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  1. #1
    Traffic shark
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    The purpose of Critical Mass: Not about the bike?

    I’m looking for opinions.

    Is Critical Mass a political statement on war?

    Or is it a statement that Cycling is a viable form of transportation that should be recognized and that we are also due our rights to ride the streets as cars do?

    The reason I ask: the local mailing list was recently hit with an email for a ride against the President on inauguration day. CM is supposed to be about cycling. When I questioned the applicability of this to CM, I was rebuffed with various statements. First and foremost was that CM wasn’t about riding, but that it was about not destroying the environment through war. It was suggest I read the “CM book” (funny, I wasn’t aware of an instruction book), and that CM wasn’t “just about the bike”.

    I’m looking for opinions, as my intent is to join and be part of something that advocates cycling, safety rights, and awareness. I’m not against banners, statements, etc. But I’m not going for protest against an administration or an action…

    Because if we were to do that, what about a free Tibet ride? Or perhaps a ride to attrack attention to Rwanda genocide?
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  2. #2
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    Looks like some people have Hijacked the idea!
    Do you have any regular CM people in the area that you could contact and see fi they are involved?
    If they are then dump 'em and start your own and ride for the sake of riding.

  3. #3
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    In my opinion CM is whatever you make of it. If you want to ride your bike against the president (and clearly many do) then that's what CM is about. If you want to ride for the environment, then that's what CM is about. It's not organized by anyone in particular so how could it really be about anything in particular?

  4. #4
    Traffic shark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yoshi
    In my opinion CM is whatever you make of it. If you want to ride your bike against the president (and clearly many do) then that's what CM is about. If you want to ride for the environment, then that's what CM is about. It's not organized by anyone in particular so how could it really be about anything in particular?
    Yoshi, you kind of contradicted your self there.

    Is CM about the bike, or the political point? That's what I'd like to know. I'm not one for tearing up a group, so I'd rather bow out. But I thought that CM was about cycling and not about pro this anti that goverment stuff...

    Anyone else jump in here and give their two cents?
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  5. #5
    Immoderator KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Karsten
    Anyone else jump in here and give their two cents?
    You're an idiot?
    Quote Originally Posted by Bikeforums
    Your rights end where another poster's feelings begin.

  6. #6
    Traffic shark
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    Quote Originally Posted by krispistoferson
    You're an idiot?
    That may be, but do you have an opinion or not?

    If not, go suck a potatoe.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Karsten
    I’m looking for opinions.

    Is Critical Mass a political statement on war?

    Or is it a statement that Cycling is a viable form of transportation that should be recognized and that we are also due our rights to ride the streets as cars do?

    The reason I ask: the local mailing list was recently hit with an email for a ride against the President on inauguration day. CM is supposed to be about cycling. When I questioned the applicability of this to CM, I was rebuffed with various statements. First and foremost was that CM wasn’t about riding, but that it was about not destroying the environment through war. It was suggest I read the “CM book” (funny, I wasn’t aware of an instruction book), and that CM wasn’t “just about the bike”.

    I’m looking for opinions, as my intent is to join and be part of something that advocates cycling, safety rights, and awareness. I’m not against banners, statements, etc. But I’m not going for protest against an administration or an action…

    Because if we were to do that, what about a free Tibet ride? Or perhaps a ride to attrack attention to Rwanda genocide?
    It seems like Critical Mass has become more political now that we in war. Once the ride starts, you quickly forget about what it was all about and just ride. (Providing you don't go to jail!)

  8. #8
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    In it's purest form, I think that CM is a simply a celebration of cycling. There have been other similar organizations, such as Bikes Not Bombs, that actually predate CM (70s Vietnam era I think). My understanding is that BNB was similar to CM in the style and visibility of their rides, with a somewhat different and more political anti-war agenda. I believe that BNB started in Berkeley and I'm not even sure it's still an active organization anymore. Anyway, I think that the lines between these groups have become blurred over the years, probably due to the mutual interest of many participants in both bikes and progressive or anti-war politics. In retrospect, although calling out for political demonstrations on CM lists seems like a convenient way to organize, it might have been better for CM if its name wasn't used for some of these other activities, as it has tended to cause CM to be characterized recently as a demonstration or a protest, rather than as a celebration of cycling.

  9. #9
    contrarian lala's Avatar
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    there is an undeniable relation between promting the bike and bringing down the administration, esp the current administration.
    Higher ground for the apocalypse!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Ebbtide's Avatar
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    If you have to ask the question I think you know the answer. It is clear that in recent years CM has become less about the bike and more about politics. However, regional differences exist.

  11. #11
    No, GIR, that’s bad. Konakazi's Avatar
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    Another CM debate? lol. I don't understand why it's so controversial in some respects.

    Yes, I think it's abundantly clear that many CM rides have become intertwined with politics and protest. As far as I'm concerned it can be good and bad, but the short answer is "No, Critical Mass is not always about the bike."
    "Ooooo! You've got CHICKEN LEGS!"

