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Critical Mass - what's the point?

Discussion in 'transport' started by Lanky_bike, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. Lanky_bike

    Lanky_bike New Member

    Sorry Phil, I don't want to rile you. I do understand the reasons that motivate you to ride. They seem like the reasons that inspire me to go out with other riders.

    Also, I based my view on the Leeds CM, that takes place at a time guaranteed to cause maximum annoyance, 5.30 on a Friday. I notice that your group ride at a less confrontational time, so apologies for tarring you with their brush.

    I also looked at other boards on this site that discussed the London CM, and found lots of entries glorying in how "in your face" some of it was - that's what I find distasteful. And pointless, given the lack of a goal.

    Finally, you're right that I haven't ridden on a CM. But I have seen it from the other side, as a spectator - maybe you should try that in Leeds or London one day, and see if you think the ride has been positively received by pedestrians and motorists.
  2. Cobbles

    Cobbles Banned Banned

  3. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    You appeared to have turned into a gibbering idiot. Are you having problems with your dentures?
  4. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    It must have been a horrible thing for you to witness with your own eyes and I'm sure the motorists were grateful for your heartfelt feelings of empathy for the slight delay in their journey.
  5. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen Sproutarian.

    Perhaps inspired by this thread I did a bit of CM-ing on the way home - i.e. not holding anyone up - just riding along in the middle of the lane at a moderate speed commensurate with the congestion up ahead (in the first instance because the cycle lane has tree branches at eye level (which I have now contacted the council about) and the road is not wide enough for both car and bike. No fewer than three idiots overtook me dangerously and completely pointlessly.
    (in the same situation I drive my car at the same speed - or rather let it trundle)
  6. Paulie Tandoori

    Paulie Tandoori shut it you egg!

    Aha! but you asked:

    But the OP's question stated - What's the point?.
    That question has a different answer

    The O/P asks 'what is the point?' which is why some people have tried to answer that question.

    But isn't it also the case that this represents the simple and sheer beauty of the thing, that everyones' answers are so varied and different and inconclusive and inconsistent, that the point(s) as to why it is a good idea are needless to some extent, if you accept my basic point?
  7. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baŠĻČned: All

    I guess I only disagree with a subset of those points then
  8. Paulie Tandoori

    Paulie Tandoori shut it you egg!

    I'm glad i'm still making sense :D
  9. fredfelt

    fredfelt Mostly unknown member

    I think the middle of the lane is (nearly) always the best place to ride. If you are in the gutter vehicles slide past with inches to spare. In the middle of the lane they actually have to think about overtaking you.

    GG - Did you ever find that new tough touring bike that was suitable for carrying a fridge on your camping trips?
  10. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen Sproutarian.

    Think ?

    I reckon their logic is "there's a gap between me and the back of the queue .... what's this bicycle doing here ? ... I wonder what's on Top Gear this week ..."

    I'm pretty sure the last idiot was smoking a spliff - one driver very close to me certainly was and I delighted in playing to his paranoia - just wait until all my new lights are working. I may add some UV and paint my face. :mad:
    Still on my rickety mountain bike with the dodgy fork leg debating whether to put it in for repair and drive the car :):):)eek::eek:)for several days.
  11. fredfelt

    fredfelt Mostly unknown member

    I had an chat with someone at the weekend on this subject. He overtook me and shouted abuse out of the window as I dared to cycle on the road, and not in the cycle lane.

    'fuck.. cycle path... arsehole'
    Short time later I caught up with him and tapped on his window
    'Sorry do I know you, didn't catch what you were saying. Were you saying hello?'
    '*** cycle path ****'
    'Why don't YOU use the park and ride?
    '**** cycle path ****'
    'I could not get to it as I was overtaking a parked bus'
    '**** cycle path ****'
    'I could not slow down to get to it as you were right behind me honking your horn'
    '**** cycle path ****'
    'Was the dangerous overtaking manoeuvre you did worth the effort, you did get anywhere faster as a result?'
    'Oh, Fuck off'
    'I will do thanks, enjoy your traffic jam. Cherio!

    Sometime it's hard not to reinforce the smug stereotype that's often applied to cyclists.
  12. fredfelt

    fredfelt Mostly unknown member

    GG - What I meant to say before my little rant above was it's worth putting money into your bike. I just spent a small fortune getting my favourite bike purring again. I didn't realise how bad it was until I got it sorted. It was like falling in love again when I took it out for a proper spin.
  13. Lemon Eddy

    Lemon Eddy Disliked by dwyer

    I think every commuting cyclist has had that conversation. It seems to be one of the laws of cycling, like "the harder you pedal to catch a green light, the more likely it will turn red"
  14. mauvais

    mauvais change has become unavoidable

  15. Lemon Eddy

    Lemon Eddy Disliked by dwyer

    I know you have no fear of looking like a fucking idiot, but really would it have been so hard for you to do a quick google check to see if there was one first?


