Tonight We Ride!

September 28th, 2012 by Russel

20 Years of Critical Mass! See you down by the Ferry Building…
hearing rumors of people costuming up for tonight’s ride.
Be colorful and be CHILL….

For the Out-of-SF CM Riders, the Welcome Center (518 Valencia) is open today 1 to 4:30pm
This is the last day for the Welcome Center, so stop by and meet everybody before the Interstellar ride!

Justin Herman Plaza (foot of Market Street)
20th Anniversary Interstellar Critical Mass Ride

with special Kidical Mass contingent, parents, children, kids of all ages: meet at Justin Herman Plaza near fountain, plan is to ride with the main ride and then peel off to Dolores Park by 7 or a little after (less than an hour of riding)…)

A Girl and Her Bike  (an FB female cyclists Group) is hosting a women’s ride contingent as apart of the main Critical Mass ride: Girls Roll DEEP

Bikes on Film:  Vintage Bicycle Film Festival, Oddball Films (275 Capp Street), Doors 8/Starts 8:30, $10 (This is a Benefit for Neighbors Developing Divisadero)

20 Responses to “Tonight We Ride!”

  1. SeeDub says:

    is there a published route for tonight’s critical mass or will you just ‘wing-it’?

  2. admin says:

    Winging it!

  3. JD says:

    You people are the scum of the earth. What if an ambulance needed to get through the city?

  4. As Earthly scum, we do a pretty fine job of getting out of the way of ambulances and other emergency vehicles. For evidence:

  5. JD says:


    What if an ambulance has to get through massive amounts of traffic that you cause? Bikes are easy to move quickly, cars are a bit more difficult in massive traffic as there is nowhere to go.

    What if some driver, upset with all the traffic, drives aggressively and causes a traffic accident that results in a death or serious injury?

    What about the hit to the economy? I’m sure the traffic causes businesses to lose customers for a multitude of reasons.

    While we can’t predict the future, we can mitigate risk. Causing a traffic pileup during Friday rush hour is sure to result in more bad outcomes than good ones.

    If you wanted to do this in a way that was morally righteous, you should pick a weekend early AM to lessen the impact on motorists. Maybe then you would get a bit more respect and tolerance on the road, at least from me.

  6. the voice of reason says:

    JD: If we used your logic and short-sighted POV, we’d say: You should pick a weekend early AM to drive your car, to lessen the impact on pedestrians and motorists.

    Why would you live in or visit a city like San Francisco if you feel this way? The sprawling suburbs and rural spaces that cover 90%+ of the countryside are perfect for you. Enjoy them while you can, because they will not last. (Not because of those pesky “scum of the earth” cyclists – but simply because that failed suburban experiment is not sustainable).

  7. the voice of reason says:

    JD: If we used your logic and short-sighted POV, we’d say: You should pick a weekend early AM to drive your car, to lessen the impact on pedestrians and cyclists.

    Why would you live in or visit a city like San Francisco if you feel this way? The sprawling suburbs and rural spaces that cover 90%+ of the countryside are perfect for you. Enjoy them while you can, because they will not last. (Not because of those pesky “scum of the earth” cyclists – but simply because that failed suburban experiment is not sustainable).

  8. running late says:

    if that a 6PM meetup or 6PM rollout?

  9. It doesn’t start until the Yelling Guy yells. (Look for the beanie with a bottle.)

  10. the voice of reason says:

    As for economic impact: I understand your concerns for local merchants, because that is a very common misconception. But over and over again urban planners who study such local business and traffic patterns find that reducing car traffic on urban streets significantly INCREASES rather than decreases business.

    Don’t believe me? Ask any SF merchants whose business is along the route of a Sunday Streets (the recurrent event that shuts down streets to cars to allow pedestrians and cyclists to take over). At first the merchants fought it for fear of lost business due to parking problems, but now they overwhelmingly support it because they see their sales skyrocket, and now the local merchants form one of the most powerful forces pushing for MORE Sunday Streets and similar car-reducing events:

  11. aaron says:

    As a car driver who came on this site to check the route, I just want to say that not all auto drivers are anti-CM.

    I drive because it’s a 2+ hour each way by public transit, and ends up costing more than it does to drive. I do have to drive across downtown to get to where I can get on the freeway to get home. I work in SF because that’s where the jobs are, I live in a suburb because I can not afford to live in SF.

    Anyways, I love critical mass, and think that public gatherings are a great thing (swing by the Burning Man building on 7th/market, there’s a block party there too tonight!). Love bike riders (wish BART would allow them on the train during rush hour as then I may be able to take public transit). Biking has improved the quality of life in the Bay Area, and if anything, a shift to biking makes traffic even less congested and easier for those who have no choice but to drive. And a happier city means merchants do better too!

