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!


Critical Mass Ride and Roll, Friday, August 28

Join fellow bicyclists, skaters, and bladers for this leisurely and spirited celebratory 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, signs, flags, noisemakers, gettoblasters, sound systems, drums, and wildly modified bicycles are all highly encouraged!

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 stays 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.

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!

Never cork alone. Join lone corkers, and for intersections there should be six or more corkers. And remember, do not cork oncoming traffic in opposing lanes.

If you're at the front, please don't speed or take narrow roadways or paths. It stretches the ride out and makes life harder for corkers, riders, and those waiting for the Mass to pass. Be aware of the ride's slower participants, and keep a slower pace. If the Mass has thinned out or has broken into more than one group, which happens following hills or where the street has becomes more lanes, the front should wait at green lights for the group to "mass up".

Don't stay on any given street for very long, so that public transit can pass. And always let emergency vehicles through. Please don't ride on sidewalks or in opposing traffic lanes.

The ride is a celebration, and an alcohol/drug free event. 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 or route 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.

A special note to those at the front: It becomes unsafe for those in the rear if the Mass strrrreeeetches out, there are big gaps, or the body of the Mass looses it's tail. If the front can no longer see the rear, or the Mass has just passed through a "choke point", stop at an intersection where there's room for the entire Mass to completely bunch up again (and where the front of the ride can see the rear again).

For more information:

Critical Mass Vancouver on Facebook:

Worldwide details may be found at:

Upload/View Vancouver Critical Mass Photos at


  • At 3:05 am, September 25, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "You will see participants peel off at the front to block motorized traffic from entering the Mass."

    Um, why would cars stopped at a red light try to "enter the Mass"? Doesn't make sense. When the light is green, you let them continue on they're way, don't you?

    "Corkers keep the ride safe and allow the Mass to pass though intersections where the lights have turned red."

    You could, I don't know.. stop at the red light, then go when it's green. Now there's a thought...

    It's funny to see a group who revels in not having leaders, try and organize.

  • At 4:20 pm, September 25, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Some of us motorists are unable (for a number of reasons that are absolutely none of your business) to use either public transit or bicycles in order to get to work. In these recessionary times I'm just grateful to have a job and will use any means at my disposal to retain it and show up every day, including driving downtown every morning. I'm just totally fed-up with you ridiculous idiots blocking traffic in the downtown core on the last Friday of the month, preventing me and many others from getting home at a reasonable time. It doesn't promote any goodwill towards you at all, in fact it has the exact opposite effect. So please don't feel self-righteous and smug while you create havoc, frustration and anger - this is absolutely not the way to effect positive change and just makes you look like the delusional fools that you obviously are. I have absolutely no respect for you or your so-called cause.

  • At 10:25 pm, September 25, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Their events are a cry for help in all the wrong ways. Like when an able-bodied pedestrian crosses the street into oncoming traffic so that the cars must stop or runover the person. A weak attempt at momentary control.

  • At 3:10 am, September 26, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My brother & Sister cyclists,

    It is with a sad heart that i write this letter. I have been riding the downtown core for almost 9 years now, and on a bike full time for most of my life. My bike is my life, my kin and my soul mate. I am proud to be a cyclist and all that goodness that comes with it.

    As such i must say what is on my mind. I believe that the Critical Mass exercise, as rooted in an original hope of empowering cyclists that is was, has become an antagonist blemish on bike culture. In a time when cyclists should be reaching out to car drivers in a peaceful and respectful way, i see nothing but antagonistic, arrogance as they ride willy-nilly around the streets of Vancouver compounding the aggravation that drivers must face on their commutes home to family and friends. This is NOT the way to make friends and allies, it is turning motorists and even other cyclists away from what is supposed to be an expression of freedom and a love for two wheels. It is compounding the problem you are attempting to solve.

    I beg that whomever is organizing this event take into consideration that many of those you are annoying on friday afternoons are not evil right wing oil loving motorists bent on ruining the environment by guzzling gas and running over flowers, rather many simple must drive for one reason or another.

  • At 6:44 pm, September 27, 2009, Blogger Rusl Bicycle said…

    All of this nonsense. Brainwashing. Critical Mass does not Block traffic!!! We are traffic and we have just as much right to be on the road as you do. The fact that you are delayed by your monsterous machine is not something that you should blame on cyclists. You will do this everyday if there is Critical Mass or not. The only difference between regular cycling and CM is that CM is safer because we are sticking together.

    You are making up all these politics. CM is not a political statement. It is a ride.

    It is a sad comment that so many drivers would rather blame CM for their predicament than accept responsibility for what they are doing to themselves and the environment. Yes, car culture is hard to escape and we are ALL part of it. We need to act together.

    The first thing is to STOP BLAMING US for you being stuck in traffic. We don't do that on the last friday of the month and we don't do that any other day. YOU put yourself into the trap.

    We cork because it is safer. If you can't understand it that is because you haven't experienced it. It's simple and easy and obvious. A bus doesn't cut itself in half if the light turns red. Neither do we. You wait 5 more minutes than you would otherwise and you say that the only thing that is an obstacle is us???

    Being a cyclist or being a motorist makes no difference. But being in a car makes one myopic. This is a system, not an individual rights thing. This is about OUR city that we all share. If you think you are going to improve things by blaming CM for the traffic problems than good luck to you. I wish I was so naive and could see such simple magical solutions.

    Critical Mass is fun, you should join it. It is for motorists. It is a present to the city. One day you will thank us, if you live that long - cars shorten the drivers lifespan.

    It's not us vs. you. It's all of us in this together. Blame us and see what happens. What happens is a bunch of agro idiots start showing up for an imaginary street fight event that your road rage invented and was publicised in the media. CM doubles in size because the media sell it as a chance to fight back at cars.

    But that isn't the point. Get out of your fight against the world driver me first mentality. Wait 5 minutes more in your car if you must or just don't get into it. You do have a choice every day and you do have the right to not drive. We make it possible to do that safely but you think we should go away and have only streets with cars never impeded.

    Every parade and special street closure event causes actual road closures. We do not. But people don't whinge about parades as if the parade and accuse the parade organisers of being only in it to piss people off. We don't block traffic. We ride with it. We increase the throughput of every street we go on, always 10x more people travelling on that street when CM is there than when it is not. And faster. People driving cars sometimes get stuck and have to wait because their car is too big so safely pass through a street that is being effectively utilised with so many people on it. Get a smaller car! Stop blaming us!

  • At 6:49 pm, September 27, 2009, Blogger Rusl Bicycle said…

    In a time when cyclists should be reaching out to car drivers in a peaceful and respectful way...

    I totally agree with you there!

    Until this:

    ... i see nothing but antagonistic, arrogance as they ride willy-nilly around the streets of Vancouver compounding the aggravation that drivers must face on their commutes home to family and friends.

    How is it that riding bikes together is so evil like this. You must be very confused cyclist if you think that riding a bike can be fairly called antagonism. Please don't hurt yourself. You shouldn't hate yourself for being on the road. It is the public space that we share and you have a right as a cyclist to you it too.

    Don't feel guilty about riding! Yes, there is a crazy car culture that says you don't belong, that you are blocking "legitimate" road users etc but pay that no mind. It is a lie. The law and all common sense says you can ride a bike. Please stop this self hating.

  • At 5:38 pm, October 13, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "Critical Mass does not Block traffic!!! We are traffic and we have just as much right to be on the road as you do."

    If you are traffic, abide by traffic rules, like you should. But you don't.

  • At 1:04 am, November 27, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Why can't anyone just enjoy doing something, like biking without getting all self righteous about it?


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