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.
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.