Vancouver Critical Mass

Mostly event announcements, news, and bicycle related activist opinions...
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Yes, we ride the last Friday of every month!

26.2.10

Big Fun Critical Mass Today

Ride at the usual time, usual place.
Come for the celebration of genuine public space.
Meet 5pm, leave 6pm ish from the Vancouver Art Gallery downtown Vancouver.



Do not fear the sensationalist predictions of crazy police or crazy black clad bike riders. All of that is nonsense (that will not happen) based on fear and a media that likes to tell stories that keep you home - out of your own city - afraid to make change. Instead, this is going to be one of the most fun rides of the year. There will be more people out on the street. There will be less cars than normal. People in cars will be more patient/friendly as they expect some disruption. The police are well prepared and have no reason to feel threatened or act crazy. The nihilists who cause mayhem for the sake of mayhem do not exist. (Check out the Vancouver Media Coop if you don't understand) Once a month is NOT an onerous burden for cyclists to place on the city. The mass of riders is going to me more sensitive than normal about keeping the odd testosterone case from taking over. If you are threatened violently then please phone 9-1-1, that is what we do. We don't have to feel like outsiders today, even if our city has been taken over by private interests paid for from our public funds.



Bring your family, dress up, lets have fun. As always Critical Mass is a great place to voice publically your expressions of politics. Voice your unOlympic message. Voice your support for whatever sports or Olympic pride you may have. It's all welcome, just be respectful of pedestrians on the street and motorists.



Wear a helmet and bring a light, it will be dark probably. If we ride over bridges, we should ride ALL the way over rather than stop in the middle. After all, we're not blocking traffic we are traffic! Tell everyone at the ride so that enough people know and it happens.



Ride together, stay strong. Take care and take the lane!

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19 Comments:

  • At 11:35 am, February 26, 2010, Anonymous Hugh said…

    No way, you guys get muppets on your rides? Jealous!

     
  • At 6:42 pm, March 10, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Trouble is, they don't use the bike lane.
    See photos here:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/48331153@N08/

     
  • At 8:24 pm, March 10, 2010, Blogger Jane and Rusl Bike Hitch said…

    I'm going to disable anonymous comments maybe soon. Too many stupid comment hiding behind anonyimity. I like the option of anonymous comments but people don't use it to say intelligent things... just people who can't read writing the usual redundant litany of bitching about bikes=critical mass etc.

    I've left the dumb one with the link to the guy complaining about people not using bike lanes. Simply because it is very interesting.

     
  • At 8:25 pm, March 10, 2010, Blogger Jane and Rusl Bike Hitch said…

    Two issues arise from that. One is the problem that bike lanes present: The upside is it gives an "official" place for bikes to be on the road. The lane rarely is protective at all (people get run over in bike lanes) but the idea of it being there makes drivers notice that they are expected to accomodate bikes if they didn't know that already. This means you get less comments of "get off the road." But the downside is that the same miseducated types then interpret the Bike Lane as something to keep bikes away from cars... It becomes the Ghetto that John Forrester predicts. I think we are really going to experience a lot more of this type of discrimination in the near future. Bike lanes are no longer hard to implement but the greenwash put onto road building projects just as HOV lanes. I have heard the perspective that bikes belong in the bike lane many times now - even from police (in NY, not here, personally).

    The other, less ideological issue is: Why don't people use bike lanes. Sometimes bike lanes are very poor. Of course bike lanes don't allow for normal proper use of the road (like a left turn, or passing). One could go on with those kind of bike lane complaint reasons. But the photos mostly illustrate bikes on the sidewalk and are not about those kind of inadequacy issues. Lets for the sake of argument assume all the pictures are of cyclists using the sidewalk where much better bike lanes are provided and there is no other reason for them to be on the sidewalk (not entering a building etc)... Why do some many people ride on the sidewalk? I've seen this on Bike routes too, especially families with kids on bikes... on Ontario bike route!

    A large part of it is ignorance. Prejudicially those kind of cyclists I have seen doing that are often cyclists who look like they don't ride often.

