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!


Car Free Vancouver: YES or NO?

please forward this important message

Hey all, so...did Car Free Vancouver Day go off OR WHAT?!

We had 125,000 people out partying in the streets...with 400+ volunteers...and a few cut-rate traffic "security"...and NO incidents to speak of. The media coverage was fantastic, and it looks like the experiment results are in...Vancouver is ready and begging for car-free festivals, car-free days, and car-free streets. Other cities all over Canada, the US and the world already have it happening...let's kick it up! make this happen...City Hall needs to hear from YOU!

The event organizers will soon be meeting with folks at City Hall to do a debrief, iron out the bugs, and talk about taking the experiment to the next level. So far, the only people who have contacted the City are the complainers...and they are few, but they are loud! Car Free Vancouver Day needs your support, and our allies at the City need to hear your voice.

Please take a moment to write a BRIEF note to City Hall, telling them why you loved Car Free Vancouver Day, and what you want to see happen next. These folks are here to help us, and they have been hugely helpful to us all along the way, so please be positive, grateful, and encouraging.

Oh, and...don't forget...with the City elections coming down in grab every opportunity to ask candidates where they stand on Burrard Bridge lane re-allocation, transit, pedestrian and bicycle priority, opposing Gateway, car-free days, and car-free streets.

We have so much power, let's use it NOW.

Huge thanks to all of you for making this dream real!

-the Car-Free Vancouver Crew


Send your BRIEF letters to: The Mayor and City Council at:

cc to: The Film & Special Events Office:

blind cc to: info@carfree

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still buzzed from the Delta party

Shout out to all who came to Brad's on Friday night to the "Gateway to What?" party under the solstice moon, to celebrate the turning of the tides...I'm still buzzing from it!

I've attended and thrown many parties but seldom have I seen one where two large groups of people who had no previous social interaction meld so harmoniously. North and south of the Fraser united, by the night's good spirit and the subconscious realization that this place (Brad's land, this ecosystem, this planet) is sacred and vulnerable, and we cannnot take it for granted. When I left at 2:30-ish the party was still rocking and i'm sure it continued on into the dawn, thanks to Brad for the beautiful space and the bonfire and the sauna, and the dj's for uniting up the people on
the dancefloor, and the Mexican Wrestlers (Greenwashing Gordo vs. Farmer Brad...don't take that golden handshake Brad!), and the Wilderness Committee (esp. Ben West) for bringing it all together, and realizing the importance of the party to raise spirits and light the flame.

Many S.of Fraser neighbours met each other for the first time, and found out about exactly what SFPR would mean for their community. This was a very powerful night, and it is clear that Brad's place will not go down without a fight (and a few more rockin' parties).

Lookin' forward...


and if you haven't watched the video yet check it out:

Lrc-general mailing list



Chris Carlsson Tonight at Spartacus!

Chris Carlsson, an originator of the first San Francisco Commute Clot/Critical Mass in 1992 and a radical author/instigator, will be at Spartacus tonight! This is from 7-10pm. Spartacus is at 684 East Hastings. He is touring his new book Nowtopia.
You should go! Chris is always inspiring and thought provoking with his humble brand of radical thinking. He's just come from the Portland, OR, Towards Carfree Cities 8 conference. He's also in town to experience the Vancouver Critical Mass for the first time - at the June Massive, tommorrow (this Friday)!

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Big Critical Mass Ride, and more...

Big Critical Mass Ride to Close Out Bike Month
Friday, June 27, 2008
One of the biggest ride and rolls of the year, 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 BBQ starting at 8:00 p.m with an after party starting 9:00 p.m. at the ANZA Club, 3 West 8th at the Ontario Bike Route.

As lots of new and first time riders are expected at the ride, please help get the word out that the ride is a celebration where riders are respectful to all. As our portable sound systems are not big enough, help spread this word by printing out the following information and handing it out at the ride (or creating your own handout):
Pre-rides to 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 4:00 p.m., leaving 4:30 p.m., from Grandview Park, 1200-block Commercial Drive, for a group ride to the Vancouver Art Gallery.
What's Critical Mass and how do I participate?

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.

The ride sticks together for safety and fun. If you are at the front of the ride, stop if you are approaching a red light. But continue as a group if the lights change red while passing though an intersection. Avoid on coming traffic.

You will see participants peel off at the front to block motorized traffic from entering the mass. That's called "corking". Corkers keep the ride safe and allow the mass to pass though intersections where the lights have turned red. Thank them for corking!

