April 2020

My healthy outdoor out-of-lockdown exercise yesterday took me to the embankment under the south end of Waterloo Bridge at about 6.45pm; there were no bikes or cyclists gathered there…

It occurred to me that the London CM might recently have become a “reformed character” while I’ve been mostly absent from it for a while, and had reverted to its “proper” timing: meeting from 6pm onwards and setting off soon after 6.30 (ah – they were the days…).

However, thinking that unlikely, I wondered whether other cyclists might be about to appear. The trickle of cyclists I did see were all just passing by, in a very un-Mass-like fashion.

At 7pm, remembering that the highest court in the land had, some years ago, ruled that the ride was exempt from the notification provisions of the Public Order Act because they considered it to have become a “Customary Procession”, and noting that it was the Mass’s 26th birthday (give or take the odd day – OK – 5 days), I thought I’d better process in a customary fashion. Albeit just for half an hour round southern parts outside my normal comfort zone.

Meandering around Elephant, Vauxhall, and nearby, I can report that I was shocked at the amount of traffic south of the river yesterday evening – far more than ‘tother side of the river around my patch in the centre of town. Just the sort of evening when I needed the protection of a few hundred other cyclists! Oh well…

So – I wonder whether anyone will happen to be on their bike in the usual place at the usual time in 34 days’ time?

PS: If the current strange situation we’re living through means that the London CM has to be re-booted in the coming months, I’d very much be into re-booting it back at the earlier time that it’s drifted steadily away from over the years. If some of us arrive from 6pm, and leave at 6.30 even if we’re relatively few in number, maybe we can get the ride back into better habits again? It’s an ill wind…

1 thought on “April 2020

  1. From the List: http://lists.riseup.net/www/info/cm-london

    Jjust days before the last friday of march 2020 the admins on the FB London CM group decided unilaterally to announce that mass was cancelled – there was nothing democratic or even helpful about it.

    I don’t follow the Facebook group now, but the correct response to such an announcement would have been for people to ignore it and make up their own minds.

    I started riding with CM in London 16 years ago but I rarely attend now. I thought about it but decided against for several reasons, not least because I didn’t want to take the train and wasn’t up for a 40 mile round trip by bike.

    Even if it wasn’t being enforced I would be avoiding crowds anyway, but I was also thinking that if any significant number of people turned up the police might attempt to disperse them and maybe get heavy with fines. Also I was aware of the potential for negative publicity (bloody cyclists putting us all in danger).

    However, I am glad that at least one person did show up and go for a ride.

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