One of the controversies about this is that the lanes were possibly removed at the request of the Hasidic community living in the area and who may have taken issue with the (type or lack of) garments being worn by (female) cyclists. It doesn’t help that the same NYPost article says “[a] source close to Mayor Bloomberg said removing the lanes was an effort to appease the Hasidic community just before last month’s election.”
Really? This is what our safety is weighed against?
Whatever your sentiments on Critical Mass are, this is just despicable.
Update: here is a little bit more information via BoingBoing. The cyclist was arrested and charged with attempted assault and resisting arrest. Wtf?!
The police officer has been stripped of his badge and gun. He was just out of the Police Academy, third generation officer, and did not seem to file an accurate report of the event based on the video that was anonymously posted.
I’m continuing the bike-centric movie kick I’m on with another documentary called B.I.K.E. (Be Inclusive, Kill Exclusivity.)
The documentary frames itself as being the personal journey of the filmmaker, Anthony Howard, as he attempts to join a radical bike club in 2004 called Black Label (New York City chapter.)
Time for a little bit of background: Black Label features tall-bike riding, tall-bike jousting, and a lot of partying as somewhat unifying tenets to the organization. They have an image of being anti-corporate, anti-consumerism, and filled with members who often see the current stage of decline leading to an apocalyptic future where bikes will rule after the downfall of cars.
I’ve seen some of the creative spirit that can embody a bike culture and I had hoped this to be an exclusive peek into an example of that community and the human condition, despite the Mad Max sound of things from the bike club’s description. While it was about the human condition it was mostly about the condition of tragedy. It was only vaguely about bikes or bike culture. Read the rest of this entry »
My riding habits haven’t guided me full-on into many of the different bike subcultures like SCUL or messengering, so I don’t know much about what goes on within them. Much of what I have learned I have picked up from discrete observation or small conversation. Every club has their own rules, their own lingo, styles and presence. To learn more you generally need to be ‘in’. So I enjoyed the peek into part of one of these cultures that I know little about.
What I found great was some filling-in of informational gaps I’ve had. Some may scoff, but I only heard about Allycat races about two weeks ago. Before watching this documentary I thought the cards tacked in to the wheel spokes I see from time to time were just stylistic flair, not racing badges. I’ll have a closer look next time I see one, as my curiosity has been piqued.
This wouldn’t be a film I’d sit down with a budding young mind, it has adult themes beyond the occasional scenes of street riding in auto and pedestrian traffic. It’s a documentary, so it’s a catalog of a small piece of life with a lot of the child-filters removed. Partying, drinking, plenty of drug references, even some glorification of fighting. Nothing the average R-rated film wouldn’t have. I’d recommend it to most people I know.