25 February 2012

London Critical Mass is losing its appeal

It's been a while since I last joined the London Critical Mass. I reckon it was back in November. I rode my first one 3.5 years ago, and I am afraid things seem to have changed...

Let's start with the upsides:
  • It was a relaxed (maybe too relaxed) ride in central London, nearly traffic free
  • Met interesting people with interesting bikes. Good reassurance, once again, that I am not the only obsessed cyclist in London
  • Saw cool bikes, including at least three Long Haul Truckers (more on this soon!) that had probably been used quite extensively
  • Weather was great for February
Now, things that truly annoy me and may prevent me from joining this ride in the future:
  • Folk drink way too much, and smoke way too many joints on this ride. What's the point? 
  • Very young skate-boarders seem to be tagging along recently. Not that I mind them that much, but they seemed to cause a few small incidents with other cyclists, one of who was a very old man. 
  • It used to be a very mixed crowd, with plenty of families, young kids, teens, grown-ups etc. Nowadays it's way too many drunk youngsters and hipsters doing tricks on the pavement. This annoys everyone, but mostly pedestrians
  • The mass seems to be going through impossible places that you're not even allowed to ride on. Also, they block streets and roundabouts. Again, what's the point? To annoy other users and create more anger? Or to share the roads?
  • Drivers get annoyed and saw plenty of angry and aggressive ones, getting out of their cars and threatening cyclists. When those cyclists are drunk/high, the situation is far from pleasant.
I gathered a few shots of the event, before I got into chatting with other cyclists.

Before the start
View from Waterloo Bridge
Nice sound system!
Using pedestrianised roads?! At least it was a nice shot!

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