Critical Mass

Yesterday it was a day of Critical Mass here in Budapest. This town was not really (=really not) designed for bicycle use, so the organisers wished to show the existence of this mass – the ones who want to ride a bicycle. Violá: more than 20.000 (!!!) people came! Okay, you won’t be able to read this article, but clicking on a picture you’ll be able to see it!
The name “Critical Mass” comes from a documentary called Return of the Scorcher made by Ted White in 1992. In a scene George Bliss is examining a typical chinese situation, where some people riding the bicycle just can’t cross the road because of the heavy traffic. While waiting more and more bicyclist come and when they reach a “critical” number they can finally cross safely – together.

5 thoughts on “Critical Mass”

  1. We have a similar event happening each year in Brussels called “De Gordel” (“The Belt”). Of course Belgium being Belgium, it’s not so much about giving the streets to byciclists; rather it’s a communitary statement by Flemish citizens to emphasize the “Flemish character” of Brussels and its suburbs. Time and again, some frustrated french-speaking Bruxellois will go and throw nails on some of the roads of the trajectory — great fun!

  2. oh my!
    how jealous I am!

    that’s ABSOLUTELY impossible in bs.as.: you can get your bike either hit by a car or stolen (no matter the critical mass)

  3. Hi Joy – (what is bs.as?)
    Well here all this happened because there is NO concept for using bicycle in the town. And there are some civil organisations who think this can be important – and its really great to see that “mass” that came to this event. After a few years of fighting, these organisations are now (finally) invited to make comments on the new bicycle roads and all the other stuff in connection with bicyles.
    There are quite a few civil organisations here, but the Leaders dont really care about them. It takes time to start a communication. And all they (we, inhabitants) want is a normal, “liveable” town.
    Mediocre: unfortunately I had a meeting that time, coudn’t go, but I saw it (lot of friends were there). Anyway, I was riding bicycle all this and last summer (although there was a tiny change: my firs bike was stolen…) :-)

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