|Riders gather at Aurora West High School.|
The ride’s organizer, Melissa Stoneking, planned the ride for mostly two-lane roadways so the group wouldn’t block traffic. She’s an energetic and enthusiastic rider who waved at passing motorists and invited bicycle riders to join in.
The small, friendly group was a mix of ages and sexes. The ride proceeded at a stately 8-mph pace on the bright, cool afternoon. A young boy on the back of a tandem blew bubbles as we trundled along. It was difficult for me to ride so slowly at first; I’m used to going at least twice that fast on pavement. But it’s not a race, it’s more of a parade.
|Self-portrait with Critical Mass.|
Even if the event wasn’t “massive,” it was very enjoyable, and I plan to be a regular. I also learned from a co-rider that the Chicago versions don’t generally depart from Daley Plaza until after 6 p.m., giving me a chance to get there and join in the big one.
|A pretty fall day and good company.|