Vancouver Critical Mass

Mostly event announcements, news, and bicycle related activist opinions...
Download Critical Mass flyers and posters, or upload your own
Email vancouvercm~AT~gmail~DOT~com for a posting password
Yes, we ride the last Friday of every month!


Bikes, Skytrain and Celebration of Lights

It has come to my attention that on the evenings of fireworks, cyclists are not permitted on skytrains until all the foot passengers has been transported. This means a 90 minute delay for cyclists! How unfair is this!!!! It is the cyclists that are making efforts to reduce traffic congestion on the streets! and we get treated like second class citizens on skytrain! Grrrrr... Wheelman.



Funny thing, the Vancouver Scum printed a little plug for Critical Mass:

Great picture and a nice inclusive caption. Kudos for picking up the story one of these decades. I think it is actually a picture of the bike the purple pirate and smiling yogi used to cycle across canada.

However, I can't help feel a little torn about being advertised in a publication that is so openly pro-war, especially in light of the current escalation of conflict in the middle east.

This ride is certainly open to all sorts especially trying to make queers and those on the margins to feel included this month. However it is also about Peace. As tired as the word may be. Many will call on the Canadian and us governments to end their support of this war. Oil wars do nothing to service the needs of people who are self-propelled and only help a desperate few.


Speaking of Peace in the streets, it is important for us as cyclists breaking the norms and reclaiming the common public space to make it peaceful and inclusive. Last month at the giant ride there were some incidents of road rage and unfortunately also some overly aggressive cyclists contributed to that in one perticular incident. That kind of behavior is not welcome. Just because we are cyclists we aren't always right [just most of the time]. Remember that inside every car is a person trying to get out. And ALL people deserve some respect. Even if they are being obnoxious. Remember, from their view, we probably seem obnoxious, because we are queer troublemaking cyclists afterall! I think the reason for that happening [as much as one can find reason in our crazy land] had to do with a bad combination of inexperienced riders and those inevitable few aggressive personalities coming together unchecked due to such enormous numbers. So we really need to ride watching out for each other and if there is an altercation we should try and calm the situation down. If a car driver really is threatening you with a vehicle then fighting is not worth it: take down the license# and call 911 immediately. That is what it is there for [even if it doesn't always work perfectly that way]. No arguement with someone made from being trapped in a car [cager] is worth getting hurt that way for. [or hurting someone for]

Hope that long thing that needs to be said didn't scare anyone off. Road rage altercations are few and far between. I always wish I had numbers, but my impression is you actually get less incidents on CM than normal riding, just as a commuter cyclist in the city. I guess the dirrerence is so many at once concentrates things and the disagreements are a little more obvious and not ignored because the tables are turned a little and people can see that anger that usually hides in some car driving jerk cutting you off in that 50ft. race to the stop sign. [you know the one] And, the other incidents of road raging this June [several in a group of 2000] were handled very well by very smart CMassers who difused the situation in the face of violence so that in fact people didn't get hurt and it ended happily.

This should be a really fun ride!
Summers are sooooooooooooooo gaaaaaaaaaaay!!!


details as promised on the party following the ride:
Velofusion: A celebration of Vancouver's vibrant bicycle culture.
Pizza, Bands, Dj's, Movies, Bike Art and much more dancing.

Bands and Performers:
Carnival Band, Timothy Wisdom (Dj), Ruggedly Handsome (Dj), Ifny (MC), DAXXX (Performer), Ian Patterson and Jim Hoehnle (Bicycle light sculpture)

Cost: $3 if you come in a costume - Any costume, go nuts go wild, be as creative as you like. $5 otherwise. Funraising for the price of the space and for continuing activism.

Where: Anza club 8th and Ontario
When: Friday July 28th after Critical Mass

8pm -> 1:30am

Audio PSA velofusionPSA.wav


Pride Mass Ride Friday

Well, July sure sweltered by quickly, is it already time for another last friday of every month mass?

