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What do you think of Critical Mass?

What is your opinion of Critical Mass


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ludahai

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For those who don't know, Critical Mass is a movement of cyclists that grew in the United States but has now spread throughout much of the world. They claim to be fighting for road rights for cyclists, but many critics say that they are not following the rules themselves and do more harm than good.

What do you think of this?
 

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It can be great fun but like all good things, it can be abused.
 

ludahai

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I was actually surprised to see how many of them have turned violent in some of the clips I saw on YouTube. I actually find most motorists are respectful of riders who in turn respect the rules of the road. As someone who cycles, I try to respect those rules. I am dismayed when I see many riders in Critical Mass take it as an excuse to not only violate traffic rules but also to rub it in the faces of motorists who ARE following traffic rules...
 

Scarecrow Akhbar

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Roads are paid for by fuel taxes on diesel and gasoline.

Ergo, people riding bikes don't finance the roads and hence don't have any friggin' "rights" to "share" the road with the two-thousand pound vehicles that can't see them.

They should shut up and feel lucky they get the one yard on the edge of the pavement they do get.

And, don't bother me with any guff about how the cyclist who feeds a car is paying road taxes just like me. He's paying road taxes for the CAR he owns, not for his bike.

The Critical Mass biker gangs block traffic and thereby impede the freedom of motion of citizens who have every legal right to use the road for the specific purpose the roads were constructed for, motorized vehicular traffic. As such, these biker gangs are anarchistic and hence undemocratic, not to mention unlawful. People riding bicycles are required to follow the same rules of the road as the people driving the cars. Slower traffic keeps right, they must stop at red lights and allow cross traffic to flow, and they must keep as close to the right of the road as possible, not to mention riding in single file.

California DMV Handbook

California Bicycle Code
b) No person operating a bicycle shall leave a bicycle lane until the movement can be made with reasonable safety and then only after giving an appropriate signal in the manner provided in Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 22100) in the event that any vehicle may be affected by the movement.
To have a huge mob of cyclists on the public streets would require a permit that would enable to city to assess traffic impacts before granting permission, and to then schedule law enforcement activity to close the affected roads and redirect traffic, just as they do for funerals and parades and other uses of the roadways that interfere with other citizens use of the road. This would be how good citizens confront their desire to pedal in a mob and share the joys of spandex and helmets.
 
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Dezaad

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I was actually surprised to see how many of them have turned violent in some of the clips I saw on YouTube. I actually find most motorists are respectful of riders who in turn respect the rules of the road. As someone who cycles, I try to respect those rules. I am dismayed when I see many riders in Critical Mass take it as an excuse to not only violate traffic rules but also to rub it in the faces of motorists who ARE following traffic rules...
I think that if it ever comes down to it, people like these cyclists need to remember that ultimately the cars are going to "win". I don't think I am going to be very sympathetic when cyclists are injured. When they seem to have so little concern for their own well being, why should I be?

In my city, I think they are trying to put the kabosh on this type of activism, while still inviting cyclists to feel very welcome. I think the fine for riding a bicycle on the roads in a reckless or unsafe manner is 1000 dollars, a very recent addition to our local laws.
 

spud_meister

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i ride places on a regular basis, and i always stick to the road rules, however, a lot of cyclists don't, sometimes for good reason, as a lot of car drivers seem to think they have right of way over the cyclist, regardless of the actual road rules, however, some cyclists are also just dickheads.
 

ludahai

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Roads are paid for by fuel taxes on diesel and gasoline.
Actually, in states where I have lived, roads are paid for out of the general fund.

Ergo, people riding bikes don't finance the roads and hence don't have any friggin' "rights" to "share" the road with the two-thousand pound vehicles that can't see them.
The law disagrees with you. In most, if not all states, bicycles have full rights to the road as their motorized counterparts, and in most (if not all cases) have full rights to use the lane they are in.

They should shut up and feel lucky they get the one yard on the edge of the pavement they do get.
Cyclists pay taxes too and have the right to use the roads safely.

