We’re Not Blocking Traffic! We Are Traffic!

On Friday I took part in my first Critical Mass bike ride in Vancouver. It was an awesome time. There were around 250 cyclists with almost everyone wearing Halloween costumes. The most notable exceptions were myself, Nim, and Kevin. I took my camera with me, but the battery was dead. Nim let me take some pictures with his camera, so I’ll post those when I get them.

We biked all around Vancouver, starting downtown heading over the Granville Bridge to Kits, then back downtown over the Burrard Bridge, up to Stanley Park, through the downtown east side, and down Main to Broadway. All the way we had a nice traffic jam of cars behind us. Tt was ok, though, because we weren’t blocking traffic. We were traffic! Or that’s at least what we liked to chant. That and “Use your ass. Use less gas.”

Some of the motorists were a bit peeved, but for the most part people were cheering us on. The parade like atmosphere and crazy costumes probably help win people over to our cause. That and all the crazy bikes. There were quite a few custom bikes, including motorcycle chopper bicycles and crazy high penny farthing-like bikes.

It was nice being able to bike and not worry about traffic. On Sunday I went biking with Daniel to UBC and had 3 close calls that almost turned me into a biking fatality statistic. The worst was when we were biking down a busy Cornwall street near Kits Beach and a car door opened immediately in front of me. I thought I was dead. My whole body tensed up and I saw myself hit the car door. I could actually taste blood in my mouth and nose. But then a second later I was around the car. I barely remember swerving – it was all reflexes. Daniel was 10 feet behind me and said my jacket hit the car door. Then a lady got out of the car, totally oblivous that she almost doored me.

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