Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Backward Circles: Fight For No Right to Party

("I'm not so sure about that." Sign spotted by a reader in Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

If you're anything like me, you may be struggling with the fact that today is Wednesday. Sure it's nominally Wednesday, but since Monday was a holiday (at least if you worship "Presidents") it really feels like Tuesday. This is the phenomenon known as "holiday lag." Yes, sometimes things can feel like other things. For example, a monocockular hand-modulated crabon fribé (CRRRAB-on FREEB) frame with a properly oriented weave that has been impregnated with bong resin and lain up by the small hands of Japanese forest imps can indeed evoke the sweet, blissful ride of a finely brazed and exquisitely lugged steel bicycle that has been lovingly handbuilt in Portland by a framebuilder with IPA-soaked dreadlocks and bare feet standing ankle-deep in the fragrant, loamy soil of the Pacific Northwest--or really any old frame with a decent set of tires on it.

Still, even though I can't quite come to grips with today's "Wednesdayness," it definitely is Wednesday, as underscored by the fact that it is also "Ash Wednesday"--or as I prefer to call it, "The Day of the Holy Schmutz." When you are slow-witted as I am, it is on this day that you see someone with a black smear on his forehead and you think, "Hmmm, he must have dropped a quarter in the ashtray and forgot to clean his fingers after fishing it out." Then you see another dirty brow, and another, and eventually you realize what's going on and you smack your own clean head with your palm for forgetting to use it as an excuse to be late for work.

But Ash Wednesday isn't just about putting grime on your head; it's also a day of repentance. It is human nature to feel as though you are being judged by an ineffable deity, just as it is human nature to have dreams about sitting in class with no pants, even if in real life you actually aren't. I think this has something to do with the concept of "original sin," which refers to the time when Eve convinced Adam to pluck a "tight whip" from the Fixie Tree of Knowledge and they suddenly became embarrassed that their "hoodies" were not expensive enough. Yes, we can all sometimes feel as though we're just frames being tested for worthiness by a great machine in the sky. But while we may not be getting judged from on high we can certainly pass judgment on each other, which is what happened recently here in New York City:

This is another great success for cycling for which we can thank Critical Mass. Just to review, it's always been perfectly legal to ride a bicycle in New York City. Moreover, nobody was really counting how many people were doing it at a single time. Still, a bunch of people decided for some reason that they needed to assert some rights that we already had, and thus Critical Mass was born. This in turn made the authorities question whether we should have those rights in the first place, and unfortunately the answer they came up with is that we shouldn't. So basically, Critical Mass advocated for something that was already legal and in the process made it illegal. This is almost exactly like the "Seinfeld" episode where they get a sitcom pilot offer from NBC and George manages to negotiate their fee down. Nicely done.

Even though it should be pretty clear by now that New York City's Critical Mass contingent has been going about this all wrong, I'm sure there's somebody right now planning a bunch of smaller Critical Mass rides consisting of exactly 49 people. This will inevitably lead to the city reducing the number of riders necessary to require a permit. Next it will be 25 people, then ten, and before you know it you'll need paperwork just to ride by yourself--which, of course, is already the case with vehicles like cars and motorcycles. And yes, you do need a permit to own and operate a car or a motorcycle, despite what the "How to Start a Critical Mass Bike Ride" guide says:

Really, cars don't need permits to ride on the streets? I didn't realize going to the DMV was voluntary. See, thanks to Critical Mass the city may now be trying to manage cyclists in groups of 50, but the state long ago decided to manage drivers on an individual basis, and at this rate this is what's going to happen to cyclists too. You have way more freedom as a cyclist than you do as a driver, and unless I'm misunderstanding the point of Critical Mass and they really do want to bring us down the path of bicycle licensing and registration, if they want to maintain that freedom they should probably rethink their approach. Personally, I believe the best way to promote the cause of cycling is to not be an idiot when you're riding your bike. However, this isn't glamorous enough for a lot of people. Just like those Nü-Freds couldn't take a Japanese vacation without tacking on a narrative, some people can't ride their bikes around a city without styling themselves as activists. Consequently, they've succeeded in creating the first social movement in history to actually criminalize the very thing it's advocating. A look at the Dachshund of Social Protest will help put this in perspective:

The Dachshund of Social Protest

Let's take the cause of women's suffrage in the United States for example, which played out thusly:

Also, Indian independence from Great Britain followed a similar arc:

Bicycle advocacy in New York City, however, seems to be the complete opposite:

By the way, you probably noticed the Dachshund is ass-backwards, like the approach of many "bike activists." Eventually you've got to say "wrong hole"--unless you enjoy getting screwed that way.

