We ride the last Friday of every month all year round. Meet at confederation park (elgin and laurier) at 5:30, ride leaves at 6pm!

This is a team blog. To join the team (and get access to post and/or administer the site), email criticalmassottawa@gmail.com

Monday, May 01, 2006

I have an awesome idea guys!

Get this:


How about every friday we get a large bunch of tree hugging hippies together and ride our bicycles all through the downtown core disrupting traffic and pissing other drivers off! And if anyone tries to stop us we can bust a few mirrors off eh!! We don't need to follow traffic laws! We are cyclists! We can do what we please!!

WHO'S WITH ME!!

44 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im in !

and BTW... Ottawa has CYCLING PATHS ! USE THEM ! and get off the streets...

3:57 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does'nt mean your a Cyclist that your above the law. Red light means STOP ! Did'nt they teach you that in kidder garden?

And you call yourself an activist group? You continue to piss of motorist, your movement's not going to go anywhere...

You ride in groups and want to keep everyone in groups? ask for an Escort from the OPP or even the ottawa police on bycicle...

If you cross the red light and I have green, you better get off the road !

4:03 PM

 
Blogger FightMitch said...

next time one of you gets pinned under a cage wheel, I will applaud the cage driver. That's what you deserve.

4:14 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

right on, and while you cyclist are at it, get off them when going into the small tunnel on the ottawa river behind the parliament buildings, JUST LIKE THE SIGN SAYS, at the same time why don't you idiots slow it down before you hurt someone on the rideau canal pathways, I am going to start a joggers rights movement against you assholes on bikes that very nearly clip everyone in their haste to go nowhere.

8:40 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NO NO You're absolutley right...in other words, take all the bikers, all the hippies, all the individuals who believe in change, all the activists who stand up for the downtrodden, the weak, the ones unable to fend for themsleves...take all those who believe in positive change, take all those who practice alternatives to the norm...NO NO YOU'RE RIGHT..take all those who are enlightened, take all those who are courageous enough to take action for change, take all those who stand up to adversity...lets take all these remarkable people..take them all and lock them up, ban them from the streets, ban them from public places, give all their names to the police..make sure you know where they all are all the time for they may be dangerous to your wealth, your prestige, your ego, your masculinity, your fast fast motorcycle......then we'll all go buy cases of blue, beat up a fag and joyride in our hummer...you ignorant fuck.

8:48 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not a question of practicing alternatives to the norm, I am all for that, that is the reason I take the bus to work, but when cyclists or anyone else thinks that just because they are using an alternative gives them the right to break laws that the rest of us have to adhere to then that is going a little above the alternative don't you think. And there is no such thing as an ignorant fuck, when you do it you know exactly what you are doing. You imply that motorcycle riders or anyone that is not in agreement with your mode of transport is a fag beater, beer drinking asshole, couldn't be further from the truth, I don't drink beer.

9:39 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I don't think the motorcyclist was thinking clearly from what I know, holding your own private protests isn't a good idea. You should have had the police involved. That would have legitimized what you were trying to do.

Being an 'activist' doesn't make you special. It means you'll actually do something, but it doesn't elevate you above the law. Especailly when there are laws in place to facilitate your goals. If those laws didn't exist, well that's a different story. But, in this case, you should have expected trouble from somebody. The bigger your group the greater the chances you are going to run into trouble; unless you play by the rules.

Car driver only see you as a problem. Pissing them off, is only going to end badly for you. A car will win everytime. You really want someone to get hurt?

Not to mention, very few of the people in the photos on this site were dressed with any concessions towards safety. You look like a bunch of disorganized yahoos, shit disturbing because you can.

Try following a real 'activists' lead. Ghandi.

You guys are lame in comparison.

You would accomplish a lot more if you had a sit in on the Transit way. I guarantee that would get some attention. The real problem here is the city, and the auto/oil industry. None of the above have any real interest in improving public transport; which is what your goal should be. Virtually nobody is going to bicycle in from Kanata. Bicycles are only a solution for downtowners. Focusing on bikes, you lose 90% of the population of Ottawa. Focus on public transport.

