We’ve been jammed!

In celebration of spring (aka biking weather) and in complete, utterly aghast ire at how dangerous and oblivious drivers in downtown Toronto are, I decided to join the masses for Critical Mass. It happens on the last Friday of every month, a spontaneous, unorganized gathering of cyclists who ride around the city in huge packs between 100-200 people. Effectively, they cut off an entire direction of traffic and make their presence known on roads where they otherwise are subjected to a lot of danger from motorists.

What possessed me to do such a hippie thing? On an ordinary day, cycling from my house at College/Bathurst to school at Yonge/Dundas could include 3 or 4 near-dooring incidents, being cut off (or almost crushed) by trucks, and drivers who ignore bike lanes and side-swipe me. Thankfully, I’ve never been in a crash yet, but it’s bound to happen soon; in the wake of two fatal bike-car accidents this month, participation seems more relevant than ever. So I hooked up with my two bikester/foodster/gumster friends Jason and Matt to, you know, just go around, and take back the streets of downtown Toronto in blissful ecologically-friendly traffic jamming with 120+ other cyclists.

A plethora of photos follow…




Partners in crime.


The meeting place at Bloor and Spadina (click for a full size view)


Something… in my teeth.


Bikesters.


On Yonge.


Turning onto College at Yonge.


This guy was really stoked on being a bikester.


Crossing the DVP on Danforth Ave.


Bike vs. car


“I wonder what’s in the hatch?”


Going into the Eaton Centre

The route we followed (the pack kept going on after us, but we broke off to go get Mexican food. The foodster element of the night starts there):

It was appalling how pissed drivers got when cyclists got in their way. While turning off Shuter onto Yonge, a Mercedes SUV tried frantically to pass us. The woman in the passenger seat rolled down her window and made a screwface and screamed when she was informed we all intended to pass her. Her husband in the driver’s seat gave us the finger. How you like dem apples?

Share
This entry was posted in Cycling, Protests. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

6 Comments

  1. Pete
    Posted May 2, 2006 at 4:09 am | Permalink

    im all about bike riding around the forrests near my house right now, i was way out in the middle on no where last weekend and i managed to snap my chain and had to walk all the way home.

    toughhhhhhhhhhhhh.

    i’m getting a 30d.

    winner.

  2. joncrowley
    Posted May 2, 2006 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    hey. me again. just to be a dick, i figured i’d point out that making a direction of traffic into a bunch of stop and go actually damages the environment more than just letting them drive. (as in, more gas wasted/burnt) still, i can see the point.

  3. Ryan Christopher
    Posted May 2, 2006 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Alright, you’ve converted me. Remember the good old days when we used to use blogger?

    Critical Mass has also had successful gatherings in Winnipeg along Portage Avenue (otherwise known as Highway 1). Unfortunately for those participating in Winnipeg, the rides generated as much contempt from the less rational–and those sharing the road–as it has chain grease.

    Unfortunately society has emerged into a very-much tiered existence of personal transportation–as well as property–and public roads. I think that has a lot to do with the disrespect, or just plain lack of sensical courtesy, that drivers show to cyclists allover. In the day and age of property it’s definitely not a taboo to say “my BMW owns this road, and not your fucking fagcycle;” I can so picture it coming from the mouth of some Bay St. goombah, who of course emcompasses the ever-so-present Old Boys mentality of a few Torontonians.

    I’m glad with the nascent laws and public planning in support of cyclists. I think that there should be a proliferation of bicycle routes through this city, and all of Canada. I don’t know about you, but I’ve grown up seeing the change in air quality, and it’s fucking disgusting. I’m actually affraid of the type of urban ‘progressive’ polluted environment my children will be growing up in. It’s rad that excursions like critical mass exist; hopefully it converts many of those zombified GTA drivers to at least a frame of mind which respects alternatives, awareness, and common courtesy for cyclists.

  4. Posted May 3, 2006 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    my bike has been slowly dying for the past years and it sucks. i cant go to fast or else the front wheel is probably going to explode haha

    nice pictures as usual

  5. Matt Rennick
    Posted May 24, 2006 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Amazing pictures – I look stupid in them but that’s pretty much a given so I can’t hold that against you.

    The looks on people’s faces as the first few people rode into the Eaton Center were priceless! When you get back, we should hit that up again – better yet, if there is an NYC mass you should rock that shit!

    On a somewhat related Bikester note: I’ve been watching a lot of NYC Bike Courier race videos and my riding has gotten 23-24% more aggro…

    http://www.digave.com/videos/red-web.mpg

  6. Posted June 3, 2006 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    Holy shit I want my bike here so bad after watching that video…

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

  • May 2006
    S M T W T F S
    « Apr   Jun »
     123456
    78910111213
    14151617181920
    21222324252627
    28293031  
  • @canice

    Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.