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Direct Actions for Cycling

Bike to Work

Mayor Art Eggleton, who has declared June 10-15, 1990 as Bike to Work Week, has invited major downtown employers to host events that would encourage employees to cycle to work.

--Cyclometer, January, 1990. Toronto City Cycling Committee.

London Bike Lanes

Fear, it seems kept cars from parking on the Waterloo Bridge cycle lanes on the evening of June 16, as around 40 LCC members patrolled the lanes on their bikes -- with a glint in their eyes and predatation on their minds -- hunting down the illegal parkers.

Every evening from about 6:00, it's normal to see cars parked over the cycle lanes going north and south over the bridge. On 16 June the motorists who usually ignore the pre-7:00 parking restrictions were thin on the ground. "It's such a successful demonstration," declared organizer Paul Casson, "that drivers haven't dared to park."

The few motorists who had failed to notice the massed bands of cyclists, or couldn't read the lane signs (?) or ignored them, were approached by LCC members and politely informed that parking in the cycle lane was illegal before 7:00pm. They were then asked to move on.

"The car with the bike on it" was the photocall staged for the event. [An LCC member provided their car so a 3 inch wide cloth strip could be placed on it so it looked like the bike lane went over it. Another member sat on their bicycle and balanced on top of the car.]

--Daily Cyclist, Aug/Sept, 1988. London Cycling Campaign.

Critical Mass in San Francisco

The Critical Mass rides in San Francisco have been an inspiration to the world. The rides started there and then spread to many major and minor cities around the globe. In SF, the rides were anarchy on wheels. I mean the good kind of anarchy, where everyone is peaceful but no one was "in charge." City officials tried to get a hold of the organizer, but there wasn't one! The rides were fun and informal, a party on wheels more than a demonstration. They were getting crowds of 1,000 to 2,000 riders!

As time went by, Greta said they started to feel "like riding in the fucking Fraternal Order of Police Parade, two miles per hour and surrounded by a hundred motorcycle cops."

Since there was no leader, some guy by the name of Christian Lackner got the idea of registering with the City as the masses leader. The guy apparently is a jerk on a power trip.

She went on to say, "The guy from byker Pryde fanzine, in Madison WI, lamented having less than ten people show up for the C.Mass ride there. I laughed about it, but hey, what's worse, a little bike ride or a big bike ride with a copyright stamp on it, tons of cops, and a camera crew from Levi's in your face all the time? It's all in your perspective."

At the August 1995 ride, things changed a bit. "There was an alternative ride of about a hundred, frolicking and cop-free. And, Christian Lackner, the self-styled grand wazoo of the mass, mysteriously found an extra lock on his bike and had to miss the whole thing! See, the mass needs no leader!"

--Daniel Convissor, based on email correspondence in August 1995 with Greta who puts out Mud Flap, a great cycling zine. Check it out!

[PHOTO: bicyclist] Up to the Bicycle Page.


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Last updated: 17 April 1999