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Pigs Infested Critical Mass

Pigs attempted to pass out a full page of rules today for CM. Hundreds showed up for the ride, forced into the bicycle lane by a hoard of pigs. There was a fine mist and a sweet smell of asphalt mixed with ocean air.

At least 45 pigs gathered in the Fireside parking lot at the Nort Park Blocks, and many others ran car engines on nearby streets as well over a hundred bicyclists gathered at the North Park Blocks for a bicycle ride tonight. Officer Dobson approached me when I arrived and asked, "Did you get one of these?" I asked what it was. "Just the rules that we play by, that's all." I told him to save the paper.

A man on the sidewalk asked what this was all about. "It's about people getting together and showing people in cars how much fun bicycling is," a woman next to me replied. "Who the hell is watching the street?" he asked. "I'm 65 years old. I've been in two world wars, and I know what this is. Nothin' but a Gestapo, that's what it is."

The rules, apparently, didn't follow the rules in the books. They said, for example, that a bicyclist can't pass bicycle traffic in the lane immediately to the left of the bicycle lane. Stuck to the bicycle lane, we moved slower than rush hour downtown traffic. With a strong presence of pigs on bicycles, cars, and SUV's, the ride moved single file at a snail's pace through downtown and was split up before the tail end even passed Burger King. I wasn't able to really ride until a group of us ditched the pigs after they gave a ticket.

At O'Bryant Square at Washington street, Pig Hoesly and Pig Niiya decided to work on their quota. When the bicycle lane ended and about 10 of us at the tail of the mass took the right lane, these pigs merged their motorcycles into our lane, and illegally passed the bicyclists in front of me on the right. They singled one man out and gave him a ticket for $77- for, I believe, failing to use a bicycle lane. His court date is June 26th at 1 p.m. if you want to show support, although he might change the date.

After that, we only found a few others who had split off from the mass.

Fucking Pigs. 30.May.2003 22:05

CMasser

There were so many cops. I couldn't believe it. One bike cop started harassing me for using the left lane downtown, saying, "you better not pull that again." Asshole.
Anyway, the mass got split up into at least three or four different groups because there were so many cops that no one wanted to risk going through stoplights or taking up multiple lanes.
I was in a group that crossed the Hawthorne Bridge, and we didn't even go in the lane- we stayed on the sidewalk. It was really lame. We went pretty far east on Hawthorne. At one point we were just walking our bikes on the sidewalk so that the cops would have to slow down the car traffic in order to stay with us. I left the mass at about 39th and Hawthorne. During the whole thing, just in my small group of about 40 people, I saw at least 4 people get tickets.

I think that everyone should just get together in affinity groups of about 10 people each and do CM in small groups. Not necessarily on the last Friday, although that would be awesome, because it would be hard to coordinate and get people to actually do it. It could something that people could just do with some friends or something, at any point.

fuck the rose festival 30.May.2003 22:21

downtown resident

The pigs come down hard during the rose festival; ask the homeless.

Another Group on Hawthorn 30.May.2003 22:22

biker

I was with a different group that was on hawthorn (I think). I only saw one person get a ticket the whole ride. We rode around downtown, up hawthorn to 39th over to laurelhurst park, down stark to about 13th, around the benson track, and down twelth. Around lloyd center someone's chain broke. once it was fixed we started going again but the cops took of about 5 minutes later. We went down MLK to Alberta for the show in both lanes. Fucking awesome ride from my perspective.

Suburbia 30.May.2003 22:36

Dingo laugh

Great urban urban action guys. . To maximize your efforts maybe suburb target, like VANCOUVER CAR DEALER MALL!

