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107 Cyclists Ride in Critical Mass Bike Ride in Wilmington

READ MORE: 107 Cyclists Ride in Critical Mass Bike Ride in Wilmington
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The critical mass bike ride in Wilmington evolved several months ago. It started with 10 cyclists. On Friday, 107 cyclists participated in the group ride where bike awareness is key. Cyclists want non-cyclists to know that cyclists have just as much right to the roads and highways as cars and trucks. On Friday the group rode in a tight pack from UNCW to downtown Wilmington and back. Video of the ride will be online at this website by Monday morning.

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hahahah, I DARE one of you

hahahah, I DARE one of you drivers to hit me while I'm riding my bike through an intersection. The truth of the matter is, you won't do it. It literally takes all of maybe 30 seconds to sit and wait for the rest of us to travel through the light. Just take a deep breath and get over it! It only happens once a month anyways. And now that you know about it, maybe you won't drive at 6:30 on a Friday evening, at least not on the major roads that you know we will be on.

And..

Oh and btw, i don't know what group your talking about. We are no organized group. We are all individuals within the mass. No leader. Its that way in Critical masses around the country.

Great excuses

Unfortunately, what your group is doing is ILLEGAL. You are required to stop for red lights. *YOU* cannot unilaterally decide what portions of Chapter 20 you'd like to follow, and which are too big a hassle to worry about. Think about it - you're trying to make people aware that you have just as much right on the road as other vehicles by BREAKING THE LAW???? Sounds like a bunch of two-wheeled hypocrisy, to me. If you have the right to run a red light, don't I have the right to pull out in front of you, or force you into a parked car when I make a right turn? Start obeying the law. Chapter 20 is not trumped by individual whims.

Whatever works

I never said it was a good reason man, i'm just saying why its done. And for the record, its not an individual whim, its the whim of a mass of people who are trying to protect themselves and the people around them. Try cycling by yourself on a major street and see how safe you feel. Then try it in a group. This town is not safe for a cyclist to ride on the road. Its that simple. So we do what we need to do to remain safe. I've been in your shoes as a driver and i've been in the shoes of the cyclist. If you have a problem with what happens in a critical mass, ride in one. See how its done and why and then just ride alone. I'm not saying you will see it the way we do. But at least you will see it from where we do.

I am a cyclist and a driver

I know both sides of the coin. I also know Chapter 20 of NCGS, and what you're doing is dangerous and illegal. When a driver is approaching an intersection at speed, sees the light is green, cuts into the wide-open number two lane to get around all that traffic that's not moving in the number one lane, and takes out about four of you, you'll have no one but yourselves to blame. You lead (and teach) by example, and you are providing a rotten example! Stop breaking the same laws you want others to obey.

reasons

Ok so the reason behind why the group rolls on through red lights is for our safety and for us to get out of the way faster. Think of it this way: what would you rather have...one large group or several small groups spaced out over a large area to slow down traffic again and again? Also as a cyclist each of us is safer in one large group instead of smaller groups. The goal of a critical mass ride is to show unity and try and educate drivers on the rights of cyclists. So that being said if we stopped at the red lights when half or 1/4 or 1/3 of the group made it through the light we would most likely mess up traffic even more and we would be less safe. It is better for everyone if we stay together as a group. If we do it that way we are in and out of the way in a couple minutes. If you slow us down and break us up into several groups we will be downtown slowing traffic down even longer then before. Granted we do need to try and get the cyclists to stay in as few lanes as possible and keep the group as together as possible but thats what happens when there is no leader. All we ask is some understanding and patience. Just wait a minute and we will be out of the way. I promise! Be safe. AJ

It is not safe!!!

If a motorist is following others going to the same place, and the light turns red that motorist has to stop. Bikers has to also. If a biker runs the light and is hit by a motorist the motorist wound not be at fault, and the biker will be responsible for the damage to the car. Thats if the biker is alive. I was a police officer.

the reasoning behind the

the reasoning behind the problems with red lights is as follows. As a "Critical Mass" the goal of this ride is two fold. One to truly be safe and have fun on a road ride. Two, it is for us to show that bikes are traffic. Now then, the thing about the critical mass is that we are safest when we are in one group. If we break up into smaller groups traffic congestion will get worse and we as cyclists will be even less safe then before. The easiest way for traffic to flow and for the cyclists to be safe is to stay together. That being said the reason that traffic is stopped when the mass hits a red light is that if we have a red light with only a portion of the group through we need to try to keep the group together. If we hit a red light at the front of the group the group is supposed to stop. Granted with such a large group and no organized leader sometimes its difficult to make sure that the group follows the basic rules. However, if we didn't continue to ride through the redlight congestion would be worse because either the group would stop completely and wait for the rest of the riders or we would have multiple small groups taking up lanes in certain intervals. Granted as a group we need to try and contain the cyclists to as few lanes as possible and try to not hold up traffic. Our goal is not to disrupt traffic as much as show drivers that we deserve the right to be safe on the road. Please be patient, we mean no harm. Just let us pass and all will be well.

