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Yes, it does sounds like a contradiction of terms to anyone familiar with the Critical Mass events that usually make the news. But from the description in this article, the monthly event in Springfield, Illinois seems to go off quite sensibly. Cyclists gather at the appointed time and location, and proceed on their ride.
“In Springfield, the group’s focus has definitely been on the promotion minus the disruption, while I think there have been car drivers who thought what we were doing was disrupting traffic,” said Wes King, the group’s current organizer –if the participants were to name officers. “I have definitely disrupted traffic before, but that is the natural effect of a group of cyclists asserting their legitimate right to ride bikes on public roads in a legal fashion following the rules of the road.
“If we had bike lanes in areas of town where people actually ride bikes to get places … it might not be as much of a disruption. But when you have 10 bikes riding as a group following the rules of the road, which allows cyclists to ride two abreast, you become somewhat of a natural disruption.”
At the risk of stereotyping a certain group, perhaps those that choose PBR as their primary fuel for cycling would serve the rest of us cyclists better by staying home during Critical Mass.