Critical Mass, July 2008
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7ZXywh3Pxg I just found this video from way back in 2008, when an attack on Critical Mass by an out of control driver and the unfortunate, (but to my mind, actually pretty understandable) reaction from the crowd of terrorized bicyclists led to an event which has completely overshadowed the ride ever since. This video does a nice job summarizing the story and also chronicling Seattle Critical Mass in its Heyday.
- Linda laughing with every response she gives to the interviewer,
- Tony using his dog, Ozzie as a barking horn,
- the Seattle Times reporter completely owning up to how biased her paper's coverage of this incident actually was,
- my ridiculous, mile-a-minute delivery (I sound like the Micro Machines guy!),
- the size of that ride!
Thing is, Seattle Critical Mass has never really gotten out from under the biased reporting that followed the Bikers Assault Car story (a real Man Bites Dog!). I talk about Critical Mass a lot and I cannot think of one conversation I've had since that did not include someone bringing up gross exaggerations, fabrications or misapprehensions about what happened on that one ride in July.
Seattle Critical Mass was always such a joyful event. Flawed, but full of joy. I haven't seen any of the people featured in this video at a ride in I don't know how long. This makes me very sad.
Where did they go?
Did they eventually get tired, as I have, of defending the ride and explaining their reasons for attending?
Did the media image of a ride full of aggressive jerks wind up attracting more aggressive jerks and make the ride less fun for nice folks?
Did the months of police harassment, (helicopters tracking our movements, motorcycle cops charging through the ride) just scare folks off?
Do newer riders even know that Seattle has a Critical Mass? Or that it can be good fun?
Can Seattle Critical Mass return? Does it need to?
ps: Don't forget that this month's ride, on September 28th, marks CMs 20th birthday! You wanna come out and have ride bikes with me and Little Oil?