Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Word Gets Out at September SDCM: Keep It Posi

Two days ago at last Friday's Critical Mass ride in San Diego, the message was clear: Keep the ride positive, communicate with one another, thank motorists for waiting, and stay off the Coronado Bridge.

Coffeeshop Discussion participants and friends handed out over 350 fliers which emphasized the importance of riding CM as a conscientious cyclist. Fliers were handed to every individual and every group ranging from 2 to 10 cyclists. Since over 350 fliers were handed out near the fountain to each group of friends (with an average group-size of 3 people) it's estimated that over 1050 cyclists were reached last Friday; making it the most widespread flier-dissemination campaign in SDCM's history.

The flier included the following text:

"Suggestions, constructive ideas, and solutions from veteran and conscientious CM riders:

-Communicate: Communication is our most vital asset. See something you don't or do approve of? Then make a comment. Communicate to that person or persons. This is the people's ride. It's up to all Critical Mass riders to do their part and contribute their two cents, in person, at the ride. Don't be complacent to something you don't agree with. Speak up. If you have a voice, use it, positively.

-RIDING UP THE CORONADO BRIDGE IS A BAD IDEA! It’s flat-out dangerous. Not only does motorist traffic move at speeds close to freeway traffic, but the Coronado Bridge , which (unfortunately) was not designed for cyclists or pedestrians, has a very low 3 foot barrier which separates the lane from one's deadly fall.

Riding up the bridge may only invite negative repercussions to this community bike ride. We, as a Mass, do not need that.

Riding over the Coronado Bridge is bad for Critical Mass. Think about the larger community. Please, stay off the bridge.

If some people try to lead the ride over the bridge again, TAKE A STAND, DO NOT FOLLOW, and DO NOT RIDE UP THE BRIDGE. Be a conscientious agent and RIDE A DIFFERENT DIRECTION.

If cyclists want to ride over the bridge, come out and ride over the bridge on the Bike The Bay event organized by the SD County Bike Coalition, instead! Supporting the Bike Coalition helps improve cycling conditions and awareness for cyclists throughout our county.

-Be courteous and respectful. Thank motorists for waiting. Motorists like to see that someone on the ride is concerned about them waiting. “Thanks for waiting! We’ll be out of your way shortly” goes a long way.

In the streets, you earn respect by practicing it. Share the road.

Have fun tonight! Celebrate sustainability and zero-emissions fun in our beautiful city! But please, ride as a conscientious cyclist so that everyone around you, including those who aren’t on the ride, can have fun, too!"

Riders' receptions to the above statement and message were overwhelmingly positive. Riders seemed to really grasp the idea that riding over the Coronado Bridge is a bad idea and that concepts such as positivity, communication, and courteousness are necessary for a healthy monthly bike ride.

No known headcount was conducted last Friday. However, the size of the Mass seemed comparable to the month of July, where nearly 1,300 people exiting Laurel were counted.

Last Friday's ride exited Laurel, as per usual, and made a right on 5th, a right on University, and a right on Park where the group proceeded to head down the hill into Downtown. The group then exited downtown, rode down Harbor near the airport, through Point Loma and arrived in OB. Some riders then cruised into Mission Valley and ventured directly up the monstrous street known as Texas St. From there, riders continued to ride around the North Park area, eventually trickling back to the starting point--the main Fountain at Balboa Park.

For discussion-participants, friends, and conscientious cyclists who helped pass out fliers and get the word out, the most important thing about September 25th's CM route, was that it did not go over the Coronado Bridge.

Hopefully, the ideas discussed in the statement titled 'Suggestions, constructive ideas, and solutions from veteran and conscientious CM riders' will stick with riders each month.

A somewhat related point about last Friday's ride is that Josh Board, the local writer on the San Diego Reader's payroll, who recently attacked a CM rider, premeditated further attacks in the form of vehicular assault, and incited violence against random cyclists, was no where to be found. The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition is currently in communication with editors at the Reader to have Josh Board reprimanded for his pro-violent behavior.

Overall, the September SDCM ride was a success. Keep it posi!

1 comment:

  1. whats the one band that does that one song?

    you gottaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa STAY POSITIVE!