Critical Mass

20-Year Anniversary

Fri Sep 28, 2012
Justin Herman Plaza
Music, World Music, City Events, Marches, Family
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On the last Friday of September, 1992, a group of San Franciscan cyclists showed up on Market Street for the first ever Critical Mass. This leaderless ride became a monthly “organized coincidence”, and in the years that followed, spread around the world. Celebrating a shared sense of rediscovering urban spaces, Critical Mass riders cross borders and find common cause to have a good time on foot-powered wheels. These uplifting rides also challenge the use of city streets and the domination of cars and oil in our transportation system.

To mark the 20th Anniversary of the first Critical Mass ride, a group of enthusiasts has formed a Welcome Committee that is organizing a week-long celebration September 24-30, 2012. With great pleasure, we invite you to join us in San Francisco, California for our planned events, and we encourage you to get involved and/or create your own activities.

Dozens, hundreds, maybe a thousand friends from around the world will arrive here to help us commemorate this milestone. Friday the 28th is of course the big birthday, the Interstellar Critical Mass ride, which we hope will be a giant, crazy, awesome evening ending in a big party under warm skies.


You are currently reading the "catch-all" event post. It will show current, working information regarding resources, events, activities, etc. for the Critical Mass 20th Anniversary week. As plans are finalized, information will be posted separately for each anchor event (see below). Please come back to this post often, as information will frequently get updated.

The Welcome Committee is working on logistics for out-of-town guests, including: travel/ride coordination, convergence center location, web site, online poster sharing, housing, bike rental/access, free/cheap bike repair, etc.

Bike caravans and travel arrangements from around the world are beginning to be coordinated. Once our website is live, tools will be provided to assist all riders in working out their travel plans. If needed, The Welcome Committee will gladly connect you to local resources to aid in your getting to San Francisco. All are encouraged to organize their own rides, flights, etc.



Most up-to-date info here:

• Contact the Welcome Committee: [email protected]

Purchase posters and books:

• Welcome Center
Opens: Monday, Sept. 24 at 1pm
Closes: Friday Sept. 28 at 5pm
Hours: 1pm-5pm every day
Location: 518 Valencia St. at 16th St.
Public Transportation: BART: 16th St. Mission :: MUNI: 14, 22, 33, 49 (also J, 12, and 27)

• Bikes
Rentals and Repair: The Bike Hut
40 The Embarcadero at Townsend St.
(415) 543-4335

Bike Repair:

• Lodging


Activities for the week are being produced and developed.
Some events currently in planning stages are:


Sunday, Sept. 23
2 pm
Art/Freak Bike Ride. Normal bikes welcome. Waterfront to the Mission. Slow pace. Meet at Hi-Dive, Pier 28, 1:30PM. Ride leaves at 2PM 3-4 hours. Post ride BBQ to follow.

Monday, Sept. 24
Welcome Center Opening Night with Art Exhibit Premiere, 518 Valencia.

Tuesday, Sept. 25
7 pm
Critical Mass @ 20 screening at ATA, 992 Valencia

Wednesday, Sept. 26
Book release Party and Discussion for "SHIFT HAPPENS!: Critical Mass at 20” Main Library (Grove and Larkin) in Latino-Hispanic Room.

After-concert at Great American Music Hall with Seaweed Sway, Aaron Glass and Friends, and Kelly McFarling

Thursday, Sept. 27
2 pm
Times Up New York City hosts an afternoon of discussion and video from New York's storied Critical Mass... at Welcome Center, 518 Valencia (at 16th).

7pm-9pm Bike Polo at Jose Coronado Playground (21st and Shotwell)... come and play with locals and visitors alike, share a beer, and head over to the Bash at CELLspace afterwards!

7 pm-1 am
Bikes, Bands, and Brew: The Critical Mass Birthday Party at CELLspace with Grass Widow, Apogee Sound Club, The Rabbles, and Future Twin, 2050 Bryant (betw. 18th and 19th), $10–$20 sliding scale (door proceeds cover costs of event; profits go to the bands… please give generously if you can)

Friday, Sept. 28
20th Anniversary Interstellar Critical Mass Ride

Bikes on Film: Vintage Bicycle Film Festival
Friday September 28th
Doors 8/Starts 8:30, $10
Oddball Films (275 Capp Street)
This is a Benefit for Neighbors Developing Divisadero

Saturday, Sept. 29
5-8 pm
International Symposium on Critical Mass to be held CIIS (1453 Mission Street near 11th St.)

Bike Monster ride through San Francisco

Time and location to be announced: Pedal Monster, Cyclecide's astonishing pedal-powered carnival!

Sunday, Sept. 30
Farewell Bike Ride, Party at Ocean Beach


Mon., Sept. 24
11am: San Francisco to San Mateo and back again... join an expert trail rider who will take you on a scenic tour down the bayshore and through some hills (depending on riders' preferences), finding the nooks and crannies south of San Francisco that even most locals don't know about! Meet at Welcome Center, 518 Valencia... bring lunch and water!
3pm: TBD

Tues., Sept. 25
1:30-3:30pm: Chris Carlsson leads a 2-hour "Transit History" tour: Discover lost freeways, ghosts of train routes, and a vivid account of how San Franciscans moved around this peninsula through time. Hear about the violent strikes that shaped public transit, the graft and corruption that conquered the Outside Lands. It's a social, historical and critical tour through the city's transportation past and present. Meet at Hayes and Octavia ("Patricia's Green"), we will leave promptly!

3pm: TBD

Wed., Sept. 26
12 noon-3 pm
Susanne Zago (fluent in English and Italian) will lead a ride along the east shore of the SF Bay, from West Oakland BART to the Rosie-the-Riveter monument in Richmond, California. It's a fantastically scenic, beautiful bayshore ride, with easy return by BART. Meet at West Oakland BART at 11:45

3pm: TBD

Thur., Sept. 27
11 am: Mosquito Abatement Ride: meeting place to be announced closer to the date (will try to get it as close to 16th & Valencia as possible); Hosted by Dave K & one member of current Pestec Mosquito Abatement crew, a one-hour leisurely ride around some very unusual spots where our local bike-based mosquito abatement team does its work... See for yourself why we have so few mosquitoes in SF!
3pm: TBD

• DIT (Doing It Together)
Critical Mass is an open idea. There are no leaders or members. Volunteers are appreciated. This is by no means a closed schedule for enjoying the 20th Anniversary. All celebrants are encouraged to create their own happenings in addition to the above activities, especially if it makes everything more fun! And let us know so we can help promote it along with the already-scheduled events.

Further Connections



  1. Justin Herman Plaza
    1 Market Street, San Francisco, CA