Speaking of religion (I was earlier in the post), I was horrified to see yesterday that the New York Times "Spokes" blog not only mocked my faith yesterday but also suggested I may be engaging in a "collabo:"

How dare they not capitalize the first letter in each word comprising the name of the great and munificent Lobster God! How dare they also demean Him (at least I think it's a Him, I'm not very knowledgeable about lobster genitalia) by implying that I might consume a lobster in the furtherance of filming some sort of gastronomic dork ride--not that "Pedaling" have asked, mind you. Indeed, they would be unwise to do so, for should they usher me into some sort of gourmet supermarket and suggest I choose a live lobster for consumption I would instead sever the rubber bands binding the claws of all the lobsters so that they might turn upon their oppressors. Also, watching me ride my bike and eat would be a distinctly un-"Pedaling" experience. I mean, if you want to film me riding a crappy bike and then stopping to shove a slice of lukewarm pizza into my mouth (I don't like hot pizza) then by all means I'd be happy to oblige and show the world just how un-special cycling, eating, and life in New York City can be, but something tells me that this would not appeal to the producers. Alternately, they're also welcome to fly me out to California where I will undertake a quest to find and consume a truly "epic" burrito.)

Also speaking of judging and aquatic life, Cyclingnews had a bit more on Filippo Pozzato's tattoo recently:

Moreover, the insight came from Pozzato himself:

This is fair enough, though I'm puzzled as to why he would undertake the application of a sizable back tattoo during cycling season. This seems like something that would be best completed during the winter months. Will his tattoo artist and his soigneur be working on him simultaneously? I mean, I'm also in the middle of getting my own large tattoo, but my season hasn't started yet:

This will be complemented by another tattoo on my calf:

Only God Can Suck My Balls.


mikeweb said...


nard hipples said...


Anonymous said...

1st ha!

nard hipples said...

great post Snob, i am a speed reader

Anonymous said...

3rd!? crap

Anonymous said...

2 top tens in a row

innerlighter said...

Up early?

S.K. said...


Anonymous said...

So, Snob, you think bicycle advocacy is moving rearwards! Actually, the best bicycle advocacy in NYC in recent years was inadvertent, the cop who nailed the critical mass cyclist in July 2008. While not quite on the level of the letter from the Brimingham Jail, it did bring into sharp relief the absurd lengths some "authorities" will go to hassle bicyclists. Oh, and the LA Doctor did his part. It's always ironic when advocacy repels from its goals. Oh, link to cop attack on critical mass cyclist:

grog said...

More fun than moguls!

Anonymous said...

TOP 11?

thegock said...

so close

Anonymous said...

Someone should have told Pozzato that the carp facing down is actually bad least thats what the boys at Miami ink say.

Astroluc (Find me on Tumblr and Instagram @Astroluc) said...


hillbilly said...


love ya snob, and agree about much of it, but still think it's a crap decision

the paragraph about the collabo is incredibly poorly written and makes no sense. what does the end of the paragraph have to do with the start? (I mean their paragraph, not yours)

Wendesdayness? is that how this would be spelled? i have no idea

10,000 Aches said...

getting better, training is paying off!!


Don Myrah said...

Um Snob, if you clip off all the rubberbands off of dem Lobsters they will turn on one another which is an obvious analogy for ....mmmm wednesday?

fierce panties said...

Only Judy Can Judge Me.

1st real comment.

BikeSnobNYC said...


I don't like the decision either. My point was that it wouldn't have come up at all if it wasn't for Critical Mass.

I love you too.


wishiwasmerckx said...

I love the grammatically correct "whomever" on the bike part thief sign.

mikeweb said...


I've done a few of the Manhattan CM rides - the last one a couple years ago. I have to agree that they're kind of like the Michael Moore of the bicycle advocacy world.

hillbilly said...

Whoa, easy there! What is this strange stirring sensation?

OK, you're right, I agree again.

Anonymous said...

Never was so high.

Anonymous Coward said...

Snob, your munificent Lobster God is apparently male as the wearer of the tattoo has named him Daniel. Although, perhaps he, being munificent, can appear to his followers in the gender best suited for their worship.

gitane said...

Yes! Cheers to the Critical Mass takedown. As someone actively working in bike advocacy it drives me nuts that the trendiest, most accepted form of action involves being self-congratulatory while pissing off everyone else not currently on a bike.

Pontius Pilate said...



Unknown said...

The Snob has some impressive man-breasts going on. It does leave more room for the Lobster God tatoos. Maybe you can start a line of cycling Bros (heh, you started the Seinfeld references) to support your man breasts.

Anonymous said...

All You Critical Massers Suck My Balls

fierce panties said...

Did you mean to say a carp decision?

fierce panties said...

Bad Lawyer,
I remember the NYC CM cop-clothesline from the 3rd generation police officer, but I didn't hear about the LA Doctor episode. What did I miss?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Pozzato photo credit says "Bettini"


fierce panties said...

The Lob God tat is mind blowing and I think that I have had a butter drenched awakening. I'm just worried that in 50 years that His left pincer may be droop-boobed.

And that is more of a fear than it is a "judgment".

Isolation Helmet said...

I believe that it should technically be either lobster genitaliaway or lobster gruppo.

Jefe said...

