Archive for the ‘event’ Category

Milan Night and Day!

September 9th, 2012 by ccarlsson

Hi SFO, here Milano. We are proud to tell you that we are never tired….and after the synchronical critical mass with the one in San Francisco (that as said before will be a group of about 30 to 50 people and will not gather families) we will meet in a huge critical mass (hundreds???? we hope) for everybody, Saturday afternoon at 15:00 from piazza Graziano Predielis (ex piazza Mercanti).

We will be a river and we will be able to stop the traffic, as we did for the critical mass protest for Cop9, Cop 15, the summer swimsuit critical mass, the guerrilla gardennig critical mass, every winter for San Lazzaro…

Even the usual Thursday evening mass will celebrate the 20 years! So we will have three day of celebrations….we really never have enough!

This is just to let you know that in case someone of you wants to try exotical experiences, or need to fly away from San Francisco for puzzling reasons, he will find a home here in Milano…..

27 Sep (Thur.): The Critical Mass 20th Birthday Party

August 28th, 2012 by Russel

Bikes, Brew & Bands
The Critical Mass 20th Birthday Party

Live bands – check. Beer – check. Bikes – hell yeah!
Rock your way into Friday and help build the momentum towards the Interstellar Critical Mass.
Got SUV pinatas? Birthday cupcakes? A bike crew? Bring it if you wanna…

Thursday, Sep. 27, 2012
7pm to 1am
$10 – $20* sliding scale
*door proceeds cover costs of event; profits go to the bands… please give generously if you can

2050 Bryant
(b/t 18th and 19th sts)
SF, CA 94110


Grass Widow (
Apogee Sound Club
The Rabbles (
Future Twin (

bike stencils by Mission legend Scott Williams
DIY culture share… sell your bike-themed wares ($10 extra at door, byo table, while space lasts) (more…)

Concert to Celebrate CM20 at the Great American!

August 3rd, 2012 by hughillustration

As part of our week of activities celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Critical Mass, there will be a concert at the Great American Music Hall on the 26th of September, featuring some great bands: Papa Bear and the Easy Love and Kelly McFarling.

The show will start at 8, immediately following the book release party for our new book, Shift Happens: Critical Mass at 20, at the Main Library. Folks riding their bike to the event will get a free raffle ticket to win prizes.

Check out the awesome poster art by Stephan Cellar!

Shift Happens! Critical Mass at 20

July 16th, 2012 by ccarlsson

Shift Happens! Critical Mass at 20 is a new book published to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Critical Mass, which falls this September 28, two decades after the event started in San Francisco and spread around the world.

"Shift Happens! Critical Mass at 20" cover

Pre-order a copy here.

Here are some excerpts from the introductory essay that I wrote called “Ruminations of an Accidental Diplomat”:

Realizing that 20th anniversary of Critical Mass was less than a year away, late last year we put out an international call for thoughtful analyses. We wanted to go deeper and further than the 10th anniversary book had done. Shift Happens! is the result, and we are extremely happy with the quality and breadth of the writing we received. Several dozen contributors and a wide range of experiences across the Critical Mass world fill these pages, where the original concept is still recognizable but has also mutated and shifted over time and space in fascinating ways…

Critical Mass was born 20 years ago among dozens of people in San Francisco and has reproduced itself in over 350 cities around the world thanks to the diligent efforts of countless thousands across the planet. Often just a few people start riding together and it attracts others to join, gaining momentum steadily until it bursts onto a city’s political and social landscape. Moreover, the concept of riding together en masse is open-ended enough that people have adapted it in many ways during the past decades, from altering the structure of formal recreational riding to using “Critical Mass-style” rides to bring attention to a wide range of political campaigns and issues.

And as we learn from some of the essays in this new collection, mass bike rides weren’t invented in 1992. They took place in different parts of the world years before we started in San Francisco, notably in Bilbao, Spain and Helsinki, Finland where our writers describe earlier rides. Chinese cities were full of bicycles as primary transportation for decades; observing traffic patterns in 1991 Shanghai from a hotel window, New Yorker George Bliss described how bicycles would pile up at the side of a flow of traffic until they reached “critical mass” and broke through to create their own traffic stream—this is where our name came from. Not far from where I lived as a boy in North Oakland, early ecological activists staged an annual mass bike ride called “Smog-Free Locomotion Day” on Berkeley’s Telegraph Avenue from 1969-71. In the deep social genes of San Francisco itself, mass bike rides of 5,000-8,000 cyclists jammed muddy, rutted streets a century earlier, in 1896, to demand “Good Roads” and asphalt (unknowingly setting the stage for the next vehicle of speed, convenience, and personal freedom that soon followed: the automobile). My mother was born and raised in Copenhagen where I visited as a small boy and then again in 1977 as a young adult—the sensible organization of public streets with space dedicated to bicycle transit was self-evidently preferable to the freeways and rigid, car-dominated street grids of my California childhood. (more…)