Critical Mass

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Re: Critical Mass

Postby il padrone » Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:48 pm

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 :wink:
Last edited by il padrone on Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by BNA » Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:06 pm

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Re: Critical Mass

Postby boss » Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:06 pm

sogood wrote:Actually, despite all the low keyed representation in this thread, Critical Mass is in fact a multi-national brand, stretching from North America to Euroland and many many other parts of the developed/developing world. Followers count in tens of thousands. All true!


99,000 of 6,973,738,433

Hmmmm

Critical mass has A LOT of work to do
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby Baldy » Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:27 pm

il padrone wrote:
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 societies image of cyclists :wink:


Thats nice, good on you. I was not talking about safety in numbers, all I was saying is that having all types of people riding all types of bikes around the city in a group promotes riding a bike. It shows its possible/easy to ride around the city on a bike. The fact its unusual enough to get positive attention from people tells me that attitudes towards utility cycling need work. I am only talking about my experience with our courteous CM rides.

That has nothing at all to do with bunch/fitness riding and lycra. They are different and blaming one for the problems of the other makes no sense. Its like comparing motoring enthusiasts who either race or just enjoy spending money on cars and cruising with people who just use a car for transport. The only connection is the car or bike.

What is it about lycra that upsets you? That people see riders in lycra going fast and think oh I can't or don't want to do that? I'm not sure how you can blame the people who choose to wear lycra for that. It is not for everybody and it is just one way to use a bike. To then leap to the conclusion that because they don't want to wear lycra or ride for fitness they wont want to ride a bike at all is a stretch. If it were true then imagine the influence every car enthusiast would have on motoring.Mark Webber does not stop people wanting to use a car for transport. My point is the idea that 4 wheeled motorised vehicles are versatile is set in motoring culture. Bicycles are no different, any reasonable person, rider or driver, should be able to see that. If they can't then its them who has the problem and not the person who chooses to wear lycra on a bike.

My CM ride tonight was good fun. So will the race on Sunday.

Smile and wave 8)
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby il padrone » Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:48 pm

Baldy wrote:That has nothing at all to do with bunch/fitness riding and lycra. They are different and blaming one for the problems....

The rides I was talking about and do with my cycle-touring club are neither bunch rides nor fitness rides. We often do rides about the city and suburbs because we love cycling, for recreational outings, as well as longer cycle camping tours. Most of our members also do some commuting or transport cycling as well.

Baldy wrote:What is it about lycra that upsets you?

I am not in the least bit upset by lycra. I often wear lycra myself, on the sort of rides it's best suited to, other times I wear regular clothing. I know I had the first pair of lycra knicks in my club, way back in 1980. Trade team jerseys however have never interested me :| . My comments about lycra relate more to the types of reactions and comments that often come out from non-cycling friends and other comments in the media. Many motorists and other folk seem to be put off by lycra. Yes, it is the ignorant speaking about something outside their experience (something that I see also in various comments about CM too :idea: )

No criticism of your Hobart Mass rides BTW. Suits you in Hobart, it just would not make any difference in Melbourne traffic is what I was trying to say.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby Baldy » Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:10 pm

Many people dislike motorsport but it does not stop them using a vehicle for transport.

Anyway I've said my bit. I've had enough of defending myself about what I wear when riding my road bike and what I do to promote utility cycling.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby human909 » Sat Dec 01, 2012 5:35 am

Baldy wrote:Many people dislike motorsport but it does not stop them using a vehicle for transport.

That is a flawed analogy. We aren't saying that people don't like Tour de France so it puts them off cycling, we are saying they don't like Lycra.

Lycra makes you stand out as a group and a tribe, you look different and therefore you'll be treated differently. You'll be treated and judged as a group as though you are all the same. You'll be disliked and hated as a group. This shouldn't come as a surprise, we all know of bigotry and racist attitudes, hating of cyclists as a group is no different. It may not be right but it is how the world works and how many people currently see cyclists. The prevalence of sporting team kit and bunches all wearing one team kit this further entrenches the tribe notions. Cyclists themselves love to strengthen this tribe with bunch rides and other activities, it doesn't help things.

Compare all that to the images of a lady in regular clothes and no helmet riding casually down the road. Which can be more empathised with to the average person? Suddenly your no longer are part of another tribe you simply are somebody's mother, brother, sister, friend on a bike. You start to become no more part of a tribe than people who take public transport or people who drive cars.
Image

So now we have a situation where many people see that to cycle you need to wear Lycra, gloves, glasses etc. Not only is this a hassle and another barrier but many people do not want to join this tribe. So they don't cycle.

In fact, I do not want to join the Lycra tribe. I do not like the image. :|


(Of course everyone can wear what they choose. When very occasionally I have joined the tribe in bunch ride and worn Lycra I've enjoyed it.)
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby boss » Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:47 am

I notice no difference in the way I'm treated when wearing full kit or wearing shorts and a tshirt.

Full kit has a use. I think I look like a knob but its practical and comfortable.

