Author Topic: Critical massing  (Read 914 times)

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Critical massing
« on: March 20, 2018, 02:49:34 pm »
Do these still happen - in big cities, I guess.

Are there any informal ones that occur occasionally - and is there any advice out there about getting one going, running ones etc?

(I know that they work legally because they are not organised... but this would be to make a point on a certain route, which hopefully might morph into a celebration of greater usage in the future.)
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Critical massing
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2018, 02:53:25 pm »
I think it still happens in Bristol. As for organising one, maybe start with word of mouth to friends? Or ask flash mob people what they do?
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Critical massing
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2018, 02:58:11 pm »
Birmingham had one that varied from about 2 to 150 people, depending on the weather.  It was generally well-spirited and celebratory, without the aggro element you hear about in That London (which isn't to say there wasn't the occasional shouty motorist, but most people's reaction was positive).  The only police entanglement I remember was when the Cathedral objected to people assembling on their grounds during choir practice (or something), and in the interests of diplomacy the meeting point was moved about a hundred metres to public land outside their fence.

Unfortunately, a core group of regulars decided to unilaterally change the day of month and start location, which didn't get publicised very widely because they did everything on Facebook.  I've no idea if it's still going.


I hear good things about Leicester.
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telstarbox

  • Loving the lanes
Re: Critical massing
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2018, 03:51:34 pm »
It's an interesting question - at what point does a bunch of cyclists go from a large "group ride" to a fully fledged "Mass"?1

The London one is very much alive and well, on the last Friday of the month. Numbers probably touch 1,000 + several substantial soundsystems in summer months with good weather. No pre-planned routes but the same locations tend to get visited regularly (Waterloo Bridge > Strand Underpass, Oxford Street, Buckingham Palace). It's definitely worth doing if you're ever in London on the day.

[1] - A possible answer is "when the group is too long to cross a junction in a single cycle of the traffic lights".
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Basil

  • Um....err......oh bugger!
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Re: Critical massing
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2018, 04:08:01 pm »
Birmingham had one that varied from about 2 to 150 people, depending on the weather. 

I was one of those 2 people.
Well, not actually, as we decided not to bother.  Maybe there was one where 2 people did bother.
Quote from: Kim
And remember that friends who organise things on Facebook aren't proper friends anyway.

Re: Critical massing
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2018, 07:33:41 pm »
It's an interesting question - at what point does a bunch of cyclists go from a large "group ride" to a fully fledged "Mass"?1
I'd say a group ride is where all participants agree in advance to turn up at a specified time and place, they either know each other already or intend to do so, they don't intend to accept random additions, and they have either a specified destination or a rough time limit in common. I don't think the actual numbers are a factor: you could have ten thousand turn up for PBP and that wouldn't make it a Critical Mass ride (though it would have achieved a critical mass necessary to dominate the road).
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Re: Critical massing
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2018, 08:12:32 pm »
The London one is very much alive and well, on the last Friday of the month. Numbers probably touch 1,000 + several substantial soundsystems in summer months with good weather. No pre-planned routes but the same locations tend to get visited regularly (Waterloo Bridge > Strand Underpass, Oxford Street, Buckingham Palace). It's definitely worth doing if you're ever in London on the day.

The London one has become somewhat less enjoyable since the Bikest0rmz / "wheelie kids" / whatever decided to become regulars in the last year or two. Lots of wheelieing against oncoming traffic, and amongst other riders, plus shoplifting during stops. Quite a few people I know have stopped going.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Critical massing
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2018, 10:25:21 pm »
Good thought provoking stuff. Thanks - more ideas and stuff welcome too!
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Critical massing
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2018, 10:43:47 pm »
I attended a few in London several years ago; got fed up when it became apparent that it was mostly inconveniencing poor buggers on buses. And dickheads holding bikes above their heads on major junctions completely missing the point


thanks to various things including Boris bikes cycling in London has become a bit more normal (which it always was and is for me) without needing to make a point once a month and pissing off everyone else

Redlight

  • Enjoying life in the slow lane
Re: Critical massing
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2018, 10:18:55 am »
It's an interesting question - at what point does a bunch of cyclists go from a large "group ride" to a fully fledged "Mass"?1

[1] - A possible answer is "when the group is too long to cross a junction in a single cycle of the traffic lights".

In that case, we could count the Friday Night Rides to the Coast as "mass", especially when encountering the blink-and-you'll-miss-them cyclists' lights at Parliament Square  :)
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