A Word About Critical Mass

3 Aug

Man you never know what you’ll post that will get people going.

My last post was just a curiosity about what I had witnessed on Friday night.

But apparently people are riled up about biking.

So before I get on with what I was planning on posting today. I just want to say this:

We can share the road. We can all proceed with more caution.

And drivers, cyclists drive without a steel frame around them. That warrants them a little more space.

This is a driver talking.

Please take your bike hate someplace else.

And the same goes for car haters.

Now what was I going to write about again?

32 Responses to “A Word About Critical Mass”

  1. Jacqui August 3, 2010 at 9:23 am #

    Thank you SO MUCH for your common sense approach.
    – a driver/cyclist

  2. Henry Wasserman August 3, 2010 at 9:49 am #

    On Island, off Island – it’s all the same. How did you get in the middle of all this Jorge? Can’t we all just go back to the simple times when the Millenium Falcon was just a school kids eraser?

  3. Caroline August 3, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    Wow, just read the comments. DANG people! I’m so glad to live in St Paul where cars are generally quite pleasant about my clumsy bike riding. I haven’t had a problem yet, but now I’m feeling more nervous.

    I will say the very first day I was on my bike, I was 500% more aware of bikers when I drove–and I was already hyper aware because I have a fear of hitting them. Maybe we need to make all car drivers ride a bike for just one day and see what they think??

  4. Elias August 3, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    They come…
    They fight…
    They destroy…
    They corrupt…
    It always ends the same…

  5. Michelle August 3, 2010 at 10:15 am #

    I didn’t read the comments on your previous post until now. Eesh!
    I don’t cycle but I wish I did. Just haven’t gotten around to getting a bike yet. But when I get to that point, I will definitely not be riding on busy roads. Just quiet ones. And I ALWAYS slow down for other cyclists. Because I don’t really want to squish one by mistake. 😦

  6. Melody August 3, 2010 at 10:29 am #

    Dang, I read that bike post when there were only a few replies. I guess I will have to read it again.

    This is what I hate though. It’s not really hate because I don’t hate very often. Anyway, I hate it when people don’t wear helmets. I realize in some states it is a choice but I just don’t think it should be. In some states you can choose not to wear a helmet if you have been riding for a certain amount of time. How stupid. Just because you are a good driver does not mean everyone else is. If someone really doesn’t care about their own safety then I don’t either. I care because my kids have to ride on the same road as everyone else and it sucks so much to see someone on a motorcycle get hit and their head get smashed open on the concrete.

    I was at a red light when a bike decided to turn left and head in my direction. He turned directly in front of a van and the van won. He came flying over in front of my car and then most of him came to rest on the curb to my right. Most of him. I don’t think he felt a thing because it happened so fast but I sure feel it to this day. Not fair for anyone. Would a helmet have helped? Who knows. At least his head would have been in one piece though.

  7. Ann MacKay August 3, 2010 at 10:38 am #

    No bike hate here. Just a desire to have the courtesy of abiding the rules and sharing the road extended both ways. Nobody wants to hit or be hit but there are proportionately just as many bad cyclists out there are there are bad drivers.

  8. llisa August 3, 2010 at 11:27 am #

    Jorge I just totally love your aware, kind soul and good sense of “balance” in this crazy world of max tilt!

  9. Jake August 3, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    Hahahaha. Well put, Jorge. Thanks for your thoughts. Can’t we all just get along?

    We have Critical Mass here in Chicago too. Yeah, it can be a bit frustrating to unexpectedly have them cross your route and have to wait for the horde to pass, but its all to make a statement about the benefits of biking and to raise awareness of just how many bikers there are. I think its a great idea, and as a driver/public transit user/occasional biker I’ll put up with Critical Mass once or twice a year that their route crosses my path.

  10. amber August 3, 2010 at 1:06 pm #

    You tell ’em, Jorge. I always get frustrated with fanatics of all stripes (and they’re hard to avoid online). There is almost always a happy medium to be had. Drivers need to respect cyclists and cyclists need to respect drivers.

  11. Sarah August 3, 2010 at 2:26 pm #

    There’s a lot of talk about drivers and cyclists here, what about the poor pedestrians? I know you don’t have pedestrians in the States, but since moving to London I’ve become a pedestrian and it’s hard! There are always cyclists whizzing through pedestrian crossings and nearly running me over. Not to mention the black cabs. I had a driver boast to me that in all his years of driving, he’d only run over two people.

  12. jackson August 3, 2010 at 2:29 pm #

    You just can’t avoid stirring up controversary, no matter what you say, can you? I LOVE Tide to Go – it has gotten me out of a TON of embarassing situations . . . but now I’m wondering if there’s a pro-stain group somewhere wishing all the stain-haters would just be a little more compassionate. Big smiles!

  13. jennY August 3, 2010 at 3:58 pm #

    Dude.. good for your for posting this! In your last post you were just wondering what was up with all the bike’s…you were not bashing them in any way. Poor silly people for ranting on your blog! It’s all about peace and love here! πŸ™‚

  14. Collette August 3, 2010 at 4:41 pm #

    Of all of the blogs in the world, Jorge’s should be the LAST to voice rants and raves about something so silly. Chill out dudes, just drive/ride safe – that’s all πŸ™‚

  15. Kim August 3, 2010 at 6:06 pm #

    You should check out RAGBRAI…it is a super cool bike friendly event. Ride Right and enjoy!~

  16. Sarah August 3, 2010 at 7:55 pm #

    Think you could do a public service announcement on transportation harmony? That would be nice. I hope you were going to post about Halloween, vermicomposting, or household pests.

    P.S. – I feel a little guilty as a “fan” reading this blog. Fame is a weird concept to me…and people in the spotlight deserve their privacy, but I can’t stop reading your posts because they’re so stinkin’ INTERESTING. IT PLAGUES ME.

