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Critical Mass ride tonight ...

RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
edited March 2009 in Commuting chat
Anyone from here that I should keep an eye out for? :)
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  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    No, we're not hippies :)
  • RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
    biondino wrote:
    No, we're not hip :(
    Fixed. :o
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    Oh yes, that too!
  • CrapaudCrapaud Posts: 2,666
    Roastiecp wrote:
    Anyone from here that I should keep an eye out for? :)
    Plod?
    A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject - Churchill
  • Greg TGreg T Posts: 3,266
    Roastiecp wrote:
    Anyone from here that I should keep an eye out for? :)

    Soap salesmen?
    Fixed gear for wet weather / hairy roadie for posing in the sun.

    What would Thora Hurd do?
  • Hairdressers?
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,146
    Hipsters?
    2015 Canyon Aeroad CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Inflite SL 7
    On the Strand
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  • mrchrispymrchrispy Posts: 310
    just a bunch of hippies causing trouble.
    not woth the bother
  • downfaderdownfader Posts: 3,686
    Just like with many protests it started out with a decent message, and then a significant majority ruined it all. CM will forever be sullied as a result and no one will take them seriously again. Sad but true.
  • RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
    Cynics.

    It is a good laugh, seems well received by the majority of people it comes across and is a great collection of cyclists from all walks of life.You can meet people from messengers to hippies to suited Brommie pilots to devoted CTC/LCC campaigners.

    Don't knock it if you aren't willing to try it.

    ps. I missed tonight on account of drinking beer :o
  • fossyantfossyant Posts: 2,549
    Well it's IBIKEMCR's month long festival launch tonight...... I fancy popping down to Yofixie in a couple of weeks but there are a fair few 'illegal' races - TT's and alleycat's.......over the next four weeks....
  • chuckcorkchuckcork Posts: 1,471
    Roastiecp wrote:
    Cynics.

    Knock it if you have tried it.

    Yes, I have and I will.
    'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze....
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    Roastiecp wrote:
    You can meet people from messengers to hippies

    And this is a man who's trying sell the idea ;)
  • MrChuckMrChuck Posts: 1,663
    chuckcork wrote:
    Roastiecp wrote:
    Cynics.

    Knock it if you have tried it.

    Yes, I have and I will.

    Me too. Unfortunately chuckcork, downfader and mrchrispy are, IME, spot on.
  • AndyMancAndyManc Posts: 1,393
    MrChuck wrote:
    chuckcork wrote:
    Roastiecp wrote:
    Cynics.

    Knock it if you have tried it.

    Yes, I have and I will.

    Me too. Unfortunately chuckcork, downfader and mrchrispy are, IME, spot on.

    And IME they are totally wide of the mark.

    There are not enough cycle activist groups taking to the streets or individuals taking action at a local level, do nothing and nothing will change, in fact, do nothing and the situation will only worsen.




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  • atticaattica Posts: 2,362
    Oooh, acronyms

    IMHO we need to clean up our act before we can get all high and mighty, as soon as RLJing and pavement riding gain the sort of social stigma that drink driving has we'll be in a position to start claiming the streets. Until then we're doomed to SNAFU
    "Impressive break"

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    ...I can taste blood"
  • MrChuckMrChuck Posts: 1,663
    AndyManc wrote:
    MrChuck wrote:
    chuckcork wrote:
    Roastiecp wrote:
    Cynics.

    Knock it if you have tried it.

    Yes, I have and I will.

    Me too. Unfortunately chuckcork, downfader and mrchrispy are, IME, spot on.

    And IME they are totally wide of the mark.

    There are not enough cycle activist groups taking to the streets or individuals taking action at a local level, do nothing and nothing will change, in fact, do nothing and the situation will only worsen.


    .

    You're right in principle, but the situation was actively being made worse on the ride I went on. Each to their own but I don't see how deliberately holding up traffic to provoke a shouting match with drivers was helping to promote cycling at all.
  • AndyMancAndyManc Posts: 1,393
    MrChuck wrote:
    AndyManc wrote:
    MrChuck wrote:
    chuckcork wrote:
    Roastiecp wrote:
    Cynics.

    Knock it if you have tried it.

    Yes, I have and I will.

    Me too. Unfortunately chuckcork, downfader and mrchrispy are, IME, spot on.

    And IME they are totally wide of the mark.

