I love Critical Mass. Nothing like 1500 cyclists and a common vendetta against ignorance. The sights, the sounds, the smells.
Yes, even the smells: the bud being passed around to total strangers before the ride; the perfume of people dressed to the nines, atop a bike that's equally flashy; the burning rubber of over a thousand people slamming on the breaks as they skid down hill.
It was a great ride. They went up some crazy hills this round, though. Every time we rode up a hill, some people would need to help push up the sound systems. Up the worst hill, we needed to get off our bikes to do so.
We had already pushed it up two levels of the hill. When we got to the hard part, the people pushing were already winded and didn't make it far. The sound system started roaring O Fortuna at the base of the hill. I told them I'd take over. I tossed one of them my bike, and I began pushing with both hands and all my might. Another person pushed as well, but didn't dare hand his bike to a total stranger. I carried most of the weight, but I became exhausted half way up. I yelled for replacement. Someone volunteered. I told him to throw me his bike, and I grabbed mine, and the music played on in all it's Glory.
Then the cops started telling us to move to the sidewalk if we needed to push it. We ignored them and pressed on.
When we finally got to the top of the hill, the song reached crescendo and changed movements.
Never in my life have I had a moment with more appropriate theme music. It was glorious!
PS, the version of O Fortuna we had was WAY different. I grabbed this one in a pinch. I am thinking the one we had was one of the many from Excalibur.