This Friday
July 28
meet at vancouver art gallery
5:30pm leave 6pm
all self propelled peoples welcomed
bike, skate, blade, uni, trike...

reclaim the streets for fun, peaceful, social debate.

this months ride is the pride ride queer theme. so dress up and be fabulous.
more details will be posted soon. Obviously the ride route this month will HAVE to go through davie and dennman. Commercial drive? It is so far but we didn't make it last month as planned.

after party is already planned for the ANZA club, check out the worklessparty website for details I think [conrad set up the pedalfusion URL for that which was supposed to be permanent but that seems to not be working]. pre rides from east van leave from grandview park. from UBC bike kitchen. And maybe from SFU bike shop?

pictures from a traveller attending last july's CM during pride week

Take pride in your human powered vehicle. You don't have to be a homo to ride [obviously, critical mass is always open to all comers] but you do have to be GAY.

This ride will probably seem small in comparison to last months june critical massive. nice and mellow. lets take the opportunity with all the supportive communities converging and positive energy to be really radical in a mellow way. We have hard political problems to solve, highway expansion, global warming, oil wars, cyclist vs. car road rage. we need all the intelligence we can muster. be creative and proud, show it off!


Central Valley Greenway Ride

Description: Trout Lake Park, East of 14th Ave and Victoria St.

BEST invites you to join an enjoyable guided ride of the Central Valley Greenway. Come early to learn more about the Greenway and to meet other riders. All are welcomed.
'Registration' is at 9am.

Please wear a helmet. Bring a picnic lunch.

Info: 669-->2860 or
Date: Saturday, July 22, 2006
Category: Ride


Bikesexual BENT July 18

East Van's non-profit queer dance party presents an event for all you glamorous queers with gears: Bikesexual BENT! You know we couldn't just do a regular party on two wheels, so we've cheesed it up for you a bit:

Imagine flashdance, the solid gold dancers or maybe even footloose and then turn it into a fixie. A party with glitz, glam, lots of gold lame and more hott homo bike geeks rocking out on the dance floor than you can handle.

Yeah, you know that's how we like to roll.

Djs Ruggedly Handsome, artflick, Dance Mix Ninety Six and Rambles spinning retro-pop, rock, electro and hip hop on a new LOUDER soundsystem. Featuring special bike-tastic performances by the B.C.Clettes and Wanda Mcout.

Tuesday July 18
Anza Club (3 West 8th, corner of Ontario).
Doors open at 10pm, cover is $3.

Bikesexual BENT will be our final party of the summer. The collective will
take August off (NO BENT IN AUGUST), but will be back on THURSDAY SEPTEMBER
21 and for the rest of the third thursdays in the fall.

dance it. sweat it. get it. BENT.


New Pedal Revolutionary Radio Blog

There has been created a new blog of the Pedal Revolutionary Radio Show on CiTR 101.9fm (also streaming internet).

The blog features frequent updates including from the last show coverage of the June Critical Mass in Vancouver, Seattle, Winnipeg, Victoria, Portland and Calgary!

Event Details:

Pedal Revolutionary Radio
5-6pm alternating Thursdays
CiTR 101.9 fm radio UBC
Also Cable 102 and CiTR streaming internet

For more information go to the new Pedalrev blog!
For posterity, here is the link to the old webpage.


BC superweek

Tour de Gastown, Tour de White Rock and Tour de Delta. A full week of bicycle races July 15th-23rd!

I'm not much of a roadie. These are sure to be corporate events. However, proceeds to BC-Cancer foundation [who have a spiffy cyclist on the webpage]. I'm a little jaded about such charity fundraising, I went on Ride for a Reason in 1997 and back then the 'proceeds' of the event were only about 10% of the over $1 000 000 raised. The rest paid for the expensive event. I think it is important to pay people and charity work is no exception. I'm not so keen on paying for gas and corporate facilitation and such. Anyways, that's my reservations. That and a general problem with the sexist gender binary outlook. Why segregated racing? Always. Always?

Also, Seriously... The list of sponsors! Geez, Volkswagen? Enterprise Rent-A-Car? GlobalBS? etc.