When you start getting attention for whatever reason (no such thing as bad pr), you need to step up and use it.

It's time to put up or shut up.

9:58 PM

 
Blogger blog administrator said...

lol quite the debate i've sparked here!

11:05 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ya, cause your an ass...

Hope you choke on the OCtranspo bus fumes.

11:13 AM

 
Anonymous Naomi said...

Hi

I'm not sure when the comments became directed towards me. I have not previously responded to any of the pro-motorcyclist posts. In fact, I am not sure who anyone is because everyone keeps posting anonymously. I have very little respect for anyone who is not willing to sign their name after what they have written (either pro or against critical mass), and even less interest in engaging in a so-called debate with them.

Secondly, I am very saddened by the level of hate coming out of these comments. The name calling -on boths sides -, the threats to "catch you under my cage" or purposefully hit cyclists when travelling through an intersection, as well as the attacks directed at me are both deeply disappointing and frightening.

I consider this takeover of the critical mass site along with the continued threats to be a serious attack against the community.

If you want to have a dialogue than please open the site so others can post. If not, I want nothing to do with this site and will consider further comments directed at me as harassment.

In peace

Naomi

12:11 PM

 
Anonymous Mikey said...

Well unfortunately some of the comments where out of line, however when you go out of your way to piss people off, then you have to expect retaliation, you may call it harassment or whatever. I have ridden in my many years, bicycles, motorcycles, I have driven cars, emergency vehicles, military vehicles etc. In all cases I teach safety and RESPECT for the traffic laws and other users of the road. When you post things like advocating going through red lights and disrupting traffic, then I think you should expect a backlash. Now you have it. There are good ways to make people notice bicycles, unfortunately your group is choosing the wrong ones.

12:19 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

your group is a bunch of morons.

your stunt last Friday makes me (and many others) hesitant to bicycle to work as you have now damaged the image of cyclist in the down town core and hesitant to ride my 600cc motor cycle as it is become apparent what can be expected if I were to run into your posse...this leaves my SUV with its 6 litre engine, I guess I will be driving that to work, way to encourage environmentally friendly alternatives

12:38 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...your stunt last Friday..."

Our stunt? As I recall "our stunt was actually a reaction to an idiot physically assaulting critical mass riders with his motorcycle.

8:58 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(addition to my previous comment above)

Your choice of downtown transportation is a motorcycle and a 6L SUV? And you call us morons?

9:00 PM

 
Anonymous Mikey said...

If anyone has access to the Winnipeg Free Press, you should read it, I guess the Police there are not as tolerant as in Ottawa.

10:45 AM

 
Anonymous another anonymous said...

"Your choice of downtown transportation is a motorcycle and a 6L SUV? And you call us morons?"

A bicycle primary purpose is as a recreational vehicle, same as a motorcycle in most cases. An SUV is not necessarily a 6 cylinder gas guzzler, they make them in economical 4 cylinder as well. Keep in mind that it is hard to do grocery shopping and take the kids to the daycare or school on a bicycle. Without knowing the full details of what transpired from independent and impartial witnesses during the mentioned incident it would be hard to say who the morons actually were. I will leave my opinion out of it although you should be thankful it wasn't a dump truck or semi that decided to crash the party. One note though is that if the motorcycle in question did not hit anyone or otherwise cause physical or material damage, then the cyclist should not have swiped at, and broken, the mirror. You will get more respect by turning the other cheek than by retaliating when no apparently no harm was done. As it was both sides in this seem to have lost respect and credibility.

10:58 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The motocyclist did hit more than one person, and had the off-bike conflict not begun who knows what that asshole could have done. I saw this with my own eyes - he was 'burping' the throttle and physically pushing his way through the cyclists. A finger slipping off the clutch or a loss of temper that one of us (who we can safely assume he believes have no right to be on the road at all) didn't get out of his way and he could have seriously injured or killed someone.

