Next ride: Friday, August 28

July, 2009 Ride

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Create your own report...

Ride Reports:

Still We Ride



Report from the July, 2009 Ride:

A great Critical Mass Documentary http://tinyurl.com/ntztv9


i love it



Report from the July, 2009 Ride:

my second time
amazing as the first
i always have and will love this event
but gah i try my best to get in pics but ive only found one of me so far and its just my bike from me do a hold up
i ride the red trek with the spinergy
anyone with pics
let me know :Shmaldo33@aol.com

cant wait till friday see yah there
~alex


Ride Report, July 31st Chicago Critical Mass, "Summer of VELO"



Report from the July, 2009 Ride:

(overdue, kept planning to get others' editorial input then dropped the ball, so any smarties/stylists out there feedback please)

I write to remember these times, and to share the experience deeply as introduction and furtherance and practical advice to those new to the mass.

This month's Critical Mass included World Naked Bike Ride influence, and was titled the "Summer of VELO" ride. "Velo" is a clever twist replacing "love" with the latin prefix for speedy/swift/rapid, often found in words relating to bicycles.
Body painting, reduced clothes, and BYO for grilling were encouraged, and afterparty with music and vids were planned.

The route evolved through many online and personal discussions, on listserv, and in threads on TheChainLink.org
As usual earlier in the week I transcribed the proposed route to KML (GoogleMaps/Earth) and posted to TheChainLink. I also created a turn-by-turn and posted for mobile users at http://massup.us
I also froze two big Mountain Dews in advance, a good summer trick.

Pal Susan and I took the Red Line before 4pm (cutoff for bikes before rush hours), both of us lucky to control our work schedules some, knowing that we'd arrive way early. She took my sticker adorned now spare bike "Russell", whose quality I strictly maintain, yet I remained nervous all evening with a sense of responsibility. We could've biked downtown, but I was being extra watchful of total one day knee mileage. Downtown is such a rush. I worked here for a decade, but now haven't for more, and it always comes at me bizarro and speedy, a mix of spectacle and gray. A quick iPhone check for "bar" showed Cardozo's Pub at 170 W Washington, just 2blks W. I now love this place and will come again. Slightly underground and better than dive, has a swordfish on wall and Dunkin Donuts next door. In no hurry, we toasted Satan over pineapple melon vodka fancies.

Plaza gathering was casual and constant, and some commented that turnout seemed low for a perfect summer day, but possibly the effect of having the whole mall for once with no fests. Empirically, by departure there must have been well over 2000 people, but I'm not sure we hit 3K.*
Map distribution was excellent and early, and increasingly many self print from download.
After maybe 6:15 people started rallying, some airhorns helped make it happen, and I'm glad we've learned not to linger.

Route was a crawl through several early miles. Love you Steven, but plowing through Michigan and Columbus is hard, and the planned two fingered rocker salute early in the map quickly lost a horn. My thinking is always straight out Randolph to avoid traffic. Also this route had a lot of turns, but all certainly worth trying.

North of downtown the ride remained slow, but comfy and social. Circles occurred at least twice, but not at places I expected, and didn't happen at places I did expect (like that gas station on Ashland). Several times people thanked me for corking, when I was just paused somewhere convenient, sometimes not even in possible car traffic flow. Crazy cars were moderate, more details in metrics section below. I took a few photos of trouble, but saw few needs for interventions. I also didn't lead, because the few times I saw the front, they seemed fine. Was nice to just ride, especially this first time mass on my new fixie.

Second half was smooth and easy, and from Lincoln on I ran into friends who'd gotten split up. I lost Susan several times, mainly because I did a few mass laps being a restless type. Interestingly that means we passed more than once without noticing. At one point reaching each other by phone, both solidly in mass, I later confirmed we were 1.3 miles apart.

Returning South the mass became extremely long, while not being very thin. Home stretch on Halsted I stopped at Dominick's (great advice Steven), and watched several distinct significant sub-masses pass, indicating that there'd been splits. After quick shopping we rolled into the end with stragglers after maybe 9:15p.

