Nov

1

Halloween Mass

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bike1As per usual, a hundred or so bikes gathered last night in Union Square for Critical Mass, the solidaristic bike ride that takes over streets in cities all over the country once a month. This time, though, at least half of the riders seemed only vaguely…human.

A plunger, a Joker, a husky dog, and all manner of otherwise outlandishly dressed cyclists made for a freakish parade as they flooded uptown on Park Avenue and then back on Broadway, through Times Square, into the East Village, and over the Williamsburg bridge to Brooklyn. Passersby stood dumbfounded on the sidewalks, not sure what to make of the whooping and cheering peloton.

The idea of Critical Mass is to have enough riders that you can shut down the streets, ignoring stoplights and stopping traffic for as long as it takes for the slow-moving herd to roll through. It didn’t always work that way, as we had to filter in between cars on the narrower streets. And this time, the political content of the event was blunted somewhat by its absurdity of watching costumed hipsters trying to manage their fixie hipster bikes. Chants of “Whose streets? Our streets!” got muddied with cries of “Ice cream!”, and the night dissolved in a phantasm.

More pictures after the jump. – LBD

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6 Comments

  1. ...  

    my friend is a bike messenger.

    i asked him if he wanted to do a critical mass with me.

    he said no, critical mass only serves to worsen relations between motorists and cyclists, and that there are plenty of well organized rides where people treat the roads with respect.

    i said.. oh.

    and that was the end of critical mass for me!

  2. nothing  

    More annoying in NYC than annoying bikers who think they are above basic road laws and courtesies.

  3. Yes,

    completely agree. only pseudo-activists participate.

  4. okay, but  

    fuck critical mass.

  5. critical mass

    is the bomb! all haters need to take the stick out of their rectum.

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