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Critical Mass

Yesterday, Brian Green (one of the original Ubuntu Chicago OG’s) and I joined up with the Chicago Critical Mass bike ride throughout the city of Chicago. Last night we toured through the west side (almost got caught up in a gang fight at an intersection, but we peddled through it), headed north up Western and ended up in the Logan Square area. From there we went a little bit more north, then west again, then north again, then east, and then south through Lincoln Park and Old Town. To end it, a thousand or more cyclist took over Michigan Avenue, Chicago Police included, and yelled “HAPPY FRIDAY” to all of the pissed off automobile drivers and the cheering pedestrians. The entire trip lasted about 3 hours and went on for about 30 miles (48.387 km). It was a beautiful ride, and a painful one at that. I took my Trek 1.2 T road bike which has a racing saddle and clipless peddles. I wore my new cycling shoes which aren’t broken in yet, OUCH! I also forgot to wear my chamois so my butt is a tad bit sore today, but not sore enough to go cycling more.

Click HERE for more pictures of the ride.

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  • Chicago’s police PARTICIPATE??? Okay, now I’m jealous. In Minneapolis they still arrest people, including the ones being perfectly legal and peaceful. What kind of pedal/shoe setup do you have on that thing? Mine are Speedplay Zeros and Specialized shoes (of course), which are pretty nifty. I still don’t own any cycling shorts though, much to the chagrin and confusion of my coworkers.

  • Ya, Chicago police ride along with us and help cork/block the intersections. They ride some pretty tricked out mountain bikes, but they also tag along in cars in front of us and behind us to block major intersections. I have all Shimano, pedals and shoes. The pedals are Shimano PD-7810 which are super nice. The shoes are Shiman SH-R085. I love the shoes as they are their Custom Fit series so the footbeds are setup for me as well as the walls of the shoes and the cleats. I don’t own any cycling shorts either, yet, but I am looking at getting a set of bibs and a jersey so I can enter sanctioned race events. What I do have though are the cycling underwear that have the chamois in them. I have the Novaras which are really nice and just bought a pair of the Trek ones yesterday that aren’t as nice but were cheaper.

  • mh

    I’ve never been able to convince myself that CM rides do more good than harm as far as motorists attitudes towards cyclists. Taking back the streets is cool and all, but I’d like to see a more cooperative behavior from motorists and this seems to be more antagonistic.

    What’s your thinking on this?

    (Yes, a Mac, but my other computer’s running GNU)

  • @mh – ya, I tend to agree as well. Thankfully it is once a month, and I think the amount of cheers were far greater than the amount of pissed off drivers. This time around we had a TV crew from the Travel Chanel doing a piece on the ride, and the lady doing the piece even custom built her own bike just for the ride. Another thing to, and I don’t think it is just Chicago, but it seems that quite a few people who join the CM rebel more than they advocate. I am actually very impressed with the motorists in Chicago, except for CTA buses, as they share the road with cyclists. I live out in the suburbs where the attitude is still “get out of my way, I am bigger than you.” I am willing to bet as well, that the motorists who got upset, would scream and cuss out a parade as well for getting in their way. If you think about it, CM is a parade almost.

  • FreddyMartinez

    Try being stuck behind CM when you have to get across the street to make your dinner reservation on time 😛

  • @Freddy – I only wish I would have caught you crossing the street (/me sings “riding dirty”) 😛

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