Critical Mess

A huge kerfuffle has erupted in Seattle over this weekend’s Critical Mass cyclists’ rights event in which a driver hit two cyclists, then was pulled from his vehicle and hit in the head with a bike lock while uninjured cyclists smashed his windows and slashed his tires. There are many conflicting reports on Slog. Cyclists are claiming that the driver screamed about being late for a dinner reservation before hitting the riders, but the driver claims he hit the gas accidentally and was panicked by intimidating riders who were threatening to “tip over” his car.

Says the remorseful driver: “I sympathize with [cyclists’] cause. I ride bikes too. I’m a liberal hippie democrat. I’m gay, the person with me was a lesbian and we were a attacked by eco-terrorists. It’s the most Seattle thing that could have happened.”

Critical Mass, in case you are unaware, is a global cyclists movement (spawned in San Francisco in the early ’90s) in which riders “take over” a city’s downtown streets once a month to bring awareness to the need for bike lanes and rider safety. I used to think Critical Mass was kinda awesome until more and more of the rides turned confrontational and violent like in Seattle this weekend. Anybody remember the huge Critical Mass riot in SF back in ’97? Helicopters, SWAT teams, hundreds of arrests. Many of the riders are self-proclaimed anarchists who use the rides as an excuse to create as much mayhem as possible, only to the detriment of their professed cause.