Volume 76, Number 24 | November 1 - 7, 2006

Critical Mass shows no fear, but needs a few more lights

By Jefferson Siegel

Friday's Critical Mass ride was one of the more popular of the year because of its Halloween theme. Cyclists arrived in an imaginative array of costumes, including witches, goblins, skeletons and zombies.

Before the start of the ride, two cyclists, Lady Luck (Sam Wilson of Bedford-Stuyvesant) and the queen of France (Jessie Reilly of Brooklyn) were advised by a police officer that they would be arrested if they rode without lights.

Nearby, one of the walking dead wasn't so lucky, as he was ticketed before the ride for riding without a light.

Several hundred cyclists rode out of the park and east on 16th St. Turning down Third Ave. they were cut off by police just above 14th St. Nine cyclists were stopped and issued summonses for riding without lights.

The ride splintered, with some heading north and others west. One group rode north on Park Ave., through the Grand Central roundabout, before being cut off at 46th St. Another group was stopped at 35th St. and Lexington Ave.

Sisters Barbara and Judy Ross, both Time's Up! volunteers, were stopped on Third St. near Sullivan St. and ticketed for riding down the middle of the street, as opposed to keeping to the right or left.

One rider, with a cardboard anglerfish attached to the front of his bike, was stopped on Second Ave. at Fifth St. He told the police that the fish had a small light attached to its snout, but the cyclist was still ticketed for riding without a light.

The riders met up at the Time's Up! space on E. Houston St. for the post-ride Halloween party, where they danced the night away to songs like the Tom Tom Club's “Genius of Love” and the Eurythmics' “Sweet Dreams,” as well as the brass band sounds of the Rude Mechanical Orchestra.


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