It is not merely Wednesday, nor Ash Wednesday, but my birthday. In my private religion - involving no invisible beings nor visible crustaceans - it is the only high holy day. I gave my wife a list of Park tools that I needed and my wishes were granted. All is good.

Nogocyclist said...

Why do cyclist like Lobsters. Crawfish are much better. They are so much easier to eat when riding your bicycle down the road.

This being said by one who is no longer able to ride.... for now.

Entitled Whitey said...

I'm always first.

db said...

Here you go, FP.

ant1 said...


Anonymous said...

RE:Pozzato and carp/crap tat
From, he said " "...I had it done as a message to all those people who like to judge me without ever having really gotten to know me. It's easy to be judgmental but the truth is there's only one person who can judge us."

Seems to me PP went through alot of trouble just to say "fuck you".

hillbilly said...

oops, my bad, thanks FP. I was bass ackwards

Anonymous said...

The great thing about Ash Wednesday is it's supposed to be 40 days before Easter, and it is, if you exclude the Sundays. My parents would therefore give up booze for Lent, except on Sundays, as apparently they didn't count!

Critical Mass can suck my balls. I don't think annoying other road users is a good way to win converts to your cause. Just go out and ride to your jobs each day. Your jobs. You know, where you work? Oh.

Lawrence of the Labia said...






Strayhorn said...

I've observed two Critical Mass rides, in different towns but with similar results.

1. College town. Riders were mostly the sort of ill-mannered suburban kids who generally make living in a college town unbearable. Their first "act of resistance" was to ride in a great snaggly single file across a busy intersection against the light, stopping traffic and pissing off everyone.

2. Government town. Riders were the sort of "urban pioneers" who live downtown these days. Ride started at 6 pm - when downtown was deserted, because government workers leave at the stroke of 5 pm for the 'burbs. So the CM wound its way around empty streets, and even the local TV news crews didn't show up.

I'm not sure what CM is supposed to do. I guess that in its hometown of San Francisco, it's generally intended to provoke fistfights between cyclists and drivers.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

mikeweb said:
"the Michael Moore of the bicycle advocacy world"
-good one.

Anonymous said...

Your critical mass comments are right on target. Eugene, Oregon, is one of the most bike-friendly cities I've ever lived in. In spite of that, CM rides were a frequent occurance. The only thing I could come up with is that they just like to piss people off.

ant1 said...

happy birthday Jefe.

streepo said...

Flip the lobster over. Just below where the abdomen starts, there are two appendages. If these appendages are feathery in nature then the lobster, or in this case Lobster God, is a female. If the appendages are more solid (stick-like) then the Lobster God is a male.

Anonymous said...

great one today. I found the girl with the lobster tat pretty hot, which is disturbing. maybe I have some kind of fetish involving chubby skanks with crustacean tattoos. Slobsterphilia?

Anonymous said...

I think the difference in legality of cars vs. bikes is that a bunch of cars in traffic aren't required to have a permit, whereas a bunch of cyclists become a collective noun or something and riders lose individual rights.
My sister and brother in law were riding along the street and happened to run into a Critical Mass ride just as the LAPD swooped in and arrested everybody. They ended up getting a substantial settlement from the city.

Anonymous said...

(I should add, it wasn't their intent to ride in critical mass)

Anonymous said...

Streepo, if you lick them, do they taste like fish?

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of cyclists being licensed. No more bike salmon.

3G said...


Disgruntl Ed. said...

Once my lobstermonger informed me that the lobster she had selected was a female and would have a nice patch of roe inside her. I bought that lobster, and enjoyed the eating of the promised roe. So it seems to me that the lobstermonger is a priestess of this religion.

Thank you, Streepo, for sharing your mystical knowledge.

Floyd's virus said...

Unfortunately, being "outlawed" will only encourage more fixey losers to join the crit mass.

I wear the tamale smear on my forehead as repentance to my Lobster God.



Portland Fuzz said...

I'm a cop. The reason a bunch of bikes needs some kind of permit is because they'll do even stupider than usual stuff to stick together. If 100 bikes who don't know each other hit an intersection, those who miss the light will stop (theoretically). If those 100 bikes all know each other, and particularly if they're looking to "make a point," they'll muck up the intersection. Now cops have to go out and treat a bunch of grown adults like 7 year olds, escorting them along and generally fulfilling our societal role as Darwin's greatest enemy.

From "None of us is as stupid as all of us."

the bike dork said...

Yeah, what a bunch of dorks. I mean they make me not even want to be a bike dork.

hillbilly said...

yes, portland fuzz, it is silly in that way, but you can ticket them for blowing through lights, you don't need to do it preemptively. just substitute teenager for bikes in your post....

Daniel said...

What is that smell?

Coastiedouche said...

