Friday, May 30, 2008

Critical Mass rally in Fredericton today at 5 pm

I'd forgotten to mention this. There's a Critical Mass bike rally in Fredericton today (they're held on the last Friday of every month). I'm not sure where people meet on the northside to make their way over to the downtown area, but on the southside, folks are meeting at Officer's Square at 5 pm. There's been a lot of buzz over this one, since the arrest of Lee Breen, Wilser's Room bartendar extraordinaire and operator of an eco-friendly lawncare business, who ended up spending a night in jail and serving two days' house arrest for refusing to pay a ticket for having broken the city's skateboarding bylaw. I suspect there'll be as many skateboarders as cyclists. We'll see.

Update: This was my first Critical Mass rally in quite a few months. Past rides have generally been orderly, with a well-defined route and folks generally abiding by cycling rules, with the exception of huddling together as one body through lights that turned red when part of the group had already gone through (in which case, designated people would stand at the intersection holding off traffic until the rest of the group had passed). This time around, there were maybe 70 of us? The route was made up seconds before we left. The woman leading the group rode really fast, even though we repeatedly called on her to slow down; that being said, I realize that it's hard to set a pace when you're unsure of what's going on behind you. During past rides, people would relay information along the group to prevent straggling, which seemed to happen near the end, as familiar faces ended up coming forward to control a small group of reckless kids (maybe 12 or 13 years old?) who were pulling wheelies and weaving in and out of incoming traffic lanes. The woman also led the group through a multitude of unnecessary and wrong lane changes, apparently not sure of where to go, so I was thankful that traffic was relatively slow and that there was no police presence. So? Rather than feeling charged by the end, I felt nervous and a little disappointed. Any newcomers this month may also have been put off by today's ride, and I can't say that I'd blame them.

Listening to: Nick Drake's Day Is Done

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