Sunday, August 10, 2014

SWFL Critical Mass Celebrates its One Year Anniversary in Fort Myers

Last Friday, riders of all ages headed out on the one-year anniversary celebration ride of SWFL Critical Mass. 

The weather was perfect and the evening beautiful as some 76 people gathered to begin the ride, starting with a slow cruise through beautiful downtown Fort Myers, alive with outdoor diners, sidewalk strollers and Art Walk exhibitors.
Led by the irrepressibly positive Rob Seibert, this colorful parade -a flowing rainbow of LED lights on bikes, riders and helmets, replete with music - wended its way through neighborhoods south and east past the Edison Golf Course, to Jefferson Ave and then back towards downtown.
Throughout most of the ride we were able to travel quite safely along connected side streets, taking advantage of the city’s natural street grid network. However, at a few impasses like that presented by the Edison Golf Course, the group had to take to the travel Lane of McGregor Boulevard. “Corkers” acted as safety patrols by parking their bikes perpendicularly in travel lanes to stop traffic as the group passed by.

Started in the early 70’s in Stockholm, Sweden, Critical Mass was revived in San Francisco and has spread across the nation as informal, celebratory, group rides...just for the Joy of Cycling.

In keeping with this spirit the SWFL Critical Mass rides are brightly-lit, family-oriented, safe and fun events. The rules of the road are safety and courtesy to all others –other riders and those we share the road with or pass by. Along the route we were regularly greeted with whoops, cheers and waves of greeting and were filmed by more than one approving on-looker.

Everyone, from the new rider on a borrowed bike (there are a few to lend) to those with years of experience are encouraged to join this exuberant group each first Friday of the month. The next ride will be held on Friday September 5th, 7:45 p.m. and you can follow plans on the Swfl Critical Mass face book page.  
Bring your helmet and bike with at least some type of nighttime safety lights to the meet up across from the First Street Village Publix, just off the corner of Altamont and McGregor, and prepare for a fun time.

Report by Ann Pierce

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