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Saturday, February 27, 2016

February Mass

Second month in a row for 2016 that we had unseasonably warm weather for Critical Mass. I guess that means if certain theories about our climate are correct, the cagers brought this on themselves. Because Critical Mass happens no matter the weather, last Friday of the month, but it doesn't draw many riders are last very long when it's cold and pissy out.

I made spoke cards again. It was nice to notice that some of the folks I was handing them out to had the ones from last month still in their wheels. Spoke cards are one thing I barely saw anyone else riding with on RAGBRAI, but like a bell, you can't really call a bike complete without spoke cards.

The bell thing, by the way. When I'm commuting to work and pass another cyclist, I always ring my bell as a sort of amusing greeting. I would never ring it at a pedestrian on a trail as a silly and imperious way of saying 'make way' but I'll always ring it as a silly way of saying 'hello.'

And there's guys out there riding bikes that cost $10,000 who don't have a bell to ring back with. They bought everything the bike shop had to sell, in its most expensive permutation, but they didn't get the one thing that lets you say 'hello' back instead of seeming like a stuck up jerk with more money than cycling etiquette.

I guess I make an exception to that judgmental rant for Randall. Randall doesn't have a way to sport spoke cards since he rides a time trial bike with aero discs front & back. He also doesn't have a bell on his carbon fiber TT bike. But he rides in the city, including with the alcoholocaust the Critical Mass tends to be even though he doesn't drink, and he wears an eye patch so he's part pirate.

I thought at the end I'd talked a few of the folks into riding to my house. Close enough that I texted Corinna to make sure she wouldn't be pissed if I showed up with ten to twenty drunk cyclists, many of whom would probably want to crash on sofas and floors rather than ride back to Westport at that point. She was fine with that plan, and I managed to get a few of them as close as the bottom of the 12th Street Bridge but I couldn't get them over the river.

That river, or the county line between Wyandotte and Johnson or Jackson counties, sometimes that seems like the edge of the goddamn world.

People will show up for their first mass and ask what the route is. I'm like, the guy up front, we go where he goes. Unless someone decides not to follow, and then sometimes it breaks up a little early. It's half party, half parade, half protest, half not that good at fractions. It's the opposite of an organized ride.

But you'll love it. It's the most of whatever it is.

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