Sunday, August 14, 2005

July Critical Mass

I did Critical Mass Sacramento for the second month in a row, and this time things went much better, and it was a really enjoyable ride, in contrast to last month , when there were some issues.

This month, the police came with a much better attitude. It probably helped that the next level of command in the police force showed up to observe. The same shift supervisor was there, except this time, he was really polite, and didn't talk down to us at all; a total 180 from last month when he had with a complete hard ass attitutde. To further improve matters, the riders had a better attitude. We talked about what we wanted to do, and decided to stay on the large one way streets, where the police said they wouldn't have any issues with us taking up an entire lane and going as slow as we wanted.

Some the retro, hippie, "The world is against me, and although I claim to want to make a change, in actuality, I gain self worth from simply causing protest for any cause, regardless of the reality, and purposely refuse to practice self hygiene because it further reinforces my outcastness from society, and gives me reason to think people hate me" people were there, but after the mass decided to NOT push the police, they left. Way to support the cause doorknobs. We ended up having about 15 riders do the ride.

So, the ride started, and it was really fun and relaxed. The police again gave a motorcade escort, but with not as many motor cycles or squad cars. "Beer in the Park", oh sorry, I mean "Concert in the Park," was taking place, and we decided to circle around it to have people see us. Concert in the park in Sacramento, takes place in downtown, where they fence off a park, put in a beer stand, and have play, from what I've heard, are decent local bands. It's supposed to be fun time. Parking is defintely an issue though. As we circled the park, we came to a spot where a large white SUV had simply double parked next to the park, and put it's hazards on. The irony was not lost on anyone. Here we were, supporting responsible use of the roads, yet, being under constant police watch, yet here someone with an uneccessarily large SUV was, totally blantantly, and illegaly blocking traffic, which caused the mass to have to move over to a second lane to pass, now leaving only one lane for traffic. The head motorcycle cop stopped his bike, put on his bubbles, and picked up his PA to address the park. "The white Expedition needs to move right now!" A short pause. "You're blocking the bicyclists." This brought cheering from the mass.

Like last week, we ended by going over the west bridge, hence entering West Sacramento, out of the police's district. They apparently got permission to follow us this time, and two of the motor cycle cops came along. At the end of the bridge, we took a break, got water, and chatted with the officers for a while. They were having a great time. It was nice weather, and they were getting paid just to ride around. We then continued down the park trail to jump on the I street bridge, to take us back across the river. Most of the mass peeled off to enjoy the rest of "Beer in the Park," while I headed home, to make it to the rock gym for Friday climbing.


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