Critical Mass, Pasadena Style


A reader suggested that I write about the differences in the many different Critical Mass rides that happen around Los Angeles. It seemed like a good idea, and since I could double up on last weekend by doing the ride and visit the Commuter Bike Expo, this weekend I bring you the first in a series of Critical Mass ride reports from around the region.

The group met at 10:30 A.M. in a local park next to a Gold Line station and you could immediately tell it wasn’t a normal Critical Mass ride. Critical Mass in Pasadena is more of a family affair than you might expect. A couple of young ladies who couldn’t have been older than 8 helped fill out the group of 20 riders and music played while the ride leader whipped us around Pasadena in a six mile loop to Cal Tech and back to the Bike Expo.

Despite the group size and suburban setting, there were some typical Critical Mass experiences, the solidarity of a group of like minded people taking a ride to remind a community of cyclists’ rights. While there was some car honking from irritated drivers who wanted to cruise down Colorado Avenue so they could wait longer at the next red light, but overall the ride was incident free and safe for riders of all age.

When the ride ended, we were at the entrance to Pasadena’s Bike Commuter Expo. Outside of the usual suspects, Helen’s Cycles, C.I.C.L.E, LACBC and the California Bike Coalition, there were boots set up to get what you need for the bikes you have, buy all the latest fashion accessories (made out of recycled bike tires) and check out a bucket bike in person.


Our friends at C.I.C.L.E. also sponsored workshops designed to get more people comfortable with urban bike riding.  Regular Streetsblog commenter David P. teaching one on "biking and using transit" when we went past.

Between Critical Mass and the Expo, Pasadena showed that it has a thriving bike culture on it’s own. Check back with us next month for our next Critical Mass report.

Photos: Damien Newton 

  • The secret to safe bike rides on today’s roads has nothing to do with bike lanes or group rides.

    Until you make the roads safe for autos they will never be safe for bikes.

    Mike Overturfs

    Author of:
    Highway Safety’s Best Kept Secret

    Community of 102,000 eliminates almost all traffic crashes

  • Mike Overturfs,

    Your spam is so very interesting to me. I’ve got a way to reduce traffic fatalities that trumps your $99, “Buy It Now”, option to traffic safety.

    The solution to roadway fatalities? Slow cars down. A lot.

    Critical Mass is very much about making the road safer for everyone (I feel). I’m not talking about highways here – I’m talking about urban streets in commercial or residential areas.

    Critical Mass, and other rides, help to slow down vehicle speeds and provide a safe means for cyclists to use the public right of way.

    Your “secret” isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on! Just slow down the darn cars!

  • mike – thanks for spamming the site. your website is poorly constructed and i can’t tell what the hell you are advocating.

    next time you are hocking something, at least have the gall to explain what it is.

  • piocan9

    I think the next technological imperative would be to require speed governor devices in cars especially new ones. We have various kinds of computer, electronic sensors and frequencies designed in the streets (loop detectors and traffic signals)and in vehicles. Signals could be sent out to cars limiting their speed and not exceeding the speed limit. This would be very applicable on local streets. I’m sure this idea has been out there at one point and died along time ago. It might be time to reconsider…

  • When someone says “The secret to . . . ” I reach for my pistol!


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