And, don't bother me with any guff about how the cyclist who feeds a car is paying road taxes just like me. He's paying road taxes for the CAR he owns, not for his bike.
Again, roads are paid for out of the general fund in most cases. I have never heard of a state that dedicates road construction solely out of registration/fuel taxes.

The Critical Mass biker gangs block traffic and thereby impede the freedom of motion of citizens who have every legal right to use the road for the specific purpose the roads were constructed for, motorized vehicular traffic. As such, these biker gangs are anarchistic and hence undemocratic, not to mention unlawful.
On this point, I agree. However, please do not demonize all cyclists based on the actions of Critical Mass.

People riding bicycles are required to follow the same rules of the road as the people driving the cars. Slower traffic keeps right, they must stop at red lights and allow cross traffic to flow, and they must keep as close to the right of the road as possible, not to mention riding in single file.
Yes to following the rules of the road. However, in most states, biccyles are not required to keep as close to the right of the road as possible. Cycles have full rights to use the lane they are travelling in. Bicyclists have to be very wary of the door zone and many times will be a few feet into the road more than you think they should be because they have to worry about the potential of a door swinging open and knocking them onto the pavement.


California DMV Handbook

California Bicycle Code


To have a huge mob of cyclists on the public streets would require a permit that would enable to city to assess traffic impacts before granting permission, and to then schedule law enforcement activity to close the affected roads and redirect traffic, just as they do for funerals and parades and other uses of the roadways that interfere with other citizens use of the road. This would be how good citizens confront their desire to pedal in a mob and share the joys of spandex and helmets.
Agreed. Just remember that not all cyclists are like this and many do NOT endorse the actions of Critical Mass...
 

ludahai

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I think that if it ever comes down to it, people like these cyclists need to remember that ultimately the cars are going to "win". I don't think I am going to be very sympathetic when cyclists are injured. When they seem to have so little concern for their own well being, why should I be?
You know, I try to follow the rules of the road and common sense. However, I do see a lot of automobile drivers violating the rules of the road and putting cyclists at risk. The one time I had a serious accident on a bike was because a car double-parked on a relatively narrow road and then doored me while I was trying to get around him.

In my city, I think they are trying to put the kabosh on this type of activism, while still inviting cyclists to feel very welcome. I think the fine for riding a bicycle on the roads in a reckless or unsafe manner is 1000 dollars, a very recent addition to our local laws.
define recklass and unsafe?
 

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Never heard of them, no idea who they are, what their about, or anything. OP doesn't give any information, either.
 

ludahai

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Scarecrow Akhbar

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Actually, in states where I have lived, roads are paid for out of the general fund.

Again, roads are paid for out of the general fund in most cases. I have never heard of a state that dedicates road construction solely out of registration/fuel taxes.
Depends on the state, depends on the specifics. Compared to the taxes the bicyclist pays, the motorist is paying through the nose for the roads. The ostensible purpose of fuel taxes is road maintenance construction. Bicyclists pay no comparable tax.

A significant fraction of the cost of operating a motor vehicle is paying taxes that go to funding roads. Cyclists pay no similar tax.

But let's skip that and go to your next statements. For simplicity I'll concede your argument has merit.

The law disagrees with you. In most, if not all states, bicycles have full rights to the road as their motorized counterparts, and in most (if not all cases) have full rights to use the lane they are in.

Cyclists pay taxes too and have the right to use the roads safely.
Yes they do have the privilege to use the roads in a safe manner that does not impede the safe use of the roads by others who make different technological choices in how to best use the MOTORWAYS for themselves.

So, people on bikes should not be able to block traffic lanes. I understand perfectly, from both sides, the hazards of riding a bike on a narrow lane with some ass driver popping his door out just as the bike rider is coming up, with a car coming up behind him. Due caution by all parties is always essential, on the part of the idiot opening the door (he could have looked first - I do - and waited) and the biker has to be aware so he can have the time to choose to swerve into a traffic lane to avoid hitting the door or he can brake, and the car driver who sees the parked car and the bike and has to be aware of what may happen, so he too can swerve or brake...with his additional hazard of whatever is happening in the lane to his left.

