critical mass

Mayor asks for white paper on Critical Mass

Avatar by on November 17th, 2005 at 1:39 pm

Maria Rubia from the Mayor Potter’s office has requested a white paper from local bike advocate and lawyer Mark Ginsberg and Commissioner Sam Adams’ staffer Roland Chlapowski.

The report is meant to detail “currently outstanding issues” with Critical Mass. The report should be completed in the next few weeks.
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Report: Halloween Critical Mass

Avatar by on November 1st, 2005 at 10:48 pm


Regardless of your feelings about Portland’s Critical Mass, I think this report on Friday’s ride by Elly Blue captures something really special:


105 riders in the third block, including cops on bikes and one dog, all sharing the road.

A good fastish ride around on the east side. Bike lifts, bike loops, chanting, camaraderie. Amazing costumes–props to all of your creative madness!
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Critical Mass poll

Avatar by on September 2nd, 2005 at 12:50 pm

I’m excited to announce the first poll on!

I figured I’d start with a bang and make this first poll about Critical Mass. I’ve been thinking a lot about CM lately and I’ll post something about it when I have more time…but for now, I’m curious what the vibe is out in the community.

You can vote on this poll in the sidebar to the right (under the photos) or on the new Polls page. Please consider taking a few seconds to vote. If you have something to say about CM, stay tuned for a post about it next week.

You can also add your own answers to the poll if none of the options suit you. If you have ideas for polls you’d like to see, leave a comment, or email me directly. Thanks.

[NOTE: I unfortunately erased the 7 votes (as of 9/2/05) for the “Is needed now more than ever” option (which was added by a visitor). I am trying to restore those votes ASAP. ] fixed it!

Massive fun and no cops needed

Avatar by on August 27th, 2005 at 1:07 am

(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Tonight’s Critical Mass ride was a blast. I took Eleni in the trailer and we had a great time. Warm breeze, a great route (over the Ross Island Bridge!), some well-chosen music (thank you boom-box bike guy) and a fun group of people all contributed to the good vibe.

I hate to mention the cops, but I think it’s ridiculous that they even show up anymore. I actually feel embarrassed for them because they had nothing to do…and you know what happens when cops get bored…they find something to do.

Bottom line is that having the cops at Critical Mass is a big waste of taxpayer money and a waste of law enforcement resources that could be put to more necessary tasks. Cops are also a deterrant to more families and other cyclists who would join the ride if it weren’t for their intimidating presence. Eleni was the only kid on the ride (she’s 2 and 1/2)…and I know there are a ton of families that would show up if there were no cops.

So Mayor Potter, Commissioner Sam, is there any way you can call off the dogs for next month’s ride? It’s sort of ironic that we’re hoping to be the first Platinum level bicycle friendly city, yet we can’t even go on bike ride without the boys in blue watching over us.

By the way, feel free to peruse all my photos below. Don’t miss the Xylo-bike, the mini-bikes, the boom-box bike, the assorted personalities and other fun craziness. See you out there next month!

July Critical Mass photos

Avatar by on July 30th, 2005 at 11:51 pm

july_critical_massIn case you missed Critical Mass on Friday, there are some great photos and comments posted at BikeForums. If you like the photos, you should check the Bicycle-Eye blog by the same guy…and don’t forget to read his great collection of bicycle haikus.

The warm-fuzzy side of Critical Mass

Avatar by on May 25th, 2005 at 11:39 pm

I know there are a lot of folks who don’t like what they think Critical Mass stands for. But while you’ve been making judgements the movement has really changed. This is a great article from the San Fran. Chronicle that tells a similar story to what in my opinion is happening here in Portland.

An excerpt:

Over the past decade, bicyclists have transitioned from traffic-snarling outsiders to pillars of civic life. They have merged smoothly with the mainstream and…the movement is graduating to a new phase.

(Thanks Stephanie!)

Mass and a Bingo Party

Avatar by on April 29th, 2005 at 4:20 pm

You’ve probably heard of Critical Mass…the sometimes controversial always misunderstood bike ride that traverses, amoeba-like through the usually auto-dominated city streets. I’ve been on several of them myself and have always had an inspiring time. Last month I brought along my 2 year-old daughter and I even met Mayor Potter on one back in February.

So if you’ve ever wondered what Critical Mass is all about, join in the fun tonight at 5:30 (ride leaves at 6:00) at the North Park Blocks (NW Park & Burnside, near the elephant).

As a special bonus, join in the fun at “Bikes, Beer, Bingo Night” at Redwing Cafe, 1700 SE 6th Ave. It’s a benefit for local bike community ringleaders SHIFT and there will be prizes and fun-loving emcees to keep things rolling.