31 July 2010

Barklays: Hire bikes and dogs at Critical Mass

It so happened that yesterday, the launch day of the London Bike Hire Scheme, was also Critical Mass day.

Inevitably, a few CMers turned up on hire bikes, prepared to pay for their hire by taking the machine out beyond the half-hour limit for free use. To a Yorkshireman like me, that's heroic stuff.

The Mass went round Parliament Square, with the usual cycle-brandishing schtick that has become a provocative, and to me rather irritating, symbol of CM.

And, to enormous cheers, someone managed it, semi-ironically, with a Hire Bike. He's a strong guy: those bikes weigh a ton.

I like semi-irony. You can claim it was either serious or joking afterwards. That's why I'm semi-ironic half the time, and only semi-serious the other half, though obviously that statement is tongue in cheek.

Anyway, we were glad to see the Hire Bike Massers were obeying the TfL guidelines and not putting a dog in the front carrier, which is expressly forbidden.

You need a proper basket for that, as this chap at the mass last night demonstrated.

Yappy, dirty, unruly, annoying: yes, a few people on the Critical Mass can be a bit tiresome. But the vast majority are simply normal cycling folk like you and, er, me. And the Jack Russell here was just as well behaved.


  1. Actually, it was a two man effort - they really are quite heavy. I'm on the left with the blue rucksack, also on a hire bike.

  2. Ah - now you mention it, there are a lot of hands underneath that bike.

    But what are you carrying in such a mighty rucksack? Shackleton went to the Antarctic with less than that!

  3. dont you CMer's realise that all the lorries and trucks i.e. the polluting road users which you seem to want to protest about, are the SAME lorries and trucks that bring in all the clothes, food, pub grub, ipods, tvs, newsagents newspapers, and a million other everyday commodities that ALL of you, at some point or other, has benefitted from?

    In fact, the ONLY people who dont in some way benefit from this way in which goods and services are supplied, are those that decide to live under a rock, with sheepskin to protect themselves from the elements (sheered off by themselves, of course, rather than any electronic item which would probably have relied on a lorry or truck to have supplied), and who dont in any way conform to modern society!

    mmm strange how ive yet to see even one CMer fit in that category! You all seem to have modern clothes on (no doubt bought in a "shop" where those very clothes were supplied by a lorry or truck!)

    Im puzzled as to why you then (after you have all made indirect use of the pulluting trucks and lorries by purchasing the goods and services that they supply), then take off to the streets to try to cause maximum carnage to the very drivers who have helped supply you your goods and services in the first place!

    Its all a bit hypocritical isnt it? Or do you all just enjoy making other people's lives a misery?

    1. Of course they don't. Its a nice social scene with a protest attached to it. Nice and safe becuse they can piss people off and look radical without risk getting too much polcie attention.


    2. Lorries and trucks can ride at night.

      We can make more use of trains.

      CMers are mainly against private cars, not business vehicles.

      Think more, type less.

  4. As a former environmental activist , I often wonder what CMers campaign is actually about achieving. If it is highlighting the danger to cyclists on London roads, or the pollution ciuased by interal combustion engines, or even the lack of cycling tracks, it is all very poorly co-ordinated with the media. What it has succeded in doing is adding fuel to the idea tha tsome motorists have that we are all irresponsible , red light jumping clowns with a death wish who wish to piss off all other road users as we are so holier than thou.