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Going to Mass, with the Mayor

I was running a little late, as I had to fix my light. Normally, I wouldn't be late for such a small detail, but at this Critical Mass, riders were asked to be VERY LEGAL, as the MAYOR was riding with us. That's right, I said the mayor; at Critical Mass. I've never heard of such a thing before, so I just HAD to be there! When I got to the North Park Blocks, the Mass was still waiting for stragglers like myself, so I was in luck. I spotted Mayor Potter right away, and he wasn't busy, so I approached him, shook his hand, and thanked him for riding with us. He was very cordial, although he seemed rather nervous. I would be too, if I were a public figure, taking such a big risk.

Well, it turns out that riding VERY LEGALLY is actually pretty dangerous. Ideally (for the riders), if the Mass hits a red light, or the light changes as the Mass passes it, someone will volunteer to "cork" the intersection, in other words, hold up traffic, until all the riders go by. This keeps everyone together, and the Mass moving at an even speed. Obviously, corking and running red lights is not legal. The argument for riding legally is that it should be safer. Here's the rub: When cyclists stop, motorists think the Mass has all passed, and they will turn right into the middle of it, and then they're REALLY stuck! Now, this is great, if your goal as a Mass rider is to snarl up traffic. This particular ride was a traffic nightmare. It didn't feel safe, though, with all those cars and bikes tangled up together.


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