Another documentary from our good friend Ted White (director of the famous return of the scorcher) this time on Critical Mass.
SF Critical Mass
Take a look! 'We Are Traffic'
As a former participant, and enthusiastic advocate of the ride, which I only discovered a few years ago in provo ut, I've been really interested to hear the opinions of those for and against it. I feel I tend away from it now due to unruly riders often riding irresponsibly and obnoxiously, and more toward focusing on alternative rides and commuting daily. This documentary made me interested again in participating in Critical Mass as well as exploring rights of road users. I've seen a few legal guides for cyclists at Powell's which I will definitely buy and read in the near future.
The scene where the police and mayor of SF try to control the ride, and the ensuing police riots are very interesting and even scary. I've been in a ride disbanded by the police, and it's a scary feeling when you realize that by being on your bike and in the road you are at risk of being fined or arrested. Like your right to the road no longer stands.
I think beneath all of the different reasons to ride Critical Mass, and even under the reasons to NOT ride in it, lies the idea that bicycles, like automobiles, have a right to use the streets. As one participant said in the film, our roads are often hostile places for bikes. Riders feel unsafe, get harassed and told to leave. Critical Mass is about creating, even if only for a moment, a friendly street environment for cyclists.
Have fun riding this week!