Kumbaya

There will be full coverage of the ride Monday morning, but I’m happy to report that the first "LAPD sponsored" Critical Mass ride was an overwhelming success.  Not only did the LAPD escort the ride safely through the city, but riders and the police had a fun night joking back and forth as the bike cops, motorcycle cops and even the LAPD film crew in a four-wheel all terrain vehicle zipped through Koreatown, Mid-Wilshire, Fairfax, West Hollywood, Hollywood, and East Hollywood.  As we zipped up Fairfax Avenue towards the Grove and Pan-Pacific Park, one officer even laughed that he was having so much fun that he might do this every Friday.

But don’t take my word for it, here’s three videos shot in the CVS parking lot at Sunset and Western.

 

 

 

  • Ahem, dudeonabike, ohaijoe, Chicken Leather, Damien…girls on their cruisers? Come on! We all know there are fast girls riding bikes that can dust all y’all (not that I’m one of them, but I certainly aspire to go fast). Can we compare the slow cops to something other than girls on beach cruisers? Just saying…

  • Oh, also meant to say: great coverage! Everybody was so stoked with the LAPD. I loved their calming presence and that they nabbed the taggers that joined the ride. I think we showed them that’s not how we want to be too, because when the officer arrested the tagger when we first arrived at Sunset/Western, the cyclists all supported the officer. I hope they know we want to peacefully assert our right to assemble, and that they saw that tonight/last night. If that was a first date, I definitely say let’s give ’em a call back soon for the 2nd date!

  • Thank you LAPD. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Joseph E

    Wow, that went really well!
    Imagine how may people will show up if they know it will be a safe, peaceful ride. I know I stayed away, afraid of what the LAPD might be intending. But that looks like fun. Maybe I’ll take my kid with me and join the ride next month.

  • Don’t blame me! Blame Chicken Leather! I’m the one going, “hey they dusted me too!”

  • KobeFan

    This is great!!! Everyone was leary thinking there would be radical, lawless bicyclists who were going to make trouble just to get attention and everything went smoothly. The bicyclists should learn from this experience and take control of those bicyclists who want to cause trouble to NOT obey all traffic laws. I’m hearing LAPD officers enjoyed the ride and was very happy the bicyclists did their part and obeyed the laws. To the few who are saying and joking LAPD weren’t in shape. It would be a fun idea for the bicyclists to wear a 25 lbs. San Brown belt LAPD has to for their gun, cuffs, etc. around their waist and ride to see how it feels. I would now like to see the bicyclists do some meetings in communities to educate kids on the dangers of riding without a helmet and in the street. GOOD JOB EVERYONE!!!

  • KobeFan,

    The joking about the LAPD not being in shape were definitely good natured. It was a love-fest last night. And I can’t be the one to make jokes, I have to admit I was worried that my daddy-body, which hasn’t done more than a 25 mile ride in almost a year, couldn’t hack a ride from the Westside to Critical Mass and back if the ride went east or North so I cheated and drove to a place about 4 miles west of the W/W start. Those cops held their own compared those of us that aren’t doing long rides as often as we’d like.

  • KobeFan

    LMAO!!!! Damien good one. Wouldn’t it be a great idea for the Critical Mass group to partner with LAPD and do something along the lines of having a fundraiser or big meeting together for the youth in poor areas who have bikes but can’t afford a helmet. Or simply to teach them about bike safety, the environment, and a lot more. I see these kids in the streets without helmets and riding wrecklessly because they dont’ have anyone to tell them what the laws are or bike safety. LAPF I’ve been told are up to their necks with the gangs acting up, summer is here so crime will start climbing and we lost cops because of the budget. Just some thoughts…

  • Not to sidetrack the discussion, but as helmet use increases the rate of cycling per capita decreases. It is the law, but we have an obesity epidemic and most kids will get killed and hurt either at home or in a car crash, not from riding their bikes. Get them riding, teach them how to position themselves properly and to be safe in how they operate their bike, and let them join the fun. Helmets can be a big barrier to cycling, so please don’t let that dominate the work we’re all doing.

