Saturday, May 26, 2007

critical mass photo essay

thankyou to everybody who responded to my little poll. i have listened carefully to all of your input and considered it thoroughly from all angles. i have finally decided to present a photo essay on the critical mass ride i went on yesterday, with my housemate j, and friend h.

critical mass is a political cycling organisation which aims to promote non-car forms of transport. once a month all the funky cyclists of vancouver meet at the art gallery and take over the city streets for a couple of hours. there are groups all over the world. there's a group Near You!

the slogan is: "We're not blocking traffic. . . we ARE traffic!" we modified it for this ride, cos it was pirate themed. we shouted "we aarrrrrrrrrr traffic!"

there was no set route. whoever was at the front chose where to go, and when we got to intersections as many people as were needed blocked the traffic. cos this is canada all the drivers were very polite and friendly, and at every intersection there was a cyclist leaning in a car window answering questions about what was going on. i had fun waving like the queen.

it was amazingly liberating to ride without being scared of being doored, side swiped or just plain run over. i had such a great time.

this is before we set off:

we zoomed around the city a bit then headed up through stanley park to lion's gate bridge.

being on the bridge was amazing. we got all four lanes and could check out the spectacular and amazing view of the city, the sea and the mountains. the last time i was on a bridge (ironworkers' memorial bridge, which is worrying in itself) i was too scared by the trucks and wotnot to really enjoy it. this bridge was amazing. check out the view:

there were some great outfits. people with moustaches:


tie dye:

and pirates (that's a scar on my cheek):

then we hit the granville st bridge, also pretty amazing.

look how many people there are. j estimated a thousand, but i don't know. we took up about eight city blocks. there were a few good stacks, partly cos of the freedom and a tendency to show off (guilty), but mostly cos we were all packed in so tight. a unicyclist dropped his hat and executed a swift 180 to get it (the unicyclists were amazing - they bounce!), so the guy behind him slammed on his brakes and stacked, then my friend h landed on top of both of them. they were all okay. we were going pretty slow.

it was a very friendly crowd, everybody chatting and complimenting bikes and outfits. there were all sorts of people - sporty types, hippies, kids, dogs (not really ppl), skaters, skateboarders, loonies, activists and pirates!

views from granville st bridge:

we took over main st (ace!) and landed up on jericho beach, where the people who had been lugging drums, hula hoops and poi came into their own. then j and i had beer at the anza club (very entertaining. it's supposed to be the australia and new zealand social club, but i was the only aussie there. they do serve VB.) then meet VTA for south indian food and more beer. then we rode home kinda slow. . .

cycling is the way of the future! it is cheap, efficient, green, fun and safe. cars are the problem!

if you want to see more photos check out the flicka account.


Anonymous said...

wow - what a great response to your reader poll

looks like fun, especially on the bridge - Michael Ondaatje's "in the skin of a lion" was written about the building of the Bloor Viaduct bridge in Toronto - think it was an iron bridge too.

nothing new here


aunty kant said...

yes, i thought so. never say i don't deliver.

the bridges were very good fun. people were climbing up the cables on the side, which looked very cool but also v. dangerous.


tine said...

awww, canadian bike-riding hippies...

pretty fierce-lookin' hair, btw.

aunty kant said...

hair looks particularly good silhoutted against the mountains, i think.