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Cipo's long lost cousin
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I'm taking a page from a <a href=http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=6423>discussion</a> over at MTBr. If your a daily bike commuter then what are your thoughts on Critical Mass? Have you ever ridden one?

I'd like to think that cyclists who are out on the streets battling traffic year-round might have some opinions on this vs. weekend warriors, recreational cyclists, racers, etc. etc...
 

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The web is a MUT
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While I don't currently fit your intended respondent profile, I have in the past. And seeings as how nobody has replied, I'll respond.

CriticalMass, while initially having good intentions, now has a negative impact on the situation. There are now people involved in it who are more interested in the anarchy of the acts than in getting positive results for cyclists and bike commuters. There was one CM event in the past where an angry motorist ran into one participant.

My feelings are that if instead of a traffic blocker gathering, if instead the same group of people would choose one route each month and take a day or two to ride that route, single file, obeying all traffic laws, it would bring greater visibility and improved respect from the motorists along the way. Hopefully, in theory anyway.

Imagine, one day you're the lone commuter cyclist on a route, the next day 300 people are commuting on the same route, then the day after that you are back to being the lone commuter cyclist. At a minimum the motorists will wonder who all those other people were, where they were going, and will at a minimum for a short while take notice of you on your way. Also at a bare minimum the obstinate beligerant abusive motorists will now hopefully realize that you the lone cyclist commuter are not really all alone and that 300+ other cyclists can be summoned up to ride the route again.

Anyway, thems my thoughts on the matter.

Have a nice ride.
 

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The negative media/stereotyping of CM participants

Steve-O said:
I'm taking a page from a <a href=http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=6423>discussion</a> over at MTBr. If your a daily bike commuter then what are your thoughts on Critical Mass? Have you ever ridden one?

I'd like to think that cyclists who are out on the streets battling traffic year-round might have some opinions on this vs. weekend warriors, recreational cyclists, racers, etc. etc...
Really does hurt the image of commuters as cyclists IMO. I rode in the 10 year anniversary CM here in SF. It was a total circus complete with ped/biker standoffs, fights and the typical negative media images.

One assh0le in a maxima wouldnt wait for cyclists to ge through the intersection so he pulled out right in front of me which me endoing to the pavment on my one week old Kelly knobbie cross.

But if you would have seen the bikini clad batton twisters & huge marching band at the end of the ride it was real cool. I ride alot with commuting and all. Just be cool and ride DEFENSIVELY.
 

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And all the people said "AMEN!"

I agree completely. This is the only way we commuters willl get any respect from cars. I do my best to follow traffic laws to show motorists I belong and that they must share the road with me. Nothing will piss me off more than someone who will run red lights in front of cars just because there is no traffic. Obey the law or get off the road!
 

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I commute by car and by bike...

and think that only bad things come of Critical Mass for bikers. We are shooting ourselves in the foot by pissing off a very large segment of the population that might otherwise be, at the very least, bike benign. After a CM event, the bad feelings last for weeks, and in my opinion manifest in acts of aggression towards regular commuters.

I know I'm not alone in having been run off the road by "normal" looking people in "normal" looking cars. I got flipped off by a woman that looked like my grandma for God's sake! That's just not right.

And don't even get me started on soccer moms and SUVs. I'm starting to believe that all spots are blind spots for those killers.

Steve-O said:
I'm taking a page from a <a href=http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=6423>discussion</a> over at MTBr. If your a daily bike commuter then what are your thoughts on Critical Mass? Have you ever ridden one?

I'd like to think that cyclists who are out on the streets battling traffic year-round might have some opinions on this vs. weekend warriors, recreational cyclists, racers, etc. etc...
 

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Completely agree

I completely agree with the above posts.

As a year-round commuter, and as a passionate advocate for the rights of bicyclists to be recognized as LEGAL vehicles on the road, I've come to see Critical Mass as an impediment to our goals. I'm one of the minority of cyclists you will see waiting at red lights, signaling lane changes and mostly obeying the law.

Even here in Portland, OR, recently voted the most cycling-friendly medium sized city in the US, at least once a month I see a letter to the editor in the paper decrying the widespread lawnlessness of cyclists on the streets. Nearly every time I converse with non-cyclists in any depth about commuting, I find myself having to defend our rights and explain that we're not all lawbreakers.

Whether or not it is actually the case, CM is widely perceived as an exercise in lawbreaking. "We're here but we're breaking the law and deliberately inconveniencing you" is NOT the message I want to send. Evangelizing is hard enough already without CM's "help".
 

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Arrogant roadie.....
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CM is a joke!

About 4 or 5 years ago, a few "agentes provocateurs" tried to get a regular CM ride running. They all organized, then went out and bought $20 bikes from the Salvation Army, Goodwill, etc. Then they went out to annoy traffic, riding 6 and 7 abreast down the busiest surface street in town at 4:30 on a friday. These were the same 3 or 4 dozen people who always showed up at socialist protests, anarchist meeting, etc.
After the police intervined, none of these "student" radicals bothered to continue the protest, and I've yet to see any of them actually ride a bike. The organizer used to live near me, driving his red Saab all over the place. I actually saw him the day he bought his CM protest bike, and he put it out on the trash pile a few months after the CM protests fizzled.
 
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