August, 2009 Ride
Last Friday's awesome ride...Submitted by Bedno on Fri, 2009-09-04 12:20.
Report from the August, 2009 Ride:
(From Jane Healy, cross posted from CCM mailing list)
I'm overwhelmed with work right now (not least of which is volunteer duties for the upcoming Boulevard Lakefront Tour), so I apologize for commenting over a week after the event. But...
I just had to share that we had an utterly FANTASTIC ride last week! The weather was gorgeous, the crowd was *not* a drunken frat party on wheels, the police did a good job helping out, and the route was AWESOME!
To whoever did all the mapping: NICE JOB.
To those who led the ride: Overall, great work. I started out at the front and gradually shuffled toward the back, so I got to see the whole panoply througout the evening. My one quibble: by the time we were getting close to the end of the ride, the average speed at the back was running 13 mph. That's mighty fast for kids or less experienced riders to maintain.
The mass was quite spread out and I saw numerous times when cars were breaking through in the empty spots. If you are in the front, remember: You must occasionally stop for _more than one red light cycle_ at a traffic light. That way the tail of the mass can catch up. I think that leaders tend to forget that situations arise farther back in the mass that have a cumulative effect. A bus splinching traffic into one lane can completely shut down the mass for a long time while the leaders merrily ride on leading a thinner and thinner group. Ditto for large boulevards. When the route opens up (like on King Drive), the tendency is to spread out and go faster. When the ride narrows again, the people behind get clumped together in a huge bike traffic jam which takes a surprisingly long time to work it's way out.
Since I don't want to focus a glorious Mass on a relatively minor complaint, let me just say again, that the August ride was exactly the way I want to spend a lovely Friday evening. Riding a bike. Enjoying the city. Taking over car traffic with the perfect quiet machine. Spending time with family and friends. Tickling my toes in Lake Michigan. And reveling in the fact that 2000+ cyclists have a way better approach to life than to sit passively watching it pass them by.
The final treasures of the evening:
-getting to ride through the new underpass at Solidarity Drive on the Lakefront path. Yea!
-watching the Beluga whales at the Ocenanarium as they were getting filmed for some show (there were a *ton* of Massers up there on the ledge with me! LOL
-Hearing the ding-ding of bike bells instead of car traffic on the LFP.
Thanx Everyone!Submitted by Bedno on Sat, 2009-08-29 16:23.
Report from the August, 2009 Ride:
August "Water Mass" artist/facilitator/taker-of-flak here, Andrew Bedno.
My gratitude is boundless for the privilege of fielding this massive thing.
I'm happy with a technically good mass, balancing countless considerations then executed safely.
But I was isolated at front so am eagerly looking forward to reading others' stories.
My wrap notes, and followups to some feedback
1. I optimize for simplicity, capacity, visibility... but overlook some need for confrontation (for example no "round-ups" occurred that I know of). This mirrors my own riding, WNBR-C and other experience. Some were probably grateful for the easy flow of this one, but such design can cause strung out mass. We felt the absence of numerous usual key enthusiastic players who could've helped throttle, and my not being on (inherently slower) inline skates didn't help.
I intentionally tried to create "social spaces" inspired by "We Are Traffic" with uncomplicated stretches where people could converse at length. That worked.
2. The foul-up around Morgan/31st was staggering, but typical. At least one big adjustment per mass is why leaders need to be sober. Cops did (maybe accidentally) direct us into a dead end then through a single file gate. On encountering I had to shrug and assume the back would overflow around adjacent blocks. At least it was a park/fountain pause. Anyway, I'd planned that by that leg people would flow east to the lake on varying streets as needed. In planning, that Halted jog had been the top candidate to snip as it passed a big police station. Also despite pre-rides, there was an unexpected construction roadblock on Division.
3. I use a good bike-puter and actively tried to keep speed in the 6-8mph range. But at that rate whole blocks of the mass would gradually pass me, and I'd catch-up at next mass-up. Sound bikes establish speed of head far more than my little day-glo flag does.
