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News Archive 2007

December 2007 ride.

About 40 turned up for this ride, no sound systems and no cycle police. There was an altercation with a taxi driver on Westminster Bridge but no other problems reported. The ride split up in Shaftesbury Avenue in heavy traffic, with a sub-group deciding to go its own way.

November 2007 ride.

Cheerful diehards braved the wind and rain, and they all happened to go in the same direction at the same time as traffic, which led to a very sociable ride. The cycle police did a good job of corking and even turned a blind ear to a delightful sound system in the SOCPA zone. Unfortunately the wetness means that there was little opportunity for photographs and videos this time.

There was a surprising amount of traffic congestion on the approach to Piccadilly, prior to CMs arrival. Which just goes to show that CM are not the only ones alleged to be blocking traffic on a Friday evening.

St Pancras Eurostar cycle protest. 14-11-07.

They were highlighting the poor facilities and planning for bikes in contrast with the much-publicised claims of carbon-neutral travel to Paris.| Report | Video |

October 2007 ride.

A good ride, well supported and with few if any problems. No text reports so far. Videos | 1 | 2 |.

September 2007 ride.

Numbers were down, probably because of the rain. Police issued the usual threats to riders with sound systems, about not playing them in the SOCPA zone around Parliament, but they refrained from videoing people this time. Police also stopped the multiple circuiting of Parliament Square and directed the ride instead up Birdcage Walk, where the sound systems were able to play again. More.

"So just to recap; Commercial and political signage rolling around parliament square on the back of very noisy, dangerous, and polluting vehicles is perfectly, perfectly fine. But a non-commercial, non polluting, relatively quiet and social act such as cycling with some music warrants threats of arrest by the police in the name of preventing serious organized crime. I'll say that again. Serious organized crime. Thats ok then isn't it."

First ever Critical Mass celebration.

Fifteen years ago this month, San Franciscans mobilized for the first Critical Mass. More.

Disarm DSEi rides.

There were roughtly the same numbers of police at the start of the ride at the Bank on Tuesday as riders, in excess of 40 each when counted. Video. The ride to the arms dealer's dinner on Thursday, about 40 riders and 15 police, was stopped before Park Lane and then penned for a while. Report.

Police attack on Minneapolis Critical Mass 31-8-07. Videos 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | Text.

August 2007 CM ride. Reports:

"The sound systems were all great, and the "carnival atmosphere" stood out for me." Nicholas f. Dewet. Gerald Baxter. Masser. Jason Cobb.

Bikes against bomb factories.

"Yesterday evening (28-8-07), over 30 bikes left The Level in Brighton, and cycled along the Lewes Road to the Moulescoombe factory. The turnout was somewhat reduced by the police action against tents at the smashEDO peace camp". Website.

Climate Camp Bike ride.

About 20 riders attended plus 4 cycle police.†The rain held off until they arrived at the Camp. Website.

July 2007 CM London ride.

A fast ride with no junction holdups. Accounts with photos | 1 | 2 | Video | Sound system pulled over. More. More2.

'Cut the Carbon' Cyclecade.

The Cut the Carbon Cyclecade organised in Sheffield Saturday 30th June by Sheffield Campaign Against Climate Change attracted 40 cyclists to rally in Barkers Pool. More with pics.

June 2007 CM London ride.

"Oh & it was great, I fell in love twice."

Police still barricading front of ride. A pedestrian was arrested.

"Basically, this drunkard just ran across the front of the mass while we'd stopped, and pushed three to five people off thier bikes quite violently-- every single police officer present leaped on him like a hungry cat and beat the shit out of him- just desserts" Account of ride with pics.

London Naked Bike Ride.

"In 2004 there were 58 riders, in 2005 a creditable 250 riders, rising to a massive 800 in 2006."

Thousands strip off for London's Naked Bike Ride. | More naked bike ride pics. | BBC.

G8 cyclists attacked or harassed.

Stealing bicycles for the G8. Video. | Hamburg. | From Rostock to Reddelich.

May 2007 CM London ride.

