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Old 11-14-04, 09:08 AM   #1
Dang
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CM will ruin it all.

Being new to the bike forum and cycling in general I may be stepping out of line here but who cares?
This "Critical Mass" crap is going to backfire from what I have been reading about it.
I'm afraid it may take away our cycling rights rather then improve on them. It seems that it's just an excuse for a bunch of kids to get out and cause trouble.
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Old 11-14-04, 09:14 AM   #2
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CM is not an excuse for kids to cause trouble, kids who like to cause trouble use CM as an excuse to do so. Out of 200 riders you'll have 10-20 maybe who want to cause problems and that taints the whole group.
Before passing judgment try actually going to a CM.
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Old 11-14-04, 09:22 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Dang
Being new to the bike forum and cycling in general I may be stepping out of line here but who cares?
This "Critical Mass" crap is going to backfire from what I have been reading about it.
I'm afraid it may take away our cycling rights rather then improve on them. It seems that it's just an excuse for a bunch of kids to get out and cause trouble.
Where I live (and I suspect it's the same in most areas), we have no cycling rights now. Autos are always buzzing me (including a cop once!), yelling @ me, and even throwing objects. At least one of these incidents happens to me on EVERY RIDE. What are "they" going to take away from me in terms of cycling rights? Will they shoot on sight next?

If cyclists want to get together once/month to protest our total lack of rights, I certainly have no problem with it.
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Old 11-14-04, 09:24 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Dang
Being new to the bike forum and cycling in general I may be stepping out of line here but who cares?
This "Critical Mass" crap is going to backfire from what I have been reading about it.
I'm afraid it may take away our cycling rights rather then improve on them. It seems that it's just an excuse for a bunch of kids to get out and cause trouble.
Being new to the bike forum and cycling in general, maybe you should do some research about it before weighing in. critical-mass.org is a good place to start.

(Unless, of course, you believe that police have a right to stop you from riding your bike with your friends without first asking their permission, in which case I encourage you to go on believing and flaming away as you're doing here.)

Best,
Laika
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Old 11-14-04, 09:28 AM   #5
Dang
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Originally Posted by larue
Out of 200 riders you'll have 10-20 maybe who want to cause problems and that taints the whole group.
This is what I mean by Backfire. Who is going to make the headlines? The 180 or so serious CM'ers or the 10-20 trouble makers. Pretty soon we'll be seeing signs saying things like "No bicycles allowed between 9:00am and 5:00pm."
I'm curious. Has CM changed anything for the better?
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Old 11-14-04, 09:46 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Laika
Being new to the bike forum and cycling in general, maybe you should do some research about it before weighing in. critical-mass.org is a good place to start.

Best,
Laika
I did a few days ago. And then I checked out thier link to my areas CM site. And there were pictures of kids mostly, riding bikes towing trailers with boom boxes. And blocking traffic by taking up two lanes.
I'm all for bicycle rights. Bikes were here first. And it's a damn pity life is evolving around autos instead of bicycles. "The Bicycle is mans most nobel invention"
I just feel Critical mass is going to blow it for all. Why not join a club and get the job done through the courts?
In my area they seem to be doing a preety good job. Bike trails are being placed here and there. Bike lanes along most major streets.
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Old 11-14-04, 10:25 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Dang
I'm all for bicycle rights. Bikes were here first. And it's a damn pity life is evolving around autos instead of bicycles. "The Bicycle is mans most nobel invention"
I just feel Critical mass is going to blow it for all. Why not join a club and get the job done through the courts?
only in the U.S.
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Old 11-14-04, 10:45 AM   #8
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If every advance in the cause of expansion of "human rights" waited for the pols to get the job done we would still have children working in factories, mines and getting killed, you would not have 30 minutes min for lunch, vacations,(yeh sure one week in USA, 4 weeks in most of Europe),and look at the total lack of interest in pols for child day care centers for working types, OH and yeh the big one,womens voting rights which my greatgrandmother and grandmother worked for years to help become law.
So sit on your butt, do nothing and watch cyclists get killed because paint can't be applied to streets for lanes and mortorists can't be jailed for hitting AND KILLING US.
sit back and do nothing, or get off your lazy butt , the life you save may belong to your child or grandchild
Remember the indifference by a former administration in the face of the early AIDS situation? 7 years before it was even mentioned by name?
Thats what happens when we wait for pols to get off their butts and get things done
You like to ride your bike in a beautiful park? Think the parks just happened?
Pols are supposed to follow the electorate, seems somehow it has been turned around
How long do you think the current air traveling mess would last if ALL pols had to travel as the rest of us do, wait in lines suffer indignities of personal inspections.
Wait do nothing, criticize those who want to see better things for themselves and their children and friends, or get up, get out, ride and make yourself heard
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Old 11-14-04, 10:56 AM   #9
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Being not new to the Forum, I would like to say that I wouldn't mind if certain people in NYC CM were beaten over the head with a bat, particularly by me. They're ruining it for everyone else.
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Old 11-14-04, 10:59 AM   #10
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Just a question for the CM advocates: Besides demonstrating that lots of people ride bikes, what does it accomplish?