Yeah I saw cmass in Frisco a long time ago and thought it was cool. I think the premise in Frisco seems fine.It seemed to match the spirit up there while somewhere else I can see it as a nuisance.Its more like all the nu fred fixie douches come out of the woodwork and make a parade out of it.I think if its done after peak driving hours it shouldnt be a proble.Pozzato on the other hand seems to have read "certain blogs" and trying to defend himself.Whether defending his hairstyle or shoes or his tattoo seems to be hurt by the furor.Miami ink on the other hand or L.A to be specific have got to be the biggest gang of cooler than thou doucheholes ive seen.Kat von D? This chick think she walks on water.Such ego's on these glorified doodlers. Whats up with this human graffitti wall/Von Douche Ed hardy everything has to be covered in ink clusterfuck?What a mess.

Anonymous said...

I failed to comment yesterday as I was too busy preparing for Ash Wednesday.

So, here's my take on yesterday's post: doesn't Landis look so pure and innocent on every picture ever taken of him, especially when he's not riding a bike?

Repent, sinners, repent!

Anonymous said...

"crabon fribé (CRRRAB-on FREEB)" I believe that should be CRAB-on free-BAY, per the accent on the e, which in most European languages denotes an "ay" sound along with, well, accenting that syllable.

I'll right, I'll cut it out now.

Rocky said...

What about group rides? Not that anyone wants to wind through Midtown, but they might roll out of Park Slope deeper into LI. It's a bike ride, not a parade. I can see how the judge might think it's a parade since everyone in Critical Mass is dressed like a clown.

Anonymous said...

slumdog millionaire wasnt an indian film fyi

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 2:39pm,

You are right, of course.

Liquid Astronaut,

Fortunately the three big area group rides start outside the city limits, though it's still disconcerting to know you're always 49 wheelsuckers away from getting arrested.


Lawrence of the Labia said...


ImABadPerson said...

I'm organizing a unicycle Critical Mass to salmon my local bicycle Critical Mass. Once that takes off, I'm hoping to organize a BigWheel(TM) Critical Mass to perform a flanking maneuver. If all goes well, I should generate enough angst to power human civilization for a 1000 years.

Anonymous said...

Get off my wheel, your number 50!

Jefe said...

Ant1, thanks.


dwelltimer said...

I prefer to call them Critical Massholes.

hillbilly said...

Happy Birthday Jefe!

yogisurf said...

It is time to sic The Dachshunds of Social Protest and Time on They are holding Snobby's I.D. hostage:

“When Bike Snob makes fun of you, well all of us know he actually likes you. I mean he has featured/critiqued at least ten of our videos at over the years.

This is one reason why we chose not to release the video we have of him at two events. We love the publicity!”

CommieCanuck said...

Why do cyclist like Lobsters. Crawfish are much better. They are so much easier to eat when riding your bicycle down the road.


A juicy , meaty lobster with clarified butter dripped all over it,


Something called a "mud bug" in a sauce designed to kill any taste.

Oh yeah, I'm back assholes.

Anonymous said...

I went on a critical mass ride once and riding that slow in city traffic scared me shitless. Never again.....I'll stick to pretending to be a motorbike.

hey nonny mouse

PS another thought...would a crustacean-based sausage be called a Lobster Dog? Or is that a bizarre Dachshund crossbreed?

Unknown said...

Critical Mass: The PETA of transportation.

Anonymous said...

Isolation Helmet said...
"I believe that it should technically be...lobster gruppo."


mikeweb said...


Happy Park Tool day!

'bent theorist,

Thank you!


I love you too.


f#%k Vancouver.

I. Itch Freely said...

Maybe the NYTimes was just tryin' to suggest that you had crabs. That would be a collabo of the nether sort, would it not?

Anonymous said...

The only people who are into these critical mass rides are people who feel like they have it going on and feel they deserve the right to interfere with normal civic life. I see these jackasses on a four lane Blvd riding over in the left lane for no reason other than they feel like it. What needs to happen is these retards need a beatdown

eeeeeeeeee said...

Snob, coin "bike abvocacy.". Get your labials on.

Nogocyclist said...

C. C. Picture a Critical Mass going down the street with each fixed gear rider eating a Lobster. When they finish, they just throw the Lobster shell over their shoulders. Ouch!

Now picture a Cat 5 race group going by, pinching the tails of mud bugs. When they throw the shells over their shoulders, they just bounce off the wheel suckers....

And that is not to mention beautiful cajun women and how they eat crawfish....

Now I think I would prefer being part of the second group more than the first.

eeeeeeeeee said...

For Christians, today is a Critical Mass.

Anonymous said...

So beating up Critical Massers is more productive than Critical Mass Rides. I'm in!!!

Test Tickle said...





I am the engine said...

Comparing slum dog to the next phase in indian liberation, sort of like saying that pole dancing is the next phase in womens liberation.

Eating a lobster is obviously the purest for of lobster liberation.

Critical rides make a point, that is: dont fuck with traffic, or you all will go to jail next time.

I bet they impound your bikes too,
think about that next time you whittle a new wooden handle bar.

Mellow Yellow said...

All you (Police) State lovers suck my balls.

