Critical Mass in their monthly rides through the heart of DC.
It wasn't planned. I didn't even know the group existed.
It was just a matter of being at the right place at the right time, I guess.
I had just taken my Specialized Tri bike out for a spin at Haines Point. It was exhilarating, but I wanted more.
Actually I had a deep yearning to take my new Dahon Mu P8 for a spin around the mall. It wasn't fast, it wasn't sleek. It even wasn't sexy. But it was cool, compact and precisely just me.
As soon as I parked and assembled my bike, I could hear heavy and jovial screaming coming from down the street.
I turned around to see about 100 bikers of all sorts and sizes parading down the street screaming "Happy Friday." I was floored and enamored.
Needless to say, it didn't take me a lot of coaxing to join in.
We went everywhere -- up and down Independence. To Chinatown, Dupont Circle, U Street.
The most fun was speeding through tunnels hollering and singing at the top of our lungs.
Some cars honked in support. People waived. Some cars didn't appreciate us engulfing traffic and running red lights.
The group has good core values: to provide educational outreach for a more sustainable, less toxic city.
The group also has great fun and promotes good morale and welfare throughout the city: greeting and waiving to passer bys and people enjoying food and drinks at local eateries.
That's fine and dandy. But the group should not be running red lights and stopping traffic without a permit.
There are over 100 cyclists and some motorists are in a hurry -- accidents can happen. Meanwhile traffic on the streets also have their own agendas and meetings to attend. There should be no reason why we can't all co-exist peacefully and respectfully, and yes, that means not running red lights.