So i was the one hit in the accident at critical mass on friday. i want to reassure anyone who doesn’t know that i am ok, i sustained no physical injuries… and for all the bikes out there worried about my bike, its rear-end wheel rim is sore, but it will ride again!
I want to clarify that the accident happened at 7:30pm, at the end of the ride, well after rush hour. While taking up all the lanes on fifth was most certainly unwise, i feel like the logic behind taking an SUV down a bus lane and swerving it in among 150 cyclists repeatedly is, dare i say, more unwise?
So far as friday’s incident goes, there will be no criminal charges, nor traffic citations brought against the driver. There will also be no citation given to me or anyone else on the ride for what we were apparently doing wrong, which was not remaining on the right shoulder of the road before we turned left onto Halket. Even-steven, right?
What we are left with are two major issues; the car vs. bicycle mentality, and the inconsistent attitude of each critical mass. The first we are currently trying to figure out how to proceed dealing with, considering the past month of aggressive driving incidents in particular. The second is extremely important to me as i find it dividing the cycling community itself. I am well aware that there are many individuals with a similar perspective to steve’s, (and while i think that it is in poor taste to call critical mass a joke) the issues brought up are completely valid, among others that have been discussed heavily this past weekend.
A couple other individuals and i are planning on reworking the critical mass website and are collecting input on different information and resources that we should try to incorporate. Information concerning cyclist conduct during critical mass (as an individual and larger group), PA bicycling law, cyclist’s rights, the legal procedure/options to be taken from the moment an accident happens, contacts of attorney’s interested in assisting with cases, etc. Possibly a section that assists with organizing each ride, so far as where we will go, who will guide, cork (will we continue to cork?). The nature of critical mass is very confusing when it comes to controlling/organizing, due to its identity as a spontaneous, celebratory ride which serves a different purpose, political or not, for each rider.
So, for nutmeg, steve, anyone who feels like they can help in bringing the bike community back together on this by contributing their experience, suggestions, strategy, web-programming skills(!), to this endeavor, it would cheer me greatly to receive your input.
All that being said, i think this discussion would be best to happen on another site, through e-mail, or something. As we figure things out, we’ll get fliers and announcements sent out, maybe get something up on the critical mass website itself to take in suggestions and the like.
Lastly i just want to thank everyone who was concerned for me at the accident, in person, on a blog, and who was supportive of me while dealing with the police over the weekend, etc. These things really sap your strength away, and its the amazing community of bike riders we have here that keep each of us as individuals strong.