I clocked 15.6 miles at 1:50 at 31st end, that's about 8.5mph. Slow in my book, but technically 1/3 faster than general prior average. Note however, that readout includes some circling distance and only counts time in motion.
4. I and others swam a bit at 31st, honoring the theme, and it was not too frosty. Maybe the 8th time I've swam on a ride this year. I'd like to believe that cyclists' fitness grants some resistance to water-bourne scourge, and I am no worse so far. Thanx all you dear fellow shameless free spirits. Also special thanx Todd (first time ever two person live music wagon), Howard (loved your tunes), juggler Mark Faje and Graff boy, the now regulars dear dozen-ish skaters, cherished Willow, several new friendlies, Cardozo's Pub (170 W Washington), etc. Also especially two whose names escape me: A. Latin male alert co-lead and WNBR-C familiar. B. Mass count vid guy who follows my work. Do reply!
5. Turnout seemed well under prior Augusts' peaks, probably due to weather worries, but it remained cool and rainless. Mass was hard and late to start, but once a few handfuls started noisily circling the plaza, we were off in just a few rotations. At end, many continued on the optional lakefront path north leg, and I wonder how their adventures went. Including LFP N, sparsely attended afterparty (2050 W Division) and ride home in wet undies, I totaled over 32 miles.
6. The planning, pre-ride, and mass were a great education for me, and now more have seen that as far as 35th and Ashland is readily reachable by bike. In fact much of the south side has significant bike lanes and signage.
7. Someone(s) other than me need to do the primary text messaging updates: Going X on Y at Z. That channel now as over 100 followers getting no info. Thumb-jockeys contact me for details.
8. Fixie generalizers hear that I and many other dear hearty souls are practically married to them, and few of us are putzes. Oddly one thing fixies are especially good at is slow. Forces other than speed bring us up front. Testosterone complaints may be more specifically targeted at BMX or messenger, though even then, some I know personally are pretty terrific. I see dolphins at play off the bow, not race leaders.
9. Riders get that there is no official nor singular plan. Further, I hear widespread agreement that voting is history; not feasible nor advisable. Multiple proposals (even ad-hoc day-of sub-groups) can produce multiple masses, which is ideal for many reasons.
Future mapmakers please step up. Aaron, Dubi, we're looking at you.
Personally, I'm done producing until next April. I expect to help (esp. Halloween and NSCMs), but soon the ball's in BikeWinter's court.
Good Ride That Crashed and BurnedSubmitted by booksdates on Sat, 2009-08-29 06:13.
Report from the August, 2009 Ride:
Another fun time that started with a good route that took us up North and then down thru Greektown and South. The downtown area is always the most fun for me, however I know we have to move along eventually. When we went out South of course there were a lack of observers, however I needed to ride for the exercise and got to move along fast. The only down side I felt was when we were turned around because of a CPD involvement in a shooting west of Sox park. When we turned around if we would have continued to make that right on to Loomis we could have completed the route with a minor detour. Instead we went south on a small street and pasted right by a NO OUTLET sign and of course the sign meant what it said! Off the bikes one by one thru an open area in a fence into a park. By then two CPD guys from the 1st Disrict were in front and biked back on the east/west street south of the park. As I mentioned to another participate that we might have thought about that sign he said that there were police up in front and they know what to do. Oh well, a bit frustrating because those CPD guys were from the 1st and we were well into the 12th and they could really care less where we went. At that point it was back to Halsted for me and back to West Loop to call it a night. Thanks to The Deralleur girl (heart of gold) for giving me a map and an update on her significant other (I will write a get well soon on the postcard) and to the Mayor's Bike Federation for passing out lights at Halsted and Roosevelt. See you all in September.
CCM Map August 2009Submitted by willownaeco on Sun, 2012-07-15 20:52. map
Designed by Andrew Bedno for the August, 2009 Ride MapCCM0809.jpg
The Derailleur August 2009Submitted by willownaeco on Wed, 2011-01-05 12:22. derailleur
Designed by willow naeco for the August, 2009 Ride