Last week a critical mass of mostly black kids on BMX bikes swarmed the Cross-Bronx expressway in a glorious reclamation of space from the monopoly of the automobile.
Predictably the mass ride quickly caught the attention of media and the NYPD, who arrested 16 of the teenagers, prompting outcry of a disproportionate response by law enforcement given their ‘crime’.
Insanely, any group ride of more than 50 people is illegal in New York City. Imagine if such were the case for motorists.
Despite the success of critical mass-inspired rides the world over in promoting better cycling infrastructure, police are still mostly trained to see them as subversive, lawless, and chaotic.