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Critical Mass to be stopped

Posted: 19 Oct 2005, 5:08pm
by Top5pies
Article in CW

Re:Critical Mass to be stopped

Posted: 19 Oct 2005, 5:19pm
by Top5pies
ooops! one more time,
Article in CW this week suggesting that the police are going to attempt to bring an end to the C.M meetings in London as they are seen as a demonstration. Personally I think that the 'meetings' of CM are totally counter productive and only serve to give cyclists a poorer image in the public eye.
I did once attend a meeting, but never again, cycling in London is bad enough without trying hard to make youself unpopular. Anyone dissagree ?

Re:Critical Mass to be stopped

Posted: 19 Oct 2005, 6:56pm
by gar
I don't know of CM but all walks/ways of life have political dimensions to them. I have never been to an LCC demonstation which sounds like what it is..
It may be satisfying to the left winger, the anti-,
the WTO style demonstrator, the anti consumerist.
Everything depends on the measure of your commitment to your own principles and the amount of time you have to spend on them... after paying the mortgage and household bills, assuming you have a mortgage!
Cycling IS something you may have principles about, like embroidery.

Re:Critical Mass to be stopped

Posted: 20 Oct 2005, 2:14pm
by belgiangoth
Top5pies,

I agree and disagree. CM is an organised coincidence, and as such IS organised. It IS also a demonstration, and as such should play by the rules.

How CM manifests itself in different citys, and at different moments during the ride determine whether it is worthwhile or not. I think that taking up two lanes to slow traffic is a bad thing. I think a "show of force" of a mass of bikes is a good thing. I think that taking up a very long section, one lane only, is good, as it puts cycling in evidence, and makes pedestrian and car-driving onlookers take notice. I especially enjoyed the part of my last CM ride when we hit a car-traffic jam, and went straight through them, en masse, being a very noticable flock of cycles demonstrating our trafic-jam immunity, and superiority to rush hour traffic.

I think it could be better, but as a cyclist I need a clear alternative accessible action route which will allow me to demand better cycling facilities (both riding and parking) and better prosecution of "my car driving oprossors" (see multiple gar threads on the topic of car drivers getting away with murder).

Re:Critical Mass to be stopped

Posted: 20 Oct 2005, 3:11pm
by Ollie
Isn't that why we are all members of CTC? CM perpetuates the myth that all cyclists are angry misfits.

Re:Critical Mass to be stopped

Posted: 21 Oct 2005, 6:16am
by gar
see multiple gar threads on the topic of car drivers getting away with murder).

Virtue is its own reward but thank you.

see theBrake road safety campign website which is interesting. Search.

Re:Critical Mass to be stopped

Posted: 21 Oct 2005, 2:58pm
by belgiangoth
"Isn't that why we are all members of CTC? CM perpetuates the myth that all cyclists are angry misfits."

Well, I am definately angry!

The CTC does some lobbying, which is good, but you need obvious forms of demonstration to get media attention, which is vital for changing public understanding. Jeremy Clarkson's "kill cyclists" article is a case and point: The CTC complained and were ignored, but some activist threw a cream pie at him and it made the news. Angry Misfits did better there.

The CTC campaigns to MPs are good, don't get me wrong, but we have f-all happening to promote cycling here in Birmingham, and car drivers who run over cyclists get 6 months in jail.

So if the only direct action availiable to keep this issue in the media is CM then that's what I will do. It's the better alternative to anti-car violence.

Re:Critical Mass to be stopped

Posted: 22 Oct 2005, 12:25am
by Top5pies
I just don't understand what these C.M. types hope to achieve. Motorists in London are 'generally' aware of cycles because there are so many of us. ( OK, I would like to see the speeding issue taken seriously, that really gets my goat )
But to cause incovenience to a large number of people, and not just car drivers, on a regular basis ( & then pretend it's not organised!) I'm afraid is not going to improve conditions for cyclists. Indeed it could inflame the situation ( as it has in London ) where the police are now directly involved and of course the next step will be to introduce some legislation to restrict the use of cycles.
And then we will have something to demonstrate about.....

Re:Critical Mass to be stopped

Posted: 22 Oct 2005, 8:34am
by gar
All out war Belgoth! how about this below...?

I am dedicated to the principle of
politics as constant and repeated
tactical exercice to achieve a goal,
and pacifism as part and consequence.
Armed forces are dedicated to constant
and repeated tactical exercises.....


The principles of demonstrating and pacifism.
I agree with them; they are my principles too.
I live near Tolpuddle and there are annual demo
demos! Come by...... by bike!

Re:Critical Mass to be stopped

Posted: 22 Oct 2005, 8:38am
by gar
Consequently CM is the sensible response to the Acquittal,for manslaughter by PeterCottrell of Cadnam Hants, of a local cyclist.

How can you use a passenger car as a weapon? People do.
How can you use a passenger aeroplane as a weapon?
9/11 People did.

Goth is the honest and committed response to murderers. He'll sort 'em out!

Re:Critical Mass to be stopped

Posted: 22 Oct 2005, 9:56am
by gar
How many dead cyclists in Birmingham in the last ten years from Car accidents? 500? 1000?

Top5 cause incovenience to a large number of people, and not just car drivers, on a regular basis ( & then pretend it's not organised!)

Top5 We see your point!

Re:Critical Mass to be stopped

Posted: 22 Oct 2005, 11:03pm
by Top5pies
Gar,
appreciate you're thoughts.
As you can tell I have no faith in this 'militant' (C.M) type action improving the lot of the cyclist in London.
I cycle in London as an efficient mode of transport, not for pleasure.
For pleasure I cycle throughout Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire and beyond.
Without a doubt, most of the 'violations' that I suffer as a cyclist are on the more remote 'B' and country roads where drivers sometimes ignore your prescence. Only yesterday I was overtaken ON a narrow hump-back bridge by a woman driving a 4X4 pulling a trailor, totally wreckless.
Perhaps if C.M. are to continue they need to broaden thier horizons and look at the bigger picture?

Re:Critical Mass to be stopped

Posted: 23 Oct 2005, 9:16am
by gar
Top5pies,
It is good for Goth who uses his bike in a city centre where there is too little provision for cyclists.
London may be a little better. I met one girl who lives in the East end somewhere because she can use the canal path nearly all the way in to Marylebone. You would not need to be with LCC if you planned your cycling like that.
she even planned her cycling journey to work BEFORE she relocated to that area of London,
Some people THINK.

Re:Critical Mass to be stopped

Posted: 24 Oct 2005, 2:41pm
by belgiangoth
I just don't understand what these C.M. types hope to achieve. Motorists in London are 'generally' aware of cycles because there are so many of us. .....
But to cause incovenience to a large number of people, and not just car drivers, on a regular basis ( & then pretend it's not organised!) I'm afraid is not going to improve conditions for cyclists.


Yes, like I said I don't agree with slowing down cars in revenge for their bad driving.

However, you think that CM is all about drivers, and this is not necessarily true. CM is about PEDESTRIANS seeing us, and realising it is safe to cycle. I know that five years ago I didn't cycle, and didn't think that there were cyclists in Britain. Now I cycle and I spot cyclists and bikes all over the place. Unless you are a "sight" people won't notice. Car drivers are mostly already beyond help (especially if they drive in London despite the congestion charge and the cheap public transport), but there is still hope for pedestrians.

Re:Critical Mass to be stopped

Posted: 25 Oct 2005, 9:28am
by gar
CM is about PEDESTRIANS seeing us, and realising it is safe to cycle

and realise it is safe to be along side cyclists, when they are well brung up like CM?