Following the police appeal victory, and some corporate media coverage, there was a large supportive turnout. The police did still try to block the front of the ride, ostensibly to allow stragglers to catch up. In Parliament Square they also tried to stop the circuiting but this only led to a sit-down and delayed riders from leaving. There was a near arrest, allegedly for theft, towards the end of the ride but that was more or less it. Bicycle sounds systems could even be heard playing in the SOCPA zone. Some Samba drummers added to a festive and defiant spirit. See video and Indymedia reports 1 | 2 | 3 |

Police win appeal against previous decision

In September 2005 the police issued this leaflet warning to London CM participants. A cyclist Des Kay, with the help of Friends of the Earth, took the Met Police to court and won! Now the police have managed to overturn that decision. See Court findings. Taken to the House of Lords.

Pedal Powered Activists from Nottingham set off for Palestine

his morning 4 activists, based at the ASBO Community Centre in Nottingham got on their bikes and set off for an epic journey to mainland Europe. More including pics.

Brum's May Critical Mass

Last Friday between 30-40 cyclists turned up to Critical Mass in Birmingham's city centre. We didn't encounter any driver aggression during our ride but the weather was a little overcast. We also came across a memorial to workers in Pigeon Park to remember those killed at work. More including pics.

Netherlands: anti G8 bike rally stopped by police. 115 arrested

Netherlands, Utrecht: An anti-G 8 bike rally heading towards Heiligendamm, Germany, where the G 8 will take place in june, was arrested by police.

About 115 people were arrested and brought to the headquarter of the police. The bikes were taken away from the owners and are now in posession of police. Police officials say the people were arrested because they were too many to drive in normal traffic. More -> | G8 Bike Caravan Action Nijmegen | G8 summit / Utrecht(NL): last bicycle caravanist finally released

Cornwall goes Critical

At midday this Sat 5th May cyclists gathered in the town square in Falmouth for the towns first Critical Mass bike ride. The celebration of combustion free liberty, picnics and ever so slightly fancy dress boasted nearly 50 riders. More including pics.

Police charge cyclists at Glasgow Critical Mass

Last night the police committed a surprising u-turn in their approach to dealing with Glasgow Critical Mass. The Mass has previously been accompanied by cycle officers "to ensure the safety of the cyclists" however there has been no police presence since last September. This changed dramatically with the April Critical Mass. More including pics.

April 2007 CM London ride.

"Hey guys, last Friday's ride was the best ride I've been to for a long while !

Going through small streets in town, up the mall, and circling around at buckingham palace was great fun :) I understand the mass was split in three groups - the main group, a large group with no police and another group with some police ; the two groups with police eventually met up at Picadilly circus and the police-less group joined the rest back on the Strand (is that more or less correct?)

I was on the police-less group, and it was just great :) looking after each other like in the ol' days :) Much faster and fluid than when we are with police - also possibly because we were rushing around trying to catch up the main group :) "They are in parliament square" ; "They are in picaddily circus" ; "they are in covent garden" ...... :D

There was a hilarious bit where the mass was going through a red light, and suddenly a really pissed off copper and his van jumped in the middle of the junction and shouted "What do you think red lights are for ?", while taking off his seat belt in a slightly threatening manner. But by that time the light was green, so we just said "It's green" and cycled on :D

He was at a complete loss as to what to say, hehehehe :D And since we were police-less, we went around Parliement square and up whitehall while playing music - The Clash as it happened !!! Brilliant :)" Anselm

"Just to say it was a great ride on Friday night. It seemed a bit quiet at first without some of the more powerful sound-systems that normally accompany the ride but that was more than made up for with some of the more vocal among the riders. We ended up in the break away group, looking around and realising there was no longer a Police escort for us. Everyone stuck together and it really made a good group feeling. Meeting back up with the main group on the Strand was good. We left shortly after the Duke of York to get back to Tower Hill. Take care all, happy riding. Looking forward to the May ride". Penny.

Video of 13th Anniversary ride.

Police ignore van music in SOPA zone.

Vanunu Freedom Ride - Mission Accomplished!

The intrepid Vanunu Freedom Riders complete the last leg of their gruelling 600-mile bicycle journey from Faslane in Scotland to Downing Street and the Israeli Embassy in London.

Mass for Critical Mass!

