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Old 11-14-04, 11:23 AM
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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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