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Old 08-18-09, 08:55 AM   #1
macteacher
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How do you start a Critical Mass Biking Event?

I know they happen on the last friday of every month and we have one in the big city next door. In my city however, the land of suburbia there is no CM. We have a cycling committee and the city is becoming more bike friendly but I would really love to bring this movement to Mississauga, Ontario. I just have no idea how I would get the message out and if people would show up.


Any ideas?
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Old 08-18-09, 09:02 AM   #2
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First, lobotomize yourself with an ice pick.
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Old 08-18-09, 09:22 AM   #3
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On the last Friday of each month, start in the center of town and start riding aimlessly, blocking as many cars as possible.
Maybe some other cyclists will join you.


Or, put up some flyers.

Or better yet, don't.
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Old 08-18-09, 09:28 AM   #4
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Old 08-18-09, 09:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macteacher View Post
I know they happen on the last friday of every month and we have one in the big city next door. In my city however, the land of suburbia there is no CM. We have a cycling committee and the city is becoming more bike friendly but I would really love to bring this movement to Mississauga, Ontario. I just have no idea how I would get the message out and if people would show up.


Any ideas?
Starting a CM might reverse this process. Might want to do more research on the subject and it's 'causes' or rather, what it causes.

Here's a current thread on the subject. Criticaly embarased
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Old 08-18-09, 09:45 AM   #6
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... We have a cycling committee and the city is becoming more bike friendly...
If this is the case, starting a CM in your city could do more harm than good. Work with the committee and get others involved that way.
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Old 08-18-09, 10:26 AM   #7
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On the last Friday of each month, start in the center of town and start riding aimlessly, blocking as many cars as possible.
Maybe some other cyclists will join you.

Or better yet, don't.
^^FTW^^. (Beat me to it.)
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Old 08-18-09, 11:53 AM   #8
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Yeah, don't post here with all the folks who've come to accept their second-class status and are working to be head lackey.
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Old 08-18-09, 11:55 AM   #9
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First, lobotomize yourself with an ice pick.
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Old 08-18-09, 12:03 PM   #10
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Yeah, don't post here with all the folks who've come to accept their second-class status and are working to be head lackey.
yea the only place you can get the responses you're looking for is in A&S because the rest of the forum is filled with folks who've come to accept their second-class status and are working to be head lackey.

The first-class status folks in A&S will welcome you with open arms and will teach you everything you'll need to know about starting CMs.
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Old 08-18-09, 12:18 PM   #11
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Critical Massers have certainly gotten a bad rep as a result of their typically confrontational style.

Perhaps a different type of event would be better.

Group rides in Tijuana where everyone follows the rules of the road. I find it hard to believe, but that's what they say.

Or the more ambitious Sunday Parkways, where several miles of street are automobile free, except for local residents.

As to getting the word out, posters in bike shops/cafes, myspace, facebook, craigslist.
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Old 08-18-09, 12:52 PM   #12
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First, chant the mantra that Critical Mass is not an organized ride, it is just a bunch of riders all out at the same time.

To start or organize one is counter-intuitive with their claims. They also make random comments that:

1) They aren't protesting or organized to achieve a goal.

2) They are advocating for bicyclists.

3) We're just out to have fun.

4) We're out to take tyhe streets back for safe cyclists.

And the list goes on and on...


How yours would evolve seems to be dependent on who rides based on what I have read... I have never participated personally.
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Old 08-18-09, 12:55 PM   #13
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Critical Mass???

Take 3 kilograms of Uranium-235.....
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Old 08-18-09, 02:09 PM   #14
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If you consider the reaction you get to CM rides from Cyclists in a Cycling forum imagine the impact it has on motorists that don’t care much for cyclists in the first place? Is the reaction you got in this forum what you expected? If not realize it doesn’t get any better on the street. The in your face attitude demonstrated by CM tends to lose more votes from the public that it gains. Just from observation it is the quickest way to divide support in any city. IMHO
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Old 08-18-09, 02:32 PM   #15
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The in your face attitude demonstrated by CM tends to lose more votes from the public that it gains. IMHO
Exactly. CM rides are there specifically to disrupt rush hour traffic. They have no stated goals, no yardsticks against which to measure progress toward their non-goals. All in all, it has done nothing but prove to motorists how *BADLY* cyclists can behave and foster acrimony against us.

