i've read so much lately about what happened with critical mass these past few days that i'm stumped to form an opinion. i'm most definitely one of those people that see the general attitude of most of the "cyclists" in the city to have a negative "burnier-than-thou" or "holier-than-thou" vibe to it. i think a lot of peace-lovin hippies can be that way. very non-inclusive in a radically inclusive context. it's pretty sad really. when the whole point of critical mass and movements like burning man are there to make a statement of inclusiveness of somesort. solidifying a group of people together on a common cause, but also trying to bring in more people into the mix to open minds to a certain way of life.
burning man, what now? but we're talking about cyclists here!
come on now, we all know that san francisco life tends to generally involve a lot of burners. cyclists, activists, hippies, party people, and the list goes on. burners are everywhere. not everyone in said groups are burners, but i'm sure you can find a burner in each group. san francisco's chock full of them. and i love all these people. i like what critical mass is doing. it's a radical statment they're making.... well, radically. and i think it's rad.
but what makes the cyclist "community" (is it safe to call it a community? it's definitely a big movement and although unorganized in a sense, they do seem to form a cohesive group) easy targets is that it is very well known that cyclists tend to have a very prominent standoffish "i'm better than you" attitude. that is unless you have a bike.
this of course doesn't apply to everyone. i know lots of wonderful people who own bikes and participate in events like critical mass and burning man that are wonderful to the core. they are wonderful humanitarians who generally want to do good in the world.
this is such a sore subject right now in the city. i really feel like the lady who's car was trashed really did hit a cyclist and tried to make a dash for it, a hit and run, and was caught in the act. so she spoon-fed her story with the sympathy of the cyclists haters. it was easy, because there's so much to dislike about critical mass and the apparent attitudes that come with its participants. on the other hand, it only takes one ass-hole cyclist to smash the window of that woman's van with her children inside to tip the scales in her favor, no matter how wrong she was. of course the police will side with the suburban mother instead of the unruly hippie kids. what did you expect? it's a fucked up world is what it is.
anyway, i'm stuck on this. i hope we find resolve soon. this vid though is hilarious!
for more information, here are some good articles. one is a completely biased gossip column, which you should read first. and this other one is a response and from the point of view of a cyclist.