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.