Lame? Or Just Stupid?

C-note sent me a pic today:
Now, one might get the impression that this is something that us here at The Fix would be all about. Bikes! Illegal activities on bikes! Schwinn Airdynes!(?)
But in reality, as much as I love getting a bunch of people together to ride fast through traffic, and as much as I love doing that, I LOATHE Critical Mass. Or more succinctly, what it has become. Especially in Bozeman.
I'm going to get on my curmudgeonly soapbox here. BOZEMAN IS ONE OF THE MOST PLEASANT TOWNS TO RIDE IN. I've ridden where it's shitty- about the worst was Boston in the mid-90's when it was consistently voted "Worst city for bicycling in North America" by Bicycling magazine. Believe you me, Bozeman is blissful. When the worst problem is motorists who are too nice and stop when they don't need to and screw up your plan, there's no fucking need for a Critical Mess.

Ok. I'm calm now.

Besides, why does it have to have anything to do with Obama? What's next? Ski Joring for Obama? Wheat-free cookie baking for Obama? Prince Albert Aficionados for Obama?

I suspect that those who created this event disagree with our involvement in Iraq. Chief among the complaints about us going to war is that we ignored diplomatic recourse and headed right in with guns a-blazin'.
Now, if you feel that on the home front, us cyclists are at war with motorists, oil companies, government, whatever; do we act in the same way that our government has acted? Do we resort to the citizen's equivalent of a "rush to war"? Do we exhaust diplomatic options prematurely?

If you feel that a Critical Mass is necessary in Bozeman, look in the mirror. You'll see a Neocon. Hypocrite.


Here's a link to the site. Tell 'em what you think.


mt said...

Well spoken. Agreed!

Singletrack Mind said...

Damnit. I was so gonna angry blog about that, and you beat me to the punch...'course I guess for you it's a pet peeve, and for me it's more like my neighbor's peeve that I walk when he's out of town...

Stevo Kinevo said...

What pisses me off even more, is that flier looks to pretty for a critical mass flyer! Full color?! How commercial has it gotten? They have to be stopped. :) Critical Mass is F***ing stupid. Do the critical mass dance! "You take one step forward, and then take three steps back!"

Stevo Kinevo said...

I was just talking to my neighbor (who is a major cycling advocate that actually gets things done, and also has an extreme hatred for critical mass) about renting a snowplow and nixon masks for the 25th from 3-7 pm.... just kidding. But he tells me the F-ing campaign office set this up!? what the hell? They are even providing bikes if you need one! (deep breath, take the negative thought in, let it leave with my exhale) ...Ridiculous.

samh said...

I agree with the comments above so will not go into my thoughts but rather, provide another reason to boycott the Obama Critical Mass on Saturday.

By definition Critical Mass is an amorphous event with no public organizer. Subsequently with no organizing body no single theme nor message can be conveyed by the event. The Bozeman ride is being thrown by a particular organization with the specific theme of showing "support 4 alternative energy and change".

Anonymous said...

Hey, the critical mass might be the first time the sidewalk riders actually ride on the street in the correct direction! Down with bike-salmon!

700c-ya said...

I can hear it now....

Wow, what a great way to show off my cruiser AND my Obama swag. I can't understand why you guys are against this. I mean, by holding up traffic and parading around like proud little peacocks we'll really achieve our objectives - encouraging people to ride bikes and vote for the O'Bom.
Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

This CM is an answer to a question nobody asked. Just fricking perfect. Let's just go ahead and piss off all those motorists that we actually get along with here - most of the time. Complete agreement with the post; I too experience the "problem" of drivers stopping for me even when it's not required. Protest time, baby!

Somebody call the MTB protester from Missoula, this events got her name all over it...


Anonymous said...

Bike Salmon? Is that the same as bike trout? If so, I hear ya cluckin big chicken. Right on.

Capt. E said...

I like the idea of getting a six pack of old stinky gas guzzlers (I have at least two) and having a "Carbon Debits Drive" that just so happens to take the same route.

700c-ya said...

