Last Friday we sponsored the official Chainlink Halloween party, and some of us went up early to ride in the Critical Mass before it. If you’ve never ridden in a big Critical Mass before, it can be pretty intimidating. There are literally thousands of people filling the streets and riding very close together all around you, and drivers that weren’t paying attention get stuck in the horde. Traffic patterns are similar to that of automobile traffic. People slow down to turn, and the farther back you are, the more backed up the traffic is- for someone who doesn’t ride every day, trying to keep your balance and maneuver around obstacles while barely moving forward is daunting. And cyclists are just as guilty of rubber-necking, texting, and generally being distracted as motorists are. But once you get over the initial fear, it’s an experience you’ll never forget. The mood is thoroughly cheerful, and the participants are entertaining, to say the least! Nearly everyone was in costume, and boombox trailers littered the crowd. Dancing and riding is an art these people have perfected, and one incredibly talented participant rode his triple-decker bicycle. Thanks for the great time, Chicago!