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Al Mare (To the Sea)! (Rome Critical Mass part three)

Sunday we all gathered at the Pyramid again, hot sun beating down at midday.

By 12:30 or so we started rolling, a straight 25 kilometers south to the beach. It was by far their largest beach ride yet, apx. 1200 riders, and it slowed us down a lot as the front stopped quite often to keep us together. Again it involved stretches on the highway, much to the aggravation of beach goers in cars, halted behind our cheerful throng.


We left the city, passing hypermalls,

pausing at a fruit stand, stopping at mysterious points

but finally reaching the beach where we swam, played Frisbee, music, and laid around talking and drinking. I again had one great conversation after another as people would glide up and say hello, and another new friendship was started”¦ sooo great!

Most of us eventually headed home on the train (2-3 km behind us) but several hundred camped out overnight. On the train we filled the first car with about 25 bikes and riders but apparently the official rule is only 8 per car.

The conductor came out to scold us, at first mildly, then his petty authoritarianism got the best of him and he berated the entire car. A few people had gotten on at the second stop, and the conductor thought” even though we’d bought two tix each, one for our bodies and one for our bikes” that we should stand up for the “regular” people. One woman took offense and explained that if she needed a seat she was sure she could get one and he didn’t need to hassle the cyclists (she was not one). He snapped at her “Shut up! It’s not your business!” and she went absolutely ballistic, completely unwilling to eat shit from a petty tyrant on a local train. He actually told the assembled passengers that this train “wasn’t theirs” to which all responded loudly that “yes it was!” (a public train system after all). But the woman who he’d yelled at put on an incredible performance” just what you imagine a really angry Italian woman who is sure of herself and has been insulted might do” an avalanche of invective and argument, enthusiastically supported by the rest of the (mostly cyclist) passengers. The conductor angrily retreated to his front cabin, slamming the door and never reappearing. It was hilarious theater (thanks to Rosa for translating for me in situ).

I love Rome and Ciemmona! I’ll definitely be back!

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6 Responses to “Al Mare (To the Sea)! (Rome Critical Mass part three)”

  1. 1
    hotrat:

    Hi! I was there and it was great…but…did anyone tell you about the warm welcome that police gave us at the Piramide train station? I was sure to read about it somewhere today…did it really happen?

  2. 2
    Giorgia Cadinu:

    Hi! there are a few words about it on Repubblica (Rome section, pg.III), Giorgia

  3. 3
    cc:

    Can someone who was taken hostage by the police, or anyway, got stuck in the Piramide on the way back from the beach June 2, tell the story briefly? I know Rotafixa was going to ride to the station to find out, but I haven’t heard any specifics…please tell!

  4. 4
    hotrat:

    We spent about 1,5 hours at the station with policemen stopping us without a reason…or they didn’t tell us…
    A friend of mine is a nurse and was trying to go to work showing her documents and was told to put off her shirt because it had “Critical mass” written on…I couldn’t believe…

  5. 5
    rotafixa:

    fw a press release (sorry is in italian only) from some cm’rs:

    “Luned

  6. 6
    Luca:

    The police have fear to a possible demo against the army parade at Colosseo Via dei Fori Imperiali.
    As usual the polizia intelligence service sucks so they stopped and identified peaceful cyclists in their way back to home

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