I rode with my first Critical Mass tonight and it was awe inspiring. To the pissed off motorists who were inconvenienced by my protest, I remind them of how their decision to drive a car around my city inconveniences me every day, along with seriously damaging the planet. For me the ride is a statement against the degradation caused by a car-dominated culture and the celebration of an alternative. It is in part a manifestation of an undercurrent of conflict between motorists and those whose quality of life they diminish. On this night, it is a conflict they cannot ignore as they zoom through intersections built to speed them along through a fractured social space. A landscape designed for the needs of their machines is the norm. But for once, during this ride, it is the river of rushing metal and exhaust that is quelled, in deference to another priority.