that quote sums up what i feel is a respectable mission for critical mass but it’s way too far from it in pittsburgh.
i feel that far too many people’s definition of it is to be an excuse to clog up the road, which does nothing for bicycle advocacy whatsoever, only causing more animosity towards us. what do people complain about? how slow cyclists go. what is critical mass? a bike ride that takes up an entire lane of traffic and goes much slower than any of us normally ride. is this some sort of testament to me being a “tough guy” saying “look how fast i ride?” not at all. but critical mass is a painfully slow ride that frequently takes major road ways (such as all the lanes of fifth avenue at friday during rush hour and then onto forbes?) which only serves to impede traffic rather than integrate us into it. i feel that this is terribly immature. too many try to turn this ride into a confrontation with motorists, which can easily escalate when someone’s trying to get home from work for their weekend and you’ve got assholes taking up every lane on fifth ave crawling at 7 miles per hour. too many turn it into a social thing, where it’s cool to be seen there.
with anything, you’ll get different people having different views as to what it’s about. no one’s more right than any one else, but it’s pretty clear that some people are more mature than others and don’t seem to give cyclists a bad name.