On Friday, September 30 during the rush hour commute home, a homegrown organization of radicals will take over the city streets of Chicago unannounced, affecting the end-of-the-week, end-of-the-month commute home for hundreds of thousands of citizens, making countless parents late picking up their children after school and doing everything possible to disrupt the normal peace and enjoyment of another fall Friday afternoon.
You cannot call the police.
You cannot call City Hall.
There is nothing you can do about it.
You must simply take it. And suffer.
No, it’s just another Critical Mass in Chicago, allowing hipsters and other cycling morons to flaunt the laws of “The Man” and “take the streets back.”
I have been a cyclist all my life. I routinely put more miles on my bicycle than any five cyclists I know – added together.
My book, The Urban Cyclist’s Survival Guide, is a collection of lessons learned from more than 15,000 miles riding on city streets every day. I am the biggest advocate of safe cycling you will find, having invented new helmets and bike frames that improve cycling for the next generation.
And yet, I agree with every motorist around the world when they say: enough is enough with these Critical Massholes who think that because their smelly Guatemalan pants match their once-blond dreadlocked hair that they are entitled to run amok on the city streets once a month?
How can City Hall endorse such illegal, selfish and society-undermining behavior? How does City Hall allow this ridiculous display of thumb-nosing to hard-working taxpayers forced to sit behind a group of lawbreakers who feel it’s their right to be able to ride helmet-less en masse because … well, they can?
I’m not just a cyclist, I’m a professional cyclist who was paid to write a book on how to survive anything on a bike and I say – shut down the Critical Mass for these reasons.
CRITICAL MASSHOLES ARE NOT CYCLISTS:
Critical Massholes are to fundamentalist terrorists what Islam is to cycling. I love cycling but I am not a Critical Masshole. Likewise, many of my best friends are Muslim, but they are not terrorists. However, in the “profiling” era we live in society no longer takes the time to assess what one individual is doing. Instead society judges based on what they’ve seen recently with their own eyes. Every afternoon on the last Friday of the month thousands of Critical Massholes take over the city streets and ruin people’s daily routine.
Cycling is a sport that an individual or team can compete in or enjoy either as a workout or a commute or as means for “getting away.”
Critical Masses are designed not for sport or exercise, but, according to their own site: “Critical Mass is created when the group of riders comes together for those few hours to take back the streets of our city. The right of the people to assemble is guaranteed in the Constitution, and Critical Mass helps people remember that right.”
I have to right to free speech, but I cannot yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater.
Sure, Critical Mass has the right to assemble – but where does it say that they are allowed to make that assembly mobile? The Constitution may allow for the right to assemble, but where is the right to have tax-payer money pay for police escorts? And assembly is fine - assemble at the Daley Plaza and talk all you want about cycling rights. But there is nothing in the Constitution that says the police must protect you as soon as you make your assembly a movable feast on the city streets.
Critical Masses are more akin to predetermined, rolling riots than they are to a parade. A parade is intended to entertain the crowds, not the participants. However, Critical Masses are intended to entertain the participants, not the crowd which is forced to sit by without reacting to such a selfish act.
CRITICALL MASSHOLES: PROBLEM, NOT SOLUTION:
Hey, hipsters, you are not “cool.” You are 100 percent part of the problem, and zero percent part of the solution.
Do you realize how much worse you make life for other cyclists in the city after your self-satisfying ride each month?
Your monthly ride increases road rage and reduces the goodwill between motorists and cyclists because every month thousands of motorists, who would otherwise not even think about a bicyclist that day, were forced to sit and wait in traffic for your own selfish and non-specificied reasons.
Next time you have two minutes, Google up "critical mass car accident" and you will see photos and video from around the world with citizens in every language furious with the childish behavior of these cyclists who have no rightful claim to terrorizing the city streets.