The Red Light???

It is red for a reason, and it means stop. If you find that the group has been scattered then stop and wait for the ones left behind, because, you don't know the situation of the person waiting for the light to change; they could have a sick child in the car screaming to the top of their voice for help and every second counts with children. I am a grandmother and if my light is green and there is an emergency I will plow straight thru the group; The best thing you guy need to think about you have the same rights and cars, so conduct yourselves accordingly.

Critical Mass

I appreciate the story. Let these guys know, the next time they ride down Market St., during rush hour, blocking intersections, and not stopping for red lights, they will get a citation, if I have to have 20 cops on the side of the road waiting for them. They also have to respect the law, and the right of way of the general motorist, and in doing so, should not impede the flow of traffic.

Warning: Sarcasm Ahead

It's good to see that Wilmington cops are still working on the "important" issues...like giving cyclist citations.

Rules and Laws

What is also good is to see how you think the rules and laws are for everyone but you and your group.

Cycling

Clearly nobody here thinks they are above the law. Thats not even implied by any of these posts. But bikes have a legal right to be on the road too. A lot of car drivers don't seem to understand this in every day traffic., especially in Wilmington! So we have Critical Mass as a protest ride and a celebration of bicycles. To help remind you that there are thousands of cyclists here and we want full access to our roads.

Bikers and drivers...be aware...

I too, live on both sides of the wheel... Drivers: Why drive dangerously close to me when you have plenty of room on the road? Why is it funny to swerve at me and laugh when I run up on a lawn to avoid you? Why yell at me and call me names when I am neither in your way or slowing you down? Bikers: Why do you pull past stopped traffic in a left turn lane only to pull in front of the cars at the light change and proceed straight? Why do you ride on the double yellow line on a wide, two lane road so that faster moving vehicles can not safely pass you? All of us: Why do we not use common sense and courtesy while on the roads? Most accidents in Wilmington are caused by drivers NOT paying attention to their surroundings and who is on the road with them. We have all become so complacent while driving that many of us get from point a to point b without even remembering the ride. While stopped at a red light or approaching an intersection with a green light...look around and make sure passage is safe and clear. Because even if you have the "right" to pass, it is not always safe to excercise that "right". Critical mass riders...next year, ask the Wilm. PD to provide a safety escort. The officer will accompany you on the route and block intersections so that you may pass thru safety and en masse. Drivers will see flashing lights and be aware that something may upset thier traffic flow. The escort will also provide you with more visiblity and more people will become aware of what you are doing and why! Talk about awareness... Lastly, with all of the money spent on promotion of the upcoming changes in tv accesibility.... maybe the county and city could put more public service announcements to make our roads safer. Be aware, be courteous, be safe.

you can have it

You can have full access to the roads... the shoulder of the road. Keep out of the travel lane and stick to the edge so you are not impeding traffic.

...Actually cyclists have

...Actually cyclists have the right to the entire lane, if needed. Obviously, this is impractical most of the time and so we try our best to stay out of the way. Have you ever seen the "sides" of the roads here? They are practically non-existent. We all need to work together for both drivers and cyclists to be safe. This online rant is ridiculous.

road rage

99 out of one hundred people that pass us in the CM ride honk, wave and smile. They are encouraged that people have the intelligence to jump on a bike and show people they can do it too to avoid the massive weight of energy costs on us all. but there are a lot of angry, bad drivers in town as well and we are going to have to watch out for guys like this who can't swallow their anger for two minutes to let a bunch of peaceful people ride by on their bicycles.I'm sure he's never broken or stretched any laws in his life.

Rules

Do you have the intelligence to obey the rules of the road? That doesn"t mean get in the turn lane at an intersection and then swerve in the straight lane when the light turns green.

cyclists

Please do. If we have to do our part to make them safe, then they should respectfully do the same for us.

Chill, man

Sounds like you must be really important, if you can get 20 "cops" to wait around, in case a bicyclist might come by to bother you. It's not like they have anything else to do, other than to catch drunks, rapists and murderers.

Why so angry.

Did you drink too much coffee this morning, or were you late to work? Relax! We should encourage people to get out and be active. Futher more, we will all be on a bike soon due to rising gas prices. Smile, your day will get better.