Critical Mass

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Critical Mass

Postby diggler » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:22 pm

Apologies if this has been done before. I saw a thread about a London Critical Mass but not about Critical Mass in general.

What is the feeling about this around here? Are they helping or hindering cycling?
Motorists hate cyclists and cyclists hate the motorists and the pedestrians hate the bikers and everybody hates the trucks.
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by BNA » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:53 pm

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Re: Critical Mass

Postby WestcoastPete » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:53 pm

This is my view:

I feel that Critical Mass rides only create more division between road users. With the aim of greater safety and respect for all road users, cyclists should be assertively promoting harmony. Showing that cyclists belong on the roads can be done in better ways than unreasonably hindering cars and thereby creating conflict. I rode in one once, to see what they were like, and I just felt awkward at the self righteousness of some of the attendees. I certainly didn't feel like I'd "reclaimed ownership of the streets".

That is my view.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby sogood » Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:04 pm

WestcoastPete wrote:I feel that Critical Mass rides only create more division between road users...

+1

CM adds exposure but it's way too much and becomes damaging as a weekly event and typically at the worst possible time, inducing unnecessary inconvenience to many innocent road users (including public transport users).
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby zero » Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:13 pm

SHB critical mass just goes over at traffic speed these days, and in all honesty probably raises the number people per hour crossing the bridge.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby Mike Ayling » Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:39 pm

WestcoastPete wrote:This is my view:

I feel that Critical Mass rides only create more division between road users. With the aim of greater safety and respect for all road users, cyclists should be assertively promoting harmony. Showing that cyclists belong on the roads can be done in better ways than unreasonably hindering cars and thereby creating conflict. I rode in one once, to see what they were like, and I just felt awkward at the self righteousness of some of the attendees. I certainly didn't feel like I'd "reclaimed ownership of the streets".

That is my view.


+1


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Re: Critical Mass

Postby il padrone » Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:16 pm

I beg to differ. I have been on a few CM rides in Melbourne, including the very first and the 10th anniversary ride.

sogood wrote:CM adds exposure but it's way too much and becomes damaging as a weekly event and typically at the worst possible time,

CM is always on the last Friday of the month. Monthly not weekly. As for timing, well it's all about a bunch of riders getting together to ride home together after work. Generally they are not your typical recreational rider, just a range of city commuters. I wonder how many here criticising the CM rides have actually ever been on one ???

Police are fairly closely involved, generally help the ride run, police any infractions (of both riders and drivers) and co-operate in 'corking' intersections at times. Comments have been made by Police that the disruption to peak hour traffic is so minimal as to be virtually imperceptible.

My observations have been that there is rarely any angst or aggro from motorists. CM regulars generally are polite and calm - "Thanks for waiting, we'll be past soon". The ride passes by within a minute or two. What is holding up traffic (and often the CM ride) is other motor vehicle traffic.

My 2c.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby Baldy » Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:30 pm

I guess it would depend on the city/group and how they conduct themselves.

We have one in Hobart once a month. I've been going for 3 years. Ours is a courteous critical mass, we follow the road rules. We do not unreasonably hinder any other road users, unless just being there is your idea of a hinderence.

Our only aim is a presence on the road. I have ridden with quite a few people who had never ridden on the road and used the safety in numbers to have a go.

IF you dont like the culture or attitudes of your local CM, turn up and put your case forward. Follow the road rules and enjoy yourself, I'm betting you will have company. We are not all rebels 8)
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby human909 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:32 pm

I agree with most people here except Il Padrone.

We cyclists should know their place and respect the dominant vehicles. Cyclists have no right to add to the traffic at the busy time of the day. Only those in a large motor vehicle have such rights. Those in CM have the audacity to expect to be able to ride on the roads during peak hour need to be put in their place. By prostrating ourselves to motorists and not getting in their way on the roads we ensure that Australia stays the cycling nirvana that it is.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby il padrone » Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:23 pm

17 years on - coming up this Friday.