    But more interesting is the idea that the sidewalk is safe for cycling. I've often found that although this is illegal to ride on the sidewalk it is one of the least enforced/discouraged cycling habits. It is certainly one of the most dangerous. (The reason is the number of intersections is more than on the road -every driveway- and there are many more "blind" intersections) to boot. Same goes with hugging the curb on a bike and zigzagging out from parked cars. Very dangerous but not illegal - encouraged. Children, the most vulnerable, are encouraged to ride the sidewalk! Not to say that it never makes sense to ride there, because sometimes it actually is better than the road - all generalities aside. But that is a rare case and doesn't account for normal behavior. This speaks to the fear that prevails in our public streets. Many people ride on the sidewalk out of fear - even if it is more dangerous.

    Last but not least, the whiny picture poster has a good point that cyclist MUST be more respectful and conscientious of the safety and well being of pedestrians. This is an issue that can't be repeated enough, Critical Mass is a platform for advocacy, thus we NEED to advocate for the pedestrian more. The danger to peds from reckless bikes is miniscule compared to law abiding cars, but that is no excuse to continue. Pedestrians on the sidewalk don't shouldercheck and shouldn't have to. We area all pedestrians at some point and that is a good thing (even if the self-righteous car driver turned anti-bike advocating pedestrain is a nuisance). IF you ride on the sidewalk (and you really should avoid it as much as possible) you should ALWAYS take pains to accomodate the pedestrians... ride on the grass when you pass, use your bell, slow down, etc. And think about it, why annoy a pedestrian when you could be on the road annoying a driver!? ;-)

     
  • At 8:28 pm, March 10, 2010, Blogger Jane and Rusl Bike Hitch said…

    Free Speech is not relevent to a blog comment section. You already have free speech. Do you tolerate spam? posts must be on topic. People who can't read basic information about CM and write redundant negative comments detract from the ability of people to read and use the site. This comment will be removed too. If you need "free speech" then speak somewhere where bitching ignorantly is on topic. There are plenty of venues open. Try a mainstream newspaper.

     
  • At 8:29 pm, March 10, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "IF you ride on the sidewalk (and you really should avoid it as much as possible"

    Yes, avoid breaking the law. Good advice.

    That poster didn't seem to whine. All it was was "people don't use bike lanes" and provided proof.
    What's the problem with that?

     
  • At 8:35 pm, March 10, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "I've left the dumb one with the link to the guy complaining about people not using bike lanes. Simply because it is very interesting."

    On another thread you responded to a question as to why you posted stuff that had nothing to do with critical mass, saying it had to do with streets.

    The pictures have to do with streets. Saying you only left it because of blah blah goes against your own comments. Very hypocritical.
    Yes, people post on here to bitch, but so do you. "dumb one" to quote you.

     
  • At 8:37 pm, March 10, 2010, Blogger Jane and Rusl Bike Hitch said…

    Whining is whining. You know it as well as I do. Sometime it is justified and I thought so in this case.

    Compare the law of not riding on the sidewalk to the law of speeding. Which one is more tolerated? Which on is more dangerous? Which one is a more realistic law?

    The BCMVA is a pretty blunt instrument. Many laws in it should not be enforced. There is no way they can be fine toothed enough for everyday life. If you are feeling litigious and can pay the bill you can make the law speak either way. Traffic law also exists without normal precedent and a lot of other conventions of jurisprudence. It is seen as not serious (not criminal) though it covers all sorts of things from not having a bell on your bike to murder. For that last one you can probably get away with it if you can make your actions pass for "normal" driving illegal or not.

     
  • At 8:38 pm, March 10, 2010, Blogger Jane and Rusl Bike Hitch said…

    How am I being hypocritical that I acknowledge I bitch too?

     
  • At 8:40 pm, March 10, 2010, Blogger Jane and Rusl Bike Hitch said…

    I never said all anonymous comments are stupid. Just too often. I don't get paid to do this job. I've got better things to do that waste time indulging people who want to abuse. What is your solution?

     
  • At 8:40 pm, March 10, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Apologies then. I didn't realize that you were feeling that it was justified. Calling someone dumb didn't convey that.
    (This isn't sarcasm.)