    "Those darn liberal wackos! Why do they always try to get involved in just causes?"

  12. #12
    switching to guns ch0mb0's Avatar
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    Critical Mass: when I hear those words now, I don't even think of "bike ride" anymore.
    It doesn't sound fun and whenever it's brought up it often leads towards negativity.
    Too much bickering, too much hassle just to take part in (here in NY anyway).
    I don't think I'll be found at one of these gatherings.
    Fate is the Hunter
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    What are they doing? Why do they come here? Some kind of instinct. Memory, of what they used to do. This was an important place in their lives.
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  13. #13
    Immoderator KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Karsten
    That may be, but do you have an opinion or not?

    If not, go suck a potatoe.
    Sorry, Bill, just gettin' you back for callin' me a racist(?) the other day. Whoever you have me confused with remains unmolested, however. Here's my opinion:
    I've been involved in a lot of protests, logging, nuclear power, globalization and I have noticed an inability by a large contingent on the left to stay on topic. I can't count how many times I've been to a march, for example,against the war in Iraq, and one faction wants to turn it into a pride event, another group wants to smash windows at Starbucks, and another group wants to bring attention to deforestation. There's nothing wrong with any of those things, but isn't the march about Iraq, not Mumia Abu Jamal?
    I feel as if a large part of the criticisms of CM ( which I see as a positive thing in theory,) come from this tendency among Leftist circles, somehow cycling advocacy is magically part of a continuum that includes flag burning, Chomsky and Wicca!
    Oh, and Bill, no more personal attacks on the internet, OK? I 've got no hard feelings towards you, but it doesn't make you seem like Conan so much as a knucklehead when you ambush people out of the blue like that, and they're not there in person. I went back to look at some of your posts to figure out if you're a psycho or not after you jumped down my throat, and you seem like a person with a good heart who's on a furious path and has a lot on his plate. But take a chill pill,OK? I'll make an effort to use emoticons more often so people know when I'm joking, in case that's your problem with me, if not, add me to your ignore list if my posts mess with you so badly and you think it's possible for me to be a Jew and a racist at the same time!
    Nathan
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Karsten
    Yoshi, you kind of contradicted your self there.

    Is CM about the bike, or the political point? That's what I'd like to know. I'm not one for tearing up a group, so I'd rather bow out. But I thought that CM was about cycling and not about pro this anti that goverment stuff...

    Anyone else jump in here and give their two cents?
    I fail to see how I've contradicted myself. CM is simply the act of cyclists agreeing to meet at a specific location at a specific time to ride in the streets. That's all it is. A lot of people who ride in the Critical Masses happen to be liberal, anti-war, environmentalists, etc. and they often push their agenda, but just because some group riding in the Critical Mass is riding for a specific cause doesn't mean the CM is political or environmental or whatever. To each person it means something different.

  15. #15
    Traffic shark
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    Quote Originally Posted by krispistoferson
    Sorry, Bill, just gettin' you back for callin' me a racist(?) the other day. Whoever you have me confused with remains unmolested, however.
    You called Koffe Brown a Porch Monkey. And a few other things. I'm not exactly KB's biggest fan, but, you suck for it. The thread has been deleted: I looked. But you did it when a couple of threads were closed.

    Oh, and Bill, no more personal attacks on the internet, OK?
    Listen, I thought, for a minute, that perhaps you were a "friend" who was alternate posting. In so much as I sent that "friend" an email saying that the racial remark wasn't very @#$ funny.
    Seeing as how that's not true: I'm going to go back where you said that I'd have "no teeth" if I talked like that in person.
    That was a suggestion that I have no basis to talk this way, and wouldn't do so. I assure you, I will, and do. I also suggest that if you think that I'd have no teeth, to think again. I'm very capable of defending myself.

    I 've got no hard feelings towards you, but it doesn't make you seem like Conan so much as a knucklehead when you ambush people out of the blue like that, and they're not there in person.
    BS. If you had no hard feelings, you would have PM'd me. You didn't. If you were that upset, you could have said so. No, you saved it until now. If you've got a problem PM me. Don't hunt down a post and start a new fight. That's chicken ****.


    I'll make an effort to use emoticons more often so people know when I'm joking, in case that's your problem with me, if not, add me to your ignore list if my posts mess with you so badly and you think it's possible for me to be a Jew and a racist at the same time! Nathan
    I never said anything about you bieng a Jew. And it is possible to be a Jew and a racist. Your problem is you posted some racist BS. And that doesn't sit well with me.
    Last edited by SD Fixed; 12-20-04 at 03:52 PM.
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  16. #16
    Immoderator KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    I remember the exact post you're talking about, some guy in Chicago made a post asking about powder coating and called Koffee a porch monkey, I posted on that thread telling him he was history, but did not make the initial post. The guy was immediately banned and the thread deleted, do you honestly think they would let me continue to post after a comment like that? Again you have me confused with someone else.
    PS Although I'm definitely afraid of the stateside "Human Resources" branch of the military, I'm pretty sure I could take you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bikeforums
    Your rights end where another poster's feelings begin.

