seen on Adbusters
Against the Machine!
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.
Get a free website for your local CM
...at the CM Wikia.
Example fliers and handouts. Also, an SF group will make a
for Clean Air flier for your local ride.
There are Critical Mass discussion lists in cities all over
the world. Join one of them.
Book: Critical Mass, Bicycling's Defiant Celebration Produced for the 10-year anniversary of CM in Sept.
2002, this book chronicles the birth and evolution of the
ride in S.F. and elsewhere. See about the July
2003 book tour.
Critical Mass Times
An international newsletter and clearinghouse, with links to
Mass happenings around the globe.
Web-based newsletter of CM & bike-related happenings in
London and around the world.
Critical Mass Song (Lyrics only.)
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.
Other Anti-Car sites
Commercial Broadcast-quality ad by AdBusters.
Busters International group based in Europe working towards a
car-free society. They publish a hot magazine ("Car
Busters") and email newsletter, and sponsor World Car-Free
Day every September.
Cities These folks advocate for car-free cities in a
well-researched and professional manner.
US A group working to create a car-free city in the
a) Car-Free Day Large, well-organized site which details how to plan a
Car-Free Day in your city.
Change Documents the tremendous environmental, social and
economic damage caused by endless road building. Also
publishes Culture Change magazine (formerly
out of the bike lane! Posts vigilante photos of autos parked in the bike lane
in Toronto, Canada.
Park(ing) Day Promotes the creation of temporary public parks
in public parking spaces.
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
Energy & Pollution
Oil Crisis is coming. Life as we know it is
about to change, forever. Believe it. (More: Guardian article, PeakOIl.com,
After the Oil Crash)
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.
We'll cry if you don't link to us.
to Not Get
Hit by Cars
An illustrated guide for bicyclists. Might save your
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.
Bicycling Life Resources for bicycle commuters, including safety skills, strategies for biking to work, how to fix a flat tire, more.
BikeToWork.com Resources for bicycle commuters, including local & state organizations, news, products, and more.
How to Not Get Hit By Cars
An illustrated guide, with nice color pictures. Very
Other Biking Resources
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.
Unicycling.org For those who prefer to ride with one wheel.
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!
Facilities: Check out
ideas for bikeways free from cars: Bikes
in the sky and an enclosed
system that boosts speed with fans. Also, here are
planning bike facilities.
A huge, searchable list of all kinds of bike rides across
the United States.
Brown | Park Tool | The Bicycling Site
These sites will show you how to fix your own bike.
Universe Tips for planning a cross-country tour. Covers training,
what to pack, equipment, trip journals, and more.
Legal. When you get hit by a car, these personal injury attorneys can help: BicycleAttorney.com (Oregon),
, BicycleLawyer.com, Gerry Oginski (NY), and Willie Schmerler at Scanlan, Buckle, & Young (Austin).