After slamming Critical Mass, I'm thinking of doing the one in September so I can see what it's like to participate. I'm trying to keep an open mind, but I can't reconcile all of the inconvenience and disruption caused by CM with its lack of meaning. I appreciate civil disobedience, but only if it's to work toward some goal, which CM doesn't seem to have.
Can you help me understand CM better to help me decide if I should participate? I'm not trolling or being a devil's advocate - and I understand if no one wants to beat this dead horse yet again.
I want to beat a dead horse every way possible. At least to make sure it is totally dead and not just kind of dead.
Mass is always more meaningful when your single and drinking, that is my take at this point. I never did make any money from it, so I can't give it top priority anymore. It is something never to forget being the very last person in the pack on Lake Shore Drive with a sea of cars almost driving over me and a very upset punk fool who was seriously considering running me over. But I have to admit some of the best times ... Let's have a real LSD mass and see how well everyone does then...
"...Critical Mass and its lack of meaning"
what an interesting sentence; really, after all of the horse-killing, perhaps the true lack of meaning is in the tyranny of the automobile, the auto industry, the acceptance of thousands of lives lost of the roads everyyear?
is CM Dada?
Does CM have a point? I don't know. I have ridden in one CM--last month on the south side ride. It was great fun and for the most part the people we passed--whether in cars or on the street--joined in the fun of "Happy Friday". The participants were everyone from "hipsters" to families with children on bikes, children in trailers, children on tandems. I rode places I would not normally have ridden and saw parts of the city that I had not seen. Yes, the ride blocks traffic for a period of time. I think in most places it was probably about 10 minutes. I have been stuck in a car in traffic jams for far longer on more occasions than I like to think about.
Bicycle police participate and even some police cars. They helped things along and seemed to help keep things moving.
Will I ride in many CMs? I doubt it. But I will do it again.
Sorry you're having a hard time understanding CM. My first Mass didn't mean much to me either...until I returned to my Lincoln Park neighborhood, and noticed that, yes...more and more bikes are actually pushing cars from their position of dominance.
Frequently this summer, I've noticed drivers are apt to slow, stop and give way to cyclists and pedestrians. They're starting to drive defensively...cautious and cowed. At least here, we're starting to make our neighborhood streets resemble CM on a 24/7 basis! I can only wonder, with increasing gas costs, what will our streets look like in 2022?
And it was Critical Mass that first gave me this glimpse of the future...where it is the few remaining DRIVERS who become the second-class citizens of our roads. And us cyclists, abundant in numbers, assume our rightful place as the primary users of our neighborhood streets.
I don't think anyone can speak meaningfully of a 'meaning' beyone what the ride means to them.
When I started participating it was about being counted for me. I didn't know anyone and felt very much the outsider but understood the basic 'Critical Mass' concept as the overall mission.
Over time it became about reclaiming streets, at least on a once-a-month quasi-symbolic level, from the death machines.
As the ride grew and the culture it helped foster, it became about celebrating the bike culture we all helped create.
Oversimplification here, but I have a million things to get done tonight...
Critical Mass is a bunch of people getting together and riding their bikes. Nothing more.
I just posted on this topic on Bike Walk Lincoln Park. I was hesitant and had mixed feelings too, until I tried it. It's just a fun experience, and so nice to be surrounded by hundreds of others who ride their bikes in the city.
Would be helpful for people to note whether they've ridden a CCM before or not. There's a whole different flavor to an opinion based purely on assumptions as compared to one based on at least a little first-hand experience (as observable from the perspective of having ridden... if one had never ridden, the usual falsehoods might not jump out quite so quickly.)
Good citizens don't do anything -especially THINK, without the express written permission of their rulers.