CM this friday, was actually not bad! for the last two years, it's been a constant barrage of harrasement and brutality by the police. the noticeable exception was january's ride, when the Mayor rode with us (big props to the Mayor for having the political guts to stand up for us). no tickets were issued that ride. we thought it may be the return of the Golden Age of CM. february proved us horribly wrong, with no mayor and a whole bunch of harrasment, tickets, and motorcycle cops. the motorcycle cops are the worst. they have some sort of macho chip on their shoulder, and love trying to intimidate riders by swerving their motorcycles into you, or nudging you off the road into a car. they're real peices of shit, and i let them know that in several confrontations over the years. there's rarely any bicycle cops to balance it out either. until last night. apparently, due to pressure from a handful of dedicated bikers from Shift to Bikes.org, the police heirarchy has agreed to only have bicycle cops follow the ride. yes, i know this sounds like a hollow victory, after all, we're still being policed. but, compared to the last couple years of beat-downs, this was a vast improvement. i don't think any tickets were given to cyclists, just a few verbal warnings. that's one of the first official CM rides we've had without a slew of tickets in the last two years! and apparently, that's the new protocall for dealing with CM, issue verbal warnings first, then ticket second, and bicycle cops only, no moto-pigs.
and believe it or not, i actually saw some bike cops PULL A CAR OVER! (for unsafe driving) this is the first time in my 3 years of monthly CM riding that i've ever seen a cop enforce laws on cars, not just on bikes. a cop actually doing his job! kickass! the rest of the police force could learn from that example.
through the years of harrasment, we persisted and kept the ride going, even if it meant getting ticketed and arrested (my current bill from CM rides=$1700 of tickets), and finally, it looks like we're getting somewhere. like i said, it's a small victory, but it's a victory nonetheless.