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aka baycat
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Minivans and fixed gears bikes have been immortal enemies for years now.

Thought I would hit CM on my drive home last friday, missed it. Got baseball game traffic instead.
 

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Read the article over breakfast this morning...
Melt said:
...i thought being a roadie is about "sharing" the road...
I've been (in a vehicle) through CM twice (accidentally) and CM is *not* about sharing anything - it's about making a statement (of course, perhaps, I just encountered two particularly "moody" CM runs).

Then, the alleged incident which causes a CMer to throw a bike through the back window of a minivan full of kids:
According to police, Ferrando had allegedly tapped one of the cyclists' tires...
You Bay Area folk certainly have experienced more CMs than I have, but at the couple I saw, the few unfortunate cars that don't quite understand what's going ended up with groups of bikers intentionally edging just as close as they possibly could to some of the vehicles - just dying to say "you hit me!"

Not surprised this happened, probably happens more often than is reported, but this time it happened to a particularly sympathetic victim.
 

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It's about showing up.
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Melt misinforms.

While the classic roadie is hardly my favorite character this article says nothing about the perps being roadies. Critical Mass is hardly powered just by skinny wheels.
Sadly what we do see here is the effect of the "mob mentality." It is the expression of a foible all too common; the shift in character of people who lose themsleves when thery finally get a little power.
 

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Critical Mass is just about a bunch of Hooligans out to have a good time.

It does nothing but piss off motorist and does nothing make the streets safer for us, it fact it probably makes things less safe by making drivers caught up in it more angry towards riders.
 

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Worken in SF for 7 years

My CM experiences....Our offices were right on the common CM route

Driver side door kicked and dented twice

Passenger side door kicked and dented

Backhatch (Saab 900) window cracked and hatch dented by CM'er wielding stubby baseball bat

Broken side view mirror...actually that was me hitting a telephone pull trying to get away from CM'er with stubby baseball bat.

Pink spraypaint from hood to rear bumper was the final straw...happened right in front f SF cops who just stood back and laughed. I was not the only one who was having problems at our offices....so we just shut down the office at noon on CM days. That was kinda cool.

Critical Mass has been.... and always will be a complete joke.
 

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Paper or plastic?
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10,277 Posts
CMers are as representative of the biking community as hooligans are representative of the average sport fan.
 

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just another bleepin SSer
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1,455 Posts
I live in the city, but have never done it. I agree that critical mass is not necessarily a good thing for cycling.

But I suspect that there is another side to this beyond what the paper reported. It does sound like the driver freaked a bit, and tried to get out of the situation. In reality, they are in a car and are totally safe, so they should have just stopped and stayed still (maybe lock the doors, if worried) once surrounded by bikes. Instead, by continuing to move and try to get out, they very likely did endanger the cyclists (perhaps even hitting them as claimed), causing them to get mad and respond.

As I said, I don't think CM is good for cycling. And this shouldn't have happened. But there probably is another side to the story.
 

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Groveland Trail Heads
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1,897 Posts
TahoeBC said:
Critical Mass is just about a bunch of Hooligans out to have a good time.

It does nothing but piss off motorist and does nothing make the streets safer for us, it fact it probably makes things less safe by making drivers caught up in it more angry towards riders.
Exactly...
 

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Just remember

Just remember people have really good memories, and the driver someone pisses off at CM could be the driver you or I meet out on a solo road ride another day. Unfortunately, civil behavior isn't required to ride a bike or get a drivers license.
 

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Totally, and to the max.
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Those CMers are a bunch of complete idiots. Somehow I'm supposed to side with these mayhem-loving misfits because I ride a bike?!!! Get real. I wear shoes, too. That doesn't make me sympathic toward someone kicking a dog. This whole mentality of we're bikes and they're cars is so primitive, it's sadly absurd. The moment we start objectifying humans by one inane element is the moment that we lose touch with reality. Pants vs. shorts. Long hair vs. short hair. Dogs vs. cats.

I tell ya, if I got caught up in my car in critical mass, and they started F-ing with me like that, someone would get very hurt.
 

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I live in Oakland and ride everyday. But as much as I despise car-culture, I could never get behind the idea of critical mass. How is a lawless mob of short-tempered cyclists blowing red lights supposed to highlight the safe, legitimate use of bicycles in cities? I could never reconcile this contradiction. So I don't participate. I know some people who do ride CM's enjoy the annonymous power of mob-mentality, and even seek some degree of conflict with autos. Keep up the good work.
 

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dcubed
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1,080 Posts
critical mass will soon be a mass of critical injuries.

It is only so long until people start going to critical mass (in vehicles) to try to push the cyclist into doing the same sort of action as in this article and then respinding with superior (2000 lbs vs 22 lbs) force.

Sounds fun, what are you all up to next friday?
 

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Slowest Rider
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5,237 Posts
Isn't it Critical Mass-Holes?

I was horified by the behavior of the bicyclists as I read the article in the Chronicle this morning. I was completly sympathetic with the driver who got unknowingly caught in the mayhem.

I can't see how CM helps biking at all. They're just using supposed "biking awareness" as a lame excuse for their urban riots, like what happens in some communities when the power goes out and everyone figures it's time to smash and grab at the local store. If they wanted to help biking awareness, they'd obey the laws like red lights, and be as friendly as possible to all others. I suspect the city will start reigning them in after this episode.
 

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screamer
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1,371 Posts
MTB's vs Fixies: Rage in the Cage 2007

bigboulder said:
Critical Mass has been.... and always will be a complete joke.
I repsectfully disagree (to paraphrase our commander in chief). I rode in CM every month from '95 to about '97. The rides used to be really long, went very cool places (GG Bridge, Candlestick Park, Twin Peaks) and was a great way to see the city, especially for a newcomer like me. The objective then was to get OUT of downtown as quickly as possible and have a fun ride; conflict with drivers were minimal. When Willie Brown tried to crack down on the event (I forget the exact date, but it was full-on hats & bats riot police, and a very scary experience), it changed the tone. CM'ers became much more aggressive, the rides became much shorter, and the focus switched from showing a positive presence within the city to basically pissing off as many people as possible.

That's when I stopped going to CM. However, in the twelve years I've lived here, there are more people on bicycles, more bike lanes, and generally more awareness by drivers that cyclists are about. Commuting by bike used to be a matter of taking your life into your own hands; now it's slightly safer than that. Perhaps CM had nothing to do with this, but at the very least some of the original intentions have been fulfilled. Time to put the damn thing to bed, before that progress is erased.
 
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