Critical Mass can be the most obnoxious imposition upon an individual (especially the car-bound type) or the most exhilarating exercise of individual freedom and community enjoyment of public space (for the bicycle-mounted type).

What really matters is that this ruling has affirmed NYPD's tactic of pre-emptively enforcing laws that may or may not be broken, against certain people who use a certain mode of transport at a certain time and place. Simultaneously, NYPD continues to fail to enforce traffic laws consistently to create safer streets for all.

Follow the fight and hate on me all you want at:

(Don't) Live Free and/or die!

ant1 said...

"...this ruling has affirmed NYPD's tactic of pre-emptively enforcing laws that may or may not be broken..."

i'm not sure how you preemptively enforce a law, unless you mean they enforce a law that does not yet exist, in which case, how do they enforce it? cop: your honor, we caught johnny fixie here riding with more than 50 people. judge: and?

but parade/protest laws have been around for a while.

and can you name another example of such preemptive law enforcement by the NYPD? what makes it a tactic?

Mellow Yellow said...

All you haters come out to Critical Mass on the 26th and stop "participants" from behaving against your interests if you really care so much.

More pedestrians have been killed by cars in NYC in 2010 then have "participated" in Manhattan CM in the last 6 months. It should be an easy enough battle.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, maybe the women's sufferage one will go backwards soon.

Right about now: women can vote
Middle: The View is American's highest rated program
The Future: blondes not allowed to vote, hair root tests required at all voting machines.

ant1 said...

mellow - no need to, the cops will take care of that. sometimes taking things into your own hands is not the best way to get something done. same goes for confrontation with those whose behavior you wish to change.

Stupid Name said...

mello, you are not.
From your site:
"- An irrational obsession with Critical Mass
- A need for attention
- A deep love of riding bicycles
- A love/hate relationship with the police
- A fascination with the behavior of swarms of bicycles"

What are you protesting?

The right to be stupid?
The right to interfere with others?
The right to do what ever you fucking want?

Protest something important, organize, create something.

I don't hate, I just dont see these as doing anything other than pissing people off.

This does not help the cause.

wishiwasmerckx said...

"And can you name another example of such preemptive law enforcement by the NYPD?"

Are you kidding me?

Ever heard of Amadou Dialla? Abner Louima?

ant1 said...

"More pedestrians have been killed by cars in NYC in 2010 then have "participated" in Manhattan CM in the last 6 months."

2009 ped fatalities for NYC = 155 or .4 per day. say 50 days so far in 2010 = 20 ped deaths. assuming CM is a monthly event, you're saying there is less than 4 people per CM ride. in which case, how do the cops know your CMers, and why does the parade permit thing even bother you?

sorry, i'm just bored right now would rather argue useless points than do work.

I am the engine said...

"Critical Mass is a flashpoint for the clash of cultures that occurs every day in the streets around the world, and as such is often misunderstood, both vilified and glorified. "

Pretentious prick.

ant1 said...


no, i'm not kidding, and yes, i've heard of those people.

question remains, how is that preemptive law enforcement?

granted, like i said before, i don't understand what preemptive law enforcement is.

in the two cases you cite, police brutality, i can see, racial profiling, also, and i'm sure there's dozens of other people-doing-bad-things terms that can be applied to the situation. but are any of those equivalent to preemptive law enforcement? or are they in any way related to the CM issue (other than cops are involved and some people don't like it)?

Lawrence of the Labia said...


Anonymous said...

If there are more than 50, you are arrested.

Spend two days in jail, do not pass go.

Mellow Yellow said...

"sorry, i'm just bored right now would rather argue useless points than do work."

Ha! So you confess to being involved in Critical-Mass-like behavior!? I am similarly un-engaged by my capitalism-appropriate work activity, and I appreciate all critiques.

In fact I would argue that such conversation is the beauty of critical mass! A diversity people with various views, agendas and experiences can safely enjoy public space and discourse for the better of us all.

This is why I am obsessed with CM. It is an excercise of our right to the road and our right to engage in person as community.

Admittedly, perhaps I slightly exaggerate the low numbers of CM participants in recent months, but only just. 8 would be the average, and of those it is a few hard-core participants, who, if you attend, will seem far less the wild-eyed lawbreakers CM "participants" are perceived as and more like rational humans who are fully capable of safely navigating the streets on bikes without the paternalistic state interference.

To be followed by police waiting for you to break a law seems pre-emptive to me. Ticketing cyclists for not being far enough to the side of the road is harrassment.

Confrontation aside, normalizing bicycle traffic on the roads is in the interest of every cyclist. Critical Mass can foster this. It depends on who shows and how they behave.

I hope you'll come and debate this with me in person on the 26th 7pm Union Square North.

sufferist said...

Ant1: my math works a little different

Given: 155 ped deaths in a year for NYC = .425

Given: 6 months = 365/2 = @182 days

Given: 182 * .425 = 77.35

Result: 77.35 / 6 = 12.891 people per CM ride (round up to the nearest whole unit for indivisible entities, unless you just want to count the way stoned dude that is only 89.1% there)

sufferist said...

