What is Critical Mass?

Critical Mass is a mass bicycle ride that takes place on the last Friday of each month in cities around the world. Everyone is invited! No one is in charge! Bring your bike!

Next San Francisco Critical Mass: December 30th, 2022, 5:30pm, at Embarcadero Plaza (foot of Market Street).

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!

6pm
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

8pm
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)

Great editorial in SF Examiner!

September 27th, 2012 by LisaRuth

Read about the power of cycling in the event that has its birthday tomorrow. And come out to join thousands (?) of cyclists—around the world—celebrating on Friday at 5:30 PM at Justin Herman Plaza!

Many Voices on Critical Mass

September 27th, 2012 by hughillustration

Critical Mass and the SF Bicycle Coalition are often seen as one entity by the public or by the media. That’s a huge categorical error, and one it is often necessary to try to correct. On the one hand you have a leaderless street action, and on the other you have a nonprofit organization that works with city government. Those are two very different breeds! But happily there *is* a lot of overlap, and over the years lots of synergy and mutual support.

The SFBC chose to stop listing Critical Mass on their calendar some time ago, and just recently did not list the 20th anniversary and associated activities that have been put together.

Some people in the bike community were upset about this, so this blog published an open letter yesterday from Quintin Mecke to the SFBC, taking them to task for not including these events in their calendar. Quintin’s views are his own, but we were happy to publish them.

That’s why we started this blog — to give a home to many diverse views about Critical Mass, bicycle activism and bike culture in the Bay Area. We’ll publish almost anything! If you have an opinion about Critical Mass or bike culture and activism, send it to us. If it’s not outright hateful/racist/inflammatory/threatening, we are happy to publish it.

Though surprising, for those of us who moderate this blog and for those of us who volunteered to put together many of the activities this week, not being on the SFBC calendar is OK with us! We still appreciate all that they do at the SFBC. (Sitting through hours upon hours of meetings with city bureaucrats for one thing — not many of us can possibly face this! Thank god the SFBC has the patience!)

Looking forward to the Critical Mass ride on Friday!

— Hugh D’Andrade, LisaRuth Elliot, Chris Carlsson, Adriana Camarena

Dear Bike Coalition, from Quintin Mecke

September 27th, 2012 by Russel

Dear Bike Coalition:

Sadly, I can’t say I was surprised when I read this week’s SFBC Newsletter and found absolutely zero mention of the 20th Anniversary of Critical Mass.  According to your own newsletter, apparently the only thing happening in the San Francisco bike world that is worthy of your 12,000 members knowing about on Friday, Sept. 28 is SFBC’s Valet Bike Parking at the DeYoung Museum.  Seriously?

This is the San Francisco Bike Coalition and you couldn’t even bring yourselves to stick a small mention of Critical Mass in your newsletter or on your website (or god forbid you actually celebrate/acknowledge CM and show some pride), a cycling event created here in San Francisco which has spread across the globe to multiple continents since its inception & inspired thousands of cyclists to take to the street?  It’s truly amazing that Critical Mass was on the cover of the Guardian this week and even SF Funcheap listed the event but SFBC wouldn’t even put a mention at the bottom in the “Upcoming Events” section, hidden away amongst all the SFBC sponsored events? Not even a listing of the critical mass website or the community events going on all week long?  Your website lists the celebration of the 15th anniversary of TransForm but not Critical Mass?

Wow.  I’m truly speechless.  How embarrassing but more to the point, how sad. Are you afraid of offending Chuck Nevius or Mayor Lee? I don’t know how, why or what SFBC has become as an organization at this point but it’s disappointing as a long time cyclist to see the city’s only (?) organized bike advocacy organization which continually touts how many members you have to not even show the smallest amount of solidarity to your fellow cyclists and to the city’s own cycling history.  That being the case, history will march on without you.

Contrary to our “biking” Supervisor David Chiu’s comments in today’s Chronicle (I always enjoy politicians running from anything deemed controversial), it’s actually SFBC that is simply one tiny part of a much larger movement made up of a variety of cyclists from all walks of life whose decision twenty years ago to ride freely in the street once a month for just a few short hours has laid the groundwork for cycling reforms, political action and transformative experiences across the country and the world.

What a shame that instead of celebrating all parts of the cycling community, SFBC has decided to distance itself from the historic roots of its own community in the name of moderation, families on bikes and political expediency.

Enjoy Bike Valet night at the DeYoung Museum, it sounds like an awesome event.

thanks,
Quintin