Man, what a great day! For a month I've been looking forward to today, because the last friday of the month is the day of the traditional critical mass bicycle ride. Three months ago, barks's friend invited us to the Critical Mass Ride in San Diego. It was an exhilarating experience, the cyclists swarming around the fountain at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Museum at Balboa Park like a school of fish or a swarm of bees, growing and growing until, at the appointed time, breaking off and flying off into the evening, up and down and all through the city of San Diego. I vowed that I'd start a Critical Mass in Rochester.
It turns out there has been some critical mass here periodically over the years, but there was nothing current. I put the word out on the internet, created a web page and a mailing list. Key was meeting Andy Hall at the EcoHouse. "I'll talk to my people; you talk to your people," he said. And so this afternoon when I skipped out of the grading meeting to go to the critical mass meeting spot on campus, I expected we'd have a good group, we'd have five or even six people! But by the time we left campus, on the bike path along the river towards downtown, we had a full twenty-two cyclists! Let me tell you, it was thrilling leading this group out of U of R, setting this ride in motion, and, later giving a brief pep talk from the Liberty Pole downtown, where our numbers swelled to 30+.
Eventually a few of us (three from the EcoHouse and an awesome guy named Carl) ended up together for a sumptuous dinner at The Atomic Eggplant, a vegetarian restaurant across the street from the Abundance Co-op Grocery Store. I was a bit skeptical about Atomic Eggplant, but all doubts are now utterly vanquished -- unbelievably delicious food and in huge portions. Mmmmm. I'm so incredibly pleased that the assorted projects I've taken on — rochester critical mass, rochester student co-op, rochester wiki — are progressing so nicely; and also it feels so good to be hanging out with such interesting people.
Lots more in store for this weekend: tagsaling tomorrow, the EcoHouse party, starting with a project to brew our own beer, hosting a potluck on Sunday, ... and, of course, grading papers and studying for multiple exams.