If you're at the front, please don't speed ahead or take narrow roadways or paths. It stretches the ride out and makes life harder for corkers and other riders. If the mass has thinned out or has broken into more than one group, the front should wait at green lights for the group to "mass up".

The ride is a celebration (not a party). Take absolute responsibility for your actions and show motorists a better way to travel. A way which is more equitable, efficient, fun and socially responsible than the car. There's no need to be unfriendly or argue with motorists -- our sheer numbers tell the story. Look after each other, speak up, and ride with confidence.

Who decides where we go?

You do! Some rides have a destination that may be suggested at the start of the ride, but the route is always decided by the riders in the front. If you have an idea where the ride should go, move to the front and participate with others in a group decision. Remember to make it fun and interesting, and that Critical Mass has no leaders.

For more information:

Upload/View Vancouver Critical Mass Photos:

Midnight Mass Bike Ride
Thursday, June 26
Do you have a bike and like riding it at night? Dig up some bike lights and join the ride the night before Critical Mass!

Meet 11:45 pm at Grandview Park (Commercial Drive at Charles Street -- across from the Havana and Turks) and ride at midnight.

The ride happens the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month, so mark your calendars. Tell your bike loving friends, and hope to see you there!
For more information and videos:
More photos at flickr.../midnightmass * bikescape.blogspot.../hybrid-shmybrid

VeloFusion! & Post Critical Mass BBQ!
Friday, June 27

June is the month that Critical Mass gets record numbers. And as(s) usual, the Velofusion Afterparty is in full effect featuring a wicked vegan friendly BBQ in Johnathan Rogers Park (next to the Anza) and the party itself featuring a supersweaty, furry, fryin' and shakin' good lineup: Threat From Outer Space, Fur Bearing Animals, Bicycle Burlesque, DJ Redworm, DJ Mad Mike Mathers, Dionysiac Drum Core, Visuals by the Interdimensional Travel Company

ANZA Club, #3 West 8th Avenue at the Ontario bike route
BBQ starts at 8pm
ANZA doors open at 9pm till late
$5 if you arrive with Critical Mass. $10 otherwise.

This month is a fundraiser for the Students for a Democratic Society. Y'all may have seen the footage circulating of these folks getting a good pounding from the local authorities. Quite something, really. Come give these folks a good raising yerself.

________________________ announce mailing list

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Vancouver goes CAR FREE!

Please post and forward far and wide!

Come celebrate the future of our City

Sunday June 15

Car-Free Vancouver Day, this Sunday June 15 (Fathers Day), will feature FOUR simultaneous car-free festivals. Come out and play, and help change EVERYTHING!

We are expecting over 100,000 people to come out to party in streets, and let the world know that Vancouver is ready for car-free days, car-free streets, and car-free districts. Other cities in Canada and around the world are doing it. It's high time for Vancouver to catch the wave, and join the car-free revolution.

Kits will boast a tapestry of over 20 block parties all day, with street "living rooms", dances, performers and potlucks. The West End will shut down Denman Street from noon to 6 for Parades, salsa and merengue lessons, skateboard demos, community tables, and that special W. End bohemian flavour. Commercial Drive will rock car-free from noon to six, with Tribal Harmonix/Burn BC revelry, Lucha Libre Mexican Wrestling the Healing Garden, and the usual mix of joyful chaos. And Main Street (between 12th and 16th) will rock out late from 4 to 10pm, with a farmers' market, street hockey, fire show, Burlesque and Skateboard demos, Happy Bats film fest, an
all-bassoon orchestra, and much more madness.This event is 100% volunteer organized and produced. We encourage everyone to come out and contribute their gifts today...for tha love, not for tha bux!

All Fests will feature Bike Valet Parking. Ride, walk, skate or transit from Fest to Fest -- but don't drive, parking will be crazy!

Info, schedules and route maps are

And YES Main Street, Commercial Drive and West End still need VOLUNTEERS!! Be a superhero, person a barricade (or teardown, setup, infobooth, photography, etc. for only a couple of hours or a chore or two and you'll get treated like a rockstar, and invited to the very special Work Less Party Afterparty...DO IT NOW! info@$@carfreevancouver .*org and tell us what crew you want to join. Or just show up at an Info Table or Tent on the day-of and offer to lend a hand. Make it your party, is!

