Bikes Not Bombs

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About This Website

A community of bicyclists in San Francisco Bay Area were brought together by over a decade of Critical Mass demonstrations/celebrations. With war looming, members of this community responded with a "Bikes Not Bombs" affinity group, promoting the idea of riding bicycles as a visible alternative to oil wars, to protest such wars, and/or to provide mobile support for other protesters. As webmaster for Screed, an online showcase for Critical Mass "flyers and other xerocratic materials," my role has been to give the Bikes Not Bombs flyers a home on the web:

"Bikes Not Bombs" Affinity Groups (PDF Format)
"BIKE! Against War" -- Bring bikes downtown for mobile direct actions. (PDF Format)

There are likeminded people and affinity groups all over the world. Some are Bike Blocs, some ride under the Bikes Not Bombs banner, some are Pedaling For Peace, and others ride Wheels Against War. I created this website to assemble a little history of an idea whose time has come.
    -- Jym Dyer

Note: Links that are bold lead to pages here on the website. Links that are normal go to pages on other sites.

About Bikes Not Bombs

There is an excellent organization named "Bikes Not Bombs," based in Boston, Massachusetts. They are not responsible for the anti-war affinity groups and protests which use their name. They promote bicycling, train young people to become bike mechanics, and ship bicycles to parts of the world that have been ravaged by war. Their website is:

The Bay Area's affinity group also has a website, which is well worth a visit:

This affinity group isn't all there is to Bikes Not Bombs, though. Anti-war protests in the Bay Area and elsewhere have had multiple swarms of bicycle affinity groups in them. Some of them even have Bikes Not Bombs banners! They're folks we don't know and who don't know us, but they're still Bikes Not Bombs.

About Critical Mass

There has been some controversy and confusion about the relationship between Bikes Not Bombs and Critical Mass. Some media sources use them interchangeably.

Here's how I see it: Critical Mass is a periodical (usually monthly) event in which bicyclists assert our rights to the streets by riding on them. Bikes Not Bombs and Bike Blocs are situations in which we demonstrate against war while riding on our streets. We may ride together, and we might ride periodically. We even may show up at Critical Mass and fly Bikes Not Bombs banners. But we're not Critical Mass.

Critical Mass is traffic. Bikes Not Bombs is the part of traffic that's sporting anti-war bumper stickers.

That said, it should be noted that new Critical Mass rides have been founded, existing ones have been riding more frequently, and dormant ones have been reactivated due to anti-war protesting. Also, Critical Mass itself was founded in San Francisco in 1992, partially inspired by bicycling protests of the 1991 Gulf War.


This website relies heavily on many local Indymedia sites, and their fine policy allowing content to be free for reprint and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere, for non-commercial use. Thanks also to the many creative contributors to those sites.

The sticker and button images are owned by the people who are selling the sticker and button. (Technically I get photo credit for scanning in the sticker on my bike, but they own the image.)

This website also makes "fair use" of material from other media sources. The fine print:
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of bicycling and transportation justice issues, and media coverage of same. We believe this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information, see If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use," you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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