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I disagree with people riding in critical mass because: 1) critical mass feeds the egos of bikers but not their ethics, 2) critical mass escalates the animosity between bikers and drivers, and 3) critical mass does not actually educate drivers about the current laws for bike traffic, nor does it properly reflect bike culture and etiquette. I will be the first to admit that driver/biker relations need a lot of work, however, I fail to see how critical mass has a positive impact on the situation. Most drivers seem to have no clue or skill when driving (a pretty simple task) so how can bikers expect them to understand the significance of a critical mass?

Your thoughts on the matter?

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Matt

I never thought critical mass did any good either. To be fair I have not attended any and my opinions of the actual events are based on conversations with 3-4 people.

I was lucky enough to meet Gary Fisher this summer. He mentioned the guy in San Fransisco who invented critical mass. I told him that I thought critical mass was not doing any real good for cyclists and he agreed.

I agree with your points two and three above. I don't have enough data to comment on your first point. Does anyone have any stories about making drivers more aware about bikes due to critical mass?

Thanks

Mark
I think bikes are fun.
Driving a car, much like riding a bike, is only a simple task when you are not very good at it.

Classifying moving a ton or two of steel around in confined spaces at speeds we as people would never naturally see around lots of other people doing the same thing all while keeping track of, and reacting to, dynamic and dangerous surroundings as well as combating blind spots and trying to navigate sounds far from simple to me.

But then again I consider safely riding a bike in city traffic to be pretty complex as well so what do I know.
It seems the dead horse needs a beating again...
h3 said:
We've been consistently hitting 3,000 on fair weather summer rides.
That's a lot of clueless/misguided self-deluding cyclists, huh?

Unfortunately, yes.

Unscientific informal survey of some drivers (in Chi & SF area) i've spoken to tells me that the hostility towards riders growing. CM isn't helping. The urge to run riders over is getting closer to the surface.

As much as i enjoy the idea of riding in a huge phalanx of fellow riders, i'm not sue that we help our cause much by these rallies.

And yes, CM aside, there are huge numbers of clueless & misguided self-deluding cyclists out there.
It's fun and I always manage to get a phone number or even two . . . Yum
well just dont ride in the mass then.I enjoy riding in Critical Mass even if it doesnt make sence to some people.Has everything you ever done made sence.I it has then you havent lived.Just the freedom of bicycles taking over the streets for a few hours once a month doesnt hurt anyone.Why are you on THe Chain Link you trouble maker.You probably dont even ride.Your awake at 4 inthe the mourning starting a stupid discussion like this.You must be a loney goffy.Is that a meatball your holding.Ding ding ding ding !!!!!
I think he has a very good point and a right to express it, Go USA>. We are basically unruly mob shutting down the streets @ the most busy time of the week in downtown. Just try to justify it when the lady is having a baby in the back seat or someone is having a heart attack and is stuck. I tell you are a extreme liberal cause it is ok to disagree and get bent when someone is pretty much correct in their statements and then it seems to offend you. And no I am not a Republican either. Feel free to get pissed and bash me back.

alvin mitchell said:
well just dont ride in the mass then.I enjoy riding in Critical Mass even if it doesnt make sence to some people.Has everything you ever done made sence.I it has then you havent lived.Just the freedom of bicycles taking over the streets for a few hours once a month doesnt hurt anyone.Why are you on THe Chain Link you trouble maker.You probably dont even ride.Your awake at 4 inthe the mourning starting a stupid discussion like this.You must be a loney goffy.Is that a meatball your holding.Ding ding ding ding !!!!!
I thought the whole point of critical mass is that it can be whatever you want it to be. I don't do it because it is supposed to educate drivers or that I feel it has some great significance. I do it because it's fun.
It seems like you have some (pretty high) expectations of Critical Mass. Who says that it's any sort of biker/motorist education effort? What is proper bike culture and ettiquette? Is Critical Mass trying to improve relationships with anyone?

I would say that the signifcance of Critical Mass is pretty obvious; it's a whole lot of bikes controlling the street! It's meaning or message beyond it is, is as varied as those who participate, spectate and speculate.
Matt (& Mike W)--

Have you ever ridden in Critical Mass?

Most folks assume it is a protest and an effort to tie up traffic, a myth perpetuated by the media (controversy!). Really, it's just a big old party and the response, without exaggeration, falls 99% positive to neutral.

There is a tiny fraction cyclists who feel emboldened to yell at drivers and a tiny fraction of irrational motorists who get bent out of shape. Both statically insignificant.

The point of Critical Mass is to *create space* to foster relationships/community. CCM was the launching platform for countless activist outgrowths and educating & supporting tens of thousands of cyclists over the years. At one point the entire CDOT Bike Program was staffed from this pool.

CCM has brought together various bike sub-cultures. 95% of my friends I met through CCM and I have seen people meet, marry and spawn children!

Life does not happen in the abstract. If you want to know what effect Critical Mass has, quit typing and go check it out ;)
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T.C. O'Rourke said:
Matt (& Mike W)--

Have you ever ridden in Critical Mass?

Most folks assume it is a protest and an effort to tie up traffic, a myth perpetuated by the media (controversy!). Really, it's just a big old party and the response, without exaggeration, falls 99% positive to neutral.

There is a tiny fraction cyclists who feel emboldened to yell at drivers and a tiny fraction of irrational motorists who get bent out of shape. Both statically insignificant.

The point of Critical Mass is to *create space* to foster relationships/community. CCM was the launching platform for countless activist outgrowths and educating & supporting tens of thousands of cyclists over the years. At one point the entire CDOT Bike Program was staffed from this pool.

CCM has brought together various bike sub-cultures. 95% of my friends I met through CCM and I have seen people meet, marry and spawn children!

Life does not happen in the abstract. If you want to know what effect Critical Mass has, quit typing and go check it out ;)

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