Thanks to all of you for making this dream come true.


p.s...special note from Carmen, delete in forwards as you wish...I know this is tricky, but if you are a member of Vision Vancouver, try to drop by the Croation Cultural Center at 3250 Commercial Drive (16th and Commercial Drive) between 8am and 5pm to cast your vote in the Mayoral nomination race. If you're on a bike it's less than 10 minutes from the party, so you should be able to get there, vote, and be back on the Drive within half an hour. It's a very tight race. I am supporting Gregor Robertson and will be trying my best to get down there and cast my vote. I know that if Gregor wasn't trying to get elected, he'd be out there with us partying for car-free streets.

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Fw: cycling route planner - feedback requested

>>Students -
>>I'd like to ask for your help. As part of a research project designed to
>>understand the relationship between infrastructure and decisions to
>>bicycle as a mode of transportation, we have created an interactive
>>web-based bicycle route planner for the Metro Vancouver area. Users can
>>select in a familiar interface origins and destinations and choose to
>>prioritize routes by a number of criteria (shortest, least elevation
>>change, greenest routes, etc.). We are about to publicly launch the tool
>>but would like to conduct some additional testing and would appreciate
>>your help - especially with regard to specific routings determined by our
>>algorithm. The site is located at
>> and comments/feedback
>>should be sent to
>>Thanks in advance for your help. Feel free to forward to others.
>>Michael Brauer
>>Professor, School of Environmental Health
>>The University of British Columbia
>>2206 East Mall, Vancouver BC V6T1Z3 Canada
>>tel. 604 822 9585
>>fax. 604 822 9588


World Naked Bike Ride

Naked Cyclists Take to the Streets!
(please forward)

Vancouver will experience the exposed joy and participate in the world's largest naked protest against oil dependency and car culture. It's time to stop indecent exposure to automobile emissions! Hundreds of cyclists will ride in various stages of undress -- reclaiming the streets as sexy, self-propelled citizens. Come join the naked bicycle people power!

The Vancouver ride starts Saturday, June 7, 2:00pm at Sunset Beach (corner of Beach and Bute).

Body painting and performances will take place before the ride. Arrive between 12 Noon and 2:00pm to catch some of the action and some of the paint! A picnic following the ride will be hosted by The ride, pre and post-ride activities are all free.

Please download, print and distribute posters and flyers for the ride (or make your own!):

Naked bike riding tips

  • Prepare for riding rain or shine!
  • If it's sunny, put on sunscreen!
  • You do not have to be naked to join the ride.
  • Wear shoes!
  • If you're shy, we start the ride with some clothing on and then stop away from the crowds to get more bare!
  • Keep your clothes with you -- you never know when you may need them (like... after the ride).
  • Decorate your bike! Come with signs and funky hats! Cover your bike seat with fun fur!
  • Ride safely and stay together as a group.
  • Tell your friends! Spread the word!

For more information, visit or
email vancouver@@@worldnakedride---org

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world carfree cities conference portland

Hey all,

the Towards Carfree Cities VIII: June 16-20, 2008
Rethinking Mobility, Rediscovering Proximity
is happening real soon
great slogan "live free or drive"

I was fortunate, along with Haley, to be able to go the the 2006 conference in Bogota, Columbia and it was really inspiring to see all the international perspectives on this and how so much progress is being made outside of North America that we can learn so much from. Last year it was in Istanbul. This will be the first conference in North America! And Portland is such a great biking city to host it - and so close to us too!

Jane, Finnegann and I are planning to head down for this. We plan on taking the train, which is quite reasonably priced.

The only dilemna is when we leave as the June 15th is spectacular first real Carfree Vancouver day but the conference starts right after (and the train is infrequent...) That and getting stupid paperwork together for the stupid stupid stupid american border.

Anyone else planning to go? I'd recommend it very strongly. The conference registration fee is quite steep but I think there is a low-income option - and it's worth it to be there meeting all that positive energy, thinking and experience.


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City of Vancouver Cycling Route Survey

Hi guys,
You may have seen this survey already. I filled it out and mentioned the safety on the bridges, the use of bike routes by cars and having bike racks on the roads (like car parking stalls) rather than sidewalks as important priorities.


The City wants feedback about its cycling routes. Here is a link to their survey:

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Stop Gateway...write one little letter NOW!

Help Stop the "Gateway to Global Warming" Motorway Expansion


Our Environment Minister in BC may be close to signing the environmental certification for the Gateway mega -project.

If Barry Penner signs the certification for this project, his legacy would be that of the Environment Minister who gave the green light to the most counter productive and in fact destructive transportation mega-project of our generation!

