Critical Mass in Portland, Oregon

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Stewart/., Jul 2, 2003.

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  1. Stewart/.

    Stewart/. Guest

    hi

    it seems that there's a heated debate about Critical Mass going on and i'd like to make some
    statements.

    this past friday was our local critical mass ride, and i was in attendance. in the week prior, four
    cyclists were killed by drunk drivers. three of them (at once) were struck 2 blocks from where i
    live. the victims were a lot like me, i'd met them and danced to their band many times. none of them
    owned a car, all of them were wearing helmets and lights and riding in the bike lane. the
    purpose of critical mass was reiterated for its regular participants on friday, and there was
    a marked increase in attendance. young people, working people, parents with their families and
    all else were all their to make their presence clear to the city. i saw, as i said, all kinds
    of people, and all kinds of schwinns, beaters, and weathered and use-worn commuters. what i
    did not see was campy, dura-ace, colnagos, spandex or carbon fiber. the division in the
    argument seems, as least to me, to be between "cyclists" and "bicyclists". critical mass does
    not aim to bring attention to bicycling as a sport or even as an "activity". rather, it is an
    an opportunity for those who are not about to drive to a track to ride their bike, for those
    who are foreign to the training loops and powerbars of "cycling" culture, to make themselves
    seen--actually, undoubtedly seen--for at least one after in every month. i know that, for me,
    riding with critical mass is an act of desperation. there is absolutely a "motorist
    mentality", seperated from the rest of the world, and, supposedly, from consequence, by
    two-thousand pounds of metal. a bicyclist does not register as any sort of concern to a person
    behind the wheel of a car, and so the bicyclist's safety is automatically jeopardized.
    critical mass is, in itself, the message to the community is that the community itself is
    being put at risk when the safety of the bicyclist is comprimised.

    the most common comment that ive heard in the past week in regards to the driver who killed those
    kids by my house is that he "simply wasn't thinking". what does that mean? what wasn't he thinking
    about? he was not thinking of anyone but himself, closed up in his own personal missile. i rode
    critical mass for my own safety as i commute to work, to the grocery store. i also rode for those
    that were killed, and those that are constantly and consistently being killed an injured while
    riding their bicyles.

    thanks, stewart stone/.

    please respond to: [email protected]
     
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  2. Flashsteve

    Flashsteve Guest

    First, to correct some of your 'facts': there were two riders killed in the one accident, they were
    not wearing helmets (according to reports in the media) and I do not know about lights. I do not say
    that to lessen the criminality of what the drunk driver did, just to get the facts out.

    What we need to do (among other things) is (1) Get drunk drivers off the road: tougher laws, better
    enforcement (2) Get the driving public to take bicycles seriously as transportation (3) Do
    everything in our own power to avoid injury and protect ourselves if we are in an accident.

    In my opinion, all Critical Mass does is annoy the public and law enforcement, and contribute
    nothing to meeting the three above-mentioned items.

    As angry as I am about what happened to these cyclists, I don't see how anything CM does will
    prevent a future occurrence.

    Steve Scarich
     
  3. Buck

    Buck Guest

    "stewart/." <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > it seems that there's a heated debate about Critical Mass going on and i'd like to make some
    > statements.

    > make their presence clear to the city. i saw, as i said, all kinds of people, and all kinds of
    > schwinns, beaters, and weathered and use-worn commuters. what i did not see was campy, dura-ace,
    > colnagos, spandex or carbon fiber. the division in the argument seems, as least to me, to be
    > between "cyclists" and "bicyclists". critical mass does not aim to bring attention to bicycling as
    > a sport or even as an "activity". rather, it is an an opportunity for those who are not about to
    > drive to a track to ride their bike, for those who are foreign to the training loops and powerbars
    > of "cycling" culture, to make themselves seen--actually, undoubtedly seen--for at least one after
    > in every month. i know that, for me, riding with critical mass is an act of

    You will note that many of the "cyclists" that post here are also "bicyclists." Many of us on the
    anti-CM side ride "beaters" to work or school, but have a different bike for long weekend rides.
    Considering the time of the ride, I would not be surprised to see a bunch of beater bikes. There's
    no point in trying to ride home, grab your weekend bike, then ride back. The issues are the same for
    all cyclists, but those of us on the anti-CM side object to the methods used. Most motorists lump
    all cyclists together, so the actions of one reflect on us all.

    -Buck
     
  4. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

    Thu, 03 Jul 2003 15:09:12 GMT, <[email protected]>, "Buck" <j u n k m a i l
    @ g a l a x y c o r p . c o m> wrote:

    >There's no point in trying to ride home, grab your weekend bike, then ride back. The issues are the
    >same for all cyclists, but those of us on the anti-CM side object to the methods used. Most
    >motorists lump all cyclists together, so the actions of one reflect on us all.

    I've seen spun-sugar racing bikes and spandex on CM rides.

    Cyclists on the anti-CM side do what exactly? Lobby for bike paths?

    Am I getting the "back-lash" you've claimed is there because of the media's spin on CM or is it
    because of spandex clad roadies' clubs ignoring traffic laws while on their weekly training rides?
    Maybe I should blame it on the POB riding wrong way to the liquor store or is it those darn kids on
    their BMX bikes behaviour that's causing all the drivers' animosity. I sincerely doubt it's because
    all those puffy headed assholes were ever directly affected by CM. And even if they were, it still
    doesn't excuse their behaviour.

    Face it, raging cagers are scum and they've always been there. It's just that now there's more of
    them hyped on drugs and packed into the same space. There's no reason for them to change their ways
    as long as they continue getting away with vehicular assault and murder.

    If the "anti-CM" types succeeded at any effective action toward getting the raging cagers held
    accountable for the carnage and mayhem they cause daily, there may no longer be a need for
    monthly CM rides.
    --
    zk
     
  5. Kevan Smith

    Kevan Smith Guest

    On Thu, 03 Jul 2003 17:15:05 -0700, Zoot Katz <[email protected]> from Balsa Pacific Aero Ltd.
    Engineering & Bicycle Mongery wrote:

    >Cyclists on the anti-CM side do what exactly? Lobby for bike paths?

    No. They whine about CM on usenet.

    --
    http://home.sport.rr.com/cuthulu/ human rights = peace Isn't this my STOP?!
    12:27:18 AM 4 July 2003
     
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