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The Real report from Freeway Critical Mass

Yes, the only truth that the media reported tonight is that we are "anarchists and anti-capitalists". The ride started in Hillsboro with more reporters and police than bicyclists. At about 6:15 with 6 regulars from the Portland C.M joined by 6 never-rode-mass-before Washington Co. riders, we sallied forth, first heading west to ride around GM's regional support center. some of their employees outside cheered us while we made noise riding around the building. We then headed a little further west to get on the Hwy, followed by 3 Hillsboro bike cops. We took a lane for about a 1/4 mile that did not have a bike lane south of the freeway and then headed east towards Beaverton. During the course of the ride we were handed off twice when we crossed city/county boundaries, the police CORKING FOR US as we crossed on and off ramps! [ Read More ] [ Critical farce ]
Freeway Mass
Freeway Mass
Finally , just west of the last offramp west of the 217 we stopped and discussed getting off on Cedar Hills Blvd or continuing E towards Portland. We, as a group, decided to not brave the 26/217 interchange that would have been almost as dangerous as the 405/26 interchange and bombed down to McMenamins for an after-ride party instead. I originally only envisioned possibly 20 riders showing up but believed the people who told me that they were getting responses from people they were talking to that we might get up to 200. Remember, all of the Critical Masses started with just a small original ride. Another way to view this ride is that we had a 100% increase in "new" riders. Will next month's ride in Wa. County be 2 dozen? Who knows, we'll find out at 6 PM the last Friday of August at Hillsboro Stadium.

yes 25.Jul.2003 23:02

benny

i'll be out to support this!

give me a note at  inquietcompany@yahoo.com

take care,
benny

I'm just not understanding this 25.Jul.2003 23:29

alex

Was this a pleasant space to liberate? I honestly don't know why any of the dozen riders wanted to ride in such miserable conditions. Please keep it up if you can stomach it, but I don't understand how.

just a note 26.Jul.2003 00:34

fleeta drumgo

I worry that it is not too safe to put yer e-mail up and say TELL ME THE PLAN. In case you do not know there is mass proof ( I have seen this with my own eye's during my trial for participating in C.M. aug 2002) that the portland police do moniter this site with paid staff. If you say lets plan an unpermitted march here, that's asking for the worst trouble cause you get the cops anyway and they are not as nice as when you go to the city with yer formal form for yer protest, oh they luv that, they get to parade the police state right with you so the message is clear. I love the revolution just be cautious.

Alex: pleasant compared to what? 26.Jul.2003 06:09

99th Monkey dancerdolphin@excite.com

Pleasant compared to say, Burnside, Broadway, Market or 21st Streets? Yes, much more pleasant. Compared to Baseline or Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy? Again , yes. I have been riding the Sunset Hwy, along with possibly 20 others, as a commuting route for some time now, and it is more open to air to disperse the noxious exhaust, les cross-traffic to expose myself to interactions with cars and much more visible to motorists stuck in traffic jams that our urban-growth planners have helped create. The Wa. County Mass may not always ride the Sunset Hwy, taking into account C.M tactics, changing routes based on the riders, who is in front, but I will, every day.
It is always so nice to hear your views as THE pundit of NW bike culture. Why not, as it is reported that since your and your lady's arrests in March, you no longer ride the Portland Mass, come ride with us next month?

A great start 26.Jul.2003 08:09

Skwirl ominous_squirrel@hotmail.com

Wow. It was amazing to see how much smoother everything goes when the police don't actively discriminate against us. The Hillsboro and Beaverton Police handled what was a potentially more dangerous situation than the downtown Portland Mass with dignity, aplomb and with apparently 1/10th the budget. Maybe this means Portland will bounce back to some semblance of Constitutional justice when Katz and Kroeker are finally drummed out of power, or maybe I'm just giddy from meeting all the new riders.

I do have some concerns about the WaCo Mass. It'll be hard to continue with the freeway routine and uphold the Critical Mass tradition of nonorganization and xerocracy, since it's such a linear path. I'm also wondering if an earlier start (5pm instead of 6pm) would catch more in-town traffic and therefore alleviate the risks involved with crossing on and off-ramps while being passed at 60 MPH. The other suggestion was to switch directions and catch the outgoing rush hour. One other idea would be to exit and reenter at every ramp, which would add a lot of climbing to the trip, introduce more intersections, but give us some more visibility at those intersections, too.

I also almost missed the Mass because I turned towards the stadium instead of continuing forward to the parking lot, so the meeting spot could be better.

Anyway, good job everyone on a safe and invigorating ride.

99 26.Jul.2003 18:04

alex

Hey, I was just asking a question. I genuinely wanted someone to explain it to me because I just don't get it.

As for my rejection of mass, it does have something to do with my most recent arrest, but I wasn't even on mass at the time. I am tired of what I see as lousy street tactics on the part of many activists. Not all by any stretch, but enough to make actions sloppy and make the arrests which inevitably occur mean little. I've chosen to devote my time to jail support to, hopefully, make the process less awkward for others. I have been arrested on mass, a few years ago, and the experience isn't bad enough to scare me off. I just want to work behind the scenes where real progress can be made.

