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Critical Mass Madness(17 posts)

Critical Mass Madnessfiltersweep
Sep 27, 2002 3:47 PM
Forgot it was the last Fri of the month until I heard all the horns honking outside. I looked out the window to witness another shoddy mass ride- these were rather well organized with a police escort several years ago, but they have degraded into a loose mess of bikes. These people were spread out over three blocks, and they probably had around 60 riders (much fewer than in the "old days")- and they took up BOTH southbound lanes. It would have looked a bit more dramatic if they could maintain a compact formation.

Of course, being so spread out, they can't all make the same light- so some bozo on a bike stands out in the middle of traffic to hold up the cross traffic during the duration of the light (and them some) so the stragglers can catch up. Keep in mind he is proudly holding up his middle finger to the traffic waiting at the GREEN light.

I don't care what the "rights" are... there is NO NEED to take up both lanes of traffic with such a loose group. These rides annoy motorists enough as it is. To pile on further idiocy, having half the group running a red does little to educate the public of "cyclist awareness." The only redeeming factor is they are going about their lunacy at 6:30 rather than the old 5pm rush hour... oh, and I didn't notice any road bikers in the fray... FWIW.
re: Critical Mass Madnessfbg111
Sep 27, 2002 4:19 PM
Was the guy really flipping off the waiting traffic? You sure he wasn't just holding up a hand like a traffic cop does? That's outrageous if true.

And what do you mean there were no road bikers? Were they all on mountain bikes or something? Forgive my naivete, don't mean to criticize, just clarify.
re: Critical Mass Madnessfiltersweep
Sep 27, 2002 4:54 PM
...could have been holding up his hand- I am on the 15th floor, but it looked like he was "waving the bird"... I tried to grab some digital pics, but missed it. Regardless...

It seems most riders are on mtn bikes, comfort bikes, a lot of older bikes, and I did see a few bents.
re: Critical Mass Madnessfbg111
Sep 27, 2002 6:05 PM
Sounds more like several classes of elementary school kids on a field trip with too little teacher supervision, than a bike ride. That sure is a heck of a lot of people on non-road bikes. In my short time road biking, I've never of anything like that. Is that common?
Critical Mess nmDougSloan
Sep 27, 2002 7:03 PM
Grouchy old men, bike snobs and republicans please post hereteamsloppy
Sep 27, 2002 10:19 PM
I kind of apologize to the previous posters for the slight(flame). I know I am supposed to show respect for the elderly and the infirm.

Critical Mass has made significant improvements to Bicycle riding in the City of San Francisco: new bike lanes, bicycle only streets, and the attitudes of automobile drivers. I ride the "Streets of San Francisco" every day to work and back to home. Your 15th story view is kind of hypocritical: you chat frequently about bicycle riding, but apparently riding the road is not something you do daily. Riding the road (the street) is what cycling is really about.

If you are a serious San Francisco Cyclist, you'd have ridden your bike to work and you would be there for a critical mass ride: it's one of the most enjoyable rides through an incredibly beautiful city that is normally denied to cyclists due to the aggressive driving of automobiles in Baghdad by the Bay. It's also one of the most politically and socially influential rides you can make. Critical Mass has spread to a dozen cities nation wide with similar impact on adding bicycle lanes, bicycle only streets, bike loops at intersections, and awareness by auto drives and other road users.

You omitted that today is "Car Free Day" in San Francisco (I'll bet you drove a car). How can there be auto congestion conflict with bicycles on Car Free Day. Car Free Day was declared by City Government, not cyclists.

You also omitted that this is the tenth anniversary of Critical Mass in San Francisco.

You also are guilty of other lies by omission. There were at least 1600 riders, maybe 6000, not the 60 you mentioned to enforce your little old lady rant.
teamsloppy is a jackass.spankdoggie
Sep 27, 2002 11:33 PM
teamsloppy, you forced me out of retirement here to publicly call you "jackass of the year."

I live in San Francisco (native), and commuted to work and school; 20 very hilly miles a day for years. I still ride in the City all the time.

San Francisco is the single most bicycle friendly city in the world contrary to your scared non-biking @ss...

Because this city is so friendly is why all the jackasses like you can screw up the traffic.

Bunch of jackasses.

I remember a few years ago, I went on my normal bike ride over the Golden Gate Bridge, and you jackasses screwed my ride up. Streets were closed, and cops were looking at me all mad and stuff. They wouldn't let me on the bridge. I asked a cop on a motorcycle what was going on, and he said it was Critical [Jackass]. I told him I was not a part of it, and that I actually hated all of them.

He let me through, and I rode over the bridge by myself. I was grateful.

How can you support that crap sloppyjackass?



P.S. Good thing it is past my bedtime because I am just getting warmed up.
You forgot to mention how you did it Barefoot and in the Snow.teamsloppy
Mar 7, 2003 9:59 PM
You also forgot to mention the thing that cost only a nickel.

And, you didn't mention that the city is ony 7 miles wide by 7 miles deep. You have to ride in circles to ride your 20 miles.

