Critical Mass is
a monthly bicycle ride to celebrate cycling and to assert cyclists'
right to the road. The idea started in San Francisco in
September 1992 and quickly spread to cities all over the world. This
site attempts to be the most complete guide to all Critical Mass
rides around the globe.
Critical Mass has a different flavor from city to city --
there's a big variety in size, respect of traffic laws (or lack
thereof), interaction with motorists, and intervention by police. So
if you want to know more about Critical Mass, you'll really need to
find out what your local ride is like. For those who must know more
right now, here's a link to Chicago CM, which I suppose is a "typical" CM ride, if there is such a
Critical Mass has no leaders, and no central organization
licenses rides. In every city that has a CM ride, some locals
simply picked a date, time, and location for the ride and publicized
it, and thus the ride was born.
CM is an idea and an event, not an organization.You
can't write to "Critical Mass" -- certainly not by writing to me.
CM is intended to be a celebration, not an opportunity to cause trouble.Those who want to try to tie up traffic as much as possible and be confrontational with motorists are missing the point. We can assert our right to the road without being rude about it. Focus on the ride, not on the cars that also happen to be on the road.
I ran this site for ten years
(1998-2008) as a volunteer project.
Recently it's been difficult for me to
update the site in a timely fashion, and
I'd been wondering whether I should give
up. Then some
Florida CM'ers undertook a campaign to
deluge me with email to demand
priority for their listing to be updated
-- as though that would help me get to it
sooner, and as though I should move them
ahead of the dozens of other cities
already waiting in queue for their update.
Even when I explained that I have,
literally, over 10,000 messages in my In
Box, they didn't care. Here's what one of
them sent me:
FUCK YOU THEN! I hope this wastes your
WHOLE day thinking up a reply to this.
... why am I sharing this with you? Oh
yeah, to waste your precious time! Your
an elitist FUCK. ... How much time of
yours have I wasted now? I have wasted
enough of my time trying to be nice to
you, doing all but stroking your hair
back to get you to change TWO FUCKING
FIVES into TWO S***** SEVENS! I think
your scag mother should think about
building a time machine and going BACK
in time and have second thoughts about
FUCK*** your dad the prison guard. ...
Feel free to post the sht out of this
so it wastes even MORE time from your
10,005 eek mails. ... HEY CALL ME
561-633-3742. We'll talk about how busy
you AREN'T! ... Let me know how much
time I have wasted of yours but don't
stop the clock until you hang up with
me you self-righteous prick. Oh yeah
before you pick up the phone, focus on
this: SUPER FUCK YOU! [By
and emailed to me
So okay, I'm done. I encourage
people to seek Critical Mass information
on the Critical
Mass Wiki, and more importantly,
to help update it. A community effort is
the best way to ensure that ride info is
updated in a timely fashion.
Critical Mass Arrests. CM made international news
several times when police wrongly arrested many cyclists, on 7-25-97
in San Francisco, on 8-00 in Los Angeles, and since 2004 in NYC. (Bad arrests
have happened at many other CM rides, but only these three
were major media stories.) Check out websites about the
San Francisco and Los
Angeles incidents, or our own coverage.
Bikes Lobbies the federal government to support cycling. Also,
see how your elected officials voted on bicycling &
Belong's Guide to Advocacy This national coalition group has published an online
guide for doing bike advocacy work in your community, with
an emphasis on using federal money for bike-friendly
Bike Summer is an annual bike festival with rides, activist workshops, and fun events, occurring in a different city every year. Past host cities were: Los Angeles (2005), Seattle (2004), New York (2003), Portland (2002), Vancouver (2001), Chicago (2000), and San Francisco (1999). Activists are encouraged to hold Bike Summers in their own cities.
Media Bias against Bicycles This site exposes media bias against alternative
transportation modes, especially the bicycle, and to address
such bias with action, facts, constructive criticism and
Bike Fund Huge advocacy site/organization, with resources about
urban planning, bike to work programs, safety and more. The
group is oddly named, since it has nothing to do with money
Bicycle Greenway These folks are pushing for a national (U.S.) network of
bike paths for both recreation and transportation. They also
held a BIG ride across the U.S. in the Summer of 2000 to
promote the idea.
Cycle Network (U.K.) 5000 miles (with more to come) of continuous routes,
running right through urban centres and reaching all parts
of the UK (eventually passing within 2 miles of half the
population). Almost half the Network will be entirely
traffic-free, built along old railway lines, canal towpaths,
forestry tracks riversides and urban space.
Velo Mondial 2006 Conference
An international conference to support and plan for transportation cycling. The conference is held every six years, and the 2006 version will be held in Cape Town, South Africa in March.
Recommends going beyond traffic calming to reduce the number
and speed of cars on the streets.
