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  1. #1
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    Raleigh, nc: Critical mass




    Hey everyone! A friend and I are attempting to revive Critical Mass in Raleigh. We're setting it up for the last Friday of each month, with the meet-up being at the NC State bell tower at 6PM. The route will be about 30-45 minutes or so at first, with everyone ending somewhere like Locopops to hang out and discuss plans for future meet-ups.

    The purpose of this gathering and ride is to take over the streets for a short period of time to remind the city that bikes are traffic too, and that we should be treated as such, and to garner some interest in cyclist's rights in general, both from the public and from fellow cyclists. If everything goes well, each ride should end in a meeting with discussions and planning on how to better improve our city for cyclists.

    Anyone and everyone is welcome! Come out and join us! I know this is short notice, but the first ride will be THIS Friday, 6PM, at State's bell tower.



  2. #2
    jmonsw21 jmonsw21's Avatar
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    Revive? What happened to it? Just curious (I live in Miami, FL)
    My name's Joe.

  3. #3
    Senior Member skiffrun's Avatar
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    It was met with an incredibly loud silence.

    I hope it again falls flat. I don't want that disruptive, even criminal, activity assigned to cyclists.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Rob_E's Avatar
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    I would not say "incredibly loud silence." Interest in Raleigh's critical mass has waxed and waned. We had fairly decent turn out at times, but it was inconsistent.

    When I was involved, there generally seemed to be an effort to keep it civil. Routes were planned along multi-lane roads, so that bikes could take one lane, but still leave one for cars to pass. We did occasionally push through traffic lights to keep the group intact, but otherwise it was just a fun ride.

    But skiffrun's attitude is not uncommon, and it was noticed that many people who didn't want to participate in a "disruptive, even criminal" activity were all too happy to participate in the First Friday rides which seem to be guilty of all of Critical Mass's transgressions combined with drinking. I've done both rides, and critical mass seemed to be more civil and less disruptive of the two. Which isn't to say that I think the First Friday ride is a bad thing. I just think it shows that the words "Critical Mass" trigger an emotional reaction that isn't always directly tied to what's actually happening.

    I hope that Critical Mass does get off the ground in Raleigh again. I'm not in favour of deliberately annoying people or of harassing motorists, so I hope it doesn't get out of hand, but I can't help but feel that more bikes on the road is a good thing. Good luck, mykeage.

  5. #5
    Senior Member NealH's Avatar
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    Maybe the Critical Mass event is a good thing but, after reading the description I can tell you that I sure as hell will not participate. Right off the bat comments like "taking over streets to let'em know they belong to us too" reeks of disruptive behavior mostly for the sole purpose of purveying an agenda. I can assure you that today, most drivers are aware that cyclists have a right to be on our roads too. Drivers can indeed be aggravating and disruptive themselves at times, but returning the same behavior isn't going to improve matters. Two wrongs don't make a right. If the purpose of the event is to collaborate and discuss ways to improve city byways for cycling, well this can be accomplished by riding in small groups in different areas while being respectful of traffic, and yet executing your rights as a cyclist. Then a follow up meeting can be held among the groups for discussion. There will be a wider range of comments and viewpoints since different groups will encounter different scenarios.

    Maybe this is a civil and well executed event, but the description certainly doesn't point in that direction.
    Last edited by NealH; 03-30-11 at 04:02 PM.

  6. #6
    2nd Amendment Cyclist RichardGlover's Avatar
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    I'd be mildly interested in joining. Mildly.

    I guess I'm too old to think that a bunch of people going out and 'taking the streets' is going to have any positive, long-term impact.

    But it'd be nice to go out riding with some fellow cyclists.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member skiffrun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
    ...

    But skiffrun's attitude is not uncommon, and it was noticed that many people who didn't want to participate in a "disruptive, even criminal" activity were all too happy to participate in the First Friday rides which seem to be guilty of all of Critical Mass's transgressions combined with drinking. I've done both rides, and critical mass seemed to be more civil and less disruptive of the two. Which isn't to say that I think the First Friday ride is a bad thing. I just think it shows that the words "Critical Mass" trigger an emotional reaction that isn't always directly tied to what's actually happening.

    ...
    Maybe skiffrun's attitude about Critical Mass is because he has seen too many videos of critical mass idiocy. You have abscribed emotions and implied motives to me which you are not entitled to abscribe or imply. Having lost the discussion on its merits, you have attacked on emotional and personal grounds. Typical.


    Also typical is your going off subject in a way that makes it appear that I'm probably okay with the drunken hooliganism of FF. Again, your approach was unacceptable in a logical discussion, and you weakened your argument (well, you would have weakened your argument if you had one). You tried to muddy facts by introducing a second activity. Further, you introduced it in a way as if to imply that I'm probably okay with FF.

    Argue your case for disruptive, destructive civil disobediance on its merits in a clear and concise way, without poorly done false logical tricks ... or don't argue it all.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmonsw21 View Post
    Revive? What happened to it? Just curious (I live in Miami, FL)
    I also live in Miami and was apart of the critical mass just last night. The experience was amazing and exhilarating. I am moving to Raleigh by the end of the year and would love to be apart their critical mass. Is it still up and running?

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    I know this was written back in 2011, but was CM revived in Raleigh. I definitely want to get envolved.

  10. #10
    LBKA punkncat's Avatar
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    Sorry, I also agree with the naysayers. I was involved in two mass here in Atlanta and never again will be a part of it. I might suggest that you look into Courteous Mass. Much better and less "in your face" approach.
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  11. #11
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    As these posts tend to stay awhile, maybe you should state which Friday is THIS Friday. I would be interested in driving up from G'boro to participate, but would need a bit more info, such as exact date, and maybe contact info for the leader.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Rob_E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GunDoctor View Post
    As these posts tend to stay awhile, maybe you should state which Friday is THIS Friday. I would be interested in driving up from G'boro to participate, but would need a bit more info, such as exact date, and maybe contact info for the leader.
    As the posts are dated, I'm assuming THIS Friday is the one following 03-22-11. I believe persistent date mentioned was the last Friday of the month.

    But I am unaware of any successful resurgence of Raleigh's First Friday ride, and the original poster has made no other appearance on the board in the past two years, so I don't expect that there is any way to contact the organizer. There is now a Southeast Regional Rides subforum, and that might be a good place to ask.

  13. #13
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    Or Facebook. At least in Orlando; that is the way they post starting times & locations of the rides. I am impressed with the size of the group down here & it's ability to ride respectably even with a large group. You can tell the motorists are a little perturb for having to wait for a light or slow down a little riding through downtown; but often we get some waives, some smiles and even some cheering from the happy hourers sitting on patios as we ride by.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiffrun View Post

    I hope it again falls flat. I don't want that disruptive, even criminal, activity assigned to cyclists.

    Critical mass=hipster fixies sticking it to "the man"

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