Saturday, August 30, 2008

Hartford critical mass,

In Hartford, critical mass is about bicycling and bicyclists. We had over forty people for August's ride, and it was a diverse group. There were no cops involved, no major party conventions, and very little automobile-bicycle conflict. Let's count our blessings and enjoy it.

The North End of Hartford is a pocket of poverty in the richest state of the richest world in the nation. Our Hartford critical mass ride through this neighborhood was greeted with enthusiasm, most of which felt genuine.

I can't think of an easier way of reaching out from one neighborhood o another than to travel through at sunset on a Friday night on bicycles and shout hello.

Although I have respect and gratitude for critical mass leadership in San Francisco, NYC, and Denver, I am grateful to ride in a critical mass that is not yet in a battle over civil liberties, not yet in a battle over the use of public thoroughfares, but is simply a large group of unrelated people celebrating bicycles.


Karma said...

I think most of us can agree that this was one of the best Critical Mass rides yet. Riding through Keney Park and then through the North End was an experience that was simultaneously bizarre and exhilarating. So good to be able to see a corner of the city, so often blacklisted as dead and hopeless, as a hub of energy and goodwill. I think riders and residents alike benefited from Friday night's ride. Thanks to all.

Anonymous said...

Thanks again to my fellow bicyclists for helping me fix my back flat tire and to all that waited for us to do so. This was a wonderful and fun ride for me especially because of the feelings of community. ;)

chillwill said...

Well said Joel. Great comments Karma and Rachel. I agree 1,000%.

I think if the rides continue with the same vibe and respect, it will grow and not have any conflicts with the establishment.

We are celebrating bicycles. We are celebrating Hartford. People in the ride are brought together, and the interaction with people on the sidewalks and porch stoops also fosters more community and goodwill. More people need to make flyers to pass out and engage and invite the drivers, pedestrians and locals to join us next month as we pass by during the ride.

thanks again to eveyone. y'all rock! ride on!