But, people on bicycles should not presume because they have the privilege to share the road (all operation of vehicles on public roads is a privelege, not a right) that they can abuse that by pedalling in the center of a lane at 15 mph and thus blocking a car from travelling a posted faster limit. That's just abusive. In a narrow lane situation, caution is required. If it's possible for the biker to shift right and thus allow the faster vehicle to pass, he's obligated by courtesy, in states where it's not law, to get the hell out of the way.

Hey, I've got no issues at all against anyone riding a bicycle. If I lived just a few miles closer to work, I'd be pedalling, too. Great exercise. But when I did ride a bike, I did make sure I wasn't obnoxious, and I made damn sure I didn't offer any motorist a free opportunity to smear my butt over the asphalt.



On this point, I agree. However, please do not demonize all cyclists based on the actions of Critical Mass.
Oh, I hope you didn't get that impression. I'm impressed as hell at someone who can pedal at 20 mph or more. And almost all serious bikers are courteous and safety conscious. They get the "skid marks", after all.

[qoute]Yes to following the rules of the road. However, in most states, biccyles are not required to keep as close to the right of the road as possible. Cycles have full rights to use the lane they are travelling in. Bicyclists have to be very wary of the door zone and many times will be a few feet into the road more than you think they should be because they have to worry about the potential of a door swinging open and knocking them onto the pavement.[/quote]

The law should require them to move to allow faster traffic to pass, just as is done on the freeway.

Don't forget the chance of the jackass pulling out from the parking lot halfway into the lane, cutting off the invisible biker. (BTW, I wrecked a perfectly good Celica when someone pulled that trick across a three lane street to stop blocking both lanes in front of me. There's no accounting for what truly stupid - on in this case a moron seeking an insurance payout - will do.)

ANYONE on the road is subject to unexpected hazards. I contend the biker so overly concerned with the infrequent but real hazard of doors flying open is ignorin the greater risks with the more realistic and likely hazard of getting tagged by the front bumper of an unobserant driver. He's on the road, he has to be realistic and make reasonable compromises. It's not realistic nor reasonable to block the right lane if the opposite lane has oncoming traffic that prevents drivers in his flow from moving around him.

Well, we can go back and forth all day on this one. I just saying the biker has to excercise judgement based on both safety and courtesy so that his use of the road does not unreasonably infringe on the freedom of others to use the same road with their vehicle of choice. That's all I ask from anyone.
 

Scarecrow Akhbar

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YouTube - Vancouver Critical Mass - 2000 bikes

Here is one of the more benign ones... No violence in this clip...

YouTube - Car Runs over bicycle At Critical Mass ride

This one was not so smooth... but the driver here was pretty over the top...
And why do people on bikes insist on blocking traffic lanes?

That second video did show a strange event, why did the driver go over the center divider to get into that lane? That's clearly a sign he's either disturbed or in a hurry. Was there some reason the guy on the bike, who shouldn't have been in the left lane anyway, couldn't move his ass over to let the lunatic go past?

The video didn't show. What's the possiblity that the biker braked deliberately and forced the nut in the car to hit him? That possibility is greater than zero, I'm afraid. So we, the viewer, can't say for certain what happened.

And it's those kinds of interactions that make me opposed to uncontrolled bicycle parties on busy thoroughfares.

They're inherently unfair to other people who want to use the roads.
 

ludahai

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Depends on the state, depends on the specifics. Compared to the taxes the bicyclist pays, the motorist is paying through the nose for the roads. The ostensible purpose of fuel taxes is road maintenance construction. Bicyclists pay no comparable tax.

A significant fraction of the cost of operating a motor vehicle is paying taxes that go to funding roads. Cyclists pay no similar tax.
Also remember the expense of maintaining roads is needed because of the wear and tear on the roads. A car puts far more wear and tear on a road than a bicycle ever will. If everyone rode bicycles, there would be far less road work necessary.

