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Critical Mass

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  • Critical Mass

    Has anybody heard of, participated in, or witnessed this event?

    Anders and I were in Vancouver on Friday June 27 (??). We were staying on the 30th floor of the Sheraton Wall Center in downtown. We kept hearing this very loud cheering, and finally went onto the balcony where we saw the streets below completely cut off to vehicle traffic, blocked at the intersections by 3 or 4 guys on 10 speed bikes. And it looked like a parade or a race of some kind. Over 1500 people on bicycles, riding in the streets of downtown Vancouver. It was amazing to see the sheer number of people.

    We took the elevator down to the ground floor and spoke to one of the "blockers" - the guys on bikes who block traffic in the intersections. He said it's called Critical Mass, and they do it the last Friday of every month. It's just a huge subjectless protest, with no agenda or leader, designed to make people consider the power of people in numbers and what they can do. It was really an impressive sight to witness, and I was so amazed.

    A little further research showed us that this has been going on in cities all around the world for about 16 years now. So I was curious to know if any other MiceChatters had been a part of this?
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  • #2
    Re: Critical Mass

    When I lived in WA and worked in downtown Seattle I got caught in the traffic that happened becuase of a critrical mass meet. But they happen often enough there that I really think most people are used to it.
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    • #3
      Re: Critical Mass

      In SF... it even chokes off the mass transit:verymad:

      We had to get off the surface trains and walk up market

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      • #4
        Re: Critical Mass

        They've tried them down here, but they don't work because we don't have the militant cycling culture that they do in other cities. The one in Long Beach happens once a month and it's something like 6 people riding down the middle of Ocean. I've almost hit one and I was in the bicycle industry for 20 years. It honestly alienates a lot of people towards cyclists.
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