On Minster Penner's website he claims "The BC Government is working to aggressively address global warming and climate change." He even goes on to clearly state "there is still more work to be done if we are to meet our legally-mandated goal of reducing BC's greenhouse gas emissions by 33% by 2020". That he could say this one day and then rubber-stamp what many are calling "the gateway to global warming" is unconscionable.

Concerned British Columbian's are writing letters and emails to the Minister of the Environment and the Premier insisting that the environmental assessment not be signed and that genuine consultation take place. This is your chance to have your voice heard and tell Barry Penner and Gordon Campbell to do the right thing.

Here are just a few key points to consider:

The various elements of the Gateway plan will drastically increase the Lower Mainland's contribution to green house emissions that cause global warming and pollution levels in the region. The tripling of shipping vessels and heavy truck traffic off delta port will feed into new induced traffic that will be find its way onto the SFPR, the Twinned Port Mann Bridge and then the widened highway 1 and then into the heart of the Lower Mainland. To make things worse the Gateway Project will induce car dependent suburban sprawl that leads to further global warming emissions
and less healthy communities.

The South Fraser Perimeter Road (SFPR) will harm and maybe kill off Burns Bog, the lungs of the lower mainland our carbon sink!

The expansion of Delta port on Roberts Bank has serious impacts on migratory birds such as the Sandpiper that relies on the region to survive as they fly north. Also Port expansion at Delta Port may severally impact Orca Whales whose population in the area are already dwindling.

The Gateway Project as a whole would impact 1000 hectares of farmland, some
of B.C.s most fertile. The Gateway mega project contradicts the last democratic community planning process that was held around the region, the Livable Region Strategic Plan.

Gateway induces car dependent sprawl and starves public transit by monopolizing billions of dollars in public transportation funding. All of this while not examining the impact of rising fuel prices on the feasibility of the project compared to other options. In fact it has recently been un-covered through a freedom of information request that the project managers used the price of $0.80 a litre in their models for studying the project over the length of the contracts which is the next 25 - 40 years!

No contracts can be signed until Barry Penner signs the environmental assessment.

No meaningful public consultations have yet to be held with the Premier, the Environment Minister or the Transportation Minister. The open houses and community meetings that have taken place have been well orchestrated Public Relation campaigns that were more like focus groups than a genuine attempt to decide the fate of this multi-billion dollar mega -project based on the public will.

OUR ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES TAKE YOUR LETTERS SERIOUSLY! They are an indication of where the public will lies...and how people will vote a year from now.

Letters are beginning to flow in now at an ever-increasing rate. Your letter can be brief and simply focus on one or two points which concerns you the most. Send an email today!

Minister Penner
101, 7388 Vedder Road
Chilliwack, BC
V2R 4E4

Premier Campbell
3615 West 4th Avenue
Vancouver, BC
V6R 1P2

Please CC a copy of your letter to gateway@@@wildernesscommittee---org

If you would like to stay informed about the campaign to stop "the gateway to global warming" and the campaign to get transit before freeways email gateway@AT@wildernesscommittee-DOT-org with the subject line ADD ME.

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Car-Free Vancouver Day, June 15

Forward far and wide, let the joyous news be spread!


Callout to ALL citizens, artists, activists, performers, pranksters and funsters Car-Free Vancouver Day is less than two months away !!

Get ready, to



Sunday June 15th (Fathers Day) will see Car-Free Festivals going off all over the city. We expect 100,000 people to flood the streets to celebrate their neighbourhoods and re-imagine what a more sustainable, ecological, ethical and genuinely cultural city might look like.

Other cities around the world are already doing this, and car-free streets are the way of the future. Let's start taking back our streets, NOW!

The City is listening, and they are on our side. This is a huge opportunity to show/tell them what we really want: car-free streets, no more highways, and support for authentic urban culture.

All four Festivals are all deep into their organizing and have great crews working hard, and we would welcome anyone who wants to get involved in any capacity: organizers, volunteers, performers, anything. Right now we are specifically calling out to all activists, artists, performers, organizations and creative trouble-makers, hoping you will all be coming out and causing a stir.

We encourage you to set up soapboxes, banners, art installations large or tiny, info tables, events, performances, games, gifting stations, interactive displays, parades, theatre pieces, interventions pretty much whatever fun you can dream up. It's your party so please do what you like best" we only ask that your activity be respectful (noise and spacewise), and that it be free: free of charge, free of boring corporate stuff, free of cars.

There is tons of space for you to express yourself at Car Free Vancouver Day, so please get in touch and let us know what you have in mind. If you're envisioning anything that may require a good chunk of space or a sound system of any sort, please check in with the Fest in question. This is an important courtesy and will help everything run harmoniously.

