Sactocm video online!
- Sacramento, California's Critical Mass ride is this Friday.
A video of last month's ride has just been posted to
Part two of the video is linked from there.
Here's the story:
Sacramento Critical Mass This Friday Dec. 6, 2002!
by Jason Meggs . Wednesday December 04, 2002 at 09:49 AM
RealVideo: stream with RealPlayer or download RM file (49.3 mebibytes)
SACTOCM November 1, 2002 Ride Report
with TWO-PART VIDEO!
Whooping, cheering cyclists on bicycles of all shapes and sizes rolled
through the streets of Sacramento last November 1st to an inspired 80's
theme sound track. Bystanders on foot, pedal and even in motor vehicles
cheered and applauded, danced along to the music, and eagerly accepted
flyers describing the event. The ride occurs again this Friday, December
Sacramento Critical Mass, a rolling pedal-powered demonstration and
celebration, occurs every month in the Capitol city of California. The
right to ride has not come easily. Due to egregious civil rights
violations by the local police, along with animosity from a small but
vocal group of influential bicycle advocates, Critical Mass efforts have
come to an early and unfortunate demise repeatedly over the past decade.
Due to an extended campaign by the Bicycle Civil Liberties Union
(BCLU) and individuals from Sacramento and the Bay Area, culminating in a
BCLU lawsuit directed against the Sacramento Police Department, a relative
truce has emerged allowing this special form of peaceful protest to have
the chance to flourish in the Capitol city as it has throughout California
and indeed, the entire world in over 300 cities. The movement has just
recently celebrated its 10th Anniversary in San Francisco. The loss of
beneficial effects Sacramentans would have received from Critical Mass had
police not suppressed the demonstrations beginning in 1993 is a true
Given the tremendous bikeability potential of Sacramento -- flat, with a
good climate, and significant progress on a bicycling infrastructure for a
U.S. city -- along with the huge number of everyday cyclists throughout
the midtown area -- Critical Mass here has an incredible opportunity to
thrive. The many bike lanes and paths are due in large part to the ardent
efforts of the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates (SABA), a group which
unfortunately has refused to discuss the Critical Mass phenomenon.
The ride occurs every first Friday of the month, gathering on the north
Capitol steps from 5-6 PM and riding after 6 PM. From the San Francisco
Bay Area, the main group meets at the Emeryville Amtrak by 1:30 PM, using
a discount ticket pass. Some riders get on at other stations (e.g.,
Richmond, Berkeley, Fremont, San Jose), and it's possible to leave on a
later train. Returning, the last train back gets in around 10 PM. In the
Bay Area, the San Francisco Critical Mass (frequently numbering in the
thousands) takes place on the last Friday of the month, gathering from
5:30 PM to depart after 6 PM from Justin "Pee Wee" Herman Plaza at the
foot of Market Street. In Berkeley, riders gather every second Friday on
Constitution Plaza above the Downtown Berkeley BART
A police vehicle followed the ride throughout the evening, which
undoubtedly reduced the amount of motorist aggression
experienced. Whenever the police car fell behind or to one side, potential
problems began to appear. Sacramento drivers with their wide car-first,
freeway-like, one-way streets and lack of first amendment activity is
still getting used to the existence of Critical Mass.
VIDEO PART ONE HIGHLIGHTS
Begins with a drumming improv session on Amtrak to Sacramento from the Bay
Speeches are made about sticking together and flyering, and about the
potential for literally thousands of people to enjoy the ride every month.
The ride kicks off with one rather maniacally happy young woman falling to
the ground and dragging from the four-seat home-made car bike she was
pushing. "That video should be shown over and over and over again!" she
proclaimed. (Not this edit :).
The music mysteriously cuts out just as riders are "corking" a major
intersection to keep it safe for the entire group to get through. The
sound system crew jokes about people who cannot understand the ride while
restoring the system. "I want to be one of those people who calls 911 all
the time, oh no, it's an emergency, there are bikes everywhere!"
A driver flagged as aggressive is told about why the ride is taking the
Folks clap and cheer from a sidewalk cafe as a woman holds her baby up,
A woman in a car cheers, "Right on -- you spoke for your generation after
all! This is great!"
A poetic visual speedup through a maze of cars to the words, "I've got to
A bystander who wondered if Critical Mass was a band -- followed by
hamming it up to "Feel the Noise" by Quiet Riot due to the ride's new
status as rock stars.
A long interview about the misperceptions about Critical Mass, after
someone outside Pacific Bicycles called out that the ride gives him a bad
name, how a cyclist was hit three days earlier in a hit-and-run, and
related issues. Guarantee you he's never even been on a ride.
People dilligently handed out informational flyers to bystanders. Only a
small fraction of the many amazing and acrobatic hand-offs of flyers were
captured or included here throughout the two parts of the video. For
instance, an impressive handoff from a woman on a supertall bike to a man
out strolling. And, kids in a bus stop reading the flyer. "Thank you for
using public transportation, don't be afraid to care!"
Cheers from sidewalk restaurants, bars and cafes.
Another conversation with a motorist. This one who says the riders should
go try to save Tibet and let him have his RV.
Bike dropping bike grease, plastic helment, and camera probably made by
slave labor. He told the folks on the four-seater car-sized bike, "Get a
job you fucking tree huggers".
Enjoy and don't forget part two!
add your comments
how to get the player for the video
by Jason Meggs . Wednesday December 04, 2002 at 10:03 AM
You watch these things online with a "free" RealVideo player, in case you
aren't familiar. Very common on Indymedia. Best to have DSL and sound,
although you can at least hear it on a modem and catch some of the images.
I wish I had a better solution (there must be one out there) but Real is
very common and free and right now that's the most readily available way I
know of for me to put my video on the web.
The free player is at http://www.real.com and they make it hard to find
the "14 day free trial" stuff, go to the "download free player" in upper
right and then ignore the 14-day stuff again). OR more specifically,
assuming this would work for you:
and then...you could check out...
-=- more meggs video -=-
Snorkel snurkel: berkeley critical mass in the rain,
what exquisitely silly ecstasy
part 1: http://www.indybay.org/news/2002/11/1542503.php
and part 2: http://sf.indymedia.org/news/2002/11/1542525.php
It's kind of rough and video on bike is wacky but still it captures a lot
of fun stuff, and lemme tell you that was ONE HECKAFUN RIDE!!!
this one is wonderful, of kids at an anti-war demonstration:
and here's one of me getting pulled over for a citation,
and telling off a poopster copper. people say it's very
and FINALLY, here's one of the Measure O video (fair trade,
organic, or shade grown coffee initiative that lost big
but shouldn't have). DONKEYS! It's my most recent one
before the Rain Ride piece and includes a discussion of
some real life legal issues:
Well that's it for now. I also uploaded a video of an undercover
cop pushing a demonstrator (and IMC reporter/photographer) into
a wall of cops where he was arrested. It was in MPEG format.
I'm always interested in comments or advice about how to make these videos
better. The time constraints and equipment constraints certainly affect
how they're produced.
THANKS TO CP FOR THE CAMERA LOAN!