Nov 2023

This was a difficult Mass. After visiting locations where riders had been killed, on the reasonably successful September and October rides, this ride was led out by fast moving riders, who set the pace without waiting for others behind, and the rest behind struggled to keep up. There were a larger number than usual of Palestinian flags being carried by riders but they dropped out of the ride early on.

The ride splintered early on, roaming in between traffic (“filtering”), causing cars and other vehicles to end up between groups of riders, putting cyclists at higher risk of an accident. Mixed in amongst these riders were a group of approximately ten teenagers, dressed in black facemasks, some riding high powered ebikes.

The ride went east and then north into the city, running into roadworks and a road closure, which caused a fair degree of confusion over what to do next. The ride eventually came back together somewhat, and headed north along the eastern side of Regents Park, after again filtering through traffic around a huge traffic jam around Kings Cross St Pancras.

Around Kentish Town, a middle aged woman temporarily visting family in London had her phone stolen by the teenagers. They were chased down by Mass riders but ultimately managed to get away. Some CM riders remained with the woman and helped her to report what had happened to her. Others went on.

The ride splintered further as some went north to visit a squat; while the majority of the ride ended up back at Granary Square, where it dispersed.

The reappearance of the phone thieves acted as a catalyst for more discussion about how to approach the problem, and producing of leaflets for the new year rides to hand out to participants, advising them that the fast pace of the ride in the darkness was enabling the gangs of thieves to do snatches – the most important thing is to slow down and communicate with each other on the ride.