The Chainlink

It's coming up on that time a year again!  May Critical Mass!  I aka Ms. Red lead the May Critical Mass last year with the help of some amazing individuals back to The Kedzie Stop; an old warehouse building turned artists studios, for a after mass dance party!  And I would love to do it again this year!  With experience under my belt and more people to help keep the mass together, I would love to get things started with ideas & comments on how to make it even better than last year.

**Attempting to go with last years idea of a spring parade/costume ride

**Talks about a musical performance as well in the back alley

Please share your thoughts & ideas and lend any help you can!

Ciao a tutti!!

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Thank you! Bottom line is that I had to pee! This was a real experience!


Jeff Schneider said:

Whether or not the 30 minute recollection is correct, having to "pee real bad" is no joke.  I tell you this as a middle-aged man...

Michelle Milham said:

But you do realize that "once 3 years ago I was stuck in traffic and had to pee real bad. I just know it was a half hour." Is... Kind of not a reliable source of evidence right?
True that. But I can say with certainty that it was a lot longer than 10 minutes. Part of what made it take so long was that there was so much car traffic that there wasn't much room for the bikes to get through. Not to mention a good portion of the people riding weren't exactly Lance Armstrong doing a TT.

Michelle Milham said:
As a young woman with a hamster bladder I can assure you I understand. But it does tend to make time move at a glacial pace where minutes feel like hours on end.

How about we get back (at least for a bit) to the real point of the Post. All this "pee" talk is putting a "damper" on party talk!

I'm sure there are some valid criticisms of Critical Mass, but its critics can never seem to make them without throwing in a healthy dose of untruths.


Tristan Jackson said:

Umm... No. And If you can't be respectful in this conversation, then it's hard to believe you're respectful to others on the road either. :)


h' 1.0 said:

So... 12 minutes?

Tristan Jackson said:

I definitely couldn't turn around. We, the cars, were tightly packed next to each other. Many drivers simply turned off their engines because there was no going anywhere. And it definitely took longer than 10 minutes for all the cyclists to clear the intersection because there was a long, seemingly never ending tail of buffoons taking their sweet time.


Michelle Milham said:

Maybe there was a backup after the mass had already passed where this person didn't make it through lights? but honestly, at more than ten minutes the other direction should be clear enough to turn around and try a different street, or drive in the opposite direction of the mass to find where it's ended and cross there. 

h' 1.0 said:

More than half an hour?

Someone usually jumps out of the ride and films a "front to back" video of the whole mass, and typically the larger rides take somewhere around 10 minutes total to pass. And then automobile  traffic is immediately moving afterwards.

Do you remember what month/year that was?
 
Tristan Jackson said:

Please excuse my ignorance but what exactly is critical mass about? I'm a cyclist. I love cycling. And, of course, I respect cyclists. But I'm also a driver. And, one time, I got stuck at an intersection waiting for a Critical Mass for more than a half hour while I had to pee really bad. If the ride is meant to raise awareness about cyclists, then I'm not sure that the ride achieves that goal in positive way. To me, respect between cyclists and drivers is achieved through consciously doing our best, both as drivers and as cyclists, to share the road. Purposefully causing congestion isn't respectful, IMO.

A large number of cars converging at the same intersection create a traffic jam.  A large number of bikes converging at the same intersection create a traffic jam.

Why do you keep blaming the bikes for causing traffic jams?  This isn't us-vs-them. 

Excessive cars create traffic jams.  Excessive bikes create traffic jams.  Why do you keep insisting on controlling only the bikes?

Tristan Jackson said:

If a bunch of people in cars converged on the same intersection intentionally creating traffic to raise awareness about their existence, then, yeah, that would suck. But I think seeing this from a us vs them, bikes vs cars, perspective is a mistake.


It's certainly likely that even after the bikes have cleared that the auto gridlock takes some time to resume it's dangerous crawl.  And bikes ARE traffic not an obstruction thereto.  And I can sympathize with needing to pee.  But it's a fact that the largest Critical Mass EVER in Chicago history took just 15 minutes to pass an intersection.  And most are a third to half that size.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9lOUY4NblE

Personally, I'm endlessly amused my the far greater speed bikes can accomplish downtown than cars.  Coming up on CCM days from the lakefront path on Randolph for example, I get to Daley plaza in no time, bypassing the block after block of standstill car traffic.  So HEY CARS!  Stop clogging up the streets I pay for, and fouling my air and endangering my kids to-boot.

