FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Further reading on World site
- I'm coming from beyond Chicago or don't have a bike
- This event is already massive and our streets are only so wide. Furthermore use of cars is strongly discouraged. So if you can't come with a bike (or skates etc) and participate fully with little to no fuel use please join us in spirit instead by DONATING from this website. If you don't own a bike DONATE then come to a viewing point and cheer! If you are way in a burb DONATE then tell your friends what you did! If you are more distant DONATE then get something seeded locally. Bottom line: If you can't do this ride with ease, consider doing the responsible thing by DONATING instead.
- I'm coming from a near suburb with a bike
- Work out RTA travel details on your own. Also see the RTA brochure on the topic of bikes. Conductor's discretion applies.
Metra since 2011 DOES allow bikes on trains on ride day (formerly a blackout date due to blues fest) But ultimately always at conductor's discretion.
Bike paths may also be an option. Travellers are encouraged to share details in the Facebook group. Location is not announced until days before the ride, but within miles of Harpo is likely.
- I'm coming from nearby without a bike
- Bobby's Bike Hike offers THE WNBR-C rental special (under $20?!?). Call for details on reservation, pickup, return, etc, but basically you need to get it before sunset and return it courteously cleaned before the next afternoon. Located W of Navy Pier, River East Docks, 465 N. McClurg Court, 312-915-0995, http://bobbysbikehike.com
- Can I come take pictures?
- NO. Event photography/videography is already well handled and no new applications are considered. As stated in ride guidelines: NO photographs allowed before ride in mass preparation area except by identified long-term PRE-authorized personnel, and no photos whatsoever at private after events if any. This policy is enforced and subject to ejection. Furthermore photography by participants during the ride is strongly discouraged due to traffic safety issues and for the personal comfort of other riders. Press photographers should come to the spectator area. Do everyone a favor, leave the camera behind, just enjoy the ride then see the official albums later. However, participants must assume by participating that they may be photographed at any time.
- Can I come on inline skates?
- YES! Several skaters have joined the ride for years. Please read this advice page about skating with Critical Mass. Quads may also be capable.
- Can I come on skateboard?
- Yes. Several competent skateboarders (mid to long) have completed prior rides. Foot scooters may also be capable.
- Can I Jog?
- No (sortof). ONLY people with people powered wheeled vehicles are allowed in starting area. Jogging in particular is problematic because there's no way of validating claimants as participants, and many non-participants have tried it as a false claim. Furthermore, the sustained distance and speed are challenging (15-20mi/3-4hr). Several have tried, but in practice I'm not sure any have finished. If you're a strong runner with a will to try, consider joining for some portion en-route. Come to announced viewing point or use MassUp.us for day-of tracking.
- Can I come on Segway?
- No. ONLY people with people powered wheeled vehicles are allowed in starting area. Furthermore, the mass and speed are a danger to other riders.
- Can I come in a PediCab?
- Yes, if you can afford $75+/hr. Contact: Chicago Rickshaw 773-494-2143 Chicago-Rickshaw.com OR Roger Rickshaw 773-620-7921 RogerRickShaw.com
This is new territory, so details are uncertain, but I'd suggest book 8:30-11:30pm, have them meet you at the check-in point (tba), and idle there until ride leaves around 9pm.
- This sounds hard, I'm still not sure...
- Frankly, participating takes some GUTS and ABILITY. So no worries if your not up to it. First timers browse the photos here, then just come watch somewhere en-route, and make a PayPal donation on this site. Not everyone needs to be on the front line.
- Do I have to sign up?
- Join our emailing list for fresh info straight from the source. Near ride day check-in location information is announced there. Then show up at the check-in location before the ride leaves.
- Where can I park?
- At home please.
- Is this ride free?
- Yes, this is a free bicycle ride. Donations of money and body paint are all welcome. We do have some big costs, so any donation (use PayPal link on left of every page of this website) is extremely welcome.
- What should I bring?
- You should bring yourself, your wheels, a pack to keep your clothes in, and any other basic supplies desired. You will not be able to leave anything at the start location, including your clothes, so if you have extra supplies, make sure you have a basket or rack or large bag or something.
- Won't my bike seat hurt my crotch if I'm naked?
- Mr. Bike Recommends covering your seat with a towel or soft cloth.
- What if I haven't ridden my bike for a long time?
- The ride being in June gives you all spring to get ready. See Mr. Bike's Advice Here
- Are helmets required?
- Helmets are strongly encouraged, but not required by law yet in Chicago.
- How far do you ride?
- We ride about 12-22 miles, historically, with one or more brief rest stops but no water or restrooms promised. Riders may conceivably join at points in progress for shortened route.
- Will I be able to keep up?
- We ride fairly slowly. As typical of large cyclists groups, it is difficult to go very fast. Most riding is 3-7mph (though some bursts or lagging end may be much faster), so the average competent rider should be able to keep up, young or old. At that rate, the ride takes around three hours.
- Are Children allowed on this bike ride?
- This is a non-sexual event protesting both oil dependency, and repression of the natural human form. All are welcome, but ultimately parents and underage must be responsible for their own observance of applicable care and curfew requirements.
- What if I get lost? Or breakdown?
- There will be maps. But the mass does not stop. There are a number of riders knowingly equipped to help out, but only for minor problems. Even a simple flat has caused some to bail. Sometimes PediCabs are available to rescue, but sorry no guarantees. Worst case, just rejoin us at the end point when you can. SmartPhone/SMS users see mobile notes.
- Can I come hang out naked if I'm not going to ride?
- No, because the goal is partially to be nude, but more than that, to show that cutting down on oil consumption can be fun. Especially if you drive over, then not ride, you're making it worse.
- Who should press contact?
- Press should use current or recent press releases available on the flyers pages here, and draw from the introductory paragraph on the about page, as well as review post-ride reviews. You may also try the Facebook group. Due to volume of communication and spam, we cannot publish direct contact info here.
- Who's in charge? Who's responsible?
- This site, and everyone involved with the ride, are bottom line just helping improve the safety and message impact of an event which frankly would happen anyway, just as Critical Mass rides do. There is no real formal organization, no assets, no business nor profit nor commercial interests at all. Ultimately, we just facilitate communication and try to keep things peaceful and positive. Typical unmoderated website precautions and disclaimers should be assumed to apply to all content here. As to riders, personal responsibility is key. We're not your mom.