Next ride: Friday, July 31

July, 2007 Ride

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The final update on the crash



Report from the July, 2007 Ride:

Hey all,

In case you are browsing through the archives and discover the mention of the crash, here are the particulars that I remember and the follow up.

It was a great ride. The turnout was huge, the crowd was in a great mood, and the weather could not have been more perfect--around 70°F.
Sadly, my little group didn't make it to the finish line in Berwyn, but we had planned to do the entire ride.

I was riding with my youngest child in a trailer. My husband was riding with my middle daughter on a trailercycle. My then 10 year old son was riding his own bike and we had a 10 year old friend riding her bike for the first time in CCM with us. We were riding through Pilsen (one of our favorite areas to bike!) when I heard a bunch of screams coming from about half a block ahead of us. The Mass began to part like the Red Sea for Moses as a big ol' Cadillac car plowed through the cyclists. I remember thinking in milliseconds as I parsed where Jami was and if she was safe, then if I was safe with Gen in the trailer, then looked for my husband, Katie and Will. I was riding on the right hand side of the road with Jami, so we were pretty safe if the driver didn't veer in our direction. Unfortunately, my dh and kids were right in the middle of the right hand lane of traffic which is where this nut job was driving. Normally this is the safest place, right? Not this night. My husband was able to get out of the way, but my son just had no clue what was going on. He was on a little kids bike, so he couldn't see ahead of all the riders, plus he obviously doesn't drive a car, so he had no ability to anticipate or interpret the sounds he was hearing other than to know that something was very, very wrong. He was like a deer in the headlights.

I remember thinking "please, dear God, let him not get hit!" ... then watching the driver purposely accelerate right into my son. It was terrifying. Will flew up and over the car (at least 5 feet clear over the roof), landing about 15 feet away in the oncoming lane of traffic. He was stunned, hysterical, and terrified, but conscious. He started to cry because he thought he had done something wrong and was in trouble. :( *Miraculously*, he survived with no major trauma, despite head-to-toe bruising along his entire left side, lots of cuts and scratches, and sore joints in his knees and elbows for about 10 weeks (he would wake up in the morning and move like an arthritic old man). Long term, the hardest thing was that he was afraid to ride in traffic (a problem for a family of cyclists). He still can get a bit freaked out when he hears a car accelerating loudly behind him (at the age of 13, and having at least a 1000 miles under his belt--much of that in urban traffic-- since this occurred).

After all the reports were filed with the police, the state's attorney office took over the case. Robert Rogers was convicted of Aggravated DUI on March 26, 2008, and was convicted by Judge Clayton J. Crane to 18 months in the IL Dept. of Corrections. He had no insurance and no license. According to the police officers who finally apprehended him (6 blocks further away, with my son's bicycle still dragging beneath the car frame), he basically convicted himself with the comments he made upon arrest. He was also being followed by two undercover police officers who had been trying to get him to pull over before he came upon Critical Mass that night. It seems that he's already been involved in a car hit and run a few blocks earlier.

I have no idea if this man still has a driver's license, drives a car or has recovered from his alcohol problem.

We never received any money or recompense for the situation, including the replacement of the bicycle, lights, helmet and my son's shoes (which were thrown off his feet and damaged at the crash site). We were not encouraged to participate in the process despite my providing lots of information, contacts, witnesses, photos, medical reports, etc.

I don't know if I feel that justice was done, but I really wished that I could have been more involved in the process. I would have liked for the driver to have to go to mandatory alcohol treatment and that he serve community service (going to speak to local high schools about the affects of drinking and driving).

As I type this my husband comments that the latter would require someone who was actually repentant. Of course, we have no idea if that is the truth or not. Mike doesn't know what justice would be in a situation like this. He tells me that he thinks if Mr. Rogers were to truly change his life and realize what bad choices he had made, he would think that justice had been served.

We are eternally grateful that Will was not seriously hurt.

Jane Healy


Seemed more like Critical Mob to me!



Report from the July, 2007 Ride:

I was inadvertantly caught in Critical Mass tonight as I headed South on Halsted but the thing was: I was biking! I understand that the point is to take back the road for cyclists, but why is it ok to ride all over the street with no regard for safety or rules? Why is it ok to plow over your fellow bikers??

I was on the bike lane heading South and even though there was another bike lane going North - and most of the mass folks used that - quite a few went North on the South lane and practically plowed over me even though I biked way to the right to make room for them. One kid nearly ran into me.

Aren't we all on the same team here? I felt no love from my fellow cyclists. No one smiled at me or made way or tried to share the road with me. One guy just yelled that I was going the wrong way. It's bad enough having to navigate away from angry and hostile motorists. Now I have to avoid the cyclists, too. In the end, I hopped up on the sidewalk and rode around pedestrians until the mass was out of sight.

So what's the moral here? If I bike and happen upon critical mass, I either join 'em or pull over to the side like a car until everyone passes by? Sounds more like a critical mob to me!

