Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bikes & Rollerblades On The Freeway. Faster Then Cars.

Downtown
(Photograph by Alex Thompson)

In the pursuit of bringing up issues of cycling and transit infrastructure in the city of Los Angeles, a group of cyclists from Santa Monica Critical Mass broke off to do separate, more extreme rides, with a more explicit undercurrent of protest. They call them selves Crimanimalz, and their ride the Crimanimal Mass.

They caused quite a stir within the cycling community with their first freeway traffic jam ride. Their mission was to board the congested freeways of the West Side at rush hour, and demonstrate that in those conditions a bike can be significantly faster then cars and without all the burning of fossil fuels.

Not content to let the issue be buried as a fluke occurrence, they gathered a larger group, consisting of nearly 30 cyclists, and 3 inline skaters and took to the freeways again. They entered the 10 freeway at Bundy, taking the on-ramp to the 405 from the 10, and finally exiting at Santa Monica Blvd.

It's contested within the cycling community whether such tactics are ultimately beneficial, however it cannot be denied that the stunt garnered attention. The story has been covered on television by Channel 4 News, on the radio on KFI, and the Wired blog post was featured on the front page of wired.com.

The complete video with footage taken during the ride has been posted to You Tube, where it has received at this time nearly 9,000 views after being posted for less than two days.

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