How many cops does it take to ticket a bicyclist? 30.May.2003 22:41

Bicyclists United for Rights to the Road

I heard the count at disembarkment was about 150 cyclists and 65 cops (not including any additional cops hiding in patrol cars or on side streets). The cops' 'one lane only" rule is totally illegal and should be challenged, as should their 'must use bike lane' rule. I saw plenty of tickets tonight--got one myself, finally--but no pepper spray, taser, or busted teeth incidents. I was on the Hawthorne ride to 30th, when we came up on the Budweiser Clydesdales towing a beer wagon up Hawthorne to the Bagdad, and the cops tried to keep us away by illegally forcing us south on 30th. After that I couldn't find the group and did my own ride up Hawthorne and north on 39th. I shoulda followed that cop turning left on Stark, I guess...I think there were additional splinter rides, anyone want to report in? The Rose Festival thing was definitely true.. but to the cops it seems like anytime is a good time to harass CM...Please provide your own punchlines to the lead above...Ride On!!

First time riding 31.May.2003 01:32

yehaa

Tonight was the first time I've ridden with Critical Mass. I showed up down at the Burnside bridge at about 5:30, and was very dissapointed to see only about 20 or 30 bikes. Then someone came and told us the ride was meeting at the North Park Blocks these days, and needless to say, it was awesome to join their more formidable group of however many hundreds (2 or 3 I'd guess). Getting food for free (well, free + my 2 dollar donation) was great (kudos to the cooks; the soup and potatoes were delicious).

After hanging out until about 6:10 we started to take off. The mass made its way onto the streets and I felt like I was part of a very powerful force - that is, until we started slowly going uphill on Burnside, being strictly confined to the right lane by the cops. Things seemed to get interesting when we turned and went down the wrong way on a one way lane (presumably to lose the motor-cops; most if not all of us went down the sidewalk ). Unfortunately things sucked again when we ended up traveling along roads with bike lanes untill at least Pioneer Square.

Unfortunately, I couldn't stay for the rest of the ride. Hopefully you folks managed to find some roads *without* bike lanes. At least then you could actually go at a decent speed. Hopefully CM this summer will find a way to be great. One suggestion I have is for everyone to get yellow jackets with black stripes... think of the trouble police would have if they couldn't tell who was a cop and who wasn't.

Officer Niiya told me to post these pics 31.May.2003 06:35

Skwirl ominous_squirrel@hotmail.com

And with cops handing out ridiculous citations for "failure to use a bike lane," and "failure to use a bike seat," I don't want to take any chances and get a ticket for "failure to post to Indymedia."

http://www.cs.indiana.edu/~marawils/images/m30cm-1.jpg


Officers Niiya (left) and Hoesley (right) pull Sam over for "failure to use a bike lane."

http://www.cs.indiana.edu/~marawils/images/m30cm-2.jpg


Oops, I framed this photo all wrong and cut off the top of Officer Hoesley's head. Oh well, I doubt he'll miss it.

http://www.cs.indiana.edu/~marawils/images/m30cm-3.jpg


Officer Hoesley lectures Sam about proper bicycle lane usage.

http://www.cs.indiana.edu/~marawils/images/m30cm-4.jpg


Officer Niiya poses proudly. Wow. With the stage mic he looks just like Justin Timberlake.

http://www.cs.indiana.edu/~marawils/images/m30cm-5.jpg


Gosh. We sure learned our lesson.

Seriously, though, I've nearly been doored tons of times while riding in that exact same bike lane on Broadway. I find it hard to believe that even the insane Potter ruling gives the cops the right to box me in and make me ride where I feel unsafe.


How Many Cops Does It Take To Change A Lightbulb 31.May.2003 08:50

Den Mark

I had the pleasure of seeing the Mass yesterday after being at the P-Sq rally/march. I also happened to see a ticketing. As a cop wrote the ticket, there were about seven others surrounding. Some came & left. So many cops to do something so simple shows exactly how little they have to do & what a rip of tax money their "work" is. The cops looked ridiculous. Somebody's nuts.

(Saw a new bumper sticker: "I'm Allergic To Katz.")

somebody, scan and post the "rules" for the ride 31.May.2003 08:52

recanter

Somebody, scan and post the "rules" for the ride.

The popo will continue to act like this until CM forces them to back off. Has anyone considered suing the city again. There is certainly a pattern of abuse by the popo.

Did someone really get a ticket for "failure to use a bike seat"?

