Sunday, May 27, 2007
Civic Center Weekend 2: Critical Mass
On the last Friday evening of the month, anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand bicyclists congregate at the Embarcadero at rush hour, and then embark on a non-mapped route through San Francisco for the next couple of hours, blocking traffic and annoying motorists.
Sometimes the motorists get quite testy and try to drive through the bicycling mass, like the motorcyclist above at Franklin and McAllister, but the group has "blockers" to keep them from doing so.
On account of a few wildly publicized altercations recently between the mass of bicyclists and a suburban SUV-driving mom, a limo-driving "host" to a few working girls, and various middle-aged men in their convertibles wanting Their Right of Way Now, the police presence has been heightened and there was even a motorcycle cop riding in the middle of the bicyclists last Friday evening.
Woe to the car driver who decides they want to drive through them, as you can see above. You'll be stuck idling from two to ten minutes getting attitude from the bicyclists streaming by.
Most of the bike people seem to be not only mellow but enjoying themselves immensely, which makes for a pleasant time as a spectator. Still, as a pedestrian who neither bikes nor drives, I long for streets and walkways that belong to the ambulatory alone without people whizzing by sitting on top, or cocooned within, their hunks of metal.