I will post more on the practicality of living car-free in the city in a separate post. Bicycles are not toys.
Chris

9:21 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like I said, I was not there so cannot comment either way, from what I understand the group also blocked the right of way on a green light, so who was to blame ? tempers run rampant both ways by the looks of it, and I never said bicycles were toys, what I said was primarily a recreational vehicle.

9:53 PM

 
Anonymous Chris said...

I can understand the frustration, but are we allowed to crash into an elderly woman who is slow to cross the street? I haven't looked it up, but I think the answer is no.

When someone is slow leaving an intersection the person being delayed does not have the right to physically assault the delayees with his vehicle. Do you disagree with this?

10:19 PM

 
Anonymous mikey said...

chris, when I read the post on asking whether pedestrians have the right of way it makes me wonder about the mentality of some of the riders that are in your group, to even ask that questions shows ignorance of the law. My understanding was it was not a "slow to leave the intersection" but a blatant blocking of traffic that had the green light, which from what I have read is the intent of your "critical mass", to "take back the streets". Well if you really want to take back any streets for bicycles, I can only recommend moving to an Amish settlement where you would have no problems with cars at all.

I would suggest that you try your tactics between 3 and 5pm on a weekday and see how many frustrated drivers you run into (no pun intended) then. I can almost guarantee that some of you will be in the back of the cruiser in no time at all.

10:41 PM

 
Anonymous Chris said...

Like I said - I can understand the frustration a motorist would feel. However, the entire group had entered the intersection by the time our left-turn-green had changed to red, and the motorcyclist would only have had to wait a few seconds before proceeding without hitting anyone. The group was not doing a mass-trackstand to intentionally block traffic - a few of us were waiting for the slowest in the group to safely get through before we could all proceed.

Also, on the night in question we had gone through dozens of intersections where motorists were waiting and had no problems at all. People obviously realized that their inconvinience was short lived and it was not worth endangering anybody's safety.

Critical Mass has risks and I am sure the participants understnad this. But a psychopathic/drugged-up/road-raging (we can only guess which) motorist is the worst case scenario and has not occured on any of the other critical mass rides in which I have participated - blocking intersections or no.

11:10 PM

 
Anonymous naomi said...

hi i just wanted to support chris in his comments. blocking traffic is at most a civil offence. charging someone with a dangerous weapon is a criminal offence. they are not in the same league.

when did cars be put on such a high alter that we would even consider those two tit for tat?

also the understanding that critical mass purposefully blocks traffic is unfortunately dead wrong. we are not blocking traffic - we are traffic. we have a right to be on the road. we are taxpayers as much as any of the motorcyclists or car owners. we are threatened almost all the time as cyclists because of traffic laws that render the bicycle invisible. by riding in a group we form a critical mass that is safe from such harms.

true, there is some inconveinance to cars when we are on the road. similarly, there is some inconveinance to bikes when cars are on the road. in fact there is more than some inconveinance - how many times in the last week as a cyclist have you had to compensate for a car that made some mistake that could have seriously injured or killed you?

i invite you to come try out a critical mass and see the magic of it rather than judging it without the experience.

ps - this is for another string of comments. don't worry - i'm an organ donor!

11:33 PM

 
Anonymous mikey said...

"we have a right to be on the road. we are taxpayers as much as any of the motorcyclists or car owners. we are threatened almost all the time as cyclists because of traffic laws that render the bicycle invisible."

When you pay for a licence and insurance, then you will have the right, until then you do not have that right. Your are tolerated and for the most part you are treated respectfully. A lot of the time you have yoursleves to blame, I have often observed cyclists going through stop signs, ignoring lights and pedestrians, so if you are treated with disdain by some, then look to those that ride like idiots as the ones to blame. In Ottawa you are treated pretty well in my opinion, my tax money has supplied you with bike lanes and bike paths.

