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!


June29 Critical Massive!

Be sure to tell your friends
about the big Critical Mass ride!
And share this basic information about
keeping the ride peaceful with inexperienced riders:

Hooray, it's the end of June Bike Month
the last friday of every month is of course the
{you and you're friends and family are invited to the}
an especially big and festive Critical Mass
in the city of Vancouver, meet 530, leave 6pm
from the Vancouver Art Gallery Downtown
on the side with all the people with bikes and costumes
bikes are freedom in motion!

You don't want to miss it. It will be the ride of the year. There is nothing like it. For a little while - as many bikes as possible, a better world is possible - is the reality and the streets are taken over by happy cyclists, skaters, joggers, skippers, talkers, tricyclists, unicyclers, wheelchairistas, pedalling gardens, music, costumes etc. And it is all rolling along nicely.

Posters and handouts that you can print and distribute in your neighborhood!

In keeping with my very low energy blogging this month, I'm going to direct you to last years' info on this blog. There you will find many more posters, a corking flyer, all of which you can modify or make your own relevant to this year.
[these all need to be -at least- changed to June 29, 2007]

/// /// ///

One of the biggest ride and rolls of the year, on the First Nations' National Day of (In)Action, and possibly the largest ever bike ride to hit the streets of Vancouver, the June Critical Mass Ride closes out this year's Bike Month.

Join fellow bicyclists, skaters, and bladers for this leisurely and spirited ride and roll through the streets of Vancouver. Meet at the Vancouver Art Gallery on the Georgia Street side between 5:00 and 5:30 p.m. -- and roll and ride at 6:00 p.m. The ride is on rain or shine. Decorated bicycles, trailers, costumes, signs, flags, noisemakers, gettoblasters, sound systems, drums, and wildly modified bicycles are all highly encouraged.

After the ride is a party starting 9:00 p.m. at the ANZA Club, 3 West 8th at the Ontario Bike Route.

Pre-rides riding to the Critical Mass:

  • UBC riders meet at the UBC Bike Hub, on the north east end of the Student Union Building, at 4:30 p.m. for a group ride to the Vancouver Art Gallery. Phone 604-822-BIKE for details.

  • East Van riders meet after 4:00 pm, leaving 5pm, from Grandview Park, 1200-block Commercial Drive, for a group ride to the Vancouver Art Gallery.

  • Blessing of the Bicycles and Bicyclists. 5pm Come, bells ringing, to the steps of the Cathedral to receive a blessing. Christ Church Cathedral, Burrard and West Georgia, 604-684-6306 x 227

  • Others? Post it here, or here.

Celebrated around the world, Critical Mass is a grassroots reclamation of public space -- on the last Friday of the month -- which allows cyclists and other self-propelled people to move safely and comfortably through city streets in a car-free space. Non-polluting forms of transportation are promoted.

For more information:
Upload/View Photos:


So this is the big one. Last year (2006) we advertised it as the 3000 wheels ride. Last year we beat that number by a lot. It will likely be larger this year. There has not been a lot of ride publicity this year, but a lot of it is word of mouth anyways. Each rider brings another next month/year... and it just keeps growing.

It is so big that sometimes we create traffic problems for ourselves and have trouble BEING the Traffic, so to speak. For instance, many have said that narrow streets of one or 2 lanes are just too small to handle the volume of bikes in a reasonable amount of time. Last year I remember standing still for a while and not riding because there was some delay of this sort. Also with the delays people sometimes get frustrated. It is very important that we all try to avoid negative conflicts and keep people together on the same side. Explaining the ideas in the Corking/Rules Flyer is important for new riders to understand this situation. Many responses to the larger ride have been suggested: such as planned routes, split multiple masses, parade float directions, radio communication, rules about avoiding less than 6 lane roads, schemes for instructing people to make friends with stopped car drivers... I am not aware of concensus or widespread planning for any of it, so I will assume that Friday will be a somewhat cohesive somewhat chaotic event. If you want to get in on last minute thinking about this topic then plan with those you know who will be attending or try the velolove discussions.

Let's all remember to have fun on Friday. This is a very serious topics: Cars, the environment, bicycles, public space, safety... all topics too serious to approach without a sense of humour. Smile and wave and talk to the people stuck in cars, nicely encourage them to cut the engine [idling laws, hey] maybe turn up the stereo, party in the streets! It will be gone before you know it, Critical Mass is a beautiful long term moment about preparing for the present using the cycles that we all share.

PS: Tell all drivers to avoid driving downtown Friday Afternoon/evening. Avoid the Lions Gate too. Avoid the downtown bridges and maybe even Broadway. Leave the car at home Friday. Take a bike if you can. It will be faster and funner. Don't think of it as a curtailment. Realise that it is a temporary respite from confinement - a special time when we can step out of the car and feel safe in the street, sharing the city with all of us who love it.

Labels: ,


  • At 4:44 pm, June 28, 2007, Blogger spacebunny said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 10:18 am, June 29, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 6:35 pm, June 29, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 8:37 pm, June 29, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 12:23 am, June 30, 2007, Blogger emily said…

    Hey. Sorry about the rude comments above. So I am all for non-car transportation (we don't own one and don't plan on it) and I'm all for more bike rights, but Critical Mass is counter-productive. It makes people feel foolish and angry. It blocks people who are trying to get to the hospital in emergencies, makes parents late to pick up their children, etc. I am afraid that CM will only serve to make people that much more reticent to incorporate environmental habits in their lives. My husband saw you all tonight on his way home on the bus. A car tried to get through (maybe b/c they had an emergency? Or a really awful day?) and about 50 bikers surrounded him and swore and yelled at him. This is not healthy for community and it will not make people ready to give bikers more road space. You need to win people with love and beauty, not by making them feel foolish and left out. CM has it backwards and it's hurting the cause. You just look arrogant and selfish, not loving and certainly not community oriented. You can't win a healthy earth by making those who aren't doing what you want them to feel worthless.

