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!


big gay bike ride!

It's July again. The lazy days of summer and great weather!

That means, as per tradition, the Pride ride for everyone! Because biking makes you gay! (joyous) And Critical Mass is about embracing and protecting diversity (that is why we cork the cars - making it safe for the wild pedestrian use of the street). One out of the 12 monthly rides being dedicated to celebrating different sexualities is of course a slight bit under the 10% quota ;-) But, us queers-with-gears are always bent on having a good time. I think the costume theme is pretty wide open but with lots of rainbows and emphasis on summer fun.

All kinds of families and friends let's
roll Friday July 25th, last Friday in July
5:30pm at the Vancouver Art Gallery fountain.
All are invited to enjoy the safety and comfort we create by simply riding together

Critical Mass has become a very big event in the past few years. Especially in the summer months we may get as much as a thousand cyclists, walkers, skaters... or maybe even more than that! When it becomes such a very big event it is even more important that as a group we stick together! (Or if some prefer to split off into several groups that stick together individually) Critical Mass is run by it's participants so it is up to us all to do the corking and otherwise watching out for each other to keep all of us safe. One important factor in a successful ride that we should remember is to stick to the wider streets! With 1000 or more people a single lane road is just too narrow. The ride gets spread very thin when it takes these narrow roads and a thin mass becomes less of a mass and invites more conflict with motorists than otherwise. (Asking someone to wait out a green light to let a thick group of bikers past is a lot more reasonable than asking them to wait for a long drawn out process with one or two bikes every now and then - almost as bad as forcing people to wait because a road is blocked by cars: all the space taken up for not many people)

That means that those who choose to ride at the front and choose to lead the route (anyone who wants to go up there) should try and be conscious to take the mass only on nice wide streets with 2 or -even better- 3 lanes in our direction. Or failing that (sometimes for a good reason like there is only a one lane road to the beach) to be very aware of how the rest of the mass gets spread out on narrow roads and going extra slow/stopping to bulk up the mass rather than letting it get drawn thin. So, lets stay dense on this ride, it's better for the conversations also. A community supporting each other is a big part of what this ride is about. All it takes is a little forethought to increase the fun.

After the ride there will surely be get-togethers at the beach and also a velofusion dance party at the ANZA.

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  • At 1:55 pm, July 23, 2008, Blogger VanCM Blogger said…

    Hey everyone,

    The July Critical Mass is coming up this Friday, and I suspect we're going to get a large number for that ride as well. Maybe not as large as the June ride -- but very large none the less. Large enough that one megaphone won't do.

    Perhaps we should use some of the techniques used and suggested for last month's ride for this month as well. To recap...

    - For posters and email announcements promoting the ride, include some guidelines or suggestions on how to act during the ride and what to expect.

    - Consider putting together a handout to give to participants before they ride, and to give to on-lookers and drivers during the ride who ask what the ride is about or are being corked.

    - A few experienced Massers at the front of the ride to encouraged everyone to really be aware of the density of the ride behind and to keep a slower pace, to wait at the top of hills and where the street has widened for the mass to bunch up, and to avoid narrow streets and paths.

    - Before the ride states, have distributed safety talks. One or more megaphones so that safety talks can occur at the outer corners of the Art Gallery meeting place before them main announcement is done on the steps to start the ride. The more the merrier, so bring a megaphone if you have or can get one.

    - If we ride goes to the Lions Gate Bridge, it crosses over the bridge to the North Shore and turns around somewhere in North or West Vancouver to come back over the bridge. When we came out of Stanley Park (by English Bay) the front of the mass should wait for the rear to bunch up.

    - Could someone ask the Art Gallery (or who ever is responsible for the fountain) to turn the fountain off from 5:30 to 6:30 pm this Friday (and other last Fridays of the month)? It's always hard to make announcements because the fountain is so loud, and other events at that location have managed to get the fountain turned off.


  • At 8:47 pm, July 25, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I like the idea of keeping everyone bunched up to avoid congestion at intersections, or to make them as brief as possible.
    But also, remember that people are still going about their day, and that you, the individual biker represents all of us CM'ers. Tonight an elderly gentleman was crossing at a crosswalk (he had the walk sign), and I heard a biker yell at him for getting in the way. I'm sure he had things to do and didn't need to stand and watch us bike around.
    Cmon people, be polite! We all represent the cause and we shouldnt feel embarrassed to be out there (which I was when this happened).
    We can't expect people to like us and our agenda when we act like children. It's not cool.

  • At 12:56 pm, July 26, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Another great ride. Thank you.


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