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A Monthly Cycle Ladies Will Actually Welcome: Critical Lass

By Kim Bellware in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 15, 2011 8:20PM

Photo from the May 2011 Critical Lass Ride (via Chicago Critical Lass Facebook page)
Lady bikers of Chicago are finally getting--to heavily paraphrase Virginia Woolf--"a ride of one's own" in the new women and trans-only monthly bike ride, Chicago Critical Lass.

Taking a page from the worldwide gathering of bikes-cum-political demonstration, Critical Mass, the new Critical Lass monthly ride will cover a 5-8 mile stretch of the city every third Thursday, spanning from May to September. The mass meeting point remains the same each month, where participants can meet at the Polish Triangle near the intersection of Ashland, Division and Milwaukee for some cycling camaraderie and 10 MPH cruising. A new route is created for each ride, which is posted to MassUp for the stragglers to miss the 6:30 start time.

The Chicago and Tennessee-based bike blog Let's Go Ride a Bike cites Edmonton, Canada as the originator of the Critical Lass bike ride, with the idea later picked up by the lady cyclist blogger behind One Less Minivan and applied to the Windy City. While it kind of chaps our ass that we had to borrow an idea from the Canadians, at least the Chicago version of the ride culminates with a happy hour.

Info from the Critical Lass website states that it aims to "encourage both novice and seasoned riders to get on their bikes," so the ride is open to all skill levels and ages, including children (provided they keep pace or stay in their trailer).

Chicago Critical Lass is every third Thursday of the month from May to September. The mass meets at 6 p.m. with the ride starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Polish Triangle, 1201 N Milwaukee Ave