When: 5:30 PM, First Friday of every month.
Where: Civic Park, near Walnut Creek BART.
Why: Cuz it's hecka fun!
This ride is intimate and unfettered, so leave your rotten, mildewy zombie outfit at home and enjoy! Let the mode most lively take back the streets from the caskets of congestion! No more addiction to the liquid of the dead! No more hell-on-earth stuck in freeway backups! Unearth the most vital and arrable farmlands from the pestilent and moldering, virtual gravestones known as modern highways. Clear the air with pedal power breeziness lest the moon turn red from pollution and the asphalt rivers melt and flow like a lava serpent to consume ye all!
This ride was *excellent* and fun. Although there were reportedly three or more bicycle police who waited for us at the beginning of the ride, they apparently gave up and went away before we left. No other contact with police occurred, nor were there any hostile interactions with motorists. A number of us wore costumes including one bicycle cowgirl, and a whole bunch of American flags were flapping or emblazoned in various forms--including one flag license plate who's frame said, "I'd rather be riding my bike". This was attached to a green trike named "Blue" that had brought both the free juices and one spare bike--which was quickly loaned to one hopeful and bikeless rider.
It was a beautiful evening, a really fun ride. Yes we stopped at lights, and yes we yielded to pedestrians, and yes we took one lane. Our little group (around ten, picking up and dropping off new riders and one skater along the way) saw a lot of splendid sights and enjoyed two wheeled adventures "Creek style".
There were free juices at the beginning of the ride brought by one rider and some fresh hot popcorn brought by another (Bike Dave).
We caught the sights from high points, and cruised through the glitzy, winding, parking lot and mall-festooned, tree-lined core of East Bay sprawl.
Many cheers were offered to walkers: "Thanks for walking!" Many onlookers waved, some stared in wonder, some squeeled and whooped back from car cabins. This lends credence to the point of view that more, smaller masses are generally better than one big monomass, because they hold up less other traffic, are more intimate and more fun, and are seen by more people throughout the city. Also supported was the popular notion that police should be absent until incident at Critical Masses. As usual in such rare instances of autonomy, there were no negative incidents, and a lot more feeling of freedom, fun and safety on the road for us--for once--in stark contrast to those ugly scenes when hostile police plague the mass.
Today's ride--playful, free, nonconfrontational, non-harassed, at ease with taking a lane, seeing the sights and doing our own thing on two wheels--made me feel really good. This is what massing at its best is all about, to me.