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My first CM tonight...

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My first CM tonight...

Old 11-30-07, 12:12 PM
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My first CM tonight...

I've had some issues with the way some Critical Mass riders have portrayed themselves and represented cyclists (I know many others on this forum have as well)...but I am going tonight just to see for myself.

My rather bad experiences riding around makes CM sound pretty appealing as of late. Even my normal route around my neighborhood has been pretty poor, much less my rides downtown. I just want to get out and have a relaxing road ride instead of one that I feel more ticked off than ever when I get home.

Anyone else going?
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Old 11-30-07, 12:28 PM
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I'll be interested with how it goes. Give us an update after you're done.

I'm in Dallas and have never been to the CM rides, here, (not positive they still have them).
I'm usually still at work when it goes on anyway so I don't think I'd be able to come out and play.

At the Urban Assault Race, here in Dallas, I met some folks who regularly participate and they seemed like good people.
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Old 11-30-07, 01:01 PM
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There is a CM in Dallas? Who? What? When? Where?
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Old 11-30-07, 01:40 PM
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I looked for a Dallas CM...can't seem to find it. There is a site but it seems to have been bought out for advertising.

Maybe the cops put an end to it...

Maybe you have enough initiative to start it up?
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Old 11-30-07, 02:31 PM
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You might call West Village Bicycles, (formerly Uptown Cycles) @ 214-219-BIKE.

I think that's where CM used to start/finish.
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Old 12-01-07, 02:00 AM
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All in all, it was a blast. Got a little (very) slick out from drizzle, but not wet enough to actually get wet or have rooster tails. no fenders needed. I'm bad at estimating but I would say we started with just over 100 riders, ended with ~25% less.

Most of the motorists were either silent and uninvolved or supportive giving good honks (short repetitive) and waves back. The angry ones were definitely in the minority. One cop decided to perform is duty and try to stop the rest of the group from proceeding through an intersection when a light turned (using his car)...he was not very successful. Pretty uneventful otherwise, just a good time really. I was surprised at how little we actually held any one up. A few were cars stuck behind us on the narrow roads and the group decided to ride a large roundabout a few times...

Rode for about 2 hours which I greatly enjoyed. I usually ride by myself and get bored going slow, I wear myself out going pretty well full-out for 75% of the ride. A nice change of pace. Gotta love 2 hours to wind up about 1.5 miles away lol.

Had a couple friends meet me down there, saw some old friends I hadn't seen in years and met some new ones. Went and had a couple whiskeys after and everything seems well.
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Old 12-09-07, 12:16 AM
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I have always been interested to see what was up with CM I will have to look next month and see if I can find a Dallas one.
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Old 12-13-07, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by tdister
. One cop decided to perform is duty and try to stop the rest of the group from proceeding through an intersection when a light turned (using his car)...he was not very successful.
This type of behavior by CM rides is what I really have a problem with. Getting slowed down by the ride isn't that big of a deal, I can get around that. However, "cyclist" (I use that term loosely for CM riders) should always follow the law. Riding through red lights and such does nothing to support your cause and will only stand to irritate drivers that could potentially be for your cause.
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Old 12-13-07, 11:41 AM
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I'd agree with that.
I too went to my first critical mass ride (in houston) the same week as the OP did... odd.

I basically saw the same thing. It was a lot of fun... some fun people to hang with, some really nice bikes. Not high dollar roadies you can see at other rides, but vintage, roadies or track bikes with lots of style.
There were some people who were riding out INTO a red light, stopping there to block vehicles and wave us through... I was happy to see that several of us STILL refused to go... and he yelled at US for it

Others were going into the 2nd lane and blocking traffic.... but they didn't stay too long... not sure what was intentional. Mostly we just took the right lane when traffic was around... through downtown we had all 4 lanes... no cars to share with

Other than a select few dummies, it was a fun easy ride through some new scenery. I think I'd go again... except that it's 25miles from my house.... don't care to ride 25, just to ride around, and ride 25 back at night.
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Old 12-13-07, 04:04 PM
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I 100% understand what you are saying, but, to many, it is viewed as a protest. To these people a little "civil disobedience" (or whatever) is either just a part of it or nearly required (even if the laws they are breaking are not necessarily the issue).

I will say that I can see some people frown upon it from a drivers perspective, but I don't think that it created any extra delay (vs obeying signals). Probably the opposite.

Having well over 100 cyclists trying to stay together in a city filled with traffic lights gives you two options (well, these 2 are the best IMO). Go through the lights on red if they turn before the group is through or have everyone stop and wait for everyone else.

If everyone stops on red all the time, the group up front needs to stop and wait for everyone. The last people have to get through another cycle of the light before any proceed through the next one or risk getting split again, possibly into 3 or more groups. This mean a lot of cyclists sitting still taking up traffic lanes even longer, riding slower to watch for the back of the group and basically a huge mess for everyone (including motorists). Having people ride through gets the group out of the way much faster than sitting waiting for lights all the time to change would, I have very little doubt in this. It might slow some traffic down by seconds, but it keeps from adding minutes for many others.

I'm hoping you are able to visualize in your head the mess it would cause. I can picture several scenarios that would really tick people off (more often and for longer) if we had stopped to wait. Happy to explain them if you are unable to imagine. I don't think the act of stopping would pacify those who would be upset with us causing the bigger mess because of it.

Again, I can def. see what your saying, I'm just not sure that there is a better option for all involved. Most motorists seemed very understanding and supportive (giving the short repeating "good honks", waving and a few cheers), even ones being held up at intersections. It was a parade, however (il)legal.

Some riders were obviously there more to "stick it to society" more than anything to do with cycling, but I really think they were in the minority.

The front of the group always waited for a green lights and/or clear traffic (within "reason") before starting through. Not once did anyone up front proceed through a red, cut off traffic to make a left or the like that I witnessed. The left traffic lane was left open whenever possible. We did take more than one lane on several occasions, this got us through intersections more quickly.

The one obvious and purposeful attempt to block traffic for no reasonable reason (which didn't sit 100% right with me, but I did and had fun anyway), was everyone riding around a large roundabout several times. Even here, all i heard from motorists were the good things even as some passed us right after.

If anyone can think of a better option that includes sticking together (the main point is to be a big group), I would love to hear it and will suggest it if I agree.

/oops, that got a little long

Last edited by tdister; 12-13-07 at 05:04 PM.
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