Critical Mass’s Day of Majority

September 26th, 2010 by adama

20100924183336 Velorutionary SOMA
Last Friday’s ride commemorated the 18th birthday of Critical Mass! Happy birthday to everyone who has ridden Critical Mass in those years, all the friends we’ve made and lives that have been changed during that time.

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I liked this photo for the wary eye of the San Jose Bike Party rider as he looks over his shoulder at a motorcyclist interloper. It seemed like a good illustration of just why corking is important. Having a motorcyclist or car weaving in the midst of a mass of bicyclists is downright dangerous!

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This expensive Lamborghini convertible reminded me of a comment by Ric Bruce I read a few days ago on Streetsblog:

Perhaps it would be useful to address the true underlying cause of driver inattention. That is, driving a car is tedious manual labour.

Paradoxically, nobody knows that better than the automobile manufacturers themselves. Their massive advertising budgets (approximately US$17 billion per year for the last five years or so) invariably feature single cars “flying” down roads uncluttered with other cars, red lights, or pedestrians or bicyclists. In other words, the companies’ extensive research into the issue has clearly proven that the realities of automobile ownership and operation are, at best, unsaleable.

In an effort to distract attention from the underlying tedium that is driving, automobile manufacturers have added an ever-increasing number of toys that enable the driver to amuse themselves.

So, rather than attempt to “make roads safer” or “make drivers pay attention”, perhaps we’d do better to recognize that driving isn’t “fun” or “freedom” or “excitement”, and begin liberating Americans from the tyranny of the automobile-centric way of life.

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We ended up in the Presidio — always a great place to explore on a warm September night!

20100924183803 Ralph Nader Does Not Approve
I titled this one “Ralph Nader Does Not Approve,” thinking of the “Unsafe at Any Speed” phrase. I personally love seeing people carrying kids and dogs by bike. The serious injuries I hear about with bikes always involve cars. Biking is not in itself a dangerous activity!

Congratulations for another successful Critical Mass! Here’s to another 18 years!

4 Responses to “Critical Mass’s Day of Majority”

  1. Reama says:

    The route this month was totally fun – I loved going through the Presidio and wish we had headed out to Baker Beach but one of the best things about critical mass is that it’s unplanned.

    I was bummed to see a lot of conflict between riders and cars this month. It always bums me out. To the people who come to Mass to stir up strife, please just stay home. We all need to learn to let it go and roll on…. please.

    To the rest of you, thank you for a fabulous ride.

  2. I lost the Mass after taking the bridge. I think some of them turned back and some of them went their own way. Can someone update what happened after crossing the bridge.

  3. meligrosa says:

    nice post adam!!
    love that it went to the presidio, one of my favorite spots in the city +beautiful sunsets.
    I agree that seeing dogs on bikes are a pretty sweet sighting, also love the sjbikeparty tee-spotting in one of the photos
    happy bday CM! :D

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