    There are not enough cycle activist groups taking to the streets or individuals taking action at a local level, do nothing and nothing will change, in fact, do nothing and the situation will only worsen.


    .

    You're right in principle, but the situation was actively being made worse on the ride I went on. Each to their own but I don't see how deliberately holding up traffic to provoke a shouting match with drivers was helping to promote cycling at all.

    CM isn't there to promote cycling , it's there to exhibit and insist that cyclists have as much right to be on the road as any other vehicle and to demand respect.

    Those drivers that are "annoyed" at being held up at CM demo's are the same drivers that will show little respect every other day of the week for cyclists or anyone else for that matter that gets in their way.

    What ratio of cyclists gets involved in CM or any other direct action to improve cycling or change attitudes in the UK, 1 in 50,000 perhaps , less may be more ?

    If that ratio was improved to the point of causing serious concerns for the authorities and disruption in city centres then they would be forced into taking the concerns of cyclists much more seriously.
    attica wrote:

    IMHO we need to clean up our act before we can get all high and mighty, as soon as RLJing and pavement riding gain the sort of social stigma that drink driving has we'll be in a position to start claiming the streets. Until then we're doomed to SNAFU

    Don't you think you should far more concerned about those in half ton killing machines that RLJ , drive in cycle lanes, park on pavements, drive drunk/drugged, unlicensed, uninsured etc instead of those cyclists that more often that not will only put there own lives in danger when they contravene road traffic regulations .



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  • chuckcorkchuckcork Posts: 1,471
    edited March 2009
    MrChuck wrote:
    chuckcork wrote:
    Roastiecp wrote:
    Cynics.

    Knock it if you have tried it.

    Yes, I have and I will.

    Me too. Unfortunately chuckcork, downfader and mrchrispy are, IME, spot on.

    Sorry, I meant that too (I was taking the Mick out of the previous poster altering someones quote to suit themselves), in other words I have tried it and as a result I will knock it, going out of your way to pick a fight doesn't go down well with anyone I should think, let alone motorists who whether we like it or not we have to share road space with.
    andymac wrote:
    Don't you think you should far more concerned about those in half ton killing machines that RLJ , drive in cycle lanes, park on pavements, drive drunk/drugged, unlicensed, uninsured etc instead of those cyclists that more often that not will only put there own lives in danger when they contravene road traffic regulations .

    This rather concerns me as well, like anyone else who'se spent enough time on the roads on a bike I've seen enough of what you describe and unfortunately too often felt threatened by it, but I don't see how CM is going to change such or bring about pressure for change. P*ssing people off is just likely to make said drivers of heavy metal objects more antagonsitic towards us, which can't be a good thing.

    You would likely have more success in engaging with local politics given that is where the majority of influence is going to create change of a meaningful kind, that is as I understand it how other sections of society try and influence policy in the directions they desire?
    'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze....
  • Jay dubbleUJay dubbleU Posts: 3,197
    So if its not there to promote cycling what is it's purpose - to antagonise drivers? Confirm their worst preconceptions?
  • AndyMancAndyManc Posts: 1,393
    So if its not there to promote cycling what is it's purpose - to antagonise drivers? Confirm their worst preconceptions?

    Why should drivers be antagonised by cyclists fulfilling their legal right to be on the road.

    I'll tell you why some drivers get p****** off by CM, because there's a large section of 'motorists' that believes no-one has the right to get in their way or slow them down.

    The perception that these (and I use the term loosely) 'motorists' have about cyclists will not be altered by CM.

    I've been on numerous CM's and have had different responses from car drivers , some that have got out of the vehicles and applauded (not in a sarcastic manner I might add) to drivers that will attempt to ram and intimidate bikers out of their way, that is a mindset they have 24/7 .



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  • Eau RougeEau Rouge Posts: 1,118
    AndyManc wrote:
    What ratio of cyclists gets involved in CM or any other direct action to improve cycling or change attitudes in the UK, 1 in 50,000 perhaps , less may be more ?

    If that ratio was improved to the point of causing serious concerns for the authorities and disruption in city centres then they would be forced into taking the concerns of cyclists much more seriously.

    What ratio of those on the Critical Mass demos will ride their bike on the streets again this month? Thats the ratio we need to improve if we are to get anywhere.

