critical mass: c/d?

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ugh dud

mark cl, Friday, 31 July 2009 20:02 (fourteen years ago) link


wishes to be referred under the pseudonym of kronos (call all destroyer), Friday, 31 July 2009 20:03 (fourteen years ago) link

i'm 100% for people riding bicycles rather and for cities becoming more bicycle-friendly but this is prob the worst way to go about it

mark cl, Friday, 31 July 2009 20:04 (fourteen years ago) link

i rode in a couple CMs in college (i hung out with the activist crowd in my freshman/sophomore years) and in dc at least it was mostly the anarcho-punk kids who would deliberately ride in front of cars, pissing off all kinds of people, getting into shouting matches and coming way too fucking close to causing accidents

mark cl, Friday, 31 July 2009 20:06 (fourteen years ago) link

like most things, it was a movement that embodied a kind of pure, honest message that was eventually co-opted and perverted by the masses.

(*゚ー゚)θ L(。・_・)   °~ヾ(・ε・ *) (Steve Shasta), Friday, 31 July 2009 20:08 (fourteen years ago) link

i've heard the paraders refered to as
critical massholes

clouds taste metallica (jdchurchill), Friday, 31 July 2009 20:59 (fourteen years ago) link

"party activism"


I never lived in a town where they bike anywhere that isn't already crowded with cyclists - either downtown where traffic is stop and go, or the college campus, or that one time when I was living in the Mission. Its execution is not aligned with its point. Not activism, social event.

bamcquern, Friday, 31 July 2009 22:05 (fourteen years ago) link

not making world better place

iro with the brown bag (Hunt3r), Friday, 31 July 2009 22:13 (fourteen years ago) link

"On a less egalitarian and friendly note, critical mass can go fuck themselves. It is not a “happy friday” if I can’t get home because you jackasses are having a fucking “parade” in front of my train station. Shit like this does not help animosity towards bikers as a group."

from here

clouds taste metallica (jdchurchill), Thursday, 6 August 2009 18:26 (fourteen years ago) link

Oh my goodness, these guys absolutely prevent me from getting anywhere ON MY BIKE.
Seriously got tons of attitude along the lines of "Who's this asshole acting like he has important things to do?" while trying to work my way through a critical mass crowd ("occupying" an intersection)I accidentally encountered, again ON MY BIKE.

Chinavision (altair nouveau), Friday, 7 August 2009 19:11 (fourteen years ago) link

like most things, it was a movement that embodied a kind of pure, honest message that was eventually co-opted and perverted by the masses.

― (*゚ー゚)θ L(。・_・)   °~ヾ(・ε・ *) (Steve Shasta), Friday, July 31, 2009 3:08 PM (1 week ago) [IP:] Bookmark


i've had fun at the handful of chicago CMs i've gone to, but that's just because riding a bike with a crowd in the summer with a beer is a nice thing to do (girls, on bikes, in skirts, drinking beers). ultimately it's counter-productive, and the crowd in mpls is all anarcho bike punks who want to get into fights with suv drivers. at least in chi it was like old ladies and little kids.

so, nice idea in principle, terrible idea in execution

ovum if you got 'em (gbx), Monday, 10 August 2009 11:21 (fourteen years ago) link

one month passes...


  • hi dere, hottie on specialized in assos gear (followed that "wheel" for a while)
  • hi dere, pro-looking fitness chick on pink ...something with TT bars in all pink skinsuit (faster than, well, everybody)

surge gainsbourg protector (haitch), Sunday, 4 October 2009 01:36 (thirteen years ago) link

five months pass...
one month passes...

