*Jim Swanson has been Matt’s good friend for almost 20 years, and over the past eight that Matt and I have been together, I’ve come to love Jim, to see through his irascible outer bark, past the curmudgeon underneath, to the lovable crank inside. I’ve heard the Critical Mass Origin Myth*** a thousand times, how it started as a few friends, Jim and Matt included, who just thought it if they rode their bikes home together they’d be more visible to motorists. After that, all hell broke loose for a while, and now I can feel safe to ride my bike on the streets of San Francisco.
**So named after friend James, who, oops, broke his collarbone there 20 years ago. Ah, youth. After that, they started playing touch.
*** For the definitive history of the original Critical Mass movement, look here.