Birmingham's Critical Mass has been steadily growing to reclaim the city's roads, where people are often forced by petroleum guzzling road users to ride dangerously in the gutter. This month's ride saw over 30 people, joined by a few skaters and BMXers, joyfully cycling along the City Centre's main roads and streets, accompanied by a trailer sound system pumping out cycling-related grooves, without any intervention from cops or psychotic car drivers. Last month's ride saw a cap driver attempting to undercut the mass and colliding with a cyclist. It also saw attempts by the police to intervene in the Mass.

March 2007 CM London ride.

Seejpg map of ride route.The GPS was stopped at Trafalgar Square at about 9pm and the ride continued along the Mall. Police are still warning riders with sound systems not to play them within the SOCPA zone and are asking for their names and addresses but take no action when this request is refused. See video. They also video the sound system people. Apart from this the cycle police seemed more relaxed and cooperative than on previous occasions.

Video of ride.

"Five weeks ago, we were assigned to put together a current affairs piece for our VideoJournalism course at Westminster University.

Despite having no contacts, we chose London's Critical Mass. 15 interviews and two corrupted tapes later, our piece is now ready. Thanks to everyone who helped us in our toil - Andrew, Fabrizio, Quentin, Bill, Philip and all the couriers and massers we hassled along the way. Especially those we interviewed but could not use. Hope you like it..."

Part I http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zJYGiJsXgM

Part II http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-J1hpcGOyw

Trident Critical Mass pics.

The Metropolitan Police are to appeal in the High Court.

See the case they are appealing against and the latest update. MP3 sound interview with Des Kay. Press release by Jenny Jones.

Critical Mass Birmingham.

Brum's Critical Mass has been gaining momentum with the last two monthly rides seeing numbers exceed thirty. Friday's ride was accompanied by a pumping out cycling related grooves and for the first time an in-line skater rode with us. More ->

Critical Mass Nottingham.

On Friday 23rd February, Nottingham's Critical Mass Bike Ride started from a NEW Meeting Point in the Market Square. This change is for everyone who rides a bike in Nottingham and wants to take part. More ->

February 2007 CM London ride.

Some comments:

"Is there a consensus building that CML massers don't mind being marshalled by police? D."

"I hope not. There is no reason for the police to be there. It's got nothing to do with them unless the law is being broken, and I don't see them following anyone else around London in a van and on bikes on the off chance that a crime might be committed. They claim they're there to facilitate and protect the ride. But as we saw last month they aren't able to do the former, and there is no need for them to do the latter, as the Mass is self-protecting. The real reason they are there is because they hate the idea of something that big and that public that they have no control over. One coppper said to me last month, as I was riding down a gentle hill with lots of riders right in front of me 'Come on, there's no need to put your brakes on.' The very idea of being told how to ride my bike by a cretin on a power trip is enough to keep me attending the Mass for ever". Marc Rothman.

"Well, what total shift from last month! - and from both sides too. I didn't see any agressive or petty police behavior at all (unlike like last month) nor any antagonistic riding or junction hold-ups by massers either. Seems that there was some much needed mutual respect going on. The front of the ride didn't jump red lights(ish) and through the middle of the group police were fairly efficiently reinforcing the policy to keep going through red lights. Massers were wary at first but after a while it all fell into routine..." Paul George.

"Numbers - dunno about 300?† Loads left at the end as well, the final run to Duke of York there was still around 40 riders at a guess. Police *generally* ok, and a HUGE improvement on January. As we came down to King's Cross, a few were on the radio talking about getting us down to one lane, but that never materialised so we took Marylebone Rd from Kings Cross to Edgware Rd without disruption.†A copper on that bit was very firm with a cabbie telling him to follow behind the van, not to pass it.†(Are police radio scanners legal/cheap? love to know what their tactics are). Post-underpass was a bit dodgy though, car-drivers coming in from the left clearly weren't expecting us and there was way too much merging early on, lucky no-one was hurt from what†I saw. Great work by the guys at the front, I was in around the '3rd row' I guess on the islington stretch, and people worked well, slowing down or going as appropriate, but a breakneck pace overall, I wasn't ready for it and ready for a pint by the end!!!Was a†great start to the weekend and cant wait till March!" Paul Brocklehurst.

