In my opinion one of the biggest goals of Critical Mass is to get cyclists on the road and seen by others; so as to encourage others to ride bikes as well as to let others know that there are cyclists out there and that they have rights and deserve respect. In my opinion bad or good press for bicyclists is good. Every day in the newspaper and on the news there are reports of reckless drivers, drunken drivers, and road-enraged drivers. This does not stop people from driving cars it seems. There will always be cases of people being reckless or threatening. This will continue even as more and more people seek alternative modes of transportation (and hopefully more will). Whether I ride a bus, a bike or a car, on occasion there will be someone who is loud and obnoxious or doing something that makes me feel uncomfortable but I still need to take some form of transportation. I think people should just ride their bikes the way they feel they should. And the more who do that the better. Riding a bike should be a viable alternative for transportation.
Right now in America I feel that a lot of the issues being discussed and argued are non-issues or not very important issues. For example a lot of people are angrily discussing the rising price of gas. When, in my opinion, the issue is why are gas prices so low when we are using up more and more of a diminishing finite resource. Or, to relate it to the recent incident with CM, right now the issue people are discussing their concerns with the people that were arrested and their behavior. When, I think the main issue should be where are all the cyclists when gas is such a limited commodity. Why are more people driving now than last year? Why if you drive a Cadillac Escalade are you more respected than if you ride a bicycle? This is the real issue.
The Columbia River used to freeze over. Now it doesn't. Is this because of global warming? Most everyone I know that is old enough to have driver's license owns a car. Those too young are aspiring to own one. I saw a dead possum and it's babies dead in the middle of a 25mph road. Some would say who cares they're small and ugly.
I think a lot of important issues are not being discussed right now. I say let's not get bogged down by trivialities and lets start recognizing and dealing with some real problems. Let's not act like a couple of crackheads arguing in their rundown living room about why they only get 2 channels on their TV. They need to quit. We, Americans, need to quit before it's too late.
In 1961 JFK said "...my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country." Now more than ever Americans need to listen to those words and look at their lives. I hope someone gets something out of this rambling. I also invite everyone to Vancouver Critical Mass on May 19th at Esther Short Park 5:30pm in Downtown Vancouver. Thank you.