portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article portland metro


Argument For Ending Weekly Critical Mass Rides

also as comment in the last argument..which was silly, there is no "Critical MAss Central Command"...but dont tell the WW that! Anyone that may pose as "CMCC" or as head of CM is out of touch with what CM was built on and has less credibility than you think.
I agree that the weekly CM rides should end, or at least should not be advertised and acknowledged as Critical Mass. Critical Mass is a monthly celebration of bicycling, an exertion of cyclists rights, and a bicycle awareness meeting. The weekly rides were "special" CM rides for political reasons. The ethics of CM is really political in that nature. But we bend the rules, in San Francisco (where CM started) they were riding EVERYDAY CM style against the war. I dont think they still are.

Some good reasons to stop riding the weekly CM rides are the police prescence. Each week (and especially last week) the cops come out in force and usually outnumber the actual riders. THis is not good CM publicity it is going to scare away those summer riders for fears of police aggression against them. We want to get the numbers that we had last fall back out on the street, when we can outnumber the police we can overtake them and show cyclist victories.

It isnt just about being out on the street on a bicycle, there are other things to celebrate and to fight. Just yesterday the Oregon House passed a bill that would allow cyclists to treat red lights and stop signs as yield signals. That is very important for CM and may give wight to corking efforts as they have been nonexistant with the police, and even before were confined to a few core individuals.

The weekly rides had purpose when we had numbers, now it is just bad publicity and risking your neck. The cops are charged against CM right now and it would be best for the movement of CM as it is to stop the "political masses" each week and focus on the main ride at the end of the month. Lets shoot for a thousand in May and go from there.

I will still down in the NPB each Friday to see off those that may want to disregard and ride anyway. I may even ride with you, but my main objective will be FNB. I hope this sheds some realistic light on the argument and gives way to understanding. Ride at your own risk and try not to bring the credibility of CM down in the process. Ride and celebrate. Peace. Love.
Maybe so but consider this... 07.May.2003 10:56


Though CM started as a pro-biking demonstration that joined the pro-peace efforts in Portland [and other locations], it has also shown a glaring flaw with the mindset at City Hall, with Frau Katz and her Schutzstaffel harrassing the citizen voicing their constitutionally protected views. She is embarrassed by you who ride every week, and those that refuse to leave from in across from her office in spite of the abuses that she has sanctioned against them. Democracy is not always neat and pretty, but it must be charished and held sacred or it won't be at all. Rose Festival is approaching and you can bet that she will be sending her minions in ever increasing force to "clean-up" the streets of Portland. This should be an interesting summer in "Little eirut" for sure.
Hold to your freedoms and harm no one.

Pointless 07.May.2003 11:41

Seville Seville11@yahoo.com

On principle I will not participate in any demonstration or CM ride that is an agreement to be herded by the police. The weekly rides are accomplishing nothing more than giving a few malcontents an excuse to stay mad at the 'man.'

In reality, I cannot participate in a ride that may get me arrested and ticketed. A one or to hundred dollar fine may be denigrated as chicken feed by some here but it's more than I can afford.

A monthly CM ride that is an upbeat way to make a point - YES.

An appointment with a hundred and fifty cops to be herded through downtown once a week - NO.

fffffff 07.May.2003 11:54


> Some good reasons to stop riding the weekly CM rides are the police prescence.

do you smoke crack?

Yield signs? 07.May.2003 12:13


Where did you hear of this bill? I am wondering if the source is credible - I am not saying you are lying but this would be awesome if it actually happened, and i want to read up on this potential law...

keep the rides, lose the name 07.May.2003 13:34


How about doing what they do in San Francisco: keep the rides as a political event (anti-war), but call it something else (they call it "Bikes not Bombs"). If people knew "Bikes Not Bombs" was a probable confrontation with the State and its police, they might not come to that, but they might still come to Critical Mass if that was promoted as more of a joyful excercising of bicyclists rights.

Stop signs don't mean 'Maybe' 07.May.2003 13:54

i love to bike

If the House Bill that "allows bike riders to treat red lights and stop signs as yield signals" passes as law, there will NEVER be peace between cyclists and motorists. This law would definitely lead to more accidents on our streets prompting insurance costs and other restrictions on our freedoms. Imagine cyclists being required to carry a cycling license and have proof of cycling insurance! How would you like to get kissed to the pavement by the bumper of a huge SUV because you're busting stop signs, you're dead fred. You're slitting your own throats by supporting a law that will lead to an eventual strip-search of our freedoms. This bill mends nothing and makes a bad situation a terrible situation.

CMCC was just a joke 07.May.2003 13:57

the original CMCC

CMCC was just a joke. There is always grousing about some mythical command structure for CM. To cynical folks who have been around CM for some time, hopefully the CMCC remarks were appreciated. To newer folks who have not yet grown accustomed to the strong distaste for heirarchy within the mass, I'm sorry for giving you the runaround.

CMCC commands you to PARTY ON!

Bill is a good thing. (re: i love to bike) 07.May.2003 18:06


First, I think the bill's language said "stop signs and *flashing* red lights". And basically, if you are riding up to a stop sign at 15 mph and no one is around, you could legally keep going. If there is someone stopping and going to go before you, you would have to legally yeild (and would want to anyway, since most people won't volentarily put themselves in front of SUVs to be squished).

I don't think the bill allows bikers to just go through anything, especially solid red lights. (For that reason, I don't actually think it is much help to things like CM.)

CM 09.May.2003 13:27

bht criticalmasser@riseup.net

There have been comments on here that I dont understand. I dont understand much these days, so what? The House Bill is #2768 and it has already passed in the house. I do not know the Number of the Senate Bill or when they vot e on it, but it is likely to be passed. There is also a house bill, #3303 that would require cyclists to register their cycles and license themselves so that the police would have access to records. That has not yet been voted on. Any questions, direct them to my email.