    Protests are all well and good, but rarely achieve much. It's far too easy to just dismiss it as a bunch of malcontents, something thats as true for CM as any other protest.
    Ordinary, everyday mass participation activity is far more effective. More cyclists out there every day is the key, not some protest that appears designed to get things by pissing people off.
  • AndyMancAndyManc Posts: 1,393
    Eau Rouge wrote:

    Protests are all well and good, but rarely achieve much.

    I'm not sure those that took part in the violent poll tax demo's would agree, or the anti-Vietnam war protests or ........ well you get the idea.

    Just because (and I agree) they rarely achieve much, doesn't mean you should stop and give up.

    I think cyclists can take the moral high ground, environment, health, community etc etc.

    The only reason why 'car culture' is supported and promoted so vigorously is down to an economic reliance on the sustained production of the motor vehicle.

    It's an economic reliance many will defend to the death, it's far more profitable (for the few) than a 'cycle city' culture and the promotion of a strong public transport system.

    I'm sure we have all had first hand experience what a motor vehicle turns a person into and that’s not the sort of individual we need driving around our city centres.



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  • RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
    Eau Rouge wrote:
    Protests are all well and good, but rarely achieve much.
    Er, really? :shock:

    So all those Civil Rights activists in South Africa and the US (etc.) were just wasting their time, and change would have come if they'd rather just sat around (silently and invisibly) hoping for it?
  • Eau RougeEau Rouge Posts: 1,118
    Note the world "rarely". The Vietman war nor Poll Tax were stopped by protesters no more than the current Iraq war was stopped by the protests. That people protest is all well and good, but the real force for change is the opinion of the millions who don't protest. If they want it, they get it, the protesters make no real difference.
    The only reason why 'car culture' is supported and promoted so vigorously is down to an economic reliance on the sustained production of the motor vehicle.

    This is that key point again. 'Car culture' isn't supported because of pure economics, and certainly not any need to produce them. It's supported because most people will drive a car half a mile to the shops to buy some milk, let alone any other journey they make. That many people using their cars that often demands that 'car culture' is supported and governmental resources spent on it. The biggest economic factor involved with the car is the fear that people wouldn't be able to get to work or the shops. not some need to make people rich.

    Bike culture in the UK is so badly treated because in real terms virtually nobody does it. The roads are no more designed for bikes than they are for horse drawn caravans, and the ONLY way that is ever going to change is to have the cyclists there first to force create the demand for resources.

    The Dutch have great cycling facilities, but thats because virtually every Dutch person cycles regularly, but it's not actually about the facilities. If we all woke up tomorrow with Dutch style cycle paths accross the UK, I don't see that anything would be different. People would still drive their kids half a mile to school on Monday, and instead of spending needed money on the overwhelming majority, it would have been spent on a tiny minority, and rightly, people would be angry at it, and they wouldn't need an Critical Car Mass protests or marches to be listened to either, there would be more than enough of them.

    Not supporting a protest that appears more anti-car than pro-bike does not mean we do nothing. They very best thing we can all do is use our damn bikes more, show it can be done, and encourage others to do the same.
  • CrapaudCrapaud Posts: 2,666
    Roastiecp wrote:
    Eau Rouge wrote:
    Protests are all well and good, but rarely achieve much.
    Er, really? :shock:

    So all those Civil Rights activists in South Africa and the US (etc.) were just wasting their time, and change would have come if they'd rather just sat around (silently and invisibly) hoping for it?
    Critical Mass has been going on nigh on 20 years. Has it achieved anything? I've been following it for the greater part of that time and I couldn't honestly come up with one single positive thing that could be directly attributable to CM. By it's very nature it can't; it has no message and no consensus. CM can't even agree amongst itself whether it's a protest, a campaign, a demo, a celebration of cycling, a parade or whatever.
    AndyManc wrote:
    CM isn't there to promote cycling , it's there to exhibit and insist that cyclists have as much right to be on the road as any other vehicle and to demand respect. ...
    It's there to bully and coerce? You don't demand respect, you earn it.
    AndyManc wrote:
    ...What ratio of cyclists gets involved in CM or any other direct action to improve cycling or change attitudes in the UK, 1 in 50,000 perhaps , less may be more ? ...
    What's the ratio of anti-authoritarian agitators, anti-capitalists, pro-environmentalists, anti-motorists, [insert your political agenda here], within CM to those who actually give a toss about cycling? Or for that matter what proportion of CM is composed of folk that haven't really thought about it and go along because, "well, it's on bikes so it must be a good thing"? How do the numbers for CM stack up against those that are active in cycling advocacy / campaigning groups? What the censored 's the Rebel Clown Army (~25% of the CM that I went to) got to do with cycling?
    AndyManc wrote:
    If that ratio was improved to the point of causing serious concerns for the authorities and disruption in city centres then they would be forced into taking the concerns of cyclists much more seriously.
    I don't really know how to respond to this other than to say, if that's the way forward, I don't want anything to do with it. I hope that it's just your opinion and not the prevailing attitude of CM. I've questioned, and speculated, before about why the police keep trying to get CM shut down (I've never had a reply), perhaps it's because of this type of agressive, combatative attitude.

