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Sactocm video online!

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  • Jason Meggs
    Sacramento, California s Critical Mass ride is this Friday. A video of last month s ride has just been posted to
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 4, 2002
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      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.


      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,
      waving together.

      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
      get away...".

      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.

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