Calling A Spade A Spade

Background Reading

According to the comments section on Youtube:

SAN FRANCISCO POLICE ARREST BICYCLIST ACCUSED OF ATTACKING CAR KGO Updated 1 hr 27 mins ago SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — San Francisco police have arrested a man accused of attacking a car in the area of Marina Boulevard and Lyon Street during a Critical Mass event last month. On Saturday, officers in the area along McCovey Cove saw a man and bike matching the description from the incident, so they arrested the suspect. The man was identified as San Francisco resident Ian Hespelt, 39. Officers detained the suspect and based on evidence booked him on felony offenses of false imprisonment, assault with a deadly weapon, vandalism and maliciously and willfully throwing a substance at a vehicle, police said. Officers also booked Hespelt for a misdemeanor offense of inciting a riot, according to police. The video of the incident shows bicyclists cross Marina Boulevard into oncoming traffic directly into the path of a dark blue vehicle. The vehicle is then forced to stop as the cyclist blocks the path using his bicycle. As the vehicle attempts to leave the area, the cyclist uses a U-Lock to strike the vehicle several times, causing approximately $2,000 worth of damage


A kerfuffle arose on a bicycle club discussion board recently. Things got a bit strained and before long the only way to calm down the rhetoric was to have those in favor of the Critical Mass Ride group admit that what is depicted in the video above is ‘reprehensible and disgusting‘. What surprised me was just how bad the video was once I too had a chance to view it.

It should be noted that the San Francisco Critical Mass is held in the same area as a demonstration (i.e. ‘stunt‘) took place a few weeks ago where Wiggle riders deliberately attempted to shut down the Rush Hour progress of the local area traffic to protest the fact that the police had been cracking down on the illegal practice of ignoring stop signs by refusing to come to a ‘complete stop‘.

Who exactly is in charge of the PR for the Urban Cycling Movement in SF? Find them and get your money back, guys!

It is true that Chicago has a more subdued version of the Critical Mass Ride. But my conjecture would be that the presence of police in the midst of the ride has a certain calming effect.



If nothing else the current GOP presidential debates have taught me that America is starved for people who are not ashamed to tell you exactly what is on their minds. The problem with people over 30 years of age who are still struggling to keep up with 20 somethings in a demonstration like Critical Mass is that it looks ugly.

Nothing looks more out of place than tie-dyed t-shirts and bell-bottomed jeans on someone who is pushing 70 years of age.

Likewise once you are old enough to know better than to pull out a U-Lock and bash the windshield of a car in (having boxed the car ‘in’ from the wrong side of the roadway) you need to get a haircut, trim that nasty looking beard and stop pretending that you can ride a single-speed bike without ruining your knees.

But some people do not age well. They get stupider as they get older. When confronted by the ugliness in this video their first instinct is ‘to deflect‘. It goes something like this, this particular group is known for being a ‘bit shifty‘. But not all groups are like them.

Well, if that is the logic you are going to employ, it is clear too that not every hate group hangs its victims. And the ones that do are probably known for their treachery. But what on earth possesses a grownup to function at the level of a teenager? If your daughter were ‘running‘ with a group you thought to be ‘dangerous‘ you would probably counsel her against dating a guy in the group.

Critical Mass Should Be A 'Geezer Free' Zone!

Critical Mass Should Be A ‘Geezer Free’ Zone!

So why after you have passed the age of 40 years are you yourself still hanging with a bunch of knuckleheads? Is their something in your psyche that demands that you ‘live on the edge‘?

Critical Mass Rides Are Iffy

Had those seven riders (see poster above) managed to filter onto the Lake Shore Drive they could most certainly have caused some mayhem. Is there anything in your ‘bucket list‘ that says must die on the LSD?

There is nothing about the Urban Cycling Community that really needs to be sustained in a negative fashion. There are enough difficulties and challenges for each of us to face during the work week to make a run-in with motorists needless.

Besides if you are really interested in ‘furthering the cause‘ would you not want to win friends in the driving community? Would you not want to find new ways to dissuade pedestrians who have been in confrontations with surly cyclists that there are many who understand their fears?

But If You Must Ride With Critical Mass

Please wear the mask of your favorite politician. And make sure his combover does not obscure those beautiful blue eyes. Also make sure someone at home is ready with bail money on the off change your sorry ass gets hauled into jail.

(WBEZ/John Fecile) Michael Gilewicz got a $70 ticket at the intersection of Addison and Clark streets and carries it around with him.

(WBEZ/John Fecile) Michael Gilewicz got a $70 ticket at the intersection of Addison and Clark streets and carries it around with him.

But I suspect many of the geezers who are still fumbling around on Critical Mass are hoping that at some point they too will have a ticket issued them which serves as a right-of-passage for the inept.

Carry on my wayward son!