I recently had the opportunity to take part in a very unique fatbike ride in my city . . . a Critical Mass. Be sure to check out the video below.
The Critical Mass movement originated in San Francisco in the early 1990's and has spread globally. Some see the event as a protest while other see it more as a social event to promote cycling and clean air.
The ride normally occurs on the last Friday of every month and beyond a start time and location there is normally no set route or destination. Its just a bunch of cyclists that take to the road to celebrate "pedal power" riding through the streets in one large group eventually returning to where the ride began.
The ride I attended with my Bigfoot started in a centrally located park (Bannerman Park) at 6:00 pm and meandered through the downtown core. There were all sorts of bikes participating: ultra modern carbon road bikes & vintage steel roadies, full-suspension mountain & hard tails, city cruisers, semi-recumbents, muts, e-bikes, a penny farthing . . . and of course fatbikes. And the riders themselves were just as eclectic as the bikes.
With and average speed 9.3 kph the 100 or so bikes were in no real hurry and the downtown rush hour traffic didn't mind. I was expecting a few grimaces and dirty looks from drivers, however all I saw were smiles and people pointing from their cars. A few pedestrians even joined members of the mass with enthusiastic whooping.
After getting a group picture at City Hall we headed back to Bannerman Park where a LBS (Cychotic) had set up a free BBQ in the gazebo for the riders.
The 6.1 km ride took about an hour and was not overly challenging, but it was one of the most interesting rides I have ever been on. Be sure to watch the video to see how unique this event really is.