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Massively critical

September 26, 2008

Having made the day’s round trip on the high-level West Seattle Bridge earlier, the GTS and I were waiting for the low-level bridge to open. A few bicyclists passed. Then more, and more and then a hell of a lot more. Oh, right. This is the last Friday of the month, isn’t it?

Critical Mass ride, Sept. 26

Orin O'Neill photo

This being Seattle, the group was not the bike messenger/punk crowd you’d expect to find in, say, San Francisco. Lots of white sneakers here. Lots of pink. Lots of people my age, all fully clothed.

The swarm went all the way up the bridge to the barrier, ignoring the red light the cars in front of me had stopped for. There was a state trooper and a Port cop off on the side street, and the trooper left once the last of the cyclists passed.

I used to be an avid bicyclist, until an incident with a Segway messed up my knee, which, thanks to a lack of health insurance, eventually messed up my hip. Bicycling experience has been hugely beneficial to my scootering life. I really hated to have to sell my Trek 7500FX—it was one sweet bike.

I have to admit, the Critical Mass thing has me on the fence. On the one hand, all of us who roll on two wheels face the same dangers from inattentive car/truck drivers and crummy pavement. On the other hand, you don’t win hearts and minds by pissing people off. Luckily, everyone was being really chill, and there were lots of alternate routes available from where we stopped.

Still, it was annoying as hell to see groups of bicyclists riding on the wrong side of the road, then cutting suddenly into the proper lane without so much as a hand signal to the guy in the Prius (!) who was trying to leave a safe path.

The Critical Mass model simply won’t work for people on scooters. It will be numbers that raise awareness among other road users. What’s that you were saying about putting your scooter away for the winter..? Favicon

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2 Comments
  1. chewy permalink
    September 27, 2008 5:21 pm

    Grin….. I was thinking about it, too. Being I HATE Minnesota winters, I usually cage it during those months, and ride only on a clear day for bragging rights.

    My bike days are done also, thanks to a slippery patch of ice a year ago May, that left the right ankle pointing 90 degrees from where it should be.

    Hang in there.

  2. dildo johnny permalink
    September 27, 2008 7:25 pm

    critical ASS
    those people just create problems for everyone. its just a bunch of jerk bicycle riders looking for an excuse to be jerks. that’s why i take my burgman in the bike lanes and take those chumps out.

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