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Spring Delight: Critical Mass March 09

Last night was a huge ride here in San Francisco, maybe 2500 or 3000 riders! The weather was ideal, warm and sunny, and daylight savings time made for a long evening. Whoever got out in front did a majestic job of turning and twisting around downtown for a good hour or so, stopping regularly, which made it a slow, chatty, friendly pace for everyone. Eventually we wrapped part way around Union Square, and did a back and forth on Post and Sutter before finally making our way uphill through both tunnels, to Polk, back south past City Hall and up Market Street to an unusual left on Dolores. The ride broke up after a long stall on Dolores and 18th, but we’d been riding a couple of hours by then, and everyone fanned out around the Mission, clogging sidewalks, restaurants, and thousands hung out in Dolores Park until late. It was a great ride, had a lot of nice conversations with old friends and new, fun playing my new coconut-like percussion device I acquired in Brazil (they’re actually Castanha do Para shells) along with my usual bells… Here’s the photo gallery:

We turned west on Pine as the March sunshine streamed towards us, near the beginning.

We turned west on Pine as the March sunshine streamed towards us, near the beginning.

Critical Mass March 2009, Sacramento and Battery.

Critical Mass March 2009, Sacramento and Battery.

On Clay near Montgomery, you can see the riders in the distance on Kearny, far behind this part.

On Clay near Montgomery, you can see the riders in the distance on Kearny, far behind this part.

Nice guitar playing on a trailer!

Nice guitar playing on a trailer!

Coming up Sutter before turning into Stockton Tunnel.

Coming up Sutter before turning into Stockton Tunnel.

The entire Stockton Tunnel is full of cyclists heading north.

The entire Stockton Tunnel is full of cyclists heading north.

Sweet chopper on Sansome!

Sweet chopper on Sansome!

Rolling west out of the Broadway Tunnel

Rolling west out of the Broadway Tunnel

Vibrating downhill southward on broken asphalt on Polk

Vibrating downhill southward on broken asphalt on Polk

A long pause with bike lifts at 18th and Dolores before dispersing, mostly into the adjacent park...

A long pause with bike lifts at 18th and Dolores before dispersing, mostly into the adjacent park...

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One Response to “Spring Delight: Critical Mass March 09”

  1. 1
    John G. Rogers:

    Whoever got out in front did a boring, all too predictable job of turning and twisting around downtown for a good hour or so, stopping regularly, which made it a slow, congested ride.  Riding up and down traffic clogged streets has no appeal for me. The ride improved after a long stall on Dolores and 18th, finally heading through the Mission, and off to the Marina while thousands hung out in Dolores Park.  It was an OK ride, but it’s been a long time since CM broke out of the Downtown/North Beach/SOMA/Mission /Castro circuit.  It’s been a long time since we rode to other city neighborhoods, or to Ocean Beach, Mission Bay, Noe Valley, Twin Peaks, the Presidio, Sausalito (!).  

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