About Critical Mass
Last Friday of every month
5:30 pm at the LSU clock tower (Usually rolls a bit after 6 pm)
facebook= Critical Mass- Baton Rouge
facebook= Critical Mass- Baton Rouge
- CM originated in San Francisco, September, 1992.
- CM happens around the world, in over 300 cities.
- NO membership; NO organization; NO leaders;
- NO agenda. NO set route; NO permit.
- CM is a celebration of cycling, an assertion of rights.
Misbehavior might get you castigated
- Critical Mass has no centralized structure, thus no organization with rules. However, a few “suggestions” could enhance the celebration aspect of CM, and promote cyclists’ rights:
- Meet and greet your neighbors; we are the Bike Community.
- Have fun; be the envy of motorists and bystanders.
- Shout out problems; pass the word forward and back.
- Right lane, except for turns; no need to block a 4- lane.
- Front ranks please set a leisurely pace: this ain’t a race.
- Compact group; gaps will let motorists break into the Mass.
- Corking gets the Mass through intersections, but might get a traffic ticket.
- Be friendly to motorists, wave with all five fingers.
Upcoming special events in the Baton Rouge bicycle scene. Watch for details in the Bike Calendar, as planning is completed. Your additions and corrections are welcome.
Any events would be welcome. But we are thinking that this 20th anniversary of Critical Mass will probably generate some special interest. We would be pleased to feature your celebratory events, artwork, parties on the bike blog.
There had been some discussion of unifying the three large national bicycle advocacy groups in some sort of a merger. But it seems they determined to continue as separate entities with shared goals and close collaboration. The Alliance for Biking & Walking, League of American Bicyclists, and Bikes Belong want to reach some admirable goals by the year 2020:
These suggestions from the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Campaign are certainly worth remembering!
- CHECK YOUR BIKE- make sure your tires are not worn and properly inflated, and brakes in good condition
- USE YOUR HEAD- keep your eyes open to see traffic, ears open to hear traffic, and wear a properly fitted helmet for your protection in a crash that may not be your fault
- RIDE RIGHT- ride in the same direction as traffic, staying to the right where practical, but always in the rightmost lane in the direction you are going
- RIDE WITH TRAFFIC- when riding at the same speed as other traffic (stopped for example or in traffic jams), it may be safer to take the lane to remain visible, especially at intersections
- STOP SIGNS AND RED LIGHTS MEAN STOP- avoid a crash with unseen traffic, and earn respect on the road by driving your bike lawfully and respectfully
- KNOW YOUR SURROUNDINGS- watch out for road hazards like gravel, potholes and parked cars where people may open doors. Anticipate what drivers and pedestrians may do next
- COMMUNICATE- use hand signals to show your intention (left, right, or stop). Make a personal connection with drivers by making eye contact when possible
- BE PREDICTABLE- ride fafely without weaving in traffic or through parked cars. On narrow lane roads ride to encourage drivers to pass with a 3 ft space by riding closer to the center of the lane
- REFLECT AT NIGHT- your bike must have a white light on the front and a red light on the rear when riding at night. Wear bright color clothing to always be visible
- KEEP YOUR COOL- road rage after a close call benefits no- one and makes a bad situation worse
I fired off a letter to the newspaper; we'll see how it plays out:
Motorists, please help me keep this pesky bike out of your way. Blowing the horn, cursing, or acting out threats with your vehicle will not accomplish it. Instead, let’s ask for improved bicycle infrastructure.
After all those springtime miles and summer rambles, August is an opportune time to visit your local bike shop. Shopping for a new ride seems more leisurely during those doldrum days; and less demand on the mechanics could net you a quicker turnaround for repairs and maintenance. The start of school days will bring a rush, and a feel of fall in the air will soon blow away any vestige of slack time...now's the time.