Critical Mass Celebrates 20th Anniversary in San Francisco With Massive Ride

By: Sylvia Ramirez - Fri, 28 Sep 2012 21:18:34 -0800

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN)--Critical Mass commemorates 20 years of monthly bike rides with a celebratory ride through San Francisco.
     
As many as 6,000 cyclists usually come out to Critical Mass special events, ride spokesman Chris Carlsson said, with organizers expecting even larger numbers for the anniversary ride.
     
Critical Mass is a movement that began in San Francisco on the last Friday of September in 1992. The tradition has continued with a monthly bike ride during the Friday evening commute and has since spread to cities worldwide.
     
Carlsson said representatives from all over the world have come to San Francisco for the anniversary ride, including Critical Mass participants from Brazil, Italy, France, Germany, Japan, Peru and Argentina.
     
"Tonight's ride is super special because it's a birthday ride," Carlsson said.
     
Organizers say Critical Mass is not only a time to enjoy urban spaces via bicycle, but also to "challenge the use of city streets and the domination of cars and oil in our transportation system."
     
Several anniversary events, including a film screening and a bookrelease party, were held around the city this week leading up to Friday's start at Justin Herman Plaza at the foot of Market Street.
     
Motorists are advised to expect delays near the downtown area, but the exact route the bicyclists will take is unplanned, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency spokesman Paul Rose said.
     
"How it's goes on the ride remains to be seen," Carlsson said.  Many riders peel off from the main group throughout the ride.
     
He said for Friday's 20th anniversary ride, cyclists are trying to do a loop along the waterfront then head into the downtown area and then wind through the city.
     
Event organizers said tonight's ride should end up at Dolores Park at Dolores and 18th streets around 7 p.m.
     
A special "Kidical Mass" contingent is set to take part in the ride, as well as a women's contingent organized by a female cycling group, "A Girl and Her Bike."
     
The anniversary celebrations will continue throughout the weekend including a Sunday 1 p.m. "Farewell Bike Ride" leaving from 518 Valencia St. to head to a party at Ocean Beach.
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