Back on topic, May's mass is shaping up to be a pro-pedicab affair.

http://www.thechainlink.org/events/chicago-critical-mass-413

Here's today's route! 



Sam A. said:

Here's today's route! 

Nice looking map. I predict a record number of driver complaints to info@chicagocriticalmass.org.
 


Sam A. said:

Here's today's route! 

At the end of tonight's C.C.M. there will be free bike parking at the N.W. corner of Division/Damen at N. Community Bank till 11pm. Do Division!

That may be true. But Im certainly not trying to criticize CM with "a healthy dose of untruths". To lend credence to my story, I googled "chicago critical mass delays". The fifth result down is a Yelp review from woman claiming that she was delayed during the summer of 2011 for 45 minutes by a CM:

Of course, this reviewer could be either mistaken or lying too. Perhaps, its just a disgruntled driver who hates CM. But the Chicago CM FAQ page claims that the average speed of a critical mass is 5 mph:
And the route development page has information cross posted from Chainlink written by H3 claiming that a CM can stretch for longer than 2 miles:
So, deductively, I could conclude that a 2 mile long stretch of cyclists traveling at 5 mph would take 24 minutes to pass a fixed point. Of course, my deductive argument could have problems with soundness of the premises even if the logic is valid. However, other websites seem to confirm my time estimate. For instance, the popular Chicago blog the Expired Meter estimated the average delay to be between 10 and 30 minutes. And Chainlink user Dan Korn, who regularly rides the CM, admits the delay can stretch to 20 minutes in the summer:
And Chainlink user Joel claims seeing a CM on Roosevelt, the very same street that I was stuck on, that was so congested that there was really "no where" for anyone to move. And here's a YouTube video from Andrew Bedno filmed from a fix point showing 15 continuous minutes of cyclists passing:
And that was filmed at night with low traffic. Conceivably, at rush hour, at the intersection of Roosevelt and Wabash, a CM could take substantially longer than 15 minutes to pass a fixed point.
So I think Ive built here a fairly strong case that my delay could indeed have been greater than 10 minutes. Of course, I could still be mistaken, or I could just be straight lying. But the polite thing to do (read the non-critical-masshole thing to do) would be to charitably accept the possibility that I really did have such an experience. And, then from there, you could explain why CM is a worthwhile event some of the unfortunate experiences people like me have experienced. :)



h' 1.0 said:

I'm sure there are some valid criticisms of Critical Mass, but its critics can never seem to make them without throwing in a healthy dose of untruths.


Tristan Jackson said:

Umm... No. And If you can't be respectful in this conversation, then it's hard to believe you're respectful to others on the road either. :)


h' 1.0 said:

So... 12 minutes?

Tristan Jackson said:

I definitely couldn't turn around. We, the cars, were tightly packed next to each other. Many drivers simply turned off their engines because there was no going anywhere. And it definitely took longer than 10 minutes for all the cyclists to clear the intersection because there was a long, seemingly never ending tail of buffoons taking their sweet time.


Michelle Milham said:

Maybe there was a backup after the mass had already passed where this person didn't make it through lights? but honestly, at more than ten minutes the other direction should be clear enough to turn around and try a different street, or drive in the opposite direction of the mass to find where it's ended and cross there. 

h' 1.0 said:

More than half an hour?

Someone usually jumps out of the ride and films a "front to back" video of the whole mass, and typically the larger rides take somewhere around 10 minutes total to pass. And then automobile  traffic is immediately moving afterwards.

Do you remember what month/year that was?
 
Tristan Jackson said:

Please excuse my ignorance but what exactly is critical mass about? I'm a cyclist. I love cycling. And, of course, I respect cyclists. But I'm also a driver. And, one time, I got stuck at an intersection waiting for a Critical Mass for more than a half hour while I had to pee really bad. If the ride is meant to raise awareness about cyclists, then I'm not sure that the ride achieves that goal in positive way. To me, respect between cyclists and drivers is achieved through consciously doing our best, both as drivers and as cyclists, to share the road. Purposefully causing congestion isn't respectful, IMO.

I dont mean to rain on your parade :)

Ken Gray said:

How about we get back (at least for a bit) to the real point of the Post. All this "pee" talk is putting a "damper" on party talk!

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