Last night, 50 or so cyclists took to the streets of Baltimore for a relatively peaceful ride. I have avoided Critical Mass in the past as it took on a confrontation tone with motorists. Those who generally organize the event went so far as to release flyers to help improve the ride’s image stressing “keeping it tight” and “ride like grandma.” OK, so I’ll give it another shot.
The normal starting place of the Washington Monument was unavailable due to the Book Festival. So we meet a couple blocks north at Charles and Read where the street was still closed for the event. Even before the ride started, hecklers from both sides of the deraileur started up. Riding up Charles St. was fairly peaceful and cars were allowed to pass the group. The highlight of my evening occured when a young, male driver in a BMW “had” to run a red light without yielding the right of way to the bike that was in front of him. I was riding that bike!
From there, we went up Falls Rd to the switchbacks and up around Druid Lake. The ride went by the Keswick, Sission, Wyman Park intersection where it appears I need to go measure the bike box. (It doesn’t appear to be as big as it should be. If anyone can get out there before Monday and do a quick measure between the bike stop bar and the vehicular stop bar, I would appreciate it.) We continued around Hopkins over 33rd to St. Paul where the group ditched my wife and I at 32nd St. So much for the “mass” part.
I think its going to be awhile before I participate in another Critical Mass ride, although I do have another ride in the works: B’more Spooky Halloween Ride, Saturday October 30th! Same rules as the Moonlight Madness Ride