The NYC critical mass is this Friday, 9.30.05. There is large encouragement to use the 4 meeting spots. Choose your own adventure. Goto: Washington Square Park, Tompkins Sqaure Park, Union Square Park (Both North and South Sides) and Madison Park (23rd and Broadway) 7:00pm Here is a little speech on the importance of these spots: "Last month the NYPD, after what appeared to be a backing off period,resumed their strategy of attacking Critical Mass with overwhelmingforce, right at the start of the ride. This is what they were doingfor the 9 or so months since the RNC ride: the ride leaves the parkand they pounce, throwing up nets, cornering riders, stealing bikes...you know the drill. In response to this (because we were tired ofbeing such obvious and easy targets) people started to meet up invarious locations other than Union Square. This took some effort andsome coordination, but it did seem to have an effect. It certainlymade it more difficult for the cops to police the ride. Whether itwas this or some other reasons, the NYPD did back off the ride,considerably. So much so that Union Square once again seemed safe,and the multiple meetup strategy was sort of abandoned (not entirely,but mostly). And now they are hammering at the ride again, pouncingon Union Square riders almost as soon as they leave the park. So we are revitalizing the decentralizing. Putting the kink back inthe hose, or something like that. This month there will be peoplestarting out from Madison Sq. Park, Tompkins Sq. Park, Washington Sq.Park, and Union Square. You and your friends can also start fromwherever the fuck you please of course, but there will for sure befolks at those locations, and, at least in those locations there willbe folks in constant communication with riders from all the otherstart-ups. Then we get to play a game of "find your friends" in thestreets of Manhattan. It's fun, actually, and even if you never findthe other rides, you are likely to have a less cop-heavy ride, andthere is the added bonus of just making all of this more of a pain inthe ass for the assholes. So, that's the announcement: show up somewhere ELSE at 7:00pm, and beprepared to RIDE. The other part of this, is that the community of riders who take partin CM need to have a way to discuss tactics, and to inform new ridersabout some of what CM riders have figured out thus far after years ofdoing it, things such as: ** If there's, like, two cars up at the front and we have 500 ridersbehind them: Let the fucking cars go. Blocking them in the middle ofthe street blocks OTHER RIDERS. It's stupid. **SLOW THE FUCK DOWN. If you find yourself in the front of the ride,don't get so excited (and yes, it is exciting, we know, and we alladore you for your exuberance, but shit...) that you ditch the slowerriders. Yes you are an individual, but CM is at heart a collectiveexperience. You are a part of a larger body, and ripping the headfrom the torso is painful, and leaves both body parts vulnerable. **Just cause you're at the front doesn't mean that you ought to be"leading" the ride. And, inversely, just cause some jackass is at thefront doesn't mean you all have to follow them. Check them out. Slowdown and make some smart decisions ** If you see an undercover, TAKE RESPONSIBILITY. OUT them. Thismeans yelliing to the other riders. This means riding right alongsidethem and eavesdropping. It does not mean whispering the informationto the 4 or 5 riders in your immediate vicinity. Etc...." We would like to continue a discussion about Critical Mass and ride tactics so feel free to post comments here on this blog. See you in the streets Friday.