View Poll Results: What is your opinion of Critical Mass

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  • Great -- we need freedom fighters for cyclists

    1 8.33%
  • OK - but they need to be more considerate of others

    5 41.67%
  • Against - like the idea, but don't approve of how they do it

    3 25.00%
  • Dislike - they are little more than cycle terrorists

    3 25.00%
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Thread: What do you think of Critical Mass?

  1. #1
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    What do you think of Critical Mass?

    For those who don't know, Critical Mass is a movement of cyclists that grew in the United States but has now spread throughout much of the world. They claim to be fighting for road rights for cyclists, but many critics say that they are not following the rules themselves and do more harm than good.

    What do you think of this?
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    Re: What do you think of Critical Mass?

    It can be great fun but like all good things, it can be abused.
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    Re: What do you think of Critical Mass?

    I was actually surprised to see how many of them have turned violent in some of the clips I saw on YouTube. I actually find most motorists are respectful of riders who in turn respect the rules of the road. As someone who cycles, I try to respect those rules. I am dismayed when I see many riders in Critical Mass take it as an excuse to not only violate traffic rules but also to rub it in the faces of motorists who ARE following traffic rules...
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    Re: What do you think of Critical Mass?

    Roads are paid for by fuel taxes on diesel and gasoline.

    Ergo, people riding bikes don't finance the roads and hence don't have any friggin' "rights" to "share" the road with the two-thousand pound vehicles that can't see them.

    They should shut up and feel lucky they get the one yard on the edge of the pavement they do get.

    And, don't bother me with any guff about how the cyclist who feeds a car is paying road taxes just like me. He's paying road taxes for the CAR he owns, not for his bike.

    The Critical Mass biker gangs block traffic and thereby impede the freedom of motion of citizens who have every legal right to use the road for the specific purpose the roads were constructed for, motorized vehicular traffic. As such, these biker gangs are anarchistic and hence undemocratic, not to mention unlawful. People riding bicycles are required to follow the same rules of the road as the people driving the cars. Slower traffic keeps right, they must stop at red lights and allow cross traffic to flow, and they must keep as close to the right of the road as possible, not to mention riding in single file.

    California DMV Handbook

    California Bicycle Code
    b) No person operating a bicycle shall leave a bicycle lane until the movement can be made with reasonable safety and then only after giving an appropriate signal in the manner provided in Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 22100) in the event that any vehicle may be affected by the movement.
    To have a huge mob of cyclists on the public streets would require a permit that would enable to city to assess traffic impacts before granting permission, and to then schedule law enforcement activity to close the affected roads and redirect traffic, just as they do for funerals and parades and other uses of the roadways that interfere with other citizens use of the road. This would be how good citizens confront their desire to pedal in a mob and share the joys of spandex and helmets.
    Last edited by Scarecrow Akhbar; 07-09-10 at 04:39 AM.

  5. #5
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    Re: What do you think of Critical Mass?

    Quote Originally Posted by ludahai View Post
    I was actually surprised to see how many of them have turned violent in some of the clips I saw on YouTube. I actually find most motorists are respectful of riders who in turn respect the rules of the road. As someone who cycles, I try to respect those rules. I am dismayed when I see many riders in Critical Mass take it as an excuse to not only violate traffic rules but also to rub it in the faces of motorists who ARE following traffic rules...
    I think that if it ever comes down to it, people like these cyclists need to remember that ultimately the cars are going to "win". I don't think I am going to be very sympathetic when cyclists are injured. When they seem to have so little concern for their own well being, why should I be?

