BIPEDAL, BY PEDAL #3: , $4, 4½” x 7”, offset, 42 pgs.

Sep 11, 2012

This is a nicely designed zine that continues the history of bicycle activism in Portland, Oregon, that was found in the two previous issues. This particular issue focuses on the history of Critical Mass (the monthly bicycle riding event held in cities all over the world that some see as a protest, and others, as a celebration of bicycling) in Portland. Author, Joe Biel, has written a fairly extensive history of the movement in Portland from its beginnings to where it stopped in the latter part of the ‘00s. This is certainly written from the bicyclists’ points of view, noting the times they had been wronged and their complaints with Portland’s police crackdown. Some of these things, if true, show the police completely inept in going after Critical Mass as an anarchist terror group. In that sense, as many details as Biel goes into, it would have been nice to see some citations or further resources for those not as familiar with what is happening in Portland. Perhaps it’s the academic in me, but when you’re writing about personal experiences, that’s one thing. When you make accusations against police and elected officials, it would be nice to have some sources to back them up. That’s not to say I doubt Biel’s findings per se, but with some cited evidence, this could be a much stronger argument. This would assist in a need for review—not just Portland’s response to Critical Mass—but the way large swaths of their police department operate. As it stands, it’s an interesting document, but one I’m not sure will be of much interest to those outside of bicyclists, Critical Mass supporters (or detractors, I suppose), and residents of Portland. -Kurt Morris (





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