HOW DARE CITY HALL SUPPORT THIS:
If a group of enthusiasts can simply take over a city and break any rules they wish along the way all the while getting an escort from the police, then what stops any of us from starting new similar organizations?
Baseball Fans – on the First Tuesday of every month we’ll organize thousands of baseball bat enthusiasts, we’ll walk the city streets swinging our baseball bats wherever and however we wish. We won’t advertise our route ahead of time so you cannot avoid us. If you run into our bat-wielding parade that’s just too bad for you if you’re trying to get somewhere because we’re going to take our time. It’s our Constitutional right to assemble and swing bats.
Chain Saw Fans – on the second Wednesday of every month let’s get together every person who owns a chain saw and have them parade through the city, shutting down all traffic along the way, revving our saws and marching proudly with them on display for everyone to see and hear and fear.
Clearly, those organizations would never be allowed to have those parades. I’ve worked with baseball bats and chains saws all my life and never been hurt by one. I’ve also ridden my bike all my life and been in more than a dozen accidents thanks to other cars, cyclists and joggers ignoring traffic and running stop signs or red lights. My point is that a bike is just as much a weapon as a bat or a chain saw when used incorrectly.
Critical Massholes are using their bikes incorrectly and they should be stopped for the common good of everyone.
COMMON SENSE HAS BEEN ABORTED:
I predict a bad accident on the horizon that will bring all of this to light in Chicago. It's already happened in countries around the globe, like the ugly incident in Brazil. I have to admit, while I do not want anyone to get hurt – especially when it’s associated with cycling – I’m eager to see Critical Masses and the Massholes they attract disappear.
There will come a day when a driver is in a hurry or simply will not suffer the delusional thoughts that Massholes have of being entitled to the streets and that driver will drive right through and over a Critical Mass. Many people will be hurt; some may die.
And when it happens, I will be the first person to ask Mayor Rahm Emanuel and everyone at City Hall – where were you? You could have prevented this long ago, but instead you decided to allow Critical Massholes to have the streets on the last Friday of every month during rush hour – one of the most stressful times of the month for any bill-paying contributor to society - and you continue to give them a police escort! Where is the money in the City Hall budget to protect lawbreakers?
I pray City Hall comes around and realizes the folly of its past ways. I never expect Critical Massholes to understand.
Massholes can try to learn by reading the part of The Urban Cyclist’s Survival Guide that explains road rage and how much a part of road rage is actually caused by cyclists doing stupid thinks, like riding in a Critical Mass that expects motorists to “understand” that these cyclists are “entitled” to the road too.
The Constitution allows for assembly, but it does not allow for transportation of that assembly in any way that hinders society at large.
Reading a book won’t really solve anything because what I am talking about cannot be understood by explanation or teaching.
I am talking about simple manners and having to share the same city with others.
Critical Massholes have never understood that and I doubt they ever will until someone gets hurt. Go to Iowa if you want to “take over the streets” and be safe. Doing that same thing in any major city is simply flaunting your stupidity and begging to cause problems.
Critical Massholes, you are making life worse for all cyclists. You are a major part of the problem. You are not cool or hip or accomplishing anything other than driving a huge wedge between motorist and cyclists and there will be blood on your collective hands one day. Actually, there is already blood on your hands given the number of accidents in the past couple years alone from drivers who refuse to recognize Massholes ridiculous claim "to assembly."
When someone gets hurt in a Critical Mass in Chicago, the blood will be on the hands of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, City Hall and all the sympathizers and participants in any Critical Mass.
Mayor Emanuel, Critical Mass is a ticking time bomb just waiting to go off. Please step in and stop it before more innocent people get hurt or killed.
Just think, how big would the lawsuit be if a motorist plowed through a police-escorted Critical Mass killing cyclists, city workers and innocent pedestrians? As if Chicago has enough money to pay for such a thing. Then again, City Hall has found a way to pay for officers to escort the Critical Mass for years so apparently Chicago isn't as broke as it would allow you to believe.
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