It’s reported all over but the best first-hand account I’ve seen is here at Checksum Arcanius. The short story is that during a critical mass ride a driver was blocked by the ride and ended up running over a cyclist and into several others before he was stopped by the riders who assaulted him, slashed his tires, and broke his windows.
Many people (cyclists included) are using this story to condemn critical mass rides. But I think this could have happened at any large community ride, even those that do not have the edgy, agro attitude you find at critical mass rides.
It seems to me that what happened is the driver became threatened by the number of people and angry that he was being physically blocked by the “corkers;” there might also have been a little bit of chest-puffing involved for the benefit of his wife, in the car with him. One thing led to another and soon he was driving over people. It’s only natural they would have done what was necessary to get him to stop, and I am saddened but not surprised that somebody saw fit to clock him with a U-lock. The whole thing is just a disaster and will fuel a lot of future indignation and resentment against bicyclists. For an example of the message most people will be taking away, see cnn.com’s awful reporting.
Please folks, keep a steady head. This corking business is not a good idea–if you really feel you must do something, just go up to the window and develop a friendly rapport with the driver. Approach with a smile on your face and assure them that they will be on their way in a moment. Remember that most people today spend 95 percent of their time locked indoors watching news reports about how dangerous it is to be outside. They are frightened of us and it makes them act strangely.
Lauren is in Seattle right now and may have even been on this ride . . . perhaps she will have more to add about it soon.