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"..Critical Mass's time has passed. .."
But a commuter "bike bus" would REALLY make an impression, as well as doing something useful ...
Something useful would involve getting the impatient types of motorists to wish we were back riding our bicycles.
"..Why so negative ...Have you ever attended this great social ride?.."
FWIW: I spent some time trying to organise a regular Friday PM demonstration ride well BEFORE "CM" arrived in Adelaide ( yes , there was life before CM..) . At the time, there was ZERO support from the Bicycle Establishment, even tho our stated aim was merely to * assert* cyclists existing rights to use a FULL lane ( NOT the whole road..) .. we struggled on for a few months.. got a top roll out of about 12 participants ...did NOTHING illegal ( on purpose).. got nowhere .. then CM turned up, they were so not interested in our efforts. I went on one of their rides : I got left behind, when I stopped for a traffic light (!) That was enough for me ... your current ride may be different now ( dubious, IMO), but you are using an old "franchise", so you can accept the baggage that goes with it. Enjoy yourselves, though, I doubt you are doing much else for urban cycling / CH / nb my observations above refer to c. 1995 or so ..
During the 1970s, when I lived in Adelaide, I took part in a mass motorcycle event to show how stupid the proposed law limiting pillion passenger carrying motorcycles to 80 kph would be Large groups of us, with pillions, hit every popular route out of Adelaide on a fine weekend. Keeping strictly to 80 kph, we managed to cause more than a little chaos, with long queues of motor vehicles stuck behind us for kms on the open road. The proposition was laughed out of the SA parlt. the following week.
Do the CM ride right, and you will achieve your aim.
Reminds me of when I was in the UK, the local council wanted to remove a few free motorbike parking spaces and make bikes pay for a normal car park space. A ride was organised early on morning and hundreds of bikes headed to town and paid to park, one bike per "car" space. The town was gridlocked as cars drove around in vain looking for a space to park. The scheme was scrapped the following week.
There's some truth in most of the comments here, and a couple of good suggestions. The Adelaide CM is currently a good social gathering before and after the ride - with some quite inventive clothing and lighting up of bikes at times. When it's a bigger group (for Adelaide, that means 20-40), the ride itself tends to be too social - too much talking and not enough concentration on being orderly on the road (with some who don't want to be orderly). Mind you, the same lack of concentration happens on any group ride I've experienced or observed - no matter the bike type, age or experience. I ride at the back, as I'll obey the traffic lights, etc. Personally, I like the 'bike bus' idea, taking different routes out and back into the CBD. The current norm is to ride around as a group in the CBD. Doddsy's suggestion of single occupant cars with the bike on the back made me smile, but as a number of them don't have cars or drive ...
As far as continued CM existence, this is the now for most of the riders - there's no reason why they can't participate in the idea. What it achieves? Well, what does make any inroads on the ingrained selfishness and greed of today's society.