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2005 Wheel Critical Mass Ride

June 23, 2005 (Vancouver, BC) – Friday is the pinnacle event for Bike Month, the “2005 Wheel Critical Mass Ride”. This year’s ride is expected to top last year’s where 800 enthusiastic cyclists, skateboarders, and rollerbladers took to the streets of Vancouver to celebrate human power and share a safe roadway in style. Anyone with a non-motorized set of wheels is encouraged to join in on the biggest rolling party of the summer.

An interesting addition to this year’s ride, the Anglican Environmental Task Force & Lutheran Faith and Justice Committee are sponsoring a “Blessing of the Bicycles” at Christ Church Cathedral (Georgia & Burrard — across from the Art Gallery, downtown) at 5pm before the ride. Using the slogan, “Consider the Journey, Transportation as Social Justice,” the groups are encouraging parishioners to choose green transport and participate in the giant critical mass.

The big ride provides the climax to Bike Month, which has seen thousands of new and veteran cyclists lay claim to the streets of Vancouver. Now more than ever, cycling is hitting the mainstream in a big way. Bikes are everywhere. Motivated by a low-pollution solution to resource use and environmental problems, many people are choosing cycling as a clean and healthy mode of transportation.

The ride starts 6:00 PM, this Friday, June 24, at the north side of the Vancouver Art Gallery (by the fountain), and will wind its way through the streets of Vancouver encouraging motorists to abandon their cars for clean air.

Critical Mass is a grassroots reclamation of public space which allows cyclists and other self-propelled people to move safely and comfortably through the streets of Vancouver in a car-free space. The motto: “We’re Not Blocking Traffic — We ARE Traffic!”

Funky bikes, skaters, and bladers of all ages and occupations (even a few City Councillors) now regularly participate in the monthly Critical Mass. The mood is festive and celebratory, with participants sporting decorated bicycles, signs, costumes, noisemakers, and wildly modified “choppers”.

Critical Mass was born in San Francisco in 1992, and quickly spread to other cities worldwide. Now over 300 cities boast monthly rides. Attendance at Vancouver Critical Mass has been increasing steadily, with recent rides averaging 300 participants.

Held the last Friday of every month, the Mass meets at the Vancouver Art Gallery on the Georgia Street side and proceeds on a previously undetermined route. There are “no leaders — only participants.” All human powered forms of transporation are welcome.

For photos of the 2004 ride, contact Ian Patterson, ipaterson@domblue.com

On Thrusday, June 23, starting between 4 and 5 PM, look for a plane flying over Vancouver with a sign “Critical Mass Bike Ride Friday 5 PM”. At that time, the pilot of that plane, Sandy McCuaig, may be reached at 604-836-1149.

For more information:
Amy Walker, 604-255-9689, amyrides@telus.net
Bev Canuel, 604-322-9317, 604-645-2099, bcanuel@shaw.ca
Kelli Gallagher, 604-944-4813, mslorax@telus.net

For more information on the Blessing of the Bicycles:
Paige Dampier, 604-708-0777
Rev. Emilie Smith, 604-253-3462

Information on Bike Month may be found at:

Worldwide details may be found at:
http://www.criticalmasshub.com or http://www.critical-mass.org

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