Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Critical Mass to End June On a Strident Note, June 30, 2006

June 30, 2006--Cyclists will take to the streets tonight in their usual free form group fashion, but the mood is expected to be anything but normal.
Two cyclists were killed recently in accidents involving trucks, most recently, Derek Lake, 23,, on Houston St. on Monday during a rainstorm. According to media and police reports, Derek slipped on a metal street cover, fell under a tractor trailer that was making a turn, and was crushed by its wheels.
In another unrelated accident, Dr. Carl Nacht was cycling along the Greenway last Thursday, and was hit by a police tow truck that was turning into the NYPD facility at 38th St. He was thrown headlong into an illegally parked car along the Greenway, according to police and on Sunday, June 25, died of head injuries. He was not wearing a helmet.
Cyclists reactions to the deaths have been a mix of sorrow and outrage, and those sentiments are sure to come out with some anguish in tonight's Critical Mass ride, the unorganized mass bike ride that usually starts from Union Square and 17th St., and makes its way uptown along Park Ave., before coming back downt to Lower Manhattan.
It is not known whether the NYPD will be present at Union Square waiting for the riders, and how strenous they will be in curtailing the group's movements.
Previous Critical Mass rides have ranged from little containment and policing, such as those prior to the Republican National Convention in 2004. Since the RNC however, New York police have taken a much harsher stance towards the event, ticketing and sometimes arresting large groups of people.
You can view coverage of the memorial which was held for Nacht and Lake on June 29, and shot by Mike Pidel. You can also read more about Lake's accident and Nacht's on Gothamist.com.

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