  • At 2:10 am, June 30, 2007, Blogger VanCM Blogger said…

    Sorry, I accidentally deleted the two first comments. I was trying to temporarily hide them but I can't seem to get them back. [the 3rd and 4th were abusive comments that should have gone] Sorry, spacebunny and anonymous 2.

    However, I will say to the people writing things like this 5th comment [the first 2 for instance] about how Critical Mass is counter productive to your idea of what our cause should be... Please read a little more widely and find out about this before bringing up yet again this same tired argument.

    Bikes take up very little space. People in cars telling us we are in the way is everyday and I'm sorry - the argument just isn't persuasive. Ride a bike in the city. For real. Do it all week, feel that city. It feels like a war [to quote a cyclist I respect] when you are riding alone, trying to be responsible and respectful by doing what is good for the planet and you neighbours too - not endangering them. It feels really nice on critical mass to create a safe space for a little while for people not entombed in metal to be out in public. We really transform spaces. It was so quiet and peaceful on the causeway and lions gate bridge. I know it is like a wrench in this transport system, but that is the point. If 2000 extra people decide to move about town in pretty much the least obtrusive manner possible. [Through intersections that everyday move 70,000 cars and 71,000 people] then that system is fucked. It's not us, it's the system. And you think it ain't a system, you are just an individual in your pridemachinespewingfumes - no collective responsibility for that. Just this supreme sense of entitlement that says: Cars are backing up the road, there is traffic, I wait because I have to. Bikes are backing up the road then: get the fuck out of the way what are you doing here, having fun? Not fearing for your life? Stepping out of the rat race? All of that should be punished and is somehow anti-community. Because the 'community' values of the corporate newsmedia are the values of not distrupting profit, keeping people driving.

    Oh, I'm going on too much. But seriously, you in your high and mighty murdermobile expect us to believe you are the victim, that we are selfish by acting collectively to change something while you expect hundreds and thousands of people to risk their lives - not to mention change their plans - so you can drive your car about 10 minutes faster and not have ANY disruption in your normal habits. You can say what BS you want about emergencies. I was on Terminal and Main when we let a car through with a supposed medical emergency -disrupted the mass, spread it thin, exposed lots of people to more danger all over the ride later on - all because some liar claiming they just HAD to get through. We move fast out of the way for ambulances. We are out of the way before a group of 500 people driving cars could hear the ambulance over the drone of the car engines...

    And in fact, most of the drivers we encounter are unbelievably supportive. People are smart. People in cars do get it. Mostly the people who get pissed off at us were pissed off already before we came into the picture and we just make an easy target. It's called road rage. And being trapped in the car. Car drivers are indeed victims. But not of high gas prices and rowdy bikers and untrained pedestrians as your stereotype fantasyland makes it out to be [that is also broadcast on TV, sadly]. You're victims of the heavy heavy propaganda of freedom and individualism that cars are supposed to represent. Virility and happiness. It's all lies. Sedentary lifestyles do not get you laid. There is a reason why such random words as bikesexual are used often... I digress, again.

    The biggest victimhood is the myth of car necessity. This is caused by miseducation and monopoly. You don't need a car in the city. It is literally slower. Cargo and loads even, are rarely things that REQUIRE car use. But our culture thinks that way and destroys the planet that way.

    It is an individualism vs collective problem. We need a collective solution but cars are such an inherently selfish thing, we can't go forward with them. We NEED to displace cars in the city. Bikes are good for that.

    Anyway, I could go on. I have gone on - to Critical Mass for 9 years. So I'll stop and let the world spin because I know you will never listen to me because all of this is empty rhetoric to you because you have yet to experience it. Critical Mass is a real world experience. Yes, there is conflict - but where should we have our conflict if not here. The conflict is actually fairly civil. Sure there are some hot headed road ragers and even the odd hot headed cyclist road rager too. But that is not the point or the majority of Critical Mass. And if you think it is, well then you haven't been to one. Yet.


  • At 2:15 am, June 30, 2007, Blogger VanCM Blogger said…

    I do also want to say, re-reading Emily's comment that I do not agree with swarming and swearing at drivers. That is not OK or encouraged at Critical Mass. There is some of that sometimes. With 2000 people, it happens. We don't all walk in lockstep the point is not that. I do agree that that behavior at Critical Mass is counter-productive. But then, it is hard to deal with road rage coming at you, and 9 out of 10 times Critical Massers are so graceful in responding and not like that at all. We do encourage people to diffuse those conflicts. It doesn't make in on the news when that happens of course.

  • At 6:59 pm, June 30, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    to vancouver critical mass blogger, beautifully written. thank you for taking the time to write and to care so much about it all.


Post a comment

Please be respectful and constructive. If you want to vent or hate do it somewhere else. Violent, threatening and abusive comments will be removed. Please read other posts and discussion to avoid duplicate questions.

<< Home