We loved the London Critical Mass ride. This time, it went to the site of the latest killing.
Critical Mass this September was one of the best for a while in terms of how it was led and the corking – far less shambolic uncertainty and bad decision making at the front. There were minor problems sometimes, with people blocking junctions that didn’t need to be blocked, filtering through stationary traffic (never ever do this!), and racing ahead without waiting for everyone to mass up, but on the whole it ran better than recent months AND we got to where we needed to be at Chelsea Bridge.
Sometimes, I couldn’t work out if this was the worst CM I’ve been on, or the best.
One pedestrian said to me we weren’t making ourselves popular with the drivers by blocking them off. But then if Mass was about being popular we wouldn’t do it.
Got a great response from people about the flyers. Met loads of cool people had a good time!
The beginning was a bit messy, some of us headed down the underpass but when we got to the other side we were a small number so we cut back round and met the group by trafalgar square. Other than that it was great. A driver who was a little angry about being behind the cork line said, as the last riders rode by “good way to make yourselves popular!” and it got me thinking; must people or groups be popular to have their rights? I don’t think that’s the case…
Chelsea was great, especially Sloan Square!
Drivers get pissed off at cyclists just for existing, drivers hate (and sometimes hit and kill) cyclists who are by themselves and riding perfectly normally.
I thought it was great. It was very random, especially the part where everyone stood in the middle of the junction for no reason. In places it went a bit wrong because people didn’t act as a democracy. Certain people would tell others what to do and other times the group got split as people went different ways rather than voting and all sticking together. The event is at its best when everyone is close together as you can completely fill up the road and stop all the cars.
This was not random – the Mass did what the Mass does best: it massed and went straight to the site where one of us was killed this week.
Another event is planned to protest her death, which was at a dangerous junction that TfL and the Borough of Kingston and Chelsea have failed to make safe for cyclists. The death may also explain why we spent so much time in this cycle-phobic borough this month
The Mass was great. People wanted to send a message, after the tragic events on Chelsea bridge it was quite apt to block and take the four way junction and also good to do so further into the borough. As for leadership, there are no leaders, just those at the front making suggestions and working together, which they did well tonight.
It was great that we went to Chelsea bridge to remember the woman who died there just a couple of days ago. It was more than necessary that we clogged up that four way junction to show that it is important to watch out for cyclists. Even though some people don’t get it or don’t care about it, but the whole idea of mass is to take back the streets and to stand up against all these car and lorry drivers who endanger us every single day. Well done.
Corking was generally spot on with a couple of exceptions. We had a very good reason for taking the junction at Chelsea Bridge. Definitely a good CM tonight, if a bit short.
I thought the corking was ok. Thanks to those who corked. The front was a bit fast (it always is). The wheely kids seemed confused about why we took the junction. It would have been good if someone gave a speech? The wheely kids sometimes cork the mass: they stop in the way of the procession. Perhaps we should tell them to keep moving and not get distracted?
It was great mess; we had good time.
It went rather crazy when a TFL bus knocked someone off their bike. The driver looked like he couldn’t care less about what happened. He did not follow procedure and did not fill out an accident form. It looked like he would attempt to carry on driving though the bikes.
It was an interesting mass, just felt at times that it looked to drivers that we were holding them up for the sake of it and therefore intentionally trying to antagonise them.
At times, it looks to me as though cars are deliberately holding up pedestrians and cyclists. And yet they keep going!
Today my 30 year old Son took my 17 year old Son and he really enjoyed it.