The tenth anniversary ride was a BIG one

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Re: Critical Mass

Postby g-boaf » Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:48 pm

I don't really get involved in those rides, I think they polarise opinion and may make motorists more aggressive/hateful of cyclists.

I'm not a commuter cyclist so I really feel like I don't belong in those kinds of rides.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby human909 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:58 pm

g-boaf wrote:I don't really get involved in those rides, I think they polarise opinion and may make motorists more aggressive/hateful of cyclists.

I'm not a commuter cyclist so I really feel like I don't belong in those kinds of rides.


Do you ride a bike? Do you believe that the road was made for more than just cars? Do you believe cyclists should be able to ride on roads? So tell me again why do you feel like you don't belong?
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby scotto » Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:11 pm

human909 wrote:I agree with most people here except Il Padrone.

We cyclists should know their place and respect the dominant vehicles. Cyclists have no right to add to the traffic at the busy time of the day. Only those in a large motor vehicle have such rights. Those in CM have the audacity to expect to be able to ride on the roads during peak hour need to be put in their place. By prostrating ourselves to motorists and not getting in their way on the roads we ensure that Australia stays the cycling nirvana that it is.

Totally agree..,
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby sogood » Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:20 pm

I think it's images like this that sours the perception...

Image
6:50pm on a Friday in 2003

http://moz.net.nz/cmass/rides/2003-11/

I understand that the size of the ride has come down significantly since.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby Alien27 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:26 pm

They used to deliberately disrupt, slow and even bring traffic to a standstill in Sydney. I hope they have changed.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby human909 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:41 pm

I've heard rumours that motorists wilfully disrupt, slow and even bring traffic to a standstill everyday in Sydney! :shock: But of course that can't be right! :lol:

(Images like this must be clearly photoshopped.)
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby il padrone » Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:46 pm

sogood wrote:I think it's images like this that sours the perception...

Image
6:50pm on a Friday in 2003

In contrast to....

Image

All sorts of groups hold up the traffic on the bridge doing their thing - only cyclists seem to get castigated :roll:

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Re: Critical Mass

Postby Alien27 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:55 pm

Come on! How many of those cars have their drivers standing out in front of them prancing around? How many of those drivers are trying to hold others up? I would imagine they are all just trying to get to where they want to go as quick as they can.

As for the picnic, really! Just because the city organised for the bridge to be closed for a weekend morning that makes it ok for people to be deliberately disruptive?
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby human909 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:00 pm

Alien27 wrote:I would imagine they are all just trying to get to where they want to go as quick as they can.

So why aren't they riding? :lol:

The key point of Critical Mass and the VERY brief and VERY occasional disruption of is that it is so rare! Motorists cause that disruption EVERYDAY of the year. How is the traffic and disruption from motorists not wilful and deliberate?
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby sogood » Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:22 pm

human909 wrote:The key point of Critical Mass and the VERY brief and VERY occasional disruption of is that it is so rare! Motorists cause that disruption EVERYDAY of the year. How is the traffic and disruption from motorists not wilful and deliberate?

The key point is that there are more considerate ways to get the same message across. Fri afternoon peak hour when most people are trying to get back to their loved one is not considerate. It's as poor as those mis-behaving drivers who can't see issues from a cyclist's perspective.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:27 pm

human909 wrote:
Alien27 wrote:I would imagine they are all just trying to get to where they want to go as quick as they can.

So why aren't they riding? :lol:


Agreed.

