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!



10 Responses to “May 27, 2011: San Francisco’s Critical Mass”

  1. David in MH says:

    Excellent post Chris. So wish I could have been there tonight.

  2. nikkita says:

    oh Hugh, i can believe i missed you last nite, did you go all the way to ocean beach, some rider went to take a dip and gosh! it was freezing out there! i like to picture with the “geezer” at Broadway tunnel, i guess i’m a female “geezer” and i get really excited too…

  3. tb says:

    Hugh needs a shave.

  4. Some things never change!

  5. Grego says:

    The Ocean Beach crew was awesome! We had a speedy and joyous cruise out there just in time to catch the brilliant vermilion sun setting into the Pacific. It was a great conclusion to a low-contention, high-fun trip around the city.

  6. ridenaked says:

    whose the girl in the batman cape? shes amazing!!

  7. To Rule says:

    I was visiting San Francisco (from Istanbul originally) and this was my first Critical Mass Ride. What a great event! I can’t believe I rode the full ride – to the point where my muscles failed and I couldn’t even stand 😀
    I’m looking forward for another ride next time I visit. Great memorable way to tour San Fran!

    P.S. Anyone got a mapped track of our route?
    I got plenty of videos I hope to slap together and post.

  8. Claus H.C. Prill says:

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    Greetings, Claus

  9. Mike says:

    Avid cyclist here, daily commuter. I’ve seen enough bad behavior by Critical Ass riders to know to stay the heck away. Unless you get your bad seeds under control all you do is make anyone on two wheels look bad. I was on the ride the day they tried to take over the lower deck of the Bay Bridge. Not good. Last summer on my way home in Castro, watched a horde of you ride in circles at Castro and Market, blocking all traffic in every direction for at least a few minutes, just because you could get away with it in numbers for a certain amount of time until the cops show up. What purpose does any of this serve? None, except to piss off cagers. When I see your group I divert to other streets just so as not to associate with you and the ill will your actions engender.

  10. JD says:

    Umm, while bikes may be able to move quickly for emergency vehicles, what about all the cars that are gridlocked due to this childish nonsense?