06 May 2011

Bike-commute day 20—to Courteous Mass and home

Courteous Mass is the local version of the critical mass movement, in which a collection of different types of cyclists join for a group ride on city streets. With a visibility that comes with numbers, the cyclists gain an advantage over a single person on a bicycle. Auto drivers find it hard to overlook the cyclist group, and their presence is unique enough that drivers allow themselves to be less distracted by all their non-driving tasks that they've become accustomed to pursuing while driving.

Using the idea of courtesy instead of criticism, the grouped riders say hello to passing motorists and people on their porches or the sidewalks. Friendly waves abound, from and to the cyclist group. And none of them one-finger waves.

Another aspect of the courtesy of the massed riders is scrupulous obedience to traffic laws, even if it may mean the group splits between one green light and the next. And that happens frequently enough downtown, even in a small group. In such a case, at least one cyclist from the lead group remains behind to guide the separated cyclists back to the main group.

This afternoon, about a dozen cyclists collected at Fifth-Third Field by 5:30 and took a quiet route to the University of Dayton via Wayne Avenue and the Southpark neighborhood. The return took Brown Street  and Jefferson Street north to First Street and then Patterson Boulevard to return to Fifth-Third Field.

Ride conditions
Temperature: 61 to 65°F at 16:10
Precipitation: none
Winds: calm to 10 mph from the south and west
Clothing: 2-layer top, skinsuit; ankle socks. Open-finger gloves.
Bike: Trek 850
Time: 01:24:2 for 16.55 miles
Heart rate:114 bpm average, 144 bpm maximum
Bikeway users: 5 cyclists
Here is a playback of the ride. 5th Garmin day.

Note about the illustration
The line drawings were published online and captured by me during the playback. The video provides stills from The Art of Frank Patterson by Horace F. Button, which was published 1952 by Temple Press, Ltd.

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