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London Critical Mass tonight

lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
edited September 2008 in Commuting chat
I have been told about this by a friend, can't go myself, but had a look at their site because I didn't really know much about it.

Do any of you lot go on these? It seems to me, and please feel free to correct me if I've got this wrong, like the purpose of it is to p!ss off car drivers?

Is that the case?

I think a really big ride would be good fun, but I don't know whether it's a great idea to be doing one in central london where the traffic is so bad.

I notice a lot of police, do they clear a route?
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  • Oh no!

    (...leaps into fox hole to take cover)

    ...can of worms now officially open for the afternoon.
    The Greg

    "No, no, he didn't slam you, he didn't bump you, he didn't nudge you... he 'rubbed' you. And rubbin', son, is racin'!"

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  • FeltupFeltup Posts: 1,340
    One of my friends did this the other month. No fixed route as such but the police do try and shepherd everyone down their choice of route. This does not happen usually.

    Funny thing is my mates Dad went along with him last time and had great fun telling drivers to liberate themselves of their cars!
    Short hairy legged roadie FCN 4 or 5 in my baggies.

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  • The last Critical Mass I saw was a naked CM ride.

    Members of the Federation of Canadian Naturists (FCN) should fit right in.
  • Basically they are a bunch of yogurt knitting hippy halfwits who only have one aim and that is to piss off as many motorists as possible and then sit around the rest of the time whining about how much motorists hate them.
    Hanging is too good for them.
    And I didn't write wee-wee.
    The gear changing, helmet wearing fule.
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    Given up waiting for Fast as Fupp to start stalking me
  • JMC39JMC39 Posts: 38
    The videos look great. Looks like one big rave while you are on your bike.
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  • JMC39 wrote:
    The videos look great. Looks like one big rave while you are on your bike.


    I give up I am going for a ride and god help any granny who crosses without looking :evil: :evil:
    The gear changing, helmet wearing fule.
    FCN :- -1
    Given up waiting for Fast as Fupp to start stalking me
  • chronyxchronyx Posts: 455
    That looks like a right laugh 8)
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  • AndyMancAndyManc Posts: 1,393
    Boybiker you don't half talk a load of s*** , you sound like a right wing American commie bashing bush loving beatch.

    I've been to numerous Critical Masses in Manchester , they are frequented by all types , from anarchist to doctors , from engineers to performing artists , a total cross section of society.

    All are interested in the promotion of cycling and ride to demonstrate that cyclists have as much right to be on the road as all other vehicles.

    I'm amazed that many self proclaimed cycling fanatics know so little about the movement.

    Here’s a vid from a recent Manchester Critical Mass .

    Watch in high quality.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtdceE0i2sM
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  • It's an uneasy mix of hardcore commuters, CTC/LCC activists, a smattering of couriers, various ex-posters from the old forum, trustafarians and a handful of smellies who are just out for aggro with drivers/the fuzz/capitalism.

    I generally give it a wide berth now. But I gave attending tonight serious consideration as I suspect there will be something done to mark/protest about this weeks pointless deaths. Work dictated otherwise however.
  • boybiker wrote:
    Basically they are a bunch of yogurt knitting hippy halfwits who only have one aim and that is to wee-wee off as many motorists as possible and then sit around the rest of the time whining about how much motorists hate them.
    That was never the point of CM, but it is what they've become.
    boybiker wrote:
    Hanging is too good for them.
    And I didn't write wee-wee.

    Like this: piss
    Friends all tried to warn me but I held my head up high...
  • AndyManc wrote:

    Here’s a vid from a recent Manchester Critical Mass .

    Watch in high quality.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtdceE0i2sM

    Good video. It totally confirms boybiker's opinion.
    Friends all tried to warn me but I held my head up high...
  • prj45prj45 Posts: 2,208
    I joined one once a few years back and left quite quickly. didn't like the sight of seeing fellow "cyclists" holding their bikes up int he middle of junctions and blocking them.

    Might've changed since then.

    I'd say go along to one if you're curious, you can always leave if you feel uncomfortable and stay if you enjoy it.
  • I went to one last night for the first time, because I decided to see it for myself before making a decision, and some friends from another forum were going.

    Very mixed feelings. I did not stay too long, we went and got pancakes instead.

    Many of the people blocking the junctions were being very polite and nice about it, thanking the drivers profusely. And when the rest of the time, despite being skilled riders or whatever, we are pretty much at the mercy of drivers in their bigger, faster vehicles, it was nice to spend a short amount of time where it was the cyclists 'in control', if you see what I mean.

    However, I saw some nasty aggression that I in no way wanted to be associated with. Some people were obviously out for a fight. For example, one motorbike pushed his way into the crowd and a cyclist went apoplectic, shouting 'lets knock him off his bike!'. He then proceeded to allmost knock me off my bike in his eagerness to go and start a fight with the motorcyclist.

    I don't think that helps our cause at all. People will remember things like that and in the long term even more aggression will be directed at us, I feel. I am not sure I would go to another.