You have no right to impede traffic unless it is a sanctioned event and under Police control, until then you are breaking the law by impeding the normal flow of traffic and for that you can be expected to be gain a ticket and fine depending on the mood of the Police. Like I said, try doing it at rush hour and see how far you get.

6:02 AM

 
Anonymous chris said...

sorry, mikey, but under the highway traffic act bicycles are considered vehicles and have all the rights and privliges associated.

I also fail to see how buying insurance gives you more right ot be on the road than anybody else - by the same logic someone with a million dollars in insurance has twice as much right to be on the road as someone who buys half-a-million dollars. It just makes no sense. You must buy insurance because you are a safety liability to others as you pilot a four-thousand-pound steel box down the road, not because it's some type of membership dues into the right-to-be-on-the-road club.

And good thing you have to pay for a licence because motor vehicles are dangerous and their use must be closely monitored and controlled by the government, and emmisions must be controlled etc.

Bicycles are not dangerous to others, do not pollute(or otherwise harm society or the environment), and so require no licence. Simple really. Your argument is like saying people who do not pay for a hunting licence have no right to eat meat.

5:38 PM

 
Anonymous mikey said...

Safety liability ? your arguments do not make sense, and it is obvious you have your opinions on the matter, so that is it for me, no sense debating with someone with your sense of logic. TTFN

7:38 PM

 
Anonymous chris said...

To legally travel on otario roads, a driver of a car must posess 'public liability' insurance. Seems pretty straightforward to me.

8:19 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bicycles should be required to have some as well, what happens if they hit a pedestrian, and yes they can hurt, especially when they are like the ones that like to pedal as if in a race on the Rideau pathway. As far as what Mikey said, I agree somewhat, licence fees go toward road upkeep and new roads, therefore yes, motorists do have more of a right to be on the road than those that do not contribute in this way. Remember though that a car is the same as a motorcycle or bicycle, it is not the machine that is dangerous but the person operating it.

12:20 PM

 
Anonymous chris said...

While the fees do go (somewhat) toward road upkeep, cars are primarily responsible for the deterioration of the roads - a bicycle riding over a loose peice of concrete does not rip it out and cause a pothole, but a car does.

Also, the fees collected from motorists do not cover all the cost of road upkeep, other public funds are used. So by the same logic, all taxpayers have a right to use the roads - unless you go by mikey's theory that those who pay more have more right then the richest people (who pay the most taxes) have the most right to be on the road. I don't agree that should be the case, do you?
Again, the Ontario Highway Traffic Act tells us that bicycles are vehicles and have a right to be on the road. You may not believe we should but we do.

And as for liability - yes there is a chance of hurting a pedestrian or doing some other damage while on a bicycle, but it is far far FAR less likey and less common than damage or injury caused by a motor vehicle. Also less severe - a 200 lb person in a 3000 lb steel box moving at 50kmh hurts a helluvalot more than a 200 lb person on a 25 lb bike going 25kmh.

1:37 PM

 
Anonymous mikey said...

I did not say pay more, I said pay as a whole, read it again Chris. cyclists pay no licence fees and therefore do not contribute to road upkeep. Also you are mistaken about the detirioration of the roads, it is primarily caused by the Canadian climate which causes frost heaves and the resultant start of potholes, large vehicles such as trucks and buses probably contribute more to the enlarging of the holes than anything as they are heavy vehicles. Blame the city for the failure to use tax money to upkeep as they should. They would rather spend millions on useless bridges across the Rideau. I do not dispute the HTA at all, but then you cyclists also have to obey the laws as well, and there are laws against impeding traffic and such. In Ottawa you probably have the best cycling pathways and lanes in any City in the country.

4:26 PM

 
Anonymous Chris - last post idiots said...

okay. last response, IDIOT...

You said yourself that the city misspends TAX money and does not fix the roads. I own a home and I pay TAX and that tax goes to road upkeep. I therefor have a right to be on the road by your logic - I have the right anyway because IT SAYS SO IN THE ONTARIO HIGHWAY TRAFFIC ACT.

