Welcome to Memphis Critical Mass, a monthly celebration of riding bicycles as a viable recreation and sport, increasing wellness, and a green gas-free mode of transportation.  Memphis Critical Mass occurs every last Friday of every month at 6:00 PM CST.  The ride begins at Overton Park, through Midtown and Downtown, and ends at Overton Park.  Bicycle riders of all ages and abilities are invited to attend and participate.  Helmets are mandatory.  You and your bicycle should be ready to roll. 

Click Here For Route Map.

Memphis Critical Mass Ride Guidelines

Questions?  Email Us!

What is Critical Mass?

The first Critical Mass ride was in September 1992 in San Francisco. There were 48 people. The ride increased in size by about 75% each month so that by the time 1993 came about, Critical Mass had almost 500 riders and was becoming well known among bicyclers in the city--although city officials still hadn't registered its existence. A couple months after that people in other cities started noticing and began other Masses.

The Story Behind the Name

The name "Critical Mass" is taken from Ted White's 1992 documentary film about bicycling, "Return of the Scorcher". In the film, George Bliss describes a typical scene in China, where cyclists often cannot cross intersections because there is automobile cross-trafic and no traffic lights. Slowly, more and more cyclists amass waiting to cross the road, and when there is a sufficient number of them -- a critical mass, as Bliss called it -- they are able to all move together with the force of their numbers to make cross traffic yield while they cross the road.

Why Memphis Critical Mass?

Memphis, TN does not have one single marked bicycle lane in this city.  Not one!  The bicycle has been around for over 100 years and yet Memphis does not have one single marked bicycle lane.  Thousands of Memphians have and ride bicycles on the roads and area trails on a regular basis.  There are many other Memphians who own bicycle but are unable to use them conveniently and frequently due to the lack of accessible and designated bicycle lanes.  These Memphians often fear for their lives when riding a bicycle on neighborhood and city streets.  Memphis needs bicycle lanes and more appropriate green spaces to ride bicycles to encourage us Memphians to get moving and keep moving.  Memphis, and the Mid-South, in general, are in a health crisis due to Obesity and its associated health and lifestyle baggage.  Many Memphians are turning to the bicycle as a convenient green and gas-free mode of transportation in order to save money, due to high gasoline prices and encroaching inflation, at a time when personal and family incomes are not keeping pace.  Some of these Memphians are seeking to also reduce their carbon footprint.  These people are true 21st century American Patriots by decreasing their demand and use of foreign oil and reducing their carbon footprint for the benefit of the American economy and global environment.

The Memphis Critical Mass purpose is to draw attention to the purpose of the bicycle as a viable recreation, sport, increasing wellness, and a green gas-free mode of transportation; and to point out that Memphis glaringly lacks bicycle lanes and green spaces to safely and appropriately ride bicycles.  Bicycles and vehicles can peacefully coexist on the roads of Memphis if the proper infrastructure is put in place.

The History of Memphis Critical Mass

Memphis Critical Mass got its start a number of years ago.  The rides, then, were loosely organized by the Memphis Hightailers and Revolutions Bicycle Co-op, where the turnout could vary month to month, and sometimes not occur at all.  Born of the ashes of the attempts of the past, Memphis Critical Mass is now reborn.  Thanks mainly in part to the viral networking available today via the computer and the internet.  The word spreads and the new chapters of the legacy and history of Memphis Critical Mass will be written. 

East End Farmer's Market Bike Ride - Midtown to Downtown MemphisEast End Farmer's Market Bike Ride

-A five mile, leisurely ride to the Downtown Memphis Farmer's Market.
-Bring your backpack, baskets, & panniers.
-Buy local produce using sustainable  transportation.
Saturday Mornings at 8:30am 

Meet at Cooper St. & Madison Ave 

Kick The Can!  Join the revolution for a healthier you and the planet.  Click Here! Human Power = Green Power

Breezer bicycles deliver comfort and easy pedaling for quick trips to the store, the bus stop, your commute to work and weekend jaunts with friends. Experience the joy and freedom of using your own power to get where you need to go!