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Organizers enthused about resurgent Critical Mass

Monday, June 30th, 2014
Critical Mass at the intersection of W Burnside and 14th on Friday.
(Photos by Hart Noecker/Rebel Metropolis)

Portland is poised to enter a new era of bike activism; and it might look a lot like the old one.

After laying dormant for over six years, Critical Mass appears to be showing real signs of life. People who were at the ride this past Friday night have expressed enthusiasm and optimism about how it went and it’s already on the calendar again next month.
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Critical Mass returns (at least in name)

Friday, June 27th, 2014
Critical Mass - Portland
Critical Mass in Portland, June 2005.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

After years of telling people that Critical Mass was dead in Portland, it seems I might have to start telling a different story. Tonight, after a nearly six-year hiatus the well-known tactic of bike-centric street activism will return — at least in name if not in form.
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‘Aftermass’ documentary, about Critical Mass in Portland, will open May 23

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014
A promotional image for the film.

A local man’s documentary history of the Critical Mass movement in Portland will premiere May 23 at the Clinton Street Theater, Southeast 26th and Clinton.

“It tells the story of how advocacy and activism coalesced to create Portland’s bicycle network over the last 40 years,” Aftermass filmmaker Joe Biel wrote in an email.

Biel began filming the story of the monthly urban bike ride, which mixed fun and activism, in 2009. Among other things, he scored a pre-candidacy interview with future Mayor Charlie Hales, who twice checked out Critical Mass by joining it anonymously while he served on city council 15 years ago. We’ve covered the making of this film, and parts of the story it tells, for years, so it’s exciting to see it on the big screen at last.

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It’s the 20th anniversary of Critical Mass: What it meant in Portland then and now

Friday, September 28th, 2012
Critical Mass January 08-5.jpg
There were only about a dozen people on this Critical Mass ride in January 2008, which to my knowledge is the last time it actually happened.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

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Halloween is the time to celebrate bike fun (or mourn it)

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009
Gabe Tiller and his coffin bike.
(Photos © J. Maus)

They say that Portland’s Critical Mass is dead.

Now they’re saying that the days of bike fun are numbered.

If that’s true, Jacque Authier intends to send it out with a bang (and maybe resuscitate it in the process). She’s announced the Halloween Procession for Poor, Dead Bike Fun this Friday, October 30th meeting at 5:45pm under the west end of the Morrison Bridge.

Here’s how Authier describes the ride:
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Updated: Movie trailer: What happened to Critical Mass in Portland?

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

What has happened to Critical Mass in Portland?

A trailer has just been completed for a forthcoming documentary that will explore that question: A Post Critical Mass Portland: Living in a Post-Revolutionary Bicycle Age. You can watch it here:


A Post-Critical Mass Portland: Living in a Post-Revolutionary Bicycle Age from Joe Biel on Vimeo.

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