Of course there is one in San Francisco. Actually, this is where it all started back in 1992. It happens once a month, every last Friday, so I arrived towards the end of the month of course (well, it was coincidence). This is the critical mass in San Francisco and in Frankfurt.
These are the similarities to the Frankfurt critical mass:
- lots of unusual fancy bikes besides the mass of normal bikes
- bikes with music
- the crowd doesn't start moving earlier than about 45 minutes after the official meeting time
- it's fun
These are the differences to the Frankfurt critical mass:
- it is MUCH bigger (up to 1000 according to wikipedia)
- more music bikes
- a bubble bike! (the bike constantly released soap bubbles while it was riding)
- accompanied by police cars and motorcycles (due to fact No. 1 probably)
- San Francisco is hilly (we didn't climb the steepest ones, though, but some of the moderate ones)
- a couple of people cycle naked (really)
The pink one is the bubble bike
A fellow cyclist took this picture with his iPhone:
After about an hour of cycling the mass unfortunately decided to ride right into the Golden Gate Park, where a huge music festival was taking place. It was already dark, the festival was just ending, and there was a huge 'counter mass' of cyclists riding home from the festival in opposite direction. Plus all the pedestrians leaving the festival. All these masses slowly started to merge and the critical mass was about to vanish in the confusion of different masses, despite its initially big size.
On the other hand, this route was lucky: Christine, who was still in the city (Chris and Ross long gone back to nature), was at the festival to see a band playing, thus missing the beginning of the critical mass. But the very unlikely event of two people finding each other in different merging crowds of a couple of thousand people, happened.
Christine joined the dying critical mass, and soon we ended up in a mini mass of around 15 people. This, too, soon split up in different directions and this was the end of the critical mass. But for the time it lived, it was fun!