FROM READERS: Columbia bikers collaborate to inform public on bike safety

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT
Nina Wajrowski rides her bike north on Providence Road. This was Wajrowski's first time organizing a Critical Mass event.

Nina Wajrowski is a student at MU. She's been a bike-riding advocate since she's been able to ride one on her own.

A moment of inspiration came to me when a friend of mine was pondering the question, why doesn't Columbia have a Critical Mass bike ride?

The goal of Critical Mass is to get as many bikers together to collaborate and bike along streets in Columbia to politely force cars to be aware of and respect bikers.

If you bike in Columbia, it's likely that you've experienced drivers who yell or criticize you for biking in the streets. Most drivers are unaware that it is actually legal and in many situations safer to bike in the street. Biking in the middle of the lane, like a car, can actually be the safest place for a biker.

So after contemplating why Columbia hasn't had a Critical Mass event, I took it upon myself to try to generate some interest. I began by asking a few friends and co-workers to help, and things took off from there. The first event was so successful that bikers were eager to plan another.

This is your chance. Help educate people and be part of a fun bike ride. Hopefully I'll see you at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2, on Saint James Street.

The CRITICAL MASS needs you!

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.

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Mark Foecking October 5, 2013 | 3:01 a.m.

Critical Mass events simply make relations between cyclists and motorists worse. Ride if you want (I do - I can't remember the last time I started my car), but don't block or snarl traffic. Like it or not, most motorists feel they have a right to drive and that cyclists do not need or deserve to take up roadway space that in any way inconveniences them. Critical Mass events tend to have that "in your face" appearance that just makes things worse.

This is a bad idea. Don't do it.


(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith October 5, 2013 | 5:33 a.m.


Good point. When I read these items, as well as occasional tirades (postings here ) about the "other side," I'm reminded of the first live Broadway musical (on national tour) I ever saw: "Oklahoma."

One of the songs - entire cast participating - is "The Farmer and the Rancher Should Be Friends."

(Report Comment)

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