Since I respect the idea behind critical mass, what's the solution? Is there a way to be more respectful of other cyclists on the road going their own way???


I'm looking forward to my first ride in August!



Report from the July, 2007 Ride:

I loved seeing the excitement that the last ride generated. It was great to watch and experience. I was watching from a CTA bus on clark that had to stop for the entire ride, no biggie. Then a rider ran into the side of the parked bus and proceeded to blame the bus driver for hitting him, thus leaving us parked for an additional 10-15 minutes after everyone went by... Not cool!

Riders, please realize that you have to pay attention to where you are going. Drunk or not.


SAVE THE SPINDLE! [report+video]



Report from the July, 2007 Ride:

June's Mass was so much fun, I was wondering how July might live up to the Joy that was June. However, early in July, news of the untimely demise of Berwyn's beloved 'Car-Kabob' ignited the Chicago Critical Mass community. The car-kabob is a public sculpture titled 'Spindle', which has eight cars skewered on a 50 foot spike right in the middle of Cermak Plaza. Walgreens already has one of their convenience stores in the mall, but they want to put a new store right where the Spindle lives.

[read more...]

i took some pictures..



Report from the July, 2007 Ride:

it was a great ride from my perspecitve..

i didnt see any of the bad excitement, but i took pics along the way

enjoy


Press charges?



Report from the July, 2007 Ride:

I feel so awful for the people who got hit by the red car.
It was coming right for me. Fortunately I got out of the way in time...
Does any one know the legal status of this guy? I'm not a vengeful person, but I think he should be charged with hundreds of counts of attempted murder. Anyway, if anyone knows what they're charging him with/ whether or not he is currently in jail, please let us know. I don't feel safe with people like that on the street.
Edit by hnk:
The DA is still putting the case/charges together. =Very= good people are working on it.
For now, it would be =extremely= helpful if anyone else affected by the driver, even just bumped or knocked over or with any damage at all to their bikes would come forward-- where are these folks?
Please have them contact Jane at repto (at) aol.com to be put in touch with the right folks.
Important!!!


Contact information for Will and Family



Report from the July, 2007 Ride:

Hey, does anyone have any contact info for Will and his family? He is the poor kid who got hit by the drunk driver on Friday. It would be very helpful if someone would let me know!

Edit by hnk: Will's mom Jane has been posting to the CCM listserv hosted at UIC. Directions for joining or viewing archives are available by visiting the "get involved" page on this site. Jane is a CBF board member and a one-woman advocacy organization in Blue Island-- woe to anyone who crosses her.


Ride to the spindle



Report from the July, 2007 Ride:

Great ride! Good weather, good route, very friendly peepul, a raucous party at the end and several mini-masses to ride back to the city with!

Pictures: by Ride to the Spindle


an ecstatic experience



Report from the July, 2007 Ride:

From my viewpoint, the whole ride was wonderful. Very bubbly, very sociable, very fun. Often on Critical Mass there are long stretches where I'm essentially riding alone in the middle of a crowd. Little of that this evening. Got to hang out with old friends and new.

But when we got to the spindle, the crowd went to a whole new level of enthusiasm. We passed a large building on the left, and the spindle came into sight. The crowd sped up a little, and as we approached, we could see a group of about thirty bikers riding laps around the spindle. How could I resist? I had to join them.

It was a glorious moment, something so happy and ridiculous and communal and sweet... ecstatic is the best way I have to describe it.

I left the circulation after a short while, and joined my friends in socializing and marveling at the spectacle we were making of ourselves. Of course my friend Todd Allen with the audio trailer put on 'Bohemian Rhapsody' by Queen, and the crowd all joined in to sing. Hilarious and beautiful. Such a moment: I'm getting a little verklempt typing this.

This was when I heard about the incident earlier. That really sucked--the incident more than the hearing about it. I'm glad to hear that people were ok and the person responsible was apprehended. One of those moments I'm thankful that the relations between CCM and the Chicago police are generally positive. Props to the CPD.

We left after a little while. I had a recent big birthday (40--OMFG!) and we had a planned celebration at Cocula, a great little restaurant at California and Cermak, a Mexican family place. The ride back we had a group of about 15 people. I shared Ho3ard's concern with people getting back to the city, but we managed to stay on good streets.

I arrived to a mariachi welcome, 'Feliz Cumpleanos' a mi, and we ate well, and drank margaritas, and chatted, and let the energy of the evening pass in a pleasant way. Such a sweet, beautiful evening. I hope I never forget it.


Photos from July 2007



Report from the July, 2007 Ride:

I thought the ride was great but then I didn't see any of the driver aggression and violence either. Hope everyone is OK. My pics are posted:
donsorsa.smugmug.com/Events and a few will be on flickr afterI edit.


