Today, after work I took part in my first Critical Mass ride! The LGRAB Summer Games Part I, gave me the spur I needed to make sure I left work on time to cycle my 7 miles into the city centre to join the others!
And I am soooo glad I did!
It was so much fun! Met some great people and loved riding (leisurely) in group. We had music, we had bells and cheers! Many drivers and passers by were very amused, few grumpy ones, but hey you can’t lose those. We had a fun ride, weaving in and out the city centre, making ourselves heard, showing how much fun it is to ride a bike! We were just shy of 200 riders!
The sunshine helped for sure!
Manchester Critical Mass statement is:
Every last Friday of the month cyclists gather at 6pm at central library for a bike ride to celebrate cycling in our city.
Critical mass is a bike ride that happens in our city and cities all over the world every last Friday of the month.
Critical Mass rides began in San Francisco in 1992 and rides spread around the United States and the world with over 200 rides taking place in 2006.
Critical Mass has no leaders, and no central organization licenses rides. In every city that has a Critical Mass ride, some locals simply picked a date, time, and location for the ride and publicised it, and thus the ride was born. Critical Mass is an idea and an event, not an organization.
it is a great way to meet other cyclists and to have a fun bike ride.
It is not a fast ride and often children come too, everyone is welcome to come and celebrate the bicycle!
We have some guidelines that we drew up together, these include:
1. If the light goes on red as the ride approaches the lights we stop and wait for green.
2. If the light changes part way through the ride getting through around 2 people per lane of oncoming traffic stop and cork the road. This basically means that they stand in the middle of that lane holding up their hand/ asign saying ‘thank you for waiting’ so that cars will stop and let the ride stay together and go through the light safely. Thanking the drivers when everyone is through.. we are trying to get drivers onto bikes not to hate us!!!
b. UNLESS the red light is a pedestrian GREEN. Then we stop and the front of the ride waits for the rest of the ride, same if it’s a zebra crossing.
3. Slower riders and children and people with less confidence ride at the front of the ride and to the left hand side so that they can set the pace and help to stay together and also feel safer as they are less likely to be near traffic.
4. We don’t have a set route for critical mass, instead whoever is at the front at the time can choose where we go, so we take it in turns! just shout left or right or straight on in plenty of time!
5. Have fun!
We are not about antagonising drivers, we want them to see how much fun
bicycling is and get outta their cars and join us!!!
plus a simple, wobbly video just to give you a feel for it ; )