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Critical Mass Controversy causes Chaos

What’s your take? Should Critical Mass have bigger balls? Let us know in the comments.

The ‘organizers’ of the Baltimore Critical Mass are in hot water over a recent decision to plan the rides in advance, and publish a route map on google beforehand. 6pack detractors are calling the move lame and are asking for more balls, and more ballsy riding. 6 Pack Riders are all about balls. Check out the facebook group for an interesting discussion on the dynamics of group bike rides in urban areas. We’ve posted some react quotes below.

View Critical Mass March ’12 in a larger map

Editors Note :

My experience with Critical Mass in Baltimore was that when we tried to do bigger&better rides, to places North of Druid Hill or west of Eutaw street, the excess testosterone at the front of the group made the pace too high for the majority of people who like to ride critical mass.


Posted in Baltimore Cycling Politics.

  • Samara

    Since I’m not used to ride my bike near cars, specially at night, I always like to know I’ll be able to get back home safe after critical mass. So, having the route beforehand is a plus for me, so I know I can stop near my house. Also I usually bring with me a rider that is even less experienced than I am, and they always love it and get excited about biking in the city. If the ride is too scaring they would get a bad impression and be afraid. This is just my opinion, I don’t think critical mass has to be easy or hard, I think either way it will have a public. 

    • Liam

      I agree. 

  • ryanb


  • ryanb

    So I’m the one JOKINGLY talking about balls above, and very aware later on in the post (which isn’t in context here) that my wanting to talk about what Crit Mass means here in Baltimore isn’t about being hard. It’s about wanting to intelligently discuss what bicycle advocacy means in this city. It’s a complex issue, and I was largely venting into the ether, with very obviously bad results.

    The pre-ordained route isn’t a big deal at all, and while my verbage looks hella flame-y, I wasn’t and am not pissed at anything the folks who organize the Critical Mass ride do.

    This didn’t need a repost anywhere, and a pre-ordained route isn’t anything I found bothersome. 

    • Liam

      Hey, I can delete the screen grab if you want me to. It was a slow news day.

    • Liam

      “It’s about wanting to intelligently discuss what bicycle advocacy means in this city. ”

      I want to encourage that kind of discussion, my editorialization will not preclude such a discussion. 

      You are welcome to publish your thoughts in an article on Let me know and I will give you a log-in. 

  • Carl Peterson

    This “article” is kind of out of context.  Just about everyone in that thread knows each other and knows that we have been debating this subject for what seems like forever.  Hot water?  Really?

    • Liam

      I tried to contextualize it as best I could by linking to the discussion. The headline is silly, but unless you want to write your own article (I will publish it for you) don’t take this too seriously. 

  • Namesaredumb

    this is really not the point of critical mass. critical mass is meant to be inclusive in order to raise awareness about the legal, safe bike routes available to both bikers and drivers. the whole point is to create a safe, easyish ride that riders of all skill levels can enjoy. once you start pushing for harder riders in less safe areas you might as well just form a road club. 
    im really upset about this exclusive mentality many community bike events and organizations have in baltimore. critical mass needs to be slow, and it needs to be public. this means riding in visible parts of the city like the inner harbor. also keep in mind that pre-planning rides makes the planner liable for any injuries etc that may occur during the ride (this is a fact, we dealt with it constantly in philadelphia). if its spontaneous youre “just riding with your friends” and there are no liability issues.
    so a basic word of advice: if you want more “ballsy” riding, stop alienating the riders looking for a safe, fun ride in critical mass and make a club like the rest of the spandex warriors out there. fucking deal with it. 

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