Sunday, November 2, 2008
I was so excited to find out that a critical mass had been planned for Halloween. It was really perfect: I am still trying to meet people, and I didn't have any plans for the evening. What a better way to spend Halloween than a mass of costumed bike riders taking back the streets?
Critical masses have never caught on in Chattanooga. About 50 people showed up for this one, which was enough to take up a lane of traffic and to have a sort of group synergy. In a pack of 50, we all felt more or less invincible. We got lots of cheering from people on the street, which made it even more exciting, and we started cheering, too. Note: bike horns and bells are essential for a good mass.
The costumes varied: lion costumes, Bob Ross, a dad dressed as Tigger toting his waving kid in a trailer, also dressed as Tigger, duct-work robot outfits, rednecks and rock stars, jazz-ercizers, hipsters and farmers that didn't need to dress up any different than any other day, and one girl that wore an accordion. I had to work that day, so I didn't have anything elaborate. I wore my faux-Icelandic sweater and toboggan, hoping to look like Jonsi from Sigur Ros. We rode an interesting lot of bikes, as well: road bikes, mountain bikes, old clunkers and professional racers, bikes with lights, bikes with stereo speakers, single speed surlies and a bicycle made for two.
We rode a big loop through town, running red lights, and boggling traffic. I was all smiles. Finally(!) something is happening besides work. Finally, I am back on a bike again. Finally, I am meeting people who are interested in finding interesting ways to have fun. I miss so much the weekend rides that I took in Honduras, and this was, in a small way, a reclamation of that.
We stopped at pub for a beer, but that split the group in half. Some of us kept riding, well into the evening, getting lost, finding parties with free food and bonfires. I think it was a good start.
stopping for a drink...