The Critical Mass ride that Melissa organized was a huge success! Fifty people showed up for the first Critical Mass ride in Aurora, a town about an hour from Chicago. There was a mixed group, including families with children, city employees, young hip guys, lycra racers, older riders, chic cyclists and even a tall bike.
The ride was definitely a Critical Mass in all the best ways. We had lots of cheery balloons, smiles, waves and “Thank You” signs. The reaction from drivers, pedestrians and other on-lookers was overwhelmingly positive. Motor vehicle traffic was very minimally obstructed, as most of the route had two lanes going in each direction, making it easy for cars to go around the group. (I did not witness any negativity at all, but if some drivers were upset by the ride, that is their problem. No progress is ever made without upsetting some people who prefer the status quo.)
Check out these pictures, which describe the ride much better than my words can.
…and there was the press.
Resulting in the third positive article about bicycling in one week in the local paper, “Fifty turn out for Sunday (Critical) Mass.” The next ride will be October 31.
Anyone out there living in other a smaller town or the suburbs should consider starting their own movement. All it takes is some people, bikes and passion.