Mellow Yellow said:To be followed by police waiting for you to break a law seems pre-emptive to me. Ticketing cyclists for not being far enough to the side of the road is harrassment.

Sufferist said: have you never been in a car? That's what cops do. They troll around looking for people that are breaking the law, or who they perceive might break the law and write tickets.

Also, to parallel the serious cases of police perpetuated homicide with your monthly bike protest ride is way specious and bit repulsive. The two do not equate.

ant1 said...

mellow - i live in atlanta, so i unfortunately won't be able to join you. hopefully my points of contention will make up for my absence:
you say "safely enjoy public space" and "excercise of our right to the road", but it seems to me that, at least from what i've heard of CM events, that traffic laws, and apparently parade laws, are being broken, which could be argued jeopardizes safety and is not within your rights to the road.
i agree with the cops following you thing, although i would call it intrusive rather than preemptive. they're not technically enforcing anything until a crime/violation is committed. they're being total dicks, that's for sure, but if there has been a history of CMs getting out of hand, or large numbers of people complaining about the disruption they create, then i could maybe see a reason for increased police presence (not saying that the way they actually do it would be right by me) to remedy or avoid such problems.
and when you say "fully capable of safely navigating the streets on bikes without the paternalistic state interference." no matter how true that may be, nobody is (should be) above the law, no matter their capabilities. red lights apply to everyone (except me, of course) no matter how safely one could do without them.

Mellow Yellow said...

Patrolling is one thing. Following people only because of their transport mode is another. I wish the police would patrol and ticket anyone who runs a red on a regular basis.

Current police approach to critical mass is just a lazy way to fill quotas and train fresh officers on how to exploit the grey areas of the law in the interest of denying people their first amendment rights.

ant1 said...

sufferist - "More pedestrians have been killed by cars in NYC in 2010 then have "participated" in Manhattan CM in the last 6 months."

6 months of CM, 2010 (50 days, so far) for ped deaths.

either way, you say 12, i say 4, mellow says 8, so if you average you and me, we're fucking awesome.

Radio Raheem said...

Fight the Power!

PCLA said...

Apparently, the Lobster God spent the 60's fighting Ultraman in Japan:

Spoiler: Ultraman kicks his ass. Sacrilege!

Anonymous said...

"Could there be a BikeSnob/Pedaling cycling and crustaceans collaboration in the future? "

What does the crustacean add to the collabo?

Being eaten is not a collabo make.

sufferist said...

Ant1: I was counting the last 6 months, taking us all the way back to some time in 2009. It might have been right around the time the fixie scene was closed? Not sure, either way, I agree, we are awesome.

Anonymous said...

Everyone has the right to be a victim.

Anonymous said...

What is the fine for running a red light in nyc?

Is it different for a car or a bike?

Anonymous said...


ant1 said...

mellow - "only because of their transport mode" may be right, but maybe it's for other, less sinister motives, like reducing the negative effect on traffic. not saying one is right and the other is wrong, i just don't see it as an obvious evil perpetrated by big brother bent on finding every way it can to exploit the grey areas of the law in order to trample our bill of rights rights. and regarding the mode of transportation, do you have any experience in/knowledge of the street drag/drifting/ricer crowd? they don't ride bikes, but cops still pay special attention to them. one could say it's because they drive fancy racing cars with wings, but it could also be because they have a history of breaking the law.

hillbilly said...

it is different anon 543, a tiny bit cheaper for bike, but still pricey, can't remember and no time to google it, but i got one last year, and it was something like 125 for first offense, doubled for 2nd and something like 475 for 3rd?!

hillbilly said...

Oddly enough, ant1, if Im thinking of the crowd you're talking about, they get, if anything, preferential treatment around here. Had a bbq in prospect park last year, totally trashed the place, rode around on the grass, etc, and police were clearing the sidewalk for them to park on! I think there were off duty officers involved.

ant1 said...

hillbilly - that's probably because they got a permit:)

Paul Bowen said...

I like the lobster tat lady, a lot.

eeeeeeeeee said...

on the Dachshund graphics I believe the Right About Now should be labeled Funk Soul Brotha'

hillbilly said...


(but i did chuckle)

Anonymous said...

Ah, so if the group is moving, we need a permit for more than 50.

If we want to sit down, we need a permit for over 25.

Now I understand.

hillbilly said...

yeah, I just noticed that too, that might just be for the park, or if there is grilling involved, or maybe if there is frisbee potential.

edom bin lobster said...

la ilaha ila lobster

snobbie raoul lobster

ant1 said...

"playing and sitting in the aftermath of that garbage, which was infested with rats."

i heard that was the norm in NYC.

CommieCanuck said...

Fuck Vancouver, and fuck critical mass. I decided to retaliate with an auto critical mass at 5-6pm tonight: thousands showed up and grid locked the town.
Fuck the man.

Praise Lobster.

Anonymous said...