I am tired of repeatedly pointing out these obvious facts and you are an idiot - obvious because of your inability to grasp these obvious facts.

Have a great day at the group home or wherever your caseworker has you living.

Ta ta.

5:04 PM

 
Anonymous mikey said...

See there I was trying to be polite and you basically fuck it by calling me an idiot, well fuck off then and hope you become a fucking hood ornament.

6:35 PM

 
Anonymous mikey said...

And by the way, I have probably paid a lot more taxes than you, I own my own home and God help me I still serve in the military so assholes like you who evidently do not like getting into any discussion unless others agree with you can cycle down the roads and protest to your hearts content. Have a nice day NOT.

6:40 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris said

"The motocyclist did hit more than one person, and had the off-bike conflict not begun who knows what that asshole could have done. I saw this with my own eyes - he was 'burping' the throttle and physically pushing his way through the cyclists. A finger slipping off the clutch or a loss of temper that one of us (who we can safely assume he believes have no right to be on the road at all) didn't get out of his way and he could have seriously injured or killed someone.

I will post more on the practicality of living car-free in the city in a separate post. Bicycles are not toys.
Chris"

Funny, completely different story from the motorcyclist, who I do not know by the way. If it was me on the motorcycle I would have charged the cyclist that apparently started it by knocking the mirror off and then throwing his bicycle at the motorcyclist, who retaliated after, with assualt and uttering threats.

6:49 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

naomi
you say you have no respect for one who posts and does not leave their name. Well, I have no respect for those who trash people's property and when the police come, not give the names of those who did it....Your paragraph contradicts itself.....
And by the way, Chris...you moron...I am the guy on the motorcyle. If you think I do drugs and ride ok....sure...also, if you think I ran into people with my $16,000 bike on their $20 stolen bicycles you are really showing your lack of brains.
Half your group stopped for the red light, the others waited on the corner of Laurier, a few blocked the cars to my right. The rest of you left behind were stopped at the light. I proceded through and as I started to go, a few "Idiots" came into the intersection and stopped right infront of me.
That guy is really tough throwing his bike at me, a big group like that and he couldn't even cash the cheque he wrote. Well, I have a good memory bud. And thew dyke that was on my bike...Karma is a bitch.

8:07 PM

 
Anonymous iceowl said...

Dude, by riding through a bunch of people instead of waiting for them, you're not exactly the authority on whose property was being trashed.

I bought my bicycle, it's not stolen, and I would be very pissed off if I had been one of the unlucky people you could have injured or killed if you had continued on your rampage.

The fact that a fight broke out did not start with your expensive crotch rocket having its mirror broken off, it started with you losing your cool and trying to run people over. I was about two feet away from you when it happened, and I have a pretty clear memory of you charging your way through a bunch of people who would have been through the intersection in a few more seconds without consequence if you hadn't been such a jackass.

I originally had some sympathy for you, because I know how expensive it's going to be to fix your ride after all that was done to it, but you did bring it on yourself and the guy who broke your mirror apologized to the rest of us for losing his cool, since he knew you'd take his head off if he even tried to apologize to you.

The worth of your vehicle or the taxes you pay does not trump the lives of those in the way of your wheels, and the law the reflects that. Being a jackass does not excuse you.

12:42 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rampage? OMG, you watch too much tv
I don't know what you were watching, but their was no rampage until shit stain knocked the mirror off.

1:51 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmmm.. don't own a bicycle... BUT do own a Harley, and I'd luv for one of them muthers to try that with ME!.... not that the hawg means anything, but I would just luv it...

come on huggers.... TRY IT!

11:31 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As both an avid motorcyclist (with sportbike), car driver, and a cyclist I like to think I have an open mind as to the issues at play here.

If the cyclists' story is true, then there's no reason for the classic "hero motorbiker" to charge through the group of cyclists, whether or not they were obeying the traffic rules.

