With cheers of “Happy Friday!” and the setting sun silhouetting the Sample Gates, the first Critical Mass ride of the year in Bloomington commenced with about 30 riders pouring onto Kirkwood Avenue.
The riders varied in age and background. Some were riding two-seater bicycles, and others were towing a child in a carriage attached to the back of the bike.
Some blew whistles and played music from speakers attached to their bicycles, and others rode silently and enjoyed the early evening air.
Critical Mass is an organized bike ride that takes place in more than 300 cities worldwide, typically during the last Friday of the month.
Originally starting in San Francisco in 1992, the Critical Mass rides were organized to promote bicyclist awareness.
Ross Martinie-Eiler was one of the organizers of the Critical Mass ride in Bloomington.
“I graduated in 1998 from IU, and during my four years on campus, my bicycle was my main form of transportation,” Martinie-Eiler said. “I rode in the Critical Mass ride in Chicago, and when I moved back to Bloomington, I wanted to start a ride here again after it stopped a few years ago. It’s kind of an anarchist venture.”
The riders biked from Kirkwood Avenue to the south side of campus and back, past the Sample Gates en route to the Showalter Fountain with a final destination of ice cream at the Chocolate Moose.