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Bike Demonstration Snarls Downtown Traffic

FOR THE RECORD (May 21, 1997): Store not involved: Bikeworks’ downtown Spokane store is not a contact for the group Critical Mass, which staged a demonstration Friday to promote alternatives to automobiles. A story in Saturday’s newspaper incorrectly listed the store as a contact for the group.

A group of 50 bicyclists wanted to make their presence felt in downtown Spokane by letting motorists know the car isn’t the only way to go.

A group called Critical Mass rode through downtown Spokane at rush hour on Friday and tried to snarl traffic.

“We weren’t trying to be completely obnoxious, just somewhat obnoxious,” said Critical Mass member Roark Stephens.

The group followed the rules of the road and avoided any unpleasantries, although one bicyclist said a couple of motorists gave her an obscene gesture.

Unfortunately, Critical Mass’ unified front became disassembled during its hourlong ride because the group got separated at stoplights.

“It’s just another way to make a statement,” said Kai Huschke, a member of the Spokane Bicycle Advisory Board.

“You can’t completely replace the car,” Huschke said. “But when the opportunity presents itself and you can, the bike is great exercise. It cuts down on traffic, and it reduces wear and tear on the roads.”

Critical Mass has bike groups throughout the country. Friday’s event was part of a nationwide effort to call attention to what the organization believes is an important cause.

Critical Mass will take to the streets of Spokane again on June 6. For more information about the group contact the downtown Bikeworks at 455-9528.

, DataTimes