Critical Mass is
a monthly bicycle ride to celebrate cycling and to assert cyclists'
right to the road. The idea started in San Francisco in
September 1992 and quickly spread to cities all over the world. This
site attempts to be the most complete guide to all Critical Mass
rides around the globe.
Critical Mass has a different flavor from city to city --
there's a big variety in size, respect of traffic laws (or lack
thereof), interaction with motorists, and intervention by police. So
if you want to know more about Critical Mass, you'll really need to
find out what your local ride is like. For those who must know more
right now, here's a link to Chicago CM, which I suppose is a "typical" CM ride, if there is such a
Critical Mass has no leaders, and no central organization
licenses rides. In every city that has a CM ride, some locals
simply picked a date, time, and location for the ride and publicized
it, and thus the ride was born.
CM is an idea and an event, not an organization.You
can't write to "Critical Mass" -- certainly not by writing to me.
CM is intended to be a celebration, not an opportunity to cause trouble.Those who want to try to tie up traffic as much as possible and be confrontational with motorists are missing the point. We can assert our right to the road without being rude about it. Focus on the ride, not on the cars that also happen to be on the road.
Winnipeg, MB, Canada. Riders say police used excessive force in arresting five peacful Critical Mass riders. (More: Winnipeg Sun) May 2006
Denver, CO, USA. Police confiscated riders' bikes on the Denver Critical Mass ride. Until the police start impounding people's cars for minor traffic infractions, this is just completely inappropriate -- and an obviously childish exercise of power.
Spokane, WA. The police tackled cyclists and arrested almost all of them for "Disorderly Conduct". (more) Dec. 2005
New York. Cyclist victory! The police crackdown on CM for "parading without a permit" has been declared unconstitutional. (more)
New York. Cyclists filed a lawsuit against NYPD, which has responded with a counterclaim. (more)
See a trailer for the documentary about the controversial police crackdown on NYC Critical Mass coinciding with the 2004 Republican National Convention. (Or visit the filmmakers' website.
Good news from Portland
"Exciting things have been happening for Portland's CM. We've had regular
meetings with the Portland Police to reach compromises and understanding on
some things, and have achieved a ride with less harrassment, more bike
officers and fewer in autos / motorcycles, and a much more "feel-good"
ride with less tension. This has been largely the result of a few
dedicated CM riders willing to go to meetings and print up flyers for
riders, etc." -- Brian
How much energy we use.
Overconsumption of oil means that more people will
die as more wars are fought over an increasingly shrinking
supply. The U.S. alone uses 46% of all the gasoline used in
the world. (more...)
true cost of gas. Americans
whine about the "high" price of gas while
not realizing what a sweet deal they're
Pollution by cars causes lung cancer, respiratory
problems, urban smog, and acid rain. Greenhouse gases
emitted by cars causes global warming, which is not just a
concern for the future, it's happening right now. (more...)
The True Costs of Cars
on Welfare. While most motorists think that
their gas taxes and registration fees pay for the roads and
for other related costs, the truth is that infrastructure is
financed mostly by general taxes paid by everyone, which
means that those who don't drive are subsidizing those who
Societal costs of cars
& highways. Our relationship with the
automobile causes pollution, noise, congestion, sprawl, big
expenses, injury, and even death. The cost is greater than
The typical American family
spends almost $8000 a year to own and operate a
car, when you count the car payments, gas, oil,
maintenance & repairs, licenses, parking, and
If you took the money you'd save by getting rid of your
car and invested it you could have $2.3 million by
the time you retired. (more...)
Art Ludwig shows that AAA underestimates the cost of car
I was born into
The Aesthetic Realism Foundation is a
small psychological cult in New York city.
My grandparents were members, so my mother
was born into it, and so was I. Recently I
website about the cult to get the word
out. I hope you'll check it out.
Critical Mass Arrests. CM made international news
several times when police wrongly arrested many cyclists, on 7-25-97
in San Francisco, on 8-00 in Los Angeles, and since 2004 in NYC. (Bad arrests
have happened at many other CM rides, but only these three
were major media stories.) Check out websites about the
San Francisco and Los
Angeles incidents, or our own coverage.
Recommends going beyond traffic calming to reduce the number
and speed of cars on the streets.
Streets (San Francisco, CA US)
A movement which advocates massive street parties, covertly
painting bike lanes onto roadways, and other ways to subvert
the car culture. Here are the RTS pages for London
Way (New York City)
Local group asserting cyclist and pedestrian rights over
motorist prerogatives. Has stenciled over 250 street
memorials to car victims and published "Killed By
Alternatives (New York City)
Local group promoting alternatives to car-based
transportation. This website is HOT! It's a model for other
groups to emulate.
Transport Policy Institute Publishes a number of important studies and reports,
such as one explaining how cyclists actually subsidize the
cost of road-building for motorists, a Pavement Buster's
Guide, and much more. For activists who are ready to move
beyond simply riding in Critical Mass rides and actually get
something done in their communities, this site provides
plenty of the ammunition they'll need.
There is no such thing as an "official" Critical Mass site. CM is an idea, not an organization. Nobody licenses the individual rides, there are no leaders. This site is just a volunteer effort by a guy who tried to put together a helpful directory of all the rides.
Our links & info are only as
good as what people send to us.
often die out or change times, and often
nobody bothers to let us know. CM webmasters are also
notorious for not updating their pages -- and often
don't even list meaningful ride dates, times, and locations
-- much less a "last updated" date. We can only print what
we know. We're not psychic. So the ride you see listed here might be dead or changed. Sometimes we'll link to a very
outdated page or a simple archived email message announcing
a ride time if that's all we could dig up for that
city. You can help by feeding us corrections & new sites
when you know about them.
More links than you can shake a kickstand
at about every cycling issue imaginable, and thankfully
organized into different sections.
Web-based discussion groups (not email-based) for a
large variety of specialized biking topics, including
Advocacy, Bike Mechanics, Bike Messengers, Commuting,
Handcycling, Safety, Women's Cycling, and more.
Unusual Bikes: On our
sister site we have a huge list of recumbent bikes
(recliners), adult tricycles, cargo/workbikes, bike cars (4
wheels), trailers, pedicabs, electric scooters, and more.
Machines powered by bikes:Maya Pedal makes pedal-powered blenders, water pumps, cofee depulper, metal sharpener, washing machines, woodsaws, eectricity generators, and more. Wow!