    Both sides will have disrespectful people who hate the other. Cars who hate bikes, bikes who hate cars. I’ve seen video of bikes being thrown through car windows at CM, but I know that is the exception, not the rule. Thankfully, no car has plowed through and killed any bikers, and hopefully never will.

    Thanks for posting where it’ll end. Now that I know it’ll end towards Dolores, I can hang out near work and get some dinner or something for an hour, and I should have no problem driving down the Emarcadero around 7pm!

    Have a great ride tonight! One of these days, I may get to join on a ride!

  12. Wilderide says:

    Will this be CM’s moment to mature and become a force for positive reinforcement? Or just another bile-spewing opportunity for malcontents to spit yet again in the eyes of those who’s support they should be trying to garner? We will know tomorrow. Hopefully respect is paid to mass transit, pedestrians, and emergency vehicles.

    Come on CM: please stop undermining the virtuous cause of bike riding in the city. Become a force for good.

  13. anna says:

    Keep in mind that Critical Mass also screws people who take public transportation, because buses are affected by traffic (I live in the Richmond and work downtown). It’ll take me over an hour to get home tonight because of this, and that is a bummer.

  14. JD says:

    Voice of reason- I am not debating whether reducing car traffic in general is a good or bad thing, that is subjective. You’re debating with yourself over a topic this has nothing to do with. As for why don’t I use the roads early AM, forget me, it’s the people that need the roads at 6pm that run our economy and deserve to get home to their families I am concerned with.

    I am stating the objective fact that people need to use cars in the city on Friday at 6pm, and what you’re doing is making that harder for them for no other reason than that you can make it harder for them. Roads are made for traffic, not for this childish nonsense.

    You are asking motorists to share the road with you by making sure they can’t use the roads. That’s like asking if you can stay with someone by burning their house down.

  15. Disappointed says:

    Really disappointed in the lawless display by critical mass tonight. Why do some bikers feel entitled to ride against traffic on the wrong side of the road? Critical mass has made our roads less safe. Hope you guys will be more considerate of your neighbors in the future.

  16. steve says:

    This caused me to miss my 3 year old daughters birthday dinner. Thanks.

  17. Welesa says:

    You maybe be thinking this is the greatest and the most glorious thing in the world, but in reality you are negatively impacting many good San franciscian’s lives with this mess. I can only imagine how many lives were lost because of this event, since the emergency cars cannot get through as any other cars. Simply selfish. There are other and better ways to prove and protest that don’t hurt people.

  18. Where is your evidence for your claim that emergency vehicles are delayed by CM? Emergency paramedics have never complained, nor have the media ever covered such an incident, nor have the police ever used this as an excuse to shut down our ride — which they surely would like to do. To my knowledge this has never been a problem, and no one has ever died as a result of Critical Mass in almost 21 years of monthly rides, either directly or indirectly. It seems that you have made a false assertion, based on faulty assumptions, and this speaks poorly of your concern for the truth and the well-being of your fellow citizens.

  19. Sarmando says:

    Critical Mass needs some re-thinking. I’m all about cycling advocacy but through education, not attention. I mean, do you really need a 50 yr old naked man to gain awareness? I watched a dad look in horror with his 5yr old daughter. And despite the police escort you’re clearly breaking laws by running red lights and stop signs. You’re also slowing down folks who use public transportation and walk. I love bicycles and bicycle advocacy, But what you’re doing does nothing for cycling education. Please focus your efforts on educating the public on the benefits of cycling and cycling safety.

  20. Thanks for your comment. I hear this all the time, so I’ll just re-type what I always do. 1) Nudity is legal in SF, it appears in all public gatherings, from ball games to Chinese New Year. Even if the majority of people on Critical Mass wanted to expel nudists, we wouldn’t have a right to do so, since the streets are public thoroughfares. 2) There are worse things than breaking traffic laws. As a bicyclist, pedestrian AND a motorist, I know firsthand that all motorists break the law every day– whether it is breaking the speed limit, doing illegal rolling rights on red, parking in the bike lane, etc. It seems to be a fact of life in cities — traffic laws get broken routinely. The police choose to enforce the ones that pose a danger to public safety. Ours does not. 3) We’re slowing down people on public transportation — true, but the highest value for a city is not that everyone have convenience 100% of the time. Public celebration is also important. 4) If you ride on Critical Mass, you see how many cyclists there are in this city, and that gives you a feeling that you can change the world. This is my experience, and the experience of hundreds, thousands of others. The current director of the SFBC, which does a lot of cycling education, says that she was first inspired to pursue bike activism by what she experienced on Critical Mass. When Critical Mass began, in 1992, the SFBC was a tiny, insignificant organization, and has grown — in part thanks to our monthly ride — to a major player in city politics. Perhaps you should consider a wider perspective on political change, one that isn’t so conventional and unimaginative.