So what is Critical Mass?


Critical Mass is a monthly mass bike ride promoting cycling as a fun and healthy alternative to driving. Critical Mass rides occur on the last Friday of every month in over 200 cities worldwide.

Putrajaya Critical Mass has been going on strong and steady and with great supports by non-government organisations, several ministries and a number of corporate companies. Putrajaya Critical Mass also supports healthy, environmental causes and cycling sports across Malaysia.

With great number of supports coming from all over Malaysia, we hope to unite all cyclists for a better future of cycling and the very basic cause - to stay healthy and have fun in cycling.

We ride Putrajaya, Malaysia.

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Critical Mass rides are self-organized, non-commercial and non-competitive, and they operate with diffused and informal decision-making, independent of leaders. They are mostly unofficial, foregoing permits and official sanction from municipal authorities. Typically, only the meeting place, date, and time are fixed. In some cities, the route, finishing point, or attractions along the way may be planned ahead. Participants have differing purposes for the event, such as celebrating their choice of the bicycle for transportation, and enjoying car-free social time on city streets.

Critical Mass rides have been perceived aa activities. A 2006 New Yorker magazine article described Critical Mass' activity in New York City as "monthly political-protest rides", and characterized Critical Mass as a part of a social movement; and the UK e-zine Urban75, which advertises as well as publishes photographs of the Critical Mass event in London, describes this as "the monthly protest by cyclists reclaiming the streets of London." However, Critical Mass participants have insisted that these events should be viewed as "celebrations" and spontaneous gatherings, and not as protests or organized demonstrations. This stance allows Critical Mass to argue a legal position that its events can occur without advance notification of local police.

Critical Mass rides vary greatly in many respects, including frequency and number of participants. For example, many small cities have monthly Critical Mass rides with fewer than twenty riders which offer safety in numbers to cyclists in those locales, while on the opposite extreme, in what have been the largest events using the name Critical Mass, cyclists in Budapest, Hungary hold only two rides each year on 22 September (International Car Free Day) and 22 April (Earth Day). They attract tens of thousands of riders. The April 22, 2007 Budapest ride participation was generally estimated at 50,000 riders.

Article taken from here.

For more on Critical Mass visit http://critical-mass.info/ and http://criticalmass.wikia.com/

8 comments:

ziq said...

Critical to Recall Real `Mass' Appeal
Charles Higgins, San Francisco Gate
Friday, June 30, 2000
(link to original SF Gate article)


San Francisco -- Bikes held aloft, they clustered defiantly in front of the Bryant Street freeway on-ramp on a recent Friday. Most of the daisies had been handed out already, and the motorcycle cops were not receptive to flowers.

As they circled around anxiously, a police wagon raced down Eighth Street. And it was clear once again that Critical Mass, after nearly eight years of monthly rides, could still slice the last Friday of any month with a jagged edge.

Sadly, it is the confrontational side of Critical Mass that most people remember. The idea that the bicycle is a practical mode of transportation and a symbol of good quality of life gets lost in the fracas.

But there are many faces to Critical Mass. The event is at once a rebellion and a celebration. It is a manifestation of deep consternation over transportation, the environment, materialism and free market-driven urban planning.

And it brings people together in the open air for a festive rolling adventure. It is at once a loud scream and a soft whisper.

Though it raises the blood pressure of some rush-hour commuters, Critical Mass offers a change, if only for a few moments, in the domination of the streets. In place of tons of steel and glass is a rolling community of people who can talk to each other and experience safety in numbers.

Critical Mass exists because thousands of people are exhilarated and inspired by its ability to redefine public space that was mapped out two generations ago with the oil industry at heart. It is the voice of the minority amid the deafening roar of engines and the seduction of Madison Avenue advertising.

Before Critical Mass emerged in 1992, bicyclists were nearly invisible. On the streets and in the political landscape, they were less than a minority.

The ride has helped people question the arbitrary rules set forth by an auto-dominated society.

While some activism and confrontation remain a small part of the ride, Critical Mass provides an opportunity for average people to gather surrounded by other cyclists on the streets that otherwise threaten them. It is an expression of how many people think differently from mainstream society. Critical Mass originally intended to bring people together, at the same time and place, to ride home. It was and is an experiment with unpredictable consequences. That it grew and transplanted to cities all over the world says something about the collective frustration people feel about the streets.

But with new bike lanes, bike routes, bike parking and public promotion of the bicycle as a practical mode of transportation, it might seem that Critical Mass has served its purpose. The fact remains that only a small part of the bike plan for San Francisco was implemented, and many proposed bike lanes were rejected by merchants and City Hall. Pedestrians and cyclists continue to be injured and killed by an increasing number of angry and careless drivers. Bicycles are still an afterthought when new buildings and transportation plans are proposed.

In the end, the ride is likely to continue as long as people need a place to express frustration about invisibility and, conversely, to celebrate human-scale community. Critical Mass is as much about daisies and bugles as it is about global warming and SUV domination.

Charles Higgins is a city native who has used his bicycle for transportation for 20 years.

ziq said...

The Story Behind the Name
The name "Critical Mass" is taken from Ted White's 1992 documentary film about bicycling, "Return of the Scorcher". In the film, George Bliss describes a typical scene in China, where cyclists often cannot cross intersections because there is automobile cross-trafic and no traffic lights. Slowly, more and more cyclists amass waiting to cross the road, and when there is a sufficient number of them -- a critical mass, as Bliss called it -- they are able to all move together with the force of their numbers to make cross traffic yield while they cross the road.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

We are new to KL and we would love to join a ride in Putrajaya. Next one is on November 26th I think ?
When and where do you meet ?

MGB.

Mandie said...

Hi, I came across your site and wasn’t able to get an email address to contact you. Would you please consider adding a link to my website on your page. Please email me back and we'll talk about it.

Thanks!

Mandie Hayes
mandie.hayes10@gmail.com

4cast said...

When is the next ride in KL?

Stephen Maniam said...

Is there still a monthly critical mass ride in Putrajaya? Can't find any reference here or on fb, for a few years, but also no official message to announce it's finished. Would be good if somebody could post to the homepage/FB what is actually happening in 2015!

Stephen Maniam said...

Is there still a monthly critical mass ride in Putrajaya? Can't find any reference here or on fb, for a few years, but also no official message to announce it's finished. Would be good if somebody could post to the homepage/FB what is actually happening in 2015!

Chai said...

Hello ,

We ( four ) , bikers from Bangkok , Thailand.

We are planning to bike from KL to Singapore by mid of April 2016.

We need to communicate & advise from Malasian bike friends on our bike route .

Best Regards,
Chai

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