Yes they do have the privilege to use the roads in a safe manner that does not impede the safe use of the roads by others who make different technological choices in how to best use the MOTORWAYS for themselves.
Not going to argue with that. There are different vehicles on the road with different capabilities. We should all respect one another.

So, people on bikes should not be able to block traffic lanes.
Define "block traffic lanes." In town, I am as often, if not more often, blocked by slower moving cars. In town, I am every bit as fast as most cars during most hours of the day.

I understand perfectly, from both sides, the hazards of riding a bike on a narrow lane with some ass driver popping his door out just as the bike rider is coming up, with a car coming up behind him. Due caution by all parties is always essential, on the part of the idiot opening the door (he could have looked first - I do - and waited) and the biker has to be aware so he can have the time to choose to swerve into a traffic lane to avoid hitting the door or he can brake, and the car driver who sees the parked car and the bike and has to be aware of what may happen, so he too can swerve or brake...with his additional hazard of whatever is happening in the lane to his left.
Which is why I stay out of the door zone. If that means that I am riding in the middle of the lane, so be it. Change lanes and pass me legally.


But, people on bicycles should not presume because they have the privilege to share the road (all operation of vehicles on public roads is a privelege, not a right) that they can abuse that by pedalling in the center of a lane at 15 mph and thus blocking a car from travelling a posted faster limit. That's just abusive.
Then change lanes into the faster lane. So long as the bike is on the inside lane and is operating safely and in a manner consistent with the law, then it is incumbant on the motorist to change lanes to pass the bicycle.

In a narrow lane situation, caution is required. If it's possible for the biker to shift right and thus allow the faster vehicle to pass, he's obligated by courtesy, in states where it's not law, to get the hell out of the way.
Which I do when it is safe. I don't get too many problems from motorists largely because I maintain a pace higher than most other cyclists and I do pull over when I can.

Hey, I've got no issues at all against anyone riding a bicycle. If I lived just a few miles closer to work, I'd be pedalling, too. Great exercise. But when I did ride a bike, I did make sure I wasn't obnoxious, and I made damn sure I didn't offer any motorist a free opportunity to smear my butt over the asphalt.
Most drivers aren't obnoxious, but the ones that are ruin it for everyone else. The same is true of cyclists.


Oh, I hope you didn't get that impression. I'm impressed as hell at someone who can pedal at 20 mph or more. And almost all serious bikers are courteous and safety conscious. They get the "skid marks", after all.
On my group workout on Wed morning, I rode 57km with the group at an average of just over 20mph and in a triathlon, I cover the 90km in about 20-22 mph depending on the terrain...

The law should require them to move to allow faster traffic to pass, just as is done on the freeway.
Only if it is safe to do so. Problem is when cars double-park illegally or make illegal stops on the side of the road that force cyclists out into the middle of the lane...

Don't forget the chance of the jackass pulling out from the parking lot halfway into the lane, cutting off the invisible biker. (BTW, I wrecked a perfectly good Celica when someone pulled that trick across a three lane street to stop blocking both lanes in front of me. There's no accounting for what truly stupid - on in this case a moron seeking an insurance payout - will do.)
Too many Darwin awards to be given out, to be sure... Idiots on all modes of transportation...

ANYONE on the road is subject to unexpected hazards. I contend the biker so overly concerned with the infrequent but real hazard of doors flying open is ignorin the greater risks with the more realistic and likely hazard of getting tagged by the front bumper of an unobserant driver. He's on the road, he has to be realistic and make reasonable compromises. It's not realistic nor reasonable to block the right lane if the opposite lane has oncoming traffic that prevents drivers in his flow from moving around him.
I don't know what roads are like where you are, but large numbers of roads in the city where I live have multiple lanes (and I try to stick to those roads unless I have to use a narrower road to get to my destination).

Well, we can go back and forth all day on this one. I just saying the biker has to excercise judgement based on both safety and courtesy so that his use of the road does not unreasonably infringe on the freedom of others to use the same road with their vehicle of choice. That's all I ask from anyone.
Which is exactly what I try to do...