  17. Mary August 3, 2010 at 8:31 pm #

    I didn’t post last time because there was just nothing I could say to add to the conundrums and rants and such.

    I use all modes of transport and it’s very true when I say you just can’t win. Cars vs bikes vs pedestrians vs buses vs scooters vs skateboards…someone will have an issue. Such is the world…

  18. mentally::rehearsed August 3, 2010 at 8:49 pm #

    There is a much smaller movement called Courteous Mass in some cities that advocates following the rules of the road and is still able to raise awareness of cyclist and driver safety. I wish it was bigger.

    Not sure I’m a fan of Critical Mass because it only gets people, both cyclists and drivers, upset.

  19. GroovyMom August 3, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

    Mid-west townie here. Just learning about Critical Mass for the first time.

    BUT – BIG smile on my face because I thought your post said take your “Bike Hat” someplace else……….(before reading all the replies in last post)…….and I’m thinking Bike HAT? What does that MEAN????

    OK – Got it – HATE….Now I’m all caught up, still giggling a little, but caught up.

  20. Breigh August 4, 2010 at 1:33 am #

    It’s all so silly really. I’m Canadian and when I lived in Canada I stopped riding my bike when I became a teenager because it just wasn’t cool anymore, also because I was going further from home and didn’t really feel safe on the roads.
    I now live in the Netherlands (Holland) where bikers and drivers co-exist peacefully. It’s really quite simple, it’s called BIKE LANES and it really wouldn’t be all that difficult to implement in most places in the US and Canada. Cyclists can bike to their hearts content here on their own path separate from the road, they have their own rules and both bikers and drivers have rules regarding each other. You can go anywhere by bike here without really interfering with people making their way by car.
    Come on America! You are so advanced in so many ways, this is such an easy problem to solve!

  21. Jules August 4, 2010 at 7:53 am #

    I only posted as a cyclist myself who doesn’t like other cyclists who don’t follow the rules of the road. I’m all for sharing the road!!! From both sides!

  22. KB August 4, 2010 at 8:16 am #

    Like I said, I don’t have a license so I used to bike. There should be an “us or them” mentality when we’re really all the same thing just using different tools to annoy one another.

    • KB August 4, 2010 at 8:16 am #


  23. Jessica August 4, 2010 at 2:54 pm #

    My apologies for my part in stirring up the angst. I do get frustrated and my last post was WAY too generalized…I’ve had some near misses with a couple of inconsiderate bicyclists and that’s what has colored my opinions. That said, I’ve had some near misses with inconsiderate drivers, too. So again – I apologize and will do my part to be considerate whether I’m on two wheels or four. Friends?

  24. Jessica August 4, 2010 at 2:55 pm #

    My apologies for my part in stirring up the angst. I do get frustrated and my last post was WAY too generalized…I’ve had some near misses with a couple of inconsiderate bicyclists and that’s what has colored my opinions. That said, I’ve had some near misses with inconsiderate drivers, too. So again – I apologize and sincerely promise I will do my part to be considerate whether I’m on two wheels or four. πŸ™‚

  25. The Cook August 5, 2010 at 12:35 am #

    I’ve been an auto driver for 20 years, a street motorcyclist for a handful of years, and a bicyclist for a day (years ago, quitting due to getting-hit paranoia).

    You have nailed it on the head, that drivers need to be aware of others around them.

    It doesn’t matter whether those others are in a 4-wheeled motorized vehicle, a 2-wheeled motorized vehicle, or 2-wheeled self-propelled mobile.

    Turn off the iTunes and put the phone down. Just drive and pay attention to your surroundings when doing it.

    After being rear-ended on my motorcycle 1.5 years ago, I had a lot of anxiety about driving in general, even in my truck. I’m getting over it, hopeful that there aren’t people hitting others intentionally.

    Tomorrow I’ll be back in the Harley saddle for the first time in a long time, to commute to work, hoping to raise awareness by being out there and being safe while doing so.

    Thanks for your post.

  26. Claudia August 5, 2010 at 1:57 am #

    This is totally why I love reading your blog. You have a unique way of putting things.
    Yes, bikes can be annoying and a little scary at times for drivers, especially when there are tons of them in a group. But, as you say, they are out there without a steel frame, human beings just like drivers in cars, and deserve their space.
    Life is short. Don’t be hating~

  27. Amy August 5, 2010 at 7:03 am #

    Runners share the road, too πŸ™‚

  28. Annie August 6, 2010 at 4:08 am #

    It’s posts like this that make me glad I found your blog. Thanks! Also for the references to great books on bread making. I love that you loved your dog and you love baking bread. I imagine Hurley was a lot like you.

  29. Capmaster August 8, 2010 at 6:13 am #

    My post about laying on the horn and flooring it was a joke, but it seemed to have gotten lost in all the bike-hater posts. That wasn’t my intention.

    If bikes obey the same laws as drivers, we would all get along. But there seem to be many bikes who demand equal space as a car, but then revert to their “I’m just a bike” mode at red lights, cutting between stopped cars and running lights. Stuff like that has most drivers seeing red.

    There’s more work to be done before bikes and cars can get along.

  30. Cesar Constanzo August 8, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

    Hey Jorge, whats up, hi im from brazil and i miss you and all the actors from lost, i loved all the show, i really fan of you, keep with the great work,
    thanks for all, of your fans in brazil,thanksss

  31. Pinky August 18, 2010 at 9:14 am #

    A coworker invited me to take part in critical mass recently, “It’s so much fun!”
    My only response was, “you really must not know me very well”.
    I am a bike rider, but I think blocking traffic just so you can have a say is a bit rude and selfish.

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