greyhoundtom wrote:Silly me.......I kind of thought that the name “Critical Mass” indicated the aim of the group.
As in getting enough cyclists riding together to form a “critical mass” of sufficient numbers of cyclists to cause maximum effect on other traffic on their route.
You have it slightly askew. The concept of critical mass in traffic comes from observations made about how traffic (mostly bicycle) flows work in many Asian cities at very busy intersections with no traffic signals - the numbers of stopped bicycles build until they reach such a level (a critical mass) that they are able to simply overwhelm the cross traffic, even motorised traffic, by sheer weight of numbers.
The concept was applied in the original San Francisco Critical Mass to enable cyclists riding home from work to have a greater presence, control and safety on the roads.
Baldy wrote:I think our version as I described earlier is a fair example of where you can take critical mass. Well it might be an option for smaller cities/towns because the "mass" side of it has less to no impact on other road users. The most I have seen on ours in the time Ive been going is around 70. That was when it was promoted a bit via a blog and flyers. Ive been on rides in winter with 6 people.
The point is to turn up, enjoy yourself. Its nice having a chat to people, it can be a good grapevine to what is going on with cycling issues around the place. We get more positive response than negative on the road. The fact that 15people riding bikes together around the city stands out so much that peds will stop to watch or point phones. That's all we are trying to change, that groups of bikes on the road is an unusual sight. Well apart from roadies in training bunches but they don't count because they wear lycra
What you describe is something we achieve every weekend on our club ride, or groups do with roadie bunch rides. It does enable some greater safety in riding, but makes little to no impact on society's knowledge or awareness of the role of cycling in transport.
Oh, and lycra. Yes I do think lycra kit has a role in adversely effecting society's image of cyclists