Given over 18 miles by the map, roughly 3 hours elapsed time, makes the overall average speed over 6mph. Given a max mass length of 1.5 miles, simplest computation gives about 15 minutes average to pass a point. These figures feel roughly accurate.

After-party was perfect. I expected occasional cop lights on us, but saw no police presence at all. It was nice to feel trusted and safe, and but also hard to let my guard down.
Painting, nudity, grilling, not sure they happened. But it was a perfect human summer chill thing; a happy few hundred cyclists dancing and drinking and chatting and snacking, and I really got to know a few people better. Todd's sound wagon as always was more than enough ("Todd is Godd"), and the video projection was ubercool. The short shown will be the new official World Naked Bike Ride Chicago promotional video.
Eventually group photos were taken of the remaining 200-ish, what a joy.
Finally I left with a few northsiders, and after tip-toeing through downtown we took the lakefront path home to Foster. So quiet on that path at night that it grounds me to bliss.

Risk metrics:
I personally saw at least six incidents with angry cars and SUVs, but all pretty moderate compared to the worst we've seen. At one point Westbound on Division a monster truck driver blithely began pulling out from curb parking into the passing mass, bumped riders, and immediately launched into obscenities. I got a license photo and moved on as a swarm formed, glad that the mass would save the city from another drunk driver
I also saw at least a dozen lightly trapped cars, especially cabs, who I thought were being pretty cool about it. I credit that we are becoming familiar to them.
I also saw a few average bike falls and the usual afterfalls, but no grossly obvious drunkenness nor injuries. I also saw a few flats, and wondered how rescues go.
I saw a few police involvement in progress, but most looked like car drivers being scolded.
Finally, I spoke with some people after who saw nothing but happiness, but heard of one who was severely ticketed. How diverse the experiences are when there's an arena worth of people and miles of space.
I saw a high number (at least a dozen first hand) of pedestrians with phenomenally poor judgement. Even some clearly challenged such as elderly or carrying an infant, stepped right out into passing mass like somehow they're Moses. The frequency of this event type concerns me, though I've yet to hear of any collisions. Wise massers tell me that it's easier to stop the mass for peds and cars than I think.
Other issues such as slow speed, inclusion of families and children, car traffic delays, multi-masses and splitting continue in lively discussion.
Disclaimer: Anything I saw and say may be completely wrong, as my eyes and mind aren't perfect.

Conclusions:

Though I may seem to highlight dangers, I consider the ride nearly Utopian, and the overall experience brilliantly positive for many thousands, with some acceptable costs. Along with full moons, Critical Mass is a fixture in my every month.

I continue to feel driver anger speaks more of their problems, than of our faults. We're just feeling the heat from the friction of cultural change. Objectively, we surely cause far less disruption than any single major sports event, but some level of complaints will always happen.

I draw comfort from the belief that this must all be moot soon, when it sinks in that the last Fridays in Chicago are owned by bikes, and as the age of cars wanes. I fully expect to hear future local news routinely reporting well in advance along the lines of "Don't forget, tonight is Critical Mass, so allow extra travel time or take a bike. Thanks Jean, now let's have a look at the weather..."

Andrew Bedno

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* Mass Counting:
I used to often do a mass count video. It was from my video in August 2007 (10th anniversary mass) that the 3000 confirmed count was made. But now I don't always carry a camera, and I'm not always on skates which made it easier. Someone else should pick up that duty please. Simply take a continuous stationary video (even 15fpsx320x200 is fine) at an angle from ahead of mass until stragglers of last wave pass.


a BIG thank you!



Report from the July, 2009 Ride:

A huge thanks to all those who helped make Friday the most moving day of my life. I was proposed to by my amazing fiance and want to thank EVERYBODY who was there, who cheered and snapped photos and videos and especially those involved in making the route and making it all possible. It was a very special day and I am grateful to have such astounding support from the community. Cheers to all!!!


It was a gorgeous night for a ride



Report from the July, 2009 Ride:

But can't we do a slightly better job with the route. Whoever is making the map could take more things into consideration, more one-ways so we're not fighting traffic on the left as much, less tiny side streets so we don't bottleneck so often, more points of interest. I don't know, just an idea.

