Critical Mass - Yarrrrrr

Monday, October 1, 2007

  • Cyclists make their way down Wyndham Street in downtown Guelph.

    Cyclists make their way down Wyndham Street in downtown Guelph.

Written by andrea bennett

On Friday, September 28th, 2007, a group of about 50 cyclists gathered at City Hall near the statue of John Galt. Galt, who founded Guelph in 1827, envisioned a city that radiated out from a central downtown core. The Critical Mass movement promotes a vision for 20th century Guelph - the organization of our city around bike traffic instead of motorized traffic.

Critical Mass takes place on the last Friday of every month. This Critical Mass was pirate-themed, with participants wearing hats, bloomers, mermaid costumes, and bandannas.

One of participants, Brendan Arnott, said that Critical Mass creates a sense of community that cars necessarily don't have. "It's a chance to get involved in more sustainable methods of transportation," he said. "It's also super fun. It can exist on the level of political belief, and it can also just be a lot of people getting together to ride bikes."

"Yarrrrr," added cyclist Matt Lowell-Pelletier.

Most pedestrians and car traffic waved or honked in support of the cyclists, but they were also sometimes met with impatience or derision.

Josephina Orton, who uses her bike as her primary method of transportation, no matter the weather, said that Critical Mass is all about reclaiming public roads. "When I'm riding by myself, I'm sometimes intimidated by people in cars who yell at me," she said. She added that Critical Mass "is a safe venue to gain confidence on a bike," as cyclists group together to take up an entire portion of the road.

A photo gallery from Friday's Critical Mass is available here. Also, check out the website for the Guelph chapter of Critical Mass.

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  1. Posted by: Janine on Oct 3, 2007 @ 3:50pm

    Talk about impatience! I was nearly run over by a Red Top cab that was far too impatient to wait for me to make my left hand turn on my bicycle. In turn, the "charming" cab driver was blessed with a loogie on his windshield.

  2. Posted by: Brendan Arnott on Oct 4, 2007 @ 4:12pm

    Yaaaay. Critical mass rocks socks. Uh, can you possibly try to re-upload the photos though? I've checked on them over the past few days and nothing has gone up.

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