>I have issues with the justification for your ride as given on the website. Freedom to assemble is one thing. This does not give you the right to close off my way to get home for over half an hour. You are abusing the real meanings of the constitution, making a mockery of it. You do not just assemble, you break laws that I depend on for my safety. There is nothing unconstitutional about traffic lights. Bike riders need them as much as anyone else.
>Please understand, you are cutting off my access to my streets in my community. The only reason I am given for this is so that you can have fun. Not to provide any social benefit. No political reason. But you have the power to block the streets that I need to use. Don't I have just as much right to walk across the street as you do to ride? Just because there are less pedestrians than bike riders, does that mean I should be refused access to cross the streets? What kind of example does taking control of the streets by use of force set? Remember, it is not only drivers and bike riders using the streets. It is not only drivers that are effected. You also effect public transportation and pedestrians.
>I do not drive, I am just a pedestrian. Apparently your right to have fun is greater than my right to cross the street so that I can get home. Isn't there some way that you can allow pedestrians to cross the street now and then? Please stop this obnoxious behavior. You are giving a bad name to bike riders in this city. At least if you are going to do what is clearly an act of civil disobedience (breaking traffic laws by not stopping at red lights), you should have a reason that benefits society. Not just to have fun at my expense. You do not intend to injure me I am sure. But you must be accountable for the fact that you are doing so.
>The behavior of many of your riders is just awful. It is so wrong to yell things at people while flying past, giving people no chance to respond or have any civil dialogue. You say that the bike riders should be responsible for the event. Clearly this is not happening. Please take the responsibility to control the behavior of riders who verbally assault people as they ride by. This needs to be done before things get even worse.
>I fully support bike riding in the city. We need more bike lanes, better bike lanes, we need more rules to protect bicycle riders. We need to reduce the violence on the streets. Pollution in the city is awful. More bikes and less cars would make the city a much better place. But Critical Mass is not helping things. If anything, it is just creating more hostility on the streets of Chicago. Perhaps from the vantage point of the bike riders, they do not see the feelings of the pedestrians waiting to cross the street. I am writing this email to you in a spirit of peace to give you my perspective on Critical Mass.
>Walker Dude

let the waves of shakti flow over the urban trashscape . . . (jdchurchill), Wednesday, 28 April 2010 16:35 (thirteen years ago) link

Hi Walker Dude ->

I'm forwarding your email to the CCM email list. Because of the nature of Critical Mass, I cannot speak for the ride (or be held accountable for the actions of individuals). I'm just one of the people that gets email addressed to 'i✧✧✧@chicagocriticalm✧✧✧.o✧✧'. Note too, that the website you refer to is in no way an official declaration of what (C)CM is, isn't, or should be...

That said, I'd (personally) ask you to lighten up a bit. I'm sorry you were inconvenienced a bit on that one day -- really, I am. I often get email addressed to me from angry car drivers and I'm much less apologetic; but in the case of inconvenienced pedestrians and transit users, I am sympathetic. However, try to see things in the bigger picture: Critical Mass (to me) is about declaring that the streets are for people and the current culture of automobile dominance is wrong. To that end, we "mass" in the streets, asserting our right to be there, and try to do so in a way that is celebratory and fun. Again, I'm speaking for myself; with others, YMMV.

Does "The Streets Are For People" include pedestrians? Yes! of course! Does Critical Mass celebrate walking? No -- it's a bike ride. But, it's a bike ride that only happens once a month, and even then, only for a few hours. I'd ask that you try to see the bigger picture of promoting an alternate vision to the current 'streets full of cars' and try to find tolerance (and even support!) for CCM.

I would also remind you just how dangerous that 'streets full of cars' are for pedestrians. Have you ever been almost run down in a crosswalk by a driver? I have; and so have all members of my family. Have you ever noticed the smell of auto-exhaust as you strolled down State Street? I sure have. Have you ever wondered why so much of our city is paved over, preventing you and me from enjoying green spaces?

I'd fully support any movement to assert these rights -- to be safe and healthy in the city in which we live -- from pedestrians. If you want help planning a Pedestrian Mass to bring attention (in a fun, celebratory way!) to these issues, please do let me know. And please do let's not forget that the constant press of cars sucks way more than having to wait while a bunch of happy, celebrating cyclists pass.

Yours in public space solidarity,
chicago critical masshole

let the waves of shakti flow over the urban trashscape . . . (jdchurchill), Wednesday, 28 April 2010 16:35 (thirteen years ago) link

Well Walker dude, chicago critical masshole is a great guy and you should listen to him. I'm usually not very nice either but your tone wasn't abusive and you didn't threaten to hit us with your car as is the normal complaint letter we get.

Your argument that Critical Mass is making things worse is one that has been said over and over and over. And in response I'd tell you that more lanes HAVE been put in (Still not enough but progress). And our visibility makes more people want to ride instead of driving or taking the CTA.

