Black Friday Critical Mass Meets Baton-Wielding Riot Police in Union Square

Look at the size of that baton. And three or four of them were wearing gas masks.

All we wanted to do was cruise down Powell into the morass of Black Friday shoppers and see what was up, but NOOO. These guys had to blockade the whole neighborhood all geared up for war. God forbid anybody messes with commerce on the biggest shopping day of the year.

The ride was super fun though. A small group, nimble, good attitudes, and a few scenic stops:

17 Responses to “Black Friday Critical Mass Meets Baton-Wielding Riot Police in Union Square”

  1. BRO CHAT says:

    Lawl chody hipsters got trolled.

  2. black bandana says:

    Anarchy forever bro!

  3. Joshua says:

    I saw critical mass lastn ight at market & van ness, it made me lose a lot of respect for bikers in this town, they way they conducted themselves was pretty juvenile, major disappointment.

    • Al says:

      How did they conduct themselves, out of curiosity?

      • Joshua says:

        I was waiting for my bus and dudes were getting off their bikes in the middle of the intersection and pumping their bikes in the air. Reminded me of the opening scene from 2001, I mean I guess it was nice to see shit like that in a city but it also seemed like their message is lost.

      • Allan Hough says:

        There is no message! Why does everyone think there’s a message?

  4. ooeygooey says:

    They light the big tree in Union Square for the first time each season on the Friday after Thanksgiving. There are people who come from very far away to partake of the spectacle. I know this because some in my family used to rent a limo to take them to see it. It is INSANE with people, mostly tourists, and Critical Mass should never have even considered it. If for no other reason, because it would have been very dangerous for all the pedestrians looking anywhere but the street/sidewalk in front of them.

  5. jim says:

    Yeah, last time I checked, critical mass was about taking the streets back from cars, not shoppers.

    • Steven says:

      “Taking the streets back from cars” implies that the streets once belonged to bicyclists (people riding horses could take the streets back).

      • Also implies a worldview in which the streets are owned by only one mode of passage at a time, rather than being shared by several, in unequal proportions.

      • jim says:

        You guys crack me up.

      • Andy says:

        Learn some history, son. The League of American Wheelmen was responsible for vast road paving and improvement projects in the 1880-1890s, and boasted 100,000+ member cyclists. The car was a plaything of the wealthy until the ‘teens; one gallon of gas in 1902 San Francisco cost $15.18 in 2010 constant dollars. The Model T which put America on the road didn’t appear until 1908, and sold slowly for the first five years.

  6. Malcolm says:

    This was my first ride after being away from the city for a couple of years. I’m ambivalent about the politics of it, but I found the atmosphere to be surprisingly positive and respectful on all sides. Most of the shoppers took it as a parade, cheering us on as we rolled around Union Square. Soaring through the tunnel was a highlight for me. Thanks, Allan, for getting the lead and taking us there!

  7. greggers says:

    Yeah, traffic was so bad that critical mass got backed up on traffic… never seen that happen before. We couldn’t even get through the Stockton tunnel because it was jam packed with cars — CM couldn’t get the blame for that traffic jam, at least.

  8. melissa says:

    Critical massholes.

  9. Ryo says: that one guy in the middle of the photo…naked?