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Tuesday, February 05, 2008 

Portland Critical Mass, c'mon guys play by the rules

(from www.rosecitycriticalmass.org)

"Critical Mass is:

- A leaderless, spontaneous bike ride through the streets of Portland (and hundreds of other cities worldwide)
- A time to ride your bike without fear through busy downtown streets
- A great way to meet other bicyclists, pass out fliers, learn about other events
- A meandering celebration of bicycling
- Something different for everyone
- Family-friendly
- A visionary projection of what our future might look like"

(A rider account from several years ago)

"Someone in the group yelled out "lets take both lanes". No one responded but someone decided to go out in between cars, then I followed with a few others and we again chanted "Who's Bridge?" "OUR BRIDGE!". We chanted loud and it meant something because we had taken the bridge even if it was only one direction. Right before we got off the bridge someone said to look back at all the cars we had backed up. I looked back and I felt as if I had won a battle, it felt like instead of riding my bike and being scared of the cars racing past me that the cars instead had to slow down and notice that they are not the only people on the streets."

Getting the word out that motorists are not the only one on the road, yes. Going out of your way to block 2 lanes of traffic (all lanes for that direction), no, not cool. This kind of action justs pisses people off, and gives cyclists a bad rep, potentially causing motorists to go out of THEIR way to piss cyclists off. Bicycles must follow pretty much all the same laws that cars do.

So for those Masser's that might be reading this, please ride responsibly, and give motorists a reason to respect you, not ammunition to disrespect you.

/soapbox

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