Shit, I’m totally dropping the ball on this one. Critical Mass happens TODAY, March 29th at 6pm. The meeting spot is the usual West Mall on UT Campus (near 24th and Guadalupe), but as many of ya’ll have noticed the time changed several months ago to 6pm, to allow for more people to actually make the rides.
They’ve been picking up as of late, probably pulling 50-80 people, a far cry from the several hundred of its’ heyday but a damn sight better than the half dozen die-hards that have been keeping the ride alive through thick and thin. Want to see what the new Critical Mass is about? Then get your ass down there in about an hour and a half.
Alright folks, I fucked up. This coming Friday there actually IS an alleycat happening. It’s easter themed, so I think that means you must either dress like a rabbit, a fertility deity, or a sacrificed and resurrected holy figure. You know, like Mithra. Your choice.
Like the flyer says, registration is at 5:30pm THIS Friday (the 29th), so show up at 501 Pedernales (aka. the brand spanking new kid on the bike shop block, Cycleast) with ten bucks in hand, a bike under your ass, all the other assorted racing accouterments (like your own magic marker, you’ll thank me), and do some alleycat racing!
Well folks, looks like the local Black Label Bike Club have been building up their stockpile of freakbikes and want to unleash their latest insanity onto the world in the form of AN EVENT! Not just any event, but a twofer, which includes a Freak-bike friendly RIDE from the Lamar Ped Bridge at 2pm Saturday, March 23rd which will end us all up the FIRST ANNUAL CYCLOMANIA BIKE EVENT (CAPSLOCK WHAT), where there will be lots of stuff like this happening:
Yes, that’s right folks. Some REAL tallbike jousting! Not just dudes on little bikes lining up on a basketball court for their very own opportunity to fall about 3-4 ft and laugh about it, but real deal sky high fall on your ass and break your fucking neck TALLBIKE JOUSTING! But wait, there’s more! Act now to take part in this limited time offer of TALLBIKE FIRE JOUSTING!!! For those of ya’ll without access to the magical Facebooks, here’s the details on the big event:
BIKE EVENT starts around 6ish (before dark), Saturday, March 23rd
Location: Colosseum Swamp
We have tallbike sidecars for mace battles, pennyfakethings to race the obstacle course on. We have tallbike FIRE jousting. We have unridable bikes that you can ride. We have other stupid bicycle games. There will be blood.
We have fire and we have food and we have a bar. that is on a pedicab with bicycle powered blenders to make your drinks.
We have the Chaotic Noise Marching Corps to play the event. https://www.facebook.com/ChaoticNoiseMarchingCorps
We start at 6ish and go until 10 ish then we load up all our gear on the tallbike sidecars and the pedicab and the bike trailers and we mass ride to see what HONK has got going on that night http://www.honktx.org/
I am not the best at the disgracebook so invite your friends that i don’t know or forgot to add or whatever etc etc. paper fliers to come soon.
This event is taking place in the newly discovered Colosseum Swamp which is in the storm drain under the bridge on Jain Lane between Stuart Circle and Perry Road. Enter through the road on the South East Side and it’s 5800 Jain Lane if you have to map it.
There you have it folks, straight from the Simon’s mouth. BE THERE TOMORROW, either on the Bridge at 2pm, or at Colosseum Swamp (~5800 Jain Lane) around 6.
UPDATE: I FUCKED UP. Sorry ya’ll. I guess the event that got cancelled was some members-only shit for the (512)fixed group, whereas the actual event is still going on. I didn’t realize this because I’ve been living in a hole in the ground since last Friday. So fuck it. GAME ON!!! Update with updated flyer above this update.
Well folks, it looks like it was too good to be true. For whatever reason I woke up this morning to see that the Easter Egg HUSTLE event was CANCELLED on Facebooks. Shit. Well, there you go. Yet another Alleycat that’s NOT happening in Austin. Looks like if you want to race you gotta either go to Houston, or suit up in spandex, don that brain bucket and rub elbows with the fast dudes out at the Driveway. Cat up, bros. Cat up.
Hey folks, look what’s coming up in a week and a half. That’s right, an ACTUALLY ACTUAL ALLEYCAT! After the last few abortive attempts at organizing an unorganized race I kinda didn’t think we did them things no mo’…
Hell yeah ya’ll, way to organize and make something happen. Like the flyer says, you can run gears and brakes but it’ll cost you precious seconds at the beginning of the race. I’m not sure if the 5 and 10 “jumpin’” jacks are cumulative, as in if you have a bike with 33 gears and 0 breaks you only have to do 10, yet if you’re riding that old Schwinn Voyager you gotta crank out 15, but all you gotta do is show up and be prepared to brake ted shred style and see what happens. As always, a rousing round of Texas Footdown will follow for everybody who survived the race, and I’m assuming everyone else who wants to jump in on the action. I’ll admit, I’m kinda pumped to see this go down. It seems like it’s been FOREVER since we’ve had an Alleycat ’round these parts.
Though it never really went anywhere, after the cops made it a point to lay down the law back in late 2011 and bust the shit out of Critical Mass on a repeated basis, the ride we’ve known and love that’s happened every last Friday of the month at 5pm(esque) for over a decade now has DEFINITELY slowed down in attendance. If the photographic evidence of our local Ride History archivist is any indication, the lean year has seen rides with only a handful of people riding a couple miles and calling it good. UNTIL NOW.
Well, “now” as in several months ago when a new crew has stepped in, changed the meeting time to 6pm (yes, SIX, not five) and started hyping the ride on facebooks and the internets. From the sound of things a massive flyer campaign is about to hit the central city, so keep an eye out for those as well.
The new start time and press is beginning to bear fruit, as last night’s Critical Mass ride saw a pretty decent turnout, including a solid mix of new riders and old guard, one of whom was riding Austin Critical Mass back in the 90′s when it started locally (Austin started in 1993, following its’ origination in San Francisco in 1992). The ride held together for a good stretch, making a couple semi-planned to unplanned stops at gas stations, parks, convenience stores and a closed BBQ joint. Everything wrapped up at a dance party/punk show, which also involved a rousing game of pink turkey. Shit got hectic in the best possible way.
I guess what I’m saying is if you’ve written Critical Mass off because of the police crackdown, the rabbits running the ride too fast, a confrontational attitude to traffic, or just because you’ve grown accustomed to people shouting at you when to start and stop, fuck it, give it another shot. Show up on the last Friday of the month at 6pm on the UT West Mall, hang out for half an hour with a solid group of riders, and see what’s been happening with Critical Mass, the oldest regular mass ride in town. No bosses, no plans, just riding.
My man DougMC, chronicler and archivist of all things Austin bike-related, just did something rather fuckawesome with his gargantuan collection of Austin bike photos; he built an interface for searching the photos by location:
That. Is. Awesome. You been riding bikes in the ATX for a while? New to the whole two-wheels-one-pavement thing? Then check it out and see what us wacky bike folk have been up to these past several years. Though there are several group rides that happen north of the great divide (183), this catalog of good times mainly documents things that have happened in the central city and on the east side.
Want more pics of the until-now untouched swathes of Austin? Plan for your ride to go there! Chances are Doug’ll be on the case and snapping photos. Make it happen.