Q: What is Critical Mass?

A: Critical Mass is a monthly mass bicycle ride that takes place on the last Friday of each month in cities around the world. It was started here in San Francisco in 1992 by cyclists and activists who wanted to increase the visibility of bicyclists and reclaim public space by making social use of the streets on a regular basis.

Q: Is anyone in charge of Critical Mass? Are you?

A: No to both questions. Critical Mass largely organizes itself, since all it requires is a regular start time and place. Whoever shows up at the ride is in charge, and decisions about routes are made spontaneously. Everyone is invited to Critical Mass, and everyone is free to contribute their energy and ideas to the mix. There is no organizing committee or organization behind the phenomenon of Critical Mass.

That said, there are individuals who have contributed ideas about tactics, strategy, routes, planning, etc. to the ride. But we do not claim any special status, and there are many people and many diverse ideas that have made Critical Mass what it is.

Q: How can I get involved?

A: Show up! Brampton Critical Mass meets on the last Friday of each month at 6:15pm at Gage Park at the corner of Main and Wellington. Beyond that, if you have ideas to share you are invited to participate in Critical Mass’s flourishing Xerocracy, in which everyone is invited to make flyers, stickers, zines or other printed material to share their ideas.

Q: I saw a Critical Mass participant act like a jerk. Is he representative of the ride?

A: We don’t think so. Any public event will have some bad behavior. We oppose anti-social behavior of all kinds. We promote an open approach that invites everyone to join us and does not assume the worst about people we don’t know.


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