LAPD warns riders to kick it or ticket at tonight’s Critical Mass

Lately, Critical Mass has become the face of L.A. cycling for many Angelenos.

And like so many L.A. faces, it’s time to have a little work done.

Following the incident earlier this year in which an LAPD officer appeared to kick a passing cyclist, a ride that had largely passed under the radar has been front and center, as the LAPD has worked with cyclists to avoid any similar incidents.

But even with a police escort, some riders have still taken the concept of organized anarchy to the extreme, including swarming drivers on the wrong side of the street. And causing local residents to complain to the LAPD and other government officials.

And while it wasn’t a CM ride, last week’s incident at the Ralphs on Lincoln Blvd — with cyclists riding through the aisles of the market — didn’t help.

As a result, police and leaders of the cycling community are calling on Critical Mass riders to cool it. And obey the minimal rules they expect riders to observe on tonight’s ride, such as:

  • Don’t run red lights or stop signs
  • Don’t ride on the wrong side of the yellow line
  • Don’t block intersections so that cross traffic can’t pass

That’s it.

No mass crackdown, no hard rules to enforce rigid regulations.

Just three simple don’ts. But riders who don’t observe them risk getting a ticket — or even face arrest if the police feel the violation warrants it.

Of course, the LAPD does have a few other simple requests, like avoiding various violations big and small that they’ve addressed in the past — and which should go without saying — including:

  • Vandalism
  • Thefts
  • Assaults
  • Criminal Threats
  • Drinking in Public
  • Smoking/using illicit substances
  • Driving/Riding under the influence
  • Participants under the age of 18 must wear a helmet
  • Participants should have necessary lighting equipment
  • All bikes must have brakes or otherwise comply with the braking requirements

Now go out and have fun.

But just remember, as Carlos Morales, founder of the Eastside Bike Club said, we need to police ourselves, or the police will do it for us.


More on Thursday’s press conference to formally announce CicLAvia from blogdowntown and KABC-7. The Daily News says streets may close for on 10/10/10; what part of closing streets for CicLAvia don’t they get? This is what ciclovía looks like in Bogotá, Colombia.


Councilmember Greig Smith revises his anti-bike resolution to allow neighborhood councils to review all street projects. No more need to lock your bike to City Hall’s front railing; oh, and the Mayor took some serious bike action at Metro, as well. Bike plan hearings begin this weekend. Photos from last weekend’s Vuelta de la BiciDigna. Why can’t some bike shops tell their Presta from their Schrader? Ride bikes, do good and drink beer at Tour de Fat, coming to L.A. next month. A San Rafael driver is charged after critically injuring a cyclist in a hit-and-run and driving off with the rider still on his hood. A Florida cyclist watches from behind the wheel as a rider gets hit by a car. In a truly tragic event, a Pennsylvania man paralyzed in a 1993 cycling accident is killed riding a hand bike he was given just last weekend when he veered into the path of an ambulance. Sag Harbor NY students organize a bike train for a safe route to school. An NYC paper supports separated bike lanes, but calls on fast cyclists to slow down, while a writer says more bikes means slower bikes. Upright riders have an anti-Critical Mass attitude. A Jacksonville FL man pleads guilty to stabbing two cyclists in a Memorial Day road rage attack. The death of a Maryland Senate candidate brings attention to a loophole in local traffic laws. The epitome of jerk-hood, as a Kansas City police dash cam catches three men stealing a bike, as police, paramedics and firemen tend to its wounded owner laying in the street after being hit by a car. Three cyclists have now pulled out of India’s Commonwealth Games because of health concerns and worries over accommodations. A preview of next month’s World Championships, while an Aussie academic says let Landis speak. More on the antique tricycle stolen from an English bike charity over the weekend along with more modern bikes and computer equipment. Brits say cycling is cool, but those who do it are miserable and lazy; well, only when we’re not on our bikes. London Mayor BoJo wants helmets for the city’s new bike share program after two riders are hospitalized with injuries. Excerpts from the new Cyclopedia. Former pro racer Mario Cipollini unveils his new bike; very sexy looking, but comfortable? Not so much.

Finally, the view from China suggests L.A. is going to become a bike-friendly city, saying “the city of Los Angeles will try every means possible to encourage its residents to ride bikes instead of driving cars.”

The view from L.A. says we’re — finally — off to a nice start, but we’ve got a very long way to go.


  1. Evan says:

    It’s sad when we have to ask other cyclists not to ride on the wrong side of the street. I’ve never ridden in a CM, so I don’t know what the jackass percentage is, but sadly in a large group of people, there are bound to be jerks in the mix–drivers, bicyclists, whoever.

    I’m not saying that we must be deferential and bow to automobiles at all times, just some commons sense and respect for our fellow citizens on the road. It’s what I would hope for in return.

    • bikinginla says:

      I think you nailed it. That was pretty much the consensus at last night’s LAOD Bike Task Force meeting.

  2. The Trickster says:

    To be honest I think the Reuters article is right. As much as I’d love to be able to go everywhere at my usual cruising speed (about 18-20mph) in a true biking culture that is just not possible.

    I think the best way to build bike infrastructure is to build it so that my mum (mid 60’s) would be comfortable using it, not necessarily for guys like us who while not always happy about it are actually pretty comfortable riding with the traffic.

  3. The Trickster says:

    Also, couple of cool vids for you of Robbie McKewen showing the Worlds lap once it gets into Geelong.

    Part 1

    Part 2

%d bloggers like this: