August 26 @ 19:00 EDT
The last Friday of the month, every month, 7:00 p.m.
…starting at Union Square North (and several other locations, apparently). Come along for the ride!
Critical Mass is an event that began in San Francisco in
the early 1990s and has since spread to hundreds of cities around the
world. It usually occurs monthly (sometimes weekly). as bicyclists
spontaneously come together to ride the ordinarily car-clogged streets
of their cities. Critical Mass focuses on the rights of bicyclists
and the rights of pedestrians on our own streets. It also brings
attention to the deteriorating quality of life — starting with the
toxic levels of air and noise pollution — that cars create for
It is a leaderless ride, free and open to all, where bicyclists
take to the streets to promote bicycling as the best means of urban
Critical Mass is a bike ride, not an organization, and no two riders
participate for exactly the same reason. “What is Critical Mass?” is
a question that has as many answers as participants. The only real
way to answer the question is to join the ride yourself. So what are
you waiting for?
The bike ride that helped change the whole city.
In New York City during the 1990’s, bicycling was extremely dangerous. The number one complaint of cyclists was always safety. Group bicycle rides, like the critical mass, were one of the few places where cyclists could ride together and be safe. Besides their safe and fun dynamic, the group rides steadily attracted new riders which in turn built up the confidence in the riders to become everyday commuters.
In early 2000, the New York City critical mass started gaining huge popularity due to it’s celebratory spirit and safe community environment. Bikers of all types would meet the last Friday of every month, as they do in over two hundred cities around the globe, for the monthly critical mass rides. The critical mass ride in New York City has always been a place where new riders could feel safe while building a strong community voice for non polluting transportation.
The cyclists were also fed up with the lack of safe bike infrastructure, and were continuously putting pressure on the City for more bike lanes, bridge access and green infrastructure that most cities around the world already were enjoying.
Some short sighted few in the New York City Police Department attacked the critical mass riders with a vengeance. They tried everything from law suits, tickets, arrests, and harassment, to violence, spying, undercover agitation, divisionary propaganda, and even going to the point of cutting locks and stealing peoples bikes to try and stop the bike movement. However, the bikers were persistent and adopted slogans like ‘Still We Ride!’ despite the harassment.
Eventually, after much persistence and global media embarrassment, the bicycle community got their way and New York City hired a new and bike friendly D.O.T commissioner who had vision. Today, our new greener, safer and bike friendly city is now enjoyed by all. In fact, the very spot in Times Square where each month thousands of cyclists raised their bikes over their heads is now an auto free zone.
Please remember to bring flat changing tools, an extra tube, riding snacks and water. Weather may cancel. Check our Discord server here for up to minute information.