Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Critical Mass-a-thon

As noted previously, there has been a lot of local cyclist-related hoopla (HOOPLA!) in Mid-Michigan. Alleged Saturn driver and State News hack Zack Colman wrote and published an article in the State News giving free advice to cyclists, such as "bicyclists on the road are a driving hazard to people in automobiles," "you are where you should not be," and "you're not Lance Armstrong." Obviously, many cyclists got upset about this, particularly the comment that they weren't Lance Armstrong.

Typical ways that an angry cyclist will react to a negative situation include but are not limited to: flipping "the bird," calling for, but never actually committing, U-lock justice, angry comments on local websites, bitching at the LBS with the "crew," and of course the dreaded Critical Mass. I believe all of these things happened, but I know for a fact that Friday April 10 at 6pm, MSU was the staging area for a Zack-Colman-related Critical Mass.

As with many protests nowadays, it started as a tweet, which got retweeted and facebooked until a critical mass of critical massholes was reached, and a consensus of time and date arrived at. I arrived a bit early at Beaumont tower, expecting to see maybe 20-40 Massholes once the clock struck 6, but people, and bikes, kept showing up. upon the decided hour, we rolled out behind a bike-towed trailer to the tune of two bagpipes. Somehow the local bagpipe community had been informed of the event, though I'm not sure of the connection. Seizing the opportunity, MSUBikes' own Tim Potter gave a rousing "they will never take... Our FREEDOM" speech in the mode of William Wallace. That last detail may or may not be remembered by all, due to the high endorphins running through the blood of the collected Massholes.

Once rolling along, the mass of cyclists made their way on the roads of campus (gasp!), ending up at the Sparty statue for a photo-op, just in time to interrupt a proposal. Sorry guy, hope she said yes and you live happily ever after. After a couple hours of riding and only one cycling-related injury reported, the group headed to the MSU Police HQ to debrief and chat.

Turns out the turnout could have been far bigger, but for students' propensity to leave campus for the Easter holiday. Perhaps that was Zack Colman's dastardly idea to muck things up. To correct this mistake and give the MSU campus a second chance to fall prey to a huge herd of cyclists, another Critical Mass has been scheduled for this Friday at 6pm, at the Beaumont tower. Bring your friends, helmets, and be safe. We don't want anyone to get hurt if at all possible. Confine yourselves to one lane of traffic and observe all traffic rules. And if you ride a French bike, don't forget your tools.

Thanks to Tim Potter and Marci Baranski for use of photos 1 and 3, respectively.

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