Positive Energy Flyer OK!

January 28th, 2010 by hughillustration

Critical Mass confrontation

Everyone complains about bad behavior on Critical Mass. The truth is, it’s only a small minority that are behaving this way.

You can confront any behavior you don’t like. But I have found flyers really work to establish norms that are positive and friendly. So I’ve made a flyer you can print out, read, and if you agree with it’s sentiments, make copies and share them with others before the ride! If you can print a bunch and pass them out yourself, please do!

Click here or the pic below to download the PDF. It’s designed to be printed double-sided and cut in half. Works like a charm!


And here’s the text of the flyer:

Have you been attending Critical Mass in order to harass,
intimidate and disrupt other forms of traffic?

Have you been picking fights with motorists? Blocking traffic for no reason? Giving people the finger? Generally behaving like a self-righteous weenie?

You’re in the wrong place! There is a special ride for you:

The Hypocritical Mass!

The Hypocritical Mass takes place on the 6th Friday of every month at 2:30 a.m. Everyone on that ride believes they are better than others, and they really enjoy “sticking it to the Man” by “gumming up the works”. Take your bike and join them! You’ll be much happier.

Critical Mass, on the last Friday of every month, is different. We’re not out to ruin anyone’s night. We are a positive celebration of bikes, bike culture, and public space. While we assert our right to the road, we do not deny anyone else their right to get where they are going. We’re here to enjoy ourselves, change the world, and make this city great.

We are asking our friends in cars to wait while our party passes — the same way we wait and defer to motorized traffic every other day of the month.

Here’s what we say to motorists and members of the Hypocritical Mass: Join us! Bring your bike, your good energy, a friendly attitude towards people you don’t know, and help us build a city worth living in — a city with clean air, friendly streets, and public demonstrations of pure joy. OK!

How to Help:
The front of the Mass must stop for every red light! This allows the back of the ride to catch up and keeps the ride dense, preventing accidents. When Critical Mass spreads out, problems occur: motorists creep in, things get dangerous, and bad vibes result. The front of the ride has a responsibility to keep it cool for the rest of us!

If you see a fight or confrontation:
Keep moving! Keep positive! Don’t stop and don’t get dragged into some boring argument. If a motorist shouts or honks at you, try this response: “Have a nice night!” Then pedal on. Works every time!

Don’t block traffic unnecessarily!
We’re here to show that we are traffic, not to block traffic! Circling at intersections, riding into oncoming traffic and purposefully trying to inconvenience other is bad tactics, bad politics, and bad karma.

Respect Pedestrians!
The only thing more dangerous than biking in San Francisco is walking. Pedestrians are our friends and allies, and they could use some respect. Let pedestrians pass where possible, and invite them to join us next month!

Who is behind this flyer?
We are concerned riders of Critical Mass. We aren’t the only voice. Make your own voice heard by making a flyer or website and sharing your ideas!

Join us online:
www.sfcriticalmass.org • www.facebook.com/sfcriticalmass

PS: Check out this flyer that someone else made! The author is unknown to me, it’s a few months old but it hits the mark — and it’s way less verbose than mine!

Tags: , , ,

6 Responses to “Positive Energy Flyer OK!”

  1. @ says:

    people can attend critical mass for whatever reasons they want. if people want to come and use critical mass as a way to party thats fine but if they attend so that they can harrass motorists then that should be fine also. like the flyer says, don’t get involved where you aren’t wanted or needed. please stop trying to railroad everybody into being happy loving liberals that want to get along with everybody. everyday bikers are put at risk by the stupidity and lack of awareness and care on the part of motorists. if there are people on bikes who want to unleash some of this tension then so be it.

  2. Wow, I’ve been arguing with this perspective for so long, but I have never had the honor of a reply. Thanks for commenting!

    I’m not sure if you are a person that engages in this sort of behavior, or if you are just defending the rights of others to “unleash some tension” by harassing people they have never met, folks that just happen to be in a car on the last Friday of the month. Either way, it seems you consider this behavior justified. Toward what end?

    Who will be enlightened by getting the finger from cyclists? No one. Who will change their life choices as a result of being berated? No one. Your approach offers no change, no hope, nothing but juvenile spleen-venting. And you think this “should be fine?”

    If that’s what you want to be part of, go ahead and act like that. Me, I’ll continue to use logic and language (the antithesis of “railroading”) to advocate for the Critical Mass I know and love. We’ll see who wins.

  3. k says:

    I agree with both of you! I agree with you hughillustration for my personal decisions, but at the same time, I don’t feel comfortable telling anyone else how they Should act! I believe folks can express themselves how they would like…(within some reason)…and for that I agree with @. But if motorists provoke me/us – such as hitting me upside the head with frozen strawberries, or dropping glass bottles at us from highrises in the Tenderloin, or macing us on Van Ness St (all things I have witnessed or felt upside my head) – you better believe that I/we will react.

  4. A says:

    So, if the point of Critical Mass is to show that you are part of traffic, I don’t understand why it’s not required for bicyclists to have insurance. They are at risk of being injured and are also capable of causing significant damage–$5000 to my car by a bike running a red light. It’s amazing to me that you all fight so hard to be recognized as members of traffic, but want none of its responsibility.

  5. Nio says:

    A, that’s a good question about mandatory liability insurance. Another question is: why aren’t pedestrians required to carry liability insurance?

    The short answer is that everybody is already liable for damages they cause, in Civil Court. Mandatory liability insurance is only required to address a specific problem: liable parties doing damages in excess of what they can pay, going bankrupt, and the court being unable to provide a full remedy.

    Bicyclists ARE liable for damages they cause due to recklessness. However, since bicyclists aren’t likely to do enough damage to drive them to bankruptcy there’s just not the same need for mandatory liability insurance.

  6. Chomps says:

    I like the concept of Critical Mass…with a bit less anger. Yikes! When I ride my bike, I’m actually more afraid of the other bicyclists than the automobiles (except Muni buses). Folks, can you at least slow down a bit at the intersections? I’m running the other stop sign and frankly I should have the right of way over all the cars as well as the bikers 😉 And how about putting on lights when it is dark? Don’t get me started on the people riding and on their cell phones. Or the trifecta, dude, no lights, on cell phone running a stop sign, sweet.