What Mass Cycling Is Actually

Posted by tan xiao yan on

Nowadays, with the fast development of the world, more and more people are rushing into cities for a better life. They work very hard for a dream of happiness in the near future. Of course, it is great. However, it is not all about the case. The prosperity of the economy undoubtedly gives rise to some problems on the environment. A great number cars are running in the cities causing not only severe traffic jam but also releasing harmful gas to the air, thus making a great effect on people’s life. Believing that cycling is the perfect traffic solution, various cyclists gather together simultaneously at the same place on the time to ride their bikes, which is called mass cycling. Maybe quite a lot people still have no idea on what it is. So today, I will try to give you a clear introduction, let’s figure out together.

What is it all about

cycling massMass cycling is usually called critical mass, critical mass is actually a cycling event typically held on the last Friday of every month; its purpose is not usually formalised beyond the direct action of meeting at a set location and time and travelling as a group through city or town streets on bikes. General speaking, these cyclists are gathering together for the concern of raising awareness for environmentally friendly mobility and to make a political statement. Of course, it is not a protest. Critical Mass originated in 1992 in San Francisco, by the end of 2003, the event was being held in over 300 cities around the world.

What is the purpose

For most of the cyclists, the meaning of the existence of critical is not only for the pursuit of a healthier and cheaper traffic but more for the dreams of a car-free city. “Everyday, all over the world, people are resisting the problem culture of the car by getting on their bikes and riding, instead of driving.” a cyclist said in the event. For years, critical mass has been described as “monthly political-protest rides”, and characterised as being part of a social movement. By reclaiming the streets, critical mass is actually a celebration of the alternatives to cars, pollution, accidents and the loss of public spaces and freedoms. Therefore, as a spontaneous gathering but not a protest or organised demonstration, critical mass is allowed to argue a legal position that its events can occur without advance notification of local police. No cars, just cyclists and pedestrians is a beautiful image that most cyclists enjoy.

What happens on a critical masscycling mass

Well, such a meaningful event, what every cyclist needs to do? As a matter of fact, each one is different and they follow no set route, everyone is free to join or leave the ride as it pedals along. Thus, you don’t need to worry that you will run out of your energy during the activity. The ride lasts no more than a couple of hours, of course depending on the weather and usually ends in a conveniently placed pub for more drinks. Anyway, it is a peaceful, safe and fun event!

How is its scale

With the beauty of nature and the company of friendly people, more and more people are participating in the event simultaneously all over the world. Critical Mass rides are varied greatly in many respects, including frequency and number of participants. Critical Mass-like bike tours with hundreds of participants took place in Stockholm, Sweden in the early 1970s. However, many people may not know is that the first ride within the present wave took place on Friday, September 25, 1992, at 6 pm in San Francisco. Since then, critical mass starts to spread all over the world. Therefore, as the originate of it, the scale of critical mass in the western world is more completed than others. For example, the largest event in Budapest, Hungary hold tow rides each year. The “Budapest style” attracts tens of thousands of riders. Similar to this, in Vienna, close to Budapest, a critical mass ride has been held every month since 2006 and attracts up to 1000 or more riders.

cycling mass

What do you need

A great number of cyclists misunderstand that participating the event, a bike must be a necessary. Well, actually, it is not the case. Critical Mass is not just for bikes, skateboards, roller blades, wheelchairs, pogo sticks, anyway, any form of non-motorised, non-polluting are all very welcome! Therefore, it is not necessary for you to have a bike, as long as you are interested in the activity, you are welcomed!

How it works well

cycling massBecause critical mass takes place without an official route or sanction, participants in some cities have sometimes practised a tactic known as “corking” in order to maintain the cohesion of the group. "Corking" allows cyclists to engage in a variety of activities, such as lifting their bikes in a tradition known as a “Bike Lift”, or to perform a “die-in” where riders lie on the ground with their bikes to symbolise cyclist deaths and injuries caused by automobiles. Although it is not an organised group or event, it still needs to assure that the event can be run smoothly.

What is its effect

The critical mass rides have inspired a number of other bicycle movements that range from political movements to the “Critical Tits” ride during the yearly Burning Man festival. And through the event, more and more people are aware of the significance of cycling to the environment and health. With the wide spread of it, a great number of people are engaging in the cycling. For many, the reason for taking part in critical mass is to achieve visibility and to be able to use the whole road with peace of mind, which produces a feeling of strength and belonging. Anyway, there is no doubt that, critical mass is changing lots of people’s lifestyle.

To recap

Here, our today’s topic is approaching its end, I really hope that after my brief introduction, you have had a clear idea of critical mass. If you never take part in the event before, it is highly recommended that you have a try. If you have ever participated in such events, I strongly wish that you can insist. If you have any better idea, welcome to leave us your messages. You can also browse other related articles on our website.