The incident at 18th & Loomis



Report from the July, 2007 Ride:

I actually thought I wouldn't make July as i had to be at a restaurant in Pilsen around 800 (leaving from the north shore) and was running late. I took off around 6 from around foster and headed for my straight shot down howard only to run into the tail end of the mass a mile or two before getting into uic. this part of the story is pretty boring i guess.

everything was totally sweet and awesome of course and mass made every turn that i needed to make anyways, so i was feeling pretty sweet too. there were a few cops weaving about and through the alleys but not much real trouble. anyhow-

as 18th st came up to loomis i noticed that the mass was turning away from my route. Since I was almost an hour early and only a block away from my final destination i began pondering tagging along for another few miles when i was interrupted by a loud crunch of metal to the right on loomis. my first thought was "oh dear, a mass rider has been hurt and mass pr will suffer as well," but this was a good 50-100 yards away from anyone in the intersection. suddenly a damaged red car peeled out of the line of traffic, heading straight towards the intersection--and TURNED LEFT INTO THE MASS! i was literally at the 18th st crosswalk and had to lightly dodge the maniac, but i had stopped after hearing the crash and had plenty of time to see and react. a few feet behind me, a copper got out of her car and made a "stop driving towards this crowd of people" motion with her hands. he stopped for a minute, creeped forward, then hit the gas, hit the copper, another crunch (this time a bike) and now full panic as several hundred bikes bringing up the end of the mass scramble for the curb. this guy does not seem to let up on the gas once after hitting the cop and i hear what must be 10 or 15 more metallic crunching noises. the cop and whatever friends she had speed off after him, followed by a mob of do-gooder bikes. there is a minute or so where everyone is confused and trying to figure out who is dead, a lot of talk ("alls i saw is sandals flying through the air [bro!]"), but things eventually die down and i gather that there are no injuries too serious. some people are wandering around in a daze, some are calling/looking for friends, trying to regain their bearings. for most people present the spirit of the ride has dissolved. i decide not to continue and lock my bike up down the street by my restaurant.

i came back two times while i waited for my friends-- there was a cop or two still hanging around, random pilsenite onlookers as well as groups of a dozen or so bike people at each intersection--and gossip still flying. someone had got picked up in an ambulance, possibly the guy who had been "thrown 10 feet in the air doing flips and shit" but then was reported to be walking fine. apparently a trailer carring a small child had been hit, but someone saw him sitting on the curb crying and holding his arm--not much to complain about given the scenario. i met my friend (who is much more fluent in spanish than i am) at the restaurant and brought her back to explain to the pedestrians that this was actually all a result of car-on-car violence--that mass didn't bring this trouble into town. hopefully that worked.

if i seem scatterbrained, i'm trying to compile as much of what i saw with what i heard from others later without veering into exaggeration. at this point it appears that this was a hit and run at the intersection mass was turning at, either by random chance or because he didn't want to wait at the light. the driver split and for some reason (possibly related to "that crazy look in his eyes" i'd heard about) decided that his best escape at the 6-way intersection was through a dense mass of flesh, steel and cops. i heard the guy was caught and might be getting into some kind of big trouble now, i don't know.

ironically, he probably would have gotten away with his rampage if it weren't for the multitude of chicago blue hassling the bike ride. regardless i think things could have gone much worse, even for the maniac; i'm pretty sure he got a better deal being caught by the pigs than the bike mob chasing him down.

if anyone wants to clarify some of my details (or just write a better report) feel free! it was definitely the biggest altercation i've ever been party to on a ride, and i've had plenty of near misses with pissed-off Suburbans and such and such before since i moved to chicago. peace!


July 2007 ride to Berwyn



Report from the July, 2007 Ride:

July's ride was very memorable-- just when it seemed like we were in a serious rut we did something completely unprecedented.
Steven Lane did publicity, and coordinated with the Save the Spindle folks in Berwyn, while TC and Garth worked on the route.
I reposted John G's cafe route to the website, on the principal that having only one route is a step backwards, but no-one printed it and no-one else brought a route to propose.

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Ride Flyers:

CCM Map July 2007 (v. b)



Designed by John Greenfield for the July, 2007 Ride
Download: MapCCM0707b.jpg

CCM Map July 2007 (v. a)



Designed by Steven Lane for the July, 2007 Ride
Download: MapCCM0707a.jpg

The Derailleur July 2007



Designed by willow naeco for the July, 2007 Ride
Someone forgot to upload a file...

3000 rider Chicago Critical Mass



Designed by John Greenfield for the July, 2007 Ride

Considering July 2007 might possibly be our first true 3,000 rider mass, it seems fitting to re-propose this excellent route from July 2005.
2 files-- side one, side two. 8.5x11, 4-ups.

Download: 3kmass2.pdf
Download: 3kmass1.pdf

SAVE THE SPINDLE! July 2007 Map and Info



Designed by Steven Lane for the July, 2007 Ride

3up 2sided flier, 11x8.5: CCM storms Berwyn to save the beloved Car Kabob sculpture in Cermak Plaza.

The back is the info sheet for the back side of the map.

Also here is a map of the route from routeslip

Download: JulyMap.png
Download: CCM_JULY2007ROUTE_BACK.pdf
Download: CCM_JULY2007ROUTE_FRONT.pdf