Nobody wins where there are CM rides.
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Old 08-18-09, 03:10 PM   #16
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First, lobotomize yourself with an ice pick.
+1

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If this is the case, starting a CM in your city could do more harm than good. Work with the committee and get others involved that way.
+2

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If you consider the reaction you get to CM rides from Cyclists in a Cycling forum imagine the impact it has on motorists that donít care much for cyclists in the first place? Is the reaction you got in this forum what you expected? If not realize it doesnít get any better on the street. The in your face attitude demonstrated by CM tends to lose more votes from the public that it gains. Just from observation it is the quickest way to divide support in any city. IMHO
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Exactly. CM rides are there specifically to disrupt rush hour traffic. They have no stated goals, no yardsticks against which to measure progress toward their non-goals. All in all, it has done nothing but prove to motorists how *BADLY* cyclists can behave and foster acrimony against us.

Nobody wins where there are CM rides.
+4

I don't even need to add anything here.
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Old 08-18-09, 03:15 PM   #17
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Okay, I'll add something --

If you want to PROMOTE cycling, see if you can get an actual race organized, or do something like a Bike To Work Day, where you set up "pit stops" for riders -- both newbies and veterans -- to get some breakfast, maybe get a bike tuned, and add some visibility so that non-riders will know what's going on.

Whatever you do, DON'T start a Critical Mass ride. Their usefulness was already gone when bicycles took to the streets for the first time back in the 19th Century.
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Old 08-18-09, 04:58 PM   #18
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Doing a Critical Mass in mississauga will only make the angry drivers even more hostile. It will not help to create a better cycling infrastructure. The whole idea of CM is a rebbellion against car culture, there must be better and more peaceful ways to promote cycling... like for example just getting on your bike everyday and commuting and riding everywhere as much as possible.
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Old 08-18-09, 05:48 PM   #19
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I rode CM Orlando a couple weeks ago, just out of curiosity. It was just a bunch of college kids on fixies, and a few middle agers on vintage rides. The riders were not confrontational. A couple drivers were upset to be held at lights, but the response from the public was mostly friendly. People were waving or taking pictures with their cell phones.

I can't see where the impact, plus or minus, was significant. It was fun for the riders, and an oddity for the public who saw it. I'm not saying I'm pro-CM. But, I wonder how many people who are so against it have ridden in one.

Maybe some really bad stuff happens on other CM rides. But, judging only on that one ride, it's no big deal. There is a lot of trouble to be found for these kids in O-town, if they were looking for it. To be out riding their bikes was a pretty good choice.
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Old 08-18-09, 05:56 PM   #20
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Don't listen to all these haters.

Watch "We are Traffic"

Put up fliers

Stand on a table before you ride and ask people not to be jerks, and that there are no leaders, you're just suggesting that being a jerk doesn't help anything.

Have a safe ride.

Works for us.
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Old 08-18-09, 05:58 PM   #21
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Don't listen to all these haters.

Watch "We are Traffic"

Put up fliers

Stand on a table before you ride and ask people not to be jerks, and that there are no leaders, you're just suggesting that being a jerk doesn't help anything.

Have a safe ride.

Works for us.
+10.
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Old 08-18-09, 06:02 PM   #22
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2. Have everything on your body pierced.
3. Quit your job.
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Old 08-18-09, 06:06 PM   #23
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Old 08-18-09, 06:18 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by macteacher View Post
I know they happen on the last friday of every month and we have one in the big city next door. In my city however, the land of suburbia there is no CM. We have a cycling committee and the city is becoming more bike friendly but I would really love to bring this movement to Mississauga, Ontario. I just have no idea how I would get the message out and if people would show up.


Any ideas?
Here is a start...from Michael Bluejay's website
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Old 08-18-09, 06:21 PM   #25
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Think differently

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