If those fixie tools can ride 400 miles in a week, I know a group of us can ride from The Old West to Union Square North by the 26th. Especially if we have until 7.
I will have to check the route to see if we need any permits along the way.
Maybe we can keep it under 50...
What if we want to sit down along the way?

Seems like a lot of trouble to call a guy a douche.

The police escort once we hit the city will be nice.

Anonymous said...

what does all this mean for world naked bike day?

Andy Squirrel said...

personally, I think professional road racers and the spandex freaks on the road do more to deter those who don't yet ride....potential riders think they need some sort of spandex/crabon pass to join the cycling community. A CM is more everyman than any armstrong-loving fuckwit.

Anonymous said...

I'm from Maine and that Lobster is NOT anatomically correct.

Anonymous said...

Ha Ha!
CM should be changed to DP...douchebag parade
i believe in bicycle advocacy, but all you CMer's can suck my balls

dannnnny said...

You (bikeshob) said something along the lines of "Cycling has never been illegal in NYC". I could be wrong because I live in California (land of epic burritos and bitches) and frankly don't give a shit, but wasn't it illegal for a while to ride downtown NYC during weekly business hours? From what I understand, and again I could be ass-backward wrong, is that CM started as a protest mainly by the messengers as this law was an attack on them. Obviously if it did start this way, then it sucks that it has turned into a bunch of jackasses who dust off their bikes once in a while to ride like assholes while the messengers (and commuters alike) have to deal with all the people in cars that they pissed off.

leroy said...

With apologies to Prolly ....

I know Judge Kaplan. He's a solid dude who has been writing opinions for a long time for whatever that's worth.

Portland Fuzz -- you are absolutely right that folks in groups will do things they would never do individually. For better or worse, the same can be said of groups of people in uniform.

BSNYC -- what two large group rides start outside the City line other than the Gimble's ride? Is there a regular run up 9W?

hillbilly said...

Rocket Ride and Triangle are 2 that I always talk about doing and never do.....

Ronsonic said...

DIY Wheelbrows!!!!11

With official, hipster approved, PBR goodness.

Anonymous said...

CM's name should be changed to Critical Ass. More appropriate, really.

Anonymous said...

ultraman rocks! Forgot about that cartoon , thanks for the flashback. Oh fuck I've given my age away!

CC- back from the Clurling events in V soo soon?

spandex freak said...

There is no community. You curate a bike and ride the damn thing however you like it. There is no community. No passes. And Lance has done more to raise the awareness of cycling in the U.S. than any half-assed, beer-breathed, inner-city fixie-fag-fest.

Anonymous said...

Snob -- please explain the proper use of the word "whomever" -- it's been dropped from my lexicon due to ignorance.

Anonymous said...

Andy Squirrel--I'm hardly a Lance-loving fuckwit. Ha! Cycling is like any other sporting hobby. If you're wearing khaki's and riding a 30 lb cruiser, yes, there's a good chance that you are not going to keep up with some scrawny person in lycra on a carbon road bike. Same for running. If you're training for your first 5k, you probably don't want to run with a group training for a marathon. All this doesn't mean a person can't or shouldn't participate, they just need to be realistic about their abilities and expectations.

Barbara said...

Critical Mass is not about breaking laws or causing traffic. It's about getting together with other bike enthusiasts, having fun and feeling good being on your bike. And most important Critical Mass, like all group rides, offers a safe place for new cyclists to get used to riding through the city streets. That's how I became a bike commuter 15 years ago after someone suggested I check out this ride called Critical Mass. Went to a couple of rides and I after that I was hooked on biking. We all now that as the cycling community grows we have more power for positive changes and safer streets.

BS..You are helping spreading the lies that are coming directly from the NYPD and being used to break up the cyclist community.

Please come to the next ride to check it out. Your find the most lawful group of cyclists around. Which makes sense since each cyclists is being followed by about 2 police officers with a pad in hand waiting for you to do something that he could write up, regardless if it's a legitimate offense or not.

This was one set back, we have had so many victories over the years and will continue too have many more!

samh said...


CommieCanuck said...

CC- back from the Clurling (sic) events in V soo soon?

Ha ha. It was snow boarding, and I ran out of weed.

Jym said...

=v= The Times leaves out so many facts here. The actual legal timeline is something like this:

(1) NYPD ignores its own rules for demonstrations in favor of an event that requires a permit which they pretty much define as whatever they want it to mean.

(2) A Federal judge in 2004 says this is just a wee bit unConstitutional.

(3) NYPD rewrites the rules to mean anything that has 10 participants, prompting the inevitable outrage, after which they "compromise" to 50 participants.

(4) The 5BBC (that is to say, not Critical Mass) sues because the rule would require permits for Fred rides.

(5) Until the 5BBC case is resolved, police don't enforce their rule. Judge Kaplan argues that, gee whiz, the rule doesn't seem to have bothered the 5BBC, so it musn't be a problem. Can you see how wrong that is?

