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Ride Report
The Boston Tourist Ride
April 2000

  The second Boston Critical Mass of the Spring, spontaneously convened on April 28, was a wonderful success. Massers of all stripes began circling up at about 5:25 on a gloriously tempered, dare we say balmy, hiatus in the raining dreariness that had plagued the Hub's recreational cyclists, messengers, and commuters alike for some two weeks prior.
Verily, the gods were smiling upon us as we marveled at shining sun peeking through retreating clouds and pouring warmth onto the crowd at Copley.   The coalition of "Not Bombers" (Food and Bikes) was present in numbers, and hummous and bread were available for all - cyclists, rollerbladers, and skaters alike.

Several flyers were distributed, including a "hotly contested" (in certain circles) comparison of the costs of biking versus driving a car. A number of activists promoted May Day celebrations for the following Monday. People talked, introduced each other, talked more; a good time was had by all.


While two routes were prepared, one was distributed, foregoing a route vote; we began, as we had in March, heading for the commons and past the capital. Somehow this was called "The Boston Tourist Route," although woe to the Boston Tourist who ends up at the Big Dig!


 Riders encountered little resistance from motorists and police (we even saw one cop who couldn't contain his smile of approval and almost waved to us!), while a motley crew of court jesters and spandex/lycra massers corked intersections, spoke with idling motorists, and flyered pedestrians. The rest of us made noise, smiled and waved, and enjoyed the feeling of safety on the streets.



  Passing through Government Center, we descended into the Big Bowels of the Big Dig. After momentary confusion at the construction site, we found the North End. The Mass worked its way around narrow, sinuous 1-way streets and down by the waterfront. Everything was quiet. Somehow, we ended up on the back side of the Commons.
     Finally, cruising through the Theater District and back towards "Mass" Ave, our Criticality well over 80 strong, we marked our course for the local service workers' union office for the mainstream cult classic "We ARE Traffic."

 The film provided a great opportunity for many first-time and some returning CM'ers to focus on why the hell we do this every month. As is often pointed out, there are as many reasons for taking to the streets as there are people out there in Critical Mass. That said, what became clear in the glowing aftermath of the April Mass was that the coalition of strange bedfellows - Revolutionary Punks / Anarchists Skaters, High Tech Recreational Cyclists, Gritty Workaday Commuting Riders, and People Who Like to Ride Bikes - had at least one thing in common. We all love the CM community and the sense of safety that community provides for cyclists in the city.


   The next ride is scheduled, of course, for Friday, May 26. We'll join over 200 cities around the world - extending our community far and wide! Come back, we'll see you then - bring a friend, bring your dog, bring your guitar, bring your child, bring your cause. Whatever you bring, you're sure to find an ear, an open mind, and - most importantly - a space.

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