The ride started off pretty mellow tonight with about 100 riders, maybe even less. Everyone seemed a little bit low key and not as wild, except of course for the naked girl. The cops even seemed in very low numbers tonight. Once the ride started it even took the cops quite a few blocks before they even showed up. Maybe the season change put everyone in different mood but I just wasn't expecting much from this ride. After we got started we did the usual snaking around town and then over the Hawthorne Bridge. We continued up Hawthorne with no highlights except for the usual traffic citations. The ride at this point seemed at least nice and pleasant with a lot of people from the street showing their support. We then shot over to Powell and finally started causing a lot of traffic congestion as we headed back toward the city. As we got farther down Powell the Mass seemed to have broken up or maybe split up, I am not sure. I do know that I was in the front of the Mass and the remaining group of us, noticing that the cops had vanished, had decided we were going to go across the Ross Island Bridge. The excitement grew and we proceeded on our course yelling and screaming not knowing what to expect. We all stayed in a tight cluster because of our numbers but still made sure we took up a full lane. We got to the bridge and because it was dark you could tell that you were greatly out numbered by all the headlights that were all around you. As we started across the bridge, trying not to get hit, the energy of the Mass grew. Screaming and chanting "Who's Bridge?" "OUR BRIDGE!" Someone in the group yelled out "lets take both lanes". No one responded but someone decided to go out in between cars, then I followed with a few others and we again chanted "Who's Bridge?" "OUR BRIDGE!". We chanted loud and it meant something because we had taken the bridge even if it was only one direction. Right before we got off the bridge someone said to look back at all the cars we had backed up. I looked back and I felt as if I had won a battle, it felt like instead of riding my bike and being scared of the cars racing past me that the cars instead had to slow down and notice that they are not the only people on the streets. After the Ross Island Bridge we went across the Hawthorne bridge again and then went our separate ways.
If this sounds overly dramatic its because it was only my second Critical Mass ride but they both have been great. I hope all future rides are as exciting as this one and I hope a lot more people can join us. Remember next ride is the Halloween ride. Critical Mass meets the last Friday of the month downtown at the North Park Blocks. See you there.