Thanks to Brownian Movement a small mystery has been solved. A few weeks ago I was walking home with my dinner from my favorite neighborhood chinese restaurant (I am sure there are better places, but I am a sucker for their dumplings. Plus, the woman who works the counter knows what I want when she sees me. 'Beef with broccoli?' is how she usually greets me) and I encountered a somewhat odd occurrence (or so it seemed at the time).
Coming down the street, making a lot of noise, were hundreds of people on bikes. Some took the chance to yell at me, 'Ride a bike!' I tried to explain that at the moment I was holding a bag of chinese food, and I was not in possession of a bicycle, so their suggestion was suspect at the least. However, they rode off before I could retort leading me to believe that I was just the victim of a drive-by rhetorical command.
Turns out that Critical Mass: Philadelphia, PA does this the last Friday of every month, but why? To do this:
It is a ride through the city to celebrate and remind everyone about the use of the bicycle as an effective means of transportation.
I don't know if yelling at pedestrians is the best way to accomplish this goal, but I give them a hardy 'here, here,' and a tip of the hat.
However, I don't think I will be taking part in this rolling demonstration for a couple of reasons:
- I don't own a bike
- I won't buy a bike
- The last time I rode a bike, it was my brothers. I was home from college, and enjoying a summer weekday at home. I was bored, so I thought I would take my brother's bike out for a little ride. Now, I hadn't operated a bike in a long time, but you never forget to ride a bike. I got the helmet on, jumped on the seat, and promptly lost control of the bike. I blindly crossed one of the major roads of Yonkers (which I happened to live on at the time) and plowed into a parked car. I then fell over.