=v= The clear intent is to use the rule against Critical Mass but not Fred rides, but that violates the 14th Amendment and Judge Kaplan doesn't seem to care. You should.

Anonymous said...

cm is entirely antagonistic and stupid. to pretend is some sort of "large group ride bent on picking flowers and feeling safe and warm and fuzzy with our bffs" is specious.(thanks for the word, had to look it up)

PANTS said...

Critical mass just pisses people off. Why not just ride around parliament instead. Or actually do some lobbying. Why do you need to antagonise innocent people on their way home from work to prove a point.

What about the other millions of cyclists who aren't involved in critical mass. Maybe they don't want to be represented by you guys. You are just like a fundamentalist religious group who gives the rest of the religion a bad name, ever think of it like that?

You need to all stop being so self righteous and think about the rest of us. No driver who has ever had his day ruined by you dicks has ever thought afterwards "hmm those guys are right" all they have ever thought is "I fucking hate cyclists even more now".

I would so have suck on that titty with the lobster on it by the way.

Jingles said...

It seems to me that a parade of bikes is going to piss off everyone; automobile commuters, cyclist commuters, NYPD, pedestrians, crackheads etc...
I'm a cyclist who has a valid drivers license by the way.
I think that cycling advocacy could be gone about in a different way, otherwise we are going to go backwards. In the last year we've seen a lot of new bike lanes, that's something to be thankful for. Unless you're driving a car. Some people have to drive cars/truck/vans to make this city work the way it does at present. Some people don't and do so out of leisure.
I agree that more could be done in the lines of the cops stopping some of the dumb shit I see on the streets. But NYC or the NYPD aren't going to have a mandatory "bicycle awareness" seminar for all registered NYC drivers. And they are going to go about things the way they feel fit. Call me a "lazy ass liberty hating how'd our forefathers get here? sonofabitch". But the number of people involved and the way things are running it's only going to piss people off. People that won't back down either!
I we as cyclists constantly piss off those that can arrest us or run us over it's not going to be a good outcome. Now I agree sometimes it's not easy to hold back yelling at the moron that cut you off, I do it, and most of us do. But we can't fight fire with napalm.
Can't we all just get along! (One silent tear streams down my face, maybe I'll get it ink'd there.)

Jym said...

=v= I suppose it must be great fun to write the same ol' same ol' for the 100th time, but once in a while it's helpful to take the ol' brain out of autopilot.

This isn't really about Critical Mass, which was rolling for a decade before the RNC. It isn't really about Fred rides either, though the 5BBC is justly concerned about their legal status. This is about the NYPD concocting a pretext to hassle any public assembly they decide to, even those without bikes.

That should worry anyone who's concerned about our civil rights as laid out in the 1st and 14th Amendments. I guess it's not much of a concern for folks whose idea of civic engagement is sitting indoors and regurgitating tiresome blogspew, though.

brian1 said...

one word, AMAZING

Anonymous said...

One cyclists view from out west (Seattle) is that you should not allow the powers that be divide you, whether those powers are dressed in oil and blood-soaked Chevron, Shell, Exxon etc. uniforms, coats and ties of politicians, or in blue. Work towards a common goal, and be joyful that people of such different points of view have that same goal. My version of that goal is, less portable pollution devices (cars), and more exercise inducing vehicles (cycles).

The civil rights struggle was "won" by Malcolm X followers AND Martin Luther King Jr followers. Actually, even that struggle continues...

Be as you are - grumpy, irritable, snobbish, kind, or an asshole - but keep your eyes on the prize, and know we are all riding in the cloud of unburned hydrocarbon gasses together.

One more thought - Is it legal to openly carry rifles as you are cycling together in NYC? That would make great media. 100 cyclist carrying big water rifles being surrounded by boys in blue for not having a permit. The headline being "NO PERMIT TO SQUIRT." Oh God, that leads to very Freudian images.

Signing off to go...cccccccyciling in SSSSSSSeattle of course!

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Anonymous said...

Whatever where I ride, how I ride, I will piss off some motorists. Instead of giving up, I realized I could simply ride where I think I should be riding. Surprisingly, that meant having exactly the same behavior as described in the traffic laws. That backs me up when I'm fighting for road space.

In addition to my daily commute ride, I am now a regular CM participant. Why should I care that I may be pissing off motorists? They endanger my life every other day of the month!

I could live differently and ride my car every day, pissing off the person behind me because I made him miss his green light, pissing off the other one because now there's no parking spot left.

Or I could take the bus and piss off people because the buss is full and I'm carrying a lunch bag, and be a fucking loser in the eyes of the motorist riding alone in his car while I wait for my bus for 10 minutes for what would have been a 15-minute bike ride.

So what? Fuck Critical Mass? Yes, and fuck you too!

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Anonymous said...

Charlie Chan say .....if your balls are ripped off your ride and slammed against a wall; you are sure to follow!

cold sore treatment said...

Thank God that girl didn't choose a crab instead of that lobster....I mean what is the deal with that?

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