On Friday I headed along to this Months Critical Mass. It was very strange that the Police weren’t there at all to do the corking of the junctions, and hold back any frustrated drivers. The two usual off-duty bike paramedics were there. It took a while for the mass to get used to the idea of corking the traffic themselves. There was a few times when some drivers tried to have a run at some of the cyclists, which was quite frightening. These possibly would have been less likely to happen with the bike police there. The key to preventing the drivers from being annoyed is to keep the whole ride moving all the time.
After Buckingham Palace the ride managed split in two, with both halves meeting up later. At one point we did bump into a bunch of organised roller skaters.
As the sun is setting around the time the ride starts off, so it becomes more difficult to get good photos, particularly with most people wearing reflective clothing.
Overall it turned out to be a good night without any major incident.
Quick catchup post. On the First Friday of July 2008, the first South London Critical Mass was held. On the way I done some mapping for OSM, finding some unnamed roads. I find Critical Mass useful for learning your way around London (or wherever it is held), as through random route will take you to parts of the city you have never been before.
Some photos (Just noticed that the Geotagging of the last few failed):
On Friday I headed in to the centre of Edinburgh for November’s Critical Mass. Even before I set off from work in the west of the city, it was pitch black. So I had my lights and reflective jacket on.
About 17:45 a whole load of fireworks started from Edinburgh Castle to mark St Andrews Day. We had a great view point from the foot of the mount between the two National Galleries. There was a couple of points where the fireworks went off in a cross pattern, a bit like the cross on the Saltire (our national flag).
Today I watched the River City
omnibus. Friday’s episode really emphasised the fact that in Scotland we really don’t celebrate Saint Andrews Day. In fact we usually forget that Saint Andrews Day even exists. Over the other side of the pond, Tartan Day is celebrated (at a different time of year), far more than what we do. Are we Scots no use a celebrating? Or are we just too busy working to bother with celbrations?
This months Edinburgh Critical Mass had about 50 participants.
I am running rather behind on blogging 🙁
On Friday I went along to the monthly Critical Mass again.
I managed to arrive just in time this month for them setting off from the foot of the Mound at 6pm. This month seems to have been busier that the previous two months. There was about 44-55 people on their bikes there.
This month there was no major problems. Unfortunately at a few points there motor vehicle getting into the middle of the group, but we managed to sort that out quite quickly. Also on our way up Leith Street, when we were stopped at the traffic lights, there was two police cars coming up behind us with their sirens blaring and lights flashing. Unlike motor vehicles, we were able to rapidly shift over to one side of the road and on the pavement and let them past.
In true Critical Mass style at the last minute, we decided to head to an off-licence and then the Meadows for the after cycle drink and chat instead of the usual trip to The Peartree pub
Unfortunately the GPS has gobbled my GPS logs again, so I had to re-create the route from memory.
On Friday I headed to the Edinburgh Critical Mass again. It was a lot busier than last month, which meant that it was better perceived by the public.
As the route of the Critical Mass is not predefined, it is very easy to change the route. When we tried to turn right from Princes Street into North Bridge, no vehicles were allowed, so instead we headed down Leith Street.
Yesterday I cycled in the Edinburgh Critical Mass.
The idea about Critical Mass is to raise awareness of cycling. A large group of cyclists just get together and cycle around a city as a group. It is completely unorganised except the starting location and time. No route is planned in advance. Anyone in the group can decide to take the lead and the route is chosen on the fly by consensus.
In Edinburgh, on the last Friday of every month at 17:30 for 18:00 set off, a bunch of cyclists get together at the the foot of the mound beside the National Galleries of Scotland. The cycle takes around an hour or two.
Some photos that I took on Flickr
Same photos on Picasa Web Albums