Either way I think you guys are looking at it wrong. Motorists hate us for two reasons. Firstly, they don't know what it's like to ride a bike on the road. Two, we are 'there'.

Getting people to ride a bike to work is more than pedalling around in sweet threads. It's about getting people to do a cost-benefit analysis on riding a bike and ruling in favour of the benefits.

On my ride to work and looking around the CBD between 8-9am here in Adelaide I see plenty of non-kitted cyclists on all different types of bikes. Way more than those in full kit.

My point? CM doesn't do much except give the group involved the warm and fuzzies. Nothing wrong with that either. But it's probably time to rethink strategy if you want to, yknow, actually achieve something.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby warthog1 » Sat Dec 01, 2012 7:22 am

human909 wrote:In fact, I do not want to join the Lycra tribe. I do not like the image. :|


What image do you have in your mind?
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby human909 » Sat Dec 01, 2012 7:27 am

There is no way am I suggesting that Lycra is a central cause if the bigotry but it is certainly a factor that isn't helping.

Earlier this year I was working in an light industrial area mostly tradies at work here. Guess who would be more likely to get abused by the commodore drives the rough looking guy in a hi-vis shirt on a k-mart bicycle who has likely lost his license OR the guy wearing lycra? The commodore driver might be working along side the guy on the k-mart bike later in the day!

The fact is when you can relate to somebody then you are less likely to treat them harshly.

warthog1 wrote:What image do you have in your mind?

Do I need to spell it out? If I did so I'm sure some people might take offence. Either way it is an image that I'm not a big fan of. If you need further help in the direction I'm nodding then enjoy this. :wink:
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby greyhoundtom » Sat Dec 01, 2012 7:44 am

Except for the crap vocals.........I like it. :wink: :lol:
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby human909 » Sat Dec 01, 2012 7:59 am

greyhoundtom wrote:Except for the crap vocals.........I like it. :wink: :lol:


Yeah, its been a while since I've watched that. I made me smile this morning. :D It is also well done, the guy is clearly self aware enough to be able to laugh at himself and his tribe.

Here is another for this morning:


I think it is important to recognise image your portray and the way other people see it. It is simply about self awareness. If you are genuinely confused why Lycra can bad for the image of cyclists then you are too caught up in the scene to open your eyes. This discussion about image isn't just about cyclists it is about any "tribal group". Geeks, hipsters, gym junkies, pot-heads, musos, overtly camp gay guys, man hating lesbians, chapel street shoppers, we all have our scenes and our places. Some of us choose many, some choose few some try to choose none. By wearing Lycra you are associating yourself with the 'cycling image' at least as the casual observer goes.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby boss » Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:05 am

human909 wrote:
Earlier this year I was working in an light industrial area mostly tradies at work here. Guess who would be more likely to get abused by the commodore drives the rough looking guy in a hi-vis shirt on a k-mart bicycle who has likely lost his license OR the guy wearing lycra? The commodore driver might be working along side the guy on the k-mart bike later in the day!



So you propose we wear high vis to appeal to the iced coffee swilling tradie segment. Nice.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby human909 » Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:08 am

jimboss wrote:So you propose we wear high vis to appeal to the iced coffee swilling tradie segment. Nice.

No. I'm not proposing that.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby il padrone » Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:18 am

Baldy wrote:Many people dislike motorsport but it does not stop them using a vehicle for transport.

It does stop them from wearing racing team overalls and a crash helmet though..... even though these may have significant safety benefits :wink:

And lots of people I see about on the bike trails with their families obviously don't want to wear lycra but it does not stop them riding their bikes.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby il padrone » Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:25 am

jimboss wrote:
human909 wrote:
Earlier this year I was working in an light industrial area mostly tradies at work here. Guess who would be more likely to get abused by the commodore drives the rough looking guy in a hi-vis shirt on a k-mart bicycle who has likely lost his license OR the guy wearing lycra? The commodore driver might be working along side the guy on the k-mart bike later in the day!



So you propose we wear high vis to appeal to the iced coffee swilling tradie segment. Nice.

For short commuting rides i find that just wearing normal clothing is useful. I get next to no aggressive behaviours on my suburban commute. A lot less than people post on here about.
Last edited by il padrone on Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby human909 » Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:25 am

il padrone wrote:
Baldy wrote:Many people dislike motorsport but it does not stop them using a vehicle for transport.

It does stop them from wearing racing team overalls and a crash helmet though..... even though these may have significant safety benefits :wink:


But it isn't the motor sport association that stops them it is the inconvenience of having to wear a helme...... Oh... wait a second.... :mrgreen:

il padrone wrote:For short commuting rides i find that just wearing normal clothing is useful. I get next to no aggressive behaviours on my suburban commute.

I don't get aggression on my suburban riding either. The last time I got a fair bit of aggression was two months ago on beach road, I was wearing Lycra. :wink: However my suburban riding is in an area while is much more friendly to bicycles and has a significant cycling traffic. I would say that this plays a much bigger role than the clothes I wear, but it all plays a part.


