March 25th Ride — for Porto Alegre!

March 27th, 2011 by hughillustration

Update: There’s a map of Friday’s route at this blog:

The Critical Mass ride on Friday was a fun, pretty ordinary ride. But it came on the one month anniversary of a terrible event, which was the attack by a crazed motorist on the Critical Mass ride in Porto Alegre, Brazil last month.

A few of us decided to mark this sad day with some signs for our bikes. We wanted to spread the news about the attack, and also to express our solidarity with our friends in Brazil. We are so saddened by this unjustified attack, and we hope everyone recovers quickly. Here are some photos (they are small but you can click to enlarge):

The last news I have from that tragedy is the following: no one was killed, but 11 people were sent to the hospital with serious injuries. The motorist was caught and is being charged with attempted murder. He is a well-known banker, and has a history of anger management problems and traffic citations. Several witnesses dispute the attacker’s claim that he was provoked. (If you have additional facts or information, please share it in the comments.)

Please note: We have an editorial policy on this blog that we post any comment, so long as it is not insulting, threatening, or spam. Sadly, we had to violate this policy on last month’s posting, because we had so many downright stupid comments from pathetic, ignorant individuals who wrote in to express their sympathy with the attempted murderer. If you would like to post a comment to this effect, please go elsewhere. We don’t have time for you.

The ride itself was great. The weather was fine, the route was not too predictable, the group was small (maybe 350 to 400 people) and the front of the ride happily stopped for lights to let people regroup. Later in the evening, when the ride had dwindled to about 50 people, there was an accident in the Stockton tunnel. From the comments on our Facebook page:

Wells: Everything was great until I saw a guy crash and literally face planting hard in the middle of the Stockton tunnel. He wasn’t wearing a helmet either. Police got him an ambulance. A few other bikers including me stayed behind to help him out. But let this be a lesson; ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET! And be mindful of how fast you are going.

The rider’s name was Steve. If anyone has any information about how he is doing, I’d love it if you would post a comment.

A few more photos:

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5 Responses to “March 25th Ride — for Porto Alegre!”

  1. Wells says:

    I generally don’t listen or read the news that much. I didn’t even knew about this horrific event that took place in Porto Alegre over a month ago until today actually. On the day of the March CM, I saw that group of bikers with signs written in Portuguese. I didn’t know what they were really for. I just thought they were protesting cars or some other things. My own ignorance got the best of me. Had I known the message behind their signs, I would have probably done the same thing. It’s a tragedy that I pray will NEVER happen here.

    As for the guy Steve who crashed in the Stockton tunnel, this is what I remember seeing. The group began it’s descent into the Stockton tunnel from Chinatown. Steve and I and along with a few others were tailing behind. Around the middle of the tunnel or very close to the end of the tunnel, I noticed Steve suddenly flipping nearly twice over his bike. He skidded a good few feet too. It was a scary sight. It was like a rag doll effect. I was a good distance behind him. But I too was gaining rapid speeds on my bike. I slammed on my brakes too and nearly lost control but I managed not to crash. By the time I got to him, he was already groaning in pain, laying almost lifeless. I do remember also that the Policemen who caught up to us weren’t um…what’s a good word…They didn’t looked or sounded all that concerned for a moment.

    Here is a guy who just had a serious injury with all over his face and you can’t express a little concern?! I tell ya these officers were cold (not temperature-wise). They just sat on their bikes and asked rather staunchly “Are you alright?” Eventually an ambulance was called. And eventually some of the officers got off their bikes and conducted their protocol of recording the scene of the accident.

    The other bikers that were behind me also stopped to help out too. They ensured that Steve’s bike along with his personal belongings was safe and taken with him to the hospital. They also helped escort Steve to a safer location from what I could tell.

    That is my account of what happened that night in further detail. I still have no idea if Steve is alright. I also have no affiliation with Steve either. All I know is that he was just another cyclist having great time with the people of SF Critical Mass. I hope and pray he makes a speedy recovery and is able to safely once again ride on his bike.

  2. I was there with you guys when that happened, i went to visit Steve one hour later at the general hospital, he ended up with a broken face and a broken arm. He got sent home the next morning and won’t be able to do anything for a month. Also, the front brakes weren’t the cause of the accident, another biker hit him from the side, looking at the footage, it looks like the pedal of the other biker went into Steve’s wheel and that’s what made the bike flip. Here’s the link to the video, you can see the other biker swerving @ 0:27, he hits Steven @ 0:30.
    I don’t know how to rotate the video, if you do then please let me know how, TY.

  3. vanessa says:

    Guys from Critical Mass SF:
    You are so amazing to show your solidarity by us here in Brazil!

    This was a terrible attack but thanks god every 16 people are perfectly ok now. It had a huge repercussion here and because of this the crazy guy is in jail (believe, usually here nothing happens with people like that) and everyone is being very careful about us in the streets.

    At least this attack make us not that invisible anymore, even in Sao Paulo, were I am from, one of the biggest cities in the world – from 11 million people, about 6 million drives because we have not enough public transportation. About 214 thousand people per day cycling to work without bike lines.

    As you see we are a century behind SF but we all hope that the traffic will stop the city sooner or later and will be no other choice for moving out besides using bikes.

    We will be a huge mass and with or without bike lanes we finally will cycle safe!

    P.S.: Most of the people here are nice and not crazy as the guy from Porto Alegre!

  4. Iron Pan says:

    Did the guy who side swiped Steve stop? Was he aware of the accident he caused?

    A good friend of mine was similarly side swiped by a fellow Critical Masser in the Broadway tunnel a few years ago and suffered greatly for half a year with a broken shoulder. Guy didn’t stop. People need to take responsibility for their actions- accidents happen- and can be forgiven, but folks need to care a little more for eachother. Those tunnels are dangerous. Everybody gets all excited and starts riding a little crazier- past their experience level. I remember a similar but way worse incident about 15 years ago where there was this MASSIVE pile up on a steep down hill. This was before I knew the city so I can’t remember where it was, but I saw about fifteen people go down hard in front of me (later heard that a young woman broke a leg!) and I honestly don’t know how I got thru that with out running over anyone or hitting anyone or being hit and going down myself. I actually had to bunny hop over some one on my road bike (thank god for bmx in my childhood) and it was a total panic response too! I had no time to plan anything! We were ALL going WAAAAAY too fast for safety. This is yet another thing that needs to be discussed by everyone. Broken bones hurt like hell and take forever to mend. San Francisco has really scary big hills and CM attracts a lot of hot doggin’ young men on their bmx bikes and blingle speeds who think it’s a venue to show off, or push their envelope with out regard to the other people around them. This needs to be addressed. Super big kudus to those who stopped and helped Steve.

  5. Thank you, San Francisco! I’m from Porto Alegre’s Critical Mass, and it’s really awesome that the city where Critical Mass began made a ride for us. I really hope that one day I’ll ride with you in some last friday of the month…