Sydney, Australia's 2nd Critical Mass Ride

A report by Kevin "Uncle Flatline" Cole © September 3, 1995

NEWS FLASH: Critical Mass Sydney now has it's own web site. Check it out. Note also that Sophie and SAS are no longer the contact people. You'll have better luck with Ed Gerstner at <>.

[Note: Be sure to check out Australian Cyclist magazine's story on the Sydney Mass.]

Critical Mass is an effort springing up in several cities around the world which seeks to improve riding conditions for bicyclists, by forcing drivers to notice us. Getting large numbers of people to bicycle in peak hour traffic once a month, gives courage to those who would not normally ride in traffic, as well as attracting media attention, etc. It started in San Francisco, where word has it they ride with 3000 people!

I was recently visiting Sydney, Australia, and happened to notice a poster for the local Critical Mass ride (August 25, 1995). Having done the ride in Washington, DC several times, I wanted to see how the Sydney ride compared. Well, I was quite impressed! The ride started out with about 40 riders, and by the end of it, we had somewhere between 80 and 100 riders! I was somewhat embarrassed to learn that this was only their second ride ever! The Washington, DC Critical Mass rides that I've been on have been considerably smaller, after over a year of monthly rides. A local community television crew followed us on the ride, and interviewed several people. (Sorry, I didn't get the name of the station.) We were also joined by a writer and photographer from "Australian Cyclist" magazine. At the end of the ride, several riders went to the courier's favorite pub. Unfortunately, I don't have the name of that either. Congratulations Sydney!

As the Sydney flier says: "Get Off Your Assphalt!" For those of you who are more interested in the Sydney rides, show up at the Hyde Park Fountain at between 4:30 and 5:30 on the last Friday of the month. The ride I was on snaked back and forth between Hyde Park and Sussex St. going as far north as Grosvener and and south to Liverpool. (I think the pub where we finished was upstairs near Mid City Center, but don't quote me on that.) The ride was quite easy and pleasant. We finished around 7:00, if I recall correctly.

Here's what Australian Cyclist magazine had to say about Sydney's rides.

If you need more info send e-mail to Sophie <> (though I'm not sure how often she reads her e-mail).

The address of the cycling magazine is:

Australian Cyclist
P.O. Box 869
Artarmon, NSW 2064
Voice: (02) 419-5419
FAX: (02) 415-1913

Note: each state has a special insert, so be sure to ask for the Sydney/New South Wales edition.

If you join the Sydney ride, look for a guy named Sebastian A. Smyth (or SAS for short), the leader of the ride, and let him know that the guy from the US sent the word out on the net, as promised. I hope to stick up a web page as well. Also, if you happen to know the address of the community television station that covered the ride, I'd appreciate their name/address/phone info.