Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Singlespeed & Fixed Gear
Reload this Page >

Critical mass-what tone does it take in your town, what is good/bad?

Notices
Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

Critical mass-what tone does it take in your town, what is good/bad?

Old 10-07-06, 09:58 AM
  #1  
RedDeMartini
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 409
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Critical mass-what tone does it take in your town, what is good/bad?

DC crit mass isn't bad, but there is often a certain tension between confrontational activist kids who don't really ride much and regular riders, in terms of how we ought to comport ourselves. The couriers step aside completely in order to protect their unusually good relationship with local police.

I suppose all this is inherent in a politcal town like this.

Any thoughts on your town? Your tone?
RedDeMartini is offline  
Old 10-07-06, 10:19 AM
  #2  
Dalton
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 92

Bikes: Bianchi Pista and too many to list

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Drunken mess. I stay as far away as possible.
Dalton is offline  
Old 10-07-06, 10:24 AM
  #3  
TNCLR
Senior Member
 
TNCLR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 909

Bikes: De Rosa Super Prestige track - STOLEN, Walter Godefroot Pista, '92 Eddy Merckx track, '86 Eddy Merckx track Team Faema colors.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Yeah, in SF it is usually the worlds longest game of foot down. Not fun.
TNCLR is offline  
Old 10-07-06, 11:29 AM
  #4  
Landgolier
THIS SPACE FOR RENT
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,849
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Chi is so chill that most of the listserv is taken up with people who can't stand that anyone is drinking on mass ever or expressing fear that all the people with kids under 10 seem to end up at the back after a couple of miles.
Landgolier is offline  
Old 10-07-06, 11:29 AM
  #5  
Dalton
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 92

Bikes: Bianchi Pista and too many to list

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Many of the participants smash into eachother and most all of them have multiple brakes. Total f***ing mess.

-1000 for bike relations.
Dalton is offline  
Old 10-07-06, 11:36 AM
  #6  
JoeEasy
Wicked Sick
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: portland, or
Posts: 304

Bikes: a hot pink vivalo, miyata touring bike, origin 8 cutler polo rig, 73 raliegh professional, panasonic dx 4000, bridgestone mb-4,

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
well, when the 5 people usually show up, it's an ok ride
JoeEasy is offline  
Old 10-07-06, 12:31 PM
  #7  
lymbzero
otherwiseordinary
 
lymbzero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: California
Posts: 697
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Toronto Critical mass' are awesome.

Very friendly.

Toronto has a pretty diverse scene.
Everyone that goes is out for a good time.
Be it activists, commuters, couriers and others.

Usually when car people get mad because we're holding up traffic,
everyone rings their bells, waves and says..
"Thank you for waiting!"
or
"Happy Friday!"

Wicked,

Big up Toronto Massive.
lymbzero is offline  
Old 10-07-06, 04:08 PM
  #8  
dylandom
Velorution
 
dylandom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 731

Bikes: Bareknuckle, IRO, Bianchi Pista concept 2003

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
i just went to my first cm in nyc last week. it was kinda crazy b/c we were lost and then we made a right turn and saw 400 bikes and 50 fat cops on bikes just standing around chit chatting. we waited for an hour, compared bikes talked, then we took off, i walked along my bike for 50 feet and then every got off and said the cops made a blockade and we left, bit of a let down. 2 hours later, i was eating pizza downtown and saw 30 plus riders honking and screaming, so i ran out and joined them for the rest of the 2 block ride. that was a let down. but lots of pedestrians were on our side and seemed to be very intrigued by the amount of people at cm.
dylandom is offline  
Old 10-07-06, 06:26 PM
  #9  
cc700
Ths Hipstr Kills Masheenz
 
cc700's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: seattle
Posts: 8,542

Bikes: tirove

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Small towns in north carolina don't have huge critical mass rides...

but the motorists and safety avocates alike are pretty firmly against it. very negatively connotated, lots of "cars are coffins" frame stickers... you know what it's like.

lots of activists... however in the south it kinda takes some pretty strong messages to even get people to notice.

government is a lot more receptive to the polite and happy political movements though. there are lots of problems with this town that just plain don't get talked about... but screaming about them isn't always the most productive way to change that.

still, i love activism and i love gearheads, so i want to go to more of them. my college does little 10 or so mass rides.
cc700 is offline  
Old 10-07-06, 06:55 PM
  #10  
DonPenguino
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 349
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Friendly and fun, but for something that's supposed to show the validity of the bike as transportation they are WAY too slow.
DonPenguino is offline  
Old 10-07-06, 07:54 PM
  #11  
GirlAnachronism
Bulldozer
 
GirlAnachronism's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 2,846
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
San Diegos' CM was fun, when there were only a few people having fun and playing around and I knew all of them. I'm not really feeling NY. I haven't been in a while (since just after the RNC), so maybe things have chilled out a bit now, but at the time it seemed like we spent a lot of time running away from the cops and not much time having fun.

