The police contingent at tomorrow's ride will be led by Sergeant Berner O'Quinn, a bicycle cop out of the West Precinct. He expects to be there before the ride with about half a dozen other bike cops, and would like to "lay low" and not get in people's way. He would like to be able to communicate some of the wishes of the police to the Massers before the ride, and will be looking to talk to people "who look like they might have some leadership role." (Sergeant O'Quinn does understand the decentralized nature of Mass.)
If the Mass is rather small (50-100 people, said Sergeant O'Quinn), then he thinks that they could reasonably be expected to obey red lights. If it is large (300-400 people, says Sergeant O'Quinn), then the police might do some traffic control. Ultimately, the decision as to how to proceed depends on the Watch Commander, Lieutenant Stephen Paulsen.
Sergeant O'Quinn hopes that Massers will do a good job of policing themselves -- riders making sure that other riders don't get out of hand.
This web site will serve as a continually updated repository for information about the aftermath of the evening's events. If you have information or a personal account of Friday's events that you would like posted here, mail the maintainer.
|What is Critical Mass?|
|Critical Mass is an organized coincidence. It happens when a lot of cyclists happen to be in the same place at the same time and decide to cycle the same way together for a while. Very often, those taking part enjoy it so much that they decide to get together at the same place and time the next month and the month after and so on, and to get other cyclists to join as well. Perhaps this excellent brochure will enlighten you.|
|What is the Goal of Critical Mass?|
There is no such thing as one "goal" of Critical Mass. There are as many goals and philosophies as there are participants. Each individual comes with his or her own idea of what it's all about, and the sum of these makes up the Mass. Some goals include:
|Who are the Organizers of Critical Mass?|
|There are no organizers. Nobody is in charge. What happens on a Critical Mass ride is entirely up to the individuals participating. Some people may photocopy leaflets suggesting a route for the ride, but no one has authority over anyone else. The more people that get involved, carry signs, bring their friends, share ideas, food, cheer, or whatever, the better the Mass.|
|Is Critical Mass Legal?|
|Is riding a bicycle legal? Critical Mass has been known to push the limits of traffic laws, sometimes deliberately blocking intersections and running red lights in order to keep the Mass together. The police usually turn up, and what results is strictly a matter of the cops' mood and the behavior of the Mass participants on that particular day. Check out the laws governing bicycles in Washington State. Others have suggestions on how to behave at Mass.|
|Where Else Do They Do This Critical Mass Thing?|
|It started four years ago in San Francisco. Now it's in Portland and Austin and Washington, DC. And Edinburgh, Sydney, Brisbane, Zurich, Ottawa, and tons of other places.|
Yes. Wouldn't you rather have this than this? And were you aware of the full costs of your car?
Check out an article about us in the University of Washington Daily!
This page created and maintained by someone who loves bicycles. If you have suggestions or have a link to add to this page, mail me. To get on a phone list to be reminded of upcoming Masses, mail the same address.
Just so you know, about people have looked at this before now.
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