Before I talk myself out of it, here is my plug for a big cycling event in our community:


July 28 Mass

This is planned for July. I'm putting the theme out there to be non-elitist. And also because nothing is set in stone and to invite others to help plan the ride. Some want to make the Gateway project Highway opposition a theme too, which is important.

Friday, July 28th, 2006
gather 5:30pm, leave 6pm
Vancouver Art Gallery, Downtown
[Fountain side]

All proud pedallers and self-propelled
skates, boards, bikes, trikes, quikes... pedal powered couches!
Straight or Bent,
Celebrate our public space
reclaim the streets! FREE

July Mass especially invites the Queer Community already among us for an inclusive street party on wheels. We WILL ride down Davie.

list of alternate fun names for the event:
[the ride is NOT exclusive]
Ride with Pride,
Pride Ride,
Rainbow Ride,
Bicycle Pride!
Pride Mass!
Queercicle, (hmmm?)
Queertical Mass
Queer Mass
Massively Queer
Geared Queer
Gears, Queers, and Bikes
Critical Mass is Queer
Gay Mass or, Mass Gay
Gay Gears Get Queer
Mighty Mass or Mighty Massive
Pride Mass
Ride the Rainbow?
Rainbow Mass
Rainbow Ride
"Crit-licle Peace Bike Ride Crid-ler Mass" says Bruce's four-year old

~bruce says:
I want to have a kinder-mass splinter group some time that makes a
play-area for the kids before we start (a bike fell on my daughter
right after we arrived today--sucked), and bails on the ride early if
it gets kinda long, and goes to a park or the beach. We'll all have
snacks to share, etc. I'd love to tell where we're going and maybe
the "adult" ride could join us later?

Anybody else up for that as part of the July-Pride-Ride?


2006 CM video + pictures

more pictures:
Please Feel Free to post more links to your pictures or write your stories here. There are more links, comments, discussion about the June 3000 ride in the older article here.

I would really like to see Vancouver have a CiclovĂ­a here regularly. Perhaps that is something that should grow out of this very mass movement?

Cyclist Killed by Auto, Come to the Funeral

A Surrey Cyclist was killed by an automobile in a very preventable accident!!!

The memorial service for the cyclist, Ben Farrent is at
7:00 JULY 11th, 2006
Cedar Grove Babtist Church
10330 144 Street Surrey BC

604 >>>581.8933

Directions: Take Expo line to Surrey Center and then take a 10 minute bus ride on the 320 bus to 144 street.

Summary: Ben Farrent was computer programer who volunteered his time in Rhawanda, Africa. Shortly after his return to Canada he was needlessly killed by an automobile as he was riding his bicycle, in Surrey, BC.

Always Remember!
Aaron Vick aaronvick@@#@@hotmail,com
PS: I have also sent an e-mail to invite the city counsillors and Mayor of Surrey.


Drive Fest Reunion & AFTERBASH!

Come play in the street - East Van style!

Car-Free Commercial Drive Festival REUNION & AFTERBASH

Thursday July 13, 9 pm to 1 am The WISE Hall, Adanac at Victoria

Sexy techno tagteam GRANNY'ARC and SEALEGS (9-11pm), hot performances by LITTLE WOO and velovixens THE B:C:CLETTES (11-11:30 pm), bootie- shaking beats by TIMOTHY WISDOM (11:30-1am), plus whacked out bicycle stuff, potential nudity, Festival visuals, good times, and your neighbours at play.

Stencil-making table by WLP - bring thin cardboard, matt knife and spray paint!

Hosted by the Drive Fest and the Work Less Party.

FREE for Drive Fest volunteers and performers, $5-$10 for everybody else. Get there early to guarantee admission. Proceeds to benefit The Commercial Drive Festival.

Info: info@@#@commercialdrivefestival,org

Sol's July '06 CM Pictures + Thoughts

This year's July CM apparently had a turnout of over 1800 people!

