It's 2011 - Earlier this year we say the road rage attack in Brazil, and there are several YouTube are out there, and some with comments enabled.


This Friday on the last week of Nov is the Critical Mass SHB event. (event)

If it is anything like last year, it's be a short ride around the city followed by claiming the bridge for all of 10 minutes in a bit of bike raising exercise or so before proceeding to North Sydney.


What do you think Critical Mass means?

Does it serve a purpose?

If you could participate, would you ?

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of course the mass is run in accordance with the law's wishes, hence kettled down to just 10 mins on the bridge

needs to be little clumps as you say, sticking to the letter

i was wondering about breaking away, or suffering slow punctures or something

otherwise it is just a wee fun ride, and i'm ok with that

Just a thought- maybe the police won't turn up this year


They certainly showed us how to do a good rally yesty. No-one shooed them on or arrested them of course.

Thanks for the interesting insight and point of view.


the sands certainly have shifted

and these days the jam is there anyway, the masd makes little diff

the city is somewhat different today, but the bridge - outside clover's patch - is a place where cyclists are excluded ... Worth a protest in my view but much different to just an annual ride
Cyclists aren't excluded from the bridge, there is a dedicated, separate cycle lane.

Critical Mass blocking of the bridge traffic in my opinion only hinders the cause of cyclists. I'm strongly opposed to it.


Thanks for your opinion.


Cyclists still have to lug their bike up/down up the SHB infrastructure, something I endeavour to show overseas visitors who have their illegal UCI bikes and slippery cleats, (much worse for those with cargo-bikes etc) just before showing them the great bike lanes of Kent Street.


edit- I'm not saying that CM is the cure to the dead-in-the-Harbour-link, but SHB cycleway stairs is still an embarrassment

I agree that blocking the bridge is unlikely to engender any sympathy from the motoring "community" and is unlikely to advance our cause, but don't agree that the existing "dedicated ... lane" is satisfactory as you imply, Mr O'.

Protest against the abysmal conditions which cyclists are forced to endure to cross the Bridge is justified.

I can think of no other facility which has been downgraded despite greatly increasing use and there is certainly no other facility where other road users are required to exit their vehicles and push them up multiple flights of stairs.

The form of protest needs to be carefully determined, of course, and this is where Bicycle NSW should be taking a lead with a view to getting HarbourLink implemented along with a second cycle crossing of the Harbour. (Which need not be a tunnel or a second bridge, just another lane on the existing bridge which could easily be provided underneath or above the current lane.)


I'm not saying the lane is satisfactory. But most motorists don't know or understand this.

If there was a protest action to draw attention to the woeful stairs issue I would support it.

But Critical Mass isn't about the bridge cycle facilities. The message it tries to convey does not come across effectively, on the contrary, it's seen as an antagonistic "up yours" by cyclists to people trying to get home after a long week, and merely plays into the hands of those who are opposed to cycling.

as you imply, Mr O'

Nice to see we agree on everything else but. ;-)

Yep, the bridge issue needs a specific protest/campaign of some kind.

A mere 10 minute hiccough once a year won't get change.


This ride is so institutionalized now anyway.


Difficult to tell what CM does try to convey these days- I don't think we can assume anything. The mass is so compliant I don't think you can infer an 'up yours' any more.

No, there usually isn't much "up yours" in CM these days. A lot of people who wouldn't otherwise participate in CM go on the bridge ride, just for the thrill of riding on the deck. Institutionalised as it is, this is as "up yours" as CM gets to be these days.


Every other month of the year, it's just another group ride. The ride remains a CM in name as long as that's what people are turning up for, but it is nothing like what it used to be. (Kind of like the Mardi Gras parade, which has its activist roots but is now an institutionalised street party.)

There are generally too many beginner riders in the mass for there to be much aggression. The concept of "corking" is explained at the beginning of each ride, but the mass usually isn't big enough to need it, and most of the beginner riders won't do it anyway. They are there because they want to ride with other people. I don't know why these people somehow know about CM and not other group rides, but I make sure to give them information about various cycling groups in Sydney. A lot of these people don't come back, but I eventually see some of them again at other events.

There will usually be at least one person who either is a tourist (who normally goes to CM back home, and makes a point to get to the one here) or has just moved to Sydney, so it is very much a "Welcome to Sydney" event too.

Of course, there are the regulars. These are usually the people who will lead the ride, as well as try to keep the group together.

As such, the ride will usually start with a tour of back streets and cycleways for the benefit of the beginners and new arrivals. We then stop at a scenic location for the tourist to take group photos, then parade down George St or another main road where we wave at pedestrians and get cheers, and finish in Newtown or Chinatown, where some of the people (mostly regulars) will stay around for dinner and drinks.

Yes, it can be somewhat routine, but I keep turning up because it's a regular get-together with the friends I've made on these rides. It is also a good chance to introduce people to various other cycling groups.


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