We Are Traffic: My First Critical Mass
Last night I biked from work over to the lions side of the Vancouver Art Gallery and participated in my first Critical Mass. Billed as a decentralized large group bike ride with no pre-determined route featuring anybody with self-propelled commuting, Critical Mass enjoys a 15 year existence, starting in the streets of San Francisco. My bike, a few months old and newly tuned up, performed brilliantly, but I can't say the same for my girlfriend's. She lost a part somewhere along the way, and was unable to shift, making her fearless gearless, though thankfully with brakes. We biked down Robson, turning left on Jervis, making our way down Davie (I think), then crossing the Burrard Street Bridge, riding down much of Broadway, and finally turning onto Yukon where we got off at 11th, where we were jokingly called "splitters". Impressions? I liked not having to worry about cars, and felt like a big man when I rode ever so briefly on the wrong side of the road while coming off the Burrard Bridge. I also liked making lots of noise with my bell and hearing the honks in support from oncoming traffic. There were at least two unpleasant encounters: one guy sped dangerously around bikers planted in front of him, only to end up at a red light; and a lady driver honked angrily at the woman in the car in front of her, bikers mistakenly interpreting as a positive honk in their direction. One other dude taunted oncoming traffic by telling them cars suck. I've posted two videos, one heading down towards Burrard Bridge then halfway up it, and another heading down the bridge.