Critical Mass Bike Protest in Rome

Jenny, Briana, Greg, and I decided to venture out tonight trying to find a local restaurant as listed in Jenny’s Rome for Dummies Smarties book. We ended up in the middle of what we later found out was the Critical Mass Bike Protest. Here is video footage I recorded on my handy-dandy flip cam:

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Critical Mass is a cycling event held around the world in various cities. It is the biggest cyclist demonstration in the world which asks for more safety for cyclists on roads and an end to the discrimination in favor of car traffic. Critical Mass participants have insisted that these events should be viewed as “celebrations” and spontaneous gatherings, and not as protests or organized demonstrations.

Because Critical Mass takes place without an official route or sanction, participants in some cities have sometimes practiced a tactic known as “corking” in order to maintain the cohesion of the group. This tactic consists of a few riders blocking traffic from side roads so that the mass can freely proceed through red lights without interruption. Corking has sometimes led to hostility between motorists and riders, even erupting into violence and arrests of motorists and cyclists alike during Critical Mass rides. Here’s a video of such an occasion:

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Ciao for now,
♥ Christine

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