    "On the last Friday of every month, cyclists of every hue from around the world ride together through city streets in a show of biking solidarity. Edinburgh's ride meets at the base of the Mound outside the galleries at 5.30pm and rides at 6pm.

    Repeats the last Friday every month until Fri Sep 26 2008"

    So it appears to be a regular event which is actually so repressed by the city authorities that they mention it on the council's website.
  16. Cobbles

    Cobbles Banned Banned

    Ever been to Edinburgh? - if they start at the foot of the mound (1 in 4 gradient), then the only place they're liable to infect is Princes Street which is buses only (and also the worst place in Edinburgh for NO2 pollution).

    "Repeats the last Friday every month until Fri Sep 26 2008" - after which it's presumably too cold and windy for them - awwwwwww bless.
  17. Lemon Eddy

    Lemon Eddy Disliked by dwyer

    Fuck me, that's all you've got? You say it "wouldn't get far in Edinburgh", where the police "have decided to clamp down on anti-social activities perpetrated by pedalista flavoured Urban Guwillas". I point out that it does run as a regular event in Edinburgh, and link to a website with the schedule of their rides...and all you have to say for yourself is that they won't get far cos it starts on a bit of a slope, and infer they're a bit wussy for stopping in September?

    The phrase you were looking for is "Oh dear, I was completely wrong to say it couldn't happen in Edinburgh. Golly, I am an idiot". That would not change the fact you've made a fool of yourself again, but would suggest your parents had at least managed to give you manners.
  18. Cobbles

    Cobbles Banned Banned

    I've never seen it.

    If it's Google-able then, of course, it must be a hugely well attended event.
  19. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    Vid of Junes London CM:

    Ive got mixed feelings about CM - Im a bike rider, but Im far from convinced it makes good PR for bike riders. Rather it accentuates the us and them split.

    I know some militant biked riders who are forever kicking busses and shouting at cars etc. - Personally i've never had the need to do so, so long as you ride safely and non-aggressively (though obviously you do need lots of confidence to get around town).

    If people want to do it good for them, but I dont think its good for anyone other than those taking part. And nothing wrong with that.
  20. turing test

    turing test Nearly Toowrong

    Every day it's a drivers critical mass.
  21. wake_up

    wake_up Well-Known Member

    I have only attended two CM rides. I had put off participating for a long time because of fears that there would be confrontations with Police and Motorists. I have to say both outings were almost entirely hastle free. I found that if I was one of the cyclists 'corking' traffic at a junction the best way to deal with angry motorists was to calmy explain that we would pass in a couple of minutes at most and to thank them for being patient. This was usually rffective and in the rare instances where drivers were angry to beyond the point of calm, adult discussion I simply chose to ignore them. Through these simple measures I have had a very enjoyable CM experience so far, have been the neither the victim nor the instigator of any violence and have found myself feeling a sense of community that I have not often otherwise encountered in our society. As Joe Strummer once proclaimed at the start of one of the Clash's gigs, 'its nice to be in a human situation for a change'. I for one will continue to ride CM for the foreseeable future and encourage you all to take part if you happen to be in London on the 30th. See you there!
  22. nick h.

    nick h. Eat

    Spot on. This is why I've only been to one. The streets weren't all that busy but we rode ridiculously slowly the whole time and stopped in the road twice, blocking the whole street for several minutes and playing catch with vegetables. When we did this on Pall Mall a car driver deliberately crushed a bike. Can't say I blame him really. I doubt CM has had any political impact. How many politicians even know about it?
  23. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen Sproutarian.

    Having been on two of these, all I can say is "never again". I was completely embarassed to be riding with the second lot. I prefer to ride 40 miles in the country on a Sunday with a well-behaved bunch of grown-ups.

    I'm lucky in that the roads I ride every day are relatively quiet - so I am able to assert myself and be remembered / deconstruct preconceptions - hopefully generally impress other road users by riding competently and demonstrating why I am "in their way".

    I :facepalm: every day at the suicidal / selfish antics of other cyclists and I hope the motorists see my embarassment.
  24. han

    han brixton hill hobbit

    Yay! See you there :)

    I love it - I find it incredibly positive, inspiring and friendly. It's not much to ask, is it, to have a few roads to ourselves for a couple of hours a month?! Car drivers have the roads to themselves, and dominate the roads, ALL the rest of the time.

    I think the positive impact it has far outweighs any negative, which is why I've been going quite reguarly for a few years now and will continue to do so. Getting the cycling community together en masse is an inspirational thing.

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