Critical Mass

open topic, for anything cycling related.

Re: Critical Mass

Postby human909 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:35 pm

greyhoundtom wrote:If CM specifically targeted those areas where there are no or unsuitable cycling facilities, and only those by riding legally two abreast on the roadway, they would get my vote and if able my support.


I have yet to see a properly suitable** dedicated cycling infrastructure in Australia. Also what is so evil about riding three abreast on a CM ride?


**(In many cases roads are a pretty damn suitable as far as I'm concerned. Unfortunately many other users of them aren't suitable)
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by BNA » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:49 pm

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Re: Critical Mass

Postby greyhoundtom » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:49 pm

For a protest ride to be successful does it have to include illegal behaviour?

Rather then blocking the road completely I believe it would look more impressive to have all the riders strung out in a long line.

It would provide a showcase for cycling, rather than making motorists more agro towards cyclists.

Positive messages are always better in my book.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby Chuck » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:51 pm

il padrone wrote:CM is not a protest movement, just a bunch of people who get together to go for a ride. There are no causes, policies nor representatives - just a love of riding bikes.


il padrone wrote:
greyhoundtom wrote:If CM specifically targeted those areas where there are no or unsuitable cycling facilities, and only those

Ah, well that only leaves 90% of the urban road network wide open.

greyhoundtom wrote:by riding legally two abreast on the roadway, they would get my vote and if able my support.

And the 'protest' value of that would be...... ??

They may as well go ride en-mass on the local sub-standard shared path :roll: Go terrify the pedestrians and dog-poopers.


I thought you would have been re-affirming your original message about CM, it seemed unequivocal.

human909 wrote:Also what is so evil about riding three abreast on a CM ride?


Brilliant idea, you're warming to the task now.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby il padrone » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:58 pm

Chuck wrote:I thought you would have been re-affirming your original message about CM, it seemed unequivocal.

I do agree - in it's activities on the street a CM ride does not engage in 'protest'. I was just replying to GHT's query about CM taking protest to streets without bike facilities

greyhoundtom wrote:If CM specifically targeted those areas where there are no or unsuitable cycling facilities, and only those




greyhoundtom wrote:For a protest ride to be successful does it have to include illegal behaviour?

Rather then blocking the road completely I believe it would look more impressive to have all the riders strung out in a long line

I've been on my fair share of protest marches, and a few protest rides as well. In every case they have involved taking over the streets, but otherwise not many have been directly illegal behaviour (you know, the sort the police cart you away for). Very few protest actions do not involve taking over streets or some other public space at some stage.


If a protest is what you want of course. But that's not the reason CM take over the street with bikes. If you don't know why they do this you really need to do some reading and research.
Last edited by il padrone on Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby Chuck » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:03 pm

il padrone wrote:
Chuck wrote:I thought you would have been re-affirming your original message about CM, it seemed unequivocal.

I do agree - in it's activities on the street a CM ride does not engage in 'protest'. I was just replying to GHT's query about CM taking protest to streets without bike facilities

greyhoundtom wrote:If CM specifically targeted those areas where there are no or unsuitable cycling facilities, and only those


Yep, that's why I didn't snip. But CM don't protest :?
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby il padrone » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:12 pm

You are correct, CM do not protest. There are no banners generally, no chanting outside MP's offices, no blockading of corporate headquarters, etc. They do usually have some music sound systems for entertainment and some riders ride with flags for decorative colour but that's it.

GHT was just apparently requesting CM should do his bidding to solve his local traffic problems. They won't - he's an outer suburbs resident and CM really does not work on high speed outer suburban roads. CM is about people riding home from work on foolishly overcrowded inner city streets - where riding a bike really makes sense, but common sense is not so common.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby wombatK » Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:35 am

il padrone wrote:GHT was just apparently requesting CM should do his bidding to solve his local traffic problems. They won't - he's an outer suburbs resident and CM really does not work on high speed outer suburban roads. CM is about people riding home from work on foolishly overcrowded inner city streets - where riding a bike really makes sense, but common sense is not so common.

