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Less gas, more ass. Let’s all make a Critical Mass!

DSC_2609_smCYCLOPS had a great time at Critical Mass . . . well until it started.

I once asked a police officer who was stopping Critical Mass at a red light if he understood that it is much safer for all road users concerned if the ride stays together.  I pointed out that stopping at red lights allows cars to get stuck in the middle of Critical Mass which is not only dangerous, but causes more congestion.  He agreed that our approach of ‘corking’ at red lights and keeping the ride dense and uninterrupted would be much safer, but that he was not there to make things safer. He was there to uphold the law.

Fair enough, I thought.  Wouldn’t it be nice if the officers who attend Critical Mass could decide what exactly that means and keep their approach consistent, though?  Some police riding through reds, and others ticketing riders who follow them just seems wrong to me. Riding on the sidewalk during the ride when your job is to uphold the law is like saying “Hey, look at me.  I don’t have to follow the rules, but you do. Nah nah”


Posted: June 1st, 2010
Filed under: Uncategorized | 6 Comments »

6 Comments on “Less gas, more ass. Let’s all make a Critical Mass!”

  1. 1 Joe T. said at 4:51 pm on June 1st, 2010:

    Okay… this is officially awesome. A Cyclops Blog! :)

    Great first post.

    Maybe CM should work with the officers who sometimes come along? Just throwing that out there.

  2. 2 Todd Tyrtle said at 8:36 pm on June 1st, 2010:

    I had a similar conversation with one of the officers a few months back. He suggested that if we wanted safety we could get a permit. I don’t get that either.

    Joe – From what I’m seeing, CM is becoming something of a “bike to rule” ride. Riders are working with police, and there seemed to be less tension this time around (at least in my section of the mass). That said, it is causing some pretty bad congestion as the new approach is to obey all lights, but if the mass gets broken up those in front stop and wait through green lights until everyone catches up.

    I can sort of see it, academically anyway, from the point of view of the police. They’re told to be there to make sure we obey the law and it looks pretty bad for there to be tons of police looking the other way as bunches of cyclists disobey the law. To the average Sun reader this is a sign of the coming apocalypse. (Of course riding on the sidewalk *also* looks pretty bad, IMO)

    Tim Burrows (@TrafficServices) mentioned that apparently a proposal was given to someone (who?) that if we shared the route with them up front they’d cork for us but that the idea was turned down. I can see why. But at the same time, I wonder if a compromise could be reached in which those in front give a little bit of notice as to when the next turn is so that they could prepare for it.

    I’ll be interested to see what happens next month with the G20. I can’t decide if we’ll be left alone because they have bigger fish to fry or if they feel we need more babysitting because we might be dangerous lefties.

  3. 3 Joe T. said at 10:30 pm on June 1st, 2010:

    The G20 Mass will indeed be interesting.

    Remember the NYC CM before the 2004 Republican Convention? Tons of arrests.

  4. 4 Angus said at 7:29 pm on June 2nd, 2010:

    Those cyclop gals are amazing, their enthusiasm is contagious!

  5. 5 cyclops said at 10:17 pm on June 2nd, 2010:

    @ Joe
    I’ve written numerous letters to the police and the city about their inconsistent approach to Critical Mass with no response. Not one. Since no one is really in charge, I’m not really sure how Critical Mass can work with the Toronto Police without someone taking responsibility for CM. That’s not going to happen.

    It’s anyone’s guess. I’m hoping for the former.

    Thanks, dude!

  6. 6 Joe T. said at 8:41 am on June 3rd, 2010:

    @Cyclops – thanks for that.. and thanks for being an awesome, singing, performing, energy-filled group of awesomeness. :)

    It would be interesting to have a Group Ride one a month, formed in partnership with the police, and maybe involving local, provincial and federal politicians… could do wonders for bringing everyone together.

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