Two years old! That makes this the 25th Critical Mass ride in San Francisco. Forty-odd riders started this curious phenomenon in September 1992; by this past June nearly 1,500 people were joining in and it still hasn’t "topped out." Countless individual friendships and contacts have been struck up (not to mention love affairs and relationships!), and thousands have tasted the unique euphoria of a free social space in a major late 20th century metropolis. Other Critical Mass rides have sprung up in cities across North America and even a few in Europe.

We’ve been lucky and/or good here in San Francisco, because we’ve managed to create a rather special climate around Critical Mass. For one thing we’ve had perfect weather for twenty-four consecutive months! One ride, I think around January 1993, it was cold and rainy at 4:45 pm that Friday, but by the 6:00 rolling time, the skies were blue. The last ride confirmed this impossible trend when a week-long fog bank over the west side cleared at 3 p.m. Friday for a beautiful warm sunset at Sutro Heights overlooking Ocean Beach where the August Critical Mass concluded.

But our social climate has been as blessed (for the most part), with a widely shared consensus that Critical Mass is a celebration more than a protest. Good conversation is more important than more converts. The emphasis is on our own immediate pleasure during the ride. The obvious inherent boosterism for bikes and ecology is almost a front for the organic development of new communities, communities which may pursue agendas that go considerably beyond mere bicycling.

Many of us hope more people will take up the Xerocratic Banner and put their own ideas out as leaflets, stickers, costumes and floats, and so on. The next ride is the Halloween ride with a destination in the Castro party zone. Decorate thyselves and thine wheels!

— Chris C., September 1994

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