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7/16/2004
Chicago's first 3000 Rider Critical Mass
There are lots of ways to change the world, through activism of all kinds, philanthropy, organizing, voting, etc, but one of my favorite ways is to simply act as if the world we want to live in already exists. Critical Mass is that for me. Hope to see you there next Friday and the last Friday of every month.

From: John Greenfield
To: CHI-CRIT-MASS@UIC.EDU

Chicago's first 3000 Rider Critical Mass
For more information contact Hui Hwa ("He Wa") Nam 773-425-2454
hhkiwi@yahoo.com http://www.chicagocriticalmass.com

What: a free, fun, friendly party-parade with more than 3000 people on bicycles
When: Friday, July 30, 5:30 PM
Where: under the Picasso sculpture in Daley Plaza, Washington and Dearborn
Who: anyone who likes to ride a bicycle - all ages and abilities
Why: because "Bikes Are Fun!"

What would it be like if one in every 1000 Chicagoans showed up for a bike ride, without entry fees or corporate sponsorship, but just for the love of cycling in the city? The 3000 Rider Critical Mass is our chance to find out.

Critical Mass is a bicycle ride that takes place every month in more than 300 cities worldwide. It's also a movement to promote bicycles as a viable form of transportation.

Here in the Windy City, cyclists gather at Daley Plaza at 5:30 PM on the last Friday of every month. Around 6 PM the crowd usually votes on a route map. After a few laps around the Picasso sculpture we hit the road for a leisurely parade through the city streets. The ride generally lasts about two hours or 10-15 miles.

Chicago’s Mass has a crazy, joyous, high-energy atmosphere, but it's also peaceful and inclusive. As we roll along we wish pedestrians and motorists a "Happy Friday" and hand out flyers inviting them to join us on next month's ride.

In the past year the ride has drawn between 75 riders (for January’s sub-zero ride to the Baby Doll Polka Club by Midway Airport) to more than 1000 (during last year’s 1000 Rider Critical Mass ride to the 31st Street
Beach.)

This month bikers from Critical Mass hope to shatter all attendance records with the 3000 Rider Mass. We are promoting the event hard to a new audience with posters in bicycle shops and coffee houses, flyers on every bike in the Loop, press releases and a 1/4-page ad in the Chicago Reader, paid for by donations from riders.

The route is never predetermined, but one proposal calls for a tour of the North Side’s public housing projects and sidewalk café districts, the two areas where the Mass usually gets the best response from spectators. This map would end with a public party at Montrose Beach.

We’ve never had a Mass this huge before, so nobody knows what to expect. Although the purpose of the event is not necessarily to disrupt car traffic, it’s possible that motorists may experience some delays. All Chicagoans are encouraged to avoid driving that night. Walk, take public transportation or, better yet, join us for the bike ride!

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Comments {migrated later}:
This is very cool, Ted - thanks for letting us know about it. I wish I could be there to see 3000 riding through the city. I'll let my friends know, who live there, in case they want to join them.

Hope all is well your way!
I've met up with Critical Mass rides before, but never took the time to do the ride. I'm going to plan on doing this one, see you there.

Congrat's on your new folding bike too.