Open Letter To The Riders In Critical Mass

bikesbannerLet’s get one thing straight. I like bikers (of the bicycle variety). I’ve been known to crush on bike messengers, and I think the SF Bicycle Coalition is a pretty badass organization (and I really wish there was some kind of counterpart for pedestrians/public transit riders).

I generally support Critical Mass. It doesn’t annoy me any more than any of the demonstrations in the City annoy me. I think the less cars downtown, the better. I don’t own a car myself.

But the recent molestation of a pedestrian by a bad apple from the Critical Mass group last Friday really. Pisses. Me. Off.

What makes me the most upset is that, after this one jackass (which is really the kindest word I could give this person) grabbed a woman, with dozens of his Critical Mass fraternity looking on, no one said anything. Supposedly there is no formal leadership among Critical Mass, but all these guys (and a few token women) know each other, are generally friends who swap stories and slap each others’ hands when passing down the street.

Not even one guy has the guts to come out and say, “Dude. That’s totally not what Critical Mass is about. We hate cars, not women.” Or something to that effect.

Instead, as is the case where violence against women thrives, the molester pedaled up and lost himself in his fraternal camouflage.

SF Bicycle Coalition, Critical Mass riders, someone: Please call this guy out.

At this point, I’d be happy with just one Coalition or Mass rider saying something. The silence is painful.

The only thing I’ve read (and I’ve searched) from a bike-person is from Alan, who commented on the SF Appeal article I linked to above, saying,

“How about a little more reporting on this? Like, how do we know she didn’t do something to deserve it?” [emphasis mine]

Do you ride a bike in the City? Are you a messenger? Do you participate in Critical Mass?

I really want to hear what you think. And without anonymity.


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