Wednesday, December 10

Representin' with Critical Mass!

I usually avoid exercise in all it's forms, but I've gotta admit that I have the best time participating in something they call Critical Mass! A Critical Mass is what happens when folks get together to ride bicycles through a city in large groups. Everyone rides side-by-side to take up the whole road and create a fun-filled nuisance! Obnoxious bicyclists really piss me off when I'm driving , so it's just nice to turn the tables and be the annoying bicyclist for a change!

It was by pure chance that I even discovered this group. I was driving the van home from a bar one weekend afternoon, and I decided to cut through some weird neighborhood to avoid passing any cops. I saw a group of young people on bicycles with flags and stuff, all laughing and riding around together. Something inside me made me want to get out and join them!

By coincidence I had a 3-wheeled bicycle in the back of my van that I'd stolen the week before (from some moron who parked it in front of a halfway home). It worked out so well that I now bring it with me every time! It's got a nice big basket behind the seat that I can use to carry snacks and blunt objects. The extra wheel also provides stability, so I can play an active roll in all the shenanigans!

What I like is how Critical Mass is made up of all kinds, and how it changes a little every time. Of course you always get those dudes who dress like bike messengers because their whole identity is wrapped up in fixed-gear bikes. And you're sure to see a few smelly VCU Fan rats who show up way too sober to be riding an old pink banana seat bike. But these events also attract plenty of real people like me, who hold down steady jobs, pay mortgages, and raise kids (when I'm not raising Hell!).

The whole thing is really just your typical sort of protest, in that everyone participates as a statement for their own specific agenda. This spirit makes it all the more exciting because anything can happen! You never know if the guy next to you is going to wave a homemade flag, sing a song, or throw a Snapple bottle full of piss through the back window of a parked SUV! And due to the disorganization and lack of specific route for the rides, we tend to avoid any advanced scrutiny by authorities!

So about once per month I drive out to join the Critical Mass, and do my part to aggravate automobile drivers. A few of these drivers think it's cute at first, but sooner or later they get angry because they actually have someplace to go. Some honk, or yell. Some swerve back and forth a little to intimidate us. If they specifically tell us to get out of the road we scream, "We're traffic too!", or, "Eat shit!".

We know we've succeeded when the drivers start getting aggressive. That's when a couple of us drag them out of their cars and beat them with a bike lock right in front of their kids. A few people in the group pretend that they don't want us to beat those people up, which just shows you how silly these kids can be! Occasionally I'll find myself cramping up and gasping for breath because I'm punching and laughing so hard!

10 comments:

Courtney said...

Your bike sounds so cool. I usually only want to ride my bike when I'm really high, so that extra wheel seems like it'd come in handy for keeping my munchies close by and for keeping me stable when I get the giggles. What kind is it?

theBeatnik said...

haha, glad to hear that you're enjoying the critical massing. Though I would suggest that, instead of beating the drivers with what I'm assuming is a u-lock, just bring a cable lock with you...it's great for strangling and a lot less messy than pummeling someone.

Anonymous said...

Dumbest thing I've ever heard of! you're protesting and no one knows why? I thought the point of a protest was to RAISE awareness for an issue, any issue. If you're going to be "Representin' with Critical Mass" you should probably represent something right? And no, teen angst doesn't count. Also...protests usually happen in general proximity to the group that's causing the problem. i'm gonna throw a few sticks in my car so that if I run into one of your "protests" I can stick one in your spokes :)

Anonymous said...

Damn, you are what they refer to as a 'double bagger'.

Anonymous said...

too subtle, methinks.

Meade Skelton said...

I think honking or yelling under ANY circumstance is very Un-Richmond!

Sinner said...

Wow. Way to get everyone pissed off at you (bicyclists)instead of promoting understanding and sharing of the roads.

I laugh every time a bicyclist gets flattened when they decide the rules of the road don't apply to them and they blast through a red light.

Cars are suppose to obey the laws and leave you alone, but you get to break the laws when you see fit? Got it....

Oh, and why is it that bicycles have rights to the road but don't need to be registered or insured? Oh, and image the ticket I'd get if I did 15mph in a 45mph posted area in my car. Yet bikes are aloud to do that?

Bicyclists: hypocritical douche bags.

Jeff said...

Way to give Richmond a bad rep. for being a 'mother' and 'wife' you sure don't know how to act like an idiot in a critical mass. The point is to peacfully and lawfully make bicycling more aware to the public, not aggravate drivers and stupid shit like that. Please, don't ever participate in one of these events again, for if I ever decide to go. I will spout a few more nasty things to you without this screen to block everything.

Kaitlyn said...

I think wanting to piss people off is the true meaning of a protest. Adding on save the troops or protect the rainforest is just for show.

Anonymous said...

You do realize that sooner or later you will piss the wrong person off and end up as road pizza!! Heads-up, I will be in Richmond in a couple of weeks. :) I hope to 'not see you' there. (This applies to parking lots as well, dumb-ass.)

However, since I cannot imagine a fat-ass like you riding a bicycle, you are probably just starting shit.. Which in that case I will look for you!! Good luck!!