Monday, August 30, 2010


so our man gregor did something that i see all the time but i missed that it was in the paper.
way to go juice boy.

and i hear critial mass was a bit over the top friday as well. the comments section is a good read. i care less and less about it as i just stay out of downtown on that friday and re-schedule whatever i have to do to other parts of town...still driving to do my job but in different areas of town. someone i know who rides alot is certain that in less than six months, something bad is gonna happen at critical mass. i tend to agree it's at a breaking point.

be safe.



Rafferty said...

The Province runs a front page smear of Robertson a month ago because he rolled through a right turn on a red?

I can't say that's any different than the thousands of cars I've seen pull the same move. It's not a front page story unless your newspaper has a serious agenda.

The story then proceeds to criticize the broad efforts by city council to separate bikes and cars with safe lanes.

It's a blatant smear. When one of our most prominent papers runs this bullshit on the front page, I begin to understand why otherwise sensible people like you start calling a reasonable man an "eco-fascist."

On another note, what could you imagine happening to Critical Mass? I'll tell you, riding in the crowd of ebullient cyclists month after month for years, I can't see "the breaking point" anywhere on the horizon. Anyway, the issue virtually disappears every winter when the ride's size decreases to only several hundred cyclists, rather than the thousands that come out in the summer months.

Anyway, sorry to get contentious on your blog. You should feel welcome to return the favour on mine:

your favorite idiot said...

while i don't really want to 'go there' again, i did open it up so...
you yourself said rolling through a light is no big deal and that stop signs are move of a yield sign to bikes. not so. they're stop signs. for everyone. bikes included. i will not defend a car doing the same thing. both are stupid.
and why is it the 'protesters'. loosly used term, always blame the media. the writer of the article went to the intersection and saw that it was clearly marked that gregor should have stopped. he didn't. period.
and yes the cyclists are a happy bunch - i too am happy when i'm on a bike. i do not, however, go out on a ride hoping i piss off the general car driving public.
i recently had a discussion with a friend of mine who was here from out of town and he had ridden in the ride the day before he came to my house. i asked him why he did it and he said it was to 'fuck shit up', 'piss of the car drivers' and that'it was great. some people even gave me the finger. i loved it.'
ok. sure. i guess if getting someone to give you the finger signals a successful ride in your eyes, that's cool.
another bike riding friend of mine saw three women get off their bikes and get in front of a car and dance and taught the driver until a cop finally came over and moved them along. is this what critical mass is about? really? taunting drivers? i guess so.
i'm not sure gregor is entirely reasonable - nor am i for that matter- but i do know this. he was one of the people to give the ok to backyard chicken ranches in the city and he also wanted to have goats on the grounds of city dunno.
i love ya raf but you and i will never see eye to eye on this. i do like the discourse, and welcome it. i really do.

g. xo

Rafferty said...

Look, I didn't say that cyclists should disobey laws. I've stated in the past that I'm a law-abiding cyclist, even though the laws are ill-suited to cycling. The laws are motor-vehicle laws and would be entirely unnecessary if it weren't for cars. But I still obey them.

My point about cars rolling through right turns on a red is not to let Gregor off the hook, but rather the illustrate what a non-story this is. Gregor wasn't fined or charged. He was not at-fault in an accident. No accident occurred. The story is an account by one party in the incident. This is a story that belongs in a two inch column on page 12, not in a splashy front page story that "digs into" the incident and then proceeds to lambaste a broader move that Vancouver, like most progressive cities, is making to ensure that cycling is accessible, safe, and a viable alternative to the more expensive, more wasteful (in terms of space, energy, and resources), and less healthy car culture that has dominated the latter half of the 20th century. My point is that The Province newspaper is revealing an incredible editorial bias with a piece like this. When the leading media outlets exhibit such a bias, it's understandable that people like you buy into it.

Regarding your friend with the "F-you" attitude: I get the idea, often, that people who oppose CM feel that it's one big F-you. I've never felt that on the ride. I see it occasionally from cyclists, and it generally puts me in such a negative mood that I leave the ride early. But it's extremely rare. You'd have to participate one time as a cyclists to see for yourself. I, like many I've witnessed are apologetic, gracious, and polite to the motorists that are inconvenienced, even when we're getting sworn at fingered, or what-have-you. I don't know your friend, he does seem to miss the point, but his type is certainly a small minority among the participants.

The point of the ride, as I understand it, isn't to piss off motorists, but rather to, once a month for a couple hours, create a space in the urban environment where cycling in safer, more insulated from the 1000lb metal cages that generally fill the space, and where cyclists can share a sense of community and and family-friendly joy based on cycling. All of this while showing the broader public that cyclists constitute a considerable bloc in the city and that we can share a little solidarity, for a brief time at least.

CM isn't about being scofflaws, the running of red lights is incidental to the reality of keeping thousands of people together, like any other parade or march. The front of the ride stops at all the signs and lights, it's only in the name of riding together in a mass that people continue through the red lights. It's not a F-you to motorists, it's a practical move to keep the ride together.

I don't think the dancing people were trying to be offensive. I don't know about the specific incident you refer to, but often "corkers" (the people blocking the road while the mass passes through) dance and wear festive clothing to enjoy themselves, have a good light time and try to deflect the sometimes-negative mood that inconvenienced motorists understandably assume some of the time. It's not to taunt, it's all part of the festive atmosphere.

It should be mentioned, additionally, that many, many motorists and pedestrians cheers, or honk in a festive and encouraging manner. As is the case within the cycling population, the motorists aren't 100% together on this.

your favorite idiot said...

like i said, i didn't want to open it up again but we did...and while i could go on, i'm not going to...
the whole thing kinda bores me - not you raf but the whole thing...
we need cars, we need bikes. fine. period. we're all guilty of something.
i drive a car, eat meat, and do the best i can - i recycle, i ride a bike to get around my hood sometimes, i exercise - not as much as i would like but i do...and i'm fine with all of it.
if you live in a city - i know you hate this one but i will reiterate it. if you live in a city - your booze is brought here on a truck, most of your food, your toilet paper, the tires for your bike where delivered on a truck, your bike was made in a pollution puking factory - probably - , the pot you smoke could make you a drain on the health care system someday - and i don't mind a little pot myself here and there...
yes there are bad car drivers and bad bike be it.
cars and truck by virtue of the fact that they deliver goods to stores and restaurants keep the economy moving. it's a city we live in and it needs commerce to keep it moving.
i must say thought that i'm done with this latest version of garn and raf's critical mass debate.

g. xo

Rafferty said...

fair enough, see you next time on "Garnet disses Critical Mass and Raff attempts to defend it."

I love this show.