News

Masse Critique

Massively critical ?

30 May 2018

On Saturday the 26th of May, more than a thousand people participated in the 20 year anniversary ride of the Belgian Critical Mass. But do you know where this phenomenon comes from ?

A bit of history...

In the 1990s, the then Mayor of San Francisco, Willie Brown, openly declared war on bikes after being locked in his limousine by a Critical Mass of cyclists. He demanded that all participants be arrested. The event turned into a battle between cyclists and motorists, with many bicycles destroyed and more than 200 arrests. That’s how it became famous.

The term "critical mass" comes an old bike practice in China, where cyclists would stop and group up at crossroads without traffic lights, to reach a “critical mass” of cyclists, before safely entering the crossroads together.

The objective? To create public spaces in which motorists make way for people.

Originally, Critical Mass events were self-organised and ad-hoc, but over time they grew into more stable organisations with wide scopes and driving along planned-out routs.

“As for all Critical Masses worldwide, the goal of the Critical Mass in Brussels is to make ourselves visible – to no longer be affected by traffic, but to become traffic”, says Benjamin François, regular participant of the Critical Mass in Brussels & Gracq member.

Previous Article

News image

12,000 km on a solar bike, an impressive travel story from a young Belgian!

03 September 2018

Read more

Raf van Hulle, a 43-year-old Belgian architect, was the first to cross the finish line of a 12,000 km race from southern France to China.

Read more

Quarterly, Bike Experience news in your box.

Instagram