Most traffic flow issues seem to me to hinge on the fact that A:There's so many of them and B:Every damn one of them is "just trying to get to where they want to go as quick as they can." and they do not give a rodents situpon how their actions stuff things up for everybody else who of course is "just trying to get to where they want to go as quick as they can."
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby il padrone » Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:41 pm

Friday afternoon is the time to get the message across, because now the drivers will notice a bunch of cyclists...... something they manage to avoid doing all the rest of the time they are on the road. And as I said earlier, it really does not slow them down :roll:


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Re: Critical Mass

Postby zero » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:57 pm

sogood wrote:
human909 wrote:The key point of Critical Mass and the VERY brief and VERY occasional disruption of is that it is so rare! Motorists cause that disruption EVERYDAY of the year. How is the traffic and disruption from motorists not wilful and deliberate?

The key point is that there are more considerate ways to get the same message across. Fri afternoon peak hour when most people are trying to get back to their loved one is not considerate. It's as poor as those mis-behaving drivers who can't see issues from a cyclist's perspective.


I have to disagree. Was a great day for cycling in this country, and was probably one of the steps that was necessary to avoid the silent killing off of cycling in NSW. Remember that for the last 20 years, the RTA has simaltaneously been running a public policy of discouraging road cycling without providing alternative facilities. Even gone so far as to publish their offroad policy.

This is a necessary poke in the eye to that particular organisation who still appears to think it reasonable that cyclists be banned from the SHB main deck when the alternative route they've provided has something like 60 stairs and is underwidth. ie even in the 9 or 10 years since, they still haven't got their act together unless dragged kicking and screaming by politicians or local councils.

The photo itself imo records human dignity. The human form, not being made more important than the car form. if there are motorists that cannot see that, then they've lost a piece of their own humanity.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby wombatK » Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:03 am

Alien27 wrote:Come on! How many of those cars have their drivers standing out in front of them prancing around? How many of those drivers are trying to hold others up? I would imagine they are all just trying to get to where they want to go as quick as they can.

As for the picnic, really! Just because the city organised for the bridge to be closed for a weekend morning that makes it ok for people to be deliberately disruptive?

At the head of every traffic
Queue you will find queue jumpers whose deliberate and anti social actions cause or worsen the jam.so thousands of motorists are causing lots more delay than cyclists or critical mass every hour of the day.
But such beggar Thy neighbour behaviour is ok or even something to be smug about. Just trying to get there quick as they can, beggar everyone else.


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Re: Critical Mass

Postby Alien27 » Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:35 am

Wow! I'm shocked.

The traffic is disrupting the traffic is it?

I have sat in traffic on the approach to the harbour bridge taking half an hour to get from the IMAX to the bridge deck itself. All the while thinking that there must be a major accident or a fatality. I saw red when I got to the bridge to find a heap of deadbeats that had closed all north bound lanes but one. The one they hadn't closed they were doing their best to close swerving at and in front of the cars crawling along in the remaining lane. Drivers were furious, I'm a peaceful man by nature but I was at homicidal point when I saw what was happening.

It was utterly DISGUSTING! I had never heard of critical mass, only finding out after that who those loonies were and what their point was supposed to be. Since that first encounter i bumped into them a few more times with them causing similar disruption. I learnt to listen to traffic reports and try to avoid them but I can tell you they have done more harm to cycling in the minds of the affected public than Alan Jones and the Daily Tele combined.

Traffic and cars are not your enemy. Think of them as future bike riders that just haven't seen the light yet. And you get them to see the light not by beating them over the head but just by showing by example how good cycling is.

Cycling needs a critical mass of voters to be treated seriously, not a bunch of aggressive, loonies doing their best to make people hate them.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby wombatK » Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:00 am

Alien27 wrote: Drivers were furious, I'm a peaceful man by nature but I was at homicidal point

Do you realise how absolutely contradictory that is ? What other calamities in life can bring you to a homicidal rage ?

I travel across the bridge very rarely, but last night had to deal with a bumper to bumper crawl from Falcon st to the Anzac Bridge. Mostly because some clown in a truck had got stuck in the harbour tunnel and jammed everything else up. Even though I was a little over half an hour late for my appointment, at no time did I feel a homicidal rage coming over me. Is there something wrong with me or you ?

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