Life, San Francisco

Astor’s First Critical Mass

Critical Mass is a gigantic group bicycle ride that happens once a month, in 300+ cities worldwide. I’d seen the Mass in New Haven, but it’s nothing compared to San Francisco. It figures-this is where it was founded in 1992- going on 20 years.

Last month my coworker invited me to ride along, and I had a great time. At first I was nervous about it, as a friend of a friend was injured riding in CM years ago. Also, as a bystander, just watching the Mass go by is nerve wracking! And Critical Mass riders have a bit of a  reputation for being “Massholes.” All of these fears vanished once the ride began (er except for the Masshole part… keep reading…)

I decided that I had so much fun last time that I should go back again this month, this time with Ryan. By mid day of the ride my friend Tristan decided to join, and by 5pm, Astor was coming!

Everybody met up by the Ferry building and lounged around to techno music while the the Nestle Quik Rabbit did a little dance. Tourists were excited.

Time passed, more people showed up. Oh, I should mention that there were a number of naked riders (“Critical Ass”). I’ve tried not to include any photos of them, so photos are limited… hehehe

Soon it was time to go. Astor got set up in her milk crate and net…

And we were off! We went all over the place- downtown, SOMA, the Mission (the above picture is near my house), Chinatown, Civic Center… It was a hot mess. There were bikes that blew bubbles, bikes that played music, and bikes with dogs in them. Police on motorcycles escorted us. We biked through tunnels screaming and laughing. Some people drank. I kept getting dangerously close to naked riders. It was surreal. Through it all, Astor just chilled out. Amazing.

Around 30 minutes into the ride the Critical Mass people decided to be assholes and block traffic at Mission and Van Ness. Yikes.

Then we took off again.

Around Civic Center the Mass took another break. Astor was getting ansty, so we decided to stop off and do dinner instead.

Fun times, and I’m so proud of Astor for being an instant bicycle dog!