The route is here:

http://tinyurl.com/ybr4o6z

On the south bank I met Jenny Jones and Caroline Pidgeon, both London Assembly members of whom I have a lot of respect. Jenny was cycling with the Mass, Caroline was there to see us off.

Two counts were made of the mass, the first was of 600 cyclists, the second was of 620 cyclists.

Our first port of call was the corner of Druid Street and Tower Bridge Road where Professor David Vilaseca was killed by the driver of a skip lorry on 9 February 2010.

Our second port of call was the corner of Snowfields and Weston Street where the student Haris Ahmed was killed by the driver of a Keltbray lorry on its way to the site of the London Shard on 9 March 2010.

Our final port of call was the roundabout at Lauriston Road and Victoria Park where Shivon Watson was killed by the driver of a skip lorry on 10 March 2010

The mood was sombre, and the nature of the mass better than I recall from having been on two past masses. When we explained to motorists who were held up for a few minutes that this was a memorial ride for fallen cyclists there seemed to be a general acceptance that we had a legitimate right of procession. A small number of motorists appeared impatient, and I witnessed at least one very aggressive truck driver who drove onto the pavement in a futile attempt to intimidate cyclists. Tom.

***********************************************************

The reasons why more than 600 people joined critical mass on 26th March 2010 differed and the atmosphere reflected this fluctuating from a big party celebration (3rd birthday of the London Fixed Gear and Single Speed forum) to thoughtful silence. I usually join critical mass to have a ride with friendly people, make the bicycle more "visible", and simply to enjoy the city. Last night though, the main reason that took me to critical mass was to to pay respect to the 3 cyclists, Professor David Vilaseca-Perez, Muhammad “Haris” Ahmed, and Shivon Watson, who were killed (February / March) by HGVs.

Lorries seem to be a primary source of cyclists' deaths in London as statistics show that 69% of London's cyclist deaths last year were indeed caused by lorries. In 2008 this figure was 88% and with figures so high it makes me wonder why London still has in place the London Lorry Control Scheme (LLCS) which forces lorries to enter the city during the peak commuting hours. If the scheme was truly put in place to protect the people from noise pollution then it makes no sense why it is not reviewed since it looks like it has contributed to a lorry rush that has caused the lives of commuters on bicycles. See the blogs by * Moving Target Zine * ibikelondon * the Bike Show podcast *

Last night's critical mass of 600+ people, was with no police escort, and ran smoothly. The majority of pedestrians and drivers looked cheerfully at the sight of the cyclists; some joined in with a dance and a wave to the sounds of the sound system and the ones who were told about the deaths of the cyclists by HGVs expessed their "approval" to the ride and similar views on how ridiculously dangerous cycling in London is.

The critical mass had the occasional aggressive driver, including a lorry driver (the irony!) who decided to overtake 600+ cyclists by speeding in the counter flow lane...His behavior can only be described as murderous. And before you readers say it is understandable that the driver got annoyed, i must point out that the mass was actually flowing in good speed. And this is when attitudes must change into respect for people; respect for people who choose to ride the humble bicycle. VeLocity.

***********************************************************

Bike ride for three London cyclists killed by lorries

Hundreds of cyclists are joining a mass bike ride today to raise awareness of the dangers that lorries pose to cyclists in London.

The event is in memory of three cyclists who have died in the capital in the past few weeks. They were killed in collisions with HGV lorries.

Another cyclist is critical in hospital after being hit by a police car in Islington on its way to a shooting in Hackney on Wednesday night.

The cyclist, 59, who has not been named, was said to have been thrown through the air by the force of the collision.

The ride, starting at 6pm on the South Bank under Waterloo Bridge, goes to Tower Bridge Road, where the accident involving university professor David Vilaseca, 46, occurred, then Weston Street in Southwark, where student Haris Ahmed, 21, was killed and Lauriston Road in Hackney, near where singer Shivon Watson, 28, died. There will be a minute's silence at each site.

Maxwell Watson, 53, Ms Watson's father, said of the mass bike ride: "I am very grateful to them for highlighting how bad the traffic is in London and how irresponsible drivers are.”

London Evening Standard

***********************************************************