The best way to check out Chicago neighborhoods is in on a bike–along with hundreds of other riders who have taken over the once car filled streets.
Critical Mass is a monthly bike ride that occurs on the last Friday of every month. All riders, from anarchists to working professions, families to young hipsters, biking activists to just plain biking enthusiasts come together in the hundreds, sometimes thousands (depending on the weather) as part of a world-wide movement. Riders meet at Daly Plaza downtown at 5:30pm before taking to the streets for the next three hours as a symbol of political activism or just as an act to spread “Happy Friday” cheer. Inevitably, a flock this large will run through red lights and block traffic (some drivers give a peace sign, others the finger). Police officers on ATVs escort riders on the route through Chicago’s neighborhoods. No route is ever the same each month, thus, drivers can never truly plan where they may be held up. For many bike riders–this is the beauty of the ride.