Tonight I went to my first Critical Mass. I was strangely nervous, I think because I still feel so new to riding and I almost always ride alone. But I had a beer to steel my nerves and then met up with the crowd at Jackson Square. Everyone was incredibly friendly and had lots of nice things to say about my bike, which I of course liked. I have these battery powered LED Christmas lights that I have strung around my frame, and they are a real crowd pleaser. I was happy to see so many different kinds of bikes and riders–hipsters on fixies, moms on hybrids, me on my pink cruiser, college kids on mountain bikes. We rode over to the free ferry at Algiers and then rode up the west bank levee to the ferry in Gretna that brought us back Uptown. I snapped this photo on the Algiers ferry, as we pulled away from the dock, city lights glowing in the background. I ride around this city all the time, but I have never ridden this way or seen New Orleans from this particular vantage point. It was beautiful, and I felt fortunate to be part of a crowd of bike riders, many talking about how riding bikes has changed how they see the city, how they smell and taste and feel the city. I feel exactly the same way. My life is different since I got on my bike, in only positive ways.