[*BCM*] Hong Kong Critical Mass News
adam at rosi-kessel.org
Mon Aug 23 11:13:44 EDT 2004
Interesting article on Critical Mass in Hong Kong--the term Critical Mass
was coined from a documentary about bicycling in China where bicyclists
achieve "critical mass" in order to enter intersections otherwise
dominated by motorized traffic...
Cyclists plan mass ride in Kowloon; Denying it's an organised protest
over the MTR's bike ban, riders say they are just promoting an activity
South China Morning Post
August 6, 2004
A group of cyclists plan to ride on a busy road in Kowloon on Sunday to
promote the activity.
People taking part in the event said as it was not an organised protest, it
did not require police notification.
The event is modelled on bicycle rides in other countries called "critical
mass rides" that are defined as "unorganised coincidence".
According to the Public Order Ordinance, the Commissioner of Police needs to
be notified of public processions with more than 30 people on a public highway,
thoroughfare or in a public park.
The organiser would need to obtain a letter from the police before the
procession could go ahead.
But the cyclists said no one person or group was organising the event and
they did not know how many people would show up.
News of the ride has travelled to cyclists via word of mouth, e-mails and
Cyclists have been drawn to "critical mass rides" in cities such as London,
Tokyo and San Francisco.
The idea for the ride came after a few incidents that railed against
cycling. The MTR in February began to strictly ban bicycles from its subway
That was followed by a Transport Department study that concluded it would
not add any new bike paths in urban areas.
"These instances made cyclists realise they have to be more united," said
one cyclist who will ride on Sunday.
"But the ride is not targeted at any one particular event. We don't have any
slogan or any specified agenda.
"I am participating because Hong Kong hasn't had such a ride in the past. We
also hope to create more interest in cycling and that motorists will be more
aware of bicycles on the road."
A website promoting the event asks riders to tentatively meet at 11am at the
Tsim Sha Tsui clock tower and cycle to Prince Edward on Nathan Road.
A statement on the website said the ride was not to demonstrate against the
MTR's bike ban, but to promote cycling. It added that bikers should "dress
colourfully, bring whistles, flags ... to catch attention and to make it
Fliers, written in English and Chinese, have also been circulated via e-mail
with a tentative time and place of the ride and arrangements for carrying
bicycles on the ferry.
Cyclists taking part emphasised that it will not be a rally or protest. "My
personal reason for going is because the public transportation systems in Hong
Kong, including the MTR, have stiffened their attitude against cyclists," said
Kitty Leung, who has been cycling for four years. "The second reason is because
I want more people to be aware of cycling as a sport."
Some regular cyclists did not know about the Sunday ride.
Nerida Rigg, president of the Hong Kong Dragons Triathlon Club, was not sure
whether the ride was taking place, but said she probably would not go because it
conflicted with her schedule.
Ms Rigg, who has been a vocal opponent against the MTR bike ban, has been
taking her bicycle on the more expensive Airport Express to get to Tung Chung
after the rule came into force. "It's not ideal, but it's a last resort," she
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