Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Chicago and the end of Critical Mass

When I first saw this news from the Chicago Critical Mass Grand Finale Committee that organizers planned to end the Critical Mass rides on September 28, I thought it was some kind of joke. I've received assurances from Da Square Wheelman and others that they are indeed planning a final ride on September 28, 2007 -- the 10th Anniversary of Chicago Critical Mass.

The Chicago Critical Mass Daley Plaza rides will celebrate its 10th anniversary in September. In recent years, the Chicago Critical Mass has steadily grown, with summer and fall rides typically attracting thousands of cyclists.

As the rides have grown, some feel that Critical Mass has strayed from its original altruistic roots and has become 'just another big bike-a-thon'. Others have been offended by public drunkenness, nudity, noisy sound systems and ill manners that now are all too common on many mass rides.

Accordingly, many feel that the 10th anniversary ride on September 28, 2007, should be the last Chicago Critical Mass ride-- a grand finale to commemorate the original values on which the ride were based: civility, self reliance, fresh air and fellowship.

There's a hint, however, that CCM may rise from the ashes of death in October with a new crew of organizers. Stay tuned.


  1. If they call it something besides critical mass it could lose the negative connotations. Any group ride can achieve those ends, especially if carried out in a civil fashion.

  2. The Boulder Cruiser Ride went to great pains to avoid any link to "Critical Mass" to get away from the negative connotations. And I've just learned that they've decided to stop that also because it was getting too large!

  3. The mass isn't ending -- rumors that it is are the work of pro-car-culture fanatics who would see the Mass fade.

  4. How do you cancel something that has no organizer?