Critical Mass Feb 06–Why We Ride and Do’s and Don’ts!

Critical Mass rode again this past Friday… a much larger than usual ride, maybe 1,500 or more… got very spread out, at one point stretching from Stockton and Broadway all the way to the Cannery in Fisherman’s Wharf. I and Joel found ourselves in cell contact from front to back and managed to halt the ride for about 5 minutes, allowing most to catch up… wasn’t long though before we all split into multiple parts… I ended up in a group-let of about 75 that wound up to Cathedral Hill and went through the Whole Foods Parking lot, while another much larger group apparently made their way through the Moscone Center in South of Market… a lovely evening, great weather, great spirits… here’s the flyer I handed out, a rare re-emergence of Xerocracy, which I hope to see more of from others in the future!

Why We Ride

This is the 162nd consecutive month that San Francisco bicyclists have gathered to ride in Critical Mass. The world has certainly changed in thirteen and a half years, but the compelling reasons that draw us together every month are still very similar. In the earliest days of Critical Mass, riding together provided a euphoric alternative to the isolated danger most daily bicyclists face. These days San Francisco bicyclists are seldom alone on the road in the large north-eastern part of the city, from Bernal Heights and Twin Peaks to the bayshore. But we still live in an atomizing culture that seeks to reduce life to a series of cash transactions. Critical Mass exemplifies a rare and exuberant repudiation of that pecuniary logic, as it re-creates every month an authentic, open-ended, passionate, temporary community.


1 comment to Critical Mass Feb 06–Why We Ride and Do’s and Don’ts!

  • BobW

    addition for DON’t: hesitate to tell other Massers… without taking on an authoritarian or more righteous than thou attitude when doing so.

    Chris you rock. Thing is after riding for a few years, then stopping (testosterone brigade was making it less fun), then starting again, I was beginning to have several ideas about what it all meant. Then when looking around the web, I kept finding that you had put all these down into cohesive structures of ideas 10, 12 even 14 years ago. Whoa. It really got me psyched up again. I made a zine to pass out last year (well I did most of it, though someone else did the awesome artwork and a couple of articles) and was part of the movement that got Critical Mass really up and going in Ithaca, NY last year (96 riders in Sept).
    We have our first “promotional meeting” for 2006 tomorrow. In all the interviews I’ve seen of Chris (We Are Traffic, Still We Ride), and all of your stuff I’ve read, You DON’T come off as authoritative, morallizing or righteous. To me, you simply are Awesome!

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