And, Critical Mass is a ride 2 or 3 miles away from the Golden Gate Bridge. You can't ride a bike across the Bay Bridge. I think you are either confused or making things up.
Um, excuse me...filtersweep
Sep 28, 2002 4:49 AM
You are incredibly ignorant and presumptuous... lies?

I live in Mpls- NOT SF- so you are correct, I AM "NOT A SERIOUS SF CYCLIST"- ... critical mess is a nationwide "phenomenon."

I'll spare you the rest of my diatribe and ranting... "elderly and inform"- "republican"- "bike snob"... who's the snob here?

I'd love to see ANY sort of support for the idea that critical mess has contributed to ANY positive policymaking regarding cyclists- "bicycle lanes, bicycle only streets, bike loops at intersections, and awareness by auto drives and other road users" ?
Um, excuse me...Pygme
Sep 28, 2002 8:34 AM
Filtersweep, your reply to spankdoggie just proved his point.

He gave a rude, in-your-face, annoying reply, and it pissed you off. Kinda like CM does to motorists.
Um, excuse me...PT 2filtersweep
Sep 28, 2002 8:51 AM
My reply, if you can decipher this thread, was to team sloppy, not spankdoggie... sorry for the confusion.
You don't have to be in critical mass to be car freeMe Dot Org
Sep 28, 2002 7:09 AM
First of all, I'm 51, and did not ride my car in SF yesterday. I walked, rode the bus and biked 44 miles.

I'm a member of San Francisco Bicycle Coaltion, which I believe is a more constructive way to promote bicycle safety and awareness. They constantly lobby for bicycle lanes, and I think they are more effective in dealing with government.

Like most people who ride in San Francisco, I've been cut off, nearly run over by people running red lights, doored, etc.

But that doesn't give me the right to act like the people whose automotive behavior I find hostile, arrogant and self-involved.

Critical Mass seems to be promoting the message of "now you know how it feels". I think there are better ways of promoting cycling awareness without creating emnity between cyclists and motorists.
wrong ideapeloton
Sep 28, 2002 5:57 AM
I was watching the mess created by critical mass this morning on CNN. Do any of those cyclists really think that they are helping to change public opinion of cyclists? In your face tactics are rarely a good way to get others to think your way. I like to ride as much as the next guy, and it would p!ss me off to be held up in traffic coming home from work for something like this. Imagine someone trying to get to the hospital or another emergency situation being held up by this sort of thing.

I would be willing to bet that most if not all of those participating in critcal mass are not invovled in their town meetings and local politics where they could rally better conditions for cyclists. I bet most of them don't even vote. There are better ways to get people to think your way than tactics like this. Pissing people off like this is just going to result in more cyclists getting run off the road, getting things throw at them, and the other aggravations that serious cyclists have to endure.

Next time some motorist runs you off the road in a critical mass city, wonder to yourself if it is because we were smart enough to stick him/her in a traffic jam. People treat you the way you treat them.
Last Friday of every monthpaulj
Sep 28, 2002 6:45 AM
Now you know when it's coming so work around it. Haven't you all got something more important to rant about....
Critical Mass bicycle ride caps S.F.'s first car-free dayteamsloppy
Sep 28, 2002 8:27 AM
Here's the write up from the Chronicle:

In case that long link doesn't post to a message board well., its at

Here's a brief excerpt:
"The two-wheeled throng -- estimates by police and organizers ranged from 3,000 to 5,000 riders -- got so thick when it hit Union Square that some cyclists had to walk their bikes past tourists snapping photos. As the riders cruised through the Tenderloin, residents opened their windows and toasted them. Police said riders stretched nearly 40 blocks at one point."



Claudia Eyzaguirre dressed in a silver lame top, black miniskirt and silver tights to celebrate the anniversary ride. "(Critical Mass) has shown that bicycling is not just for sideshow freaks," said the 26-year-old Berkeley resident. "I mean, we look like freaks, but that's just us. Most of these people are just Joe Normal."

Like George Wesely, 35, of San Francisco, who pulled his 7-year-old son on a trailer bike behind him for the youngster's first Critical Mass. And Sarah Kaplan, 23, who came from Chicago with six friends, and passed out tiny cartoon books a pal drew. Others wore stickers reading, "Help Prevent Death -- Stop Driving," and some wore banners opposing military action in Iraq.

"This is amazing," said Chris Carlsson, one of the founders of Critical Mass, as he surveyed Justin Herman.

Earlier in the day, Carlsson was tossing a Frisbee at high noon in the middle of Montgomery Street, which was closed off to traffic for the city's first Car-Free Day.

Well, sort of closed off; local merchants pressured city officials to open three streets of traffic to cross Montgomery Street. The event wasn't totally car-free. Mayor Willie Brown, for one, tooled around Montgomery in one of several electric cars on display.

"It's alternative transportation day," Brown corrected. "And that's not a car. That's a golf cart."
Critical Mass = Childish Temper Tantrum (nm)DeRanger
Sep 28, 2002 8:41 AM
re: Critical Mass MadnessLactate Junkie
Sep 28, 2002 9:40 AM
To all Critical Massholes--

Try doing something constructive for a change!!

In spite of what you seem to think, you are not helping the cause of cyclists.