Published Somedays

Critical Mass Wilmington Video

(updated: May 9, 2008)

After work I was actually driving home when I spotted some people on bicycles. Realizing that this is a rare thing in Wilmington, I decided to park and check it out. Of course I had my bike with me. I rarely go anywhere without it. After locating the center of gravity of this apparently random gathering, I went back to grab my camera, as the number of cyclists kept growing. There were all type of bikes - road bikes, commuter bikes, cruiser bikes, mountain bikes, singlespeeds, fixed gears. I just had to record something so rare as this.

After a while, someone got up and shouted where they were going to ride. Then they started off. Others began to follow this person, so I started filming. We exited campus, and as we turned onto S. College, I realized something...we could actually ride on the road and it could be safe. It was an amazing feeling. Alone or with just a few riders this would normally be impossible with cars buzzing by you as you hugged the edge of the curb for dear life. But with the 53 riders that stuck together in a mass, it changed everything. Sticking together made it safe.

But then we reached the formidable Market St, one of the most dangerous and accident prone roads in the entire state. They said it couldn't be done. But sticking together as one we were able to punch through and create safe passage.

After a short hop on Market, we turned onto Eastwood where we would ride all the way to Oleander (actually we went a little past to Wrightsville first), and then all the way back down to College.

It was a lot of fun. I hope this rare phenomena will happen again soon. Everybody was really friendly. Cars beeped their horns for us, people waved. We actually... gasp!...talked to each way! Something the metal coffins don't permit.

Anyway, there are two videos here, the full length version and the short version for posting to youtube and such.

Critical Mass Ride Wilmington Apr 25, 2008 (7m 20s):
You'll need the latest Quicktime player, version 7. Get it here . Or, you can use the free VLC Media Player.

Note: If you are having trouble streaming the movie, try downloading it first using the link below.

To download instead, right click here. Then you can use the player of your choice (such as VLC or iTunes) as long as it supports H.264.

Critical Mass Ride Wilmington - Short Version (1m 14s):

To download instead, right click here. Then you can use the player of your choice (such as VLC or iTunes) as long as it supports H.264.

A Gathering of Cyclists:

Note the gas prices:

Lots of friendly folks.

Holding a sign thanking motorists for waiting.

Juxtaposition. The soon to be extinct Hummer, representing the peak of our endless fossil fueled fantasy world.

Fun for the whole family.

The normally dangerous-for-cyclists Oleander bridge.

Market St.. This street needs bike lanes, and a light rail all the way to downtown.


A bit of green in the asphalt and concrete wonderland.

Filed Under: Ride Reports > North Carolina > Wilmington


1. CJ said...

dang, i hate that i missed that. and to think i was planning on going to wilmington too...
lookslike it was fun though

May 2, 2008 @ 5:55 AM

2. Randy said...

Great video. I love the bridge on Oleander, where they had to put up fencing to keep people from littering the waterway. That was a really fun ride. Please don't ever bring that Helmet cam around my daughter. She will be forever scarred.

May 2, 2008 @ 8:30 AM

3. eric said...

Excellent. Thanks for putting this stuff up.

May 2, 2008 @ 8:37 AM

4. Sean said...

It was an awesome ride, can't wait to do it again.

May 2, 2008 @ 6:12 PM

5. GQ said...

Great work man. Much appreciation your way. solid turnout solid ride.

May 3, 2008 @ 8:37 AM

6. brado1 said...

Exodus - Movement of Ja People! Good job!

May 4, 2008 @ 7:14 AM

7. Dan said...

Your website is awesome! I visit my sister in Asheboro, NC all the way from Utah and been trying to find places to ride in eastern NC and your website has helped a lot. The only place I ridden in NC are the bike trails in Uwharrie National Forest(45 minute drive from my sister\'s house) about 3 years ago and now with your help, I can go riding a lot places when I visit! Cool videos!

May 11, 2008 @ 5:56 PM

8. David said...

Great pictures and video! Thanks so much for documenting the ride. Perhaps this will be an every-ride thing?

May 20, 2008 @ 7:19 PM

9. C Me Crash said...

The next one will be this on 5/30/08, everyone will meet at the UNCW bell tower. See y'all there

May 23, 2008 @ 7:45 AM

10. zenrobertzen said...

critical mass is one of the best things that has happened in Wilmington. I just hope that all of those more radical people can manage to be mature enough to stay in one lane. when the ride gets disorganized and jerky, the fun dissolves away. While we cannot control who comes to ride in critical mass, we need to at least hope that people can be intelligent enough to send forth a serious and respectful message. Some of the nicest people I have ever met take this ride. And I've also seen some of the biggest assholes ruin the point of it. So if you have a bike, and you think you are a rider, stay the fuck in your one lane, don't flip off citizens in their cars, you are not trying to destroy the vehicular culture, you are trying to be absorbed into it with the hopes that one day it will go away. History shows that nothing ever gets accomplished with radicalism. When you ride in critical mass, ride it right. It's easy. Go two miles per hour and stay in your lane. And also, stop wearing women's jeans. Gitanos and a single speed. Gitanos and a single speed. Gitanos women's jeans and a single speed. Why don't you just get it over with and wear a nice pink and paisley sun dress on your ride. Your vagina will get a lot more circulation. In hindsight, don't fuck with critical mass. It is a radical idea, but not one that radicals can manage to perform without a true love of personifying change. Next month, stay in one lane, make yourself a messenger for difference. Stop wearing women's jeans, just settle down and relax on your favorite bike and don't ruin a really, really, really good thing.

Jun 1, 2008 @ 9:33 AM

11. Randy said...

I play a mean blues guitar.

Jun 1, 2008 @ 9:38 AM

12. Single Speed Superfabulous!!!! said...

The HELL with you, ZEN! I ENJOY wearing women\'s clothing and riding my pink single-speed! I have to go. I can\'t even believe what I just read. I have to go oil my little teenage brown ring so that I can get my thong on. I love when I ride and everyone can see me and my FABULOUS ass! So, ZEN, so--rry!! I\'m super! Single Speed Superfabulous!

Jun 1, 2008 @ 9:45 AM


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