No, You Can't Borrow A Bike For Critical Mass - Freewheelin' Day 3
0 comment Tuesday, April 15, 2014 |
... because the bikes have to be back by 7 pM, but we'll get to that. I'm a little behind right now, and working off little sleep.
We started out with a group ride over to The Shoppe with Austin from Austin, an NBC reporter doing stories on the apolitical stuff going on during the DNC.

Lise Neer at The Shoppe

Lise, Me, Austin, and Janet from Bicycle Douglas County
When I got back I helped lead a ride for the Kentucky Delegation to their lunch restaurant. We had reinforcements from the Luna-chicks:

see, crazy!
The gals loved the Spot Brand 29er, and we promised to let them take it for a spin if they agreed not to do any bunny hops off Speer and onto the Cherry Creek Bike Path. They thought about it for a second, and agreed they could probably take it easy for a little while. I blew it on the ride though, and forgot to take pictures of the Lieutenant Governor.
I ended up taking off a little early because I wanted to go and see famous wildcatter, T Boone Pickens, speak at the Big Tent along with Carl Pope of the Sierra Club and the founder of Progress Now.

T Boone and Carl Pope
T Boone's point was that there isn't enough oil left in the ground for him to keep chasing after. There's a bit more too it, but I liked what he was saying.
After all that, we thought we were about done for the day, only to find it was the start of more adventures. We had extra food at the stations, so Lise and Andy brought up the suggestion of taking it to the Denver Rescue Mission. We loadedit up as best we could:

Here's Lise after our successful delivery, note the guy in the background in need of a nap:

Andy and I with the famous Denver Rescue Mission sign in the background:

On our way back, we got held up by a motorcade hauling ass down 18th, presumably from the Brown Palace. We now believe it was the Clintons, since Bill spoke at the DNC shortly after. I only had a second to get the shot, and I blew it:

Proceeding on, we were going to turn up 14th for a ways. After making the turn, we found ourselves mid-pack in the Critical Mass that had been planned for the day:

Normally I'm not a supporter, but this gave me the opportunity to point out the Sharrows that we were riding over, and that BikeDenver had something to do with getting installed:

The police were not over the top this time, and though they had a presence, they only gave tickets to people who were blatantly disregarding the traffic lights, like these guys:

The rest of the ride I spent handing out BikeDenver "I Am Traffic" stickers and explaining what sharrows were all about. The critical massers liked them, and only a handful of malcontents rejected my offer of a free sticker. We got a lot of inquiries about how we had Freewheelin' bikes after hours, and we explained, in a nutshell, that we were important people who could break any rules we wanted (and that we were running it). This did not alleviate the dismay of the riders who had to leave a friend or four behind, for want of bikes. But besides Andy and I, we didn't see anyone else on Freewheelin' bikes, which had to be turned in by 7:00. Pretty good behavior for a bunch of scofflaws, I'd say.
We were rewarded for our good deeds this day with an epic Rocky Mountain Sunset as I went home and Andy to the light rail. A great end for a great day.
Here's a great (but blurry) photo of Andy explaining the long term goals of Freewheelin' to some Critical Massers. Note Andy's Schwinn Panther that he was hammering on all evening: