Friday, September 3, 2010

Critical Mass Bike Rally

I love sharing stories about things that people are doing to raise awareness about environmental issues, around the world.

I’ve talked about the enormous rise in participants for events like Earthhour -

I’ve written about how children are becoming aware of many of the problems caused by big business -

I’ve shared photographs from many family tree planting events -

Ohhh! How I could go on…

This story is about a community event that I participated in just last week. A ‘Critical Mass Bike Rally’ is a gathering of local peaceful people who have found a way to make a stand (or a ride) against global climate change.

I arrived at the bandshell, in London, Ontario’s downtown Victoria Park, just after 6:00pm last Friday evening. The weather was nice and warm with a slight breeze. Perfect for a bike ride!

Over the last year or so, I’ve been noticing familiar faces attending the many London community environmental action groups. I think that this is great!!!! Melissa (the girl in the red shirt) and I met almost two years ago. She helped me edit and put together my first two music videos -

I don’t know this lady’s name, but whenever there is an action group raising awareness about climate change, she is there with her super funky bike. This is a link to another story where we were both participants -

There were a few interesting bikes at this event.

Ha! Someone with a soldering iron and a bit of imagination created this totally unique bike. I couldn’t wait to see it in action!

Some people had made up their own signs to help them voice their opinion about global climate change. I’m thinking that I just may make a large banner for next month’s bike rally.

One girl had even brought her dog along for a nice ride on the back of her bike!

I was really impressed with the amount of people that had showed up for this event and as 6:30 drew closer even more people arrived. I heard from a regular participant that this was the most successful turn out in a very long time! I was glad.

I really like this photograph… even tho’ others may wonder why, cuz I missed everyone’s head. The positions of the bodies (and their stances) and bikes, with a bright splash of sunlight really captures this moment. Later, when I arrived at home and had a chance to view all of these photos, I noticed something that still puzzles me. Take a look at the arm in the foreground – bottom right – and see if you can figure out what this hand is doing. I’m still puzzled!

6:30 arrived and it was almost time to leave. One of the coordinators gave a short speech, thanking everyone for attending and explained the route our peaceful entourage would be taking.

As we were leaving I had to quickly learn new photographic skills.

I had to learn how to ride my bike, retrieve my camera from my backpack and take pictures, all the while trying not to crash into the person beside me!!!

After we left the north end of Victoria Park, we navigated our way onto Richmond Street. There are four lanes for the traffic, so we didn’t cause any drivers any aggravation by filling up one of these lanes with bikes.

In the invitation to this event, people were encouraged to share their songs or chants with the other riders and folks sitting on restaurant patios. I kept waiting to see if someone would start something, but this never happened… until a bit later. I decided to take a little initiative and share one of my newest songs (that I had recently heard and changed for my own use) for The Peacebus.

I think I startled a few people when I suddenly bellowed out in my loudest and deepest voice, “Ladies and Gentlemen… This is a repeat after me song….”

Me – Everywhere we go-ooooh

Riders - Everywhere we go-ooooh

Me – People wanna know-oooh

Riders - People wanna know-oooh

Me – Who we are-rrrr

Riders - Who we are-rrrr

Me – So we tell them

Riders - So we tell them

Me – Future Leaders of the World!

Riders - Future Leaders of the World!

Me- Leaders for Peace for the World!

Riders - Leaders for Peace for the World!

Me- We’ll stop pollution

Riders - We’ll stop pollution

Me – and find a great solution

Riders - and find a great solution

Me – We’ll clean the air-rrrr

Riders - We’ll clean the air-rrrr

Me – to show the future that we care-rrrr

Riders - to show the future that we care-rrrr

Me – Future Leaders of the World!

Riders - Future Leaders of the World!

Me- Leaders for Peace for the World!

Riders - Leaders for Peace for the World!

Me – And if they can’t hear us

Riders - And if they can’t hear us

Me – We’ll scream a little louder!

Riders - We’ll scream a little louder!

Then we repeated the first half of the song again and then…

Me – And if they can’t hear us

Riders - And if they can’t hear us

Me – they must be deaf!!

Riders - they must be deaf!!

At that everyone gave a huge hoot and whup-whup and we all started laughing. It was a really enjoyable experience with lots of smiles that sparkled on many faces.

So, here we are riding back into the downtown area along Dundas Street.

I’m sure that many Londoners will recognize many of the buildings and landmarks in all of these photos.

Dundas Street, is only two lanes and I thought that many motorists would be getting mad at us for shutting down (we weren’t biking very quickly at all) this street. I took a look back and noticed that only four cars were crawling along behind our group. All Londoners know that the downtown area on a Friday night is always slow moving, so we all know how to avoid these streets.

Actually, I didn’t see one mad motorist during this whole affair. Many of them were honking, blinking their lights and waving to us as we rode by. I’m sure that had they been able to join us, they would have!

This is my favourite photo of them all. Here, we are almost at the end of our ride as we traveled along King Street. King Street is three lanes wide and is a one way street. When we happened along it, there was not a single car to be seen, so we filled all three lanes with our bikes.

I added borders to this photo and some text and it became my Facebook profile picture for this last week. I received many positive comments from friends from around the world!!!

See how easy and fun it is to do something positive to inspire others to want to make this world a better place for future generations?!!! I hope that I’ve inspired some of you – my readers from around the world – to either join in or create your own local events that will define our generation and our destiny.


No comments: