Critical Mass, West Coast Style
Will of OnNYTurf was in San Francisco on June 30 for a wedding, and stopped by their Critical Mass ride. He found it to be a mellow event compared with our version: No chanting, no bike lifts, and, get this, no arrests! It was well attended, with about 800 riders, and of course, it was great exercize.
[T]he San Francisco cyclists are not daunted by a few hills. I thought for sure the ride would stick to low lands to avoid hills. Au contraire mon fraire! Critical Massers in San Francisco are not just out for a leisure ride. They maybe riding with a child, they may be only casual riders, but they are not wimps. We criss-crossed the city from the coastal side to the mission and back again, we road up into the Height district and then road down and then up and then down and then up and down and up.
He recalls the early days of San Francisco’s Critical Mass ride as having been somewhat tumultuous, as the post-RNC New York Critical Mass has become. But he finds reason for New York Critical Massers to be optimistic in the fact that San Francisco’s ride has persevered and grown over the years.
SF shows that the ride can work, that Police and government efforts to close the ride can be defeated, and ultimately the ride can happen as intended and the city will not go up in flames.