Critical Manners

Seems I’m not the only one that thinks Critical Mass should have a positive effect on traffic and the community. Check this article from the SFGate.

The cyclists were polite. The motorists were respectful. The pedestrians were happy. The cops were incredulous.

Critical Manners are also reportedly happening in Portland.



You name the time and place and I’m there.


The 12th is the 2nd friday of this month, seems like as good a time as any. 5:30, Westlake?

This was my primary objection to critical mass.  It should be about bicycle awareness without angering drivers.  A driver inconvenienced by critical mass is not going to be nicer to cyclists in the road.

y’know, i do believe that critical mass should be more a celebration of biking like the originators intended, rather than recent rides which have felt more like protests. i have continually tried to counter that young aggro component to the rides.

but critical manners? please. one of the most unsafe city group bike rides i took in the past several years was with cascade during a *ride of silence* where several hundred riders got split up into 30 or more small groups by traffic lights downtown. next thing you know, cars were doing their thing, driving in and out and between the small groups of cyclists. swerving, speeding, nearly hitting us. it was mayhem. and i *definitely* felt very unsafe. i have never felt unsafe on a critical mass ride.

if critical manner’s goal is to show cars we can follow their rules, great. but when are cars going to start obeying laws which give bikers space? give them an inch, they take a mile. and sadly on occasion, they take cyclists lives as well. sometimes showing cars that they aren’t always in control does make them angry, but i believe also makes them think. critical manners just makes them complacent.

If I can get the free time I’ll be at Westlake at 5-5:30.  I’m definitely up for trying it.  Also, I rode in the Ride of Silence last year after recently losing a close friend on 35th in WS.  I thought the ride was amazing.  At no time during the ride did I feel unsafe.  Drivers seemed way more accepting of us during the ride.

Here’s an example of when I did feel unsafe.  October CM last year when we went on Aurora.  Remember that???  I do and I remember some jackass in a F150 getting agro on the bridge, swerving into the center lane and nearly taking out the lead group.  This kink of sh!t is stupid and does nothing for cyclists but cause harm.

I’m en route to Taipei—good luck if you put something together

I think the most interesting thing in all this is the SF Gate article with only two comments. Can you imagine how many comments there’d be in the PI or Times if the usual bike haters got on board? Whoa…

I do agree the traditional CM can be a little too antagonistic, but Critical Manners may go a little too far the other direction. Some of the bike laws (like foot down stop), are just dumb and should be ignored. I can more than stop and stay stopped for the duration of most lights just fine without putting my foot down. Yet, I can still be ticketed for not touching the pavement. Sigh…can’t we all just get a long?

I agree that Critical Manners may go a little too far the other direction but I think the cool/exciting thing about this is that we can make it what we want it to be.  We don’t need to call it Critical Manners.  Single file?  Foot down?  Signaling at every turn.  Maybe a little much.  Taking a lane and not running lights?  Probably a good idea.

In any case I’ll be at Westlake tonight between 5 and 5:30 to see what happens.  Please come join me.  I’ll be on my Podium.

That’s the dumbest god damn thing I’ve ever heard in my life. 

1.)  Getting a ride the size of mass to stay together without running red lights is impossible and you’re a retard if you ever think otherwise. 

2.)  99.9% of the time we’re on the road we have to ride like we’re invisible so some dick cheese on a cell phone doesn’t hit us while he’s trying to get to work 2 seconds faster.  Mass is that 0.1% of the time that we can let loose, ride exactly how we want to and piss of drivers the same way they piss us off daily by almost killing us with their lack of concern for their fellow man. 

“eb” above was 100% correct when he said that when you give them an inch they take a mile.  “Follow the rules” and they’re just going to think that they don’t have to watch as much for you.  Hell, half of the drivers in the world probably think that WE have to yield to THEM! 

So the only idiots that would think this was a good idea would be people who don’t commute on a daily basis; people who don’t see how you have to ride to stay alive out there, because sometimes that means breaking a rule or two.

wake me up when it’s over. would ya?

i mean really, do any of you ACTUALLY believe that drivers give two squirts of piss if we’re nice, mannerly or not?

If you do, i’ve got some ocean front property in Mississippi i’d like to sell ya.

Seems like a bunch of uncle toms to me.

Don’t worry gentlemen, nobody’s talking about canceling Critical Mass. It’s worth recognizing that there’s a population of folks who don’t ride Mass because of it’s reputation for lawlessness and confrontation.
I’m all for getting more riders out on the street, and if it means they ride a Manners ride rather than a Mass ride I think that’s a good thing.

For this very reason I’ll be down at westlake center this evening. ( )
At the very least it’ll be a worthwhile experiment.

As long as Critical Mass isn’t a bunch of jokers on double bikes in clown suits.  It’s OK.  Seems like far more activist types than actual cyclists everytime I see it.  Kind of like a rollilng dork fest of hobbit looking cave dwellers that play lots of D&D.  No spadex. Lots of pacholli. Don’t really need some semi-homeless hippy on a Sears 10spd taking up my cause for safer streets. The guy with an actual job he’s screaming at in the SUV is going to run me over some day on LWB.

Critical Manners sounds good.  So does actual riders. 

Let’s keep this positive and not personal. It’s not the people, it’s the message (or lack of one) from Critical Mass that I posted about. Bike Hugger isn’t the place for negative comments or attacks.

What’s lame? Critical mass, the movement against it?

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