Critical Manners Bike Ride Vancouver

Critical Manners Ride: August 14th!
July 30, 2009, 9:33 pm
Filed under: The Ride

The most important thing to know:

The Critical Manners Vancouver Bike Ride will take place Friday August 14th at 6:00pm in Vancouver.

I’m still thinking about a good meeting/starting point and bike route through the city – feel free to comment with your suggestions.

Happy & Safe riding!



Please please please make the “Critical Manners” icon a hand holding a handlebar with the pinky out. πŸ˜€

Comment by Catherine Winters

Re: finger sticking out, I really don’t get it… but I prefer Critical Mass. Each unto his/her own though, yes?

Comment by Dan

Catherine that’s fantastic! I’m completely inept at graphics, but if someone wants to make it, I’ll absolutely use it!


Comment by criticalmanners

Im not from Vancouver and have a couple of questions re critical mass.

WHAT is the goal of critical mass?
– Is it to discrupt traffic? (If so well done)
– Is it promote the use of alternative transport? (if so…in what ways are you doing this?)

WHAT are to organisers doing about the minority group of riders that cause havoc and actively aggravate drivers. I read an article about 1 rider last month who cycled over a car hood.

Comment by Chris

Chris: I personally feel that the original goals of Critical Mass are somewhat at odds with their execution, so I choose not to participate, and therefore don’t really feel qualified to speak on it. There’s a great wikipedia article on their event here.


Comment by criticalmanners

Hi Jen,

You and the Critical Manners idea are a breath of fresh air. I got all agitated arguing with folks today in advance of tomorrow’s “event” because i don’t like the way Critical Mass is executed to achieve the goal of fewer SOV’s on the road…

I hope the Critical Manners ride really takes off and becomes a success!


Comment by Beverly

I’m not sure how you invisition the ride, so this may not work, but do you think we can do a similar route as typical masses, but do it with manners to make it a night/day comparison?

Comment by Gregory Fung

I guess we’ll have to see how this turns out. In theory stopping at lights makes sense, but at the regular CM even the police escorts do not stop. It seems to me given a similar size stopping at lights will make for a longer delay in traffic, not less, or am I missing something? Also, if this is going to be a regular event (each month) that would mean there will be a bike mass every two weeks instead of once a month (the original CM and this one alternating every two weeks). Will that not draw even more negative press? Bikes “in the way” for 4 hours a month instead of 2, oh my!

Comment by Derek Read

This is a great idea! Last month, as we slowly drove past the CM throng at Davie and Pacific (we were on the opposite side of the road, a beligerent rider yelled at us, for what? Apparently thinking we should be on the road at all! We too were debating whether to join the Critical Mass ride, but after seeing CM last month, I decided not to join.

No wonder motorists can angry – Critical Mass is doing damage to the cycling community, and I suspect, making it harder for the City to invest in safe biking routes. It would be great to see Critical Manners really take off.

Comment by Ginny Balcom

I’m glad you’ve called this ride, nice job! We should make invitations.

There was much discussion of various “Courteous Masses” around the continent on the Velolove list this last week. I think they’re interesting and look forward to seeing how it will go. I’ll make it if I can find some appropriately suitable atire for such an outing. I love the pinky finger handle-bar image.

For myself, I join in Critical Mass when I’m not too lazy or busy, and usually enjoy it. I do see the difficulties of how to influence a formally leaderless organism – that can be frustrating, when the loudest, fastest (not always wisest) voices tend to get heard. It will be curious to see how an alternative vision plays out. Certainly it will start small, so it won’t really be a fair comparison to the bigger summer Masses, but I hope it will grow and continue.

More bike rides is good for everybody, no question in my mind.

Oh, a question! If a line of bicyclists are on the right hand side of a street up to a corner, how should car drivers respond who want turn right across that line? Miss Critical Manners, what would be safe and polite? (I sense a column in Momentum Magazine coming on…)

Comment by Bruce Triggs

I’d happily give an icon a go, Jen. πŸ™‚

Comment by Catherine Winters

You claim that you’re not going to be noticed on this ride — that being the case, what’s the point if no one notices?

Seems to me that at the very least, Critical Mass is getting the point out to motorist that bicycles are an integral part of our society and need/demand to be recognized.

Comment by Jim Mann

The only thing Critical Mass gets people to recognize is what stupid, self righteous assholes Vancouver’s local hippies can be.

Comment by Adrian Mander

Good point Jim Mann.

Maybe that’s the true goal of Critical Manners. You know, go out for a ride and ensure that you don’t ride in a conspicuous manner. That way when your entire group ends up getting door prized and cut of by right hand turners or just plain run into the curb, they can have a press conference from the emergency ward at VGH where they can demonstrate that riding in a nice and mannerly order is a sure fire way not to be noticed.

I took two very good motorcycle training courses. One was to get my license and the other was a defensive riding course.
Both courses stressed the same thing. Ride like the car drivers can’t see you. Because it’s true. They can’t see you. It’s been proven time and time again that the human brain cannot track multiple target properly and the human brain is drawn to things visually based upon it’s preconceived presumption of risk.
A bicycle is of no threat, so therefore the car driving brain doesn’t react is if it it a threat. Most car drivers also have very poor depth perception and most have trouble visualizing their car interacting with the space around. Have you ever watched most drivers try to parallel park? They have no idea of where the physical boundaries of their vehicle are.
And now Critical Manners wants to show how ‘nice’ cyclists can be by not being noticed.
This ought to be fun to observe from a distance.

Comment by Bobbie Bees

You seem to assume that the only alternative to stopping traffic, running red lights and antagonizing drivers is to melt into the background, riding in the door zone etc. That’s obviously false. You can ride assertively without acting like an asshole. Lots of us do it every day.

Comment by Adrian Mander

I have two suggestions for a meeting place. One is the Vancouver Art Gallery lawn on Georgia Street. Critical Mass rides meet there and since many cyclists have done one or more of these rides, they know where it is. The other place is Creekside park and the park area north of Science World. The bonus of this area is its bigger than the Art Gallery lawn and it can be seen from the Georgia viaduct and the Skytrain. Thus people driving or riding can see the mass of riders and perhaps think about cycling…or maybe joining in.

Comment by Vincent Lizee

Sorry, Bobby Bees, but the logic that you use makes little to no sense. In order for this “Critical Manners” effort to have any impact, people need to know about it.

A press conference at the emergency ward? Yeah, right.

I’m afraid I don’t get the point of this Critical Manners thing — at least Critical Mass has a point.

Comment by Jim Mann

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