Friday, July 25, 2008


Critical MASS!

There were easily 200 people today! AWESOME! I remember rained out masses when i first moved here in summer of 2006 that had only 6 people. Way to represent that shit! Of course there were several encounters with drivers who were critical of our mass, one said to me (startlingly calm, actually) that if we as bicyclists wanted cars to share the "right to the road" that we need to in turn give cars their right to the road too (this as his pickup truck was stopped jutting 10 feet into the mass with myself and some other determined corkers making sure he didn't try to plow further.

His commentary really made me think, though:
If we wanted our right to ride in the road, we'd have to yeild that right to the cars, he explained. As in, if we really thought we deserved the rights the law gives us regarding use of public streets, a right continuously denied to us or intimidated out of us on our daily commutes, joyrides, group rides, etc.; we really just ought to let cars do it more‽ (interrobang?!).

I say FUCK THAT. His simple ignorance of the fact that a lot of cyclists are themselves drivers, not inside their cars, that we have the SAME right to the road that they do, and that there's no way in hell he'd do the same thing if we were a bunch of cars driving down the road - that'd be traffic. We too are traffic, and i mass because i can't stand the status quo vehicular elitism - i don't want to share the road, cars have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt the ineffectiveness of such a "nice" slogan (and "share the road" tag-owners are part of the problem too) to improve safety and RESPECT for bicyclists. Bikesnob had it right when he said the drivers can have the highways, everything else is ours.



Julius said...

But what about when we stop obeying traffic laws?

People always ask if CM is supposed to "raise bicycle awareness." To which I respond: "to make them aware we're assholes?" As far as a political statement, I'm not sure that CM furthers any cause in our favor as bike riders.

If we were trying to prove a point, we'd have to obey traffic laws and not take up four lanes. That's how we raise awareness. That we're vehicles, just not in the traditional sense.

Why should they respect us if we don't respect them?

I'm not saying that we should ride on the sidewalks, or stop riding through red lights when there's no traffic, but I just don't see the difference between vehicular elitism and cyclist elitism. This isn't a feud. We're on the same side.

ryanfromdeland said...

i was of the same opinion for the longest time, but the day-in-day-out bullshit wore me out.

i agree that if we shared with them, they'd be more inclined to share back, but i don't for a second believe that the majority of drivers would leave a situation of cm taking one lane as opposed to all lanes thinking, "oh, well that's a lot of bikes, wasn't that considerate that they only took one lane? now tomorrow i'm not going to hug that commuters ergo-bar end on my way to work."

don't take my personal reasoning for being there as any "official" reason either, because i love the variety of people that mass and their unique backgrounds, lifestyles, etc. that's what's so good about cm as a celebration of this common bond that so many types of people share and can celebrate together as this temporary, microcosmic, portable society.

thanks for commenting too, julius.

ryanfromdeland said...
This comment has been removed by the author.