Critical Mass on a uni?

Critical Mass is a large group of cyclists hitting the roads during rush hour traffic to raise cycle safety issues.

I went on Sheffields last one, initially considering taking the 29-er, but, after going down on my bike instead was glad I didn’t; roundabouts especially being a bit hairy!

However, my goal is to do some more on the bike and in the mean time to continue improving on the 29-er so that, as summer approaches and it stays light longer, I’ll be able to do the Critical Mass on my uni.

Has anyone doen this? If so any tips?

I’m especially interested in if there are any potential problems with proximity of a large number of cyclists- I’ve heard that if a cycle bumps the one in fronts back tire, that the front rider generally is thrown off- would this happen to a unicyclist?

As for the roundabouts, I reckon they’ll be the big problem, especially in rush hour traffic; I guess the only thing I can do is loads of work on my idling.

don’t worry at all about road events with bikers, they give you a TON of room! Some because they are nervous, most because they want to back off and get a really good look at you.

If you start feeling boxed in, a little bit of arm-flailing solves all problems!

Critical mass is a great event to uni in, as it is an event used to make biking more visible and known to the public as an effective way of commuting, and sharing the road, yadda yadda yadda
(although, i don’t see how, as a driver already enraged by having to share the road with 1 or 2 cyclists, now having the whole damn road taken up!) we are able to have that same effect to bikers showing how we are also on very viable transportation.

I love uni’ing in bike events for that reason

I couldnt keep up here on my 24, 1 downhill section and everyone was gone. Other than that though the pace was easy, I should have gotten a head start though. The other thing is be prepaired to go a few miles the ride in pittsburgh is typically arround 13miles but at a comfterble to slow pace (in the flats)


I’ve never been to a Critical Mass before, but I’ve heard that sometimes there are police just waiting to give anybody a ticket. They are under extreme pressure by the autocentric dominant hegemony (whew! That’s a mouthful) to punish the peaceful protestors, and so will take any opportunity they can to do so. I would take time to make sure that a unicycle is considered by law to be a bicycle and not a pedestrian, so that you can ride in the streets legally. Not that the cops would know the difference, but just to be able to talk your way out of a stupid ticket.

Yeah if the bikes are on the street, which they should be, and you are considered a pedestrian then you are in the wrong. In California I believe unicycles are pedestrians.

this topic came up in one of the many posts about bicycle laws and how they affect unicyclists. Someone (i dont remember who) said that their city had a specific law that made it illegal for unicyclists to ride on the road. The law was passed because a critical mass ride had taken place, and the authorities, knowing it would be dumb to take it out on bikers, took it out on the few unicyclists who attended.

And about the police. It’s hard to judge. Sometimes they will give out tickets, but ithertimes they will not to avoid negative publicity for breaking up a peaceful protest.

The bicyclists didnt come to the unicyclist’s aid? :frowning:

Critical Mass in London is way way slow because there are often quite a few people. Dullomatic even on a unicycle.

The law stuff doesn’t apply in the UK, they’re fine to go on, no-one gets arrested and you’re fine to ride on the road.

Roundabouts(*) are okay, but you’re right that you really need to be able to idle or hop on the spot to get on them at the right time and give way to traffic already coming round.


(*) I’ve attached a picture of a roundabout in case any Americans are confused


Check out what happened at an Austin critical mass ride.


note: Be happy if you have yet to get hit by a car and dragged down the street!

Here’s an interesting website (related to the September Critical Mass).
No justice for cyclists

We had a Critical Mass in Boulder a while back (I wasn’t there) and the issues were more Environmental than Safety oriented. It sure got the motorists angry.
I have ridden a unicycle in the middle of a “Cruiser” ride, which was a bunch of single speed bikes all tarted-up and people in costume. Owen and Nate were with me and we were doing fine until a downhill section where the bikes just coasted away from us.

Re: Critical Mass on a uni?

onewheeldave <> wrote:
> Has anyone doen this? If so any tips?

I’ve done one or two in Reading. I used my 26 inch with 150mm cranks. the
alternatives I had
at the time being 36, 26, 24 or 20. I decided i could idle the 26 easily
but still acheive a decent speed if i needed to. If were to do it now,
I’d probadly go for the 29er with 150mm cranks. the idleing thing was more
important than the the speed. As for hitting other cyclist, not a
problem. I’d some times touch someones rack or shoulder for stability
at junctions or in standing traffic. It was good to have my hands free as
I could pass out leaflets to pedestrians walking by. I made sure I
looked ike a cyclist, with lights front and rear, Hi vis vest and cycle
lid, I also wore wrist guards, but they look like cycle gloves.

It was fun, I’d do it again if I were in the right place at the right

Union of UK Unicyclists
By and for UK riders

Gliding downhill is always a possibility. It will at least guarantee you plenty of room as everyone else will give you a wide berth.