There seems to be a kind of "every wo/man for themselves" attitude sometimes, which flies in the face of what CM is supposed to accomplish. Doesn't seem like it accomplishes much here, and the threat of arrest is too great for my green-card holding girlfriend (a criminal record at citizenship time doesn't look too hot) so these days we stay away...
GirlAnachronism is offline  
Old 10-07-06, 08:37 PM
  #12  
marqueemoon
or tarckeemoon, depending
 
marqueemoon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: the pesto of cities
Posts: 7,020

Bikes: Davidson Impulse, Merckx Titanium AX, Bruce Gordon Rock & Road, Cross Check custom build, On-One Il Pomino, Shawver Cycles cross, Zion 737, Mercian Vincitore, Brompton S1L, Charge Juicer

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Granola city.
marqueemoon is offline  
Old 10-07-06, 08:45 PM
  #13  
food
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 126
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
when the CM rolls around in montreal, the smell of bacon comes not long after it. there's tangible paranoia coming from both factions.
food is offline  
Old 10-07-06, 09:45 PM
  #14  
omgsunflower
fix the sticks
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: frederick, MD
Posts: 90
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
ours is usually fun. it fluctuates...some months only die-hard cyclists come out, and some months kids who only ride their bikes at critical mass and no where else come out for the indie points. so sometimes we have fun and ride fast, and sometimes we have fun and ride slow and be loud.
Sometimes there's disagreements with how confrontational we should be, and sometimes I feel like we are alienating drivers too much.

Either way, we are maybe a fifth of the population of baltimore, and get 3x more people out, so props to us!
omgsunflower is offline  
Old 10-07-06, 10:21 PM
  #15  
veggiemafia
Triathlon = Eat/Bike/Nap
 
veggiemafia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Pixxxburgh, PA
Posts: 1,100
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by omgsunflower
ours is usually fun. it fluctuates...some months only die-hard cyclists come out, and some months kids who only ride their bikes at critical mass and no where else come out for the indie points. so sometimes we have fun and ride fast, and sometimes we have fun and ride slow and be loud.
Pittsburgh's kind of the same way. This summer/early fall it's been hipsters who come out just to be hipsters with other hipsters, but I'm saying as of next month it's gonna be me (maybe), and the recumbent guy, and the lycra-clad roadie gentleman, all in our little helmets.

Pittsburgh's is generally very friendly, though, mucho bell ringing, explaining wtf CM is to folks who ask, etc.
veggiemafia is offline  
Old 10-07-06, 11:13 PM
  #16  
Sea Green Sky
Senior Member
 
Sea Green Sky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: At the foot of Angeles National
Posts: 337

Bikes: PedalForce CG1 (the race/century bike), PedalForce RS (the trainer), Eighth Inch SS (the fixie), Flyte SRS-3 (the beater), Caloi Strada Pro (the commuter), Oddball Alu MTB (the tank), Trek 850 (the MTB SS)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
We have a bunch of CM rides all around Los Angeles county, but I've only on the Pasadena and Northeast LA rides. Both are casual and pretty well organized, usually 15-25 or so riders on each one. The Northeast LA group seem to mostly know each other and are a fairly close group I think. I haven't seen much bad behavior in either group. The good is that the riders are respectful of traffic and peds and pretty mellow. The bad is that more people don't show up for them.

Midnight Ridazz rides, that's another story. Very large (200-300), and sometimes pretty rowdy and unruly.
Sea Green Sky is offline  
Old 10-08-06, 06:11 AM
  #17  
sloppy robot
like, really sloppy
 
sloppy robot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: calipornia
Posts: 2,285
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
the last few midnightriderzzz have been over 1000 people fo sho
sloppy robot is offline  
Old 10-08-06, 06:36 AM
  #18  
LóFarkas
LF for the accentdeprived
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Posts: 3,549
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
There a two HUGE CMs here per year. Very varied bunch: messies, commuters, CC and even DH riders, BMXers, plus thousands of people who obviously don't normally ride at all. Tandems, highweels, unis, 'bents usually show up, too. Even rollerbladers Sort of a street carnival with a pre-published route and the police guarding intersections.
As you can imagine, the pace is heartbreakingly slow. Yay for trackstand practice!
Last time it was 25,000 to 30,000 riders. Pretty crazy. The loop of riders actually closed on itself...

BTW, CM is all over the media in the week before and the days after... I guess that's pretty unique.


