Critical Mass London March 2017

23rd anniversary

A sunny day brought out a large crowd, 500 or more. We started by keeping south of the river along York Road westbound to Westminster Bridge. There were lots of police around dealing with their own nonsense. We didn’t stop in Westminster square, or circle it, but head straight up east along Whitehall. Two groups of protestors were drowned out by the sound system. The police seemed relieved. EDL offshoot against Antifa, kettled apart, shouting scum at each other in tired repetition.

We dog legged off Whitehall arounf Great Scotland Year to Northumberland Avenue, through up to Picadilly Circus and back down again to keep east along the Strand heading east to Fleet Street on wards east to St. Paul’s to stop in Paternoster Square. It had been fairly fast an we’d started off through some key London stuff. The lights are off in Picadilly Circus for the first time in 50 years, that was something to see.

The stop in Paternoster Square was at least 25 minutes. We stopped “first dates” a show on channel 4 from being filmed for that time. So that’s one positive. But without alcohol these long breaks bite. I’ll have to start drinking again.

Slowly we got going again, looping around the square, out and in again (leaving loads of rubbish in our wake – like anti-cockroaches sweeping on) and reversed our root back to Northumberland Avenue. I left here. We don’t have long boarders any longer, but the young teens doing wheelies have replaced them. I’m not a fan. If you aren’t sure how to do a wheelie then don’t do it right next to me, and if you do, say sorry. Shit.

I left here. Whatever. I kept wondering about the protests we saw. How harsh and shouty they were. The police control. The cameras. That they had no leaflets. And then there’s us as well. It used to be more political. There was more edge when it was iffy-legal. More pro-cycling ra-ra. More cycle. Now, I think the slow town party crowd is dominant. Every time we stop for a second there’s a 20 minute drinking break. But no more occupations of junctions. No semi-aggro bike lifts. No chants of “who streaks? Arse streaks!” (that’s it no?)

Things change. I think I need to drink more if I’m going to enjoy it in 2017.

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