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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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I went on CM just to see friends and have fun, but I do agree with you Mattbikes. Even as just a pedestrian, CM pissed me off, not letting me cross Rush street to get to work one eve several years ago. And then some rider had the gall to anounce to us something like, "This is what a world without cars would look like!" as if it was a good thing.
I did CCM a number of times in the summer/fall of '07. I enjoyed it tremendously. The bell ringing and yelling while passing under the rail road tracks somewhere on the southwest side was hilarious. It took me to neighborhoods that I hadn't been before.
But after 4 or 5 times I started noticing the prevailing antagonistic attitude towards drivers. I disliked that so much that I stopped doing CCM
Until I found out about NSCM this summer (thanks to Chainlink!). I can only imagine that this is what the first few years must have looked like. A small group of riders having a good time without the confrontational attitude that is on display at it's big sibling

So if you don't like CCM, may I suggest you give NSCM a try?
Frank
Thanks for clarifying that. Goes to show how little imagination I have....

h3 said:
Actually kind of opposite. I was caught in a mass in the early days before I started riding and it was decidedly aggro. A few creative and determined folks worked hard to change that, and largely succeeded until recently-- we seem to be getting more and more of people leaving instead of staying around and helping make it what they think it should be.
Duppie said:
I did CCM a number of times in the summer/fall of '07. I enjoyed it tremendously. The bell ringing and yelling while passing under the rail road tracks somewhere on the southwest side was hilarious. It took me to neighborhoods that I hadn't been before.
But after 4 or 5 times I started noticing the prevailing antagonistic attitude towards drivers. I disliked that so much that I stopped doing CCM
Until I found out about NSCM this summer (thanks to Chainlink!). I can only imagine that this is what the first few years must have looked like. A small group of riders having a good time without the confrontational attitude that is on display at it's big sibling

So if you don't like CCM, may I suggest you give NSCM a try?
Frank
Very, very well said.

I have been caught by mass several times over the years before I became an active cyclist and I remember at least one of those incidents being very, very antagonistic. More recently I have been caught and it seemed to be a much happier mass and I felt there was less of an negative or aggressive attitude towards the motorists but I still felt mass was a bad idea.

After I became a sometimes cyclist I still was not very keen on mass, I felt it made cyclists look like jerks and promoted a shitty image because of some of the bad behavior that I saw towards motorists. As I became more avid a rider I became more involved in the bicycle community and noticed that a lot of the really positive and motivated people I meet where really into it and I came out and gave mass a try.

I came away from the event with VERY mixed feeling.

On one hand I had a great time and was impressed by the large number of involved, passionate, considerate and truly positive people I met on the ride. I saw lots of people that I think really did want to send a positive message.

However, I also saw a lot of people being complete jackasses and making bad situations worse because they felt the need to come out and antagonize people in cars. I was really on the fence and didn't know if I would ride mass again because for as great as it could be there where moments where it was horrible

I put a lot of thought into it after that and decided to ride mass every chance I got, here's why:

Mass can, and often does, make cyclists look bad and there is even the possibility that it really does more harm then good to the image of cyclists; I don't believe that personally but it is not a hard argument to understand. However mass can never be stopped, you are never going to convince people to stop which means that if you think it is sending a bad message because of the behavior of some of the people on it the only way to improve that message it to become a part of it and try to help change the tone of the ride from the inside.

I ride every mass, often I end up more upset over the behavior of other cyclists then of people driving cars but I'm not going to stop making it to every one I can because if my presence helps to prevent or diffuse one confrontation my time was worth it; it seems like a small thing if I only make one persons night better but if more people got out and did their part to make it a positive ride it has to potential to change the whole face of the ride.

Every asshole I see being a dick to a motorists or making a mess of corking just makes me yell 'Happy Friday!' and 'thanks for waiting' that much louder.

h3 said:
Actually kind of opposite. I was caught in a mass in the early days before I started riding and it was decidedly aggro. A few creative and determined folks worked hard to change that, and largely succeeded until recently-- we seem to be getting more and more of people leaving instead of staying around and helping make it what they think it should be.

Duppie said:
I did CCM a number of times in the summer/fall of '07. I enjoyed it tremendously. The bell ringing and yelling while passing under the rail road tracks somewhere on the southwest side was hilarious. It took me to neighborhoods that I hadn't been before.
But after 4 or 5 times I started noticing the prevailing antagonistic attitude towards drivers. I disliked that so much that I stopped doing CCM
Until I found out about NSCM this summer (thanks to Chainlink!). I can only imagine that this is what the first few years must have looked like. A small group of riders having a good time without the confrontational attitude that is on display at it's big sibling

So if you don't like CCM, may I suggest you give NSCM a try?
Frank
Notorius, if only more people shared your rationality then we wouldn't even need to be having this discussion.

