I’ve just got back from my second ever Critical Mass… and I came home early.
When I arrived at the cathedral I was a little bit excited to see so many bikes, all shapes, sizes and types. Sure there were a few with clearly broken brakes but it’s summer everyone should be allowed to ride in the sunshine, or I first thought anyway. The ride started off pretty usually (as usually as someone whose been to two can claim) with someone taking the lead and everyone following… Through a shopping centre.
Given it was only the Minories and I have on occasion nipped through, but not usually with that many bikes in tow and then to the first thing that kind of confused and upset me. We went round the roundabout… twice.
Maybe the people at the front were unsure of a direction so I let it slide and carried on… except we did it again, or at least the mass did (I pulled away) at five ways roundabout, going round… 4 times.
4 Times while traffic is backing up at every junction. Now I get the point that the mass “Is Traffic” but I’ve never made a habit of driving round roundabouts 4 times when I have to use a car. In fact making drivers angry by making them wait needlessly serves no purpose, if anything it reinforces their view of cyclists which is we get in the way and hold everything up.
The other thing was something that upsets me no end… Red Light Jumping.
Now if your the back 3 riders in a big group and the junction light goes red on you, nail it through with the group. But pedestrian crossings when they go red, stop. Someone with even more legal priority on the road is trying to cross, and again knocking over pedestrians or stopping them from legitimately crossing does nothing to help the day to day cyclist. I have to pint out I didn’t witness any pedestrians being knocked over.
There was a great deal of difference in riding experience there and I really feel that it’s the more experienced riders job to lead the way and maintain road standards otherwise the newer riders just think they can behave like idiots and when the worst happens get very angry about it not realising that sometimes your actions, position and behaviour on the road have an impact.
I decided about half an hour in that I didn’t want to be part of a ride like this and peeled off and went home, this was probably my last ever critical mass.