Nine Arrested During ‘Critcal Mass’ Bike Ride
September 25th, 2004 5:43 pm US/Eastern
A mass bicycle ride ended with nine arrests on Friday, a month after police arrested hundreds of cyclists who mobbed streets the weekend before the Republican National Convention.
“We think the ride went really well,” said Leah Rorvig, a volunteer for the environmental group Times Up!, which takes part in the monthly “Critical Mass” rides. “It was a really celebratory mood.”
She estimated that between 800 and 1,000 riders took part in the event, which began at Union Square. The rides, held the last Friday of every month, traditionally advocate bicyclist and pedestrian rights, but last month’s included anti-Bush chants.
“Ultimately, everybody attends critical mass for a different reason,” Rorvig said.
Police confiscated 40 bicycles, according to Detective Noel Waters, a police department spokesman. Eight people were arrested at 36th Street and Fifth Avenue, and one was arrested at Union Square, all on minor charges such as disorderly conduct and obstructing traffic, he said.
The police department had warned riders that there would be arrests at Friday’s ride if participants rode more than two abreast or did not follow the same traffic rules that apply to cars.
Rorvig said she had heard reports that police cut locks off some bicycles along the route and confiscated them. She said riders sometimes lock their bikes to nearby poles and leave the scene when things become chaotic, and she said police have cut locks on bikes before.
During last month’s Critical Mass bike ride, days before the start of the Republican National Convention, 264 were arrested.
Copyright 2004, MMIV Infinity Broadcasting Corp.