Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The first Critical Mass in Minneapolis

By The Chuff

I rode in the first Critical Mass in Minneapolis. Nobody is talking about Critical Mass right now, but when they were, the so called experts said they knew how it started, but they didn't have a clue. I first heard about Critical Mass in some cycling rag. The details are fuzzy. What I think the article that I read said, was that Critical mass started in Rio De Janero. Something about Masses of Cyclistas in Rio taking over the roads on the bay front every Friday afternoon. The enlightened Rio authorities gave in to the will of the Cyclistas and blocked off the bayfront roads to all but bikes. BOOYA!!!! Then the Mass moved to San Francisco. Hundreds, maybe thousands of riders participated. I don't know if it was before or after the first Mass in Minneapolis, but in Frisco they tried to ride the freeway. CHAOS, COPS, CRAPSTORM. Later we tried the freeway Critical Mass here, same results as Frisco. Back to the the original subject. Some time in the early 90's in January I was working in a millwork shop listening to Radio K, and someone announced "Critical Mass 5:30 Hennepin County government center" over the radio. BOOYA!!! The first Critical Mass in our town. You didn't have to tell be twice. Nine of us showed up for the first Minneapolis Mass. Hurl "freak in charge at carsrcoffins" was there, and some punk gurl named Justine who I haven't seen in years. The revolutionary 9 original Critcal Mass riders rode about 15 MPH in the slush, three to a lane. We rode a loop up 7th, and down 6th. We screamed at the striking Union Peoples outside the Ritz-Carlson. They screamed back at us. Lazy wet snow fell. It was a great buzz. The cars were annoyed, but not violently so. The 1st Mass in Snowtown rode a good clip and a few people just honked. That's what I know, and what's fuzzy. I guess my lack of certainty doesn't make me a quotable expert I can live with that. Go ask Hurl his story.


Sveden said...

Nice to hear about the first one in Minneapolis.

Critical Mass started in San Francisco. not Brazil.

Crossmax said...

I miss those early Masses. I was a regular for the first couple years, but tuned out when others would usurp The mass to put forward their own political agenda.
In many cases I was in agreement of what those people were protesting, but I was there to promote safe, bicycle transportation, and reminding drivers to share the road.