    Seeing a person riding on the sidewalk with the bike lane *right there* is amazing to me. Especially when that lane is separated from cars by a barrier. This kind of behavior makes the general public more and more angry at bikers, so when they see CM doing similar things, of course they get angry.

     
  • At 8:41 pm, March 10, 2010, Blogger Jane and Rusl Bike Hitch said…

    "Dumb" has two meanings.

     
  • At 8:45 pm, March 10, 2010, Blogger Jane and Rusl Bike Hitch said…

    Well I don't think that pictures of not riding on the bike lane make anger justified. But I also think people should be shown to encourage them not to do it.

    For the sake of argument I could say that in all those cases there were very good reasons and the picture only shows one side of the story. Neither of us know. Still, it isn't fair to be angry at all cyclists or CM because of this. Still it also isn't good to ride on the sidewalk in general terms.

     
  • At 8:49 pm, March 10, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "I never said all anonymous comments are stupid. Just too often. I don't get paid to do this job. I've got better things to do that waste time indulging people who want to abuse. What is your solution?"

    Yes, very often they are stupid, agreed.
    You don't get paid, no. You've chosen to do it. No one forced you.
    Then don't indulge them by answering their remarks if they're stupid remarks. Readers will read them and decide for themselves if they have any worth. If the remarks are truly stupid, then give your readers credit, they will see this too.
    If you start culling them, then you'll end up only keeping the ones *you* want, and this blog will be a one sided affair, promoting CM, and not listening to criticism of it.
    Or.. just don't keep a blog if you don't like people's reaction to it. You've put it online to be seen and a comments section to get reaction. You can't choose how people will react to it. If only life was like that....

     
  • At 8:49 pm, March 10, 2010, Blogger Jane and Rusl Bike Hitch said…

    Anyway, Peace be with you. I'm not disabling comments tonight. Really I'd rather redesign the site so that there is more "free" discussion but it doesn't overwhelm other things... But website re-design is a lot of work and on a budget of $0 it may or may not happen sooner or later. I've got to go take care of my family now. Good luck to you. Please don't write things that encourage other people to abuse the anonymous comments. Thank you.

     
  • At 8:52 pm, March 10, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "For the sake of argument I could say that in all those cases there were very good reasons and the picture only shows one side of the story. Neither of us know. Still, it isn't fair to be angry at all cyclists or CM because of this. Still it also isn't good to ride on the sidewalk in general terms."

    In the broad sense, that could be true for any photo of any event. I'd be hard pressed to think of a reason though any of those cyclists could be on the sidewalk. A couple of shots, maybe they felt safer than the street, say where there's a bus there and no room to bike. But not all of them.
    I think we actually agree on things, but arguing on here was the result.

     
  • At 8:53 pm, March 10, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "Please don't write things that encourage other people to abuse the anonymous comments. Thank you."

    Not my intent.

     
  • At 5:56 pm, May 03, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Comment from an article on the Vancouver Sun website from a couple days ago. Just thought you might want to see how ass-backwards these rides are in gaining public support.

    "These same people band together once a month to take part in an activity that can best be described as terroristic as they maliciously set out to frustrate and bull bait car drivers by blocking them at intersections and intentionally using the whole road in their superfluous claims that they are indeed traffic when in fact they are flouting numerous laws stating otherwise with the actions they are taking.

    Bicyclists deserve nothing but the most minimal of courtesies when using our roads and should be thankful that we don't run them over on a regular basis due to the endless unsafe and unlawful actions they intentionally perform everyday on our roads."

    It's not cyclists you people need to make friends with, it's vehicle drivers, and you lot don't seem to be doing a good job of it.

     
  • At 6:27 am, September 02, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You guys realize there are people dying of starvation, disease and war in the world right now, right?

    There are more pressing issues than your right to be annoying little shits and disrupt strangers lives, no?

    You want to protest, protest at city hall. You know, where the policy makers hang out?

    Don't disrupt the lives of people who are just trying to make ends meet all week and hoping to come home Friday night and spend some time with their families.

     

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