Critical Mass

The man in the car
Couldn’t get very far
Cos the road was blockaded by bikes
A deliberate slight
To his god-given right
To drive fast, and wherever he likes.
When a critical mass
Is a pain in the ass
To a man in a car in Brazil
Just remember, the car
Is much bigger, by far,
So just step on the pedal, and kill.

Warning–the following video may be a bit disturbing, especially if you ever ride a bike.

I’ve seen critical masses in Athens, Greece and here in Cuttletown, and they have been cheerful occasions. Yes, I have seen drivers a bit irritated; always, though, the cyclists were obeying the laws of the road. I’ve also ridden behind these drivers in traffic jams when I could have illegally passed them easily. Not all bike riders disobey the laws. Bikers have every bit as much legal right to the road as drivers; both populations should follow the rules.

If you watch the video, there is a clearly wrong party here. There is simply no justification for the behavior of the driver. But, as long-time readers may know, my hobby is reading the comments. I saw this story on NPR’s two-way blog, and it surprises me that the comments there are far more (as of my most recent reading) critical of the cyclists and defensive of the driver, than the comments at youtube!

Update–the man has been arrested: details are scarce, but here.


  1. says

    Fucking hell. I had to wait to post a comment until I could see through the tears. How can anyone excuse the actions of that monster? There are no more words.

  2. Anonymous says

    The people I've seen who were making excuses sounded a lot like rape apologists. That the cyclists were "asking for it" by being out there on their bikes or something.I just don't even.

  3. Anonymous says

    That he's claiming it's self-defense (instead of mechanical problems) and he had his kid in the car says "psychotic" to me. One of the more horrifying things I've seen.

  4. Svlad Cjelli says

    Clearly selfdefense. So many cyclists distancing themselves slowly could easily have crushed the car if he hadn't acted.

  5. latsot says

    That is pure horror. The thought of someone seeing a whole bunch of people as merely obstructions is the kind of nightmarish scenario we hope and pretend won't happen.

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