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Critical Mass. Have you guys heard of this?(19 posts)

Critical Mass. Have you guys heard of this?Monkeytown USA
Aug 13, 2002 5:58 PM
I had never heard about this before. Sounds interesting. Here's a bunch of cyclists standing up against the cars.

Now is this the how we should approach the situation or is it just going to get more people mad.
re: Critical Mass. Have you guys heard of this?jtolleson
Aug 13, 2002 6:02 PM
Ah yes. Quite familiar. I generally find that the only change it provokes is a police crackdown on cyclists, especially those who are perceived as obstructing the flow of traffic.

I think Ride to Work day is probably more effective than critical mass. Get a bunch of people on lots of different roads riding the way they are supposed to so motorists get used to co-existing.
Aug 13, 2002 6:10 PM
It's very well known. I'm surprised this is the first you've heard of it actually.

I ride in it here at home when I can. We obey traffic laws and ride in "our" lane as a big group. Not quite as chaotic as some "masses", but I think it is better our way.

More of a cyclist "show of hands" to local motorists. Let 'em know there are alot of us and that we are a diverse group.


Sure.Monkeytown USA
Aug 13, 2002 6:12 PM
Yeah. I'm surprised I haven't heard of it either. I live in a suburb near Minneapolis where they regular rides.
Aug 13, 2002 6:24 PM
I live DT Mpls... I don't know if they are still going, but last Fri. of the month- peak of rush hour- they ride from DT to Uptown... I live right on Hennepin, the street they take. They have a full police escort, and a million honking horns behind them. I hate it. What better way to piss off motorists? Very few roadies... mostly urban anarchists.

Negatively raise awareness? I don't think so.
every last friday of the month in londonpukka
Aug 14, 2002 3:50 AM
dont think they actually do much good, a bit like sticking the finger up at the motorist,although it was good fun riding through central london on mass with a bunch of fellow velo heads
Critical mass is dumbpmf1
Aug 14, 2002 3:54 AM
Don't particiapte in this. It just makes motorists hate cyclists even more. Part of riding is dealing with motorists and learning to get along and be polite.

Every year they do this in DC and thousands of people are late to work and left with an unfavorable impression of cyclists. That and the jerk messengers we have here really don't help things. And I suspect that most of these critical mass riders -- at least what I see of them -- do not ride to work or anywhere else too often so they don't suffer the consequences of their actions.

How would you feel if all the runners or rollerbladers in your community did a critical jog or roll where you like to ride?
It's idioticmr_spin
Aug 14, 2002 6:27 AM
Maybe 25% of the group truly buys into the Critical mass philosophy. The rest are there to have a good time and flip the bird to motorists. I've never quite understood the appeal.

Why do cyclists have to stand up against cars? Cars are here, and they are not going away. Learn to live with them.

I wonder how many of the people doing the ride drove there?
plus they ride fraking slowoff roadie
Aug 14, 2002 7:27 AM
They say its about cyclists riding where they want how they want, but there's no way I'd choose to ride in "critical mass" style if I could possibly avoid it.

I can count on one hand the bike messangers or every day commuters I know who have riden in more than one Critical Mass event. It seems the folks who suposedly would "benefit" from Critical Mass "activism" could care less...
A few years back, first and last time I rode with this group...rwbadley
Aug 14, 2002 6:59 AM
In Reno. A bunch of non cyclist airheads out to give a hard time to motorists in the name of a 'just cause'.

The cause may be right, to increase awareness that cyclists deserve a portion of road, and that bikes are a legitimate form of transportation.

This group as a whole lacked bike handling skills, and I was nervous to be around them, due to their aggressive, 'in your face' style towards motorists. One of them skimmed my rear wheel and went down. (no, I'm afraid I had nothing to do with it :-)

They are quite active in the San Francisco area, I hear have been alot of trouble there at times.

I admire the goal, just not the method...

they tried it hereDougSloan
Aug 14, 2002 7:33 AM
A few years back the Critical Mass people did one of those "clog the streets" rides here. People got pissed and complained. The cops put an end to it when they started citing riders and confiscating bikes for violation of a long forgotten but still on the books bike registration ordinance.

I would think there are better ways of raising awareness than pissing people off. Sometimes it makes them look like a bunch of idiot zealots with no common sense.

however, as Barry Goldwater said...DougSloan
Aug 14, 2002 7:36 AM
"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice; moderation in the defense of liberty is no virtue." Maybe the CM people are really closet Goldwater fans...?

then do it in Arizona, not here! nmmr_spin
Aug 14, 2002 7:50 AM
As Ken Kesey of the Merry Pranksters saidColnagoFE
Aug 14, 2002 9:55 AM
A Vote for Barry is a Vote for Fun!
First Friday of the month in Reno; turnout variescory
Aug 14, 2002 7:42 AM
I do one occasionally just to show support, but it's mainly just a group ride around town here. A few have drawn 100-120 people, but normally it's a dozen or two. The mountain bike cops sometimes go along or shadow the pack, but there haven't been any problems except from the same kinds of drivers who always give cyclists problems--"Get on the sidewalk where you belong, fxxxxt" (Big Brother won't let me say the f-word for gay), that kind of stuff. Doesn't do much good, I imagine, but it doesn't do any harm, either, and it may help raise awareness.
Critical Mass=mob psychologybrider
Aug 14, 2002 8:45 AM
More people doing it must make it right.

That's the group-think of critical mass.

If any one out there was doing the same thing alone, we'd ALL be criticising them for flagrantly disregarding traffic law. Do it in a mob and it's a demonstration. Sad.

Happened in Seattle a few years ago. I wasn't for it then, and I'm not for it now. People get in the face of the police, then complain when the police act on it. Childish, really.
Aug 14, 2002 4:59 PM
Thank gawd they didn't catch on around here, like they did in SF. From what I've read about the SF critical massers, all they really did was p!ss off motorists every friday. Then, after thay had done this for a while, the rate of car-bike 'encounters' increases dramatically. You don't suppose the 2 are related, do you???
Seriously, these people are using the bicycle as a weapon, or as a means of irritation. they do absolutely nothing to advance the image of cyclists. Rather, they make us all look like morons.
actually, might be just the oppositeDougSloan
Aug 15, 2002 6:03 AM
I think they actually are totalitarians, but just can't have their way. If they could, they would dictate that no cars could exist within city limits, ban anything over 2,000 pounds all together, and require all cars to be shared and electric (from solar power only, of course).

They just appear to be anarchists because they cannot acheive their ends through legitimate means.

legitimate means?Mr Good
Aug 15, 2002 7:32 PM
What's illegitimate about riding a bike on the road?

Consider: every day is critical mass for cars in San Francisco. They block intersections, run red lights, completely clog the streets for hours on end so that no one can get anywhere.

The bicycle "mass-ers" just happen to be riding on the public roadways, the same as cars do every day. Think I'm being facetious? Sorry, I just thought the alternative view needs to be expressed here. Sure critical mass can get stupid, but most of you guys sound like your next words will be "those bikes belong on a bike path! The roads were meant for cars!"