Is that alright with you sir? Try posting under your own name before you accuse others of cowardice.

Great Idea, But Why On The Last Friday? 26.Jul.2003 18:52

Solid Gold

I think thats awesome that you guys and girls are riding the highways out there, BUT wouldn't it be a little more productive if you maybe changed the day? i, for one, would love to ride with y'all, BUT, i i live in portland and want to ride the mass in downtown, as i'm sure many others do too. why not schedual the Highway Ride for, say, the FIRST friday of every month, so that way we could have riders show up for BOTH rides? myself, and i'm sure a lot of other people would show up for the Highway ride if it wasn't at the same time as the Downtown one. if you want to get more numbers at your ride, that would be my advice.

99, I should have known it was you Robin 26.Jul.2003 21:42

alex

I knew I'd seen that email address before. You're not still sore about the whole sexual harassment thing with Shift are you?


See example of Robin's awkward flirtation here:

 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2002/12/37768.shtml


I'll have you know that I always defended you, saying that you're just creepy because you're lonely. Don't fuck with me, and don't bring up other people's arrest records on a public board.

days and security culture 27.Jul.2003 02:18

vt

first of all, i agree that this is a great idea, but please, do it another day
i too live in portland but would love to do a wash co. mass
i have lived all over washington county in the past and would love a chance to mass through hillsboro and beaverton
i think the tv hwy would be a great place to do it

in terms to the post by "fleeta drumgo" about caution with posting information:
people are waaaay to ridiculous about security culture sometimes
like you are being, right now
i think that generally people aren't caution enough, but i don't understand it in cases like this where:
1. the word needs to get out somehow, and not much will happen without getting it out on indymedia
2. we should never assume that just b/c it isn't on indymedia the cops won't find out
3. this is one of those events where no matter how much the cops know, it isn't going to hurt it that much. it sounds like the cops weren't even that much trouble this time

Critical mass fails again.... 27.Jul.2003 21:00

oldblueeyes

The only thing critical mass has ever accomplished is to give opinionated people some needed exercise. Sorry about any spelling errors.

Don't you get it? 28.Jul.2003 08:16

Skwirl ominous_squirrel@hotmail.com

This is the same old argument that was used against the "Wuss Mass." Don't you understand that Critical Mass isn't some elitist invite-only party? People have a right to choose the activism that's right for them. Furthermore, why shouldn't Beaverton-Hillsboro have it's own Critical Mass? Did San Francisco Massers bitch when a Portland Mass was started? A handful of riders splitting off to go to Hillsboro and start a new Mass can only increase our numbers and increase public sympathy to our cause. Half of the freeway Mass riders were first timers, for crying out loud.

The Portland PD knows that as long as they can keep the Portland rides confrontational, people will be too afraid and misinformed to join with us. My first ride was a Courteous Mass ride and I was happy for the opportunity to learn about and experience Critical Mass before going head-to-head with the police.

Also, I'm not sure you guys realize the effect that we few riders had. Rumor has it that many Beaverton corporations, including Nike, sent out corporate memos warning their employees of our possible arrival. As a former journalism major, I can say for almost certain that the news coverage given to both Masses last month was due to the freeway Mass. If we stick to the same old tactics, the news will get tired of us, the police will predict our every move and we'll be stuck in an uncreative rut.

UNITE * RESIST 28.Jul.2003 15:41

- we all know.

TO "oldblueeyes",
"The only thing critical mass has ever accomplished is to give opinionated people some needed exercise"
I don't really respond to posts like this very often highly numerous as they are, but when I read something as ridiculous as this, I just must interject, (as an activist)...ha ha.
I am assuming your not an Organizer/Activist/whatever... because if you were I would be inclined to think you would know that on the Day the US started Bombing Iraq (AKA DayX)- CM, totally whooped ass out in the streets and accomplished not only a beautiful ride. But some major Ass saving for Protesters on foot who because of CM were distracted which allowed the Free State. CM is a thankless fun radical Job, which I hope can spring up All over the US in every city big or small. None of the CM from DAY-X was captured on Indy media movie footage. None the less Day of bombing CM was fucking Awesome and allowed radical protesters to take 2 bridges and the highway.
So I guess this is all in vain if your just another shmuck who hangs out at IMC looking to trash progressives but if yer someone who gives a damn, I hope that this Post will at least give you the will to look into something like CM before trashing it like you did, because frankly I don't care what your thoughts on CM are, just as long as you know that it does Accomplish - well allot - and that's the truth.
Peace thank you
And
UNITE RESIST!

Why a WaCo mass? 25.Aug.2003 21:14

SKiDmark aeeightysix@hotmail.com

I think the answer is obvious. Car drivers out here are way less aware of cyclists than they are in town. Also bike lanes seem to begin and end randomly. Maybe the freeway thing shouldn't happen every time but living out here I've noticed it's kind of a "can't get there there from here" situation if you want to go into Portland.I usually end up taking the MAX from sunset to washington park and bombing the zoo.Also being that it is very suburban and sprawled out, it would be a good way to meet fellow cyclists.Solid Gold has a point ,but I think what would really be cool is if the 2 rides met in town.