I’ve attended a few critical mass events and each time I feel a sense of internal conflict and last Friday’s event was no different.
- Do the other people share the same aims as me?
- What does it achieve?
- Does it just give a bad impression of cyclists?
- Why do I see none of the other people who attended at the City Council Cycle Forum meetings?
- Does any of that matter?
The group of people who attended were not greatly varied, out of 20 or so I believe there were three women and one minority, the rest were white men although of a good age range, from about 20 to mid sixties. There was a music system carried on a little trailer pumping out protest songs and a few guys drinking beer while riding!
Most people weren’t wearing helmets and were in regular clothes and on a variety of bikes. We set off at 1830 from the Chinese arch for an amble around town, the roads weren’t too busy. Across some of the big junctions the ‘leaders’ would block the cross traffic to allow everyone to get across together. On Dale St a few drivers kindly gave way to allow us all to pass while they were trying to manouevre. The one or two who didn’t got a talking to.
The ride ended for me at a rain soaked Pier Head, I think the others were carrying on to a pub.
Ultimately I was a bit disheartened, I saw nobody there from the Merseyside Cycle Campaign or attendees of the cycle forum, if the extent of the group’s political ambition is turning up once a month, making a noise and getting in the way of drivers, then it’s not really for me. To be honest the vast majority of drivers were extremely courteous and patient with a group of cyclists whose only purpose was to slow them down and make a nuisance, I actually felt myself sympathising with them.
I’d love to hear about other people’s opinions and experiences of Critical Mass events.