So the day has finally come. As the anticipation has built over the four weeks I almost didn't think the day would finally arrive. Better than laundry day, better than pay day, and even edging out beer day, tomorrow is the day we all have been waiting for.
For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, I happen to be speaking of Hartford's Critical Mass for the month of May. Yes my friends, our own city of Hartford has its own Crit and tomorrow is the day for all like-minded, bike-obsessed, environmentally-concious individuals to take to the streets to show our support for our non-motorized two-wheeled friends.
What is this Crit I speak of?
Well, according to Wikipedia critical mass is, and I quote,
"A critical mass is the smallest amount of fissile material needed for a sustained nuclear chain reaction. The critical mass of a fissionable material depends upon its nuclear properties (e.g. the nuclear fission cross-section), its density, its shape, its enrichment, its temperature and its surroundings."
However, while this may on some abstract level define what we are talking about I think another Wiki definition is more appropriate, again I quote,
"Critical Mass is an event typically held on the last Friday of every month in cities around the world where bicyclists and other self-propelled commuters take to the streets en masse. While the ride was originally founded with the idea of drawing attention to how unfriendly the city was to bicyclists, the leaderless structure of Critical Mass makes it impossible to assign it any one specific goal. In fact, the purpose of Critical Mass is not formalized beyond the direct action of meeting at a set location and time and traveling as a group through city or town streets."
And I continue....
The definitive Critical Mass information site writes,
"Critical Mass has no leaders, and no central organization licenses rides. In every city that has a CM ride, some locals simply picked a date, time, and location for the ride and publicized it, and thus the ride was born.
CM is an idea and an event, not an organization. You can't write to "Critical Mass"
Some CM riders try to tie up traffic as much as possible and be otherwise confrontational with motorists. Such riders are missing the point about Critical Mass. CM is a celebration of cycling, not a war against motorists. CM is about asserting our right to the road, not denying others their right to the road. Those who want to play juvenile games are encouraged to stay at home instead."
Now that sounds like fun, does it not?
So, be you messenger, commuter, spandex-clad roadie, hipster, or noob, join us tomorrow as we take to the streets to reclaim what is rightfully (and legally) ours. We will meet at the bucolic Bushnell Park, by the Carousel, @ 5.30PM and will ride when we feel all stragglers have made their way into our ranks. So don't think that because you get out of work at 5.00 that you can't possibly make it, I say try, try, try. There is always time.
Remember this is an opportunity for you to display to the automotorists of Hartford that we can share the road, and illustrate to all the fact that the bicycle has a home on our city's streets just as it does on the avenues of what some might (unfortunately) call more progressive cities.