Criticism Masses Over Critical Mass Busts

Friday Night's Critical Mass ride in Long Beach resulted in police citing most of the 100 bicyclists stopped, the seizure of bikes ridden by about 40 members--and a planned response by event organizers.

Riders were to arrive en masse to pick up their impounded bikes and attend the Nov. 9 Long Beach City Council meeting.

The Long Beach Press-Telegram has the scoop.

Fine as long as no bikes ride on it.
Fine as long as no bikes ride on it.

Advance word spread about Long Beach's inaugural Critical Mass at Anaheim Road and Palo Verde Avenue, but riders were only about 5 minutes in when they noticed police cars with lights on there.

They mistakenly believed the cops were holding the intersection open for riders, but the officers were actually there to bust the Mass.

A spokesperson for the cop shop later told the paper the riders posed a safety threat.

Critical Mass promoter Ronnie Sandlin reportedly claimed his group tried unsuccessfully to gain a permit for the ride for a month and a half, and that all riders were told in advance to obey the rules of the road.

The seizure of bikes was particularly difficult for riders who rely on their rides for transportation to jobs and school, according to Sandlin, who called the police action a big black eye for a city that touts itself as the most bike friendly city in the U.S.


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