Archive for May, 2011

May 27, 2011: San Francisco’s Critical Mass

May 27th, 2011 by ccarlsson

Went out to Critical Mass tonight. Pretty mellow all things considered. I rode til about 8 pm when it was heading up the Wiggle towards the Haight. Before that we were joking that there must’ve been tourists in front tonight because A) they never stopped and B) they went straight up Market Street all the way to 8th Street where they finally turned left. Then it became apparent that whoever was in front was probably of the opinion that the ride is *supposed* to go to the most heavily trafficked streets, rather than continue to follow an improvisational and innovative route through local neighborhoods… sigh. Wish it had been more like that… Still, I had a perfectly nice ride. Here’s some shots from along the way.

We finally got a regrouping stop at Mission and Van Ness, but who thinks it's so fun to block a major intersection for five or eight minutes? Why?

There’s certain amount of hating directed at Critical Mass and a quick claim sometimes made is that we block emergency vehicles. But it’s quite the opposite actually–Critical Mass easily clears the way for fire trucks or ambulances in a fraction of the time it would take cars to move aside. As we rode north on Van Ness by City Hall an ambulance came up and we all melted to the right.

Passing City Hall on Van Ness, Critical Mass easily made way for an ambulance that came up with siren blaring.

Just as quickly the ride surges into the entire street northbound on Van Ness, the ambulance now three blocks ahead.

I can't remember when we did this exactly, but somewhere along the way we went easterly on Eddy...

Did anyone else notice there were a lot more older folks on the ride tonight? Being one myself, I did.

The inevitable pull through the Broadway Tunnel, this geezer exults on his way out...

Bryan Goebel, Streetsblog editor, at right, where the ride had an early stopping point in the Civic Center.

Thanks Hugh!