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Rockford Critical Mass

Sorry this is late but I've been on vacation...
Once again, sorry for being late with this, but I have been on vacation since the ride happened, so...

The ride was to meet at 5:30 and leave at 6pm from Haight Park, a small park a few blocks off of the center of the city here...

We did a horrible job of publicity on it, hopefully we'll do better next month.

Apparently our publicity was enough to rouse the intrest of the local police department, however, probably due to the realization it would mean overtime for the bike cops. About 1/2 hr before the ride was to meet, there were already at least 8 uniformed police hanging out at the gazebo in the middle of the park.

I got there a bit late, which is unsurprising as i had to change clothes and ride across town after getting off work at 5pm...

aside from the overwhelming display of force from the Blue Bloc, when I arrived there were 3 riders waiting, one of them 11 years old. By the time the ride was to start, one other person had braved to enter the park on a bike (there were several who seemed to be coming to the park, who, upon seeing the blue block, turned around and left.)

One of the bike cops came and asked us where we were going to ride, as we had not decided on a route, we asked if he had any suggestions. He declined to suggest anything but did tell us we would be following all traffic laws. He also said something about having read up on the net and reaching the conclusion that we didn't like him too much. Here I would like to inform any of the Blue Block who might read this - of those present, none of us have any personal disdain from you, it is merely your function as slave traders for the prison industrial complex and the protectors of the privelege of the elite at the expense of the many that we disdain.

(when E.J. Paigel is free to grow all the medicine needed by all the sick people he knows, and Kelly Williamson is behind bars for profitting off the most destructive and widespead addictions in this city today {gas and tobacco}, and when the police protect the Ditzler's land and the Native American burial mounds on it from Kris Con {intentional misspelling there, or perhaps its the correct spelling and she intentionally misspells it - that seems more likely} THEN one might be able to argue that the function of the police has anything to do with protecting and serving citizens)

All in all though, the police presence was a positive thing - they gave us the mass needed to be both visible and to effictively assert our rights as vehicular traffic. Unfortunately, as none of us had been on a long ride with the 11 yr old and did not want to tire him out, we chose a relatively short route that wound around the downtown area, instead of taking advantage of the police escort and rising down through the main commercial area.

I've gone out riding with the youngin since tho and we know he'll be able to handle a much longer route next month (and he is looking forward to it!)

So, all in all, it was quite a good ride, no billy clubs or arrests or chemical weapons (tear gas, pepper spray)used, and I bet that the cops who were so paranoid that they put on bulletproof vests (!!!! at least one of the bike cops had one on, he must have been very glad we did a short ride!) felt rather silly, for that matter, they probably all did, seeing as they outnumbered the adult riders 2 to 1... we decided that as the bulk of the riders were cops, that we should end the ride in front of the cop shop, so that they didn't have to brave the streets all by themselves. At least one of us shouted to them "see ya next month!" as we rode off.

If we're lucky, next month we might have as many riders as the Blue Bloc sends!



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