Friday, 31 July 2009

Critical Mass

Wow, this city gets more interesting by the minute!

I finally had a chance to end my week in style - the company of good friends, a beautiful evening avec sunshine (thanks, Mother Nature... no hard feelings, right?), a spacious patio, and margaritas in glasses that resembled fishbowls.

I was in heaven.

After a couple of hours and a few ounces, Kabs and I decided to head on down to Dundas Square to check out the Caribana eve happenings. We could tell that activities were abuzz, as people leisurely strolled around Toronto's downtown core... many with confused looks on their faces. They clearly weren't from this part of town.

As we crossed Bay Street, we came across a swarm of cyclists, headed south during rush-hour traffic. It seemed like a large group at first, but as they stopped and collected at a red light, we noticed the masses, capped off with a row of police officers on their bikes.

Curiosity getting the best of me, I asked one cyclist what was going on.

"Oh, it's Critical Mass!" she said, nonchalantly.

This one was going to be tricky.

"Not sure what that is," I replied. "Is it a biking group?"

"Nope. We gather at Spadina and Bloor on the last Friday of every month and cycle around the city," she said. "It's for anyone."

"Oh that sounds like fun!" I replied.

The lady gave me a half smile that I didn't think too much of at the time, and rode off as the light changed.

When I got home, I Googled.

And what do you know? Critical Mass is actually a form of protest, showcasing how unfriendly the city is when it comes to cyclists.

It does take place on the last Friday of every month, as she mentioned... but it happens in about 300 cities across the world.

It baffled me. I've lived in this city for half my life and have NEVER encountered Critical Mass before.

It excited me on one hand... but on another, it broke my heart.

Do I really not know Toronto as well as I'd like to?


Photo courtesy of TorontoCranks

1 comment:

  1. This post was most helpful. Now I know why there were tons of cyclists biking up Spring Garden Rd. last night! It was Critical Mass in Halifax!


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