Critical Mass is celebrating two decades of traffic-blocking bicycle advocacy this week, but from the sounds of this open letter from former mayoral candidate and community leader Quintin Mecke, the two decade-old bike tour is no longer feeling the love from the arguably more conservative cyclists at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.
Mecke explains the massive snub from the SFBC:
Sadly, I can’t say I was surprised when I read this week’s SFBC Newsletter and found absolutely zero mention of the 20th Anniversary of Critical Mass... This is the San Francisco Bike Coalition and you couldn’t even bring yourselves to stick a small mention of Critical Mass in your newsletter or on your website (or god forbid you actually celebrate/acknowledge CM and show some pride), a cycling event created here in San Francisco which has spread across the globe to multiple continents since its inception & inspired thousands of cyclists to take to the street?
Without a mentioning Friday's anniversary in the upcoming events section of the SF Bike Coalition's newsletter, Critical Mass's fingerless biking gloves come off:
How embarrassing but more to the point, how sad. Are you afraid of offending Chuck Nevius or Mayor Lee?
Harsh! Mecke goes on to explain that his main disappointment with the Bike Coalition is that it refuses to acknowledge the groundwork laid by Critical Mass twenty years ago, even while it continually pats itself on the back and trots out its membership numbers for the bike-friendly politicos. "What a shame," Mecke concludes, "that instead of celebrating all parts of the cycling community, SFBC has decided to distance itself from the historic roots of its own community in the name of moderation, families on bikes and political expediency."
Signing off with a literary hand signal, Mecke hopes that the SFBC will "[e]njoy Bike Valet night at the DeYoung Museum, it sounds like an awesome event."
Your move, Bicycle Coalition.