why walk when you
                          can ride?

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June 29, 2001

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Thanks to Hoyt, I didn't forget to show up at Westlake Center for monthly Seattle Critical Mass bike ride, which meets 5:30 pm on the last Friday of every month. I've logged hundreds, if not thousands, of miles riding around town, but this was, without a doubt, my favorite Seattle ride of all time. Up and down hilly downtown streets, along the water, down hipster haven Capitol Hill's Broadway--all in company of 60 or so other cyclists ringing bells, honking horns, reciting pedal power poetry, and waving to people cheering on the sidewalk. There's an obvious political purpose to the ride (the reclamation of streets and assertion of cyclists' rights to the road), but the distinguishing feature of Critical Mass, as of just about any group ride, is it's fun, fun, fun. As Timothy Leary said, "When we say political party, we mean par-tay." After, still riding the natural high, I didn't find it hard at all to pass on margaritas at The Dock. OK, so maybe it was a little bit difficult, but the memory of how good it felt to take back the streets on a sunny evening was enough to remind me that there are better uses for my energy.