Critical Mass Tonight Expected To Be Large

SAN FRANCISCO -- Police and commuters are girding for gridlock in downtown San Francisco this evening as bicyclists promise to turn out in huge numbers for the monthly Critical Mass ride.

The ride is held on the final Friday of every month as a celebration of bicycle use in the crowded city.

But tonight, armies of riders are expected to push off at 5:30 p.m. as a protest over the death of a bicycle rider who was run over by a truck.

The bike riders are upset over a court ruling last week which dismissed the most serious charges against truck driver Ruben Espinosa in the November 17th death of Chris Robertson.

Espinosa had been charged with involuntary manslaughter. That charge was dismissed -- and two assault charges were reduced from felonies to misdemeanors.

Espinosa told authorities he didn't see Robertson. But he admitted he had been playing a game of "chicken" with the riders who were peddling slowly when he tried to pass them.

Authorities said Robertson was legally drunk at the time of the accident, with a blood-alcohol level almost twice the legal limit of .08.

Source: KTVU/Fox2 and Bay City News

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