You know, the event site says:

"We will be filling all lanes of traffic in one direction of traffic flow while strictly adhering to all regular traffic laws."

And, after refreshing my memory on Montana bike law, "strictly adhering to all regular traffic laws" may be a stretch. As, MT law states:

61-8-605: Riding on roadways: A
person operating a bicycle upon a
roadway at less than the normal
speed of traffic shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable except when: overtaking and passing another vehicle; preparing for a left turn;or when necessary to avoid a condition that makes it unsafe to continue on the right side of the roadway.A person operating a bicycle on a one-way highway with two or more marked
lanes may ride as close to the left
side of the roadway as practicable.
Persons riding bicycles shall ride in single file except when riding on paths or roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles; overtaking and passing another bicycle;or riding on a paved shoulder or parking lane.

Look, I don't follow this to the letter all of the time, but I am also not organizing an event inviting others to engage in group behavior all for a political cause.

Again... *sigh*.

Singletrack Mind said...

Well put 7. We could hand out copies of the Mt Bike law out to these jokers. I have an entire box of them at the kitchen.

Stevo Kinevo said...

I just thought I would let everyone know that I'm about to go take a crap for obama. ...doesn't make sense to me either.

scott said...

bike polo for obama?

samh said...

Hell yes, bike polo for Obama!!!

Anonymous said...

i went to the mass yesterday and thought it was a very fun and peaceful event. I don't see why you are all so angry, everyone involved had a blast and their was a positive response all around. I was searching the net to see if any photos made it online because a lot of people were taking them and I find this. Swallow your egos.

Mr DNA said...

Hey, anon. I've got a concise theory why it was "peaceful":
It was held on a Saturday afternoon. Duh.

Here's why we're angry: Most of us have been actively fighting and advocating for better cyclist/motorist relations. If you know anything about Critical Masses in other cities, you should know that they have evolved from "fun and peaceful" to antagonistic and increasingly physical (What would Gandhi think?). Motorists getting their cars damaged or getting assaulted because of a perceived slight followed by mob reaction is not, in my mind, working towards better relations.
The current state of cycling in Bozeman is very good right now and has been steadily improving over the seven years I've lived here. And there's no fucking way that I'm going to stand by passively while little whiny snots like you and your CM ilk use these shenanigans to tear what local cyclists have worked so hard for.

Critical Mass, it's so easy, just like any other protest, isn't it? If you get arrested you can shout "Fascist" to the cops and have something to brag about back home in Ypsilanti or Akron or whatever boring town you're from.
God forbid you actually WORK to make something better. But protesting's fun. And you don't have to sit through all those interminable meetings and talk to committees and all that.
Real work also forces you to sometimes put your name and reputation on the line, get right out there in front with no comforting protection of other lazy idealists, right, "anonymous"?

If you feel that Critical Mass is a sound way to effect meaningful and sustainable positive change, then try it someplace like Atlanta or Gary, Indiana (also known as Hell). Let me know how that works out for you.

aka John Friedrich.

(For this discussion we'll conveniently ignore the fact that friends of mine got heckled for not being part of it. Peaceful and positive?)

Singletrack Mind said...

Anonymous...if that really is your true name-

Yes all of this is motivated by egomania, you've hit on it. Good Job. Well done. Nice work.

Whether or not you personally experienced a peaceful event has only to do with the cycling atmosphere in Bozeman (something cyclists want to maintain) and nothing to do with the fundamental premise of Critical Mass, which is by nature antagonistic. We enjoy riding in this town, and don't wish to see it marred by the actions of misguided ideologues who are just observing market research to orchestrate a political rally.

Fostering any sort of peaceful relationship between cars and cyclists will never occur within the divisive atmosphere that a CM engenders. Sorry, that's just reality.

Mr DNA said...

Oh- and for the record, if this ride restricted itself to one lane on Main Street, I'd be behind it. Hell, I probably would've ridden with you.

There's something my grandma used to day, something about flies, honey, and vinegar. Hmmm.....what was that?

And I did say "Shenanigans"?

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