Grid Shots: Chicago Critical Mass 15th Anniversary Ride


The Great Chicago Bike Holdup. Photo by Mike Travis.

Last night was the 20th Anniversary of the worldwide Critical Mass movement, which began in San Francisco, and the 15th anniversary of Chicago’s monthly rides. It’s probably safe to say our local celebration drew over 2,000 participants. They marked the occasion with The Great Chicago Bike Holdup, raising their rides over their heads for a group portrait in front of the Picasso. The route dipped down to Roosevelt, went west to Ogden and Randolph, then up to Webster, and back south via Magnificent Mile, ending at a secret 10,000 square-foot private lot in River West with a bonfire and dance party. As someone who’s been doing the Daley Plaza rides since 1997, I enjoyed seeing many of the early participants show up for the anniversary ride, some visiting from out of town. Several of my friends met their mates through the Mass and some of the kids from these unions are now old enough that they pedaled solo in last night’s ride.


The scene at Daley Plaza.


Washington and Michigan.


Heading west into the sunset on Roosevelt.

See more of John’s photos from the ride here.

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John Greenfield

John has lived in Chicago since 1989 and has worked a number of bicycle jobs, from messenger to mechanic to managing the Chicago Department of Transportation's bicycle parking program, arranging the installation of over 3,700 bike racks. He writes regularly for Time Out Chicago, Newcity, Momentum and Urban Velo magazines and works at Boulevard Bikes in Logan Square.

4 thoughts on “Grid Shots: Chicago Critical Mass 15th Anniversary Ride”

    1. It was a great route. It had plenty of twists and turns to keep from messing up bus schedules, visited many iconic streets and bustling retail areas, and ended at a terrific celebration.

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