  • Not to get side tracked Josef, but correlation doesn’t imply causation. Like you say though, train people on the top safety enhancements – experience, riding defensively, being visible, riding predictably, and route choice – and it will improve safety more than force feeding helmet use.

  • KobeFan

    I’ve been hearing some rumblings of many not happy that valuable police resources were used to escort the bicyclists on this ride. One guy quote “I hope LAPD isn’t going to use cops again to babysit these bicyclists who don’t know how to behave, instead of putting more cops in the high crime areas where they are needed.” And to those who keep saying this was a publicity stunt that is the farthest thing from the truth. It was all about public safety for everyone.

  • Eric

    It WAS and IS a publicity stunt on the part of LAPD.

    After reports of cyclists being handcuffed and their bags searched during traffic violations, a watch commander refusing to take a report, video tape of officers trying to knock over cyclists at a previous Critical Mass and then assaulting the videographer. LAPD had to do something, they could have just as easily announced they were going to facilitate the ride. Instead they sent out announcement stating anyone violating any traffic laws would be ticketed.

    Cyclists were not concerned about “radical, lawless bicyclists who were going to make trouble just to get attention “. They were concerned that LAPD was going to use traffic violations to make trouble just to get attention.

    One Kumbaya ride does not show ant real signs of change on the part of LAPD, it’s going to take more than this.

  • roadblock

    Kobefan the jokes about not being able to keep up were mostly in jest, however, on the regular I’ve seen ridazz like Big Bike Dan, Harry and LaHarr pulling 60 pounds of music trailer with speakers amp & batt etc for much longer than the ride on friday. just sayin’…

    What I’ve said before is that the LAPD should look in to getting roadbikes instead of the heavy clumsy mountain bikes. I know there are quite a few cops out there that ride. The city could save some money if they let these guys loose on bikes around the city more often.

    All around it was a really great feeling publicity stunt or not to have the LAPD come out and ride with us. Thanks for quickly responding to the community.

    I was also proud of most of the cyclists involved for having a good attitude about the cops riding along. The fact that 700-1000 people showed up fully knowing the LAPD would be there shows that the crowd is not in this to cause trouble. Quite the opposite! The majority of cyclists are looking for a good relationship with the LAPD and Friday night was proof positive.

  • It was a brilliant bit of publicity and it is clear that many people were genuinely touched by the way the officers acted. What more could you want out of an event like this? I literally had tears in my eyes watching the verbal and written reports from cyclists that were able to attend.

    Could you have imagined this happening 5 years ago? It shows the ties that have begun to be made between the LAPD and the cycling public, long may they last.

  • Spokker

    That’s great for the weekend fun runs, but will these events translate into better conditions during your day-to-day cycling?

  • Historic. Best LAPD experience ever. I will never forget this ride. So glad to have participated, so glad to see us reach this point. Big thanks to everyone involved.

  • Aktive

    I really enjoyed the LAPD riding with us and would like it to occur more often. Please since I can’t make Tuesday’s meeting let my opinion be heard:

    To cut the cost of the LAPD riding with us regularly, maybe they can do away with the helicopter and minimize the number of patrol cars. Bicycles, motorcycles and the golf cart are more than enough. Maybe a support pick up truck.
    Doing that can possibly make it easier for LAPD to afford joining us more often. . .

    Blessings to you all.

  • Kobefan,

    As citizens of this state and the City of LA, we are all entitled to the due protection and services of the LAPD. If the LAPD can spend some money to join a ride and get some perspective of the challenges cyclists have on the streets and on these rides, then I’m all for it. I’d much rather they spend resources that way then giving Britney Spears a police escort to the hospital when she ODs.

  • @danceralamode – Your line about Brit Brit made me laugh.

  • Also, Friday night’s ride was amazing. I had a great time!

  • Hey guys, I’m glad the ride was a great success, and I wish I could have been there for this one. I’m working elsewhere in the city, but I’ll be there on the next one. Keep the rubber side down.

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