Sure Mass IS fun. Is a protest supposed to be grim and angry? Seems kinda silly. Join a ride. You'll have fun too. And i think a walkin protest to assert the rights of pedestrians is a great idea. Set it up and I'm there!

Thanks for your letter,
another chicago critical masshole

Walkerdude should do like me, I just go ahead and cross the street during critical mass. They tend to swerve instead of hitting me. I appreciate that.

Jeff, Friday, 30 April 2010 17:24 (thirteen years ago) link

I just got back from a 15mi crit mass; it was amazing.

Oh boy, sleep! That's where I'm Ann Reinking! (Stevie D), Saturday, 1 May 2010 03:08 (thirteen years ago) link

good on ya stevie d chicago critical mass was 12.5 miles

yo jeff: it seemed to me the dudes with the best luck getting across the street during the passage of the mass were dancing. so just dance across the street. then peeps on they bikes be all like woah yeah wooo! and they clap they hands

hilarious cats!

two months pass...

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Chicago Critical Mass On Behalf Of DUDE
> Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 8:08 PM
> To: CHI-CRIT-M✧✧✧@U✧✧.E✧✧
> Subject: Re: [*CCM*] Naked oil spill protest
>> How does a bicycle parade in oil covered costumes do anything
>> but demonstrate to the general public that cyclists like to
>> throw parties that stop traffic when something really awful
>> happens, and do so in the name of "political justice?"
> =v= Ah yes, the "throw parties that stop traffic" misemphasis.
> You seem to have forgotten the inevitable we-are-traffic angle.
> (So what if we're having party levels of fun in traffic? The
> whole point is that bikes are better.)
> <_DUDE_>

in response DUDER wrote:
> It's not a misemphasis DUDE. It's what the other people think. We can ride
> for whatever reason we feel in our hearts, but that doesn't explain it to
> the thousands of people who sit through it. It's a nice idea to think that
> a bike parade just by being a bike parade would speak the message of
> commuter equality to everyone, but it doesn't.
> Though I am a cyclist, daily and year round bike commuter, I am the only one
> of my primary and secondary social circles (less you guys), co-workers,
> family members, who fits that description.
> Since I communicate primarily with non-cyclists, the feedback I hear is that
> Critical Mass is frivolous at best and an abominable nuisance at worst. I,
> of course, feel differently about CCM and my loved ones are wonderful enough
> to accept and support my appreciation of all things bike (for the most
> part). I've learned important lessons from CCM. However, I've also
> witnessed PLENTY of behavior at CCM that would lead on-lookers to feel
> differently. I know the list has been through plenty of "bad element"
> emails in the past...but I'm not so concerned about the rowdy few.
> I believe we are traffic, and deserve the same observance as other cars on
> the road. The fact of the matter is though, we are not behaving as regular
> "traffic" when we participate in CCM. We are politely asking regular
> traffic to hold up while we exert our might in numbers on this one day a
> month, because we're constantly being overlooked when we're only one rider
> amidst a sea of autos.
> By straying from the norm in bicycle behavior on the road, we beg the
> questions from on-lookers, "hey, what is this all about," or, "what are you
> guys protesting," or, "what are you guys riding for?" The drunk assholes
> throwing beer bottles are few and far between. It's everyone else who
> passes these people up and shout, "it's Critical Mass," who to me are more
> concerning. The party on wheels doesn't stop to help these people
> understand. There are a dedicated few who in the past have made flyers to
> hand out to drivers, with ideas behind CCM in print, and better yet a few
> angels who actually stop to have a conversation with these people about how
> cyclists feel their rights are being ignored and taken advantage of every
> day. Those people are even fewer than drunk and disorderly.
> Furthermore, a lot of summer massers just hear about it through word of
> mouth and show up. Those kids are not on this list, and aren't being
> heavily engaged at Daley Plaza. Newcomers are sometimes just as in the dark
> as some of the drivers who get stopped by a mass of bikers. They learn that
> "Happy Friday" is a customary greeting, and maybe they get a derailleur, but
> few people actually get approached in the first place.
> So we can talk on an email listserv of CCM'ers all day about what CCM stands
> for, but having a polite and constructive conversation on the streets is
> where it matters.
> Admittedly, it's late, and I've had a couple of I apologize if
> I'm a bit ranty. I guess it's just that when I hear talk of "action" being
> taken I get confused about what CCM is supposed to be. If it's JUST bikers
> getting together to show that they have power in numbers, then that's one
> thing. But if it's a vehicle for more advanced social action, then it seems
> like massers need to step it up to get the word out.
> Viva la Bicicleta,

