Enough with Asheville’s Critical Mass/Rising Tide. These thuggish, juvenile malefactors, disguised as conscious global custodians, blotch the reputation of otherwise nonconfrontational bicycle riders with their so-called “direct-action tactics.”
After weeks of promotion, Asheville’s floundering Critical Mass/Rising Tide movement managed to draw 30-some fools to ride with them through town. Their protest culminated at the doorstep of Bank of America on Patton. There they rallied, tossed flecks of coal into the air and made insignificant demands for Bank of America to withdraw from investments with Massey Energy and Arch Coal. One participant, overwrought with misguided ambition and starved for environmental recognition, locked the bank’s doors with his bike lock. Shortly afterward, the imprudent hooligans rode away, leaving curious bystanders looking on and asking themselves what had happened.
Besides having no lasting constructive impact, Asheville’s Critical Mass/Rising Tide makes life more difficult for those of us who are working toward decreasing our city’s carbon footprint through constructive and cooperative means. Now, thanks to Critical Mass/Rising Tide, it isn’t unreasonable for motorists to be a little more frustrated by bike traffic. After all, public demonstrations have public consequences, right? And my worry is that bike traffic reaps the negative consequences Critical Mass/Rising Tide so wretchedly sowed.
So, as the last Friday of the month looms upon us, I challenge those tempted or excited to participate in Critical Mass to invest their time and energy constructively. Fortunately, Asheville offers a plethora of progressive and environmental organizations in which to indulge your quixotic yearnings. Should you be at a loss, check out the community calendar published weekly in the Mountain Xpress.
— Michael J. Sule