    Apparently there is often a police escort but there was no last night.
  • I went to the Mass last night for the first time in a year. I was surprised that there were no police 'supervising' the ride.

    The lack of police presence resulted in angrier confrontations than normal. This was particularly evident on Buckingham Palace Road. Police (in darker than normal uniforms - no white shirts) appeared from nowhere (or possibly from the Palace?) and threatened cyclists with arrest for 'obstructing the highway'. A black cab bumped a stationary cyclist from behind, almost resulting in a fight. The cab's bonnet was slapped and kicked. A few of us diffused the situation.

    Further down the same road, as most of the Mass had moved towards the front of the Palace, a car sped toward a group of stationary cyclists and broke just in time. The cyclists were understandably unnerved. One began photographing the car, upon which the sole passenger got out and tried to wrestle the camera from the cyclist. Remarkably he managed to do so, and got back in the car. The police reappeared to see the car surrounded by angry cyclists. Amid all the confusion the car's driver had disappeared!

    A policeman drove the car a little distance away, and returned (on foot) to say the camera was not in the car. What happened to the car and its driver I do not know. I did get its registration, which I gave with my contact details to the now camera-less cyclist.

    Most of the rest of the evening passed without incident and was good, friendly fun. I mention the above as an illustration of what can happen without police supervision. We can safely assume the police would prefer Critical Mass not to happen. Did they forgo supervising it this time, in the hope that such incidents would occur, giving the authorities justification for banning it in future?
  • Well, I was there last night too, on the recumbent, 'cos I was too knackered from the Freewheel event to bring my sound system.
    I think the lack of police did bring out an element of aggression from the car drivers, however I also think that we showed that we could deal with the mass ourselves.

    I had a slight confrontation with the "have a go" bobbies at the palace, who expected me to walk on the pavement with my bicycle if I couldn't go fast enough because of the cyclists in front of me.

    I kindly pointed out to him that as I was on a bicycle in the road, I was therefore traffic, and as he was standing there, he was a pedestrian, and suggested that he tried the pavement.

    I wonder if you need a complete lack of common sense to join the police, or if you attain it after you join?

    In answer to the original thread ... CM is whatever you want it to be.
    I see it as a party in the streets to celibrate cycling. Sure, it slows down some motorists, but hey .. it's one evening a month ... they slow me down every day of the year.
  • I was there as well, my first time, and I have to admit from what I'd heard I expected it to be a whole lot more bad tempered than it was. There were a few incidents of course, but to be honest, a lot of these happen to cyclists every day, whether they are riding in massive groups or not...

    It was a lot of fun for the most part, and ending up in Brick Lane was nice too, even though it meant a fairly long ride home!

    I can see the cars' points of view like when we blocked up Parliament Square, that annoyed me a little as we couldn't move either, but it was still a nice gathering, like said, it's only one day a month....



    AV2 did you have the blue strip light on your recumbent? Was that you?
  • :D Naha, that was a three wheeler recumbent ... I was on the two wheeler, Mike Burrows Rat Racer with the front wheel drive ... low slung, fast and yellow.

    http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/bikes/recumbent/product/ratracer-sl-12572
  • BuglyBugly Posts: 520
    looking at the video link posted - my comments are that it appears to be pointless aggrevation of other road users that is going to reinforce negative attitudes to cyclists on roads.
  • Bugly wrote:
    looking at the video link posted - my comments are that it appears to be pointless aggrevation of other road users that is going to reinforce negative attitudes to cyclists on roads.

    Well now, I have to say that looking at the videos that was also what I thought. But then I can see the point behind it too... interesting.
  • Gah, this was done to death when the NYC cop thing came up...

    What next? Helmets Vs. No helmets? Campy Vs. Shimano? Dont think that they have came up in the past 3 days either..

    CM are a bunch of cnuts, they are not cyclists - no real cyclist would chose to waste a ride going really slow through a city when there are much nicer rides to be had.

    If a CM even ever happened near me, i think i would cycle along and hurl abuse along with the rest of the peds and car drivers - its one step below anarchism what they are doing, and not something they have any right tarring the name of cyclists with.

    To the people who went on the ride, and the few who will no doubt disagree with me - did the ride achieve anything??

    The only thing that it did achieve was to generate negative press and general bad feeling for cyclists. Give yourself a pat on the back guys, ill be glad you were there fighting for my rights when i next get harassed on my bike...
  • AndyMancAndyManc Posts: 1,393
    Parsnip49 .. BULL**** .

    Manchester CM is often attended by local cycling groups, many are what I consider to be right wing .

    CM , as already pointed out , is attended by a diverse political collection and are 'real' cyclists ,so much so that they are willing to get off their censored and force change unlike yourself that is seemingly willing to accept the status quo.

    Cyclists get harassed on the road by 'nutters' that have never heard of CM, face it, the mentality of many drivers is that they own the road, can do as they wish, and no-one has the right to get in their way or slow them down.

