Critical Mass London – 26.05.2007

Another Month, another Mass. The Met winning their appeal against the high court judgement meant some midweek publicity before the ride and guaranteed a large number of riders, as well as legal observers, press and quite a lot of cycle cops too (although little change there). Bumping into a couple of mates at the start made this a less solitary ride than it could have been. It did seem to be full of aggro this month though. Angry cabbies are par for the course, but we had limo drivers, diplomatic police, all sorts.

High spot of the ride was an impromptu over of cricket which took place on Charing Cross Road outside the NPG while we waited for the mass to reassemble after a pretty chaotic attempt to cross Trafalgar Square.

With many more cycle police on the ride than usual, they made a pretty ineffective job of policing intersections from what I could see – although being in the front phalanx for most of the ride means I got no impression of how the rear end were progressing. I often wish riders were more pro-active when riding in corking the intersections in the body of the mass and not corking unnecessarily near the front. Having said that there were only a couple of instances of vehicles in the mass this month which was encouraging(apart from the messiness at Trafalgar which is kind of unavoidable given the state of that junction). They also did their bit in diffusing a couple of flashpoints I saw, so its nice to see that despite the appeal win, the same good-natured police presence is continuing for the moment (although I did see a couple of stressed newbie coppers who could have done with a nice cup of tea and a sit down rather than deal with 3-500 happy cyclists hehe). Meeting Steve at Buckingham Palace was also a bonus, and he rode with us all for quite a while on his lovely home-built fixie, until we both peeled off the mass at Tottenham Court Road and headed eastward and home.

I do love a CM in the Summer.

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