Beginning (courtesy David Kauffman 06/30/06)

I participated last year but, this year I took a much more active role, bungee-cording a guitar amp on the back of my bike and plugging it into an iPod, thereby providing tunes for the ride.

Faithful Steed (courtesy David Kauffman 06/30/06)

This year's mass was a huge turnout. I got great feedback for the music - many sang along, clapped hands, danced, grooved, and thanked me for it. We conquered downtown, Chinatown, parts of the East side, Gastown, the Burrard Bridge, the Georgia Viaduct, Stanley Park, and Jericho Beach. We even rode to the centre of Lion's Gate, stopped all traffic, and held an impromptu dance party.

Across the Bridge, Onto Kerrisdale (courtesy David Kauffman 06/30/06)

As always at Critical Mass, the event was populated by crazy people like me with all sorts of innertube clothing, bike barbeques, 5-foot tall bikes, 5-foot long forks, and bright costumes.

Bike Planter (courtesy David Kauffman 06/30/06)

The evening ended with pro-bike, anti-hummer chanting, a relaxing grassy seat...

(courtesy David Kauffman 06/30/06)

And a view of the beautiful sunset.

(courtesy David Kauffman 06/30/06)

Critical Mass is all that my teenage needs for both acceptance and rebellion embody. The feeling cannot be described. It is what our drug use and clique system vainly attempt to emulate. You can implicitly trust anyone to watch your bike while you duck into the bathroom. You can sing along to your favorite music without fear of ridicule (in fact, many may join in). Nobody is showing off or lonely brooding. Everyone takes turns with the responsibility of stopping traffic, leading the head, and leading chants without any conflict. The fact that you can merely show up on a bicycle (or longboard/skateboard/scooter/tricycle/unicycle/wheelchair) and be instantly accepted into a thousand-strong group of generally like-minded individuals is baffling in a society forged in seperation.

At moments like these you gain a better appreciation for things. Altering your viewpoint for a different experience would be silly when there is so much to gather from our beautiful world as it is.

See you next CM!

Over 3600 Wheels!

Yesterday's Critical Mass was phenomenal!
It was sooo big. I could never tell if I was at the front or the back of the ride.

Here is a heads up on a few sites where Mass pictures are often posted in the past - links to pictures from this month's ride, june 3000 wheels, are in the comments of this article:
Please post a link in the comments of this article to any pictures you find. Also write about your own expereiences on the ride because I'm sure they were varied from mine. It was so huge I never saw Jane for the whole ride. She said she counted of 1700 people. Rhiannon did a very methodical count and got 1835 riders!


Here is my perspective on the ride:

Jane and I rushed off to see Bob's Never Ride Alone movie at 3pm. Trying to do to many things. I just painted my assault bike green Thursday night, and it never dried. But I rode it anyways. Got my stereo hooked up to the bike, some cold drinks, and my super huge water gun. I think we were late for the movie. But we met Jack and Ifny riding there late too, plus we were with our American visitors Dr. Wasabi and Sean UrbanAdventure. So we had a lot of energy getting there.

Bob's movie was wonderful. Not quite fully polished, of course, but a very diverse and local set of voices. May need some context or something for a less intensely bike geek audience. But do give feedback because that is what he needs. By the time the movie was done it was almost 5pm so I rushed off to the Bicycle Blessing at Christ Church Cathedral and said hi to my parents. I didn't get my bike individually blessed because the ceremony was at the top of some stairs and my Assault Bike was a little too heavy. I never got enough time to print up the handbill I said I would, the CM-unrules Corking Guide. Luckily, Redsara had printed hers. Also I saw someone distributing what looked like my design of that so either they downloaded and printed off from this blog or used one from last year. Anyways the word got out pretty good I think. Sara's handbill is a lot easier to read than mine was. I got rid of my leftover posters, people said they would hand them to car drivers.

The gathering of bikes was enormous! That said, it looked a little small to me. Every year for the June ride I expect a lot of bikes, and lots come, but at the Art Gallery when we are all standing around it seems to me like not as big a group as it actually is. I guess riders take more space rolling than standing.

