Critical Mass

Critical Mass

Written by Stephen Logan
previously published in – April issue > Religion: Reach Out and Touch Faith

Automobilism has upset the flow of life on Prague’s streets. It’s time to pull out its plug. Critical Mass—a spontaneous irruption of bicycles onto the city´s streets—will restore life to the city and put things right again. It is mass of cyclists opening up the possibilities on streets made bland by the stink-stuck traffic. Critical Mass escapes definition, as each ride creates its own life. On the chaotic streets of China, where the bicycle was the symbol of movement, the Chinese on their bikes would wait at an intersection. They would wait for more and more bikes to gather. When that mass reached its critical point they would forge ahead. Becoming traffic. There is no leader and ideally no followers. Yet everyone takes care that the ride maintains its cohesion. If a car tries to penetrate such a mass, it should be surrounded and immobilized in celebratory fashion.

This is also a communicating, circulating mass and one that symbolically finds its way into the passenger seats of car drivers and sends the message: Don´t be auto*mated! Don´t get stuck in your fuzzy metallic box for too long! The Critical Mass is such an attractive flow of festive energy that it cannot help but draw people out of their cars. There should be briefcases in bike baskets and workers with their hard hats still on their heads pedaling a new kind of mobile expression. Let the numbers multiply as the mass picks up cyclists along the way, and disarms the auto-crats of the road. Empty automobile obsessions leave a bad taste in the city’s mouth. We are at the critical point and we need to radically break from the parking-lot fantasies of the few. The city cannot take it anymore. In the bicycle we find an escape from the hold that automobilism has on the city. Grab your handle bars and forge a new path! Dust off the one-speed, the dirt bike or the racer a nd find yourplace in the Critical Mass. The streets will never be the same again.

The Critical Mass bike ride begins at 17:45 at Jiřího z Podebrad and will work its way to the Cross Club – Live music 20:00 – SELFISH ( People of all ages and sizes are welcome, as are roller skaters, wheelchair riders, etc.

Provokator Staff will be riding bicycles courtesy of City Bike. Look for us- we’ll be the ones with a cigarette hanging from our lips looking longingly at the Metro stops.

This article was provided by

Critical Mass is presented with the collaboration of Automat and the World Carfree Network.

Approximate route of Critical Mass: vinohradska, sokolska, zitna, karlak, resslova, masarykovo nabrezi, křižovnická, čechův most, nábř. e beneše horem kolem letenskýho tunelu,nábř. kapitane jaroše (pup), a then either argentinska until the cross club club or, dukelskych hrdinu, veletržni, bubenska, želežničářů, cross club.

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