM

There are jerks on both sides of this, but can we just all agree to obey the traffic laws, share the road, be attentive drivers, practice basic courtesy, and just try to be civil?

That said, it might be wise for Critical Mass to cancel their next ride just to let passions rachet down a notch

Posted by A.D. | July 30, 2008 6:44 PM

Blogger 189 -Your comments regarding this subject are obviously the dumbest i've heard yet. I actually felt myself loosing brain cells while reading them!!!

It's obvious that your irrational devotion to the rights of the cyclist have rendered you and the rest of the CM mouth-breathers permenantly retarded!!!

Therefore let me serve as your personal retard whisperer in attempt at redirection:

1) If you want the good people of Seattle to have sympathy for your plight, I would suggest not waxing completely fucking stupid as you did above. Either engage in meaningful and constructive debate, or keep you man-pleaser shut!!

2) I would additionaly suggest that you and the rest of the CM terrorists abandon the gestapo-like tactics to get your message across. Stop purposefully holding up traffic during friday rush-hour and stop sending those annoying nazi-stormtrooper corkers to block folks from backing out of their parking spaces.

3) Lastly, I would consider not gang-mauling a gay subaru owner, busting out his car window and giving him a subdural hematoma with your bike chain!!!!

The retard whisperer has spoken -- I hope you were listening.

Posted by annulus of zinn | July 30, 2008 9:54 PM

I really get discouraged when I read through some of these comments. I would like to think that the nice folks of my hometown are above petty name calling.
Right or wrong, CM is getting recognition which for all practical purposes is the main goal of a civil disobedience campaign. I've commuted for several years now and I've been hit, had things thrown at me, forced off the road by trucks, had middle age women cussing me out, all because I choose to try to do my part for the environment and save a little gas. When I report these incidents to the police, they typically shrug their shoulders and tell me there is nothing they can do. If CM can bring attention to this problem, then I am all for it.
About civil disobedience: One of my favorite historical figures is a certain preacher named Martin Luther King Jr. He spent a lot of time in jail for organizing peaceful protests much like the CM protests. Whether you choose to believe it or not, there is problem that needs to be addressed and I hope that events like these can get people talking about it to the point where at a minimum, we can commute in harmony someday.

Posted by Travis Dykstra | July 30, 2008 11:55 PM

#197 - Yours is the typical example of someone on a moral superiority trip. You claim victim status because you think your bicycle commuting is "helping the environment" and saving a little gas, yet you claim to have been a little abused.

Know something? The rest of us aren't impressed. I'm glad you live close enough to your place of employment that you can make the choice to bike commute, but I'd be willing to bet that the overwhelming majority of us don't have the freedom to make that choice. In any event, it's your choice, so you shouldn't think that you're entitled to some special status because of it.

Bottom line regarding CM - if you want to change peoples' minds and attitudes, being aggressively confrontational or fucking with their rights and progress in traffic is not the way to do it. I'm a RAGBRAI rider of over 20 years, but if CM ever damages my car, ever traps me in a parking space when I'm in a hurry, or threatens me in any way, I will calmly throw my SUV in four wheel drive and let the carnage begin.

Your right to speak or make a point does not guarantee your right to be heard or understood, and pissing people off is a sure way to make enemies.

Posted by Laughing At It All | August 1, 2008 10:09 AM

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