No bike seat?? 31.May.2003 09:26

Sherry

Again - I seemed to be confused. How does one NOT use a bike seat? Sounds painful - yet others might enjoy it, who's to say?

Is there a law that states one MUST use a bike seat?

ORS 814.430 31.May.2003 11:10

99th Monkey

Oh yes, beleive it or not there is a law..... I learned about this last summer when I attended one of Ray Thomas' bike law training sessions at CCC. He is the lawyer that has put together "Pedal Power" for the BTA. It is a collection of most of the laws that relate to riding bicycles and other human-powered vehicles. He mentioned it about 1/2 way through the class for comic relief. One of the reasons I don't have a quick-release other than the obvious reason that it will likely get stolen downtown.........if you have to ride home without a seat you are liable to be stop-pped and ticketed after getting ripped-off...........

from:  http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/814.html

814.470 Failure to use bicycle seat; penalty. (1) A person commits the offense of failure to use a bicycle seat if the person is operating a bicycle and the person rides other than upon or astride a permanent and regular seat attached to the bicycle.

(2) The offense described in this section, failure to use bicycle seat, is a Class D traffic violation. [1983 c.338 706]

a humorous link to the same law, but with better graphics:  http://www.hevanet.com/springer/bikelaw.htm

Daily Critical Mass? 31.May.2003 12:18

bleed the pigs dry

It seems like police harassment keeps getting worse and worse as the months roll by, and this time we don't have Charlie Hales to save us. Since summer time is a beautiful time to ride a bike in Portland (and a beautiful time for bike solidarity), maybe we should consider having daily Critical Mass rides. It's probably the most effective way to bleed the police budget dry and maybe get them to back off. When the police overtime for CM harassment starts to head up into the millions of dollars, we can hopefully get more of a civilian outcry to rein in Emperor Katz and her psycho-cop enforcers. Food for thought...

bike lanes aren't safe 31.May.2003 13:16

..I..

Hundreds of bicyclists being squished into one bike lane by cops riding too close to them is not safe. Safe would be letting bikes use whichever lanes are available, and on most roads the car traffic was actually fairly light, so one car-sized lane for hundreds of bikes and one car-sized lane for a few cars would be much safer than one 2-foot lane for hundreds of bikes, and two 10 foot lanes for a few cars.

Actually, "safe" would be the city doing whatever it can to decrease the number of cars driving on downtown streets. This from the  http://www.hevanet.com/springer/carssuck.htm page:

# One motor vehilcle death occurs every 12 minutes in the United States according to the National Safety Council.
# In 1996, drunk and/or impaired drivers in the U.S. killed 17,126 people and injured over 300,000 according to MADD.

Citations 31.May.2003 18:03

yElp

For the shit that they give you can usually get off my showing that you solved the "problem". If you dont have a light and they give you a ticket, bring a receipt for a light and maybe a picture of a light and they will reduce or dismiss your fine. Ive had it done before. Same goes for the seat or whatever.

Also. Always go to your judge and talk with them about it. They will usually give you good info and it might help you in the long run. i talked to a judge about a couple of the tickets i got and it turns out the po didnt even turn them in! Just trying to get us out of the mass. so wierd.

How much hassle you get is determined by how much you will put up with... 01.Jun.2003 08:21

anonymouse

Three days of unrest in the western Iraqi town of Hit climaxed when town residents, enraged by house-to-house searches, attacked the police headquarters, took over the streets, and effectively ended the U.S. occupation. Arriving near dawn, American troops had set up a checkpoint, and commenced searching homes in the company of local cops - the same Ba'athist thugs the Iraqis had supposedly just been "liberated" from. A peaceful protest failed to deter the Americans, and around noon, on Wednesday, a second protest quickly turned into a full-scale revolt. The Americans and their police accomplices quickly retreated.

Now that's real "liberation"!

The lightly-armed Iraqis, whose chief weapon is their righteous anger, have no chance against the Americans militarily: So why did they do it? Here's what Esmaul Tabee, a construction worker, had to say:

"'They forced women and children to leave their houses. They violated the dignity and honor of our women. We won't accept this violation. The people will do more of this if the Americans come in here again,' he added, shaking his fist as those around him shouted approval. 'They showed no respect for our way of life.'"