The police show up waiting for trouble.

The news reports the most obnoxious of the riders.

The buzz about CM outside the cycling community is absolutely bad.

So besides riling people up, has CM accomplished anything besides pissing people off?

Now, I think cyclists have their place. I think bikes have every bit of right to the road that cars do. But does CM really do anything to accomplish any goals other than going out with the intention of being disruptive?

In my neighborhood, there are a group of four middle aged guys who go out every Saturday (or Sunday, depending on the weather) sometimes ten to fifteen at a time. They're given respect on the road. They're respectful of motorists.

All in all, it's a mutual relationship.

I think if cyclists just got together and rode rather than "riding to protest" the message would reach people who aren't cyclists a whole hell of a lot better.
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Old 11-14-04, 11:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laika
Being new to the bike forum and cycling in general, maybe you should do some research about it before weighing in. critical-mass.org is a good place to start.
I went to the CM website and searched for the CM ride nearest my home. The link led me to this:

http://www.carolinapeace.org/

This website appears to be mostly about leftist political issues... not about cycling. Don't misunderstand me... I think our society is enriched when all political perspectives can be heard. However, if you link the issue of cyclists rights to what most South Carolinians perceive to be "extreme left" politics, the cyclists will indeed suffer.

Instead of adopting an "in your face" attitude toward lawmakers and law enforcement officers, I've found it more effective to engage them in meaningful discussion and treat them the same way I would like them to treat me.

If lawmakers or the police perceive you as being a responsible citizen... and even a friend... it is less likely that they will treat you unfairly in the future. Insteading of demanding that cyclists be granted "their rights," perhaps you could help your municipal government better define exactly what those rights are and how they affect other groups that are equally concerned with the protection of their rights.

Instead of fighting the City government and the police, cyclists in Myrtle Beach have volunteered their time and expertise to improve conditions for cyclists and pedestrians. They've even assisted the City and the police to develop routes for the city-sponsored marathon/ride <http://www.mbmarathon.com> scheduled for February 2005.

Now that our City leaders see the value of cycling to the health and economy of our community, the following benefits have been achieved:

1) All new roads are being built with clearly marked bicycle-only lanes.
2) Special cycling events are being scheduled into city recreation programs.
3) The city hosted a statewide conference to promote cycling and pedestrian rights two weeks ago.
4) The police are very nice toward cyclists unless it appears that the bike is being used in the commission of a crime or the cyclist is intoxicated.

These appear to be the goals of CM, but these results were achieved through constructive engagement with the authorities... not by slapping them in the face. Sure, we may not get 100% of what we want by doing it this way, but I think getting 80% of what we want is pretty good... especially in comparison to the apparent ineffectiveness of the CM methods.
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Old 11-14-04, 11:23 AM   #12
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I have ridden both Chicago and Detroit Critical Mass rides.
Chicago - Police respect us, we respect them, sometimes Bike Cops ride with us. Pedestrians love to see us, they wave, they talk to us, they ask what we are riding for. Drivers cheer us on, stick their hands out their windows for high-fives. Yes there are some drivers that act out, and yes there are some riders that act out, but it's a very peaceful ride.
Detroit- Much smaller rider, this is the most car-centered city in the world, and guess what? Pedestrians love to see us, cheer us on. Drivers smile and wave. Again, some drivers get annoyed with us and honk or yell.