I agree with your sentiment. We can make things better when we desire it and then act.

I don't care for the hooliganism and the intentional rudeness like intersection takeovers and circling triangles. When those things occur and I'm paying attention I avoid participating and try to end them quickly by moving on once I sense there is enough like minded people to create a new momentum.

---

As for those concerned about the traffic disruption caused by Critical Mass, I'd same baseball games cause bigger traffic disruptions far more often. Imagine how many pregnant women haven't made it to the hospital on time due to Cubs traffic! I have ZERO interest in baseball. Why should baseball games be allowed to regularly inconvenience me by disrupting my transportation?

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

Todd Allen said:
Notorius, if only more people shared your rationality then we wouldn't even need to be having this discussion.

I agree with your sentiment. We can make things better when we desire it and then act.

I don't care for the hooliganism and the intentional rudeness like intersection takeovers and circling triangles. When those things occur and I'm paying attention I avoid participating and try to end them quickly by moving on once I sense there is enough like minded people to create a new momentum.

---

As for those concerned about the traffic disruption caused by Critical Mass, I'd same baseball games cause bigger traffic disruptions far more often. Imagine how many pregnant women haven't made it to the hospital on time due to Cubs traffic! I have ZERO interest in baseball. Why should baseball games be allowed to regularly inconvenience me by disrupting my transportation?

I disagree with people riding to baseball games because: 1) baseball feeds the egos of fans but not their ethics, 2) baseball games escalate the animosity between fans and drivers, and 3) baseball does not actually educate drivers about the current laws for baseball traffic, nor does it properly reflect baseball culture and etiquette. I will be the first to admit that driver/baseball fan relations need a lot of work, however, I fail to see how baseball games have a positive impact on the situation. Most drivers seem to have no clue or skill when driving (a pretty simple task) so how can baseball fans expect them to understand the significance of baseball games?
I go all year round, every month, it seems to be the fair weather riders during the warm months that cause the most trouble. Hahaha I love it! Anarchy forever!
I don't HATE baseball. I even played it as a child. But these people should grow up!

Baseball fans are a drunken rude mob. They don't obey our laws. Somebody should do something about them. They don't even pay their fair share. There ought to be a city sticker for them. And baseball fans aren't even licensed. They ought to take a test. And when baseball fans are clogging up the streets I just want to whack 'em with my U-lock! If everybody would just whack them with their U-locks they'd learn their lesson and the problem would be solved!


h3 said:
Hate the game, not the player . . .
Are you trying to refuel my desire to write a reply to someone telling me to "just deal with it" when complaining about drunken idiots hanging out in the bike lane on Clark before/during/after a baseball game?

I'd decided to drop it, stop trying to bring it back up. :)

P.S. F'ing drunken morons - same goes for drunken concertgoers (wow, quite the cover, ie. ticket price, you paid)

Todd Allen said:
I don't HATE baseball. I even played it as a child. But these people should grow up!

Baseball fans are a drunken rude mob. They don't obey our laws. Somebody should do something about them. They don't even pay their fair share. There ought to be a city sticker for them. And baseball fans aren't even licensed. They ought to take a test. And when baseball fans are clogging up the streets I just want to whack 'em with my U-lock! If everybody would just whack them with their U-locks they'd learn their lesson and the problem would be solved!


h3 said:
Hate the game, not the player . . .
Well, this one stayed on point for a while. Oh well...
Michael,
It takes a bit but eventually you learn to just change the subject when you get the anti-critical mass rant from people who have never experienced it firsthand. If that doesn't work you can find a different bike shop . . .

Be sure to join the "Berwyn Bike Mafia" group on here.

Michael Klapper said:
What do you do just do, like the bike commute, it make a statement, I did it years ago before you could get text alert about it, before there was alot of great stuff on the web, that like the other day I stopped in the bike shop at Oak Park, IL. was so charged up the last critical mass bike ride, and it like all they wanted to do was to take the air out of my tire. Is that what you want to do is take the air out of some tire? Have you done a critical mass bike ride, if not I think you as bike rider should not be so harsh on it. The last critical mass bike ride was amazing, with over 1500 people on bicycle, the chicago police as the escort, or what I like the most were the trailer with the music, it was a like a party, I wish every Friday was a critical mass bike ride. And it raise the awareness of drivers of the fact of the bicycles on the road, now of the Secretary of State was doing His job, there would be more education of sharing the road, so what is Jesse White doing for those on bicycle?

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