It was me really who raised the issue of local traffic problems for cyclists - GHT was just agreeing. The point I was hoping
to make was that there would not be a critical mass of cyclists joining the CM ride if there were better alternatives provided for cyclists. Motorists don't have to have a critical mass movement to achieve their objectives with the RMS because they have the better alternatives.

While Pete and others don't see CM as a protest ride, they are certainly perceived as that by the general public and radio shock jocks etc.,. Does anyone know if they are treated by the police in exactly the same way as a protest march would be (i.e. under same legislation and permits) ?

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Re: Critical Mass

Postby Xplora » Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:24 am

greyhoundtom wrote:it would look more impressive to have all the riders strung out in a long line.

This is actually a Saturday bunch ride, and I think you've got a good idea about how those are treated by the same boofheads that will abuse a lone cyclist. I am guessing a bike bus isn't any different in form either.

Sadly, form isn't the key issue. It is driver attitudes that is the key issue, and CM does engage with that marvellously. It is precisely BECAUSE it is annoying that it is successful. Why are cyclists annoying? That has to be a consideration point. I am willing to bet that CM is less offensive to Joe SixPack than recent Muslim protests in Sydney. Not many calls for beheadings on the CM.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby il padrone » Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:45 am

wombatK wrote: Does anyone know if they are treated by the police in exactly the same way as a protest march would be (i.e. under same legislation and permits) ?

Hmmm.....? Permits??

It is not a march, not a protest. Does the regular Friday logjam of single-occupant motor vehicles require a permit?
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby il padrone » Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:23 am

greyhoundtom wrote:Rather then blocking the road completely I believe it would look more impressive to have all the riders strung out in a long line.

It would provide a showcase for cycling, rather than making motorists more agro towards cyclists.

The reason why CM doesn't string out like this? It's actually safer for the cyclists.

http://criticalmass.wikia.com/wiki/Mass_up
"Mass up" or "Mass it up" : In the middle or at the end of the group of cyclists, the number of cyclists traveling on the road can grow thin, resulting in dangerous conditions for riders if automotive traffic attempts to cut through the middle of the mass while cyclists are still passing. Participants in some cities will yell "mass up" or "mass it up" in order to tell the front of the group to slow down. Different tactics are used to mass up such as simply slowing down or stopping as well as cycloning.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby human909 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:28 am

It it funny how much effort it is taking to convince cyclists that cyclists are allowed to ride on the road in numbers. :cry:
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby greyhoundtom » Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:15 am

il padrone wrote:GHT was just apparently requesting CM should do his bidding to solve his local traffic problems.

Firstly, I'm disappointed that someone would contribute such a selfish attititude to me, as I was not aware my posts on BNA had created such an impression. :(

Secondly, the recent posts have convinced me that CM is there primarely to disrupt motor vehicle traffic by their presence, and as I can’t for the life of me see how that action can do anything positive to further the cause of cycling I shall bow out of the whole subject.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby sogood » Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:57 pm

Yes, CM is divisive in the eyes of cyclists and cycling supporters, and divisive amongst legitimate road users. No more needs to be said about its value in the 21st Century.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby Baldy » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:53 pm

sogood wrote:Yes, CM is divisive in the eyes of cyclists and cycling supporters, and divisive amongst legitimate road users. No more needs to be said about its value in the 21st Century.


If you would like the last word on the matter you can give us the list of legitimate road users. I'd be interested to know if recreational riding gets on the list.

Edit: I am going to share this thread on the Hobart CM facebook page. I think there has been some fair points made on both sides. It can't hurt to be aware of the perception some have of CM rides in general. If they care to wade through the waffle, worth a try.

For the record if the Hobart CM had people behaving like idiots I would never have gone back. There are people who disagree with the courteous bit so they wont come. So the culture of each ride can be decided by who turns up. If you don't like the use of conflict to get your message across then start your own group. They still need promotion to work, particularly in smaller cities or big towns or the numbers dwindle like ours has done recently.
Last edited by Baldy on Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby human909 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:06 pm

Well CM are legitimate road users.