Oregon Codes for Bicycling 01.Jun.2003 10:51

Gentry g@art13.com

814.420 Failure to use bicycle lane or path; exceptions; penalty. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, a person commits the offense of failure to use a bicycle lane or path if the person operates a bicycle on any portion of a roadway that is not a bicycle lane or bicycle path when a bicycle lane or bicycle path is adjacent to or near the roadway.

(2) A person is not required to comply with this section unless the state or local authority with jurisdiction over the roadway finds, after public hearing, that the bicycle lane or bicycle path is suitable for safe bicycle use at reasonable rates of speed.

(3) The offense described in this section, failure to use a bicycle lane or path, is a Class D traffic violation. [1983 c.338 700; 1985 c.16 338]

More Oregon laws are found here http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/814.html

Note that overtaking, or passing other bicycles is one reason that you can leave the bike lane.

814.430 Improper use of lanes; exceptions; penalty. (1) A person commits the offense of improper use of lanes by a bicycle if the person is operating a bicycle on a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic using the roadway at that time and place under the existing conditions and the person does not ride as close as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway.

(2) A person is not in violation of the offense under this section if the person is not operating a bicycle as close as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway under any of the following circumstances:

(a) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle that is proceeding in the same direction.

(b) When preparing to execute a left turn.

(c) When reasonably necessary to avoid hazardous conditions including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards or other conditions that make continued operation along the right curb or edge unsafe or to avoid unsafe operation in a lane on the roadway that is too narrow for a bicycle and vehicle to travel safely side by side. Nothing in this paragraph excuses the operator of a bicycle from the requirements under ORS 811.425 or from the penalties for failure to comply with those requirements.

(d) When operating within a city as near as practicable to the left curb or edge of a roadway that is designated to allow traffic to move in only one direction along the roadway. A bicycle that is operated under this paragraph is subject to the same requirements and exceptions when operating along the left curb or edge as are applicable when a bicycle is operating along the right curb or edge of the roadway.

(e) When operating a bicycle alongside not more than one other bicycle as long as the bicycles are both being operated within a single lane and in a manner that does not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.

(f) When operating on a bicycle lane or bicycle path.

(3) The offense described in this section, improper use of lanes by a bicycle, is a Class D traffic violation. [1983 c.338 701; 1985 c.16 339]

A complete list of laws by State is available here http://www.massbike.org/bikelaw/bikelaw.htm



2 world wars? That's a lot! 01.Jun.2003 17:01

Senor Dingdong

"I'm 65 years old. I've been in two world wars, and I know what this is."

That's an interesting trick considering the first world war was over in 1919. Heh.

blah 02.Jun.2003 02:28

blah

hmmmmm, yes, lets all get a permit to ride a freaking bike. puhleeese, give me a fucking break...the only reason CM is a problem is because the city views it as political. If we were all riding to celebrate the Rose Festival we would be applauded not ticketed. This is not about road rules...its about social order. I for one am not worried about Popo presence, to me it says that they are worried and to me that says it works.

CM to Beaverton!!! 02.Jun.2003 07:37

Westward, ho!

Why not take CM out to Beaverton one of these days?

If we are trying to make a statement about getting cars off the road, then why not go to the source of over half the cars downtown? How well would traffic move if the mass was rolling along Hwy 10?

And for all the folks who ride with the intent to play with the piggies . . . none of the cops out in the 'burbs have ever had to deal with CM before!!! Think of all the tricks you could teach them!

Why not make the Portland CM a "Metro Mass" and visit different areas from time to time? Beaverton, Gresham . . . nobody is immune!

to blah 02.Jun.2003 07:54

skate

Wrong ... there are those of us who have a personal grievance with Criminal Mass. My wife, for one, didn't know it was about to happen and got trapped in the middle of a rude and threatening group a couple months ago. She was on her way to the doctor and missed her appointment. Don't expect people to believe that there's nothing more to Criminal Mass than a sweetness and light everyone get together for a harmless good time. Your putting a strain on resources that they weren't designed to handle. I grant you, it's an effective ploy, but it IS political and it is a problem. I have no problem with your agenda but I will never support your methods as I have been one of your victims and didn't like it.

