Critical Mass

February 22, 2012

Flashride

I’ve heard of a flashmob, but I hadn’t heard of a flashride until today. My initial reaction: Brilliant.

Today, hundreds of cyclists are set to meet at The Mall to the Houses of Parliament, in London to ensure that legislators truly have them in mind when they table the issue of cycling safety, in wake of the ‘Cities Fit for Cycling’ campaign launch by The Times.

I’ve taken part in a local Critical Mass ride here in Edmonton. This was a couple years ago, and to be honest, though at the time I enjoyed it and found it to be very positive on the whole, I still wasn’t totally sure I really ‘got it’. I still wondered if it didn’t create more ill will, than good. I understood what the organizers were trying to achieve, but despite the largely positive reaction that I saw from the motorist, I wasn’t sure CM was truly succeeding in getting its message across by riding en mass through downtown during rush hour on a Friday. I am a cyclist, and a passionate one, and I’ve been behind the wheel stuck behind a CM event and to be honest, I’ll admit that all it did was irk me. It was a Friday. I was excited to get home and get on with my weekend, and here are a bunch of people on bikes seemingly holding me up for no good reason, other than to purposely hold me up. In that moment, it took some perspective to see beyond that line of thinking, and actually view it as a positive, and peaceful demonstration for cycling awareness and safety. Should you be interested, you can read my original thoughts on the day that I rode with the CM group here.

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November 6, 2009

Bikes Belong – How any town can become bicycle friendly

I think all communities could take a lesson here, given the hard work, determination, and perseverance that developing a great biking city takes, the sooner we start making cities more accommodating to secondary methods of transportation the better. The fact that Boulder is such a glowing example of a cycling city give me hope for – Read More –

September 28, 2009

Critical Mass – Edmonton ’09

Happy Monday morning to you all!

For a while I’ve said that I wasn’t sure Critical Mass was a good idea. The way I saw it, cyclist were picking one Friday each month during rush hour to take to the streets en mass and hold up traffic; I didn’t see how this would exactly endear cyclists in the hearts of motorists. So, last Friday I took part in Edmonton’s Critical Mass to see for myself what it was about. I didn’t know what to expect: peaceful celebration of a growing bicycle and commuter culture, or blatant bone-head protest toward motorists. Were we out there to just slow Friday afternoon traffic and frustrate them? Were motorists going to be hostile as we rode through downtown? I was a little nervous about it, but I figured it would probably be somewhere in between. – Read More –