Car Free Vancouver Day isn't it about frickin time?!

Check out for more.


Next planning meetings:

Car-Free Commercial Drive
Tuesday, April 29th, 7pm-9pm
1707 Charles Street (through the wooden door around the corner from
the Drive) or call Craig at 604.320.6560.

Car-Free Kitsilano
Ongoing multiple-block-party planning - or call Mel at (604) 731-0599

Car-Free Main Street
Sunday, May 4th at 2:00pm
We will meet at JJ bean (Main and 14th Ave) and then walk up to
Heritage Hall together as a group. Any late comers can wait at the
front doors of the Heritage Hall to get let in (the doors will be
locked). or (778) 888-2440

Car-Free West End
Monday May 5, 7pm-9pm
Gordon Neighbourhood House, 1019 Broughton St. (@ Nelson) or call Dave at 604-646-4615

General information about Car Free Vancouver Day:


Toronto Motorway Commute Clot

Interesting news from TO. Sorry I'm to lazy to link to any real Toronto CM info. Please post links in comments if you know any.

It's kind of funny how the press is so dumbfounded. They don't explain why anyone was charged, though I would assume that if it is true (highly suspicious) that "
some of the cyclists dismounted their bikes, thrust them above their heads and ran at the officers.
" that might be a reason;-)

It's amazing how quick the road was clogged with cars again after being briefly opened up to people. It's very important that we think about our language and the habits of tacitly accepting car culture. For instance remember to describe the upcoming Car-Free Vancouver festival as an Opening Up of the Street (which is more accurate as it describes more people than normal using a street and in more interesting ways) rather than the normal term: Street Closure which presumes that car use is the only possible way to use a public road.

Check out the ending humour: "
confirmed the ride was organized by Critical Mass
" ... "CM’s message" ... "get attention" Obviously, Sunny Freeman can't do basic web research to find out what Critical Mass is. Quoting someone on Facebook who doesn't understand either doesn't count as research. I wonder what could be CM’s message seperate from its methods?

Go Toronto!

Four cyclists charged after Gardiner ride
A group of cyclists cruises down the westbound lanes of the Gardiner Expressway, Friday, May 30, 2008.
About 200 cyclists, some riding with children, shut down the westbound lanes of the Gardiner Expressway last night in what police called a dangerous stunt.

The Gardiner was shut down for almost half an hour when the cyclists, most of whom were wearing helmets, stormed onto the westbound lanes from Lower Jarvis St. around 7:30 p.m., said Traffic Services Sgt. Jeff Redden.

The cyclists pedaled down the expressway for about 20 minutes and seven kilometres before being rounded up by police cruisers and directed toward the off-ramp at Dunn Ave, said Redden.

There were no collisions or injuries, but traffic was stalled as the bikers took up all westbound lanes and refused to leave, Redden said.

“It was a crazy idea. They came, and then like cattle they all went up the ramp and once they were up there, they realized there was a problem when they couldn’t get off the ramp.”

Some cyclists dismounted their bikes and climbed over a wall onto CN railway tracks to escape police, said Redden.

Redden said he had never seen anything like it. “It goes beyond common sense in saying its not a good idea...Everyone has their right to free speech and protest, but not in that manner.”

Redden said it did not appear to be an organized protest, but that several cyclists had placards demanding a bike lane along Bloor St. He believes it was related to the Critical Mass bike ride, which meets on the last Friday of every month.

Four cyclists who refused to leave the highway were arrested and charged under the Provincial Offences Act with cycling on a highway.

Redden said some of the cyclists dismounted their bikes, thrust them above their heads and ran at the officers.

Police had released everyone and traffic was moving slowly by around 8:30 p.m., about an hour after cyclists flooded the ramps.

Redden said there was no indication cyclists from the Toronto Criterium bike race happening nearby, were involved.

Yvonne Bambrick, of the Toronto Cyclists Union said she had no idea the event was occurring.

“Breaking the law is never a good idea ... It doesn’t strike me as a very safe thing to do.”

A Facebook group for the Toronto chapter of Critical Mass was abuzz today with posts about the controversial stunt.

Tory Law, 21 year-old cyclist and member of the group, confirmed the ride was organized by Critical Mass.

“I fully support Critical Mass’ cause, however the methods used to convey CM’s message last night is questionable indeed,” he wrote. “I think what CM did does portray a negative image; however, what other possible way is there to get attention?”

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