Honestly, I have no idea how and why it grew so big. Messies started it 2 years or so ago, and I think it was illegal at the start. Guerilla advertising got 4000 (!) or so riders out for the first and it kept growing wildly ever since. The second one was already "official".

Last edited by LóFarkas; 10-08-06 at 06:46 AM.
LóFarkas is offline  
Old 10-08-06, 01:09 PM
  #19  
onceinalifetime
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: tallahassee, florida!!!!!
Posts: 147
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
40-60 people usually. sometimes 90. usually there's a costume theme. very chill. never anyone ticketed, never anyone hit. good/nonexistant relationship with the police. we've done some really cool stuff over the past two years (like the robot jungle critical mass, the dragon party critical mass, and the ghost bike critical mass)
most of the riders over the last year are between 20 and 25, but we still get some older people and some high schoolers. female attendence has gone down recently, unfortunately, but it seems like it might be getting better again. for a while it was almost 50/50 (well, probably closer to 45/45). we usually all go swimming or go out for food afterwards.

we've started doing midnight rides every first friday, too, and those are pretty non-contentious as well. a lot faster, and usually a bigger crowd.

p.s. i love this town.
onceinalifetime is offline  
Old 10-08-06, 03:39 PM
  #20  
slopvehicle
ass hatchet
 
slopvehicle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,284
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
haha, what critical mass?
slopvehicle is offline  
Old 10-08-06, 03:59 PM
  #21  
eyefloater
Me talk pretty one day.
 
eyefloater's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Toronto
Posts: 2,073
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by slopvehicle
haha, what critical mass?
That'd be the dude on the girl's 10 speed bike with the bars flipped up and a 2-4 on top, ridin' home all wobbly-like.
eyefloater is offline  
Old 10-08-06, 04:15 PM
  #22  
Jimbobunyons
Senior Member
 
Jimbobunyons's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Waco, Texas
Posts: 83

Bikes: Medici Pro Pista, Old Fixed Conversion, Full Suspension Tall Bike and Bessie.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It is small in Waco, but a good mix of people show up.

Some people with fixed, some mutant/tall, majority mountain, some cruisers.

Everyone just enjoys the ride. When it started, it was pretty focused on "taking back the road" and now it is a relaxed and social gathering.
__________________
Cycle tracks will abound in Utopia. -H.G. Wells-
Jimbobunyons is offline  
Old 10-08-06, 05:22 PM
  #23  
the pope
Senior Member
 
the pope's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: laramie !
Posts: 1,110
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
yippie kay aye !

the pope is offline  
Old 10-09-06, 09:54 AM
  #24  
Sigurdd50
Papa Wheelie
 
Sigurdd50's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Madison, Wi
Posts: 1,472

Bikes: Jamis Aurora '02; Takara Medalist (650B)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I think critical mass makes sense when it is scheduled after midnight

otherwise... I don't get it.
I bike commute. I do light touring. I ride a lot... on the roads. When I've gotten behind the Friday Afternoon CM here at around 5PM... it just looks unsafe... riders... slowly... zig-zagging in front of cars (I only saw one from my car), almost intentionally keeping sloooooooooow in front of a line of commuter cars making their way home on Friday, looking forward to some cooling time... being a tad more stressed when they did get home.

As a commuter, I do my damndest to foster relations with AUTOS. I signal. I ride in my lane. I don't filter. I cooperate (better than dying)

maybe I'm biff... but it just seems punk (and hey, I was OLD enough to remember when punk was punk)
Sigurdd50 is offline  
Old 10-09-06, 10:41 AM
  #25  
schnee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,368
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If you watch the Critical Mass documentary, you'll see how it worked. If you've ever spent some time in San Francisco, you'll see why it can only 'work' there... as in, make long-term change in the city's attitude towards cycling.

There's a saying... live on the East Coast, but leave before you get hard. Live on the West Coast, but leave before you get soft. I've lived in both, and the overall attitude in Northern California is enlightened sunshine happiness compared to just about anywhere else. A peaceful civil disobedience like CM just doesn't fly in most places, because they just don't understand the concept. No offense... it's just not the same, and not appropriate. Gotta speak their language.

I think there are methods that will bring about change, but CM ain't it for most places. I think the pain has to ramp up significantly across the entire nation more before cities will consider civil planning that has anything but disdain for bicycles. When we see it being written about regularly in Newsweek, or being mentioned on Good Morning America, perhaps the time is right for CM. Not now.

Funny enough, in San Diego people practically fall all over themselves to be nice to me on the road, even in the city. I do everything right (obey laws, hand signals, reflectors, bright lights), which helps. However, know it's mostly a by-product of our extreme laid-backness as a city, and it'd be totally different everywhere else I go, regardless of how good my road manners are.

Last edited by schnee; 10-09-06 at 10:46 AM.
schnee is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.