London October Critical Mass 2010

Some good footage of the bike lift in Piccadilly Circus

I arrived late for the October Mass and could not work out which way the Massers had gone. I cycled up through the regular route of Westminster Square and towards the Mall but no sight of flashing red bike lights. I headed  towards Trafalgar Square and was on the verge of calling it a day and going home when I spoke to another cyclist who pointed and exclaimed “They went thataway!”.

I joined the Mass heading east along Shaftesbury Avenue.  As we approached Smithfield, the rain started. Just a light shower which finished quickly gave us all a false sense of security that that would be it for the rain. Regrettably, not the case.

As we continued to head East along Beech Street tunnel enjoying the dry artificial environment, we emerged into heavy rain in Chiswell Street. Oh Christ, I thought! Out of the 5 or 6 masses I have been on, this was the first with any significant rain. I consoled myself with the thought that however wet I would get, I would be heading home in a couple of hours in any case so if I was going to get wet, so be it.

The mass meandered towards Bishopsgate and then south to Liverpool Street and Bank. We encountered an angry taxi driver outside the old Lloyds Bank HQ and a beer can flew threw the air – presumably from a masser?

There was the usual interest from drinkers outside pubs and the inevitable question “what’s this all about?”. “We’re going on a bike ride” I replied.

We left the city and headed back on our route to Piccadilly Circus. There was a spontaneous bike lift in the Circus and much interest from tourists and passers-by.

A girl fell off in Haymarket but she seemed to be ok. Another girl fell off in the Mall and hit the road hard. The police provided assistance and many thanks to them for their help. A taxi driver was questioned by them as he had been driving very aggressively before the incident.  The mass finished at Buck House.

I encountered some massers in the Strand on the way home and joined them for a few beers in The Wellington by Aldwych.

To conclude, an unusual route, some heavy rain and two massers took a nasty fall.  But still all good fun! Be careful riding on wet tarmac. Some bike tyres seem to slip very easily in the wet.


3 responses to “London October Critical Mass 2010

  1. i was on the ride and was wondering how i have got away with so many masses with out rain. I spent half an hour at the end of the mass with the police and that angry taxi driver who wanted to fight the world. They almost booked him for offence language when talking about us “communist Effing scum, dole cheats”. The experienced copper on site had one request to us massers: the younger riders at the front should be urged to have adequate lights and some hi vis if corking

  2. Nathan,

    I stopped alongside the girl that was injured, together with a few other massers, to make sure she was attended to. The Inspector kept on giving advice about lights but this wasn’t the cause of the accident.

    did they ever charge the taxi driver with anything?

    thanks for your comment.

  3. the taxi driver that was stopped at the bottom of the mall by buck palace was driving too fast and too aggresively but not directly involved in her falling off.
    A silver cab passed her and she fell off .
    I was next to the other cab when he jumped out and wanted to fight every one.
    He was warned but not charged
    As for the inspector he seemed mature and ok with critacal mass and is a regular cyclist, his concern was saftey based .In fact he suggested the mayor turns up in the spring to join us and hand out hi vis clothing…

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