Okay, having spoken my piece, now it's everyone's turn to flood me with obscene "rebuttals" about rights and other irrelevancies. Criminal Mass isn't about rights, it's about abuse.

sharing the roads 02.Jun.2003 10:29

MIA miaforpeace@mailcan.com

the roads aren't safe for bicyclists. many of us don't follow the rules in our daily commutes because it's safer that way. many people don't ride bikes because they are afraid to be on the road with motor vehicles. critical mass demonstrates that. unfortunately, many bicyclists are angry that their lives are threatened on a regular basis.

demonstrations are messy. if they were clean, orderly, and law abiding they wouldn't be serving a purpose. the rules of the road favor cars, yet when an accident involving a bicyclist occurs, the bicyclist is the more vulnerable party.

i often write to the city of portland and they are full of excuses when it comes to making the roads safer. until they stop making excuses and start making change, there are going to be people who break the rules and people who suffer for it.

bicycling is a sustainable form of transportation that does nothing to damage the environment. if more people would get out on bikes and insist that the roads are safe, critical mass would not have to be political. i disagree with those of you who suggest that critical mass is not political. we ride to assert our "right" to the road.

bicycles take up less space, emit no fumes, and keep people healthy. they shouldn't have to be afraid to share the roads with motor vehicles.

why Beaverton Sucks 02.Jun.2003 12:31

rider

Just FYI, for those who haven't been to Beaverton: it seems all new roads in Beaverton are built with bike lanes on them, so for that I would thank the city. Unfortunately, there are still plenty of older roads which have no lanes. Even on roads with lanes, the "bike lanes" would be better described as "debris lanes" - one is lucky to go a few weeks without a flat tire - and of course, gas masks are required if you want to avoid sucking in your daily dose of carbon monoxide (the only poison that kills more people than CO is heroin) and smog.

Enjoy Your New Taxes 03.Jun.2003 00:45

Toto

I know it sounds strange, but the public roads and streets theoretically intended serve the ENTIRE public. It's easy to become a member of the public; you don't even have to pay taxes to qualify. In this country, that gives you have access to public spaces such as public parks, streets, and roads- by law. In practice it is a different story. After an excellent trolley system was 'privatized' here in Portland in the middle of the last century, the automobile interests that purchased the system launched a pave-it-over policy so that folks could get around "better". Motor vehicles have increased to the point that that the shear number of them poses constant direct threats to pedestrians, cyclists and fellow motorists alike.

The collision danger, respiratory damage, the environmental strains, and road maintenance needs (just to get started) represented by cars and trucks, are considerable taxes unfairly passed on to the entire public instead of being built into the price of the vehicles. As an occasional motorist, I would be in favor of substantially higher taxes on cars and trucks, if the revenue were directed to offset some of the public costs associated with automobiles. Motorists are not paying their fair share.

The man is most definitely comin' down on us all brother, but we can get through this- you and me. As far as the local cops go, of course they weren't created to deny us a political voice. There seems to be just a handful of anger-boys on the force that have volunteered to do it for fun (as long as they get OT). Oh, and they have poor leaders that encourage their abuses.

As far as your claims about our little peddle fests, they are mostly baseless judging from the many rides I have been on (is that you, Schmautz?).

For the record... 21.Jun.2003 03:00

Skwirl ominous_squirrel@hotmail.com

One Portland CM rider went out and obtained a parade permit for a ride this past year and, since Critical Mass is a Xerocracy which is led by no one, the rider handed out maps and suggested to everyone that we should choose to follow this route, but, obviously, we had the right to go where ever we felt like going. As a matter of fact, the entire ride decided to follow the route exactly, until the Portland Police purposefully blocked the parade route and forced us to go down the bus mall where we were unhappily blocking our friends riding public transportation.

In others words, parade permits are moot.