I Forgot to Bring my Camera With, so i drew a Picture of this months mass
On October 27th I got off work at 4:00pm to make sure that I had time to get down to the Greenway before 5:00pm. I had never been down there before, and didnít want to be late. As I was biking down Portland, I remembered something Lisa had said about when Ben got arrested at the ISAG conference protests, and decided that I didnít want to be without my backpack, wallet and etc if I ended up getting arrested. The police had been so unpredictable over the last couple months, I wasnít sure what to expect. Thatís why we were meeting on the Greenway instead of at Loring Park. So instead of going straight to the greenway, I stopped by my house and threw my bag in the garage. I was a bit worried about getting my bicycle confiscated and considered grabbing a different one, but decided against it (as I didnít really have another rideable bicycle at the time).
I headed towards the greenway, and kind of had to weave back and forth trying to figure out where it started. (It starts at Portland) Then I got on and rode straight down to where it goes under Hennipen Avenue. Iím not sure how I figured out the time as I didnít have a watch, but I ended up with a little extra time, so I ran over to Bobby Bead to get some wire so I could remake my Mala which had broken a couple times and couldnít be fixed again.
I headed back to the greenway where I almost immediately ran into Brett? It was almost 5pm and we were the only ones there. A couple more people showed up, and we started discussing whether someone was going to be swinging by Loring Park to round up anybody who hadnít heard about the new meeting sight. Someone thought Olly might do it, but wasnít sure. Ben showed up, and was going to cut thumb holes in his sleeves so he could have some makeshift mittens. It was probably the first real cold day of the year, and he had neglected to bring some gloves. Stephen showed up with the first costume. A black dress, black wig and pointed hat with a rake taped to his seat (I guess he didnít have a broom?) Maria Baca from the Star Tribune showed up again, because she had heard what happened at the last mass. Randall from the MCLU was also there. When Olly showed up (half dressed as a pirate... he hadnít gotten his costume all on yet), and hadnít gone by Loring Park we decided to ride that way. There were only 10 of us at that point. As we were getting ready to leave, two more girls in costumes showed up. I guess they were dressed up as Billionaire Bikers for Bush/Gore.
So now there were 12 of us. We rode down Hennipen towards Loring Park, taking only one lane. We found no one there and congregated on the other side of the Park to discuss the situation. I think we were all disappointed at the turnout, but decided to go riding around anyway. Since there were so few of us, we only ever took one lane, followed all the traffic signals and as such, had really no bad reactions from people. We ended up back at Loring Park where we had a short interview with Maria. Here it was nice to only have a few people too, because pretty much everybody got to voice their opinion, and itís not real often that anybody asks. Usually weíre trying to cram it down peopleís throats.
From there people started to split off. Some were going to Stephens to watch videos from past Critical Mass rides and have some kind of a Halloween Party or something. Ben and I split off at Lake and rode back home. Here was the first time we had people honking at as and getting pissed off. But we still took our own lane all the way back. (a behavior I encourage. Find someone to ride with and take a lane (hell, I take a lane when I am alone, but itís not as scary if you have company) Overall, I think this was probably the most enjoyable critical mass ride I have been on. There wasnít this overshadowing terror of when the cops were going to show up, and what they were going to do. We just had a good time. Iíd like to see more critical mass rides like that. (not small, just fun) Unfortunately, that has very little to do with us, and everything to do with the police reaction to us.