"I think it was one of the best CM's I have been on, as it was moving nice and fast and we didn't have any problems with other traffic trying to cut into/tru' the CM. ok, there was a lack of music but I understood on the guys who had the empty sound system bikes that they where scared of the rain getting into their system and therefore didn't play." Henrik Risager.

Photos 1 | Videos 1 | Sound system ban

Critical Mass Birmingham February 2007

The second Critical Mass cycle ride of 2007 was to celebrate the legal appeal victory of Daniel Cadden who refused to cycle in the gutter.

Critical Mass has steadily seen increasing numbers of riders taking part. This month almost 30 Birmingham cyclists met up for a cycle ride around the city centre to highlight the increasing presence of cyclists on our streets. The rides are expected to increase the consciousness of other road-users to the safety needs of cyclists as well as demonstrating that cycling is a fun, viable, healthy and environmentally-benign alternative to infernal combustion powered vehicles. More ->

Critical Mass York February 2007

Another month, another ride, and this time around we narrowly exceeded the previous months attendance. However, the police made another brief intervention, as two cycle police and an officer on foot joined the ride.

The women PC (on foot) was immediately very hostile, demanding that cyclists proceed single file, essentially making the ride pointless. However, they bizarrely vanished, and the ride finished off more or less in one piece. This did have the effect of encouraging a few riders to leave early. There was a bizarre moment where an officer announced into their radio that they'd found the organiser. Ironically, this was the one regular rider who'd been much quieter than usual! More ->

Critical Mass Manchester January 2007

Critical Mass on Friday was absolutely amazing. We stood around chatting outside the library for ages just chillin and socialising and meeting the many newcomers to the mass. People making the I Bike MCR did some filming for part of the film and someone taking photos for the bicycle exhibition in March.

Then the 40 or so of us took to the streets, riding around the city centre and down past the station right down Grosvenor street and onto oxford road where masses of students waiting for some gig cheered us as we rode by the union. We rode through Rusholme and then up to Withington and back , hardly any negativity at all instead we were greeted with cheers and friendly beeps and waves from car drivers and pedestrians. woooo!

Critical Mass Edinburgh January 2007

Almost 50 people turned up for Edinburgh's first Critical Mass of the year, which is a significant improvement on Decemberís bunch of five! Perhaps this year it can be the first event of Edinburgh's Hogmanay with hundreds of riders, from Edinburgh and around the world, bringing bicycle lights instead of fiery torches. Critical Mass is a celebration of cycling, but occasionally regarded as 'giving cyclists a bad name' for briefly delaying motorists. Whether you agree or disagree, have your say after the screening of (We aren't blocking traffic) We Are Traffic! on Monday 5th of February at 6.30pm - part of the Winter Bicycle Film Festival.

January 2007 CM London ride.

You never know what the police are going to do next on the London ride. They clamp down on some things and relax on others from one month to the next and from one part of the ride to another. 'Shambolic' is perhaps the word that best describes their behaviour. They seem at times to behave more like Anarchists than the riders. You would think with their radios they could at least arrive at some sort of a consensus. In addition to our usual police overkill the Forward Intelligence Team were also in attendance at the South Bank, poking their cameras in people's faces. All this just because of a bike ride! This time the cops decided to get tough with riders without lights and those who go through red lights and also with sound systems in the SOCPA zone. Did you know, it is OK for someone with a car to play their sound system in the vicinity or Parliament but not for a cyclist with a sound system? How discriminatory is that? Anyway, the cops allowed an extra long 'bikes high' stop in Oxford Circus but no stop whatsoever in Picadilly Circus. Those riders who were pulled for going through red lights are now facing a £30 fine, despite the fact that some cops were actually ushering other riders through red lights! One of the highlights of the ride was storming through the Aldwych underpass, something the police normally prevent. We had a fun time with Brian Haw in Parliament Square, he led the "More bikes less cars!" chants on his megaphone and seemed in a very good spirits. The ride split up after that at around 9pm, going off in all directions and leaving our yellow coated retinue behind, chin-wagging among themselves.

Discussion 1 | Video 1

York Critical Mass Report

Critical Mass returned to York on Friday with about two dozen riders braving the cold to take another random ride around the city to celebrate cycling. The route took them to York's newest road, round a roundabout the highest legal number of times, and into a short interruption from York's boys in blue. More->


Archive 2006