Posts Tagged ‘commute clot’

Today on KQED-FM at 10:00AM: “Critical Mass, 20 Years Later” – Michael Krasny – Commute Clot Anniv.

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Well, today’s the start of San Francisco Critical Mass Week 2012.

Michael Krasny of KQED Forum will kick things off with a one-hour show on the history of Critical Mass.

And then festivities will end, of course, this Friday with the big 20th Anniversary Ride the evening of September 28th, 2012. (Not that you’d know it from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition website’s “Chain of Events” section, where all info about CM* is now censored.)

Suddenly surrounded by bicycles:

All the deets:

“It started with a bike ride in San Francisco on Sept. 25, 1992. About 50 people cycled in a pack along Market Street, hoping to earn some respect from drivers who sometimes ignored them or edged them off the road. They called it the “Commute Clot.” Today it’s known as Critical Mass, a movement that’s spread worldwide. Supporters say it promotes cycling and the rights of bicyclists. But critics say it is illegal, clogs traffic and antagonizes drivers. We talk about Critical Mass’ 20th anniversary, and its effects on the city.

Host: Michael Krasny


Chris Carlsson, co-founder of Critical Mass who was part of the first ride on Sept. 25, 1992, and has since participated in Critical Mass rides in Milan, Vancouver and Porto Alegre, Brazil

Hugh D’Andrade, founder of

Rob Anderson, blogger on transportation issues and author of the blog District 5 Diary

Tune in at 10:00 on your radio or on your device, Listen Live.

*The SFBC raises money through fees but it also gets mucho dinero directly from SFGov. So that’s why it endorsed Ed Lee for Mayor even though SFBC’s members generally did not and still do not like Ed Lee. Similarly, Chrstina Olague, Mayor Ed Lee’s hand-picked recruit for District 5 Supervisor, gets endorsed over Julian Davis even though SFBC members actually favor JD. The SFBC is basically a quasi-government agency now, so it’s very afraid of seeming to say something negative about certain members of the City Family. It’s also afraid of hurting the chances of its officers someday getting jobs / health care directly with SFGov / SFMTA. Anyway, that’s why the SFBC is basically a SFGov kiss-ass these days. It will lobby San Francisco government, certainly, but that’s about as far as it wants to go. (Think about it – who would the SFMTA endorse for Mayor?)

Portrait of a Critical Mass Corker, at Third and Market

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

I haven’t seen a Critical Mass in a while now.

Somehow winning the hearts and minds of Bay Areans:

Click to expand

Anyway, this is why all those MUNI buses were stopped.

It’s because of “corking” like this.

OK fine.


This Friday Will Be the First Friday of the Month, So It’ll be Time for the SF Bike Party! Like Critical Mass, But Not Illegal

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Sfist has all the deets of the forthcoming debut of the San Francisco Bike Party ride.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking, “what about criminal liability for the organizers?” But the thing is that the organizers are saying that participants need to stay to the right (more or less) and stop for red lights. That should serve to keep the ringleaders out of the hoosegow.

But what about civil liability? Well, that’s unlimited, baby, the sky’s the limit on that score. (I’d want a seven-figure liability policy in place before I’d start organizing huge bike parties, myself.)



San Francisco Bike Party rolls out the new year in style, our
inaugural ride is a rockin birthday party for the whole city! The
ride will take a leisurely tour of some popular areas of the city
along with our mobile sound systems. We’ll stop and party at 3
well-known spots along the ride. You are welcome to join or leave the
ride at any intermediate spot – the route will be posted the week of
the ride. If you want to volunteer to help with the ride, come early
and we’ll show you what to do.



Stay in the loop:


– Stay in the right lane
– Stop at red lights
– Leave nothing and nobody behind
– Ride predictably and in control
– Roll past conflict
– When in doubt, “bike party!!”

San Francisco Bike Party is a monthly CELEBRATION of biking!

– SFBP is for ALL RIDERS of different ages, types, and skill levels to enjoy.
– SFBP encourages people to bring POSITIVITY and CONTRIBUTE to good times while being RESPECTFUL to others.
– SFBP rides FUN and SAFE with stops to DANCE and SOCIALIZE along the way.
– SFBP follows PLANNED ROUTES exploring all different parts of the
city each month.

Who runs it?

– SFBP is created by a CO-OP, by and for bike enthusiasts, run by volunteers.
– SFBP volunteers plan the routes, test ride them, help participants
ride in control, avoid traffic disruption, and not get lost.

Who is it for?

– SFBP is for EVERYONE, cyclists and people on and around the street.
– SFBP invites riders from EVERYWHERE around the Bay Area and beyond
to participate and BRIDGE COMMUNTIES.

Where and When:

– SFBP is on the 1st FRIDAY meeting 7:30 rolling 8:00 pm every month, with the route being announced beforehand, beginning in and riding thru different parts of
San Francisco.

San Francisco Doesn’t Need a New York Judge or Anyone Else to Shut Down Critical Mass

Friday, February 26th, 2010

What makes San Francisco’s monthly Critical Mass an illegal bicycle parade is the fact that nobody gets permits. ‘Cause getting a permit is hard – it would entail doing stuff that costs a lot of money and it would make you a magnet for lawsuits, so who needs that, right?

The thing is that corking intersections and running red lights as a group (hallmarks of Critical Mass going back to the mid-1990’s), those things are obviously illegal, so the SFPD could start issuing citations whenever it wants, of course. And that’s true no matter how they roll in the Empire State. (Actually, I question how the New York decision affects us here in San Francisco at all, but oh well.)

I’ll tell you, the biggest shock that drivers have when they get stuck at an intersection is that they get no sympathy from the cops. Drivers without criminal records tend to stay by their cars and watch the parade of bikes.

OTOH, drivers with criminal records, well, Critical Mass is a test of their ability to maintain. Some fail.

Do I think San Francisco has the will to kill Critical Mass? No. But do I think Police Chief George Gascon is planning on shaking things up, in the coming months, you know, when rain no longer threatens* and the number of cyclists is bigger? Yes.

Hey, man, we don’t have any “leaders,” man. The City can’t do nothing to us, nobody’s in charge of CM, man.” Yes, roger that. I don’t think anybody’s going to stick you with a bill for $35,000 or anything, but changes are a coming…

Collateral damage from Critical Mass – MUNI vehicles stretching to the horizon in both directions. (Is that on the DO list or the DON’T list?) This kind of thing is one of the reasons you don’t see CM listed at the SFBC website calendar anymore.

Where’s Waldo, Cagney and Lacey on a recent Critical Mass ride:

The wonder of encountering an unexpected Critical Mass for the first time. Out-of-towners Rachel and Monica were delighted:

To Be Continued…

*Actually, tonight looks to be clear as a bell, Mel. But the forecast was for rain so tonight’s should be a smaller ride.