Two-Wheel Drama In The LBC: Bicycles Impounded, Critical Mass Riders Cited By Long Beach Police
On the last Friday of every month, hundreds of Earth cities mobilize on two-wheels to celebrate the joy of cycling and gather for pedal rights during organized Critical Mass rides.However, last Friday, police shut down the inaugural Critical Mass ride in Long Beach citing the majority of the riders for a variety of infractions (registering your bike with the city??) and impounding dozens of bicycles.
According to the Los Angeles Times, "Riders thought police were there to help move traffic along, but instead cyclists were cited and their bicycles impounded. About 60 citations were handed out to riders without proper night lighting, for running stop signs or riding unlicensed bicycles, among other violations."
"The action is a big black eye for a city that touts itself as the most bike friendly city in the U.S. 'It appears being bike friendly only applies to a limited part of the city,' said June Kaeswith, one of the organizers" in the Long Beach Press-Telegram. Police Chief Jim McDonnell justifies the activity claiming Critical Mass, "engages in dangerous conduct, violating every rule of the road and endangering the public."