Posts Tagged ‘critical mass’

If You Liked Yesterday’s Lower Haight Bicycle “Stop-In,” You’re going to LOVE Tomorrow’s Critical Mass – It’s OBEY THE LAW DAY!

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Here’s the thing about Critical Mass, Man – it doesn’t have any LEADERS, Man.

Not officially, anyway.

But people are planning away right now, for tomorrow’s special OBEY THE LAW Critical Mass, July 31, 2015.

So this is the plan, Man.  As with the recent Stop-In, cyclists would collectively stop for stop signs and red lights. The supposed concomitant traffic chaos during a Friday Evening Drive will, somehow, TEACH US ALL A LESSON about something. We’re going to be super-sorry that the SFPD dared to enforce a section of the CVC.

Anyway, that’s the word on the street, from some interested parties. (Oh, and check the official* SF Critical Mass Twitter – maybe they’ll have something.)

We’ll see how it goes. (It’s hard to herd cats, of course.)

Tourists just loooove CM, generally, you know, once they’ve been seated at the CHAYA on Embarc…


…or they’re already nearing their destination at the Fish Wharf:


(Both these shot show serendipitous(sp?) moments – everybody’s trying to understand what they’re looking at.)

But locals, I don’t know. Some of them don’t like the Commute Clot. Like people who would otherwise be taking these MUNI rides home. See how they stretch to the horizon? That was how Crit Mass looked, back in the day


Oh, you’re still here, Gentle Reader? Enjoy:

*And by that, the meaning is unofficial, officially. But, you know, wink wink, Man! Hey, don’t sue us, Man – that wouldn’t be groovy at all. ‘Cause like we organizers for these parades what sometimes have thousands of entrants, well, we have less liability insurance than the average impoverished Airbnb room letter. Man.

Our San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Has Lost Thousands of Paid Members Lately

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

[UPDATE: I’ve omitted Stanley Roberts’ video from this post as I mistakenly thought it was new as of this week when in fact it was posted almost two years old now. My apologies, Stanley. As you can see, Mr. Roberts goes after everybody (including fake monks and nuns) and certain people at the SFBC have been irritated by that over the years.]

Our San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has lost thousands of paid members lately.

Now part of that’s due to “churn,” which is something that every organization has to deal with, but most of it has to do with behavior of the SFBC itself. I’ll tell you, I’ve been riding bikes around town longer than the current SFBC has existed – no, I’m not saying that I’ve been here since the “early 70’s,” I’m saying that the SFBC didn’t really exist in the 1980’s when I came to SF. I’m saying that before Critical Mass (and its predecessor, the “Commute Clot”), the SFBC didn’t really exist – they were nowhere, man. What _did_ exist, a little later on, was the car-centric Willie Brown Administration. And all those functionaries working for Willie Brown were trying to find some “bicycle people” to cut a deal with, to tame Critical Mass, to give grant money to. But no, all the Critical Mass leaders were saying stuff like, “Critical Mass doesn’t have leaders, Man.” Eventually, the SFBC managed to practically become a part of the SFMTA, you know, conducting surveys for SFGov, receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in taxpayer and feepayer money, forcing companies like Twitter to deal with the SFBC, you know, officially, and, in return, the SFBC stopped promoting Critical Mass, and SFBC now offers pols a nice photo op every year on Bike to Work Day and it actually endorses (without consulting the Members at all) for election Willie Brown protegees like, I don’t know, Ed Lee, for example. So that’s the history, and during this history I’ve seen the SFBC grow in membership, from “over 1000” to “over 5000” to “over “10,000” and then “over 11,000” and then “over 12,000” and then, uh oh, back down to “over 11,000” and most recently back down to “over 10,000.” What are the numbers now? IDK, 9000-something? The SFBC isn’t exactly candid about its recent loss in membership. The SFBC certainly doesn’t want people freely looking at its tax forms or its older webpages, so that’s why it recently started suppressing this kind of information. Mmmmm… I’ll tell you, of course, there’s been a huge increase in bicycling in San Francisco since I’ve come here, and for various reasons, fine. (It’s sort of funny about how the big annual jumps in cycling came exactly during the rise of the fixie craze, and exactly when the Bicycle Plan injunction froze all infrastructure changes, but whatevs.) I’ll ask you, why can’t a monomaniacal advocacy organization like the SFBC concede anything? I guarantee you that the SFBC people who went the extra mile to “reach out” to Stanley Roberts of KRON-TV are pissed off about the above video coming out right before the Big Vote on Polk Street, which is supposably [what, no red underlining for a word I purposefully misspelled? Amazing] coming March 3rd, 2015, but who knows how that will work out. I’ll tell you, IMO Polk Street is a triple beam lyrical dream the way it is now. What are the other options to go north south in the area? If I don’t take Polk, then I’d be thinking Stockton, Grant, Kearney or the Embarcadero to the east or, to the west, Steiner (it’s sort of the pass over Pacific Heights, sort of) or Arguello through the Presidio. In your efforts to pursue your goals, SFBC, which I don’t necessarily oppose, you go too far and you end up alienating people like me, a man in his 40’s, and even older people such as Junior the Bike Messenger, and, apparently, THOUSANDS OF OTHER FORMER SFBC MEMBERS.

The question is, WHY IS THAT, SFBC?


Eurotrash at “The Chaya Brasserie” Gape in Wonder Upon Seeing Their First Critical Mass Bike Parade – Embarcadero, USA

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

They were delighted:

Click to expand 

“Creators of “La Nouvelle Cuisine Franco-Japanese” located in San Francisco, Beverly Hills, and Venice…”

The Best Costume for Halloween 2012: Critical Mass Miniskirt Road Flare Girl – It’s You, It’s New!

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Hey ladies! You already have white tops and black bras and short black skirts and black tights and white shoes in your closets, so all you’ll need is a road flare or two.

And how much will that run you, a couple bucks?

And then you’ll be ready for action the night of October 31st looking just like the real thing:

Click to expand

Bringing a friend or two with you? Well then have them wear pencil skirts and follow you around.

And your guy friends can bring their bikes along – it all comes together.

Happy Halloween!

Wow: Miniskirted Woman Takes On All of Critical Mass with a Single Road Flare – Hilarity Ensues

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Two women with tickets for the theatre did not take kindly to the 20th anniversary ride of Critical Mass last Friday night.

They did manage to rescue an SUV, but that’s the extent of their accomplishments.

Here it is, like a candle in the wind, a woman with a road flare in the Tenderloin:

You don’t like it, do you Rocco, the storm? Show it your gun, why don’t you? If it doesn’t stop, shoot it.

The American Flag Burners of Critical Mass – These Colors Don’t Run, But They Do Catch on Fire Pretty Easily

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Here we go, at the foot of Market Street, near the first of a long line of stalled MUNI streetcars and buses.

Oh, it’s time to burn Old Glory:

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Oh, what’s that? Focus? All right.

Dude was carrying an assortment of … devices? 

There was a message written in blue on this particular flag, but I don’t know what it said. And there might have been a few skid marks on it as well.

Of course the SFPD was keeping an close eye on things, so they had some uniformed officers swoop in to recover the victim:

But only Gaia knows who brought this flag to CM and who set it afire.

I’ll note that most Critical Mass participants don’t burn American flags…

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:

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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.

Halloween Critical Mass Yields One Arrest – Check Out the Slideshow From Steve Rhodes

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

Here it is.

No deets on this arrest.

By Steve Rhodes – Click to expand