Friday, July 30, 2010

"And Then Hundreds Of Cyclists In Their Underwear Showed Up"

Tonight, like every last Friday of the month, is the Critical Mass bike ride.  This one is scheduled to come through Uptown, down Wilson Avenue, and make its way to Montrose Harbor.  It's also the designated underwear ride, where riders are encouraged to participate wearing their skivvies, strategically placed  tape, and body paint.  Click on the map above for a better look at the route.  Of course, with Critical Mass, plans can change in an instant, so nothing's guaranteed.

Remember, the riders congregate in a "mass" along the route and don't allow anyone to fragment the group.  If you're trying to make your way across the route while the riders are there, you won't be able to.  Plan accordingly.  (The ride starts at 5:30, downtown, so no guesses as to how long it will take them to get to Uptown.)


  1. This will go real well with the candle light there any way we can get them to turn at Beacon??

  2. Good luck "making" Critical Mass do anything. No one is in charge. Participants generally do whatever they feel like while they're on the ride, including changing the route at will.

  3. The map shows them turning at Beacon. The written instructions say Racine. I think they realized it later that Racine is not an option.

  4. God how I loath these people. Could you BE any more self-involved? They give all considerate bikers a bad name.

  5. I like what they're doing. Yes, some of them are totally self absorbed assholes, but at least these people are organizing and getting attention. It's a chance for bicyclists to take over the street, which is something they don't often get to do because car drivers don't care about the safety of our bike riders out there.

    If we held candles in our underwear tonight, you bet we would get a lot more attention.

    Go critical mass!

  6. You know when I think of bikes on the streets I like the dedicated bike lanes we have and use but I hate the riders that refuse to stop at stop signs. There have been a few times in my car I had to stop mid turn b/c a cyclist thought he was above the law.

    I can just imagine CM not stopping for anything and being a pain in the ass on the streets.

  7. I'm not going to get all political concerning Bicycles Vs Automobiles on these boards. In my opinion this debate gets far more heated than any conversation over religion and politics I have ever been involved with. Drivers want what they want and cyclists want what they want, it will never get resolved.

    I know a lot of the folks associated with CM, Some of what they do I agree with and somethings I do not. I have expressed my concern to the organizers about the proposed route going through Sunnyside Mall to Racine which would be the worst idea ever, especially with the Vigil going on. Hopefully the Sunnyside to Beacon to Wilson will be followed.

  8. I prefer "Critical Manners", which is a ride that started in San Francisco during which the riders OBEY THE LAWS, including stopping for red lights and stop signs.

  9. Critical Mass would be more descriptively monikered as Bike Bullies.

    As a pedestrian whose misfortune was formerly to both work directly south of the bullies' massing point of Daley Plaza and live along their go-to routes on Dearborn and Clark Sts, I've learned that they are just as rude and abusive to people on foot as to those in cars.

    And hypocritical, too. Why don't they try climbing down off their precious bikes and actually WALK somewhere? What, they might say, "that would be too far, that would take too long, that's not practical." Yet they castigate people who live too far from good public transportation or who otherwise have no other choice but to drive.

    I wish you luck with these miscreants tonight. Maybe you can fend them off with some positive loitering!


  10. Joined the ride tonight through Uptown. Good crowd - completely harmless. Felt great to ride the bike east bound down wilson to the lake at night while feeling safe. Got a lot of "happy friday" out of the bystanders.

  11. I pray for the day that the Command Staff of the CPD will get some courage and formulate a plan to lock these A-Holes up. CM does NOTHING to endear bicycle riders (of which I am one) to the general public. They instead ferment anger and hostility towards bicycle riders. They are nothing more than a bunch of immature adolescents who care nothing about the rights of others. I can see the day when an already upset car driver stuck in traffic because of these goofs looses control and drives through one one these little excercises in juvenile delinquency and injures of even kills some of the participants. And I for one will have a hard time generating any sympathy for them if it does happen.

  12. Large Paternal One,

    I also ride a bike. Actually multiple bikes and a llama.

    I don't see any Critical Mass rides for llama riders.


    I do agree with your suggestion that the CM's tend to act like adolescent assholes.

    My suggestion would be a smaller version of the spike strips cops use to puncture the tires of cars during a long chase.

    I was on the lakefront path two years ago and a group of CM's decided it was a good idea to ride their bikes on LSD. Blocking traffic for as long as possible seems to be there thing.

    Now while riding a bike I seldom obey traffic laws, but then I don't ride in a group of thousands blocking traffic and causing delays. I slow down at stop signs and ride through if there are no cars. Same with those red lights attached to poles.

    These rides degenerate into a mess where the idiots ruin it for the rest of the riders.

  13. Ever notice that big daddy always wishes violence on people/things he does not agree with?

  14. Nice try Ben, but I did not say that I wished violence on anybody. Read my post again. Read ANY of my posts again. Show me where I wished violence upon anyone. In this particular thread I said that I would have a hard time generating any sympathy for those injured in a scenario like the one I described. But I will give an "B" for effort in your attempt at spinning what I said. Try harder next time.

  15. Benjamin,

    methinks you are projecting your own prejudice on the Large Fatherly One.

    He stated violence may happen, he didn't say he wants to see it.

    Now personally I would like to see the worse members of Critical Ass locked up. That might mean the po po would have to use violence on the more recalcitrant of the bunch. As the Irish say c'est la vie.

    The way a minority of the riders act is criminal. Don't do the time, if you can't do the crime. Or something like that.