    I'm with Chuckcork on this; if you want to effect change for the better, of the cyclists lot, engage with the authorities.

    Let's face facts: CM has achieved nothing and cannot in its present form. However it started out, it's not the same creature now, but has become a bandwagon for a diverse number of political activist groups whose relationship to cycling is, at best, tangential.

    TL;DR: CM is an abject failure and an embarrassment.
    A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject - Churchill
  • chuckcorkchuckcork Posts: 1,471
    How did the Vietnam war, in which the UK played no part (much to the annoyance of the US I understand) get ended by protests in the UK, a minor country which the US doesn't particularly listen to vis a vis foreign or military policy anymore than say Canada?

    Likewise CM isn't going to be listened to by those in a position to make a difference, the ones who will make a difference will be those that engage with the political establishment on a level where change is possible.
    'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze....
  • crankycrankcrankycrank Posts: 1,830
    What I find interesting is that almost all non-cyclists that I have talked to have never heard of critical mess. Unless they were unfortunate enough to come across one in which case they came away hating cyclists. A neighbor of mine who is a casual cyclist and knows I ride quite a bit, proudly informed me she was invited to a critical mess but she wasn't sure what it was exactly. Since I or no one else seems to know exactly what it is I did my best to explain to her that it is a crowd of people who get together on their bikes and block traffic and anger a good percentage of the people they encounter. Some call it fun, some call it awareness, some call it a protest. I call it self-righteous and pointless, kind of like organising a group of pedestrians to walk down the middle of the road and block traffic with no stated goal other than they feel like getting together to walk down the middle of the road. Well actually it's not kind of like that, it's exactly like that. Years ago in San Francisco critical mass were cyclists who organised actual, clearly stated protests by blocking the Golden Gate bridge etc. It made plenty of drivers angry but at least they knew that the cyclists were protesting for better riding conditions The government actually took notice and decided to spend some $$ to improve conditions. That was something worthwhile. So can someone please explain to me why you feel the need to go out and do something that is disruptive and angers people for no reason other than your own selfish pleasure.
  • AndyMancAndyManc Posts: 1,393
    Eau Rouge wrote:

    This is that key point again. 'Car culture' isn't supported because of pure economics, and certainly not any need to produce them. It's supported because most people will drive a car half a mile to the shops to buy some milk, let alone any other journey they make.

    Recent events have proven that statement to be incorrect, a massive slump in car buying world wide and yet governments have pumped billions upon billions of tax payers money into dying companies ..... for economic reasons, to keep people in jobs. European governments are even offering the public thousands of pounds if they dump their old car for a new one ...... to help support the economy.
    Crapaud wrote:
    I'm with Chuckcork on this; if you want to effect change for the better, of the cyclists lot, engage with the authorities.

    Doesn't work
    Crapaud wrote:
    I don't really know how to respond to this other than to say, if that's the way forward, I don't want anything to do with it

    There have been many times in history when social unrest is justifiable, if you compile all the associated issues , environment being the most urgent, then I believe upsetting a few individuals is totally justifiable.
    Crapaud wrote:
    Let's face facts: CM has achieved nothing and cannot in its present form

    It's not a fact, and whilst it's difficult to assess the effect CM has had globally, CM along with others under the environmental banner are making life difficult for governments worldwide, again as I said before , the more that take action , the quicker the results.



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  • Jay dubbleUJay dubbleU Posts: 3,197
    Sorry but for me cycling is fun, a sport and a cheap form of travel not a political act nor would I wish it to become one - its just another bunch of hippies annoying people - same as the forthcoming G20 riot :twisted:
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