Ottawa is bike friendly? HARDLY! We toot our own horn as being a bike friendly city because of our lovely bike paths. Yes they are great for recreational commuting, but for real 'inner-city' driving the few token bike lanes are crap.

Take a trip over to Europe, check out Holland or Germany to name two places I can think of that actually give bikers a safe place to commute. i.e. Bike paths built into the wide sidewalks - everywhere.

Canada has a long way to go before becoming more bike friendly, and the type of aggression seen at the last critical mass is disappointing to hear about.

Keep up the good work guys, and stay pacifist! Don't let *anybody* lower you to their level.

1:37 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Open mind?? I don't think so, you have evidently taken the cyclists side, did you even read the other posts by the motorcyclist who was involved? probably not.

5:55 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did read the posts by the motorcyclist, but people don't swarm and attack for no reason.

9:02 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Half your group stopped for the red light, the others waited on the corner of Laurier, a few blocked the cars to my right. The rest of you left behind were stopped at the light. I proceded through and as I started to go, a few "Idiots" came into the intersection and stopped right infront of me."

Seems to me that there was a certain amount of instigation there wouldn't you say, kind of hard to stop a motorcycle suddenly when people step or cycle in front of you AGAINST a red light. I dont recall seeing anything about the motorcycle running into cyclists on purpose and knocking them over.

9:46 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The most likely scenario that happened here is this:

Some cyclists miss the green, some traffic has been blocked by cyclists, light changes biker sees a hole on 'his' green and goes for it, some cyclist decides to block the biker as that's his 'job' to protect the group, and get them all through. This behaviour doesn't seem weird to me. I'm sure we've all seen this kind of thing before. There's always somebody that wants to be the hero.

If this is the case the cyclists started it. This seems obvious. An illegal protest has no protection from the law. A green light is a green light. The remaining cyclists were obligated to stop,and wait, and the blockers should have cleared off. If there was a hole in the 'flock' then the cyclists had no business blocking any traffic once they lost the green. If this was a sanctioned protest, then the biker would have been in the wrong for trying to proceed.

The biker probably should have let it go, but if there was a hole and he has the green, he has the right of way. I don't think we need a direct reference to the HTA on green = right of way do we?

Just because you think your cause is just doesn't mean you get ignore the law. Especially since you seem to like to spout it so much.

Could this incident have been handled differently? Yes. But it wasn't and in this case, the cyclists are the ones that provoked the behaviour. The biker is responsible for what he did, but you guys are definitely on the hook for provocation.

You guys are nuts. The reality is that there are a lot more car drivers with very different life styles than you, and they don't really give a shit about what you want. As a group, you have no political pull compared to the drivers, and that's what you need to win this.

At the moment your just perceived as a nuisance. just a bunch of yahoo's on bicycles. Blocking traffic is only going to make you bigger yahoo's. That's it. In fact you might actually start to get a backlash from other bicyclists, as you aren't doing them any favours.

You need the support of the drivers, not their wrath.

Nobody wants to sit in traffic for an hour. Find a way to generate empathy.

You’re just going to get somebody hurt with the way your going, and it's more than like not going to be the car driver.

Start acting like thinking people instead of the Hells Angels farm team.

11:54 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are not morally superior because you ride a bicycle. So stiop whining. Oyur brave men and women are putting their lives on the line in afghanistan for all of us, including you. Geez, they should start drafuting ya the next time you do your stuff.

8:32 PM

 
Blogger FightMitch said...

all you cyclists are a bunch of hypocrites. What method of transportation do you have in the winter months. When you order a pizza, do you have them deliver it by bicycle, or do you boycott your mailman because he delivers your mail by a big bad gas guzzling ford Echo. Smarten up you bunch of hemp lovers, you won't change anything in my world, certainly not by trying to muscle your way through it.Try knocking my mirror off and I'll have your head on the end of a stick.

I'm out

3:01 PM

 

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