La Masa Crítica es una celebración ciclista que tiene lugar todos los meses en numerosas ciudades del mundo. Su finalidad es reivindicar una mayor presencia de las bicicletas en las ciudades para reducir las molestias que causa el tráfico motorizado: ruido, contaminación, atascos, inseguridad... Además de ciclistas también suelen participar patinadores. La denominación proviene del concepto sociológico homónimo, que hace referencia al número de individuos involucrados en un fenómeno a partir del cual éste adquiere una dinámica propia que le permite sostenerse y crecer por sí mismo.
Critical Mass is a cycling event typically held on the last Friday of every month in over 300 cities around the world. The ride was originally founded in 1992 in San Francisco.The purpose of Critical Mass is not usually formalized beyond the direct action of meeting at a set location and time and traveling as a group through city or town streets on bikes. Some bigger scale events as in Budapest, Hungary, have an activist group formed around it, organizing the rides and communicating the desires and problems of the cyclists to the city council.
Critical Mass rides have been perceived as protest and intimidation activities. A 2006 New Yorker magazine article described Critical Mass' activity in New York City as "monthly political-protest rides", and characterized Critical Mass as a part of a social movement; and the UK e-zine Urban75, which advertises as well as publishes photographs of the Critical Mass event in London, describes this as "the monthly protest by cyclists reclaiming the streets of London." Critical Mass participants have insisted that these events should be viewed as "celebrations" and spontaneous gatherings, and not as protests or organized demonstrations. This stance allows Critical Mass to argue a legal position that its events can occur without advance notification of local police.
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