I finally made it to another one! Critical Mass Houston is amazing and I’m working on making it happen every month. Having a two year old can put a damper in these kinds of plans, but once it’s worked out, it’s worth it.
Last night was the first time we went without a “chaperone.” My bestie’s brother, Desmond, is a bicycle extraordinaire and we rode in a little pack with him last time. This time it was just me and the bestie… and a crowd of cyclists en masse.
The first ride I ever did was the Halloween 2012 ride… see here: http://anakalianwhims.wordpress.com/2012/10/28/when-were-not-reading-critical-mass/. There’s links and info about CM. After that ride, I purchased lights for my bike, both out of necessity and a reward system for myself. This time, I only did 15 miles of the ride because we had to go home early, but I think I’ve earned myself a bell.
What do I love about CM? Well, what don’t I love? I love the large group of people who seemingly have nothing in common except their desire to be on wheels. I love when one thing can bring an entire community together like that. It’s beautiful and exciting. This will sound cheesy, but I totally love the wind in my hair and against my face. Even if it’s cold, I think it’s heavenly to have a bit of a breeze that you’re creating yourself through motion. (But it wasn’t cold last night, last night the weather was perfect.) I love my sore legs the next day, reminding me that I did something fun, productive, and good for me. I love my bike. I love other peoples’ bikes. I love the road. I love the city at night.
And despite my efforts last night to find out where we were headed in advance, I usually love the mystery and adventure of it all. After all, I’m a reader, so mystery and adventure and not knowing what comes next absolutely thrills me.
Last night, though, I had an old school mate trying to meet up with us part way in. So before the ride began, I was asking people who I thought looked like they might be in the know… “you know where we might end up tonight?” Of course, I got a wide variety of answers:
“Wherever our legs and wheels carry us.” I know, I know, how very zen of you. But tonight I’m actually trying to find out a real answer. Just tonight. I’ll never ask again, I promise.
“My house!”…. Ok I totally opened myself up for that one, come on man, really? Really. It turned out, the guy was supposedly actually planning an after party. Something I would have gone to in college before I was married and had a baby!
Later, at first break when I was trying to determine where exactly Foodarama and Speedee Mart (the buildings I was standing in between) were located, I started asking around. Sorry, people, it’s not that I’m helpless, it’s just that I don’t have one of those fancy phones with all the map apps. Frankly, I was too lazy to walk out in the middle of the street and hunt down a street sign. So I tried to convince my bestie that sometimes it’s ok to talk to strangers. At which point the guy telling me we were at Ella and West 18th grinned and offered me candy. He dug out a cough drop from the bottom of his pack. Funny. Very funny. Also, kiddo, when you’re old enough to read, if you stumble across this blog post your mama wrote – DON’T talk to strangers. Although I thought Candy Man was kinda adorable for being a smart ass.
If you were at CM last night – or any night for that matter – leave me a story in the comment section. I’d like to compile them sometime.
P.S. Thanks again to everyone who complimented my bike. It makes my night every time. See you next month!