Sunday, May 29, 2016
May 2016 Critical Mass
I didn't ride Critical Mass this time, I wasn't up to it. I thought at first it was food poisoning, but that's usually over pretty quick. So it was something else. Something where you don't want to be too far from a toilet.
But I'd made some spoke cards, and I'd brought my bike to work on my car in case I was up to it, so of course I want to the tailgate portion.
My friend Vance showed up, I think it was his first Critical Mass. He seemed surprised by a lot of elements of it. I'm like, you know organized bike rides, we met on an organized ride. This is an organized ride's perfect opposite. No set route, we go where the guy up front goes unless someone decides not to follow him. It's half party, have parade, half protest, half not that good at fractions.
Oh, yeah, and most organized rides, there's only drinking after. Critical Mass tends to be a fairly wet event before, during and after.
And the only place I think I've ever seen more varieties of bikes come together for an event was RAGBRAI. BMX, tall bikes, fat bikes, time trial bikes, mountain bikes, roadie bikes, touring bikes, shitty bikes, chopper bikes, foldable bikes, etc.
The weather had seemed a little dodgy to folks who don't ride in the rain so that suppressed turnout a bit. But I still managed to run out of spoke cards, and I brought over 100 of them.
Cupcake Smasher was there, and of course David was (good thing since the primary spoke card I'd made was basically a David themed farewell.
Vance was back at his car pretty quick after they finally took off. Said he was overbooked for the weekend and thought this was like a one hour commitment, then spent an hour waiting for anyone to go ride bikes. Fair enough. Or maybe it was more anarchy than he's comfortable with, I can respect that. Before I experienced Critical Mass, it sounded like an all round bad idea.
But I'm hooked. So hooked that even with the illness issues I already shared TMI about, I was there with my riding shorts, helmet and bike hoping to go. Except my body was giving me unequivocal votes against doing any such thing.
I think the tailgate lasted longer than usual, but I think that was because everyone was so relieved that the rain had let up. It's been like a monsoon season here, and while it's not that unpleasant when it's warm, riding in the rain, standing around in it is another matter. And it's a hassle trying to keep your electronics dry (my iPhone 6s Plus, for instance, see also my Nikon D7000 these shots were taken with).
But all around it was a good time. I wish I could have gone along, I try never to miss it (I think December was the last one I didn't ride, and November was the last time I didn't at least stop by to say hey).