So, I’ve been watching the CONS meeting (aka, the Muni crime meeting Supe Bevan Dufty made sure all online writers were all over), and it was pretty much what you’d expect. People told their stories of Muni terror and tragedy, and the cops did a powerpoint y’all nerds can view here.

But one thing did stand out for me: after a woman in a fairly rad horse sweatshirt asked “Bicycle riders. Where do they fit into this whole scheme? How we regulate them, protect them, criticize them, whatever?”

SFPD Deputy Chief John Murphy reclaimed the mic to respond, saying that “that’s been brought to my attention, so I’ve been working on that also…specifically. it’s the Critical Mass event that’s the most troubling of all events, when the group goes out en masse. But I’m hoping to meet with the group leaders and basically convey to the group leaders the concerns of the people that get stuck in traffic.”

We reached out to our sources in the cycling community, who confirmed what we thought was common knowledge — that is, that Critical Mass has no leaders. One of our sources went as far as to express surprise at Murphy’s remarks, saying “its clearly an anarchic, leaderless movement.”

So, does SFPD know something neither we nor our more bikey friends don’t, or is Deputy Chief Murphy in for a surprise? We suppose time will tell.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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