It began by accident. In my experiences, most good things do. I was approaching Jackson Boulevard on a beautiful late September day in 2004. And there it was, hundreds of cyclists, of all shapes and sizes, parading through the street, smiling, whistling, ringing, and loving their lives. I yelled out, "What is this?"
Their resounding answer - Critical Mass.
As I studied the mass, an uncontrollable smile grew across my face. Then laughter, as I cheered alongside the throngs of pedestrians around me. Jumping up and down, I thought - whatever this was, I wanted in. Whoever these people were, I wanted to share their world.
Like most children, my first real experience with transportation freedom was with the bicycle I received as a gift for my seventh birthday. I learned to ride it in the gravel alleyway behind our house on Ashland and Montrose where I became very friendly with scrapes, bruises, and cuts in the attempt. I later resurrected the same bike from a basement and used it throughout college. I still have that little bike. I probably always will.