The Chainlink

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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Interesting points, glad they won't stop anyone riding the Mass, 'cause I love it--flaws and all. Here's something related, though. Every time I skip a Mass and ride off home the other way I'm struck by how many dozens and hundreds of bikes I see on the road and on the trail that have no apparent idea that CM exists.
Well put Chuck.

If you don't like Critical Mass or the idea of Critical Mass, then do this: Don't show up for it. Case closed.

Chuck a Muck said:
It seems the dead horse needs a beating again...
When in doubt consult Wikipedia:
"Critical Mass is a bicycling event typically held on the last Friday of every month in over 300 cities around the world.[1] While the ride was originally founded in 1992 in San Francisco with the idea of drawing attention to how unfriendly the city was to cyclists,[2] the leaderless structure of Critical Mass makes it impossible to assign it any one specific goal. In fact, the purpose of Critical Mass is not formalized beyond the direct action of meeting at a set location and time and traveling as a group through city or town streets on bikes."


"Critical Mass participants have insisted that these events should be viewed as "celebrations" and spontaneous gatherings, and not as protests or organized demonstrations.[5][6] This stance allows Critical Mass to argue a legal position that its events can occur without advance notification of local police."

That being said it seems that Bikefreeek is right. I thought that Critical Mass had a different rational.


As a cyclist and as a driver I've seen more aggression on the road than at any other time. Could it be completely unrelated to cycling at all? Could it be that with unemployment at a ridiculous level and companies expecting more work for less money that people are stressed out?

And the fact that most people are complete morons combined with the normal stress of operating an automobile, and the stress of their crappy life would likely lead these fools to let the stored aggression out on something different and abstract and outside their small minded understanding? Something that might threaten the way a man was taught to understand the world? Or a woman's self importance? *those can be switched to suit your needs).

CM will keep right on chugging and grow as more people start commuting to save pennies and those same people will realize that commuting is dangerous and enjoy a place and time when they can ride in the safety of numbers.
I agree with you. But I fear this is going to turn into a very long discussion...
I love Critical Mass especially the confrontations with frustrated motorists (Happy Friday! whoa! Dude your not going ANYwhere, just turn it off... its gonna be a while). I don't care what bike culture is supposed to represent, I just represent. Also as a peaceful person I can safely say life is war. So why shouldn't we bikers, the saint's of the road (we ease traffic congestion and don't burn fossil fuels all while putting ourselves in harms way) take the damn roads for an evening once a month. Oh how I wish every Friday was a happy one.
im gonna say that i love it because it is basically and immediately futile- the cases of people meeting and beginning a life together or cbf team building exercises are simply byproducts of a situation where people who share a common interest in futility and folly had a chance to make a catalyzed change in their lives..

no sir, you wont find any ad hominem attacks, ridicule, or hyperbolic scorn here, because i only disagree with the assumption that futility should preclude participation.

i sincerely hope you never catch a case of the existential blues.
well, it seemed that those areas were already covered and that it would be more effective to focus upon this persons upcoming breakdown.

h3 said:
Wow, Dan, hope you're feeling better soon!

o0_dan_0o said:
you wont find any ad hominem attacks, ridicule, or hyperbolic scorn here
based on the couple of mass rides i've been on, and conversations with people who have been on a lot more of them than i have, i think the concept is sound but the execution has been leaving something to be desired. i have seen bikers take advantage of the mass to do things that seem designed to antagonize drivers (i.e. blocking intersections), feeding into the stereotype that all cyclists ignore the rules of the road and causing more frustration than joie de vivre, which i believe was the original spirit in which the concept was proposed. i've also witnessed a few drivers who were more than ready to greet a group of bikers with irritation and impatience.

i think that in its ideal form, the critical mass would be a good-spirited group of bikers riding alongside tolerant car drivers, sharing the road...but like many good ideas, it's harder to do than it is to say.
everybody knows its all about getting boozed up and meeting chicks anyway.
You must realize that when bikers take to the streets in throngs, albeit an organized throng, they are representing all bikers in the city in which they live. I do not want to deal with the fallout of some group of people's civil disobedience and that is why I posed the argument and that is why I asked what others think about the situation. You seem to be confusing my opinion and attempt at open dialogue with a recruitment campaign. I am part of the biking community and will be for a long time, which is why I am on and I do ride everyday. This is only my opinion and not meant to offend or "make trouble". The fact that I was up at 4 in the morning is inconsequential to the matter. If you have a compelling argument for the validity of critical mass I would love to hear it. I could be playing the devil's advocate for all you know. I am not saying that I am right and you are wrong, just saying how I feel.

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 !!!!!
bikers and drivers alike... we are all monsters.

so fuck it all. I'll ride where i like, and you can run me over when my time comes.


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