[*BCM*] To Jym

E O Altman transmogrifer200 at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 28 14:36:11 EDT 2008

Thanks for sharing your perspective, Jym.
Critical Mass is not new.  It was first run in SF in the early 90s.  It is certainly not new in the Bean Town.  Yes, last Friday was the first time I rode in the Bean Town ride.  Since I live here and, in theory, agree with the "unwritten" principles behind Critical Mass (no one is advocating that we agress vehicles or pedetrians or condone gratuitous disturbance of the peace), I think Critical Mass in Boston can do a lot to engender safer, more bike-friendly roads for all of us.  One person commented that last Friday's ride was one of the best ever.  If that is so, let's make subsequent rides even better.  Other cities' Critical Mass rides do well to promote bicycle awareness by maintaining a level of order that insures their rides are friendly and fun and safe for everyone.
I know we can all do better.  What is the point in antagonizing folks?  It is crazy enough out there already.
By the way, Friday's chenaigans landed at least one cyclist in the ER.  Harvard Square was crazy.  Bikes were running between cars and, ironically, two bikes collided.  A head was cracked!  No matter how you dot you Is or cross your Ts, that is not what Critical Mass is about.
Critical Mass is a fantastic phenomenon.  I love the assortment of bikes that appear at Critical Mass parades.  I am sure the rides introduce many to neighborhoods and roads they have never visited by bike or otherwise.   It is good so many feel strongly about our right, as cyclists, to take to the streets.  The sheer difference in weight, inertia, breaking distance and manueverablity that distinguishes the various vehicles on our roads (with bikes being the frailest animal out there) means we cyclists lose when there is a collision.  "Biker down" is a horrifying cry.  To aggress another in any way is silly and may result in the agressed taking it out on another innocent down the road.
Once again, I invite you to join me in helping others understand that it is in our mutual self-interest to keep fun and safety factors in mind when we ride on public streets and roads, whether we ride alone or in large critical mass groups.
Raise the bar.  Be a role model.  Feed the dream.

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