Also I'm curious about the guy on division in the truck. Not sure what happened but when we rode through the cops were fighting to get there and he was bleeding from the neck. Wasn't a good scene, and no one should go to critical mass looking for a confrontation. Yeah, drivers are going to get pissed sometimes, don't antagonize them.

See ya next month.


Too big for side streets :-(



Report from the July, 2009 Ride:

It was an awesome ride, and everybody was really great. It was a very friendly group. One Observation - On the narrow side streets folks were riding on the sidewalks a lot (which will happen with such large groups). I would recommend major streets only. When you hit the residential streets in the summer there are lots of little kids out and about, and they are not ready for a 200 lbs guy blasting down the sidewalk. there were a few close calls, but no injury's to report. RIDE ON!!!!!!!


Massively Romantic



Report from the July, 2009 Ride:


Photo by Robert Matter

A public affair
Chicago Tribune, August 1, 2009
Bikes are a big part of their lives, so Jeremiah Catalano-Reilly chooses Critical Mass as his stage to propose to Michelle Simon [READ ARTICLE]


Text chatter log.



Report from the July, 2009 Ride:

Transcript of text group chatter from 2009.07.31 ride, for the record, so I had some where to paste it before it aged off.

8:55p: chicagofun: Northbound on S Halsted
8:25p: chicagofun: Southbound on Damen at Division
7:53p: chicagofun: Circling at Belmont and Lincoln and Ashland.
7:46p: chicagofun: Westbound on Addison
7:42p: chicagofun: Northbound on Hasted 3400 n
7:31p: chicagofun: Northbound on Clark, 2400 N
7:22p: chicagofun: Northbound on Wells from North ave.
7:13p: cinchel: Mass up
7:10p: Wontoner23: Wheres the mass? Lateccomer in Logan
7:01p: Susieqt314: We made it!
6:55p: Susieqt314: 6:56 where now we r chasing
6:43p: vxla: N on Michigan
6:30p: Susieqt314: Biking over on Tandem
6:16p: vxla: At the plaza still.
6:10p: Susieqt314: Where is everyone?
5:34p: Susieqt314: Caught in traffic. Please post updates on tonight's route so we can catch up.
11:57a: TwilitZone: Thank you.. Yes ease chatter.. Some people do work.. My battery dies from too many mass messages i will push someone int
11:51a: Pandaboner: How do i send a msg is this working
11:38a: vxla: Ok folks, let's ease the chatter up. This is for CCM in-flight reporting only. Thanks.
11:36a: BrakelessEndeavor: How do I unsubscribe from this?
11:31a: chicagofun: Theme is "Summer of VELO" (it's a bike joke).
11:31a: TwilitZone: Looking forward to this ride.. Ride for work it's nice to actually ride for leisure now and then
11:30a: nwboardshrts: Like the massup site. And i finally see the route
11:28a: vxla: The theme is riding bikes.
11:28a: Jugovich: Happy Friday everyone! Is there any theme for this ride?
11:14a: nwboardshrts: Happy Friday! I'm needing this ride haha.
11:10a: chicagofun: Happy Friday!!! Critical Mass leaves Daley Plaza after 6pm. More info at http://massup.us

Served by Upoc: http://upoc.com/group.jsp?group=CHICM
Monitored on MassUp: http://massup.us/ccm


Photos of July Ride



Report from the July, 2009 Ride:

My photos are in the usual place.


What a ride.



Report from the July, 2009 Ride:

So this was my first Critical Mass and I was quite excited to be a part of it. Congrats to the man who proposed on Wacker, that was wonderfully cute man. Good luck to you two!

I never would have thought THAT many people would show up for this event. I was absolutly amazed when I was in the middle of the pack and all I could see was bikes ahead of me and behind me. There were a couple of spills I saw from people not paying attention, thats a bummer but.. keep your head up people. I myself was so dog tired. The day before CM I left for a Century ride to Milwaukee and Friday decided to try to ride all the way back. While I did not make the ride completly back, I did get back into the loop just in time to meet up at CM and knock out the last few miles I needed to put me at 200 in two days. Two Century rides in TWO DAYS!! To sit there at the end of the route over the highway staring at the wonderful skyline left me in a moment that words will never describe. Thank you Chicago!