    CM has virtually zero effect in promoting this mindset.
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  • I went to one last night for the first time, because I decided to see it for myself before making a decision, and some friends from another forum were going.

    Very mixed feelings. I did not stay too long, we went and got pancakes instead.

    Many of the people blocking the junctions were being very polite and nice about it, thanking the drivers profusely.
    [snip]
    Apparently there is often a police escort but there was no last night.

    Well I was one of the ones being nice to the cars stopped for us at Waterloo. I had quite a good chat with a porche driver who waited for ages as hundreds of cyclists went through. Then someone rode up and called him a censored . And he then tried to go around me.

    Then everyone got split up on Shaftsbury Avenue, started riding down the wrong side of the road to overtake stopped cars and started blocking the traffic coming the other way. Someone was having a blazing row with a woman on a bus, someone else almost knocked over a woman crossing the road when a bunch of us had stopped to let her across and then another bunch blocked traffic coming the other way again.

    At this point I left. Or least I tried to - I was unable to ride Northwards again because a southbound bloke had decided to place his bike in front of a North-bound taxi. I actually had to ask him what he thought the was doing and he just looked blank and confused. I'm afraid I shouted at him and had the taxi driver AGREE with me. I feel dirty all over.

    I've ridden on the Mass on and off for 12 years and last Friday was the cruddiest, most aggressive and point-free ride I've ever been on. Usually, pedestrians cheer us on, but not the other night. I'm not saying never again, but I went home fuming that something I've loved and appreciated as a simple, grass-roots method of both promoting city cycling AND having a fun, sociable ride has become so bloody pointless now.

    The relentless policing of the ride has left the majority of people unable to organise it themselves. If I was a policeman trying to show CM is a nuisance, not policing it one week and pointing at the resulting mess would certainly be a good strategy. I really hope it wasn't theirs.

    I'm not knocking Critical Mass, but I do think it's time as a campaigning ride has passed. We won. Bikes are everywhere in London at least. Now, if only we could get them all to ride well and with respect for others on the roads and pavements I'd be a happy man.
    Phew. Rant over.
  • CM are a bunch of cnuts, they are not cyclists - no real cyclist would chose to waste a ride going really slow through a city when there are much nicer rides to be had.

    Charming way you have with words. But as to the main point I defer to your superiority as a "real cyclist", which clearly I am not. In fact, I'm not even clear what I would have to do to become a "real cyclist", although if it meant expressing views like yours above I don't think I would be interested.
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    Parsnip's back with his considered, gentle wisdom! Hurrah! If someone has time perhaps they could do a compilation of his recent posts for anyone who might have missed out.
  • Clever PunClever Pun Posts: 6,778
    CM are a bunch of cnuts, they are not cyclists - no real cyclist would chose to waste a ride going really slow through a city when there are much nicer rides to be had.

    Charming way you have with words. But as to the main point I defer to your superiority as a "real cyclist", which clearly I am not. In fact, I'm not even clear what I would have to do to become a "real cyclist", although if it meant expressing views like yours above I don't think I would be interested.

    A friend of mine went for his own reasons and is certainly more of a real cyclist than myself having done the etape et al

    generalisation/stereotyping is great... it's that kind of thought process that sets the world back
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  • PeteinSQPeteinSQ Posts: 2,292
    I went on CM once about two years ago (the week after the police threatened to ban it) and I hated it. I just couldn't cope with the agression that was meted out by some of the cyclists towards drivers, many of whom had done nothing wrong. I never went back, and I never will go back.
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  • Yoghurt knitting, tofu munching to$$ers.


    :lol:

    Joking apart, I don't get CM. I have no desire to ride really slowly through London, it sounds too much like the London to Brighton to me. Does it actually do anything to improve the lot of us cyclists? From what I have seen of it there are always anarchist type morons who are simply spoiling for a fight and spoil if for everyone.
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  • dondaredondare Posts: 2,113
    Yoghurt knitting, tofu munching to$$ers.


    :lol:

    Joking apart, I don't get CM. I have no desire to ride really slowly through London, it sounds too much like the London to Brighton to me. Does it actually do anything to improve the lot of us cyclists? From what I have seen of it there are always anarchist type morons who are simply spoiling for a fight and spoil if for everyone.

    I've done the London to Brighton a few times and it was fun.
    This post contains traces of nuts.
  • I've done it once and it was a nightmare of corroded frames, deflated tyres and squealing brakes.

    Never again.
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  • Clever PunClever Pun Posts: 6,778
    dondare wrote:
    Yoghurt knitting, tofu munching to$$ers.


    :lol:

    Joking apart, I don't get CM. I have no desire to ride really slowly through London, it sounds too much like the London to Brighton to me. Does it actually do anything to improve the lot of us cyclists? From what I have seen of it there are always anarchist type morons who are simply spoiling for a fight and spoil if for everyone.

    I've done the London to Brighton a few times and it was fun.

    agreed... but I can't see how the 2 are comparable in any way
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