So it's not like every city has what New York has (And the problem there is the police not the riders).

Also CM does change things. My dad, used to be a bike racer, he's still very environmental, very interested in the city/communities. He had pretty much stopped riding though. Eventually I convinced him to go to a CM with me, and he loved it, and he rode home (He had taken the train to downtown, it's like 10 miles). That's just one example, but CM empowers people to ride, they feel comfortable on top of the bike again.
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Old 11-14-04, 11:40 AM   #13
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(And the problem there is the police not the riders).
It's a combination of the police over-reacting and the riders going there with a chip on their shoulders to jam the streets. Sure there are some nice CM riders, but let's face facts: Those aren't the ones whose stories reach the public, and in the end, it isn't what cyclists mean to each other, it's what the public perceives, and pissing drivers off by doing circles in intersections does zip to help the cause of cycling in New York City, whether it's one CM'er doing it, or a hundred, drivers won't remember the 1,000 CM'ers who were riding peacefully. They'll remember the three idiots that made them late.

That's the perception people have, and CM does nothing to change it.
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Old 11-14-04, 01:39 PM   #14
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CM is not the only avenue for making a point. Commuting by bike day after day in normal traffic, obeying the rules (mostly ) and being kind and courteous to all is a real demonstration of transportational cycling. Why not show motorists in your community the real picture of bicycle commuting by doing it on a regular basis? I've gained acceptance from my fellow road users. They have learned to maneuver around me safely and are accustomed to my presence.

In short, I've gotten what I've wanted by persistence.
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Old 11-14-04, 01:58 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by slvoid
Being not new to the Forum, I would like to say that I wouldn't mind if certain people in NYC CM were beaten over the head with a bat, particularly by me. They're ruining it for everyone else.
Thanks for elevating the debate. You've really focused the issue for the rest of us. Well done!
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Old 11-14-04, 02:04 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by vincenzosi
It's a combination of the police over-reacting and the riders going there with a chip on their shoulders to jam the streets. Sure there are some nice CM riders, but let's face facts: Those aren't the ones whose stories reach the public, and in the end, it isn't what cyclists mean to each other, it's what the public perceives, and pissing drivers off by doing circles in intersections does zip to help the cause of cycling in New York City, whether it's one CM'er doing it, or a hundred, drivers won't remember the 1,000 CM'ers who were riding peacefully. They'll remember the three idiots that made them late.

That's the perception people have, and CM does nothing to change it.
Lots of idiots root for baseball teams...should we all stop watching baseball?

Lots of idiots wear blue jeans...should we all stop wearing blue jeans?

Lots of idiots ride the subway...should we all stop riding the subway?

Face it, if you made your decisions about what you did or didn't do based on whether there were a couple of idiots involved in whatever activity you were considering, you'd never leave the house. And I'd argue, that as a leaderless event, there's a greater chance for anyone who wants to show up to CM and influence the behavior of the group. Don't like the tone of your local CM? SHOW UP AND CHANGE IT. Or complain on a message board. You can do either, but I think showing up and riding responsibly and trying to effect the tone of the ride is more productive. Maybe that's just me, thoough.
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Old 11-14-04, 03:32 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by bac
Where I live (and I suspect it's the same in most areas), we have no cycling rights now. Autos are always buzzing me (including a cop once!), yelling @ me, and even throwing objects. At least one of these incidents happens to me on EVERY RIDE. What are "they" going to take away from me in terms of cycling rights? Will they shoot on sight next?