Someone blew an air horn and I'm not sure if it started the ride but it is when I noticed people starting to get out onto Howe Street. Man it was a big group, I was chatting at the art Gallery for a long time and people were continuously going onto the road but not from where I was standing... It just took a long time for that many people to get out there. When I got onto the road I thought this thing was enourmous! I could not see the front of the group, it just went to the horizon.

So we rode onto the Granville Bridge. I think people stopped to lift their bikes in the air/ gather mass, at the crown of the bridge. However, I was in the mass still just getting onto the bridge at that point. I got to talk to Fred Bass on the bridge, good to see him out riding again. So we rode off the bridge on the circle that goes under to 6th Ave. That was a nice view all the bikes riding that circle, constantly. I'd like to see a photo of that. Looking down off the bridge so many bikes below. And when I got down there there was still masses up on the bridge above!

We rode along 6th Ave. It was very fun and a cement truck was honking its horn in support very load. There was some kind of altercation ahead of me at one point, around the spot of the pedestrian overpass. Someone said a fistfight with a driver? I hope not, that cyclists were level headed. When I got there it was all cleared up so obviously people resolved it and move on. I think it might have been an exagerration.

Rode up onto Cambie Bridge. Then through downtown. We went over the Georgia Viaduct. At the entrance to that there were masses of pedestrians trying to cross the road. I thought I was at the front of the mass. Turns out in fact it was just that the traffic cop there had stopped the bikes for a minute to let pedestrians cross. I heard that later, he did that and then almost let cars into the middle of the mass, but the massers didn't let him. Silly police, you need to learn corking! Yeild to pedestrians is good but don't let cars into the group! That is dangerous and slows things. I guess it was a pretty slow ride overall.

We then rode down Hastings and through Strathcona, to the Adanac Bike Route. Then we turned around at Clark and came back down Hastings. Almost but not quite to Commercial Drive. I wish we had made it to there as some had planned. Oh well. The ride was a bit slow going down Hastings, not sure why. Just so many people I guess. I couldn't see the front or the back. There were some police by this point on motorcycles corking traffic for us. It was good that cyclists kept corking themselves too. It's important to take responsibility for that even if police help because you don't want to rely on it. There weren't enough police to cork the whole ride anyways, it would have taken a small army. Because the ride was so big and long it did take a long time to pass and motorists had to wait a while rather than the usual 5 minute delay. Sorry drivers, if you were on a bike you wouldn't be stuck. Lots of Thanks Yous and Hi5s to the corkers!

Next the ride went down Georgia towards the Lions Gate Bridge. By this time it was after 8pm and no longer rush hour. Some people chose to split off down Denman to go to the Beach. Others went to the Bridge then the Beach. I thought it was nice the split because nobody had to feel uncomfortable about doing that bridge who didn't want to. I went on the bridge because I missed it last year in June due to the annoying Bear Spray incident. After that long steep climb up the causeway it was wonderful to be out on the bridge span almost at sunset. Just gorgeous light and so quiet for the mass off people hollering, but lacking that car engine drone. Fresh Air! I was in the front for real only once, at that point, turning around the mass. Getting the sluggish group to turn around. Then off down that wonderful hill through Stanley Park. Winding around. There was this women gorgeously riding with no hands down the hill right ahead of me. She was dancing with her arms in the wind like a soaring bird. Really beautiful bicycle ballet. Turns out to be a classmate of mine from Emily Carr, Sophie from down under. We rode along Beach past English Bay. Lots of happy onlookers there [as with most all of the ride]. We had to double up the hill to get on the Burrard St Bridge, after we heard the other half of the Mass was at Kits Beach. So we went there. We joined the other mass at Sunset and it was just wonderful. So many bikes and picnicing until the latest hours. Got to talk to all sorts of Massers, new and old, even some passers by who were impressed with the bikes and said they would ride July Mass.

Thanks Vancouver cyclists! [and skateboarders and rollerbladers and...]
You made my Bike Month!

See you July 28!