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Achieving Critical Mass In San Diego

— Critical mass is part bike ride and part protest, and it’s happening tonight as it does on every final Friday of the month. Critical mass is an event where a mass of cyclists takes over the road, gets in the way of car traffic and hears lots of profanity yelled at them from out of car windows.

The event takes place all over the country. My computer has kept up a constant chatter of Tweets about the event, ranging for Chicago to Houston, Fort Lauderdale to Calgary. Tonight’s San Diego ride begins at the water fountain on the Prado in Balboa Park, as usual.

I remember driving home from a show at the Old Globe Theatre a couple of years ago when I got stuck at the corner of El Cajon and Park Boulevard, where the critical mass bikes drove in circles around the intersection. I shut down my car engine for a few minutes and waited for them to be on their way.

It’s a controversial event that not everybody likes. But that’s kind of the point. Based on past history, expect between 300 and 800 bikers will come out tonight. But I can’t tell you where they’re going. I made a call to the Adams Avenue Bicycles to try to find out the route. But they told me it’s normally determined on the spot.

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