Streets (San Francisco, CA US)
A movement which advocates massive street parties, covertly
painting bike lanes onto roadways, and other ways to subvert
the car culture. Here are the RTS pages for London
Way (New York City)
Local group asserting cyclist and pedestrian rights over
motorist prerogatives. Has stenciled over 250 street
memorials to car victims and published "Killed By
Alternatives (New York City)
Local group promoting alternatives to car-based
transportation. This website is HOT! It's a model for other
groups to emulate.
Transport Policy Institute Publishes a number of important studies and reports,
such as one explaining how cyclists actually subsidize the
cost of road-building for motorists, a Pavement Buster's
Guide, and much more. For activists who are ready to move
beyond simply riding in Critical Mass rides and actually get
something done in their communities, this site provides
plenty of the ammunition they'll need.
Police vs. Critical
Winnipeg, MB, Canada. Riders say police used excessive force in arresting five peacful Critical Mass riders. (More: Winnipeg Sun) May 2006
Denver, CO, USA. Police confiscated riders' bikes on the Denver Critical Mass ride. Until the police start impounding people's cars for minor traffic infractions, this is just completely inappropriate -- and an obviously childish exercise of power.
Spokane, WA. The police tackled cyclists and arrested almost all of them for "Disorderly Conduct". (more) Dec. 2005
New York. Cyclist victory! The police crackdown on CM for "parading without a permit" has been declared unconstitutional. (more)
New York. Cyclists filed a lawsuit against NYPD, which has responded with a counterclaim. (more)
See a trailer for the documentary about the controversial police crackdown on NYC Critical Mass coinciding with the 2004 Republican National Convention. (Or visit the filmmakers' website.
Good news from Portland
"Exciting things have been happening for Portland's CM. We've had regular
meetings with the Portland Police to reach compromises and understanding on
some things, and have achieved a ride with less harrassment, more bike
officers and fewer in autos / motorcycles, and a much more "feel-good"
ride with less tension. This has been largely the result of a few
dedicated CM riders willing to go to meetings and print up flyers for
riders, etc." -- Brian
How much energy we use.
Overconsumption of oil means that more people will
die as more wars are fought over an increasingly shrinking
supply. The U.S. alone uses 46% of all the gasoline used in
the world. (more...)
true cost of gas. Americans
whine about the "high" price of gas while
not realizing what a sweet deal they're
Pollution by cars causes lung cancer, respiratory
problems, urban smog, and acid rain. Greenhouse gases
emitted by cars causes global warming, which is not just a
concern for the future, it's happening right now. (more...)
The True Costs of Cars
on Welfare. While most motorists think that
their gas taxes and registration fees pay for the roads and
for other related costs, the truth is that infrastructure is
financed mostly by general taxes paid by everyone, which
means that those who don't drive are subsidizing those who
Societal costs of cars
& highways. Our relationship with the
automobile causes pollution, noise, congestion, sprawl, big
expenses, injury, and even death. The cost is greater than
The typical American family
spends almost $8000 a year to own and operate a
car, when you count the car payments, gas, oil,
maintenance & repairs, licenses, parking, and
If you took the money you'd save by getting rid of your
car and invested it you could have $2.3 million by
the time you retired. (more...)
Art Ludwig shows that AAA underestimates the cost of car
I was born into a
The Aesthetic Realism Foundation is a small
psychological cult in New York city. My
grandparents were members, so my mother was born
into it, and so was I. Recently I created a
website about the cult to get the word out. I
hope you'll check it out.
There is no such thing as an "official" Critical Mass site. CM is an idea, not an organization. Nobody licenses the individual rides, there are no leaders. This site is just a volunteer effort by a guy who tried to put together a helpful directory of all the rides.
Our links & info are only as
good as what people send to us.
often die out or change times, and often
nobody bothers to let us know. CM webmasters are also
notorious for not updating their pages -- and often
don't even list meaningful ride dates, times, and locations
-- much less a "last updated" date. We can only print what
we know. We're not psychic. So the ride you see listed here might be dead or changed. Sometimes we'll link to a very
outdated page or a simple archived email message announcing
a ride time if that's all we could dig up for that
city. You can help by feeding us corrections & new sites
when you know about them.
More links than you can shake a kickstand
at about every cycling issue imaginable, and thankfully
organized into different sections.
Web-based discussion groups (not email-based) for a
large variety of specialized biking topics, including
Advocacy, Bike Mechanics, Bike Messengers, Commuting,
Handcycling, Safety, Women's Cycling, and more.
Unusual Bikes: On our
sister site we have a huge list of recumbent bikes
(recliners), adult tricycles, cargo/workbikes, bike cars (4
wheels), trailers, pedicabs, electric scooters, and more.
Machines powered by bikes:Maya Pedal makes pedal-powered blenders, water pumps, cofee depulper, metal sharpener, washing machines, woodsaws, eectricity generators, and more. Wow!