Peace, my friend... :)
 

ludahai

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And why do people on bikes insist on blocking traffic lanes?

That second video did show a strange event, why did the driver go over the center divider to get into that lane? That's clearly a sign he's either disturbed or in a hurry. Was there some reason the guy on the bike, who shouldn't have been in the left lane anyway, couldn't move his ass over to let the lunatic go past?

The video didn't show. What's the possiblity that the biker braked deliberately and forced the nut in the car to hit him? That possibility is greater than zero, I'm afraid. So we, the viewer, can't say for certain what happened.

And it's those kinds of interactions that make me opposed to uncontrolled bicycle parties on busy thoroughfares.

They're inherently unfair to other people who want to use the roads.
Which is why I am not a fan of Critical Mass...
 

the makeout hobo

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Davis, CA is an interesting town to drive in. It has more bikes than cars if I remember correctly, so there's always cyclists in your way.
 

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Many states post that bicycles are not allowed on the interstate highways because there is posted a minimum speed limit. On all other roads, only a maximum speed is posted. We all know what maximum means right? Yes, that it's legal to go from 0 MPH to the maximum speed. Why is everyone in such a hurry that they can't share the road with slower vehicles? Besides, some bike riders get up to pretty impressive speeds.

I ride a chopped Harley, so I'm able to go with the flow. I'd be scared to death to ride a slower bicycle in today's city traffic. Why do cagers think that the sun rises and sets in their assholes? Share the ****ing road.
 
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For those who don't know, Critical Mass is a movement of cyclists that grew in the United States but has now spread throughout much of the world. They claim to be fighting for road rights for cyclists, but many critics say that they are not following the rules themselves and do more harm than good.

What do you think of this?
I am ok with cyclists as long as they do not get in my way with their slowness.
 

ludahai

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Many states post that bicycles are not allowed on the interstate highways because there is posted a minimum speed limit. On all other roads, only a maximum speed is posted. We all know what maximum means right? Yes, that it's legal to go from 0 MPH to the maximum speed. Why is everyone in such a hurry that they can't share the road with slower vehicles? Besides, some bike riders get up to pretty impressive speeds.

I ride a chopped Harley, so I'm able to go with the flow. I'd be scared to death to ride a slower bicycle in today's city traffic. Why do cagers think that the sun rises and sets in their assholes? Share the ****ing road.
I have never seen a bicycle on an Interstate highway back in the States. Here, on expressways, they are not permitted either.

I would prefer to enjoy the air around me rather than be trapped inside a hulk of metal all day...
 

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and I suppose I am ok with cars so long as they don't slow me down during rush hour...
I hate slow cars too.

Actually, I hate driving in general and want to get from point A to B asap so I can be out of the car.
 

tacomancer

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They why do it in a car?
Because I have a family that needs transportation and often there are distances beyond five miles involved with certain time constraints.

Also, I hate biking even more (the area I live in has lots of hills and that = sucks for me because I hate biking up hills). Also, I do not want to be sweaty when I arrive at places where hygiene matters, such as church or work.
 
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ludahai

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Because I have a family that needs transportation and often there are distances beyond five miles involved with certain time constraints.

Also, I hate biking even more (the area I live in has lots of hills and that = sucks for me because I hate biking up hills). Also, I do not want to be sweaty when I arrive at places where hygiene matters, such as church or work.
OK... I also take the family in the car and when I have to go long distances... I actually like biking up the hills because going down them is a rush... I did two cat 2 climbs in the mountains yesterday and coming down at 45-50 mph is an absolute rush... (my garmin had me maxing out at 52 mph on the second descent yesterday)
 

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Don't know much about them, but from what I read after reading the thread, and the videos I've seen, they look like dicks who are just trying to cause a scene. Trying to piss people off. Deliberately blocking traffic. Deliberately disobeying traffic laws. Deliberately causing accidents.

**** them.
 
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