Update: September 9, 2009 – Spoke too soon. Unfortunately, this ride has been postponed until further notice.
It’s appropriate to announce, on the day of the next local Critical Mass ride (which the VPD have issued another notification about), we confirm that yes! There will be another Critical Manners ride!
Friday, September 11th, 6:00pm.
Meeting location and route TBD.
There was lots of great feedback on the last ride, the most notable type of content being one of riders feeling pretty comfortable while riding on the straight-aways, and things falling apart a bit while turning.
That ties in quite well with another problem of Critical Mass, noted in a recent comment in Momentum Magazine:
We were safer riding as a group, but we still weren’t as safe as Critical Mass. One rider said, “Although I took my son on Critical Mass at quite a young age–I would NOT have taken him on Critical Manners as it would not have been safe enough for him. The Critical Manners ride is only for confident cyclists.” It was fortunate for the less confident cyclists that others jumped in to offer guidance and model safe riding behaviour.
Critical Mass, as a bike parade, is certainly a safer place for inexperienced cyclists, because they are riding on a road that’s been blocked off for the sole use of bikes.
But it only exacerbates the problems cyclists see the other 27-30 days of the year: it gives sporadic and new cyclists a false sense of security by encouraging riding under irregular and illegal circumstances, and actively antagonizes other road users, making them likely to be more aggressive to cyclists riding without the protection of a mass.
So the next Critical Manners ride will focus on safe rider education, specifically lane changes and left turns. Obviously the practice session won’t take place in and around traffic, but we will also incorporate a street ride similar to the last Manners event. More details will be posted here as they come up.
In the meantime, please check out the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition (the great folks behind Bike to Work Week and other local cycling initiatives) and their schedule of safe-riding and bike maintenance classes.
You may also be interested in another local group that started around the same time as the Vancouver Critical Manners ride, Pedal Etiquette. Ryan’s vision for his group focuses on riding well and safely every day, which we should all be in support of!
In the meantime, please leave comments or email criticalmanners.vancouver at gmail dot com if you are able to help with the instructional portion of the ride, or have suggestions for a meeting/finishing point and route.