Dear Cycling Critical Mass Critics

I find that cyclists who criticize critical mass seem to think that the only one’s opinions that matters are motorists.

I continually wonder about my own feelings.

I contradict myself as part of my own personal practice is to accept that fact that I am not important, in the grand scheme of things, and that my feelings don’t matter.

But for this post, let’s consider them for a moment.

Do my feelings on noise matter at all to anyone but me? Does anyone go out of their way to drive a quiet vehicle for me?


Does anyone care that they are endangering me each time they pass me?


Does anyone really care that they are polluting the air I breath?


Do businesses post bicycle directions for me online? Do they have bike parking for me in most venues? When inviting me to venues do people consider the range of a bicycle?

No. No. No.

So why do I have to care if you have to wait a few minutes for the critical mass bikes to clear an intersection?

Why do I have to care that you felt “unsafe” from some bicycles. Bicycles!

In Hollywood movies,we are losers and freaks.

Until that changes people have NO RIGHT to call us scary, too. You can’t have it both ways.

I want it known that I DO care about motorists and their feelings.

I do consider myself to be a motorist on occasion so I have all your fears and ambitions, your loves and hates.

I get MORE annoyed by bad behaving cyclists than most motorists.

But I do consider it to be the height of hypocrisy to get pissy about CM which is totally out of proportionate to the minor inconvenience it causes. Also, this completely ignores the overall positive message and experience that it provides.

So please, if you are going to spend five minutes bending my ear to trash critical mass let me respond in kind to tell how obnoxious motorists have ruined my day and almost killed me.

Lots and lots and lots of times.

Thanks for listening.


2 Responses to “Dear Cycling Critical Mass Critics”

  1. Joe Biel Says:

    Thanks for embracing the reality of the situation with its nuances. What is the kernel of truth in people’s disdain for Critical Mass beyond it’s challenging of the status quo? If it’s a 1-5 minute delay in your commute, perhaps I might point out the many 10 minute delays in commuting, induced demand, and the privilege of driving in the first place.

    • Fred Says:

      Yes, Joe, I think you make an excellent point.

      CM is the ink blot test of cycling: a protest, a rolling party, a riot, a peaceful ride, and a bike race.

      How you see CM is a reflection on how you see cycling. Those who hate bikes hate CM. Those who love bikes love CM. Those who ride, sometimes, can either love or hate it depending upon how much uncertainty they are willing to live with.

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