Critical Mass
2012 – $5,000 20th Aniversary Celebration

Critical Mass got started in September 1992 in San Francisco as a way to bring cyclists together in a festive re-claiming of public space. Beginning rather under a less catchy name—the Commute Clot—the ride drew an initial crowd of 60 cyclists, and these numbers doubled for several months following.

Critical Mass has continued and grown in San Francisco, drawing hundreds from month to month, with typical rides around 1,500 to 2,000 (an all-time high on the 2002 10th anniversary is rumored to have been 10,000 cyclists!), but it has spread to over 300 other cities as well. For example, two dozen Italian cities have vibrant Critical Masses now, with Rome leading the way. In 2012, bicyclists in Brazil staged Critical Masses in over 20 cities to dramatize a surge of cyclist deaths in that country’s car-centric streets. With independent rides springing up all over the place, Critical Mass has begun to take on the character of a large scale, decentralized grassroots movement!

September 2012 celebrates 20 years since the first Critical Mass took place in San Francisco.  A week long series of events and rides are planned.  The Seed Fund grant will support documentation of the events including a publication and original poster and sticker art.