Archive for the ‘critical mass’ Category

June 29, 2009

bg/ish: Critical Mass, San Francisco, June 26, 2009

Back in March of this year, I rode in my first Critical Mass here in San Francisco. Although it’s something I’d like to do every month, I only got around to riding it for a second time this last Friday. As usual, it was an entirely surreal, somewhat unique experience, and I only had to ditch my firm’s annual billiards party to ride in it. Of course, we rode right in front of Jillian’s, where the party was being held. Doh!

Not a lot to tell really, but I guess I can sum it up with this quick note. As we were gathering at Embarcaderro, an older gentlemen, clearly a tourist (seemingly from the South) came up to me and asked, “What do y’all got going on here?”

I replied, “Just a little bike ride.”

And I think that’s what I like most about Critical Mass. Despite all the dueling “bike cultures” and the hate from other cyclists we all seem to encounter here in the city, Critical Mass is the one time we all seem to be on the same page. Same agenda. United. Eh…

I can’t do an adequate job of describing the sights from Friday, but I strongly recommend this pretty amazing photoset on Flickr from Hal Bergman photography.

Your boy bg even shows his mug in the following shot… See?!?

March 31, 2009

bg/ish: Critical Mass

As I mentioned last week I rode in my first Critical Mass this last Friday evening. Held for nearly 17 years on the last Friday of every month here in San Francisco, I can only say that I wish I’d rode in every one of these since I’ve been here in SF. In no way had I anticipated how amazing it would feel to ride with hundreds of other riders in a show of protest, solidarity, and celebration.

I’ve seen estimates of Friday’s turnout at somewhere between 2500-3000 riders. My best guess was “at least a thousand, maybe a couple thousand”, but in all honesty when you’re in the midst of the sea of bicycles it’s really anybody’s guess.

There was a pervasive feeling of justification at completely taking over the very streets we battle everyday. On this day, shutting down the narrow streets of the Financial District was first on the agenda, the mass of bikes slowed to a walking crawl on several occasions. Looping around Union Square, we made a left turn and took over the Stockton Tunnel. Shortly after that, we took over the Broadway Tunnel, before making our way back to Market Street and into my boy the Mission.

We got some encouraging waves from bystanders, some puzzled looks from tourists, and some horns honked in our favor, but of course there were some middle fingers and nasty words exchanged. I didn’t see any of the incidents mentioned at SF Appeal, but I’m not surprised. There are always a few idiots who take things too far.

Friday March 27, 2009 Critical Mass from Cassidy Friedman on Vimeo.

I didn’t get any pictures that are worth a damn, but the video above is a nice little documentation of the event. There are also some nice snapshots here. Sadly, your boy bg does not make a cameo in any of them.

Critical Mass ended up being the most fun I’ve had in a long, long time. I really wish I could get this point across more eloquently, but the fact is I ended up seeing Midnite at the Independent last night and that ended up being one of the most ire, deep grooves I’ve been a part of in a long time! Yeah boy! Thanks to the resident GQ your boy was up in the VIP and err’thang.

I’ve got nothin’ left, and it’s only Tuesday…