“Excuse me, what rally is this?” The man kept asking from the footpath.

“It’s just cycling rally,” someone answered from among the riders.

“Well, what is the purpose?’ The middle-aged man wondered.

Nobody answered at first. As the man continued to ask the same question, someone shouted from behind, “To get you started cycling.”

That, in fact, was the real reason of the Eighth Critical Mass that took place in Dhaka on 27th April, 2012. If you’re not familiar with Critical Mass, this Wikipedia entry should help you get an idea. However, the purpose of Critical Mass in Dhaka — organized by BDCyclists — is “to demonstrate to the car-owning crowd that bicycles are completely adequate for their local needs.” With that in mind, whoever answered the man during the ride was absolutely correct.

Critical Mass is the largest cycling event held in Bangladesh. The host of the event, BDCyclists, organizes regular rides on every Friday and Saturday, but the last Friday of the month draws more riders from around the city than in those weekly rides. However, today’s Critical Mass 8 was probably not the biggest one ever held.

I first joined Critical Mass in its 6th season. That was two months ago when I first learned cycling. Critical Mass 6 was my first day out with bicycle in the streets. Sadly, I had a knee injury as I fell down on the streets for the first time. That kept me inside home for two weeks but thankfully I never got injured since then. Still, CM 6 was bigger and better than CM 8 in my opinion as there were more riders and the route was longer.

Anyway, that doesn’t mean that my day went in vain. I did enjoy the ride although I hoped the route was a little longer. Luckily the weather was not as much warm as it was in the past few days. That didn’t help me, though. I always sweat a lot. I mean, a freaking lot! 😡

Here goes some pictures taken from BDCyclists Facebook group. If you cannot see the photos, your network administrator (or boss, if you’re at office) may have blocked access to Facebook. Please try loading from another place.

critical mass 8 dhaka
Only a small portion of the riders who joined today's Critical Mass.
critical mass 8 dhaka
When crossing intersections, volunteers blocked the moving vehicles because they are always impatient to cross first which could result in injury of cyclists.

critical mass 8 dhaka
Waiting besides street for those who fell behind.
critical mass 8 dhaka
There was some serious shouting to keep the riders disciplined.
critical mass 8 dhaka
There were youngsters. Really, really young!
critical mass 8 dhaka
There were people who regularly show up on Critical Mass events.
critical mass 8 dhaka
There were ladies making a spectacular scene for the roadside crowd that do not see lady riders in the streets very often.
critical mass 8 dhaka
There were serious riders!
critical mass 8 dhaka
There was fun!
critical mass 8 dhaka
There was ice cream!
critical mass 8 dhaka
And then, there was me. Never knew that I was shot!

So, that kind of wraps up the day. I didn’t feel well for the rest of the day. Because of excessive sweating, I felt way too tired. I was like stuck with my bed until evening. But it was wroth going out with other riders. Probably not the best Critical Mass in Dhaka, but it was worth it.

It’s your time to speak up. Do you ride a bicycle? Have you tried looking up if there are people who organize Critical Mass in your city? Will you be joining them if you find one? Let me know why or why not.

7 thoughts

  1. I have a bike but I don’t ride much, only if I’m headed towards the closest mall and don’t feel like walking. Back in school we used to ride collectively, and that was fun I suppose. But I’m not really that crazy in biking in general so I doubt I’d ever join an event as that.

    You looked like you had fun though :)! Too bad you have that sweating problem… you should have it checked up!


    1. These events are more fun than they look from the outside. An expert pool player told me that when you look at two people playing pool, you’ll believe it’s the world’s most boring game. But when you play it, it’ll be exciting.

      Group cycling is somewhat the same. Of course, unless you’re riding with a bunch of who don’t know how to make fun in riding breaks! 😛

      Sweating problem is killing me. My brother is a doctor but he wouldn’t prescribe me anything. He says there is a drug but it has side effects. 😐


      1. Oh… well sometimes it’s worth enduring some side effects if the problem is serious enough.

        Yeah I can understand that… cuz naturally… anything you do with a bunch of people who share the same interest is fun :).


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