Critical Mass is Dead, Says Print Publication

Have you heard of Critical Mass? No? Well, it was 21-year-old pro-bicycle protest ride frequented by clove cigarette-sucking intellectuals who continue to think Che Guevara tshirts are acceptable. Or something like that.

Anyway! The SF Weekly has published quite the story about the slow leak in Critical Mass' tires:

Sixteen years ago this month (and 101 years to the day after the 1896 demonstration), Critical Mass was important. Some 7,000 riders inundated San Francisco and were violently confronted by police. It was a watershed moment for cycling in this city; Critical Mass served as a catalyst in changing San Francisco. But, like all catalysts, Critical Mass itself didn't change, even as the landscape around it did, both literally and figuratively.

Instead, a movement created 21 years ago to shake this city out of its institutionalized torpor has, itself, become institutionalized. It has become yet another San Francisco experience, a ritualization of something once vital and meaningful in a city increasingly preoccupied with celebrating what it once was.

“I don't find it to be the same ride anymore,” says Joel Pomerantz, a Critical Mass co-founder. “The Haight has museums of counterculture — but it doesn't have any counterculture. Critical Mass doesn't have critical mass anymore. People go to see it the way you go to see the Exploratorium. It's more like an amusement park ride.”

Read on for insight into the abandonment of leftist ideals within the SF Bike Coalition, the passive-aggressive war of words (and ideals) from the SF Bike Party, and a bit of Critical Mass political history.

Comments (16)

I think Peter Hartlaub summed this one up best:

Ooh… TAKEDOWN in 140 chars or less!

As Sunday Streets happens on 24th and also Valencia, it reminds that Critical Mass changed the game about thinking that Streets are only for Autos. Now we’ve got Sunday Streets, wider sidewalks, parklettes, and thinking that we shouldn’t just devote such a large portion of the urban space to the benefits of BB, Chevron, and General Motors.

Shell Art is OVER!!!

Eskenazi is a fucking hack and a loser, anyway. Screw that guy.

Actually, the article is correct. I rode in early rides and the riot ride (when the SFPD rioted). Mass is an embarrassing shell of its former self that no real rider wants to have anything to do with.
Let it die. The techies and Peninsula commuter yuppies killed it.

Well congratulations to the techies and Peninsula commuter yuppies doing something right.

400 people is not too bad. When I did last about 5 years ago, it was only about 50. We blocked Montgomery for about 30 seconds, and then about half the group proceeded directly to the Zeitgeist.

so this is what the weekly chooses as their cover story?!? what a rag!

If Critical Mass wants to remain relevant, it needs to go after the real enemies: bike thieves and the open-air chop shops they operate. They could start with the one on Division just south of Mission.

Serious question: Who buys from these chop shops?

Critical Mass can burn in hell as far as I’m concerned. A load of “me first” self-righteous wounds who have managed to alienate far more than advocate. Fuck right off.

i’ve participated in exactly one critical mass here in sf and it wasn’t for political purposes: it was for the pure joy of riding through the city with a large group of bikers, much like runners enjoy taking over the streets en masse. so perhaps the event isn’t so politically relevant anymore, but it’s still really fun.

the hills in north beach are tough though, and i’m embarrassed to say that i did in fact get left behind.

Feh. Critical Mass, with its emphasis on bicycle infrastructure and new riders. What good did it do? Well, ya know, except for all that bicycle infrastructure and new riders. Losers.

I think it’s time to cover the streets in thumbtacks.

Critical Mass is a great example of the trend in this country for movements and culture to be hijacked by childish fucktards. Its a bunch of nasty little dooshbags that displace their inner anger on innocent people trying to get somewhere in cars.