Critical Mass is a lot of things to a lot of folks.
I'm surprised at the focus on what it's communicating to onlookers,
coming from you DUDER . . . that's typically a preoccupation of people
who haven't participated more than a few times in the mass (if at all),
and/or aren't immersed enough in bike culture to see the value of CCM as
a rolling celebration of ourselves and our culture, a monthy "refueling"
among the like-minded, a chance to ride around city streets and feel
relatively safe once a month, a chance to taste what this city could be
like if we were able to wrestle it out of the grip of the private
automobile and give it back to people.
Chicago Critical Mass is largely responsible for creating a youth
bicycle culture that wasn't there before, which in turn is fueling all
kinds of positive things, from demands for infrastructure to support for
greater saturation of bike-related retailing across a broader swath of
neighborhoods, and a voting body that cares about having a bikeable city.
I've stopped and watched the mass go by, and listened to what onlookers
had to say about it enough to be free of any illusions that it's
"showing" anybody anything, but it's been many years since that seemed
to matter.

We are pleasure to inform you about (jdchurchill), Wednesday, 14 July 2010 18:00 (thirteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...

UNDERWEAR RIDE this Friday July 30th

All are invited to July's Chicago Critical Mass* ride, which Barbra planned, creating a theme and map that strives to relive the amazing spirit of WNBR Chicago: ”The Underwear Mass!” This Friday July 30th, meeting downtown at Daley Plaza after 5pm, leaving after 6pm. This is NOT a naturist/nude event per se.

Barbra says: "This mass is about being free, pushing limited social ideas concerning our human body, and is meant to help people think about the human body as natural, beautiful and consider the reality that we don't have to be sexualized or perfect to enjoy our body and have others enjoy our body. This ride challenges us to consider gender equality... and as women who choose to be top-free must cover their nipples by law, this ride encourages men to show their solidarity by covering their nipples as well. I hope to challenge the media-pushed dichotomy of over-sexualization vs. shame over our bodies. This mass will most likely end at GORGEOUS Montrose beach for a dance party and to enjoy the sun, sea, and sand for an fabulous summer mass ending! I will have a limited about of body paint and tape to share starting at 4:30 (I'll be there early). Hope you can make it, and that everyone's summer is as fun and amazing as it began with WNBR!"

mysticalsitarsnsnakesflyingaroundonArjuna'scartbuiltofshardsofacid (jdchurchill), Thursday, 29 July 2010 16:04 (thirteen years ago) link

four weeks pass...
six months pass...

this is absolutely sickening trigger warning not safe for life

jan š (diamonddave85), Sunday, 27 February 2011 20:32 (twelve years ago) link

holy fucking shit. unbelievable.

ledge, Sunday, 27 February 2011 21:10 (twelve years ago) link

what an utter cunt.

problem chimp (Porkpie), Sunday, 27 February 2011 21:47 (twelve years ago) link

ok has anyone watched those yet, i'm not ready to pull the trigger

ullr saves (gbx), Sunday, 27 February 2011 21:54 (twelve years ago) link

driver is expected to surrender NEXT WEEK?! wtf?!

end aggro business now (Hunt3r), Sunday, 27 February 2011 22:04 (twelve years ago) link

I watched. I would say not watch. It's horrible.

Jeff, Sunday, 27 February 2011 22:05 (twelve years ago) link

yeah, am kind of wishing I hadn't watched tbh. And I only got about a minute in - plenty long enough to get v angry and horrified.

problem chimp (Porkpie), Sunday, 27 February 2011 22:07 (twelve years ago) link


ullr saves (gbx), Sunday, 27 February 2011 22:09 (twelve years ago) link

skip it imo, it's making me hate people.

it's very bad, not super graphic tho. def horrible. the guy yelling what have they done to my wife as she bleeds into the street is v.v.v. distressing.

end aggro business now (Hunt3r), Sunday, 27 February 2011 22:11 (twelve years ago) link

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