Critical Mass - Velopalooza Edition
What's Critical Mass and how do I participate?
Celebrated around the world, Critical Mass is a grassroots reclamation of public space -- on the last Friday of the month -- which allows cyclists and other self-propelled people to move safely and comfortably through city streets in a car-free space. Non-polluting forms of transportation are promoted.
The ride stays together for safety and fun. If you are at the front of the ride, stop if you are approaching a red light. But continue as a group if the lights change red while passing though an intersection.
You will see participants at the front peel off to block motorized traffic from entering the Mass. That's called "corking". Corkers keep the ride safe and allow the Mass to pass though intersections where the lights have turned red. Thank them for corking!
Never cork alone. Join lone corkers, and for intersections there should be six or more corkers. And remember, do not cork oncoming traffic in opposing lanes.
If you're at the front, please don't speed or take narrow roadways or paths. It stretches the ride out and makes life harder for corkers, riders, and those waiting for the Mass to pass. Be aware of the ride's slower participants, and keep a slower pace. If the Mass has thinned out or has broken into more than one group, which happens following hills or where the street has becomes more lanes, the front should wait at green lights for the group to "mass up".
Don't stay on any given street for very long, so that public transit can pass. And always let emergency vehicles through. Please don't ride on sidewalks or in opposing traffic lanes.
The ride is a celebration, and an alcohol/drug free event. Take absolute responsibility for your actions and show motorists a better way to travel. A way which is more equitable, efficient, fun and socially responsible than the car. There's no need to be unfriendly or argue with motorists -- our sheer numbers tell the story. Look after each other, speak up, and ride with confidence.
Who decides where we go?
You do! Some rides have a destination that may be suggested at the start of the ride, but the route is always decided by the riders in the front. If you have an idea where the ride should go, move to the front and participate with others in a group decision. Remember to make it fun and interesting, and that Critical Mass has no leaders.
A special note to those at the front: It becomes unsafe for those in the rear if the Mass strrrreeeetches out, there are big gaps, or the body of the Mass looses it's tail. If the front can no longer see the rear, or the Mass has just passed through a "choke point" -- stop at an intersection where there's room for the entire Mass to completely bunch up again (and where the front of the ride can see the rear again).
For more information:
Critical Mass Vancouver on Facebook:
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