All this isn't an attack on Lycra or Lycra wearers. It is simply observations and discussion about human behaviour. As I have said before I do wear Lycra on occasion, I have friends who wear Lycra regularly. But not recognising the image and the reaction to the image is being blind to human behaviour.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby Mulger bill » Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:23 pm

jimboss wrote:Either way I think you guys are looking at it wrong. Motorists hate us for two reasons. Firstly, they don't know what it's like to ride a bike on the road. Two, we are 'there'.


Gold! I will add that they also subconsciously recognise the freedom aspect of not being stuck inside a mobile cell, but being unable or unwilling to experience it directly they use it as another hook to hang their bigotry on.

human909 wrote:...... Oh... wait a second.... :mrgreen:


Marvellous save, that :D
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby il padrone » Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:34 pm

greyhoundtom wrote:Except for the crap vocals.........I like it. :wink: :lol:

You do??? You want this image of yourself?

'Cos the only image this gives to me is "poseur extraordinaire"

:P :P :roll:


As I said earlier, I normally wear lycra on longer rides.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby biker jk » Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:24 pm

human909 wrote:
greyhoundtom wrote:Except for the crap vocals.........I like it. :wink: :lol:


Yeah, its been a while since I've watched that. I made me smile this morning. :D It is also well done, the guy is clearly self aware enough to be able to laugh at himself and his tribe.

Here is another for this morning:


I think it is important to recognise image your portray and the way other people see it. It is simply about self awareness. If you are genuinely confused why Lycra can bad for the image of cyclists then you are too caught up in the scene to open your eyes. This discussion about image isn't just about cyclists it is about any "tribal group". Geeks, hipsters, gym junkies, pot-heads, musos, overtly camp gay guys, man hating lesbians, chapel street shoppers, we all have our scenes and our places. Some of us choose many, some choose few some try to choose none. By wearing Lycra you are associating yourself with the 'cycling image' at least as the casual observer goes.


I'm curious to learn what image you portray by continually riding through red lights? Or by not wearing Lycra while doing it, other road users must think "there goes another a road using commuter in a hurry to get to work, good luck to him"?
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby il padrone » Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:28 pm

A good percentage of the blatant, 'ride up to the lights-pause-crash the red in busy traffic' riders I observe are the cool-dude full kit lycra roadies

:wink:


I've said before I think, that I don't approve of any of this sort of behaviour except maybe between 11pm and 6am when there is no traffic about at all and I've waited a full cycle of the lights with no green coming on for me.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby human909 » Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:20 pm

biker jk wrote:I'm curious to learn what image you portray by continually riding through red lights? Or by not wearing Lycra while doing it, other road users must think "there goes another a road using commuter in a hurry to get to work, good luck to him"?


I don't "continually ride" through red lights. But yes, as in other threads I have admitted and defending going through red lights on occasion. :wink:

How do I expect people to react? Those that 'tutututut' and shake their finger at any law breaking will disapprove of my behaviour.** Those that dislike cyclists will probably bitch and moan at my behaviour. Those without such hangup would recognise that I didn't endanger or inconvenience myself or anybody else and have no issue with it.

**(And most of these are hyporcrites. Who hasn't broken the law whether it is speeding a little, riding without a bell, copying a music CD or smoking a joint.)
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby Chuck » Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:57 pm

human909 wrote:I think it is important to recognise image your portray and the way other people see it. It is simply about self awareness.


human909 wrote:I have admitted and defending going through red lights on occasion.


Don't forget to include yourself among the hypocrites.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby boss » Sat Dec 01, 2012 4:37 pm

Mulger bill wrote:
jimboss wrote:Either way I think you guys are looking at it wrong. Motorists hate us for two reasons. Firstly, they don't know what it's like to ride a bike on the road. Two, we are 'there'.


Gold! I will add that they also subconsciously recognise the freedom aspect of not being stuck inside a mobile cell, but being unable or unwilling to experience it directly they use it as another hook to hang their bigotry on.


I think with some people you are right, they get jealous that we don't get stuck in traffic etc.
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby warthog1 » Sat Dec 01, 2012 9:26 pm

human909 wrote:
warthog1 wrote:What image do you have in your mind?

Do I need to spell it out? If I did so I'm sure some people might take offence. Either way it is an image that I'm not a big fan of. If you need further help in the direction I'm nodding then enjoy this. :wink:


I fail to see why anyone needs to fit some image or classification, and why they would be concerned enough to change their appearance based on a fear of being wrongly classified :wink:
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Re: Critical Mass

Postby Xplora » Sat Dec 01, 2012 9:47 pm

jimboss wrote:I think with some people you are right, they get jealous that we don't get stuck in traffic etc.

People HATE queue jumping... it's a shame that they don't realise that a bicycle sits in a different queue to the rest of the traffic... sadly, they don't realise that the only reason they are in a queue is because their car is too damn big to flow around traffic on a public road :idea: :idea: :idea:
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