    In my city, I think they are trying to put the kabosh on this type of activism, while still inviting cyclists to feel very welcome. I think the fine for riding a bicycle on the roads in a reckless or unsafe manner is 1000 dollars, a very recent addition to our local laws.
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    Re: What do you think of Critical Mass?

    i ride places on a regular basis, and i always stick to the road rules, however, a lot of cyclists don't, sometimes for good reason, as a lot of car drivers seem to think they have right of way over the cyclist, regardless of the actual road rules, however, some cyclists are also just dickheads.
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  7. #7
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    Re: What do you think of Critical Mass?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar View Post
    Roads are paid for by fuel taxes on diesel and gasoline.
    Actually, in states where I have lived, roads are paid for out of the general fund.

    Ergo, people riding bikes don't finance the roads and hence don't have any friggin' "rights" to "share" the road with the two-thousand pound vehicles that can't see them.
    The law disagrees with you. In most, if not all states, bicycles have full rights to the road as their motorized counterparts, and in most (if not all cases) have full rights to use the lane they are in.

    They should shut up and feel lucky they get the one yard on the edge of the pavement they do get.
    Cyclists pay taxes too and have the right to use the roads safely.

    And, don't bother me with any guff about how the cyclist who feeds a car is paying road taxes just like me. He's paying road taxes for the CAR he owns, not for his bike.
    Again, roads are paid for out of the general fund in most cases. I have never heard of a state that dedicates road construction solely out of registration/fuel taxes.

    The Critical Mass biker gangs block traffic and thereby impede the freedom of motion of citizens who have every legal right to use the road for the specific purpose the roads were constructed for, motorized vehicular traffic. As such, these biker gangs are anarchistic and hence undemocratic, not to mention unlawful.
    On this point, I agree. However, please do not demonize all cyclists based on the actions of Critical Mass.

    People riding bicycles are required to follow the same rules of the road as the people driving the cars. Slower traffic keeps right, they must stop at red lights and allow cross traffic to flow, and they must keep as close to the right of the road as possible, not to mention riding in single file.
    Yes to following the rules of the road. However, in most states, biccyles are not required to keep as close to the right of the road as possible. Cycles have full rights to use the lane they are travelling in. Bicyclists have to be very wary of the door zone and many times will be a few feet into the road more than you think they should be because they have to worry about the potential of a door swinging open and knocking them onto the pavement.


    California DMV Handbook

    California Bicycle Code


    To have a huge mob of cyclists on the public streets would require a permit that would enable to city to assess traffic impacts before granting permission, and to then schedule law enforcement activity to close the affected roads and redirect traffic, just as they do for funerals and parades and other uses of the roadways that interfere with other citizens use of the road. This would be how good citizens confront their desire to pedal in a mob and share the joys of spandex and helmets.
    Agreed. Just remember that not all cyclists are like this and many do NOT endorse the actions of Critical Mass...
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  8. #8
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    Re: What do you think of Critical Mass?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dezaad View Post
    I think that if it ever comes down to it, people like these cyclists need to remember that ultimately the cars are going to "win". I don't think I am going to be very sympathetic when cyclists are injured. When they seem to have so little concern for their own well being, why should I be?
    You know, I try to follow the rules of the road and common sense. However, I do see a lot of automobile drivers violating the rules of the road and putting cyclists at risk. The one time I had a serious accident on a bike was because a car double-parked on a relatively narrow road and then doored me while I was trying to get around him.

    In my city, I think they are trying to put the kabosh on this type of activism, while still inviting cyclists to feel very welcome. I think the fine for riding a bicycle on the roads in a reckless or unsafe manner is 1000 dollars, a very recent addition to our local laws.
    define recklass and unsafe?
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    Re: What do you think of Critical Mass?

    Never heard of them, no idea who they are, what their about, or anything. OP doesn't give any information, either.

  10. #10
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    Re: What do you think of Critical Mass?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
    Never heard of them, no idea who they are, what their about, or anything. OP doesn't give any information, either.
    YouTube - Vancouver Critical Mass - 2000 bikes

    Here is one of the more benign ones... No violence in this clip...

    YouTube - Car Runs over bicycle At Critical Mass ride

    This one was not so smooth... but the driver here was pretty over the top...
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