I love riding with Kidical Mass and Critical Lass so tonight I checked out the original gangster, Critical Mass. My only experience was Critical Mass has been seeing it create chaos while on foot in San Francisco, but I trusted Davey Oil when he said Seattle’s Critical Mass is mellow and even family friendly.
Davey met up with The Main Tank and me at the Seattle Center parking squid where I tried to get him to fix the tire I tried to check the pressure of and only succeeded in half un-inflating. Instead, he put on his teacher’s cap and fixed the loose part on my pump and had me do it myself. I don’t know what the vegan equivalent of “Teach a man to fish” is, but that’s just what he did :) And I swear I will take his Bike Works Adult Basics Class next time around!
I thought one of the riders had decided to leave on account of all the kids in attendence, but it turned out he was just starting the swarm. It’s probably really cool when there are more than 30 bikes, but this evening riders got on their bikes one by one and joined in with the swarming until we were all riding circles around Westlake Park. Eventually someone led us out of the park and the ride proper began.
Davey warned me ahead of time there would be no preset route and anyone could ride to the front of the group and lead the ride. I had assumed this meant one person would take over and lead the entire ride on a route of his or her choosing, but the ride saw multiple leaders and we peaceably meandered around downtown. We ended up on the Elliott Bay Trail, which didn’t seem very Critical Mass-y to me (take back the streets, don’t occupy a bike-friendly trail, right?), but it’s a lovely trail and the route I’d take home so I was game. Davey stopped to get a blanket out for Little Oil so I stopped to unpack snacks for the kids and then everyone else stopped as well. Totcycle and I decided to call it a day and head north up the trail and everyone else wandered off or got out their own snacks. It felt quite like a Kidical Mass ride by this point, but Davey assured me Critical Mass generally doesn’t end in a snack and blankey stop.
Verdict: it was weird, but worth going to. I’d do it again and be prepared for anything.
Seattle Critical Mass is the last friday of each month, rain or shine, 5:30 p.m. at Westlake Center.
Today’s miles: 34.3
July cumulative: 387.9 miles