I wonder who illegitimate road users are?
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby il padrone » Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:33 pm

One question for you, sogood. Have you ever participated in a Critical Mass ride?
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby diggler » Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:18 pm

If CM is a bunch ride, they could use the Sydney Harbour Bridge bike path. Why do they travel where the cars are meant to go?
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby Mulger bill » Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:24 pm

Been on a couple, will prolly do a couple more sooner or later.

Unfortunately, like many good ideas the execution can become a problem in itself.

I'm thinking of starting a poll on who owns a bike as a utilitarian transport option and who does not, methinks the result might be interestingly informative in relation to this thread...
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby sogood » Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:36 pm

il padrone wrote:One question for you, sogood. Have you ever participated in a Critical Mass ride?

One does not need to be a rights abuser to know it's wrong to abuse rights. Close observation first hand is sufficient.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby il padrone » Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:55 pm

Yep, right then. Explains a lot :|
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby Xplora » Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:18 pm

diggler wrote:If CM is a bunch ride, they could use the Sydney Harbour Bridge bike path. Why do they travel where the cars are meant to go?

INDEED. I think you've entered into the first level of zen... why do they? :idea:
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby il padrone » Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:24 pm

diggler wrote:If CM is a bunch ride, they could use the Sydney Harbour Bridge bike path.

Bike designed for the Sydney Harbour Bridge bike path

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Re: Critical Mass

Postby DavidS » Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:56 pm

sogood wrote:Yes, CM is divisive in the eyes of cyclists and cycling supporters, and divisive amongst legitimate road users. No more needs to be said about its value in the 21st Century.


I assume you are not including a group of people using bicycles to get from A to B in your definition of "legitimate" road users. So, only sporting cyclists are allowed to legitimately ride in a bunch, is that it?

The whole point of CM is to show that cycling is an alternative, that a large mass of bikes on the road won't really hold up the cars stuck in traffic because they are stuck in traffic of their own making.

As for that performance video, if you can't see the joke I just feel sorry for you.

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Re: Critical Mass

Postby human909 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:03 pm

diggler wrote:If CM is a bunch ride, they could use the Sydney Harbour Bridge bike path. Why do they travel where the cars are meant to go?

Roads are not simply for cars. They are for all transport. The genesis of Critical Mass was mixed, but a large part of it was reclaiming the right to safely travel a space that is meant to be for more than just metal caged motorised transport.

Mulger bill wrote:I'm thinking of starting a poll on who owns a bike as a utilitarian transport option and who does not, methinks the result might be interestingly informative in relation to this thread...

The differences in attitudes between cyclists who primarily see cycling as a sport and hobby and those who see it primarily as transport is stark. This clash of cultures and attitudes is quite clear in many threads. Lycra and helmet debates are two obvious points of difference. Another interesting one was the recent thread of the best place for cycling in Australia. A few answered Melbourne's inner north. These people clearly see cycling as transport not as a sport.

I don't see anything wrong with having different reasons for cycling. But given that we all believe cycling needs strong advocacy I believe that it is quite sad when one group puts a dampener on the desires of another. I believe this is occurring regarding comments on critical mass and regarding MHLs. It would be nice to see more agreement in groups when it comes to advocacy. While our needs may be different I'd prefer to see a situation where groups are not opposing each other.

Personally I want for a world where anybody can feel free to cycle how that want and wearing what they want. I want Australians to be able to feel safe on our roads and not discouraged from cycling for unnecessary reasons like image, helmets and abuse.

(As many might already know, I'm primarily a transport cyclist. I've loved cycling since the age of 5. Sure it's also recreation, but I love cycling so much that it is more important to me than simply a hobby. My other love for it is the way it can benefit communities and oppose the destruction that the motorcar has inflicted.)
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby il padrone » Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:39 am

human909 wrote:
diggler wrote:If CM is a bunch ride, they could use the Sydney Harbour Bridge bike path. Why do they travel where the cars are meant to go?

Roads are not simply for cars. They are for all transport.

When it comes to transport on Sydney Harbour Bridge I do rather like this photo

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