Rants: It bothered me a little bit by the few people that were soo up in arms about something as positive as this. Seemed more people than not in this city were very welcoming. To see so many supporters break from their jobs to watch the mass go by, WONDERFUL!

To the lady that decided to run over a girl's bike to push through the mass. Hope you noticed some of your bumper was left behind.

The guy that decided to get back into his car and grab his baseball bat. Do you really think thats a good idea with a mob of people around and cops right there?

Drivers, you wouldnt plow through a parade, marathon, or walk because you were late. This is just as sanctioned by the city as such events. Dude.. would you go beat some cub scouts down cause they decided to have a parade you didnt know about?

Sorry your life got put 15min behind because people wanted to gather as a collective and show what they do.

And finally.. the people getting drunk while riding.. . come on really? Do you realize you are just as much of a risk in the middle of the pack drinkin as you would be a car? Save the celebration for the end.

But hey, to each their own right. It was still a blast and I will surely attend furtures masses. It was a great way to wrap up a 200 mile bike trip.


A good time but Major change needed



Report from the July, 2009 Ride:

Had a great time and the turnout was something else but when there are that many people the mass can span some serious distance and when people are waiting over 20 or 30 min on a bunch of cyclists you can't blame them for being impatient.

There were some incidence it witnessed and others I heard rumors of that suggest when we ride in that kind of numbers there needs to be a way to allow some motorists through.


get a life



Report from the July, 2009 Ride:

Obey the traffic laws and people might stop trying to run you over. Idiots.

Try being more like your Canadian cousins

http://www.theprovince.com/travel/Cyclists+launch+rival+Critical+Mass/1850693/story.html


Jerk who ran me off the road!



Report from the July, 2009 Ride:

While enjoying the ride Friday eve July 31, 2009 in Chgo, we were turning right on the corner of Ashland and Division when a 'critical ASS' on a bike speeding, hits me. He sends me and my bike flying in the street. I lay there bleeding and at first he offers me help cause I couldn't move the bike out of the way. My front wheel is turned around and stuck. My front brakes are destroyed and this asshole says I need help and rides away, leaving me there. I thought he was going to get me help but of course he NEVER returned and I was left to limp to the nearest restaurant to wash the blood off.
I am a middle aged female who has been riding all my life and all around the world, in organized and unorganized rides and I must say the people in critical mass are irresponsible and reckless. There is no organization or rules for these jerks who don't care about the other 2K people riding. They are not paying attention and dont realize that someone can be seriously injured. I've ridden with critical mass for the last 3 years and it has gotten worse every year. I do believe that bikes should take over the streets but in doing so, common sense should prevail!


Nice Proposal



Report from the July, 2009 Ride:

The proposal on Wacker with the sign was great. I wish those two the best and kudos to the guy for being creative in the process. I grabbed a map from Stephan prior to arriving so I will thank him for the fun route and keeping things moving along. CPD of course had presense, however most all of what I saw were the bike coppers. Many tickets for open booze, however that I just don't get. You are riding a bike with open beer in a bag and there are police all over on bikes in teams. Why would you think you wouldn't be ticketed? I saw many water bottles that had an interesting color so why not go that route and avoid the extra cash spent on a ticket. Ditto for the corkers who got obstruction of traffic tickets. If you are corking and the police start to come up on you I would suggest that is a good time to start riding away. The police won't pursue from there. Anyway, great weather, turn out and I will see you all later in the month.


Add your own flyer...

Ride Flyers:

CCM Map July 2009



Designed by Steven Lane for the July, 2009 Ride
Download: MapCCM0709.jpg

The Derailleur July 2009



Designed by willow naeco for the July, 2009 Ride
Someone forgot to upload a file...

CCM JULY '09: VELO PARADE



Designed by thestevenlane for the July, 2009 Ride

VELO PARADE FRIDAY JULY 31

We're going to party in the lot we used for the last World Naked Bike Ride and see an outdoor premier of the +body video of Chicago's naked ride and dance the night away!!!

http://chicagonakedride.org

Download: CCM-July2009-Map.jpg