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Who are we and what are our aims?

We are not sure, opinions seem to differ. There are probably as many aims of CM as there are participants. Each individual comes there with his or her own idea of what it's about, and the sum of this makes up the Mass. We have no organisers and no planned routes and this website does not try to be representative of CM in any way.

Critical Mass achieved its international name following the first ever ride in San Francisco back in 1992, where it was christened 'Commute Clot'. It was then "noted that, in China both motorists and bicyclists had an understood method of negotiating intersections without signals. Traffic would "bunch up" at these intersections until the back log reached a "critical mass" at which point that mass would move through the intersection". Film 'Return of the Scorcher' also features the scene which led to the adoption of the name "Critical Mass" for the rides which now occur around the world.

The London monthly rides started in April 1994. 1995-96 reports. Videos from the 90s. It isn't just for cyclists, sometimes there are wheelchairers, skateboarders, roller bladers, roller skaters and other self-propelled people. Cycle sound systems often play music on the ride. To find out more about Critical Mass checkout the links on the left.


London CM December ride 2012


London CM November ride 2012.

Video. Map of ride.

London CM August ride 2012.

The over half-mile long ride was shadowed by a police helicopter and several police vans blocked roads along the route. Ride reports. Videos | 1 | 2 |.

The 182 cyclists Defence Campaign.

100 people attended a meeting at Camden Town Hall in support of the 182 cyclists arrested on 27 July.

"..There was an introduction to the legal issues surrounding the police’s purported use of the Public Order Act, and discussions of related issues – including news of a successful challenge to the bail conditions by one arrestee already. The solicitors at the meeting are all currently giving advice on these cases free, and will continue to do so at least up to and including any further challenges to bail conditions..." More.

London CM July ride 2012.

The ride was reported on Russian television as well as several international mainstream newspapers. "London police used pepper spray and kettling tactics against “Critical Mass” cycle ride participants as the British capital held the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Games..."

It appears the ride was joined by some other groups and it became considerably fragmented, though London CM itself is being given all the credit for what took place. The final number of arrests reported was 182 with many kept in harrowing conditions until the next morning and they were left without their bikes which had been stored elsewhere. Only three of the arrestees were charged with offences.

Press TV Report with Video. Other Media Reports | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 |. Petition. Participant reports. Police report. Indymedia Reports | 1 | 2 |. Videos | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |. Route map. Pre-ride discussion.

Taxi Mass prevents others going about their lawful business.

This is a criticism often aimed at Critical Mass but as it can be seen their accusers are sometimes guilty of the same.

"London taxi drivers brought Westminster to a standstill in a protest over their ban from Olympic traffic lanes. More than 200 black cabs arrived in Parliament Square just before 14:00 BST, beeping their horns to tourists' bemusement. Cab drivers argue they should be able to use the Games Lanes available only to Olympics officials and athletes. But Transport for London transport commissioner Peter Hendy condemned the action. He said he had "no sympathy" for the "trumped-up" demonstration..." More.

"Woman Injured In Altercation With 'Critical Mass' Bicyclists"

"SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Police Department is investigating an altercation involving a local couple and several bicyclists participating in a "Critical Mass" event." More with video.

London CM June Ride 2012

There were at least two incidents of drivers ramming cyclists but there might have been more. Otherwise described as, "All in all a top night out as ever!". Ride reports | 1 |. Pics | 1 | Route

Report of Critical Mass (Style) ride against EDO

Smash EDO have called for three months of direct action to close down EDO MBM - From 1st May to 1st August 2012. A ride was held on Wednesday against the EDO arms factory. Cyclists converged on the level and then rode into town. More.

London CM May ride 2012

It is claimed there was some police violence. See video and judge for yourself. Videos | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |. Pics | 1 |. Reports | 1 | 2 | 3 |.

London CM April ride 2012 (18th Anniversary)

Pics | 1 |. Videos | 1 | 2 |.

Addison Lee Die-in

"The Boss of London Mini-Cab (unlicensed) Firm Addison-Lee John Giffen enraged Cyclists and Black Cab Drivers first by actively encouraging his cab drivers to float the law and use Bus lanes which in London are reserved for Buses, Taxis (Black Cabs) and bicycles and then by writing an article which blamed cyclists for road deaths." These pictures are from the Die-in demonstration outside the headquarters of Addison Lee in Camden.

New York CM arrest

"...Regardless of the statute, cyclist Robert Nash was stopped by police for exiting the bike lane. When asked by his fellow riders why Nash was being detained, the sergeant at the scene seemed to stumble on the charges. Nash finishes his sentence for him: "Improper use of a bicycle!"..." More.

San Fransico CM 20th Anniversary book

SF CM have asked London CM to contribute to their book and Des Kay volunteered for the work, with assistance from some others. Following a delay, the finished essay was finally sent to them this Sunday 1st April and will appear probably in or before this coming September. SF CM said, "Predictably we have no budget to pay anyone, but we hope to create a historically important volume documenting the emergent bicycle movement over the past two decades, and its relationship to Critical Mass." Request

London CM March ride 2012

The weather was good and there was a large turnout with plenty of skateboraders. The ride visited the Pro-Choice Protest against anti-abortion activism, Bedford Square, where there was quite a crush and a delay but after that the ride seemed a bit faster than recently as it roamed around Central London visiting Trafalagar and Parliament Squares and Buckingham Palace, etc. Photos | 1 | 2 |. Reports | 1 |. Videos | 1 | 2 | 3 |,

London CM February ride 2012

Visited St Pauls / LSX Occupy again, it was evicted the following Tuesday, and the ride finished up in Trafalagar Square. Reports.

London cycle safety campaign moves to Westminster

"Cyclists in London have protested in Westminster calling on the government to make the capital's roads safer, ahead of a parliamentary debate. In 2011, 16 cyclists died on London's roads and campaigners say some junctions are too dangerous". More with videos | 1 | 2 |.

London CM January ride 2012

"We got close to kings cross the a traffic jam meant a change of route, Great mass, Good numbers, Great music, Longboarders as entertaining as always", Killerfish. "Hi all, it was fantastic to have Critical Mass at St Pauls / LSX Occupy on Friday. Thanks for all the great energy :)", Julie. Videos | 1 | 2 | 3 |.

Bikes Alive protest 9th January

"'Bikes Alive' is a new direct action campaigning group to counter the lethargy of transport for london, and its prioritising of london traffic flow over the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. Tonight saw the first of a series of direct action traffic calming gatherings at King's Cross designed to pressure TfL into more urgent action over the deadly junction. Videos | 1| 2 |. More. Website.



Massa Crítica do Fórum Mundial da Bicicleta 2012 from Rodrigo Langeani on Vimeo.



When and Where?

The London Mass meets at 6.00pm on the last Friday of every month on the South Bank under Waterloo Bridge, by the British Film Institute. Photos. Map.

Next ride: Dec 28th 2012. Weather.

Other Events

(Note. Not to be confused with the regular monthly London CM event).

Piccadilly Circus


Website archived

When looking at the British Library archive of this site the external links may appear not to work but you can extract them from the longer archive address which is displayed at the top of your browser.