If cyclists want to get together once/month to protest our total lack of rights, I certainly have no problem with it.
Shoot on sight "next"? You mean "again", don't you?
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Old 11-14-04, 03:36 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Travelinguyrt
If every advance in the cause of expansion of "human rights" waited for the pols to get the job done we would still have children working in factories, mines and getting killed, you would not have 30 minutes min for lunch, vacations,(yeh sure one week in USA, 4 weeks in most of Europe),and look at the total lack of interest in pols for child day care centers for working types, OH and yeh the big one,womens voting rights which my greatgrandmother and grandmother worked for years to help become law.
So sit on your butt, do nothing and watch cyclists get killed because paint can't be applied to streets for lanes and mortorists can't be jailed for hitting AND KILLING US.
sit back and do nothing, or get off your lazy butt , the life you save may belong to your child or grandchild
Remember the indifference by a former administration in the face of the early AIDS situation? 7 years before it was even mentioned by name?
Thats what happens when we wait for pols to get off their butts and get things done
You like to ride your bike in a beautiful park? Think the parks just happened?
Pols are supposed to follow the electorate, seems somehow it has been turned around
How long do you think the current air traveling mess would last if ALL pols had to travel as the rest of us do, wait in lines suffer indignities of personal inspections.
Wait do nothing, criticize those who want to see better things for themselves and their children and friends, or get up, get out, ride and make yourself heard

I think if politicians followed the electorate, we'd be relegated to bike paths and sidewalks. Cycling advocates are trying to make the politicians think "outside the box" and make changes for the better, before the need to hits them over the head.
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Old 11-14-04, 03:42 PM   #19
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Five cyclists of which one or two were detained? If nothing else, the Brooklyn CM seems to have redefined what constitutes a parade or a protest. Maybe someone should give Norman Siegal a bike so he can ride along too.
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Old 11-14-04, 03:46 PM   #20
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what i think CM nshould do is split each region into a separate mass, and adjust monthly for a while till we get 20-50 man mini-masses. That way the traffic obstruction is minimal, while still getting the point across.
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Old 11-14-04, 03:47 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vincenzosi
Just a question for the CM advocates: Besides demonstrating that lots of people ride bikes, what does it accomplish?
CM was never meant to accomplish anything.

CM is about riding bikes and that's it. CM has been going on for many years and only recently has it gone awry in some cities.
Our CM is when a number of bike riders get together and ride their bikes. That's it. What do we expect to accomplish? What do you expect to accomplish by riding your bike tomorrow?
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Old 11-14-04, 03:51 PM   #22
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Well,in the review of the recent past election,red states and thinking therein will rule for some years into the future.So much for advancing intelligent politcal help for bike riders
Name a single piece of compassionate legislation EVER to come out of a "red" state of mind
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Old 11-14-04, 04:08 PM   #23
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Name a single piece of compassionate legislation EVER to come out of a "red" state of mind
Emancipation Proclamation
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Old 11-14-04, 04:08 PM   #24
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CM is about riding bikes and that's it? If that was the case, people would ride their bikes from Union Square in New York, not circle in intersections, not taunt cops, and not generally act like jerks.

There are tons of organized rides throughout the city on any given weekend. If the idea of CM is, as you say it, to "come together and ride bikes," then it's a message lost on the participants.

All the CM rides do, in this city, is inflame drivers against cyclists. We preach to the choir here, folks. You ain't going nowhere advocacy-wise if you're pissing the people you want to respect you off. Joining an organization like TA or lobbying your local elected officials does a hell of a lot more than looping a crosswalk.
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Old 11-14-04, 05:10 PM   #25
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Suntreader, you wrote:

"If lawmakers or the police perceive you as being a responsible citizen... and even a friend... it is less likely that they will treat you unfairly in the future."

So what is the deal here? Citizens must make sure that their behavior meets the approval of authorities in order to be accorded the basic right of being treated fairly? The thing that is ticking me off about this discussion is the widespread acceptance of uneven, biased, and discriminative teatment by the police against our own brothers and sisters. Then, to make matters much worse, blame is assigned to the victims of these measures!

If the police pepper spray, mass arrest, and take the cars of people in a traffic jam after some of them act like jerks (I know it's hard to visualize cagers in a traffic jam acting like jerks), or everyone leaving a bar in Boston after a Sox game (yeah, hard to imagine some Sox fans acting like jerks), there would be a massive public outcry. Yet, we accept this behavior with CM as normal and even caused by people, in a so-called democracy, who are participating in a legitimate and legal activity. Stop acting like sheep people! We are not on the roads through the benevolent tolerance of police or judges. We are there because we have the right to be there! Take it! Defend it! Or at least support those who will fight for you when you will not.
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