By CH, submitted on Sun, 02/12/2007 - 20:03
Last Friday's Critical Mass in Glasgow was marred and cut short slightly by an assault on one of the riders. Not overburdened with festive spirit, a middle-aged woman leant out of a car (reg. no X754…) and pulled the cyclist off his bike. After gathering as usual, defying rain and the invasion of George Square by a St andrews day icerink and a million Saltires, 20 cyclists went for their regular ride around. About 0 minutes into the event the atmosphere turned nasty while heading up St Vincent Street. After attempting to drive in between the Massers, always a dangerous and counter-productive thing to do, the silver car nearly hit a rider. after that and a short conversation, the car's passenger, a middle-aged blonde woman in a red jacket grabbed the cyclist by the shoulder, jerked him off of his bike. The car with a registration number beginning X754 and ending in either LGG or a similar sounding combination of letters, then sped off up the hill. a rider caught up at the next set of traffic lights (always happens) but was unable to get a clear photograph of the violent criminal and her accomplice, who turned right up Pitt Street and got away.
Still we ride - crossing the ClydeCritical Massers regrouped to catch breath on the pavement, then most of them continued to ride for another 20 minutes or so. Including the assaulted cyclist, not seriously hurt but slightly shaken and, given the police's inaction over a previous assault, unlikely to bother pressing charges. From Argyle Street, past the most polluted site in the city, over the river and back over the footbridge to the pub for a warming and well-earned drink. "Motorist breaks law with impunity." It's hardly a news story, as you can see from this photograph of a completely different car on the same road. Two people in the car, wet road, lengthy stopping distance, yet it's the driver who's talking on the mobile phone. Another idiot endangering my life and my friends' lives while slowly poisoning the air we all share. Where's the choice in lifestyle choice there?
Not the car involved in the assault, just another idiot on the phone while driving.While the assault might cause Critical Massers to think more deeply about tactics, there's no doubt that more than ever it's a vital part of the battle for quality of life in Glasgow. Meets at George Square, 5:30pm for a 6:00pm departure on the last Friday of every month.