Critical Mass London August 2017

Not necessarily in that order, the mass was in St Pauls, Kings Cross, Old Street, Hyde Park …

Some commments on some closed network that spies on every one, whether we belong to it or not, and is only accessible by selling your soul and friends.

Last month was a bit intense but this was more chilled. Still sort of quiet. Some of the best keeping together and corking I’ve seen for a few months. Good effort people.

Tonight was my first time and I loved it. There are challenging drivers every day, not just during mass. I think they’re great.

“I wish the police were with us sometimes “!!!! Haha. Someone doesn’t get what it’s about…

In Berlin the police often give mass a police escort, it’s great, shuts the angry taxi drivers up too. I didn’t think mass was about pissing people off. Surely it’s about peacefully raising awareness for cyclists and having a blast at the same time?

A few founding principles for CM. They are embedded in the name in fact… critical mass, creating a large group of cyclists who are so overwhelming in number and density that it shows what things could be like if we had more sense when it comes to city planning. To create this you need to keep together, cork, wait for the back to catch up and stop motor vehicles infiltrating the mass. If you don’t do this then you don’t have a critical mass, and so it isn’t Critical Mass. If the goal is to piss off motorists with crazy cycling then that isn’t Critical Mass, it is something else and should maybe be held on a different night for those who want that kind of thing.

Take note everyone. Note the lack of danger, lack of apprehension, lack of antagonism, lack of aggression and violence. Take note of the space between cyclists (without losing the group), the safe corking, the stopping at red lights to collect the direction and flow of the mass, the general occupation of space (peacefully!), the joy and noise making. This was what Critical Mass used to be, these masses used to have more than 500 riders after the 9pm mark. It’s time to head back to these times, and make everyone feel free and happy in the peaceful, awareness-spreading ride that mass should be. I don’t think many bystanders of last night’s mass would show much respect for cyclists in comparison to what these rides were only two years ago.

Not showing this to start beef with anyone, just want to spread awareness for maybe some new people in Mass, so that at least we can try to get back to this.

Just did the first one for a year. Used to attend quite regularly 4 or 5 years ago. The ride has gone severely down hill… crap caulking, no waiting, getting vehicles caught up in it that should be allowed to proceed …

There’s a lot of talk about how mass has gone down hill and how brilliant it used to be. I just simply do not believe this, I only got involved in Critical Mass last year so might not know enough but talk of the good old days just seems to be romanticising the past. There are news stories of horrible acts of violence at critical mass as long as critical mass has existed, and the very nature of Critical Mass, it has no organisers and anyone can show up, means there will always be a few issues, along with the fact that a very large group of cyclists are riding around London as a group, and if the sight of just one cyclist is enough to trigger anger in many a motorist, the sight of thousands is enough to send many a driver into blind rage. Last night’s one was really good in my opinion, for the best part everyone was doing a really good job of corking and there was only a small amount of confrontation, a few arguments obviously but that is bound to happen. I mean a wheelie kid did hit my arm when I was sticking my arm out to give someone a high five and that’s annoying, but that doesn’t mean it’s damaged beyond repair. Critical Mass has been happening for a very long time without central planning or organisers, just a set time of each month and a few principles. I think it’s best not be cynical because not every single mass goes perfectly, a few months ago at mass hardly anyone was corking and there was a bit more bad behaviour from some of the riders but that doesn’t mean the whole thing has been ruined beyond repair, just that the very nature of what mass is means it’s impossible for there to never be any problems. It never was as idyllic as some claim it is and it isn’t as bad now as many claim it is. A bad night at critical mass is a bit like a bad day at Work, it is bound to happen sometimes but it doesn’t mean you should just quit and think everything’s been ruined.

When you have some aggressive bloke try and steal stuff out of your backpack and then attempt to stub his cigarette out in your face when you catch him (and then have his mate come over and try and slap you as well) I think some of you might tend to agree the ride is going down hill and attracting an unsavoury element… good luck to the rest of you but be warned, it might be your turn to get someone from the ride to attempt to mug you next month…

Was this in old st after the moped in the bike lane incident? I had a great night but am sorry this happened.

Last month there was footage of riders on CM stealing a wheel off a parked bike. The thieves are not welcome and we shouldn’t accept their behaviour.

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