Riding to the Rescue

Sympathetic European cycling activists jump into critical mess to say, 'Free NYC cyclists'

Of the situation in New York City, van den Noort regards it as serious, but prefers to take a more philosophical approach. "I think Bloomberg and Pataki should sit down together with Bush and share their experiences," he says, referring to how the president has become an avid biker since a bum knee forced him to stop running. Bush recently rode on his ranch with Lance Armstrong. "They should start planning a cycling infrastructure and ask those being arrested to help sort things out."

Back at home, the cat and mouse game continues. But as the cyclists' plight gains greater attention outside New York City, that could change. For one, Still We Ride, a documentary covering the August 27 arrests, which has been shown locally by Rooftop Films, will begin touring Europe in mid September.

"Whenever we show the film outside New York, we're met with a 30-minute discussion, even though it gives an in-depth analysis of the situation," says Andrew Lynn, one of the film's producers, who was also arrested on August 27. "People are shocked—wait, why is this still going on?—but we say we don't know. I'd say this falls into a pattern of curtailing civil rights that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with biking—it's community organization."

photo: Cary Conover

As World Carfree Network launches its campaign, which includes a global letter-writing campaign targeting New York officials, one thing remains certain, says WCN's Farnam: "August 27 is when this begins, but that's definitely not when it ends."

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