Friday, September 28, 2007

Fifteen years of being Critical

Today, the Critical Mass bike protest, performance piece, political activism, traffic nusciance, and many other descriptors is fifteen years old. A monthly gathering where cyclists convene on the last Friday of every month to celebrate cycling, and assert their rights on the streets of San Francisco. By overtaking the roads, I'm not sure a spirit of share the road is maintained, but it does make auto drivers aware of some of the compromises that cyclists face on the roads. Now in over 300 cities, it all started in San Francisco.

Ironically in the same edition of the San Francisco Chronicle's online site was an article on the California Senate subcommittee struggling for solutions to the second worse in the nation congestion on the road. The suburban nature of Silicon Valley is not going to make it easy, but I am impressed by the number of people at my company, who with support from management initiatives don't drive. Ranging from people on the East Bay, to San Francisco converging on Sunnyvale. I either rode my bike or took light rail three times this week, and to be honest the culture supports it.

Things like showers and towel service make a big difference in providing ways to make alternative transit if you come in sweaty. And a culture where you show up to a meeting with your hair wet is never looked down.

We'll get cars off the road when attitudes hit a critical mass that there are acceptable alternatives.


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