Vancouver Critical Mass

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Yes, we ride the last Friday of every month!

25.6.05

Record Breaking Ride Attracts 2400 +5 Wheels

Record Breaking Ride Attracts Over 1200

VANCOUVER -- June 25, 2005 -- History was made yesterday in Vancouver as cyclists took to the streets in the largest numbers yet.

In celebration of Bike Month, bicycle advocates called for 2000 + 5 wheels, and handily topped their target by pulling over 1200 people to the event as cyclists joined the rolling mass of bicycles, skate boarders, and in-line skaters.

"What's going on?" shouts one driver in a red Passat. A pamphlet volunteer swings over on his bike, handing off a handbill explaining the ride and how to "cork" -- a way of safely blocking car traffic from entering the mass of bicycles, boarders, and skaters.

Bike Month is coming to a close in Vancouver, and cyclists marked the bike-event-filled month in style. Starting 6 PM at the Vancouver Art Gallery, the celebratory ride spontaneously crossed the Granville and Burrard Street bridges, and snaked through the city, starting conversations. An important Burrard Street Bridge modification finally goes to Vancouver City Council on June 28.

"This is the best ride ever," stated a jubilant Steve Kisby, one of the many promoters of the ride. "Last year we had over 800 riders. With the forecast calling for rain, I thought we might just maintain our numbers. The increase is just amazing," he continued.

Cycling has been gaining momentum as an alternative to transit and operating a motor vehicle. As bicycles enter a new state of cool and shades of hot for the summer, the requisite elements seemed to come together to present the beginnings of an irrefutable "critical mass" in support of bicycle transportation.

"I met people from Melbourne, I met people from Portland, I met people from BC's Interior coming down for the ride," said Bev Canuel. "All these people are coming to Vancouver to enjoy this beautiful city and bicycling together. If they're coming from other places they need to stay somewhere and eat. That has to be good for tourism," Canuel continued.

The ride is part of a series of rides that occur the last Friday of every month, called Critical Mass, that winds through the streets of Vancouver encouraging motorists to abandon their cars for clean air. Critical Mass is a grassroots reclamation of public space which allows cyclists and other self-propelled people to move safely and comfortably through the streets of Vancouver in a car-free space. The motto: "We're Not Blocking Traffic -- We ARE Traffic!"

Critical Mass was born in San Francisco in 1992, and quickly spread to other cities worldwide. Now over 300 cities boast monthly rides. Attendance at Vancouver Critical Mass has been increasing steadily, with recent rides averaging 300 participants. The next ride is July 29.

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For more information:
Amy Walker, 604-255-9689, amyrides@@ @@telus.net
Bev Canuel, 604-322-9317, bcanuel@@ @@shaw.ca
Steve Kisby, 604-323-0204, 604-645-2099, skisby@@ @@web.net

4 Comments:

  • At 12:51 pm, June 26, 2005, Anonymous Donald said…

    What an amazing day!
    My favorite part was coasting silently down the Stanley park zoo-bomb. I was far enough in front of the mass, to be about half way in the large space between the motorists and hoots, shouts and bells of 1000 happy cyclists. The long downhill was nice for me, because my drivetrain is so noisy. Hearing all the little creatures in the woods made it seem so much more alive.

     
  • At 12:19 pm, June 27, 2005, Blogger TJL said…

    You can find some photos of the great event on Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/search/tags:critical%2Cmass%2Cvancouver/tagmode:all/

     
  • At 12:57 pm, June 27, 2005, Anonymous sgRant said…

    Here's another three dozen pictures from June 24/2005. Most of them are stills clipped out of videos shot on the go.

    http://www.clubtread.ca/sforum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=11791&whichpage=2

    Fantastic experience, many thanks to the people who make it happen.

     
  • At 5:21 am, June 28, 2005, Blogger Vancouver Critical Mass Blogger said…

    sgrant,

    YOU make it happen!

    Thank you, see you next month the last friday of July.

     

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