  17. #17
    Traffic shark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yoshi
    I fail to see how I've contradicted myself. CM is simply the act of cyclists agreeing to meet at a specific location at a specific time to ride in the streets. That's all it is. A lot of people who ride in the Critical Masses happen to be liberal, anti-war, environmentalists, etc. and they often push their agenda, but just because some group riding in the Critical Mass is riding for a specific cause doesn't mean the CM is political or environmental or whatever. To each person it means something different.
    It makes sense now, it just takes about 3 reads to get it (I can be slow at times).

    The person who is on the email list said CM is no longer about the ride. You're saying that CM isn't about politics, but about the ride. In a round about way.

  18. #18
    Traffic shark
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    Quote Originally Posted by krispistoferson
    I remember the exact post you're talking about, some guy in Chicago made a post asking about powder coating and called Koffee a porch monkey, I posted on that thread telling him he was history, but did not make the initial post.
    I seem to remember it being you. However, lacking the ability to search and prove it, and it not bieng 100% solid in my mind, I'll digress, and apologize.

    PS Although I'm definitely afraid of the stateside "Human Resources" branch of the military, I'm pretty sure I could take you.


    Sigh, again with vieled references towards violence. You know, I'm not a black belt, not a big time *** owner, not any of those things. You sure do want to say that you'll be the one to kick my ass, and really, I'm not sure why. Why you assume that I'm some rat terrier who barks loud but is ankle high, I don't know either. I'm not hear to get into your baited conversation about who could kick who's ass.

    You read my blog, big deal.
    You think that you can take me. Big deal.
    You take this quips.. Big deal.


    If you think I've said something that merits you taking me on in a fight.. then take action. If not, shut the **** up. And really, that's all there is to this. No matter how much a what ever you want to be or what ever you are... It's all ones and zero's here.

    If your that serious, and that much interested in pushing the fight, then, hey, PM me, email me, and get stepping. Otherwise, why don't you just leave a legitmate thread trying to get a decent question answered.
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  19. #19
    Traffic shark
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    Quote Originally Posted by lala
    there is an undeniable relation between promting the bike and bringing down the administration, esp the current administration.
    Can you explain the link between CM and this revolution?
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  20. #20
    Huachuca Rider webist's Avatar
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    Rather a fractured discussion.
    Just Peddlin' Around

  21. #21
    GT enthusiast midwestmntnbkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krispistoferson
    PS Although I'm definitely afraid of the stateside "Human Resources" branch of the military, I'm pretty sure I could take you.

    "if you're not living on the edge...
    you're taking up too much space"


    "Life is too short to drink cheap beer"

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by krispistoferson
    I've been involved in a lot of protests, logging, nuclear power, globalization and I have noticed an inability by a large contingent on the left to stay on topic. I can't count how many times I've been to a march, for example,against the war in Iraq, and one faction wants to turn it into a pride event, another group wants to smash windows at Starbucks, and another group wants to bring attention to deforestation. There's nothing wrong with any of those things, but isn't the march about Iraq, not Mumia Abu Jamal?

    Larry Kramer, in the cover story of this week's Village Voice, makes this pooint as regards ActUp, which was successful in its early years for two reasons...one, its members, already living under a death sentence, were willing to put themselves on the line in protests and two, they kept the focus very, very narrow and did not allow AU to be a hobbyhorse for a full spectrum of progressive or gay issues.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Karsten
    If your that serious, and that much interested in pushing the fight, then, hey, PM me, email me, and get stepping. Otherwise, why don't you just leave a legitmate thread trying to get a decent question answered.
    Is there any way we could move this slapfight to the "Internet Tough Guys" section of the site?

  24. #24
    Traffic shark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laika
    Is there any way we could move this slapfight to the "Internet Tough Guys" section of the site?
    Sure, but would you be referee and would you wear the silly stripe shirt that they wear? And since it's a bike forum, I'm sure Krispisonsomeone and I would be jousting (the truely macho way to settle a fight) on bike (though I might insist that he ride fixed just to level the playing field). With that would you be willing to stand in the middle until we reach maximum velocity and ready terminal point of impact.

    I promise not to aim for you.

    If you don't like the conversation, step out or use the ignore button, or hey, you could PM the moderators.. it's thier job to decide.
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  25. #25
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    The slapfight is quite wuss. Let's call it done okay?
    To all the conservative Bush hugging bike riders out there, start your own Critical Mass. Park your SUV's and take your bikes off the racks and pretend to love the outdoors and ride, I will ride with you. CM is about what ever you want it to be. The CM book, (which is not a manual) discusses the Xeroxcracy that is CM. Come state your opinions, but this is a ride for bike use and safety in numbers. Once a month for a few hours, you control the streets where you live and are taxed for. I may not embrace talking to any of you, and most likely don't agree with you. But for the few hours that we have pushed the entitled, Bush-tax exempted, polluting, threatening and needlessly driven Saudi powered LAY-Z-BOYs off the street, I will have fun and ride my bike.

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