Critical Mass Review

CM rolling up Charles St

Last night, 50 or so cyclists took to the streets of Baltimore for a relatively peaceful ride.  I have avoided Critical Mass in the past as it took on a confrontation tone with motorists.  Those who generally organize the event went so far as to release flyers to help improve the ride’s image stressing “keeping it tight” and “ride like grandma.”   OK, so I’ll give it another shot.

The normal starting place of the Washington Monument was unavailable due to the Book Festival. So we meet a couple blocks north at Charles and Read where the street was still closed for the event.  Even before the ride started, hecklers from both sides of the deraileur started up.  Riding up Charles St. was fairly peaceful and cars were allowed to pass the group.  The highlight of my evening occured when a young, male driver in a BMW “had” to run a red light without yielding the right of way to the bike that was in front of him. I was riding that bike! 

From there, we went up Falls Rd to the switchbacks and up around Druid Lake.  The ride went by the Keswick, Sission, Wyman Park intersection where it appears I need to go measure the bike box.  (It doesn’t appear to be as big as it should be.  If anyone can get out there before Monday and do a quick measure between the bike stop bar and the vehicular stop bar, I would appreciate it.)  We continued around Hopkins over 33rd to St. Paul where the group ditched my wife and I at 32nd St.   So much for the “mass” part. 

I think its going to be awhile before I participate in another Critical Mass ride, although I do have another ride in the works:  B’more Spooky Halloween Ride, Saturday October 30th!  Same rules as the Moonlight Madness Ride

  • Dukiebiddle

    I was a bit of a jerkface over the Guilford/Charles/N. Calvert North/South bruhaha so I owe you…

    Keswick, Sission, Wyman Park intersection:

    From front of the bike stop bar to the back of the motor vehicle stop bar:

    147 inches, or 12 ft 3 in.

  • Dukiebiddle

    Judging from the plans and my measurements, it seems to be correct. The bike box interior space is 10 feet, or 9 ft 11 in or so. I guess that stuff seems to always looks smaller to the naked eye. That bike box really does clear up all the confusion that used to be at that intersection. I think it could maybe use green paint and a bicycle marker on left side of the box like in the diagram, but all the line markers seem fine.

  • Nate Evans

    THANKS SO MUCH, DUKIEBIDDLE! Cool, glad to know the area’s designed correctly. Last week in Chattanooga, we were discussing acceptable dimensions of bike boxes and 10′ seems to be the minimum. Good to know we’re slightly above minimum.

    Not to worry, the “green” and “bike markings” are coming. At least the outline is there.

  • Phreeuremind

    no one was ditched on purpose. the pack waited multiple times for slower riders. in fact the whole group ( 30 or so ) stopped to help a rider with a flat.

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