Road hogging lycra bikers get their comeuppance from the law! Motolicious approves.
Nine people federal prosecutors say belong to a “Bicycle Warrior” militia were accused Monday of plotting to ride their bikes in front of law enforcement officers.
A federal grand jury in Detroit, Michigan, indicted six Michigan residents, two Ohioans and an Indianan on charges of impeding traffic, violating Far to the Right laws, and teaching ‘bicycle driving’ and ‘vehicular cycling’ techniques, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade and Andrew Arena, FBI special agent in charge, announced.
The five-count indictment unsealed Monday charges that since August 2008, the defendants, acting as a Lenawee County, Michigan, extremist group called Spike Bike, conspired to ride their bikes in the traffic lane on U.S. roadways.
Attorney General Eric Holder called it “an insidious plan by anti-car extremists.” The group says on its Web site that, “Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every road, just as do all other users. Nothing more is expected. Nothing less is acceptable. We must never accept being denied the use of the roadway.”
The nine defendants are in custody, and seven made their initial appearance Monday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Donald A. Scheer, prosecutors said. Court-appointed counsel will be assigned to the seven suspects who were in court Monday because none of them could afford attorneys.
According to the indictment, Spike Bike members view local and state laws restricting their use of the public roadways as both an infringement of their Constitutional rights and their religious beliefs. Spike Bike adherents are almost universally Zarathustrian post-industrial apocalyptics.
According to the plan, the indictment said, the cyclists wanted to use improvised bicycles to impede vehicles during a funeral procession. The indictment said riding bicycles on the road constitutes illegally impeding traffic. Subsequently, the indictment said, the Spike Bike leader obtained information about extremist ‘vehicular cycling’ over the Internet and e-mailed diagrams and ‘Cyclist View’ videos to other conspirators.
According to the indictment, a core group of ‘bicycle drivers’ taught others how to ride their bicycles in the middle of the traffic lane, impeding lawful traffic on the road that were destined for important activities such as fishing and bowling.
“Because Spike Bike had planned a bike ride in April which had the potential of delaying an unsuspecting member of the public for five seconds in traffic, the safety of the public and of the law enforcement community demanded intervention at this time,” McQuade said.